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Second-hand bandsaw brands to watch for/avoid & pricing

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Forum topic by B4B posted 01-29-2017 08:42 PM 962 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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B4B

154 posts in 1191 days


01-29-2017 08:42 PM

Hi,

I’m keeping an eye out for a good or repairable second(or third)-hand bandaw. I don’t have a specific use in mind, I’d like to expand my tool collection and capibilities.

I see sizes and pricing all over for these. By far the most common size/brand are the craftsman 12” for anywhere from 100 and up.

Occasionally I’ll see delta and jet 14” saws for $500 and up. I’ve even seen a few ridgid 14” saws.

I don’t have a specific use in mind, but while I’m not building (due to a family addition, thats almost 1 year old, taking up my attention and time), I’d like to expand my tool collection. A bandsaw seems like a useful tool to have.

I’m thinking a 14” bandsaw would be about right for not knowing what I will do with it. . I highly doubt I will be milling logs, but it is not out of the question. $400 seems to be the lowest I’ve seen, and I’ve seen saws at $800 or more.

What brands or models should I snatch up or just pass on?

Craftsman, ridgid, jet, and delta seem to come up often in my area.

What is a reasonable/fair price for a 14” bandsaw provided is in good condition?

If it’s not in great shape and it has a running motor, I’m willing to fix. At what point is a machine just not worth fixing at any purchase price, even free?

Any other words of advice?

Lastly, has anyone built (any of) the woodgears.ca bandsaw? Economically it may not make sense as I do not have a stockpile of scraps or motors, but it sure looks fun.

-- There's two routers in my vocab, one that moves data and one that removes wood, the latter being more relevant on this forum.


19 replies so far

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MrUnix

5973 posts in 2031 days


#1 posted 01-29-2017 08:55 PM

Most, if not all of the 14” cast iron band saws are clones of the Delta. Prices are all over, depending on condition, location, accessories, etc… Surface rust is a great negotiation point to reduce cost, and is super simple to get rid of. Induction motors are hard to kill, and even if they don’t run, they usually only need something stupid simple to fix. Bearings, belts, tires and guides are all considered maintenance items and should be replaced regardless, but again, can be used as a negotiation point to lower the price. The single biggest issue is missing/broken parts. If it’s complete, then it can be cleaned up and reconditioned to like new without much expense. If it’s missing parts or has broken/damaged pieces, then you may have a very difficult time finding them, and many can be rather expensive to replace.

The key to getting a good deal is knowing what you want, keeping an eye out for it, and being able to pounce when it does show up.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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toolie

2094 posts in 2461 days


#2 posted 01-29-2017 09:52 PM

Ridgid’s bandsaw has long been the week iink in their power to offerings. It can be made serviceable, but takes some effort to strengthen the base and balance the tires.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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Clarkie

448 posts in 1674 days


#3 posted 01-29-2017 11:27 PM

Hello B4B, keep an eye out for a 14” American made Delta bandsaw, any age as long as it is Made in USA. They have always been the standard of the industry, well built and stand up to vigorous work out. There are parts readily available, though most times they don’t require them. I have been able to find them from 250.00 to 350.00 range. Stay as far away from Rikon and Rigid and Jet as you can, IMHO. Have fun, make some dust.

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AHuxley

652 posts in 3154 days


#4 posted 01-29-2017 11:38 PM

For 14” saws look for Powermatic 141/143 (assuming you don’t need over 6” of resaw height) those and the General 15” 490 are the best small cast saws ever made along with Walker Turner. I shy away from suggesting Walker Turner for someone just sticking their toe small used bandsaws since parts can be an issue.

American made Delta’s are also good but they quality varied over the years and in the end they are pretty light weight. They were designed 80+ years ago with the idea of running a 1/4” general purpose blade. Many users really stretch their capacity these days. In reality many of the 14” steel spined saws are much more capable than even the best Delta.

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Andybb

542 posts in 436 days


#5 posted 01-29-2017 11:47 PM

Bought a Central Machinery (aka Harbor Freight) 14” for $40 on CList. The listing said it wouldn’t track straight. It had no tires on it. Cast iron and works as well as my buddy’s Grizzly.

-- Andybb - GO HAWKS!

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Kirk650

513 posts in 581 days


#6 posted 01-30-2017 12:39 AM

Probably you shouldn’t just assume that a 14 inch Ridgid bandsaw is poor quality. I’ve had one for years and have no problem with it. Recently it was cutting rather slowly, so I put a new 3/8 Timberwolf blade on it, and man we are bandsawing like a champion. I put new urethane tires on it 3 or 4 years ago. Ceramic guides were added maybe 5 years ago.

I paid $350 for it new. The next bandsaw will cost 3 or 4 times that, so what I got for $350 was a decent bandsaw.

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Loren

9602 posts in 3480 days


#7 posted 01-30-2017 12:53 AM

Avoid off brand Taiwan saws like Elephant
and Cal-Hawk unless you are sure the
saw is in good working condition.

The price hike for a Delta or JET gets
you better fit and finish mostly, but I had
a Cal-Hawk years and years ago and while
the castings were the same as any other
Taiwan 14” saw, it was a lemon anyway.

Theories abound about tuning bandsaws,
making the wheels co-planar and so forth.
You can tune any saw but it may not be
how you want to spend your time. If you
buy a saw that cuts straight and runs smooth
from the get-go, you may never have to
mess with fine-tuning.

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CharlesA

3289 posts in 1630 days


#8 posted 01-30-2017 12:59 AM

I was looking on CL last week, and I was surprised at how high the asking price was on used bandsaws. In terms of asking prices, I’d say they’re overpriced compared to table saws.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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JohnDon

66 posts in 1002 days


#9 posted 01-30-2017 01:42 AM

Unless you’re really tight for space, I wouldn’t consider anything smaller than 14”, and as a first saw, I wouldn’t go with anything larger. As already said, most 14” saws in the used market will be Delta clones. I can’t argue that while saws by Powermatic, General, and Delta would be better quality, you are also paying for name brand recognition, and personally I think this particularly applies to Jet tools- way overpriced for the quality.

I also believe that the Ridgid is a “diamond in the rough”- it’s gotten some bad rep, but with a little tuning up the one I got off CL a few years ago works great (there are lots of good suggestions online). I don’t think that the Ridgid is significantly worse than other clones, and if you find one, you might be able to use the bad rep to bargain down the price.

While I haven’t seen many on CL, a 14” steel frame (not cast iron) would be worth considering- Laguna, Rikon, and Craftsman (seems to be a Rikon re-badge). In reviews I’ve seen steel frames tend to rate higher than CI. The drawbacks are you can’t insert a riser block for increased resaw capacity, and they don’t use the “standard” 93-1/2” blade length of the Delta CI clones.

Finally, since nobody has yet mentioned it, you can’t go too far wrong with Grizzly. Good luck.

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B4B

154 posts in 1191 days


#10 posted 01-31-2017 03:02 PM

Brand centric advice sounds good. Sounds like I can’t go wrong with any of the major brands.

I have considered a new grizzly, I’m within driving distance of their Bellingham showroom, so I’d avoid freight. I’d probably go for the G0555LX for $575 plus 10% tax. It has the cast iron wheels vs cast aluminum on their go580 that’s about 125 less.

That said, I was hoping to score something for around $300 or less on the second hand market, but the asking price on many used machines is all over the place, most seem to be around the 450 mark. I’m not sure if my price point is a reasonable/fair expectation for a well running machine . . I don’t mind tinkering or replacing parts as long as the seller is willing to sell at an appropriate price for the condition and parts are available.

-- There's two routers in my vocab, one that moves data and one that removes wood, the latter being more relevant on this forum.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4799 posts in 3793 days


#11 posted 01-31-2017 04:05 PM

Go get the G0555LX, good blades, and go to work.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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mramseyISU

524 posts in 1378 days


#12 posted 01-31-2017 04:28 PM

I’ve got an OLD Walker Turner. They are great saws as long as the castings are in good shape. Wear items like bearings, tires, sheaves, belts are motors are pretty easy to replace.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

652 posts in 3154 days


#13 posted 01-31-2017 06:03 PM



Brand centric advice sounds good. Sounds like I can t go wrong with any of the major brands.

I have considered a new grizzly, I m within driving distance of their Bellingham showroom, so I d avoid freight. I d probably go for the G0555LX for $575 plus 10% tax. It has the cast iron wheels vs cast aluminum on their go580 that s about 125 less.

That said, I was hoping to score something for around $300 or less on the second hand market, but the asking price on many used machines is all over the place, most seem to be around the 450 mark. I m not sure if my price point is a reasonable/fair expectation for a well running machine . . I don t mind tinkering or replacing parts as long as the seller is willing to sell at an appropriate price for the condition and parts are available.

- B4B

The problem is prices are often all over the place on the low end of the market. Lots of people that don’t have any concept of the actual value of used saws are selling the smaller saws. They may have bought them and used them once so they thing they should sell for almost new price and although they bought a cheap off-brand saw when they look up a comparison price they can’t find that saw and use a Powermatic or Jet to set the “new” price.

You can find deals in the $300 range but it may take some time. I see old Deltas from $200 up to over $1,000 and PM 141s from $300 to near $1,500 (but those are well regarded saws that were right at $2,000 when they were last sold by Powermatic near 30 years ago). In the end there is nothing wrong with the Grizzly choice, it is a decent copy of the Delta saws and you have a good idea what you are getting. There is just less money to be saved buying used on the budget end compared to buying much bigger more expensive saws, compare the deals one can get on a 14” saw when you can buy a 36” saw that sells for over $20,000 today for between $1k and 2K with a little looking.

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LittleShaver

198 posts in 452 days


#14 posted 01-31-2017 06:33 PM

I got lucky on CL a few years back and picked up a 14” Grizzly for 150. New blade, a little tuning, and it has been a great saw for a hobbyist.

-- Sawdust Maker

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Woodmaster1

854 posts in 2420 days


#15 posted 01-31-2017 06:57 PM

The craftsman Rikon lookalike is cheapened version of the Rikon. I have the 14” Rikon deluxe no issues and no need for a riser block. Rikon 14” has a 13” resaw capacity.

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