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Craftman's newest 14" bandsaw

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Review by jchomme posted 487 days ago 3980 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Craftman's newest 14" bandsaw Craftman's newest 14" bandsaw Craftman's newest 14" bandsaw Click the pictures to enlarge them

-My rating is mostly based on Price and build Quality.

-These are first impressions only. I will report back after a while of use.

-Notice from the pics, the similarities of the Professional model and regular.

I’ve basically been out of the woodworking game this whole past year. I restored a Belsaw-Foley planer (craftsman branded) and not much else. Unfortunately, I sold the planer for peanuts, and I ended up selling a bunch of my other tools. I actually have done more tool restoration than tool utilization. There is something wrong with that…

OK, so I scoured Craigslist, found some used tools in Atlanta and went to check them out. Long story short, one of my truck wheels fell off while cruising at 70 up 1-75. I was forced to buy local and there isn’t much in the classifieds, so I went retail shopping. I was either going to go to Lowes for the 14” Porter Cable or HF for the 14” central machinery from HF. I checked them both out and know they are both very capable if set up properly, but I would hate myself if I bought one at full price and one came up on CL for a song. So, I decided to check sears out. I called them hoping they would have the discontinued 12” steel bandsaw display model I saw there a few weeks back and it would be at a good price and hold me over for a while. They didn’t, but they did have a 14” which was news to me, so I decided to check it out.

The last bandsaw I had was a 14” Craftsman Professional model, and I was surprised that the new one was basically the same saw. The biggest differences I notice are the guide bearings are a simpler, the base is no longer a cabinet, no fence system is included( the other one wasn’t that good anyways), the new door mechanism is better and you don’t get a light, oh and the all important “Craftsman Professional” placard isnt there, just a plain old Craftsman sticker. As far as I can tell, everything else is the same: The main frame, wheels, 1HP motor/2 speed drive system and 8” resaw capacity. This thing has me excited!

Right now these can be had for $368 brand new, that’s almost $100 less than the PC and on par with the HF. Everything looks nice to me as I am a fan of the Craftsman Black/grey/red color scheme. For me one of the best parts of my purchase was the whole thing(boxed) fit in the back set of my VW passat; unfortunately I no longer have the truck…




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jchomme

29 posts in 1669 days



15 comments so far

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Tugboater78

942 posts in 826 days


#1 posted 487 days ago

Thanks, ill keep this in mind around november, october is my 10 yr mark with my employer. They give up a $500 gift card to sears and ive been debating what i MIGHT spend it on. Knowing my luck one of my appliances will go bad and no new toys though.

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1267 days


#2 posted 486 days ago

I’ve checked out that bs a few times in my local Sears. Very impressive. IMO, it’s the best BS under $600. I’d buy one myself if I didn’t already have a Ridgid.

View WhoMe's profile

WhoMe

1106 posts in 1877 days


#3 posted 486 days ago

Isn’t this essentially a Rikon clone? I know in the past the 10” and 14” band saws were essentially Rikons missing a couple of items like a fence and had some lesser specs and different paint. Even so, this looks like a great saw.
From all the positive reviews, I know I will be checking this saw out when I am ready to buy.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies and the wall gets in the way.. - Mike -

View ArtRafael's profile

ArtRafael

120 posts in 499 days


#4 posted 486 days ago

I have been in the market for a good, not too expensive band saw for a while now and have been hesitent to take the leap. This blog has helped. I’m off to the Sears store to check em out. Hope to bring one home now. Ralph

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1267 days


#5 posted 486 days ago

This BS is currently priced at $367 on the Sears site. Fatwallet.com lists a coupon code for $35 off any purchase over $300. That’ll beat the price down to $332. If you become a member of fatwallet, you’ll also receive 5% cash back’ yeilding another $15 bucks. And if you have a Sears “shop your way” card, you can apply this purchase toward points for future Sears purchases. I’d imagine a Sears charge card could further enhance the deal as well.

Ive actually seen this BS on sale for $325ish a while back. WIth similar coupons, it could be had for $280-290. That would be a sick deal.

View jchomme's profile

jchomme

29 posts in 1669 days


#6 posted 486 days ago

I am going to pretend that I got the best price possible, It was the only one in the area and I had to have it. If you could get this new under $300 it would be an super deal!

I am still finding this saw to be really nice. The blade that it came with is not very good, but I was able to get some cutting done. I only did a quick setup, and nothing too negative to report. Now need to tune and get a better blade. The biggest downfall, so far, is the lousy manual. Doesn’t bother me too much because of how simple this machine is.

I actually once had the Rikon 14” deluxe and this thing is a more reasonable 14” Bandsaw. I remember the Rikon had extra features, more resaw, more power and everything seemed more “polished,” but I doubt It could do much more than this one. Kudos to the R and D team, they cut the fat and passing the savings along to us on a budget.

Added bonus: The open stand creates the feeling of more space in a small workshop. Helps me find my chi :)

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1267 days


#7 posted 485 days ago

Sorry. Wasn’t aiming that reply at you. Even at $368, that machine is a GREAT value. I was actually trying to entice other readers into pulling the trigger (and perhaps myself too).

View Marty5965's profile

Marty5965

158 posts in 579 days


#8 posted 485 days ago

I pulled the trigger yesterday based on this review. Only one left in the City and I snagged it. It is sitting in my garage, waiting to be moved to my fledgling shop (basement). Thanks for the review. Only snag is, I just got clearance from the CFO to get a planer, guess I’ll have to re-negotiate.

-- Marty, Columbus, OH, learning every day....

View Dedvw's profile

Dedvw

76 posts in 1515 days


#9 posted 485 days ago

I own the Craftman Professional model. I have used just about every brand bandsaw made and this thing is a best buy in my opinion. I have just over 8 inches of rip on mine and with very little vibration. Get the craftsaman professional blades and call it a day : )

Does yours take the 99” blades like the professional model?

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Marty5965

158 posts in 579 days


#10 posted 485 days ago

Blades are 99.75 “

-- Marty, Columbus, OH, learning every day....

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Rick M.

3883 posts in 1014 days


#11 posted 485 days ago

How is vibration out of the box?

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View jchomme's profile

jchomme

29 posts in 1669 days


#12 posted 485 days ago

Did the nickel test and it passed. Balanced the nickel, started the saw, nickel stood up; vibration is minimal.

I believe this is the same saw as the Pro Model minus some features and fence, but mainly the same. I base this on having owned the Pro model recently.

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Surfside

3085 posts in 807 days


#13 posted 480 days ago

What was the blade that came along with it? You pleased with it?

-- "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 SebringDon's profile

SebringDon

95 posts in 574 days


#14 posted 467 days ago

Just pulled the trigger on this at $349. I’ll pick it up from the local Sears tomorrow. Anybody want a Delta ShopMaster 9” bandsaw? :D

-- Don

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SebringDon

95 posts in 574 days


#15 posted 462 days ago

Got my new BS home Monday, and I’ve had a bit of time to play with it now. Like JC said, the blade is nothing to write home about, but the mailman just brought me a Timberwolf 3-pack. I’ve made a rudimentary fence and crosscut guide (a wooden miter gauge fixed at 90 degrees, basically). Using the original blade, I cut out a few fish shapes for the wife from 1/2 ply, ripped some 2×4 into 3/8 pine stock, ripped and crosscut ply from 1/4” to 3/4”, and knocked off a few other cuts, including a 15 degree edge on an oval. So far I’m very pleased. It didn’t take long to get most of the drift tuned out, and I think I’ll get rid of all of it by the time I’m done fiddling.

-- Don

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