|Review by ShipWreck||posted 06-27-2012 11:43 AM||13772 views||0 times favorited||17 comments|
A friend of mine has the previous version of this machine with the 3’ depth instead of the 4 5/8” depth of this 21400 model. I have used his doing some curvy cuts on smaller projects and it performed very well. The wife had mentioned getting another bandsaw for the shop but I kept shrugging it off until I had the funds for a 17” later this year. When I saw this one go on sale at Sears I decided to take the plunge. This is the very same saw as the Rikon 10-305 but sells for around $100.00 cheaper.
Packaging: The box was banged up pretty badly, but the saw was well protected by styrofoam.
Manual: Functional, but I can see wear a couple of diagrams might mislead a non mechanical person…..but no biggie.
Fit & Finish: This little saw has a very rugged frame, and a well machined table. The trunnion looked to be a little cheesy but actually is quite strong. The doors have double latches and lock shut pretty tight. It is a nice looking machine overall and the paint appears to be of good quality. The miter gauge & fence are a bit toyish, but the fence functions ok. I always measure both ends from the miter slot anyways before making rips.
Assembly: Pretty straight forward. It comes assmbled with the exception of the trunnion and table. The trunnion is a little cumbersome attaching to the frame/body. All parts were neatly bagged.
Tuning: Setting the lower guide bearings can be a PITA. I settled on setting the guides by eye instead of using anything for a gauge. I would suggest this over trying to hold a gauge and locking down the bearings at the same time.
Operation: The saw vibrates very little…if at all. The tracking adjustment works very well, and I was surprised how responsive it is. There is no blade tension indicator on this saw, but I never use them anyways. The motor is pretty strong and handles ripping 2” red oak pretty easily. With the right blade it should handle thicker stock pretty easily. I did some resawing on a 5 foot piece of SYP 4X4 and the motor barely slowed at all. I cannot wait to see what this saw can do with a good blade.
Dust control: Excellent! It comes with a lower wheel brush that works pretty well. A Dry Vac is all you need for this saw. After using it for a few hours, I checked inside the lower door and it was pretty clean.
Runs very smooth….. well balanced wheels
Great dust collection
4 5/8” depth is pretty nice for a hobby saw
Price $179.00 Rikon is $279.00
Strong little motor. Ran pretty cool ripping 4X4’s for about 25 minutes. Warm to the touch…not hot.
Very little plastic
Cheesy miter gauge and fence…...but I knew that before hand.
Bearings instead of blocks. I hate roller bearing guides for small saws anyways. Blocks would work better for tracking.
Lower bearings are a PITA unless you set them by eye.
The manual says you can use a 1/8” blade….......... NO Way! The teeth would be up against the bearings.
Overall: The saw is a little wood muncher and will stay in the shop after I get the 17” saw of my dreams. It is alot of fun to use after setting it up. I would like to see Craftsman sell this with solid guides instead of the roller bearings, but at least the bearings seem to be of fairly good quality. This is not a fragile little machine like most smaller saws. It is built pretty stout for its size.