Looking for first band saw.

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Blog entry by tjscott posted 01-28-2008 03:28 AM 10144 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch


I am looking for the right “next” tool to add to my shop. I have a table saw, chop saw, drill press, pneumatic nailer and an array of power hand tools (router, circular saw, drills, jig saw, etc.). I am thinking a band saw would be good. I’ve seen enough references in techniques and such to suggest it would be a good idea.

Has anyone a good suggestion for what size, power, brand, etc. would be good for a woodworking hobbyist who is not in the “biz” and would be working on small projects and occasional small furniture pieces?

If you have a link to a blog that already discusses this, that’s fine too.

-- Tom, Charlotte, North Carolina

14 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4013 days

#1 posted 01-28-2008 03:29 AM

Just a good name brand 14” saw.

You have opened a bucket of worms.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4061 days

#2 posted 01-28-2008 03:31 AM

Any of the 14” saws in the 3/4 HP range would do you fine. Ridgid, Delta, Jet, Grizzly. I think, one of the great values in bandsaws is the Grizzly G0555.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3832 days

#3 posted 01-28-2008 04:06 AM

I agree with mot. Grizzly makes some very nice well priced saws. I have the GO555X and am really pleased with it so far having it only for about 3 months. I purchased the 6” riser so that I will be able to resaw up to 12” making the saw that much more flexible. It also did well in a recent FWW review in the 14”BS category.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3847 days

#4 posted 01-28-2008 04:19 AM

I agree that a 14” is what you should go with. This is a good beginner’s band saw. I just got a 14” powermatic and couldn’t be happier.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ToddE's profile


143 posts in 3960 days

#5 posted 01-28-2008 05:57 AM

Grizzly makes a great 14” bandsaw. I also suggest Ridgid. I have the Ridgid and I have no complaints. I bouth the Kreg’s bandsaw fence for it and it has helped a lot. The Grizzly’s come with the fence already. The last time I was there, a few months ago, Grizzly had a great model on sale: G0513 17”. It was about $650. But I don’t know what they are right now. There are only a few times you need bigger than 14” and it would be nice to have the 17”. But again, Grizzly makes a great product. Bigger bandsaws are built like tanks, but I am happy with my Ridgid 14”. Very comparable when you look at the same models side by side.

-- Allegheny Woodshop

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 4017 days

#6 posted 01-28-2008 06:06 AM

i cant speak for the grizzly i have the cabnit version or jets 14” saw and absalutly love it but when i bought mine i had about the same tool set up you have and looking back and still to this day i wish i would have bought a jointer or plainer insted but your wood working may be differnt then mine but for my money the jet was a good investment.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4115 days

#7 posted 01-28-2008 06:59 AM

From your needs above a 14” sounds good. Check out the Grizzly.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3876 days

#8 posted 01-28-2008 07:20 AM

Look for one with good safety features. these saws can be dangerous if the blade comes off, jambs or breaks. Definetly wear a full head shield & use anything to keep your fingers away from the blade. The switches, particularly the off switch needs to be a good height & speedily accesible, you don’t want to bend down to turn it off when something goes wrong. Variable speed can come in handy although I rarely change mine. I would prefer roller bearing guides. I would recommend a quality blade with low TPI for general use, I find it is cheaper to have them made up then buy them off the rack. when you get your bandsaw spend as much time as you can tuning it in as they really run sweetly when they are correctly aligned. Good hunting.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3900 days

#9 posted 01-28-2008 01:54 PM

I have the Griz and I give it a hearty two thumbs up. It is a very good saw. The riser block is a good investment, too. Might as well have the 12” resaw capacity.

View tjscott's profile


31 posts in 3829 days

#10 posted 01-28-2008 03:31 PM

Wow, this is all great information. Sounds like the running leader is the Grizzly. I checked it out online and it doesn’t appear to be overly expensive (money is always the issue with a hobby shop). By far everyone agrees that 14” is the way to go. I’ll take that one to heart.

I read some reviews on a Rigid 14” and many were not happy with it. Sounds like that may be a bad coincidence. Deltas also tend to have good reviews as do the Grizzlys.

Thanks to all for the great advice. I knew this would be easier to do if I just asked.

-- Tom, Charlotte, North Carolina

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3987 days

#11 posted 01-28-2008 03:34 PM

Band saw, jointer, planer. Maybe you need all three? Serious, serious considerations. LOL

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Roz's profile


1699 posts in 3811 days

#12 posted 01-31-2008 10:53 PM

I want to put my vote in for at least a 14” band saw. I think anything smaller is not going to do everything you want. I find that even with the 14” I have to think about how I am going to make some cuts. I wish I had stuck to my original plan and gotten the Grizzly 17”. What I did get was a Craftsman Professional 14” saw. (Made by one of the brand name importer) It is very good, but could have a larger throat. If you have the floor space definitely get a floor model as apposed to a benchtop unit. Check out the Craftsman 14” professional model. If you have a Sears near you, it is cheaper when you consider that you don’t have to pay shipping.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View conwaydog's profile


42 posts in 3794 days

#13 posted 02-17-2008 04:49 AM

Hey Tj, I was curious to your purchase. I just ordered a go555x from grizzly today. From my research of quality and price it seemed very much in line. If you went w/ grizzly, do you like it?

View tjscott's profile


31 posts in 3829 days

#14 posted 03-03-2008 09:49 PM

To conwaydog, I have not yet made the purchase. With the basement flooding we had, my workshop is on hold for cleanup. I am lucky to have had almost everything in the shop off the floor, so very little was lost. I suspect I will be looking for this after I get the shop back together and make some cabinets and such for storage and use.

-- Tom, Charlotte, North Carolina

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