|Review by ontheworkbench||posted 03-13-2014 05:20 AM||6537 views||0 times favorited||8 comments|
This is my first band saw so perhaps this may not be the best review, but with that in mind I will proceed anyway. I had been looking at bandsaws for a while, and was trying to find one that I thought would fit my needs now and into the future. I just could not justify a benchtop saw as those are not well suited for resawing, but I also wanted to stay in a reasonable budget. Ultimately it came down to this one and the Ridgid. I chose this saw over the orange one due to the closed base which has a more compact footprint so that I can store it against the wall in my garage and have it be out of the way. To that end the saw also needed to fit on a mobile base. One side note on the mobile base, with the configuration that I used, the door on the lower cabinet does not actually open on the hinges but rather is held in place by the magnetic closures.
I purchased a craftsman mobile base on sale a while back and was able to bolt the saw base onto the mobile base; now I can wheel the saw around! This compatibility was a big win in my book! However after that part of the assembly was together, then I mounted the saw on the base, but that is when I encountered a problem. The bottom of the saw, to which to trunion mount is supposed to connect had two holes into which the included bolts were supposed to be secured locking the trunion mount to the saw. However these two holes were NOT tapped. I contacted Porter Cable’s customer service number and the lady I spoke with was kind, and tried to see if my issue had been previously reported, but apparently it had not. To resolve my issue they directed me to contact a factory authorized service center. The other options would have been to return the saw, but moving and transporting this saw is not as simple as tossing it in the trunk of my car. Realizing that to resolve my issue would likely require me to disassemble and transport the saw, I decided the easier method was going to be simply measuring the holes, and then manually tapping them. The included bolts are M8, but the holes were sized perfectly for M7×1.0 threading. After a run to the hardware store and tapping out the holes I was back in business with the saw. This factory quality control issue is why I docked it a star. Given the wheel base and height of the saw, I added about 50 pounds to the lower cabinet to keep it from becoming too top heavy for my level of comfort.
Other than resolving the threading issue, there are two other changes that I would make to the saw. First I wish that it included a work light (like the Porter Cable drill press and bench grinder). However as most other band saws in this price range also lack that feature so I cannot complain too much. Secondly, I wish it included a fence. I’m not sure I need a fence (yet) but at least there are threaded holes in the table to which an aftermarket one could be mounted. Finally, and I’m not sure this is actually an issue, but I noticed that the miter slot is not the same size as the Porter Cable contractor saw (PCB270TS). I would think they should be the same size.
The saw runs quiet, has very little vibration, and was otherwise straightforward to setup and align. Several others have reported success adding a Jet riser block. If you are thinking about a band saw this might be the one.
I also made a video of the unboxing and setup for anyone interested.