|Review by dustyal||posted 02-12-2013 08:50 PM||14369 views||4 times favorited||27 comments|
After reading reviews, I went with the Craftsman 14” Bandsaw… driven by price, $340 and convenience of pick up. So, no delivery charge and in Delaware we have no sales tax… so that was the price… $339.99.
Set up was easy. The box weighs only 170 pounds… easy enough for neighbor and myself to get down flight of stars to basement.
Packaging was great.. no problem.
I set up the stand, and then made a small cart with wheels for it. This saw does not come with wheels; no fence and no light. That was understood and fine by me.
Manual was bad… black pictures… but not hard to set up otherwise. I needed help to set the saw onto the assembled stand.
Not much to set up, most things were preassembled. Minor oil film covering some parts… clean oil, not too messy.
Saw was quite when running and no vibration. Blade tracked well. Did not have to fiddle with it… blade was preinstalled… so I turned it on, and it ran fine.
Blade (quarter inch, .025 thick, 4 TPI) was bad in that it had difficult time cutting through 2 inch pine. I replaced it with a new Diamond Sterling of same size and TPI. That blade is awesome in comparison. Also, the D-S blade had rounded back edge. The OEM was squared off and sharp… hindering turns.
“Blade purchased from http://buyfromawoodworker.com/":http://buyfromawoodworker.com/
I have purchased a half-inch Wood Slicer resaw blade from Highland Woodworking but I have yet to try it.
Craftsman is a kin to the Rikon 10-320. You can get the features and specs from the internet, so I will just summarize the Craftsman:
The saw, table, stand, weigh 160 lbs. Easy enough to move around.
The wheels are cast- but not iron, they are some non-ferrus metal… aluminum?
The stand is heavy duty stamped steel as was the frame. Seems strong enough.
The guides are bearings that are a bit tedious to adjust, but no complaints really. They stayed adjusted when the upper guide was moved up and down for wood thickness.
The table is cast iron, and a generous 15.75×20.5 inches. The table insert is heavy plastic… fits tight.
The off/on switch has small recessed start, very large stop paddle.
Two dust ports seem to work well if I can avoid blowing 15 amp circuit breaker running 2 vacs and the saw. A lttile rewiring of outlets is in order.
Resaw is 8 inches and that will clear the raised guides… I haven’t tried it, but I am wondering if 1 hp motor might be a bit underpowered? We’ll see…
Upper and lower blade guides are bearings… best to take table off to adjust the lower guide which I think is true for most bandsaws.
No quick tension release… just a knob to turn. (no problem for me)
No blade break. (not needed for me)
None of the problems existed as I read about in other reviews across the internet.
Original blade was lousy, but 99 3/4 inch length are readily available on the internet.
It is a two speed saw. The picture of the wheel shows the two sizes of pulleys to adjust speed. I will probably never need to do that.
I am strickly a small shop hobbist… and this saw meets my needs.
And one point I should make about reviews in general… be careful of models and model numbers of any tool reviewed. This is a different saw then the 14 inch reviewed by Fine Woodworking a few years back. Rikon has two 14 inch saws, the 10-320 and the 10-325… Also, I think Craftsman has another 14 inch saw to match the Rikon 10-325. So just be cautious that you compare apples to apples.
-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...