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Forum topic by MikeUT posted 01-04-2016 07:32 PM 650 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MikeUT

123 posts in 826 days


01-04-2016 07:32 PM

Hey guys, I am in need of some advice. I am looking to upgrade to a 14” bandsaw from my crappy Ryobi starter saw. I have been cruising the local craigslist and there are 2 available that have my interest. Both are about 20 years old, one is a Delta and the others is a generic Taiwanese saw with the name National Industrial tools. Both look to be in similar condition, I think that I can pick the Delta up for about $300 and the other for around $200. My main question is if it is worth the extra money to get the Delta or go with the cheaper saw and spend that extra money on aftermarket carter guides or something like that. Also, if it would be better to get the Delta would it be smarter to just save a little longer and go up to the $500-600 range and get an entry Grizzly or similar saw.

Please share your wisdom, thanks!


11 replies so far

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TheGreatJon

296 posts in 700 days


#1 posted 01-04-2016 08:01 PM

I would go for the delta just because I love old American-made tools… but actually if the Delta is only 20 years old, it might have been made in the same Taiwanese factory as the NIT machine. I’m not entirely sure when they sent production over there, but I think it was before the mid-90’s.

The best thing to do is to do a few cuts on both machines. I can tell you that when it came out of the factory, the delta was probably a better machine. Who knows what has been done to abuse or even upgrade either saw since that point. Look for vibrations, state of the tires and guides, any broken castings, etc.

I would not think that $500-600 for an entry level Griz would be worth it when comparing to the used saws. You would get better accessories, shinier paint, and a warrantee but overall cut quality would be similar if the used saws are in decent shape. If you want a warantee, then you might consider the Grizz. However, bandsaws are not complex machines. If they run at the seller’s house, they will run at your house. Anything that goes wrong from there can be fixed by you.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

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MikeUT

123 posts in 826 days


#2 posted 01-04-2016 08:17 PM

Thanks Jon, you confirmed a few of my assumptions. I knew an older table saw was definitely better but wasn’t sure if the same held true with bandsaws. If I can’t afford top of the line I tend to prefer used for the bang and the character. The owner of the Delta is proud of it, saying ‘they don’t make them like they used to’ but I don’t think the 90’s were exactly the golden age of quality.

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MrUnix

4241 posts in 1665 days


#3 posted 01-04-2016 08:29 PM

From 1981 to 2005, Delta was owned by Pentair. There were some cost cutting measures that reduced the quality a bit, but nothing like what happened after the company was purchased by Black and Decker in 2005. Most of the machine, and castings in particular, were the same or not much different than when Delta was owned by Rockwell, so I don’t think you will have any issues with the Delta at all. And I wouldn’t waste money on trying to ‘upgrade’ the guides.. the HSS blocks on there are as good or better than any aftermarket ones you can get. Spend your money on a good blade or two, maybe a mobile base, tune it up properly and start making stuff.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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MikeUT

123 posts in 826 days


#4 posted 01-04-2016 08:41 PM

Thanks MrUnix, do you think that $300 is a fair price?

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MrUnix

4241 posts in 1665 days


#5 posted 01-04-2016 08:48 PM

Thanks MrUnix, do you think that $300 is a fair price?
- MikeUT

Impossible to say, particularly without seeing it in person. Only you can really determine that… if you think it is, then it is. If it’s in good running shape, then it sounds like a pretty fair deal… not a steal, but not a rip-off either. They are solid machines, and what all the other cast iron 14 inch imported clones are copied from.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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bkseitz

294 posts in 777 days


#6 posted 01-04-2016 09:06 PM

@MikeUT, can’t give you any sage advice, just what I’ve recently done. I spent a couple of years trying to decide about getting a Band Saw. Most of the woodworking I’ve done a Table Saw, Router and Jig saw have handled quite well. I had previously purchased a lath—which has gathered dust in my workshop—from a recommendation in “Setting up your Workshop” book. So this has colored my thinking as to what to purchase (i.e., be sure it will be used).

That said I’m still on the fence about its benefits for what I do. Last year I spent my time drooling over the Jet 14” Deluxe Pro and the Laguna 14/12 (both about $1k). That seemed a little steep for something to kick the tires on. Which led me to the Craftsman 14” (street price ~$400). That was still a bit high for kicking the tires. I had looked at Craig’s list and other sites but everything I’d seen in my area was overpriced junk, priced at what I could buy new or was well over the $500 mark. This holiday season Sears had its 14” on sale, together with a discount coupon and points that were about to expire it dropped the price well below the $400 mark. So I figured I’d give it a try knowing three things:

1) It was a starter Band Saw at a cheap price, so if it didn’t get used much I wouldn’t feel like I wasted a huge about of cash
2) If I found I used the thing a lot but didn’t need any more saw than I bought, I’ll be happy
3) If I found I used the thing a lot but my needs increased I could either sell the thing to go towards an upgrade to one of the drooling dreams saws or hand it down to one of my two kids who are starting out.

That said you have your own price point of reasonable as well as level of capability & features you’re looking for. I think the later—capability & features—is what you decide on first then consider what you’re willing to pay for such. Often old cheap tools are cheap for a reason (bend or missing parts, broken motor, etc.) With that, those that really know tools and the market can often find a real bargain given time.

-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"

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woodbutcherbynight

2457 posts in 1875 days


#7 posted 01-10-2016 05:38 PM

Try the woodworking shows for a good deal. Years ago I got a JET 14” cabinet bandsaw, and a JET Floor model drill press with 2 mobile bases for under 1K CASH. I looked just now and the bandsaw is 700 now bare bones with nothing but the saw.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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OldCoach

23 posts in 341 days


#8 posted 01-10-2016 09:05 PM

I waited and eventually came across a Grizzly 14” on Craigslist for $400. Probably should have offered $350 and most likely the guy would have taken it, but this saw looked and ran brand new, and he had done all the set-up work and put it together. Just type in Grizzly in the CL search and eventually one will pop up. I had to drive about 75 miles to get it but that was not a deal breaker.

-- Play cowboy on weekends and make sawdust in between when not watching football

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Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2388 days


#9 posted 01-10-2016 10:54 PM

I have a Grizzly GO555 14” band saw and like it. I bought it in 2108 and use it some, most days, since then. I re-saw with it and it does the job well. Blade selection is VERY important in a band saw. I use a “Supercut” 1/2” carbide re-saw blade ($25) and like it.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

123 posts in 826 days


#10 posted 01-11-2016 09:34 PM

I ended up getting the Delta for $280. From what I can tell from the serial number it is actually close to 35 years old. It hadn’t been used much and had been sitting around for a long time so there was a lot of rust to clean up but that was very easy. I may eventually get a riser but I am content for now. The only thing I didn’t like about the saw was the dust collection. I got the idea from Highland Woodworking to cut a hole in the front of the saw for a 4” port. I haven’t had a lot of time to put it through it’s paces but it seems to work well, way better than before anyway. I still need to clean the table top up a bit but other than that it’s good to go.

I had been looking for a good deal for a while for a used saw, I’m not sure if I got it because I thought it was a great deal or because I simply grew impatient and just wanted to get one. Either way, I’m happy that I pulled the trigger.

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MrUnix

4241 posts in 1665 days


#11 posted 01-12-2016 07:44 PM

The only thing I didn t like about the saw was the dust collection. I got the idea from Highland Woodworking to cut a hole in the front of the saw for a 4” port.
- MikeUT

Oh man… my heart breaks everytime I hear of someone doing something like that :(

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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