2hp or 3hp band saw

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Forum topic by MAC_addy posted 05-23-2016 08:16 PM 1987 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 1039 days

05-23-2016 08:16 PM

I’m going through a bit of a shop revamp in the next few months. One of my many key items to replace is my bandsaw. I’ve heard there’s not much different between a 2hp and a 3hp bandsaw. I plan on doing a lot of resawing in the next few years, so I want something that is definitely powerful enough for the task. But then again, I also don’t want to waste money on something. I have been looking at the Grizzly models, but can’t decide on whether to go with the 2hp $800 model, or spend a little more to get 3hp and be set for a long, long time.

Just wondering, what is the difference, and do I really need 3hp?

22 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


7035 posts in 2743 days

#1 posted 05-23-2016 08:26 PM

I think you just asked…on a woodworking forum…if one really needs more HP. Of course you “need” the 3HP. lol

Kind of kidding, but in general having the power and not needing it is better than needing it, and not having it.

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 920 days

#2 posted 05-23-2016 08:47 PM

5 HP

View MAC_addy's profile


9 posts in 1039 days

#3 posted 05-23-2016 09:35 PM

5HP, really? Can you elaborate on this a little, please?

View knotscott's profile


8129 posts in 3520 days

#4 posted 05-23-2016 10:13 PM

The jump from 2hp to 3hp is a 50% increase. That’s pretty significant, and should definitely be noticeable. A true 2hp motor is likely gonna require 220v anyway, so why not go with 3hp if it’s not a budget buster?

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3276 days

#5 posted 05-24-2016 12:23 AM

I’d do some research and see what the differences are in the 10 different 2HP bandsaws that Grizzly sells, and not just buy the cheapest of the 10.

-- Gerry,

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2835 days

#6 posted 05-24-2016 12:26 AM

I have the 17” Extreme Series Grizzly with the 2 HP motor. I have resawed a lot of thick materiel (including 12” thick Hedge/Osage Orange). I have never felt that I needed more HP. Using the proper blade for the job makes a BIG difference.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1065 days

#7 posted 05-24-2016 12:48 AM


The only regret in buying the most power you can afford is when you write the check. On the other hand, you could suffer from on-going regret if you ever could use the extra power but elected to buy less power. When I purchased my bandsaw, I opted for Grizzly’s G0636X 5 hp bandsaw. It really hurt to write that check, but the pain has subsided. I cannot say whether I have ever benefited from that much power because the saw has never bogged down.

Whatever decision you make, I can only echo gfadvm’s opinion; ensure enough money remains in the budget for a really good blade. I went with a Lenox carbide tipped blade, another tough check to write, but it cuts true and effortlessly.

View wuddoc's profile


313 posts in 3862 days

#8 posted 05-24-2016 03:27 AM

Added HP helps. Various items need to be considered:
What species will you be cutting? How long, wide, and thick will the lumber be? What will be the depth/distance of the cut? What blade style, metal composition, number of teeth, style of tooth will be needed? What is the bend limit a blade can be curved around the radius of the wheel? Will you use a blade tension guage as needed for accurate tension? Do you intend to have the blade resharpened? Will a power feeder help? How will you support the lumber/timber on the infeed and outfeed side of the table? What size dust collector will be required? How and where will you store larger blades?
I’m sure other LJ’s can come up with additional items to be considered.

These are the questions I should have asked when I bought my 17”.

-- Wuddoc

View DwightC's profile


26 posts in 921 days

#9 posted 05-24-2016 03:39 AM

If you buy the 2 hp Grizzly and plan to use it for resawing, I’d pass on the $800 model and upgrade to cast iron wheels, bearing guides and the resaw fence. Also use a Timberwolf (or comparable) blade. After you do that, you may have closed most of the cost gap between the GO513 and GO636 models, though I haven’t checked.

View Tennessee's profile


2880 posts in 2659 days

#10 posted 05-24-2016 11:44 AM

I have the G0513X2BF, which is a 2HP saw.
I’ve resawed up to ten inch thick oak logs with no problem. Using a Timberwolf 5/8” blade, I think 6TPI. It just walked through the wood like it wasn’t even there.

I’ve also cut dried cherry planks cut like railroad ties, 8” thick. Same result.

The cast iron wheels, which are heavy on that model, once moving, give a LOT of inertia. I don’t ever remember the motor bogging at all.
But the blade plays as much a part as the saw. Try running your chainsaw with a dull chain. Don’t work…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View bonesbr549's profile


1576 posts in 3212 days

#11 posted 05-24-2016 01:51 PM

I’ve got the griz 17” HD with 2hp that I use just for resaw. Its done all I can ask. I use the laguna carbide blade and get awesome cuts. However, i’ve never ….ever…heard someone say “dang I got too big a bandsaw”.

I’d get the biggest one I could afford if its for resaw. I have an original delta 14” with 3/4hp motor for small stuff and curves.

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

View ste6168's profile


255 posts in 1316 days

#12 posted 05-24-2016 01:54 PM

IMO, a bandsaw motor is only as powerful as the blade is sharp.

View tomsteve's profile


826 posts in 1364 days

#13 posted 05-24-2016 02:10 PM

i dont think ive read of anyone sayin,” sure wish i bought a less hp machine.”

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 2512 days

#14 posted 05-24-2016 03:14 PM

At 5hp and 229inches of blade I have no issues with HP or blade heat


View TheGreatJon's profile


339 posts in 1378 days

#15 posted 05-24-2016 03:25 PM

I feel it is my duty to put a plug in for used machines.

If you really want to do a lot of resawing, I would look hard at used industrial band saws. Unfortunately production shops are closing down all the time and saws in the 20-36” size range (with accompanying 2-5hp motors) frequently come up on auctions. For the price of a new Grizzly band saw, you can easily get an older saw that is many times more robust.

If swapping out bearings doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, then you can buy pretty much any saw sight-unseen. If that’s too far outside your comfort zone, then look for an auction that is close enough for you to attend the inspection day. My bandsaw is a 20” wood/metal saw with continuous speed control. It probably cost close to $10k when it was new. The price I got it for was criminal, and all I had to do was put new grease in the gearbox. It came with several blades and even the tires were good to go.

I will now get down from my soap box.

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

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