|Review by Howarddavidp||posted 08-22-2012 06:58 PM||7857 views||0 times favorited||15 comments|
I got mine at Lowes for $399. The review is mostly accurate, but I do not agree with only giving this saw 3 stars. It took about 2 hrs. to assemble, and it was mostly putting the base together. I found it easier to put the base on the saw while it was all lying to the ground, then standing the entire unit upright once it was all assembled.
It cuts great, the stock blade is something like a 10 TPI 1/2” general use blade. I have since purchased the Carter 3 TPI hook for cutting bigger stuff, and a 14 TPI 1/4” Olson for scroll saw type cuts. I have only used the slower speed; it has had enough power to do everything on this speed. If I get into re-sawing, I might change the belt on the pulley to the higher speed. From what it looks like, this is a 5 minute job to move the belt over.
I like the 16×16” table, and the fact that it tilts BOTH ways. This was very hand for cutting some dovetails, as I could use the tilt to cut both directions. I think it goes to the right to 50’, and the left to 30’.
Other than blades, I called the 800 number and ordered the rip fence for $49 +$10 shipping. It fits perfectly, and for the price you can’t go wrong. It ships out of the east coast from North Carolina from some tool company, not Porter Cable. I guess they have some agreement with them to provide the fence. It works well, I made several rips of pressure treated 2×4’s to make slats for Adirondack chairs, worked flawlessly with the 3 TPI blade (not well with he stock blade, but then again I knew better). I also saw a 2 TPI blade online, might order that to see if it is better at rips than the 3 TPI.
The big storage space in the base is nice, and the magnetic door works well. I store all my manuals there so they don’t get lost. It also came with a MITRE; I have used it a few times w/o any issues.
Changing the blade was easy. I followed the instructions, and it was a 5 minute process. There are marks on how much tension to use based on the thickness of your blade, and this seems to work well. There is also a tracking adjustment to position the blade on the tires, which also works well. You turn the upper wheel by hand until your blade lines up, and then tighten the wing nut and the blade stays where you positioned it.
The only minor issue I have had after about 6 months it the lower brush that cleans the dust off the lower tire broke off. I bought a plastic brush for $1 and heated up the handle, then bent it 90’ and drilled a hole, so it fit on the old bolt that held the stock brush. You can buy a OEM replacement for $5 if you don’t want to make your own. Not even sure if you need this, it worked without it for weeks before I noticed it broke off.
The power is great, the noise is minimal, and there is no vibration. Table is nice, easy to adjust, and a good size. If you want to upgrade to the carter roller guides, this will set you back $179. Right now, both the upper and lower guides use cool block for side to side, and the back guide is a roller on both top and bottom. Since the guides have never been a problem, I am not sure it is worth the money to do this; the blade has never come off or drifted. In fact, this is one of the straightest tracking saws; I can cut straight lines without the fence. The blades it will take are the 93-1/2” or the 92-1/2”, or maybe even a 92”. I have used the 93-1/2”, that is also the size of the stock blade. I would highly suggest this saw to anyone who wants a nice Bandsaw for under $400. I saw a coupon which would have got this saw down to $330, and for that price this is almost a steal. The PCB330BS is my main bandsaw for now and the future to come :)