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Great saw, but I would expect more from the price

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Review by Cole Tallerman posted 581 days ago 2931 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great saw, but I would expect more from the price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Alright so let me start off by saying that I got this saw for free hardly used so for me I couldn’t be happier. If I were to pay the $1200 price tag, I might think twice. I have had this saw for about 2 years and have thrown everything at it including re-sawing 12” ash logs. The saw handled it fine. The bearing guides are nice along with the extended table and carter quick release. There are also multiple features that I do not like about this saw. One is the fence. The fence is very basic and not very strong. It is also not very adjustable. The fence and the fence rails flex a little too much for my liking. Another thing that I don’t like is the tensioning system for the drive belt. It includes loosening the four mounting bolts on the motor and sliding the motor down and then re-tightening the bolts. This doesn’t sound so hard except that then the motor pulley becomes misaligned with the other pulley and the bolts are in pretty much the toughest to reach spot possible. The last thing that I dont like is the “dust blower”. It is such a gimmick. It just gets in the way of your cut and there is a slight wind from the blade that moves the dust anyway.

On the upsides, The motor is very powerful and the saw passed the DIME TEST (im not even sure how i got a dime to stand up on its side)

Overall, i think this is a great bandsaw but needs a much lower price tag and an upgraded fence and tensioning adjustment.




View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

388 posts in 770 days



12 comments so far

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3503 posts in 1063 days


#1 posted 580 days ago

It is actually a wonderful saw and worth every penny. Take a minute and look at the fit and finish. I know its a small saw for the price but it is not a home depot saw either. You got a great deal you should be dancing in the shop every time you use it. IMHO

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View MJCD's profile

MJCD

452 posts in 957 days


#2 posted 580 days ago

Cole:

You have discovered what many others have – that PMs are very good saws; though over-priced. It seems that innovation and product development have died at the hands of the Accountants, at least for US-based companies. Fences on bandsaws are a common letdown (Laguna markets a good one); few take the tension guide seriously – on any bandsaw – see thewoodwhisperer.com for some sound, easy advice on this; and dust control is gravity and centrifugal force on most saws – which is to say that anything more than a toothbrush on the wheels is considered an upgrade.

Take the good things the saw has to offer, and find workarounds for the others – all bandsaws, even the very high end, have their tragic flaws. Get the basics trued-up: wheels aligned, table 90 degrees to the blade; get the motor pulley running correctly; get two (1/4”, 1/2”) good blades – not something cheap from Home Depot (try Timberwold, Starrett, Lenox – if you have the money). With these basics, you’ll find the bandsaw to be a valued asset in the shop.

MJCD.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4901 posts in 1894 days


#3 posted 580 days ago

I have the same saw and have had it for a little over 5 years and it has works flawlessly. It was not as costly when I bought mine…I believe I paid $879… I did replace the fence with the Kreg fence and it is much better. For the price it should include the riser kit.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2273 days


#4 posted 580 days ago

Maybe PM thinks that their “gold” paint job is worth an extra $600 +or- ?
Charles Neil states that this is a “super sweet” saw (not once , but twice in a row) in his video review of the machine.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1110 posts in 1645 days


#5 posted 580 days ago

For that kind of money, I would have spend it on Laguna LT14 3000 bandsaw
2 HP, and they make the best guides for small blades.

-- shdesign3.com

View jat's profile

jat

53 posts in 1357 days


#6 posted 580 days ago

Cole:
I have the same bandsaw, with the riser block. As for your review, I couldn’t agree with you more. The machine operates excellently and has plenty of power. The fence was essentially worthless, so I replaced it with the Kreg bandsaw fence. I liked that even less than the factory model. So, I made a fence jig of my own. I made a 1/2” birch ply table slightly larger than the PM table. I attached a stop to the underside front of the ply. Next I cut a dado into the ply table from left to right, perpendicular to the blade. Then, I cut into the table about 1/3 of the way with the bandsaw blade to register the blade into the table. Finally, I attached a homemade fence to a good quality miter gauge. From there, you simply insert the miter gauge into the slot of the table and you have a perfectly good fence at 90 degrees to the blade.

As you said, the motor mount belt tensioning arrangement is terrible. It’s quite an effort to get that tight enough and then try to access the bolts without causing the motor to be out of balance. Dust collection is fair at best and the air hose seems to accomplish little.

All in all however, it’s a really good bandsaw that could be great with a few obvious improvements.

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

679 posts in 1520 days


#7 posted 580 days ago

I have this saw and did a review on it as well.
I paid $1200 but got the rolling stand and riser kit included. I had a tough start with this one but it’s worked very well since. I was disappointed to find out recently that the Carter quick release PM put’s on their BS’s are not from Carter. Carter licensed the design to PM and they make their own in China. The gears on mine broke and PM replaced them free of charge even though the warranty expired. Their excellent customer service brings me back to their products.

View Sawdust4Blood's profile

Sawdust4Blood

337 posts in 1607 days


#8 posted 580 days ago

I have the PM Onyx (anniversary) edition of this saw and have had it for about a year now. I think that I paid a little less than $1200 and that package came with a riser block kit along with some other throw-ins.

I won’t argue on the fence other than to say that I don’t know that if I have ever seen a fence that I was really impressed with on a 14 inch bandsaw. I also think that some of the other stuff is a matter of perspective. Honestly the biggest factor in my decision to purchase a PM was that I was in Hawaii at the time and the selection of other brands there is very limited (the additional shipping on a Grizzly to the islands would have put it in the same price range). But also in fairness to PM, when I compared their saw with the base price of others and added in the options on others that would have been necessary to bring them up to the same feature list that was standard on the PM, it wasn’t that huge of a price difference. I will also say that customer service at PM has been great. I contacted them about the tires seeming looser to me than I thought they should be and they sent me a brand new set no questions asked.

I don’t have a shop full of PM tools but I have to admit that this is one of the few machines I have that has required really nothing after-market added to it since it came out of the box. My biggest gripe has been the blade guard that came with the riser block kit. While it works, the extension adjustment on it can be a pain when resawing near the upper limit of it’s capacity and it seems like they just tossed it on without really putting much thought into how they could have executed that better.

All in all, I have been happy with mine. I don’t know that I would recommend one for $1200 without a riser block kit but I certainly would if you could get it at that price with the riser block.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2066 days


#9 posted 580 days ago

I have had my PM for about 5 or 6 years now. I bought it on Ebay new for $560 from a machine company and they shipped it from Georgia free….couldnt believe the price, but its been a great saw and I have had no problems since purchasing it. I do agree that the fence could be better (more heavy duty) and it would have been nice to have the riser block included, but for the price, I cant complain.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3016 posts in 759 days


#10 posted 578 days ago

Thanks for the review! I don’t have Powermatic bandsaw but I have Trajan 14”
bandsaw. I like everything about the band saw .

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

164 posts in 1543 days


#11 posted 561 days ago

“Good but overpriced” is exactly how I summed up this saw when I was shopping for my last band saw. A year ago the price was $1200, and then Jet’s 14” pro was available for just about $850 at Woodcraft. In excange for 1/4 horse I got all of the features that mattered AND I saved enough to pick up the off-road mobile base from Rockler and still had a pile left over. Furthermore, online reviewers haven’t been kind to this saw when it comes to the riser block.

So, for free I’d take this saw and dance with glee. But with my own money? Jet will likely meet your needs as it has mine.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4274 posts in 1634 days


#12 posted 249 days ago

One of this saw was on sale in my local classified a while ago for around $350.
I already have a 14” band saw but I was looking to upgrade to a better one, even if in reality I want a 17”.
I read several “professional” (woodworking magazines) reviews on line about this saw before buying it and the reviews were less than good.

-- Bert

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