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The Rikon 10-345, 18 inch Bandsaw

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Review by ncdon posted 03-31-2015 12:43 PM 8119 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Rikon 10-345, 18 inch Bandsaw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

It’s been about 6 weeks since I picked up my new saw so I’ve had some time to create saw dust with it. The Rikon 18 replaced a PC 14 which I’ve used for several years.
First impressions. This saw is big, it’s heavy, so if you bring one home, have a friend or two handy. My saw was well packed in it’s shipping crate and had no damage. Assembly amounted to mounting the table, assembling the fence and mounting some hand wheels. Tuning is well covered in the owners manual and took an hour or so. The beefy 2.5 hp motor requires 220 v power so I ran a dedicated circuit for the saw.
Whats to like? The table,it’s large, it has two miter slots, one on either side of the blade. It is mounted on steel trunnions and has a rack and pinion making tilting the table easy and precise. In operation This saw is powerful, quiet, stable and vibration free. Capacity, Its nice to be able to resaw a 12×12. Blade changing is easy with the blade being removed straight forward through the table. I didn’t think I would like that feature, it requires removing the fence to change the blade, however, Since the fence is mounted with 4 wing nuts it’s easily removed. When using 1 inch and larger blades, pulling them off straight forward is the way to go. I find changing the blades on this saw easier and faster than on my old 14. Dust collection, as with most larger saws it has 2 4inch collection ports. Roller guides are double bearing, nice for those wider blades. The saw frame is beefy and rigid. Tracking, tensioning, levers and hand wheels are conveniently placed. Last but far from least is Rikon ’s 5 year warranty.
Whats not to like. The fence. With a saw this nice the fence is a major let down. Its short and I feel rather flimsy. I really prefer the fence on my buddies grizzly. With it’s large cast iron wheels, this machine takes a while to coast down, a break would be a great addition. All told I really like this saw. With its power, capacity and versatility, This Rikon 10-345 is a welcome addition to my shop. Now I can get back to makin saw dust.

-- Don, North Carolina,http://www.ncdon.com Working full time at retired.




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ncdon

220 posts in 2962 days



16 comments so far

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Wildwood

2379 posts in 2221 days


#1 posted 03-31-2015 09:01 PM

Other than fence sounds like a great ban saw good luck with it!

-- Bill

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TimberMagic

114 posts in 1265 days


#2 posted 03-31-2015 09:30 PM

I think you get a lot for the money with Rikon. I have one of their midi lathes, and it has performed without a hitch for 5 years. I have a Powermatic 14” bandsaw, and would like to have a 2nd bandsaw dedicated to resaw, and use the Powermatic for “scroll” cuts. I’d definitely consider a large Rikon.

-- Lee

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Grumpymike

2284 posts in 2401 days


#3 posted 03-31-2015 11:28 PM

Back in 1988 I bought a Craftsman 12” bandsaw and was happy as a pig in mud for several years making all kids of stuff and being proud of it.

Well in 2011 I wanted to do some resawing, and that little Craftsman with the 1/2 HP motor and 1/2” blade was just like trying to build the golden gate with an Erector Set. ... So I started looking at bigger band saws.
As luck would have it, Woodcraft Supply had the 10-325 Rikon 14” with a 1-1/2HP on sale for about $300 off the retail price so I ordered one.

Thinking that I would sell the old Craftsman for a hundred bucks in the near future, I set up this new monster.

Well, both band saws made the move in 2012 to Arizona and I have learned that I will never give up the “Little Guy” because I really hate changing band saw blades.
I do a lot of resawing and just leave the Rikon set up for that, and keep a 1/4” blade on the “Little Guy”.

So, TimberMagic, for my two cents worth, you are on the right track in your thinking.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 1263 days


#4 posted 04-01-2015 12:09 AM

Thanks for the review.

I admit that I am not familiar with the Rikon line of products. Are there multiple 18 inch models? The reason I ask is Tim Yoder on his woodturning show showed off his 18 inch Rikon saying it would resaw 16 inch high pieces.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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Andre

1963 posts in 1892 days


#5 posted 04-01-2015 03:53 AM

I have a 14” Delta and just picked up a Rikon 10-305. I was going to get the 10-325 for a matching set but have been seriously looking at the 10-345 but the 220V has been standing in the way, really do not want to rewire the shop and not sure if the difference in the saws is worth it? Of course the $400.00 dollars in price differenc and more costly blades need to be considered?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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tomd

2164 posts in 3856 days


#6 posted 04-01-2015 03:56 AM

I bought my Rikon 10-345 seven years ago in 2007. It was my first and still is my only bandsaw, I agree with you the only stinko on it is the fence. I do very little resawing, being a turner I use it mainly to cut large bowl blanks out of green wood. Have fun with your new saw.

-- Tom D

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Oldwest

86 posts in 2890 days


#7 posted 04-01-2015 07:01 AM

I have the same saw I purchased 5 years ago and have never had a problem. You are correct the
fence is very weak. I tried to put a Kreg band saw fence on it and it wouldn’t work so I moved to a Carter Mag fence. I also have 6” ducting throughout my garage and hooked both 4” pipes into a 6” tee and get
great dust collection from the band saw.

It’s a well built saw you should have lots of fun with it, great for re-sawing.

-- Anyone who isn’t totally confused just doesn’t understand the situation.

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CyberDyneSystems

288 posts in 2275 days


#8 posted 04-09-2015 08:35 PM

The first Rikon tool I ever laid eyes on ended up in my shop. It was this bandsaw, selling at a going out of business/floor model price at my local Woodcraft. I got it for a steal, and it’s been a solid performer.

The fence has held up fine so far (going on 6 years) but if needed I could upgrade that and still be far ahead in dollar for value.

-- Without the wood, it's just working

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newwoodbutcher

749 posts in 2936 days


#9 posted 02-14-2016 10:24 PM

Don,
I would greatly appreciate your advice.
I’m new to Resawing, I’ve been struggling to get my new 10-345 to cut straight or to resaw anything close to 12” hardwood. I’ve gone through the set up … who knows how many times. I’ve watched and followed the Snodgrass video at least four times, once with a very competent mechanic (not a woodworker) at my side every step of the way. I am using a 3/4” Wood slicer blade, I have two and they both perform the same. What happens when I try resawing a 10” piece of Mahogany or Walnut is that the blade starts going left, way left. When I try resawing with out the fence, free handing and following a drawn line, the top edge of the board looks fine but if I keep going the blade will come through the right lower side of the board. The top of the cut is straight and true and the bottom of the cut tapers out the side of the board. Mostly the cut is straight, not very bowed, it ’s just extremely tapered top to bottom. I’m going to call RIKON technical support this week to see if they can help. I see a lot of reviews praising this saw(like yours) yet …... So my question to you, and anyone else with this saw is; is this saw ever going to perform the resaw where I can actually make shop veneers from hardwood ? Is anyone doing that with hardwood using this saw? I don’t want to spend a lot of time and emotional energy on this if it’s never going to really perform? Your advice????

-- Ken

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ncdon

220 posts in 2962 days


#10 posted 02-15-2016 12:18 PM

Ken I typically don’t cut veneer, I did cut 1/8 to 1/4 strips of walnut maple and oak from 8-10 in stock. I don’t have the problem you describe Don’t know if it will help, but I added a 6 inch piece of 1/2 Baltic Birch ply to the
face of my fence to give me some extra support on thicker stock. It sounds to me as though you may have some deeper problems with the saw. Contacting Rikon tech surely can’t hurt.

-- Don, North Carolina,http://www.ncdon.com Working full time at retired.

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

2284 posts in 2401 days


#11 posted 02-15-2016 07:31 PM

KEN
do not trust the tension indicator on any band saw … Is your blade truly 111”? I’ll bet it’s not. Blades will vary just a bit, enough to make your tension be off. That gauge is just an indicator that you are close.
In Fine Woodworking magazine there is a great piece about the tension of band saw blades … With the top guides raised about 6”, there should be about 1/4” deflection in the blade.
I found that my Rikon needed to be a bit tighter than the gauge said, and as I adjusted it correctly, most of the drift went away.
Snodgrass covers it in the video … But there is so much information there in that video that it’s easy to miss.
Also, I once had a new blade that was sharper on one side than the other, this will cause blade drift.
Listen to Snodgrass when he aligns the top wheel so that the gullets ride at the center of the wheel, if the blade is centered on the wheel, the teeth are free to wander and they will. Another cause of blade drift.
I hope that these tips will help you. my Rikon saws very straight and yesterday I cut some maple burl into veneer using the fence.
Hang in there, and don’t get discouraged, it takes some time to learn to tweak …

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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newwoodbutcher

749 posts in 2936 days


#12 posted 02-17-2016 04:25 AM

Mike,
Thank you. It’s getting there. It’s been complicated. Tim Wadley Product Development/Tech Support with RIKON has been very helpful as have you and the rest of the folks here. There were lot’s of variables , I had to replace the lower casting due to a crack that stopped me from locking down the bearing settings unknowingly for a few weekends, also had a bad Woodslicer resaw blade jumping back and forth. The guide post was misaligned causing bearing skew, AND, I have no experience setting one up. I’m close though. Tomorrow I get a new 1/2” Woodslicer, I’ll have the guides set, new blade tension-ed with gullets in the center of the wheel. I’ve wondered along the way if I bought the wrong saw, now I don’t think so. The support has been great, and it’s looking very promising tonight. The great reviews here are also encouraging. Thank you again.

-- Ken

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Grumpymike

2284 posts in 2401 days


#13 posted 02-25-2016 12:07 AM

Ken,
Keep us posted on your progress and how you made it your favorite tool.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

749 posts in 2936 days


#14 posted 02-25-2016 02:00 AM

Hey Mike,
Thank you for following up. Worked on it a bit today, feeling better about what will be possible but not there yet. I think I need a check list before I even turn the saw on. Blade tensioned, check, guides aligned, check, table level, check and like that. I keep forgetting stuff and getting sub-par results. I guess once it set up properly there won’t be so many opportunities to mess up as it will only be for resawing. Thought I was going to have success on a ten inch wide piece of hard maple cut 3/16” thick. Came close but there was a taper from the top to the bottom down to 3/32nds. I had replaced the blade with a new one this morning which required removing the table to set the guides. I forgot check the blade for square to the blade, duh. Done for the night, will get back on it tomorrow. Thank you again for your advice and follow up.

-- Ken

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Grumpymike

2284 posts in 2401 days


#15 posted 02-25-2016 09:14 PM

You know, that once you have the saw all set up and aligned, blade changing is a snap. the only adjustment you will need is to adjust the rear thrust bearing to suit the blade size.
That thought will make the morning coffee taste a bit better …

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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