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$1,600 Bandsaw Budget - How would you spend it?

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Forum topic by jimintx posted 01-15-2017 10:37 PM 3283 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jimintx

509 posts in 1418 days


01-15-2017 10:37 PM

As my Dad would have phrased it, “I got some cash burning a hole in my pocket”. I want to upgrade my ~30 year old, 12” Craftsman bandsaw. The intended uses for the saw will be re-sawing as well as cutting curves.

My budget has an upper level of $1,600 for the saw with fence. I know there will be added costs for tax, blades, and possible shipping. (I realize I may avoid shipping by buying local, and in this big city I can do that for several brands.)

Yes, I have done some research and looked at some saws but would really like to see the LJ responses here.

Thanks!
Jim
.

-- Jim, Houston, TX


40 replies so far

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

652 posts in 3155 days


#1 posted 01-15-2017 10:50 PM

In the price range you really have 3 major hitters. Laguna, Rikon and Grizzly. The Laguna saws would be their 14” steel spined range 14/12 and BX saws, in Rikon you have their 18” 10-342 saw and their 14” “professional” 10-353 saw and with Grizzly you have the G0513 series 17” saws and the bottom of the G0513 19” saws along with their new G0817 14” saw. I like all the saws for different reasons and knowing exactly how they will be used and if space is an issue helps refine it, but for a general all rounder I like the newly revised Rikon 10-342, their saws had pretty poor guides but were updated last year to much better ones, better than Grizzly but not as good as Laguna. Rikon also has a 5 year warranty compared to 1 year from Grizzly and Laguna.

The best prices on the Laguna are when Rockler or Woodcraft has them on sale, which they may still be and when not on sale Equipment Sales and Surplus in Washington since they don’t charge any shipping. Grizzly is the only source for Grizzly so their price is the price. When the Rikon saws aren’t on sale at WC and Rockler, Circle Saw in Houston has the best prices.

I forgot to add I personally would send it on a used saw.

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mikeber

22 posts in 693 days


#2 posted 01-15-2017 11:09 PM

The most attractive Rikon is probably the 10-326. At $999 with 5 year warranty it seems a good deal. If you are close to highland woodworking – it’s just $899.

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DirtyMike

637 posts in 735 days


#3 posted 01-15-2017 11:09 PM

I forgot to add I personally would send it on a used saw.

Like a powermatic model 81….

- AHuxley

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AHuxley

652 posts in 3155 days


#4 posted 01-15-2017 11:25 PM


I forgot to add I personally would send it on a used saw.

Like a powermatic model 81….

- AHuxley

- DirtyMike

A PM81 is a great saw, though they aren’t as plentiful as a Delta 28-350 and tend to command a price premium when the Delta is close to as good a saw. They were designed to compete against each other and the Yates J120 for the light commercial and trade school market and were much cheaper than the equivalent cast iron saws of the time. The Deltas were bought more by school systems and the Powermatics more often for commercial or as secondary saws in light industrial use so it is more rare to find the PM81s in pristine condition.

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jimintx

509 posts in 1418 days


#5 posted 01-15-2017 11:26 PM

I need to see the Rikon 10-342 and 326. I have studied the 14BX in person, and like it. I have never seen a Grizzly anything, so it will take a leap of faith to order one, but I might do it. They deserve a fresh look.

Space is mostly not an issue. I am planning on something that sits in a 25”x 30” floor footprint, and I will have good working room around that. I have several 220v circuits in place if I elect to go that way. I tend to think I should go 220v.

I don’t know how to better describe the usage than general woodwork, machining lumber into smaller and thinner pieces, making boxes, furniture, and assorted wooden fixtures, some for boats. The bandsaw will join a saw array of good table saw, miter saw, and scroll saw, as well as a batch of hand tools and hand-held power tools.

I would be very happy to buy a great used bandsaw and put some of that money to other uses – but I do not think there is much of a market for used woodwork equipment in Houston, and especially not anything nice. it is also easy to burn 60 to 90 minutes driving to another part of Houston, and then come home with nothing. I have checked for used machines of numerous types here for many years and just not had any luck at all; none. For $1,000 to $1,500, I think I should be able to get all the new bandsaw I can use. I hope that’s right.
...

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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MrUnix

5975 posts in 2032 days


#6 posted 01-15-2017 11:34 PM

I forgot to add I personally would send it on a used saw.
- AHuxley

+1 ^^^^^^

Like a powermatic model 81….
-DirtyMike

I would rather have a nice vintage Tannewitz (any model!), which without question, were about the best bandsaws ever made. Short of that, and more realistically, I’ve been keeping my eye out for quite a while now for a nice Walker Turner to replace my Delta.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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AHuxley

652 posts in 3155 days


#7 posted 01-15-2017 11:56 PM

I would rather have a nice vintage Tannewitz (any model!), which without question, were about the best bandsaws ever made.

I think you will find plenty of questions on that. Oliver, Fay and Egan, Greenlee and Yates all made better saws than Tannewitz which is more in line with Northfield quality.

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MrUnix

5975 posts in 2032 days


#8 posted 01-16-2017 12:15 AM

I think you will find plenty of questions on that. Oliver, Fay and Egan, Greenlee and Yates all made better saws than Tannewitz which is more in line with Northfield quality.
- AHuxley

Not according to the competition :)

Check out this publication from Rockwell/Delta/Crescent:
Dealer Information Package - Comparing Crescent to the Competition

Just to save you the trouble of reading all the way through it, here is an interesting bit contained in it:

And adds this little note:

That is a statement from the competition at the time, not a marketing department… so I’m pretty sure they had a good handle on who was who in the industry. It’s refreshing to see them being so honest, but of course, this was not meant for public consumption ;-)

Cheers,
Brad

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

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AHuxley

652 posts in 3155 days


#9 posted 01-16-2017 12:54 AM



I think you will find plenty of questions on that. Oliver, Fay and Egan, Greenlee and Yates all made better saws than Tannewitz which is more in line with Northfield quality.
- AHuxley

Not according to the competition :)

Check out this publication from Rockwell/Delta/Crescent:
Dealer Information Package - Comparing Crescent to the Competition

Just to save you the trouble of reading all the way through it, here is an interesting bit contained in it:

And adds this little note:

That is a statement from the competition at the time, not a marketing department… so I m pretty sure they had a good handle on who was who in the industry. It s refreshing to see them being so honest, but of course, this was not meant for public consumption ;-)

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

I base my opinion on having owned all of the ones I listed, save the Greenlee, and the Tannewitz are just not in the same league as the best from particularly Oliver. The second issue is based on prices that was written well after the best bandsaws were made, though hyperbolic it is similar to comparing a current Tannewitz to a current Oliver. Finally, take a look at what bandsaw aficionados pay for the different brands today in the used market. Tannewitz sell for basically scrap prices where Yates and Oliver big saws command a significant premium, while part of it is Tannys are common as dirt you rarely ever hear Tanny discussed with the hushed reverence bestowed on the better saws. Northfield commands a premium as well, but they have pretty similar quality for the old saws (the current Northfields are better than the current GHE, which is the only legacy machine they still make) but the Northfield premium comes from Jeff being so much easier to deal with and the parts and support for Northfield is much better than Tannewitz. If you are into the big saws you have to own a Oliver 116 /115 or a Yates Y-36 Snowflake at some point, they truly are incredible.

Back to regularly scheduled programming.

The OP needs to let us know if he would considered used and if so what kind of room he has and also where he lives as there are lots of nice saws out there but some areas are bad for good decent priced used equipment and no use in discussing things like PM81s if he doesn’t have room or desire for a 20” saw.

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BulldogLouisiana

325 posts in 973 days


#10 posted 01-16-2017 01:43 AM

I have the 2.5 hp Laguna BX. I would recommend it.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

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jimintx

509 posts in 1418 days


#11 posted 01-16-2017 08:10 PM

Wow, I had no idea this topic would turn like it did. It is interesting, but I should have been very specific apparently, to say I was not expecting to go find an older bandsaw.

Otherwise, I did put up a second reply about one hour after my opening post, in which I addressed my size parameters, as well as my intended usage, and stated I do not in any way consider the greater Houston area to be at all worthwhile when it comes to shopping for used woodworking tools.

Between my opening post and that 2nd one, I provided all the considerations that I personally can provide; there is no more specificity available about what I have in mind.

Given these responses, I need to re-approach my research to look at what can be purchased new for between $900 and $1,500. I will stick with the notion that I’d like it to be a 220V machine. I will do what I can to compare Rikon, Laguna, and Grizzly. The Laguna 14BX 220v is a very attractive package and may be the final answer, even though it does land right up near the top of my price bracket.

I have learned some names and gained good input from this discussion so far, and appreciate every single post. I hope to come back later and see a few more.
.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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rustynails

721 posts in 2362 days


#12 posted 01-17-2017 12:22 AM

I have had or currently have a Rikon, Laguna, or Grizzly band saw and were I feel all would meet your needs and all are pretty good saws I personally would pic the Laguna. One reason would be the ceramic guides as they are probably the easiest to adjust and work very well. Also I feel the fit and finish on the Laguna is better. Only thing is with all the saws are if you are wanting to use a very thin blade you may need some special considerations with all.

Keep us in the know on which one you decide on….

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rustynails

721 posts in 2362 days


#13 posted 01-17-2017 12:24 AM

......................................................................................... Sorry double posted

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ShopCat

51 posts in 3413 days


#14 posted 01-17-2017 12:58 AM

I’d hit Craigslist and spend a couple of weeks. I ended up with a hybrid Delta that they built in a limited run just before they moved production offshore. It looks like all the other old grey 14” Deltas, but with upgraded frame and motor. They built maybe a couple hundred in 2000, never advertised them, but the later versions have my upgrades. I stumbled across it on Craigs, it cost me $500, and it is now more tricked out with stupid upgrades like Kreg resaw fences than the original price. I also own a very nice set of blades, because 93” blades are all the rage, and Peachtree had a sale when you bought more than one. Tons of very good equipment on the resale market.

-- ShopCat

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MrUnix

5975 posts in 2032 days


#15 posted 01-17-2017 01:03 AM

It looks like all the other old grey 14” Deltas, but with upgraded frame and motor.

How exactly did they ‘upgrade’ the frame?

Cheers,
Brad

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

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