Should I buy a Shopsmith - Greenie or a Bandsaw

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Forum topic by sneakers posted 09-21-2015 01:30 PM 1288 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1591 days

09-21-2015 01:30 PM

Well I’ve been looking at shopsmiths on and off for a couple of years now, last time I looked I ended up buying a table saw to go with my sliding compound miter saw, along with a variety of hand held power tools. Well I found the table saw nice to work with as well as the mitre saw. Then I added a bench top bandsaw to my set up, all was good, for one day. The next morning I went into my garage to discover my side, yes my better half put a piece of tape down the middle of the garage to claim her fair share, was filled up with too much stuff. That resulted in a sell off on craigslist, and left me with only my hand held power tools, the big three were outta there. Fast forward and I’m looking at a greenie shopsmith, asking price 300, agreed on 250, owned buy the same gentleman for 25 years, also comes with a 4 inch jointer and 18 inch jigsaw. I love the idea of a small footprint, the changing between machines, well I had to do a bit of that with my old setup, but really worried what kind of maintenance I could be looking at and is this greenie at the end of its line?

My next option is just a 12 inch bandsaw / sander model by craftsman, they seem to pop up on craigslist frequently. I like the idea of it taking up less space than the shopsmith, and being safer to use than a table saw (for me).

Ok one tool for the weekend warrior with a limited skill set for sure :) is it the shopsmith or a bandsaw?

4 replies so far

View bonesbr549's profile


1579 posts in 3301 days

#1 posted 09-21-2015 01:47 PM

I used one for about 5-7 years. If you have no space they are fine. My first shop was bout 10’x12’ so it worked out. If it’s cheap its ok, but the TS is a PIA because you have to constantly adjust table square, every time you change elevation on the blade. Way under powered.

I liked the disc sander a lot, and the horizontal boring feature.

IMO not practical, get individual machines.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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6002 posts in 2445 days

#2 posted 09-21-2015 01:48 PM

What kinds of projects are you working on and what do you need out of stationary power tools? The answers to that will determine what to buy. Shopsmiths have proponents and detractors, but one thing they all seem to agree on is that the table saw function is a weak point. If that is a primary need, then you’ll have to consider if one is right for you. If you would use the lathe and drill press a lot, then it’s a different story—those are a strength of the SS.

A band saw is a very versatile machine and can do a lot. The 12in Craftsman units are just OK, however. If you want to do much with a band saw, you’ll need to invest in a good 14in or larger unit. That’s the way I’m going to go—selling my table saw and buying the band saw (been looking for a good used unit, but am about ready to break down and buy new because used ones don’t seem to pop up around here). Because of how I work, I can do anything needed on a band saw or with hand tools, but it might not work as well for you.

Answer the question of what you want to do and it will guide you to the right answer on what machines are necessary.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View shipwright's profile


8184 posts in 3032 days

#3 posted 09-21-2015 03:17 PM

Get the ShopSmith. They are never worn out as all the parts are still available. They can be rebuilt forever and upgraded as well.
Check out this blog before you make your decision.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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4868 posts in 3283 days

#4 posted 09-21-2015 03:28 PM

I never had a shopsmith but I had a 5 operations combination machine (shopsmith on steroids. It has 3×3HP motors)
I worked very well but very shortly it is real pain to have to change the machine configuration back and forth for each operation.
It also is very time consuming.
I believe that individual machines are much better machines as they designed and built for a specific task ( a machine designed to “do it all” never do anything really well) , more convenient and if necessary you can do more that tone thing at the time.
Space limitation is the only good reason to buy a shopsmith or similar

-- Bert

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