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Updated Bandsaw Purchase/Can't Make This Stuff Up

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Forum topic by langski93 posted 02-29-2016 02:01 PM 1515 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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langski93

103 posts in 2896 days


02-29-2016 02:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw purchase service quality

Good Morning LJ’s,

Yesterday, I sold my US made 14” Delta bandsaw in excellent condition. My intention is to upgrade to a larger, more powerful unit. It will become the workhorse of my shop, as I am also selling my Delta Contractors saw and will go without a TS. I really need the room and I am hardly using the TS.

3hp min
Single phase
110 or 220
1/4” to 1” blade size
12” min re-saw, prefer 14”

I have seen the new, bright and shiny band saws at Woodcraft and Rockler and cruised the the web to see the more boutique saws available at US distributors of foreign manufacturers. These are mostly from China/Taiwan and a few from Europe. No news there!

If I am going to drop $2k to $3k on a piece of equipment, I don’t want to re-touch paint, file trunions that are not machined properly, replace “chewed” plastic parts and make multiple calls for missing or bent parts. That is after I have assembled my new machine.

The local guys are pretty much gone, but I have 1 Rockler and 2 Woodcrafts within an hours drive. I am not looking for a problem, but if I don’t get outstanding product and service if and when I need it, then what’s the point of going through a middleman? It appears from the horror stories I will be on my own anyway.

It would be easy if the tide of email opinion on Laguna had changed, but I don’t see it. There is still way too much new negative stuff out there. There is also too much out there that is recent on their dealers lack of help.

Grizzly? My impression was that Grizzly is a catalog version of Harbor Freight. I think I have been wrong about that or at least Grizzly seems to have a growing reputation as improving their offerings. Service? I can’t tell.

Aganazzi ? MinMax? Bailey? General ? Where do I get to see or even demo these?

Help

and Thanks

-- Langski, New Hampshire


36 replies so far

View TheWoodRaccoon's profile

TheWoodRaccoon

364 posts in 393 days


#1 posted 02-29-2016 02:12 PM

When it comes to small items and consumables, you could compare Grizzly to Harbor Freight in some ways….BUT, Grizzly’s machines are on an entirely different level than what you’ll find at HF, i would say they are comparable to most other brands you’ll find out there. From what i’ve seen, In my opinion they are the best bang for your buck. AND, they have some of the best customer service in existence! Every time i call with a few questions, i get a person who actually cares if i hang up the phone with a smile on my face.

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

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TheWoodRaccoon

364 posts in 393 days


#2 posted 02-29-2016 02:18 PM

Oh, and their catalogs are very nicely published, and are pretty fun to read! They give you a very detailed description and list of specs for each piece of equipment. You might also find a 5% off coupon on the back!

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

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

4778 posts in 1674 days


#3 posted 02-29-2016 02:21 PM

Grizzly makes some decent quality stuff, just that you will be your own quality control. Every now and then a machine slips through that really shouldn’t end up in a customer’s hands. Their customer service is usually pretty good if you run into an issue, but it will take time. An alternative is Shop Fox, which is under the same ownership as Grizzly, but only sells through dealers. At least if there is an issue, the dealer will take up the work of making it right instead of you.

With your criteria and budget, I’d be looking European (MiniMax was the first name that sprung into my head) or one of the really reputable brands that are imported from Taiwan, such as Powermatic, Jet or Rikon.

I also just recently sold my table saw and have gone to a band saw centric shop. My shop isn’t large enough for a machine the size you are looking at (plus not having 220 and not going to get it for a while) but can relate to the decision and wish you the best in choosing.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Brian's profile

Brian

177 posts in 1495 days


#4 posted 02-29-2016 02:50 PM

I have owned the 14” Grizzly, Delta, and Powermatic. Whatever you do, do not buy the Grizzly. For people that have never owned anything else, it’s a fine saw. If you are coming from the Delta, then you will actually be able to tell how shoddy of a machine you purchased. Most people are impressed by it and don’t realize they shouldn’t rattle and that guide bearing shouldn’t move that much when you tighten them after adjustment.

It sounds like you have a healthy budget. I really like my older 14” Delta bandsaw. That being said, my Powermatic is like it’s big brother. Mine is not a brand new one, but it’s not a real old vintage one either. I did completely take it a part recently for a facelift.

I’m not a Grizzly hater by any means. Their older contractor saw with the 2hp motor and cast iron wings was great. I was also very pleased with the 6” jointer I purchased new from them. I have no idea why people rave about their bandsaws so much unless they have never owned a good one though.

-- “Always take a banana to a party, bananas are good!” - Tenth Doctor

View TheWoodRaccoon's profile

TheWoodRaccoon

364 posts in 393 days


#5 posted 02-29-2016 03:03 PM



I have owned the 14” Grizzly, Delta, and Powermatic. Whatever you do, do not buy the Grizzly. For people that have never owned anything else, it s a fine saw. If you are coming from the Delta, then you will actually be able to tell how shoddy of a machine you purchased. Most people are impressed by it and don t realize they shouldn t rattle and that guide bearing shouldn t move that much when you tighten them after adjustment.

It sounds like you have a healthy budget. I really like my older 14” Delta bandsaw. That being said, my Powermatic is like it s big brother. Mine is not a brand new one, but it s not a real old vintage one either. I did completely take it a part recently for a facelift.

I m not a Grizzly hater by any means. Their older contractor saw with the 2hp motor and cast iron wings was great. I was also very pleased with the 6” jointer I purchased new from them. I have no idea why people rave about their bandsaws so much unless they have never owned a good one though.

- Brian

He wants 3hp minimum, and 12-14 inch resaw stock, so i doubt he’ll go with a 14” saw.

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

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WhoMe

1465 posts in 2707 days


#6 posted 02-29-2016 03:21 PM

Unfortunately, you are always going to get good and bad reviews of customer service with any company. Power tool companies are no different.
If you decide to buy local, talk too the manager of each store and find out exactly what they can and will do if there is a problem with your purchase. My local Rockler manager will do as much as he can to resolve any issues locally at the store. If it ends up being a manufacturers issue, he will still help as much as possible.
As for the 3hp, it will always be 220v.
As for brands, here is what I do know. Powermatic and Jet are part of the same company but for the most part, the pm tools are not gold painted clones of the jets. They are usually much better designs and are generally intended for more heavy duty/industrial work. The large pm bandsaw has a really good reputation with a good following. The larger jets seem well made but cs from jet seems spotty. I have seen and compared the large pm to a large jet and the pm is a much better machine. Laguna wise, the larger Italian made bandsaws (if they still sell them) have always been highly regarded and have a strong following. I know someone that owns a Italian 18” for years and it has performed flawlessly for him.
From what I see in what you want in a tool, I don’t think rikon will fill your needs.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View Brian's profile

Brian

177 posts in 1495 days


#7 posted 02-29-2016 03:28 PM

PM1500 has a 14” resaw capacity. It’s technically a 15” saw though so not exactly apples to apples.

I’ve used the 19” Grizzly as well. The quality was on par with their other saws. I stand by my opinion to steer clear of Grizzly if you are already spoiled to a decent saw.

-- “Always take a banana to a party, bananas are good!” - Tenth Doctor

View ThomasChippendale's profile

ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 395 days


#8 posted 02-29-2016 03:33 PM

That sould fit the bill if you can get it : http://www.hammer-canada.ca/ca-us/products/bandsaws/bandsaw-n4400.html

-- PJ

View mramseyISU's profile

mramseyISU

419 posts in 1009 days


#9 posted 02-29-2016 07:51 PM

Are the big General saws still made in America’s hat….. err I mean Canada? Might be worth looking at one of those.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

4224 posts in 1662 days


#10 posted 02-29-2016 07:55 PM

Or have you considered the Olivers?

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3938 posts in 1956 days


#11 posted 02-29-2016 08:09 PM

In my mind, the Mini Max MM series are now at the top of the heap. I started my quest for one last year, a new MM 16 (which meets all your criteria except the 120V part, it’s strictly a 240V machine). Since they are now a direct marketer, it can be a test of your stamina to get one. Especially the smaller MM 16 model. It’s like you have to wait your turn for one to come in with your name on it. There is one company on e bay selling them at a very slight discount, but I have no idea if that machine would come with a factory warranty. In my case I found a seller of a very nice used one and bought it at what I thought was a very fair price. I’m very happy with mine, but have to admit getting a new one could be a real test.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View TheGreatJon's profile

TheGreatJon

295 posts in 697 days


#12 posted 02-29-2016 08:18 PM



3hp min
Single phase
110 or 220
1/4” to 1” blade size
12” min re-saw, prefer 14”

Sounds like you want an industrial machine at least the size of a 20”. My 20” Delta only has a 1.5 HP motor and it will resaw 12”. You may not actually need 3hp, but it certainly isn’t going to hurt.

As far as I know, the only saws of this class that are in your $1-3k price range are the grizzlys and jets. Powermatic makes great stuff, but their 20” saw is over $5k. You could look at used saws coming out of factories at auction (Tannewitz, Oliver, Northfield; try IRSauctions.com) and you could get something as big as a 36” within your price range. Of course, almost all of those saws would require some love and elbow grease to get them tuned up like new.

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

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2187 posts in 1488 days


#13 posted 02-29-2016 11:43 PM

Any dual voltage motor (110/220) is not going to put out an honest 3 hp. Well, with the possible exception of some very old 110 motors that drew 20 amps or more—but I don’t know whether those are dual voltage. Most dual voltage motors now offered claim 1.5 hp. If they claim more, they are maybe stretching the truth a little.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View TheGreatJon's profile

TheGreatJon

295 posts in 697 days


#14 posted 03-01-2016 04:22 PM

There is no upper limit to the amount of horsepower a dual voltage motor can put out. That being said, it is very true that a lot of modern motors overstate the power output (especially universal motors! Your wet/dry vac does not actually put out 6HP. That would be ridiculous).

Ratings on good brands like Baldor or Leeson can be trusted. Otherwise, it is always a good idea to calculate the power output by the amperage and voltage ratings that are listed on the motor plate. Those should always be accurate.

Volts*Amps/776 = HP
(If you know the efficiency of the motor, then just multiply that in. 90% would be a 0.9 multiplier)

Or for single phase at 230v, each hp will draw about 5.3 amps. So, 2hp at 230v would be about 10.6 amps.
At 115v, each horsepower will draw about 10.6 amps. So, 2hp at 115v would be about 21.2 amps.

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

View langski93's profile

langski93

103 posts in 2896 days


#15 posted 03-01-2016 11:24 PM

Thanks everyone for the very informative responses. I have done quite a bit of research in a very short amount of time and have talked to people in various parts of the country re: brands and models. To be clear, I meant no offense to Grizzly owners, in fact I may have understated my observation that they are clearly moving in a quality direction. I am going to be making up my mind shortly and will update this thread. Unfortunately, I doubt I will go for a Laguna, though I am sure there are thousands upon thousands of satisfied customers. It would have been the easy choice since both Rockler and Woodcraft carry the line, but the negative emotional commitment many have that haunts the brand is a risk I am not willing to take. Perhaps if I lived on the west coast I would feel more reassured, but when customer service turns into a public relations problem then you got a problem.

So here is a list of the bandsaw brands that are out there that I have found and I am sure the list goes on and on.
Minimax, Powermatec, Jet, Delta, Oliver, General International, Northfield, Dake, Laguna, Centuari, Felder, Rikon, Harbor Freight, Grizzly, Bailey, Ryobi, SKiL, Craftsman, Rigid. Please feel free to continue the list. Cheers from NH

-- Langski, New Hampshire

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