Starting to seriously consider replacing that last cheap bandsaw

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Forum topic by Tennessee posted 01-18-2016 01:41 AM 1013 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1935 days

01-18-2016 01:41 AM

I’ve owned two bandsaws for a number of years now, a larger Grizzly G0513X2BF, and one of those gawd-awful Porter Cable 14” units you buy at Lowes. The Porter Cable in the first 40 months or so has snapped the upper wheel adjustment swivel, taken out four tires, broken off two of the four door catches, and just a couple of days ago, the lower casting for the retainer bearing on the bottom snapped at the upper retainer bearing point, so I cannot put the allen screw into it anymore. I’ve got the upper bearing slid into the holder with copper washers behind it, and the blade keeps it in.

I’m not really easy with my saws, and that saw gets run at least five days a week, and chews through a lot of blade changes over the period of a year – maybe two dozen or more. It cuts a lot of wood.

Other than that, its been a great saw! Ha! I think I got my $325 worth…

So I am pretty fed up with it, and am now looking at a replacement. As it stands right now, I’d be out almost $100 for two new tires and the casting on the bottom that holds the lower bearings. Enough is enough. I’ll let it limp along until I can figure out what to buy.

I already have the big Grizz, so I am looking for something that will run mainly with 1/8”, 3/16”, and 1/4” blades. No resawing.

Initially, I took a look at the Rikon 10-321 that Woodcraft has on sale until they run out of them, but was not impressed for the money at $699. And was not impressed with the odd blade size, and metal frame. of that particular one.

That took me back to Grizzly, and I got interested in the G0555 series. Seems to be a proven winner on this forum for the most part, but I have a question…

To me, it would seem that having the G0555X Extreme with the 1 1/2HP motor, also featuring dual voltage, (I would definitely take advantage of the 220VAC option), is a really nice extra 1/2 pony under the hood, since it also has the cast iron wheels, and most of the usual stuff the others have, plus an enclosed cabinet on the bottom. I also like the fence better, and the lamp is nice. Be great to finally have quick release on my smaller saw.

The trick is the Extreme G0555X is $839, $284 more than the rest of the G0555 series.
Does that seem worth it? Although space is a definite issue with me, I could get a stripped down 17” for only $60 more, or get into a possible Laguna for about the same $839.

I’ve had pretty good usage out of the Grizzly machines I do own, a spiralhead 15” planer, and the big bandsaw. I’d buy again. But although the Extreme really attracts me, $839 is a lot to pay for a 14” saw. And although I absolutely have LOVED my Powermatic 3520 lathe for the last 13 years, no way I pay $1199 for a 14” Powermatic bandsaw, much as I tend to stare at it every time I am in Woodcraft.

So if you had $600 to $950 to buy a really good 14” unit, what would you choose?

-- Paul, Tennessee,

12 replies so far

View DocSavage45's profile


7655 posts in 2263 days

#1 posted 01-18-2016 02:29 AM


You say you are hard on tools? I own the Early version of the GO555. I don’t like the bar raising and lowering and guide set up. But it is hat I have. It works fine but I’m not on it daily.

Sounds like it will be dedicated to smaller work? I’d look for a good quality assembly in the area I’m talking about. If you can locate an early delta when they were made here, that might stand up to your use?

Other than that I’m clueless. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View MPMaint's profile


46 posts in 306 days

#2 posted 01-18-2016 02:57 AM

I have a Grizzly 14” band saw. Hardly has any hours on it and it’s a POS. I also have a Grizzly drum sander and its a POS as well. I seem to spend an awful lot of time fixing and ordering parts for these. Will I buy another Grizzly product, hell no. I am looking for a new band saw myself and I was looking at what my Woodcraft had on display. The rikon looks nice but its another asian piece. The powermatic was really nice but not sure that imported saw will really be much better in the long run. I need to spend some more time looking and opening up covers and really see how well its made. Right now, Im keeping my eyes open for an older delta, rockwell, or powermatic.
Anyone want to buy some Grizzly machinery? Real nice, lots of new parts…no warranty LOL

View JBrow's profile


746 posts in 340 days

#3 posted 01-18-2016 03:04 AM


I am probably not much help. But I think you already have your answer. The pill is just too big to swallow.

You said:

no way I pay $1199 for a 14” Powermatic bandsaw, much as I tend to stare at it every time I am in Woodcraft

The high end of your budget range is within $250 of the price tag of the Powermatic you lust after. I recommend waiting until you can make the Powermatic purchase, which probably means making due with the big Griz until you have the money together. A real pain I know, but once you have the sweet little gold bandsaw setting in your shop, you will quickly forget about the “make due” pain you endured and you will never lust after it again.

Last year I purchased my first bandsaw. I ended up with a big Griz 17”. But my close second choice, believe it or not, was the 14” Powermatic. I thought it would last my lifetime.

Lastly, I would recommend Lenox carbide tipped bandsaw blades, probably better suited for resawing. I was told ½” is the narrowest carbide tipped blade recommended for a 17” saw (due to the radius of the wheels). It costs more, but cuts very well and should last quite a bit longer I would think. I found the best price on the internet to be at Industrial Blade & Products.

View TheWoodRaccoon's profile


362 posts in 350 days

#4 posted 01-18-2016 03:10 AM

You said you only want to use small blades on the new saw, no resawing. However, how thick is the wood, and how hard is it? From what ive heard, a 1 horsepeower motor is enough for regular work. With a sharp, quality blade, 1HP should handle whatever you throw at it within the 6 inch capacities that 14” cast iron saws have. Some people have even done resaws with less horsepower..
A lot of people say that the Grizzly and PC and cheaper saws don’t have TRUE 1HP motors….but iv’e never heard of a Grizzly or any decent saw bogging down that had a sharp blade on it with an appropriate feed rate.

The G0555x ($839 + $99 S&H) is a G0555 ($555 + $79 S&H) with these added featuries: Cast iron wheels, a lamp, an extended table, a closed stand, an extra 1/2 HP. To me, i dont think its worth the extra money. I agree with JBrow, if your’e gonna spend more than $900 on a Grizzly 14”, you might as well get the Powermatic. For the same cost as a G0555, a G0555LX comes with cast iron wheels. All grizzly 14 inch saws have a quick release, except for the G0580.

-- still trying to think of a clever signature......

View MT_Stringer's profile


2820 posts in 2651 days

#5 posted 01-18-2016 04:57 AM

I have been happy with my GO555. No problems. Currently, I have a 3/16 inch blade on it and it cuts like no tomorrow. I have used a 1/8th inch blade for making small radius turns. These days, I use it mostly to rough cut stuff I will trim up with a router.

Or, cut two or more pieces of stock that have been taped together so they look identical. Then I sand them with an oscillating spindle sander.

Note: Mine doesn’t have a light so I rigged up one that was used as a desk lamp with articulating arms. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View JohnDon's profile


61 posts in 590 days

#6 posted 01-18-2016 05:02 AM

“Initially, I took a look at the Rikon 10-321 that Woodcraft has on sale until they run out of them, but was not impressed for the money at $699. And was not impressed with the odd blade size, and metal frame. of that particular one.”

If you can get past the odd blade size and steel frame, the Craftsman BAS350 looks to be a rebadged Rikon 10-321, and hovering around $400. Parts diagrams are almost entirely identical- the only difference I could see was a differently shaped blade tensioning knob. BTW, if a steel frame is a concern, wouldn’t you be concerned about that in a Laguna? Also, the Rikon 10-325 has cast iron wheels.

View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1935 days

#7 posted 01-18-2016 10:09 PM

Try to answer folks. I had forgotten that the Laguna’s were mainly stamped steel construction. I don’t know if certain companies use thicker gauges for slightly larger and more expensive saws, of if they try to get away with one or two gauges of steel.
So that kind of puts the Laguna where the Rikon is, I guess.

It does seem that more than a few people lately have started to complain more about Grizzly, reading other posts on their equipment. I will admit it has been three years since my last Grizzly purchase, the large bandsaw.

As far as how thick I would saw, today I did ten drawers on my Grizzly instead of my PC, and cutting them out they were all 4 1/2” thick so it was like putting a 4.5” thick piece of lumber through the saw. I usually cut out rounded bottom edges on my drawers, but today to allow the larger blade of the Grizz to do its work, I squared off the drawer bottoms and made my dividers angle cuts. It handled the cuts no problem, but I think I would have been on the PC a long time doing ten fairly large drawers, 4.5” thick.

JBrow, I think you might have it. I have owned my Powermatic 3520 lathe for a long time, with zero problems, including three moves.
The Powermatic saw is well above my current budget, but if I wait a while, I probably could cobble up the funds, so I think I will suffer with my PC for a few more months while I think more about this.

I do know that in the end, if you cut a corner when you buy the tool, that savings usually haunts you for years. Whereas if you spend as much as you can up front, (time and money), and either restore an old one, or buy the absolute best new one you can get, the quality and performance usually lasts way past the hurt of the initial cost.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View JBrow's profile


746 posts in 340 days

#8 posted 01-19-2016 12:25 AM


How does the saying go; swear once when you write the check, or swear every time you use the tool? It has taken me 62 years to learn that regret is a bitter pill. It is not often that I have to swallow it, but it still happens from time to time.

View MPMaint's profile


46 posts in 306 days

#9 posted 01-19-2016 01:51 AM

Powermatic runs their 10% off sales a few times a year. So you can knock off another $120 off the price.
Im right with you on this issue. I posted last week about my keeping and fixing up my grizzly bandaw or get rid of it. Its got to go.
I know I ripped up on grizzly a few posts back. My experiences haven’t been all that great BUT my grizzly machines are older. Not sure if the quality has gotten better in recent years or all the other manufactures lowered theirs?????
Might make an interesting new topic.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2342 days

#10 posted 01-19-2016 03:09 AM

I have had my GO555 for eight years now and had to replace a few parts. Part of the tension release system. lower wheel shaft and the guide bearings twice. I think I was over tensioning the blade and that is what destroyed the wheel shaft. I have the riser installed and use this saw primarily for re-sawing cedar, maple and walnut. I now run a 1/2” carbide blade form “Supercut” and they cut well and last long. Still have the original tires on this saw.
It is not perfect but it works well enough for me.

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

View ThomasChippendale's profile


244 posts in 353 days

#11 posted 01-19-2016 03:36 AM

Bandsaw comparison, look at the hp, weight, blade width range, you will understand why I get perfect cuts from the Laguna, as good as a table saw so I can laminate directly from it using a carbide tipped blade. I use it to cut 12 inch logs into planks, make my own plywood top veneer from exotic woods laminated to baltic birch. Next test will be cutting tenons for solid white oak doors, no doubt it will work.

-- PJ

View TheWoodRaccoon's profile


362 posts in 350 days

#12 posted 01-19-2016 03:58 PM

Good luck, i hope you find something that works for you!

-- still trying to think of a clever signature......

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