|Review by cpd011||posted 05-25-2013 02:35 PM||7121 views||1 time favorited||26 comments|
I just picked this up yesterday. I have been previously using the 10” version but have been looking to upgrade to a 14”. I have been very happy with the 10” and think everything about the fit, finish and performance is great (within its 1/3 hp capacity). I been watching craigslist (Chicago area) and good 14” saw at a good price have been fairly elusive. I stumbled upon searsoutlet.com which lists all their returns/refurbs/open box items. They had this one at 279.00 plus tax. Yesterday they dropped the price to 229.00 so I rushed over looked at it and was out the door with it for 245.00. It was a return, never assembled, everything still in the box. Ok here’s the review points:
Assembly was very, very easy, even with the crappy photos in the manual. Didn’t try to assemble the stand, it’s already on a homebuilt base. I had read a review where someone returned theirs because the belt would slip off of the tensioner pulley. When I turned this on this very thing happened. Maybe I got this guys saw. I took a good look at everything and adjusted the lower blade wheel. It’s hard to explain the parts but it’s very easy to do when You take a look at it. Take off the wheel, loosen the large shaft nut, loosen the shaft leveling screws, and then push the shaft a little further in the housing. Took about 20 mins and now everything lines up correctly and it hums. Whoever assembled it at the factory just did a poor job of alignment.
The cast Iron table is very large with double standard miter slots. I love the rack and pinion blade guide adjustment (same as on the 10”) It’s extruded aluminum but very robust. very easy to adjust. I find it The blade tension nob on top is very large and there is a tension gauge on the back. Tensioning/detensioning is very quick. The access doors open very easily with a 1/4 turn of a large knob on each. Having had to remove the blade a few time while I was fixing the pulley alignment problem I can say that blade changes are a breeze. There is a handy little window where you can see your blade tracking without opening the doors. The included blade is crap, screams like a banshee. I did a few test cuts and everything track well. I’m very interested to see what good blades do for the saw and have very high expectations.
I know there are a lot of craftsman naysayers. I truly believe whether you’re buying yellow, blue, red, HF or even craftsman, you have to look at the tool and kick the tires. I haven’t met a tool yet that didn’t need some sort of tuning. This is a very robust machine. Again the fit and finish are first rate. If it weren’t for the alignment issue I would give it 5 stars. If it weren’t for the alignment issue I wouldn’t have got a brand new bandsaw for $245.00. Some of the other reviews cover some finer points and I agree with them.
Sorry, no picture yet.