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Rikon 10-325-14" Band saw

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Review by Mark posted 07-25-2013 05:10 PM 6447 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Rikon 10-325-14" Band saw Rikon 10-325-14" Band saw Rikon 10-325-14" Band saw Click the pictures to enlarge them

I bought this saw back in March from Canadian woodworker in Surrey. The prices at the Grizzly plant are very attractive, but these folks are about 10 min from my place. Doug and his crew are a great bunch of guys. It was on sale for $850 and then I drew a card from a hat and that had a further discount of between $25 – $500. I pulled a $50 card. I got the saw home with no problems, a bit heavy but manageable. Lots and Lots of packaging and styrofoam. There was a good coating of grease on the cast iron parts, but not excessive. The assembly instructions were fairly clear and with a bit of common scence it went together quite well. As I was all by my onesies, I assembled the bottom, laid it on it’s side and slide the top up to it. Bit of a pain fitting the nuts to the bolts that hold the two halves together but I got there in the end. Fit and finish was pretty decent on the machine, no scraps, dents, chipped or peeling paint. Stand the sucker up, muscle it on to the mobile base and I was off to the races. I had purchased 2 new blades to go with it. A1/2×3T and a 1/4×6T. At $20+ I don’t understand why the manufacturer can’t supply a decent blade. On the assembly part, when I installed the top I was kinda disappointed in the trunnions. I thought they were kinda flimsy considering the size and weight of the top. No dropping big chunks of lumber there I think. Onwards. After using the machine for several months I can say I’m pretty satisfied with the tools performance. I have ripped 4/4 Maple and Cherry. Both sliced off 1/4” slabs no problem. The 1.5 hp motor is great. Lots more power than I’ll ever need. The large table is very nice. As others with this tool have said the work light is kinda useless where they put it. It’s nice to have when I can use it but….

The bearing guides is where the machine falls down. I know I don’t have much experience but I don’t think I should have to constantly check and reset. I did follow the Alex Snodgrass video but to no avail. Blade changes are very simple with the exception of having to re set the guides. The motor can be wired either 120 or 220v. It came stock at 120v and I left it there. Bottom line. It’s a fine machine for the most part. The big table and 1.5 hp are great. I don’t know if I’ll ever need 13” of resaw capability, but I have sliced at 7.5” The paint job is excellent. Cast iron wheels are a plus. The machine is pretty solid when running, no vibration or rattles to speak of. I like the quick tension release and use it all the time. The 4” dust port works very well as does the lower wheel brush. The fence is adequate. Having said that, if the manufacturer knows there is s problem with the guides why don’t they fix it. I just shelled out $800 +13% in bloody taxes and now I gotta drop another $2-300 bucks to get a decent set of guides? What a load! Makes ya wonder if ya just should bite the bullet and go Laguna. Would I buy it again?.....?

-- Mark




View Mark's profile

Mark

488 posts in 721 days



12 comments so far

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3361 posts in 920 days


#1 posted 07-25-2013 06:58 PM

I’ve looked into this machine before. The common issue with this saw, ( most reviews say) , is the bearing guides. The guide adjustment is a bit tricky.

-- "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 Scott's profile

Scott

104 posts in 970 days


#2 posted 07-25-2013 11:12 PM

I’ve had mine for about 6 months now and I’m actually liking it more and more. It’s not perfect, but I accept its faults. I’ve looked at the replacement parts I could get, and I don’t feel it’s worth it.

One thing I just got around to fixing last week was the guidepost itself. It was a little crooked, so the guides were actually a little off-center and at a slight angle to the blade. Took a little looking to figure out how to adjust that, but now that I have things are much smoother. Even though the angle was slight, I think it was enough to put some pressure on the blade in one direction and caused some chatter.

I did remove the little plastic safety guard under the table though. I think that annoyed me more when changing blades than adjusting the guides.

View Mark's profile

Mark

488 posts in 721 days


#3 posted 07-26-2013 03:56 AM

Good call on the plastic guard Scott. I think I’ll try that as well. Good call. And yer right about accepting it’s faults, but it really pisses me off when you pay yer hard earned dinero for a “quality product” (not just wood working) and it comes with a warning. I know this rant is ongoing on this site so I’ll just drop it. :)

-- Mark

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1216 posts in 2221 days


#4 posted 07-26-2013 11:57 AM

Interesting… I have the Craftsman clone of this Rikon saw and have similar design issues… fine saw but the guides are tedious to adjust… and that little plastic guard on the lower door is a nuisance… didn’t know if it was there for safety or dust collection so have been hesitant to remove.

I’ve got to get some hours on my saw before I would make any investment in different roller guides… but so far is hums along fine. While it resaws okay with my new blades, I think I need a drum sander to run the stock through afterward…

The Craftsman has cast aluminum wheels or other non-magnetic metal, and not cast iron… so I would suspect the Rikon runs a bit smoother and that is where some of the money difference is… ?

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1323 days


#5 posted 07-26-2013 12:40 PM

That and the longer warranty.
If I spent that much on a bandsaw (and I do have my sights set on the 10-325), I’d most likely upgrade to carter guides or blocks.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2395 days


#6 posted 07-26-2013 01:52 PM

interesting.

have this saw for the past ~4 years now – all stock (no after market parts on it) and never “noticed” those issues before. saw tracks and cuts clean – which is where it counts. resawed some 12” boards straight through.

then again, I don’t change blades daily so maybe it doesn’t affect me as much.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Mark's profile

Mark

488 posts in 721 days


#7 posted 07-26-2013 03:09 PM

PurpLev. I’m not sawing it doesn’t cut well, cause it does. With the right tension it slices pretty clean. Maybe I’m just being anal ‘bout the guides?

-- Mark

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4984 posts in 821 days


#8 posted 07-27-2013 12:25 PM

Nice review, thanks.
I have the same saw as well. I find that it runs very smoothly and quietly. I find the guides are ‘fiddly’ but it’s my first bandsaw so I don’t have anything to compare it to. When I have it adjusted properly, it tracks nicely.
There’s a youtube video posted by Jumbojack showing the Carters guy tuning a bandsaw. That was very helpful. Now instead of my blade in the middle of the wheel, I make sure the gullets are in the middle. This helped significantly.

At the moment, I’m having some issues that I’m pretty sure are related to my electrical system, not the saw. My garage is in desperate need of it’s own circuits, or subpanel or something.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View eddy's profile

eddy

931 posts in 2111 days


#9 posted 07-28-2013 12:38 AM

i instaled carter guides on mine and blade changes are great i also posted a review on this saw awhile back great saw even better with upgraded guides

-- self proclaimed copycat

View Mark's profile

Mark

488 posts in 721 days


#10 posted 07-28-2013 02:05 PM

Hell ya It’s not a bad tool at all. It does what it’s supposed to and very well…..But the point is, taxes in it’s about$1000. Ya get it home and ya throw out the blade, then ya throw out the guides???? But I knew that going so I should stop whining. :)

-- Mark

View Scott's profile

Scott

55 posts in 2076 days


#11 posted 12-05-2013 12:54 AM

Laguna recently came out with a similar bandsaw (the 14|Twelve) for $1095 before taxes/shipping. Does not even come with a worklight. That price point is as low as Laguna is willing to go without sacrificing too much quality. IMHO, this $800 bandsaw is bound to come up short somewhere.

-- Scott

View Spunk4ya's profile

Spunk4ya

3 posts in 53 days


#12 posted 12-17-2014 06:53 AM

Hi, I wanted to share what Purplev shared- although only have owning this saw a year ( I own the blue version) I too have had no issues. Yes, it’s a bit to change blades but I upgraded from a smaller Deltal 10” saw and that too required “tweaking” as the blades are difficult to have track exactly the same after removing and installing. I chose to keep my original one around for scrolling and the larger one for resawing. It’s a great saw and good investment, not needing any extras just time to setup.

-- CustomsByQ

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