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Good for Small Jobs

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Review by Dave Rutan posted 01-24-2015 03:20 AM 3491 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I bought this band saw three years ago as part of the 3 benchtop tools that I felt I needed. I don’t remember shopping around much, but it was just before my surgery, so I may have had better things to remember. I do know that the price of the saw at Lowes was a deciding factor.

Out of the box I only had to install the table with four bolts (supplied.) The tools come with the saw for any adjustments you need to make. You get a metric wrench (10mm/13mm) and an 1/8 inch (by my caliper) hex key. While you can use the included tools, I recommend you break out your ratchet set. (Tonight I actually made myself a screwdriver style hex key because the little ‘L’ shaped one is hard to get into tight spaces.)

You may want to put a new blade on from the start. I remember my second blade cutting better than the first. It may have just been my inexperience.

The saw has a little LED light on a goose neck controlled by a switch. It works, but I have a hard time getting it to point to a spot that works for seeing the blade and any line I’m trying to follow.

It also has a laser that shows the straight path of the cut. For me the laser obscures the blade that I’m trying to guide the piece through, so I don’t use it much.

I’m not so happy with the table as it is grooved. I know a lot of these tables tend to be grooved, but if you cut many small pieces (scrap pieces) your work piece can get caught on the small bits in the grooves.

There are actually two ‘speeds’ on the saw. The motor pulley and the drive pulley each have two sizes. Out of the box the saw tended to bog down. I tried increasing the belt tension, but to no avail. So I put the belt on the other pulley setting and the saw ran much better.

On the plus side:

The miter gauge slide/rail is a standard size and works pretty well. It’s a little sloppy, but that could be remedied.

You can re-saw 2×4’s without the saw bogging down from the effort. True that if you let the kerf close up the saw will bog down, but it’s not from the thickness of the wood.

Using a 1/4 in. 6 tpi blade I re-sawed a 2×4 and a 2×3. The 2×3 I then sliced again several times. With the same blade I was able to cut a circle 1/2 in. in diameter.

The table tilt can be dialed in and has a lock, plus a bolt that can be cinched down if needed.

The supplied fence is touchy but serviceable.

The vacuum port in the back fits a small shop vac (sort of.) I made an adapter so that It fits a modern shop vac hose.

Bottom line the saw does what I bought it for. It cuts wood in curvy shapes and can re-saw 3 1/2 inch wide boards. I don’t ask more than that of it.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!




View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1733 posts in 2335 days



2 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2723 posts in 2337 days


#1 posted 01-24-2015 01:24 PM

Bottom line: It does what you bought it for, so that makes it a winner.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2661 days


#2 posted 01-25-2015 02:31 AM

I have two bandsaws in my shop, a traditional 14” Porter Cable, and a larger Grizzly for resawing. What I am missing is the small delicate bandsaw for doing really tight work. I’m not sure this is the one, but surely one to consider. Thanks for the review.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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