Craftsman Bandsaw ??

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Forum topic by Zuki posted 01-26-2008 02:09 AM 7879 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1404 posts in 4280 days

01-26-2008 02:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: zuki craftsman bandsaw

Hey All

As most of you know I have been looking for a bandsaw for some time now. Here in NL we are pretty limited to selection: King, General, some Delta and Ridgid.

Until last week I completely forgot about Craftsman @ Sears when I saw this one. Sort of looks like a Rikon.


14 in. band saw with steel frame construction for reduced deflection under full blade tension. Blade included. Upper and lower blade bearing guides reduce friction and increase blade life. Blade tension and tracking windows let you quickly view the blade tension and tracking without opening the doors. Cast iron wheels.

- Table tilts 0-45 deg. to left for angle cutting
- Cut hardwood softwood and non ferrous metal
- Features (2) 3/8×3/4 in. standard “T” slots
- Balanced cast iron wheels for strength and rigidity
- The cast iron table is large and stable providing a solid work surface
- Tire cleaning brush – Helps keep band wheel free of build up extending blade life
- Steel stand provides stable support
- Table fence – Securely support workpieces for accurate ripping
- Work light – Keeps work area well lit for accurate, safe cutting
- Dust collection system (Port) – Improved dust collection for safe removal of sawdust
- The ball bearing blade guides have microadjust knobs that allows the userto set them easily
- The saw has a 8” resaw capacity

The reviews on the site seem to be quite positive – SEARS

- odd blade length (not really an issue)
- box on bottom a little weak
- fence not great & no holes drilled in table for fence
- some people have problems with bearings

Here in Canada it is on sale for $549 until June.

Anyone have one or anyone have any comments?

-- BLOG -

30 replies so far

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4239 days

#1 posted 01-26-2008 02:37 AM

Check the blade length and the availability of blades for that length. There some speculation that this saw was made by Rikon, but I’ve read ample information that is for and against that claim. For me, when I was considering a bandsaw, I looked at whether I could order a blade from Lee Valley for the saw. That’s the only tidbit I can give you and at that point, you can put an effort in tuning up just about any saw so it will cut okay, if you put the effort in. As for the other saws that are available to you, they are all good saws as well.


-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4254 days

#2 posted 01-26-2008 09:23 PM

I have this bandsaw and have not had any rpoblems with it at all. It does a good job resawing.

-- Hope Never fails

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4077 days

#3 posted 01-26-2008 09:51 PM

Stay away.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 3993 days

#4 posted 01-26-2008 11:13 PM

I was thinking about getting this saw also. I thought it was a Rikon also. Why do you say stay away Blake?

-- Tony, Ohio

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4280 days

#5 posted 01-26-2008 11:37 PM

Yea Blake . . . why stay away ??

-- BLOG -

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4077 days

#6 posted 01-27-2008 01:46 AM

Craftsman has really slipped from its lofty perch as a provider of quality tools. I have been disappointed with every Craftsman anything I have bought in the last three years.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4002 days

#7 posted 01-27-2008 03:25 AM

My job is International trade consulting. I am currently in China and saw this posting so I thought it was a good time to explain a bit of what I know of this situation.

Few brands actually own factories. they get their items made in factories that manufacture to specification. For example, I have been in the factory where they make the Jet mini lathe. I have seen that lathe as well as others in other colors for other manufacturers. The only difference is the color and occasionally a few components.

Sears used to build most of the craftsman line through Emerson electric who assembled their line overseas. Sears made a choice several years ago to find cheaper ways to get their tools. They went direct to China to see who could make their tools cheaper. At that time, Sears seemed to remove quality from the line and suffered in reviews and customer issues.

Emerson took the loss and rather than loose the business, they created the Rigid woodworking line and started to sell through Home Depot. Now sears has seen some of the error of their ways and has begun to better the specifications of the equipment they buy but still fall behind the other brands out there.

As for this saw looking like a Rikon, I am almost positive that it is, only with a less expensive base with thinner metal to cut some cost. I understand that the Rikon, Craftsman, Grizzly, and others are made int he same location with a difference in internal components. According to my friends in China, Grizzly uses the best parts in their machines and Sears uses the cheapest. I don’t have the exact specs, but I would shy away from the Craftsman model. They are interested more in the mass market than the craftsman.

I am sure that the craftsman works, but I would choose otherwise.

-- making sawdust....

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 3993 days

#8 posted 01-27-2008 04:25 PM

Great info motthunter. I have the Craftsman professional table saw, I posted a review on, and I am very happy with it.

-- Tony, Ohio

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 4279 days

#9 posted 01-27-2008 05:54 PM

I have the Craftsman and would not buy it again. The odd blade length is an issue. I have to special order them from a company that makes them to length.

The bearings on the guides are not very good. I’ve only had the saw a year and have had one bearing go out. You can’t use guide blocks made by other companies.

Oh yeah, and the table tilt mechanism is a joke. It’s only supported on one side so it’s nearly impossible to set up an angled cut.

The fence is crap. I replaced it with a Kreg just a couple months after buying it.

Also, the wheel for tensioning the blade is on top of the saw. This makes it very difficult to tension the blade. I’ve had to get a step stool to get into a proper position to put enough torque to turn the handle. Unlike the Grizzly there’s no Quick Release tension lever. This means you have to release the tension by turning the tensioning handle when you are done using the saw, then tighten it back up when you want to use it again. (Or do like I do and leave it tensioned all the time because it’s too much trouble, thus decreasing the life of the blade.)

If I had to do it over again I’d spend a few extra dollars and buy a Grizzly, something like the G0513 or G0514x. After spending the extra money on a replacement fence and special ordering blades I probably could have bought the Grizzly for the same money. The only thing I’ve bought from Craftsman that I don’t regret is my drill press.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View GuyK's profile


356 posts in 4282 days

#10 posted 01-27-2008 06:26 PM

Zuki, I also have this saw. It works great. I have had one since they hit the local market and I have not had one problem with it. But I am one and maybe the only one besides Tony Z who is a fan of Craftsmans. I have a complete shop full of there tools, and I have not had one issues with any of them.

-- Guy Kroll

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4280 days

#11 posted 01-27-2008 06:34 PM

Tks guys.

Great information motthunter. I guess we all sort of suspected that . . . but now you have confirmed.

Iowa – your review is almost like all those on the Sears site. You should put it on the review section.

GuyK – you must ahve one of the good ones before Craftsman started cutting corners.

Well . . . its off I go again in the persuit of a cheap, but excellent bandsaw.

-- BLOG -

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 4279 days

#12 posted 01-27-2008 06:48 PM

Zuki, before considering a Jet read the reviews on Amazon. Not very good reviews.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4077 days

#13 posted 01-27-2008 07:50 PM

I will give two thumbs up on my Grizzly G0555.

View mrfixitri's profile


53 posts in 3500 days

#14 posted 05-16-2009 05:05 PM

So…. for my first band saw purchase and wanting to stay under $500, what would you people recommend? I was just about to go out and purchase the Craptsman 12”

-- Larry, formerly of East Greenwich, RI - "Rhode Island's Oldest Home":

View a1Jim's profile


117337 posts in 3780 days

#15 posted 05-16-2009 05:17 PM

I”M sorry I’m with the group that call there tools CRAPMAN years ago they made a good product by now there terrible I have many students that have purchased sears tools and are very unhappy with them. So unless your buying wrenches or measuring tapes ,that Sears replaces free stay away from sears power tools.
For a reasonably priced band saw I would go with grizzly.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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