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Forum topic by DavedA posted 11-03-2016 09:41 PM 1511 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DavedA

60 posts in 408 days


11-03-2016 09:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ryobi rikon craftsman band saw bandsaw opinion advice

I’ve been browsing all the information on this site for quite some time, but I have finally come to a situation where I needed to become a member and ask for some advice. I know there are a ton of opinions out there, so I am hoping some of you with experience can share some friendly, but honest ones.

First, insight into me:
I am a DIYer/hobbyist who grew up around wood working equipment with my dad, building whatever we needed. Now I have a house and family of my own, and am getting back into those hobbies, but it’s not a full-time job, nor is it a full-size workshop. I am a hobbyist making small or simple furniture, like entry benches, small desk cabinets, and a dining table, along with other things that pop up; maybe some end tables if the wife approves. I am operating out of a 20×20 garage that shares space with a car, bikes, and kids toys, so space is limited, and mobility is a plus.

I have an older Craftsman Jigsaw and belt sander, inexpensive Skil miter saw and jobsite table saw, and am picking up a Craftsman 113 table saw to replace the Skil. Being a single-income family, budget is tight, so everything was either on sale (Skil) or pre-owned (everything else :-P) and I am looking for a band saw in the same vain.

What I would use it for:
I am not going to be doing a ton of resawing that I can see. The band saw is going to be used for contour/curved cuts. Detail cuts like rounding corners or adding designs to a table or bench leg. The thickest lumber I am looking to use in the foreseeable future is 12/4 Poplar and 8/4 soft maple or red oak. The table saw will be getting the biggest workout, with the band saw being a supporting piece.

What I am looking at:
I have looked at 9” saws and they seem to be insufficient for anyone doing larger projects. They seem geared more for small project for hobbyists. So I have been looking in the 10” range. I have seen the Craftsman 10” Rikon clone, as well as the actual Rikon it’s built from. The Craftsman occasionally pops up on Craigslist, though there is a Rikon about 1hr away from me for about half price from NIB, that IS NIB.

There is also a Ryobi BS1001SV 20 minutes away that’s been unused for years, and looks like it might have been used once.

I know there is a stigma around Ryobi, but the feature list is impressive on it. The biggest thing that caught my eye was it’s a 10” with a 8 amp induction motor and expandable table, though the table is only aluminum. It’s also got a tracking light and workplace light, along with a fence and miter gauge, though the gauge seems cheap.

I like the idea of a cast iron table like the CMan and Rikon, over the aluminum on the Ryobi, and the cut height is almost an inch greater. I like the accessories/features of the Ryobi.

Where I struggle is what the best option of these is. The Rikon models have 3.5 amp motors, compared to the Ryobi’s 8 amp. Is the Ryobi more powerful, or less efficient? Though the Ryobi is about 8 years old, they are selling it for $140, which seems high for such an old saw, but makes some sense when you compare the feature list and condition.

A good blade can make any of these cut better, but that also only goes so far. I am also looking for whats going to hold up over time, and not struggle to cut through the stock I use. I understand tools are quite different today than they were back when I was working with my dad, when Craftsman was still made in the US and decent, and I am not well versed in the differences these days.

What can you guys offer up for guidance or opinions on this?


24 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1624 posts in 2648 days


#1 posted 11-03-2016 09:48 PM

keep looking amigo !!

View Loren's profile

Loren

9633 posts in 3487 days


#2 posted 11-03-2016 09:58 PM

I had a 10” INCA for years and it was a very
fine, and not-inexpensive saw. Saws smaller
than 14” are more prone to breaking blades.

I currently use a 3-wheel INCA with 9 or 10”
wheels and it breaks blades. I have gear to
solder them back together so it’s little more
than annoying.

If buying a small saw I would recommend
making sure you can get blades easily. Sears
stocks a selection and certain sizes are common
on ebay.

Another option is to make or buy yourself a European
style bow saw. They are pretty remarkable hand
tools. Highland Hardware stocks some nice
blades. Though the saw frames are a little spendy,
you can make your own with basic woodworking
skills.

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

652 posts in 3160 days


#3 posted 11-03-2016 10:35 PM

What is your real budget, where are you located and do you only have room for a small mobile benchtop saw?

View DavedA's profile

DavedA

60 posts in 408 days


#4 posted 11-04-2016 01:30 AM

My real budget is less than $200, and space is a premium. I’d love to have a dedicated workshop, but that’s not going to be the case in this house, so my area of the garage is less than 10×20, split with the kids toys. That’s also why things will move as need be. The good news is, things need to be compact enough to store out of the way, because I will be moving things out and making the garage my workshop when working on projects. I just need to be able to move it all back to store to bring the wife’s car in when I am done.

That said, the Ryobi I looked at is on it’s own stand, and because it’s only a 10” saw on a stand, it will fit the space I have to work with. That means I do have a little bit of room to fit something about that size if there are better options in that price range.

To save people from having to dig around to see what I have been looking at so far for options:

This is the Craftsman model. I like the cast iron table, the bearing guides, the balanced wheels. It doesn’t have a quick release tension knob, tracking window, or work light. It’s 3.5 amp: http://www.sears.com/craftsman-1-3-hp-3.5-amp-10inch-band-saw/p-00921400000P?plpSellerId=Sears&prdNo=3&blockNo=3&blockType=G3

This is the Rikon model. From all the research I’ve done, it’s the name brand behind the Craftsman, and is identical. Someone an hour away is selling one NIB for almost half: https://www.amazon.com/Rikon-10-305-Bandsaw-Fence-10-Inch/dp/B0032YZB2S (CL ad: http://huntsville.craigslist.org/tls/5830302132.html).

The Ryobi I looked at today has 8 amp motor, bearing guides, tracking window, work light, and tension release lever, but aluminum table with extension, plastic door, and the wheels aren’t balanced. It’s an older unit, so I can’t link to a product page, and at $140, it seems a bit high for such an older unit (they’re firm on price), though it has an impressive feature list. Here is the manual, and someone elses article that shows information: Manual: http://manuals.ryobitools.com/system/files/308/original/BS1001_269_eng.pdf?2011
Info: http://benchmark.20m.com/reviews/RyobiBS1001/Ryobi_BS1001_Review.html

I am located in middle Tennessee, just south of Nashville. Literally an hour from Alabama and an hour from Kentucky. Stretching the budget for a $300-$400 saw isn’t an option right now, and the table saw I am going to look at is sharing the budget. That’s why I turned to all y’all. I’ve read quite a bit on this site from contributor reviews to opinion threads helping people out, which is why I finally posted this up.

And I am trying to get something in place between now and next week to start on my projects.

View DavedA's profile

DavedA

60 posts in 408 days


#5 posted 11-04-2016 01:41 AM


I had a 10” INCA for years and it was a very
fine, and not-inexpensive saw. Saws smaller
than 14” are more prone to breaking blades.

Yeah, I have read that about some of the smaller ones. It seems that proper tension and feed rate can help that a bit, but I will have to be prepared for that. In all the years I worked on stuff with my dad, I think we broke 1 blade on a Christmas project.


If buying a small saw I would recommend
making sure you can get blades easily. Sears
stocks a selection and certain sizes are common
on ebay.

This might be the biggest hang up. The Ryobi, for instance, takes a 67” blade. I see 67.5” on Sears as an option, but searching 67.5” only yields Ryobi ones, or a small handful of others. I haven’t gone digging, but, then again, I don’t really want something that requires a ton of digging, or limited outlets to source from. Heaven forbid I find one outlet and they stop selling that size.

View bearkatwood's profile

bearkatwood

1405 posts in 850 days


#6 posted 11-04-2016 02:29 AM

After reading what you are looking for and what you have I will say one thing. You need to delve into hand tools a bit, when the power goes out will you be able to make that side table you want? Think about it and get the best band saw you can afford or better yet wait another month or two and get an even better one, but think about hand tools. They are dirt cheap and you learn so much more about the wood that you are working with. You can make your own veneer, do all your mortise and tenons and still listen to the radio. ;) Just trying to branch you out a bit brother. All the best.

-- Brian Noel

View Gaffneylumber's profile

Gaffneylumber

98 posts in 667 days


#7 posted 11-04-2016 02:38 AM

I have the 10” Craftsman and it’s a great little saw. If you put a decent blade on it, it comes alive. I do wish it had a little more power but if you aren’t resawing then it should have plenty for your needs. I bought it on sale for $179 last year. I too am in a garage with a car and kids toys. If I was in need of one again I would buy a used 14”. The craftsman is great but more power, bigger table, and room would be a huge plus.In my area if you are patient you can find used deltas for $120-200. If you put wheels under it you can roll it in the corner when not in use.

-- Grayson - South Carolina

View DavedA's profile

DavedA

60 posts in 408 days


#8 posted 11-04-2016 02:39 AM


After reading what you are looking for and what you have I will say one thing. You need to delve into hand tools a bit, when the power goes out will you be able to make that side table you want? Think about it and get the best band saw you can afford or better yet wait another month or two and get an even better one, but think about hand tools. They are dirt cheap and you learn so much more about the wood that you are working with. You can make your own veneer, do all your mortise and tenons and still listen to the radio. ;) Just trying to branch you out a bit brother. All the best.

- bearkatwood

I definitely want to get into using some hand tools and get familiar more with them. Hopefully, with some of the projects on the list, I can plan that and have the proper time to dedicate to it. I have even been working on shifting my job schedule around to have alternating Fridays off so I can have “shop” or “hobby” time. It’s a bit challenging since my wife is a stay-at-home mom right now, but she is on board with it, since she benefits from the items. :) The M&T for the table will be by hand.

The suggestion of the bow saw might be a start for some hand work. I do have a bunch of scraps around I could fashion something out of and see how it works. It’s tough sometimes, though, because there is also the constant question of “how long are you going to be?” Not everyone shares the time and patience. :-/


I have the 10” Craftsman and it s a great little saw. If you put a decent blade on it, it comes alive. I do wish it had a little more power but if you aren t resawing then it should have plenty for your needs. I bought it on sale for $179 last year. I too am in a garage with a car and kids toys. If I was in need of one again I would buy a used 14”. The craftsman is great but more power, bigger table, and room would be a huge plus.In my area if you are patient you can find used deltas for $120-200. If you put wheels under it you can roll it in the corner when not in use.

- Gaffneylumber

I wish we had deals like that around. Someone just had a 16” delta listed for $150. I contacted them about 1 hour after they posted it, and they didn’t follow up with me until today to let me know they sold it yesterday. x_X. I missed out on a Ridgid TS because of a similar situation. I find that the deals around the Mid TN area are harder to come by than those I see in the coastal states, New England (dad’s area), and Cali. Not sure why.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6012 posts in 2038 days


#9 posted 11-04-2016 02:56 AM

I find that the deals around the Mid TN area are harder to come by than those I see in the coastal states, New England (dad s area), and Cali. Not sure why.
- DavedA

You are in a great location, centrally located between some rather large cities. Everyone claims the same thing about never having any deals around them1, until they run across one :)

[1] OWWM Rule No. 8: It always appears there are more old woodworking machines in places where you aren’t.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

652 posts in 3160 days


#10 posted 11-04-2016 03:05 AM

First, don’t worry about blade length and availability, the best places to buy blades weld the blades themselves inhouse so any length is avaiable.

Second, the Rikon 10-305 can usually be found around $200 new, Highland has them on sale but the shipping is about $50. I like it a little better than the C-man from the same factory as I like the way the doors open better and Rikon has a good 5 year warranty.

I don’t rate the Ryobi well enough to suggest it.

The 16” Delta you mention would be a 3 wheel bandsaw and the only decent 3 wheeler ever made were the Inca and they still could be a pain, avoid the Delta.

Craftsman mad a 12” bandsaw in multiple varieties over a long period of time, you see them very often on C-list, if you find one in good shape and tune it up they can be a better saw than the Rikon. It is my go to suggestion for a small cheap saw that is readily avaiable in the used market.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6012 posts in 2038 days


#11 posted 11-04-2016 03:12 AM

That C-man 12” tilt head is a hit-or-miss kind of deal. Check out what Matthias did with his over at woodgears :)
Craftsman bandsaw repair fail

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View DavedA's profile

DavedA

60 posts in 408 days


#12 posted 11-04-2016 03:26 AM


That C-man 12” tilt head is a hit-or-miss kind of deal. Check out what Matthias did with his over at woodgears :)
Craftsman bandsaw repair fail

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Oh geeze. That’s tiring. There was one of those available nearby about 2-4 weeks ago, but it seemed overpriced. Glad I didn’t approach it. I think that’s typically the deal, though. I feel like it’s not that the items aren’t available near me (meaning less than an hour), but that it’s that the people selling them want top dollar for them. I feel like the table saw I am looking at tomorrow is a good deal, as it’s a 113 that is (supposedly) complete with cast iron top + wings, and not asking $200 for, at just at an hour away.

The harder thing is getting all the information for items further away to determine if it’s worth driving to look at. What is the footprint of something this size: http://huntsville.craigslist.org/tls/5858241559.html ? It actually looks like the saw my dad had growing up, next to his RAS. There is also this: http://huntsville.craigslist.org/tls/5857305620.html which is similar in the pictures (in my email), though the guy has added a home made table extension to it.

Something that has been bothering me when looking at these things is the amp rating. I have read reviews, shootouts, and comparison tests done by every person with a website and tools, and the modern 10” saws all seem to have lower amp ratings. The reason I put that Ryobi in the mix was because it had a 8 amp motor on such a small saw.

How important is that amp rating, and how accurate is it? The older Craftsman vs the Rikon vs that Ryobi, power wise, and motor wise, rates how? I always thought the higher amp, the more the motor could take before stressing or wearing out. Are new machines just more efficient, or are they just underpowered?

P.S. You guys are living up to my expectations I had from all the times I have read posts, articles, projects, and reviews on here. I really appreciate the time you spend helping people like me out. :)

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

652 posts in 3160 days


#13 posted 11-04-2016 03:33 AM



That C-man 12” tilt head is a hit-or-miss kind of deal. Check out what Matthias did with his over at woodgears :)
Craftsman bandsaw repair fail

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

I have found the ones that work well when you get them work well for a long time. It is just tough to come up with a widely avaiable good small saw for $200. The Inca 2 wheelers are the best but rare and expensive. I have brought home lots of cheap little saws like Beaver and Homecraft but they tend to be rare. Maybe the 12” C-man isnt such a good newbie recomendation since it helps to be a good judge of how good it is past the cosmetic.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6012 posts in 2038 days


#14 posted 11-04-2016 03:33 AM

That $100 C-man isn’t too bad of a deal, and you could probably talk them down a bit. And you can pretty much ignore motor comparisons… for what you want to do, all you will need is a sharp blade and power won’t be an issue.

Oh, I’d run away screaming from that Ryobi thing… in case you haven’t looked at it in person, it is almost entirely made out of plastic, including the frame!

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4515 posts in 977 days


#15 posted 11-04-2016 12:10 PM

I have the 10” Craftsman, bought it last Christmas. I have been very impressed with it both for resawing and for detail work. AFAIK, it and the Rikon are functionally identical so, I’d recommend either.

The only 2 real complaints I have about the saw are (a) the trunion on the table is kinda crappy. It holds the table solid enough but it can be hard to adjust to an angle because the table just sorta flops loose in all directions when you loosen the lock screw. And (b) there is no tension guide. This isn’t a huge deal, as long as you can determine proper tension, you can just mark your own guide (but you’ll have to open the top door to do it). I would also add the lack of light, but it’s easy to stick a small magnetic light on there. Oh yeah… throw the miter gauge away as soon as you open the box ;-P

I do really like the table. It’s solid and came from the factory good and flat with a good finish. The insert set a bit low but I just shimmed it with some painter’s tape and it’s fine now. The tensioning mechanism is quite solid. I just recently bought a 1/2” blade for resawing. The saw will tension it adequately but, it’s definitely pushing the limits. I’ll use the 1/2” for resawing thick, hard stuff until it breaks but I think I’ll go back to a 3/8” blade with a low tooth count next time for resawing.

The motor is adequate for the saw IMHO. I’ve bogged it down resawing some Oak and Walnut 4×4 stock but, that was more a fault of the blade I was using having too high a tooth count.

The blade guides are great but, I had to make significant adjustment on the guide for the top to get it parallel to blade at all heights. Not a horrible task though and only has to be done once. The only real complaint about the guides I have is adjusting the bottom thrust guide is kinda a pain because it’s so hard to get to the bolt and you need at least 3 hands to get the bearing positioned and tighten it down without it shifting. Again though, not an adjustment made often.

The rip fence is usable but has some significant flex on the back side if you apply pressure. When I need it to stay dead set, I put a clamp on the back end.

So, there’s my $.02 FWIW. IMHO, this saw is a great value at it’s price point as long as you understand and work within it’s limitations. If you can get the Rikon for 1/2 price, I’d jump on it!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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