|Review by Dan Corbin||posted 10-14-2012 08:50 PM||3550 views||1 time favorited||32 comments|
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Ridgid brand, especially their table saws. I had been looking at a bandsaw from Harbor Freight, but with the Ridgid band saw only $50 more, I thought it was a no-brainer. I really should’ve saved my money for something better….
I was excited to get my new bandsaw home and start cutting up some wood. But from the get-go, this was a bad experience. When the unit finally arrived, the box was in very poor shape. Fortunately, there was enough Styrofoam that none of the components had been damaged. Ease of assembly was fair, except for the missing hardware, which required a trip to Southern Fasteners (a specialty fastener store) for the missing metric carriage bolts. The v-belt supplied with the saw is too long to be tensioned at all, so I made a good many trips to Tractor Supply to find the right size v-belt. But even with the proper-size v-belt, the metal stand was too flimsy to support the tension (tensioning the belt was drawing the bandsaw and motor towards each other, meaning perpendicular to the blade was NOT parallel to the ground!), so I cut a piece of 3/4” MDF to go under the stand and stiffen it up. Of course, that meant another trip to the store for new fasteners (I just went the SAE equivalents in this case). The upper and lower wheels were nearly a quarter inch out of being co-planer, so I ordered some metric shims from McMaster-Carr (they charge a LOT for shipping!). Even after all of this work, I turned the thing on and it began to vibrate like it was possessed (it was literally walking itself across the floor). The problem is both the upper and lower wheels are VERY off-balance. I bought a pack of lead weights from Michael’s (they’re in with the pinewood derby stuff), but it took the whole package to balance the top wheel. I’m going to have to make another trip for another pack so that I can balance the bottom wheel, but that means taking it out of the bandsaw because the bearings are too stiff for the wheel to free-spin.
The only thing that was as expected is that the blade supplied with the bandsaw is very cheap and needs replacement. I didn’t expect such poor quality from Ridgid, and I am very sorry that I bought this bandsaw. I would have been much better served with a bandsaw from Klingspor or Woodcraft, which while more expensive, wouldn’t have required an engineering degree to get up and running!
Buyer beware, and save your money for something good!
-- ~ Dan, North Carolina, http://www.facebook.com/torahanjyuu/