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What size bandsaw should I get

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Forum topic by BradN posted 01-28-2017 02:56 PM 1539 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BradN

31 posts in 549 days


01-28-2017 02:56 PM

I am looking to get a bandsaw for cutting logs for turning and for resawing lumber.
I am looking at either a Jet, Grizzly, or Rikon.
Everyone sells a 6” cutting height version, and a 12” or so height. But what cutting height is realistic for logs and resaw?

I don’t want to get a 6” and find I really need higher. But, I also don’t want to spend the money on a 12”+ if a 6” is all I really need.

Any advice out there?

Thanks

-- Woodworking is the best therapy


21 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

116594 posts in 3417 days


#1 posted 01-28-2017 03:02 PM

One size band saw that’s more prevalent is 14” but for log resawing you may want one in the 17” range but that will bump your budget,but if log sawing is something you’re going to do all the time you will need a good band saw.
I like Grizzly products.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1570 days


#2 posted 01-28-2017 03:22 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always heard, at least for the last 60 years, that bandsaw size was measured by the wheel diameter. My Duro I’ve had from the late 70’s is a 14” saw, but only has a 9” cutting height. When did the bandsaws start using the cutting height as the size for the saws? The Delta labeled 14” without the extension will only have about a 9” cutting height and increases to 13” or 15” with the riser block. I’m not sure of the riser block size, so enlighten me please…......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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a1Jim

116594 posts in 3417 days


#3 posted 01-28-2017 03:32 PM

Your Right Jerry I always forget that ‘I’ve always owned larger bandsaws so with larger resaw capability’s so like many others I do confuse the the so-called size with resaw height. thanks for the correction, you would think I’d remember that since I teach woodworking :)

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Firewood's profile

Firewood

168 posts in 1474 days


#4 posted 01-28-2017 03:38 PM

Nubs – They Haven’t changed the way they measure. It is still based in wheel diameter. What has changed is they are now using steel instead of CI for the column which allows for the increase in cutting height without the need of a riser block. What’s missing on these newer 14” saws is the throat capacity. You will typically give up about 3” compared to their 17” brothers.

For lots of log cutting and resawing, I think you might be happier with the the added mass of a 17” saw.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1509 posts in 1228 days


#5 posted 01-28-2017 03:38 PM

If you plan to saw logs, 6” max height will be way too small. It is hard to get much usable wood out of log that is less than 6” in diameter. Once you square it up, you are left with 4” at most. You will definitely want one that can handle at least 12”. With larger logs a sled helps make the process work better which means you would loose a little more height to the sled as well. Also, even if you add a riser, the 14” saws may only handle about a 5/8” wide blade well while a 17” or 18” will handle 3/4” easily (and possibly even a 1” blade) which I think is better for sawing logs.

I have a Grizzly G513ANN which is their 17” saw and definitely has the oomph to handle larger logs. The G513 anniversary edition has a cheesy paint job but was a little cheaper than the same saw with the standard white and green paint. I was considering a 14” saw with a riser but decided that the G513 was just a little more expensive but had a stronger motor and was generally more heavy duty than most 14” saws. I recently sawed a 10+” diameter pecan log. Except for the fact that my blade is getting a little dull, it handled it very well. Note that unless you have infeed and outfeed support or a buddy to help you out, a large diameter log over 3’ long is pretty tough to handle regardless of how big a saw you have.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

514 posts in 589 days


#6 posted 01-28-2017 05:30 PM

Get the bigger saw, and make sure you get enough horsepower. I have a 14 inch bandsaw that has a 6 inch max cut capacity. I could get a riser block to give me a 12 inch cut capacity, but I’m quite sure that I would then be hp limited. Resawing at only 6 inches, in some woods, is a struggle for my bandsaw. The next bandsaw will be bigger and stronger and will have a mobile base. And it’ll need 220 volts.

View bob101's profile

bob101

310 posts in 3290 days


#7 posted 01-28-2017 05:51 PM

I have a Laguna 14” saw which has the ability to resaw 13” material , I purchased this saw specifically because it has one of the largest motors in its class, and it has ceramic guides and thrust surface as opposed to bearings. Also it has a very reliable disc brake system.

-- rob, ont,canada

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2188 posts in 1975 days


#8 posted 01-28-2017 05:58 PM

Really depends upon your access to logs! Have gotten by with Grizzly G0555 without riser block for years. Not a fan of riser blocks for many reasons, but most popular option for most 6” band saws. At time bought that saw it was best bang for the buck.

Blade selection, motor horse power and cost of blades another factor. You also need to consider whether need and can use 110 or 220 volts. If were buying a band saw today would definitely look at these band saws:

Jet JWBS 14DXPRO
Laguba 1412
Grizzly 17” Go513 ANV model.
Rikon 14” Delux new this year model 10-326

I would be partial to the G0513 ANV saw because of price and other features. Even better would be there 18” band saws.

My favorite blade & brand is Lennox for my saw is 3 TPI hook carbon steel blades. That’s my choice there are several other good brands available.

-- Bill

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

466 posts in 1141 days


#9 posted 01-28-2017 06:25 PM

I guess they changed again. When I bought mine (14”) the size was the distance from the blade to the throat.
Mine cuts 6” but I did get the riser kit. Six inch is still the max I would cut as I would prep it with the chain saw first. Unless a hollow form, which I really don’t like to turn, nothing is over 6” thick.
Even with the band saw I just knock the corners off with the chain saw and go to the lathe. Takes me longer to clean the band saw from wet wood than it takes to turn the wood round.
Just what works for me and I do appreciate the ease of starting round.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6022 posts in 2039 days


#10 posted 01-28-2017 06:42 PM

I guess they changed again. When I bought mine (14”) the size was the distance from the blade to the throat.

That is how they are all measured… nothing has changed.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View BradN's profile

BradN

31 posts in 549 days


#11 posted 01-29-2017 03:24 AM

Thanks all, The one thing that amazes me on Band Saws is the cost. To get a decent one to cut 14” high or 16” Throat dimension you could byr a good table saw that can do so much more.

I guess the kicker is that the Band Saw allows the vertical cutting dimension that no table saw can do

-- Woodworking is the best therapy

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

384 posts in 1302 days


#12 posted 01-29-2017 06:39 AM

So I went and bought the Grizzly GO513 X2 about 6 months ago now. Love this saw, cuts everything I throw at it.
I’m guilty of really over thinking things at times, and as a result it took me several months of reading to pull the trigger on the grizzly. I was sold on the Jet JWBS-14SF 14” bandsaw, and its 13 1/2” resaw capacity. However it has a $1600 price tag. Several friends have purchased Grizzly products, and pointed me at some really good reviews on the GO513 model. After a month of research, I pulled the trigger on the X2 version. It was priced at the time at $1050. a bit less than the jet. The Grizzly has a 12” resaw, so I gave up 1-1/2” resaw capacity for $550 less.
I looked at the Anniversary edition. You will see the same Grizzly saw in 3 or 4 models. I found the X2 to have what I felt was the best all around package for me. Cast Iron wheels, and ball bearing guides, etc. The Anniversary saw was a couple hundred cheaper, but had Aluminum wheels, and a cool block style guide. I was looking at that saw just now, and it says euro style roller disc guides. Thats new, and I don’t know anything about that style of guide. You will see the 14” saws have more resaw capacity than the 17”. So really watch the specs over what size the name says.

-- John

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1509 posts in 1228 days


#13 posted 01-29-2017 01:48 PM

I bought my G0513ANN 2 years ago and it has those disc guides. The roller disc guides actually seem to work quite well. If the X2 was that cheap when I bought mine it, I might have gone that route but I think it was at at least $200-300 plus shipping more then. Perhaps I just don’t know what I am missing but so far I haven’t missed those upgrades. Very happy with the saw.

BTW, I tried using a wheeled mobile base on it but I didn’t like it because it seemed to make it even more top heavy and less stable over all so I made a simple shopvac powered hover base. It’s not great if you need to move it around frequently or need to move it all the way across the shop but it works just fine for the few feet when I need more room for some reason. The other advantage is that it only adds about 3/4” to the height..

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1570 days


#14 posted 01-29-2017 04:46 PM


BTW, I tried using a wheeled mobile base on it but I didn t like it because it seemed to make it even more top heavy and less stable over all so I made a simple shopvac powered hover base. It s not great if you need to move it around frequently or need to move it all the way across the shop but it works just fine for the few feet when I need more room for some reason. The other advantage is that it only adds about 3/4” to the height..

- Lazyman


That’s a pretty good idea. A question though. If yours is always under the saw base, does the weight of the saw crush the foam around the disc? ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1509 posts in 1228 days


#15 posted 01-29-2017 06:14 PM

Yes, I leave it under the saw. The dang thing is too heavy to safely tip or lift by myself to slide it in. After creating a prototype of the commercial air sled designs I saw online using a rubber tire to make sort of a donut diaphragm that uses a compressor, I stumbled upon fellow LJ silac’s airsleds . It does not work as well for me as the prototype (I never actually used it to lift the tool) but is much easier to build and is thinner. I used a dense rubber automotive weatherstrip to form the seal so it does not compress much and still works after 2 years. The key is that it has to be a continuous ring around the edge with almost no leaks so that the air is forced to exit under the weatherstrip. The biggest problem that I have is that the bandsaw is heavier on one side so I actually have to press against the top a little to spread the weight more evenly as I move it. Once the weight has shifted slightly, it moves pretty effortlessly in any direction.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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