|Review by BigDawg||posted 01-04-2013 12:02 PM||4090 views||2 times favorited||13 comments|
Rikon makes a great product for a particular market segment. That segment fits between the lesser-expensive Steel City 50100 and the Grizzly G0555X crowd and the more expensive Powermatic, General, Delta, and of course, Laguna.
So, the simple question: How often will you use the band saw to realize the gains in quality and performance if you spend that extra money? The band saw is a key tool in my woodworking, so it needs to be be reliable and effective in making my projects easier to create.
So, my target was the sweet spot between price, performance, support, reliability, and ease of use.
Things I like about this tool:
• The price. I got mine on sale at Woodcraft for $749.00.
• The performance. It’s quite powerful for a 1 1/2 HP motor. (Mine’s wired for 220)?
• The fence. It’s a great fence for a stock device.
• The re-sawing capacity: 13 1/2” without a riser. More than any other in its class.
• Cast iron wheels.
• Great table and geared tilting mechanism. Good size table. Cast iron gearing is great. Easy to operate. ?
• The manual.
• The quick-release blade tension. I can put it into or out of cutting mode in less than a second.
• The two-year warranty.
Things that I don’t like:
• The blade changing process could be easier, but after a few changes I got the hang of it.
• The blade guide bearings are more/less pretty stable. Carter makes a much better product.
• The guide adjustments are not that easy to do. It took me quite a while to get the hang of those as well.
• The blade. In a word: horrible. Get a Timberwolf blade when you buy the saw.
Summary: I’m still going with 5 stars. The learning curve required when using the saw is a minor issue. It just takes a bit to get used to the process of changing blades and adjusting the guide bearings. Once you acquire the skills to do this it results in an outstanding band saw.
-- Shawn DuGay, Wallingford, CT http://www.bigdogwoodworks.com