LumberJocks

which band saw to buy?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Jerry posted 09-15-2010 09:20 PM 3279 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2246 posts in 2291 days


09-15-2010 09:20 PM

We just finished a maple job, turned out really nice, maybe I can get some pics uploaded soon.

Our next job we start next week is going to be out of walnut. I am planning on doing some very different things on that job and will require the use of a lot of resawing of the walnut for veneers. I am considering a band saw in the 700.00 or less range. My preference is the 14” Rikon for around 700.00 as it seems the best and most bang for the money. If I could get buy with a less expensive band saw and a good resaw blade then I would go that route. I have considered Grizzly because I know they make great tools but I wonder if the extra money for the Rikon is money well spent. My primary use for the band saw will be resawing long term. Currently I resaw on my table saw which works out well, although this past job I had a kick back while resawing on the table saw, not fun!

Also any band saw technique advice would be welcome. I am a total rookie when it comes to a band saw. I once owned a 9” craftsman band saw, it never got used, then I owned a 10” hitatchi and it was terrible.

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks,

Jerry

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net


16 replies so far

View mcase's profile

mcase

438 posts in 1873 days


#1 posted 09-15-2010 10:24 PM

Hi Jerry,

Your probably going to get a fair amount of opinions on this. Thank heaven you told us a firm price range or this might have spun out of control. Seriously though, the price range does limit your options. The Delta 14” is pure garbage. The Jet 14” is OK. The Powermatic 14” is a jet with with more power and some nice Carter add ons, but is outside your range by $200. That really leaves Rikon and Grizzly so your on the right track. If your going to be resawing your going to want as much power as you can get so a 2hp is IMO a real must. Grizzly currently has a 17” 2 horse (the Polar Bear series) on sale for $698.00. You might give them a call and ask if it is the same as their other 17”. I think it is except for the color, which is white, hence the “polar bear” nonsense. I can give you some advice about resawing that people often overlook. You must plane all cupping out of your resaw board. This sounds obvious, but people often skip this to their regret. Sometimes they want to save lumber and do not want to lose thickness. Sometimes their jointer is not wide enough for the stock. But, even if you have to do it by hand start with a totally flat surface. Also the blade is critical. You will probably want a 1/2” 3tpi skip tooth raker. Be aware that many blades are not made right. Many are bent and will constantly bang into your thrust bearing – return such blades. Also, whatever saw you buy, get a quick release for the tensioner if the saw doe not come with one. Constantly reseting the tension is a real pain. Finally, (and this is the big one) you absolutely are going to have to learn how to tune a band saw. You will need to do a fair amount reading and a fair amount of experimenting with your saw and fence before you start resawing expensive walnut.

View rhett's profile

rhett

699 posts in 2411 days


#2 posted 09-15-2010 10:39 PM

I have a 14” Powermatic, does a nice job but the resaw is limited to a little over 6” and it really isn’t worth the extra money. I like the Rikon over the Grizzly but have never used either, I am just a little tainted with the green machines. I like the 12+” of resaw.

I am sure either machine will work well as long as they are tuned up nice and you use an actual resaw blade. My preference is a 1/2” 3TPI skiptooth.

-- It's only wood.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4525 posts in 1818 days


#3 posted 09-15-2010 10:42 PM

First, I agree with mcase that for resawing you want at least 2 horsepower. I’ll add that you also want to use a wide blade (3/4” minimum) and you want to be able work on boards up to 10” wide.

I’ve never seen a 14” bandsaw that is really designed for resawing very well. You can buy extender blocks but I’ve always thought it’s better to get the clearance without the extender blocks.

Please note to properly tighten a wide blade you put a LOT of pressure on the frame of your saw.

I own an 18” Jet that is ideal for resawing but out of your price range. I also own a Grizzly lathe and jointer and I am a Grizzly fan. I would advise you to check out the Grizzly 17” that mcase mentioned. Here it is -

http://www.grizzly.com/products/17-2-HP-Bandsaw-Polar-Bear-Series/G0513P

Note that this saw requires 220 volts which may be an issue. Grizzly offers other 17” bandsaws at slightly higher prices.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2246 posts in 2291 days


#4 posted 09-15-2010 10:52 PM

Thanks for the info Mcase. I just looked at that 17” bandsaw. That does look to be a good value. Can anyone tell me how that would compare with the 14” Rikon, the Rikon does have the 13” resaw capacity which I am confident I will never use that much. Most boards are 4 to 8” wide. The Grizzly has 12” resaw capacity which is plenty and also features the 2 hp motor whereas the Rikon has a 1 1/2 hp motor. Standing next to the Rikon whenever I am at Woodcraft from time to time has impressed me with the overall quality of the Rikon. I own a Grizzly 3 hp shaper and 2 grizzly 2 hp dust collectors and love all of my grizzly machines.

Any opinions between the 17” Grizzly or the 14” Rikon. I tend to lean towards the 17” Grizzly myself.

And the 17” grizzly comes with a 1/2” blade, is this sufficient for me to resaw the mess out of some walnut in the near future. Or should I invest in a 3/4” blade???

Thanks,

Jerry

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1976 days


#5 posted 09-15-2010 11:09 PM

For what it’s worth, I have heard good things about the Rikon, I have heard EXCELLENT things about the Grizzly 17”...

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4525 posts in 1818 days


#6 posted 09-16-2010 01:04 AM

Regarding the blade – - I have never seen a bandsaw sold with a very good blade. You’ll want to buy a better blade, even if it is the same size as the one that came with your saw. There are some very good resawing blades available. Band saw blades (even the good ones) are not very expensive.

I think you can get by with a 1/2” blade but you will be happier with a 3/4” or bigger.

Some say that if you use a blade for resawing you should only use it for resawing. They think that if you cut a curve with a blade you might cause more drift the next time you resaw. I have not personally witnessed this and I don’t know if I believe it – - but I pass it on.

Rikon vs. Grizzly – - They’re both good but I would vote for the Grizzly.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1667 days


#7 posted 09-16-2010 01:12 AM

Jerry: Mcase hit the nail on the head. Learn to tune your saw. Once you do this(isn’t that hard) you will know immediately if there is a problem. I have a grizz 555 extreme and love it. Resaw with a 3tpi 3/4 blade. I spent the time going over this saw when I got it and took every step in the book to set it up and it was well worth it. Never had a problem.

-- Life is good.

View newbiewoodworker's profile

newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 1571 days


#8 posted 09-16-2010 01:33 AM

Would you be willing to maybe go another $100? Griz has a 17” for $700, but then you have to pay for shipping, which is more than your average stamp… But you also get greater capacity, greater blade width, greater HP(as compared to a Delta 14”)...

I also have a Delta that I might be putting up soon…... if you are in the New England area…. :)

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Ingjr's profile

Ingjr

138 posts in 1760 days


#9 posted 09-16-2010 02:12 AM

Grizzly.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View rhett's profile

rhett

699 posts in 2411 days


#10 posted 09-16-2010 02:24 AM

A 3/4” blade is overkill for a resaw blade if your saw is tuned and your fence is adjusted for drift. It really boils down to the TPI and the hook pattern. Having more metal on wood just adds to drag and strain on the motor.
Resawing lumber into coldcut thickness is great, but if you don’t have the capability to dress thin stock then it is all in vain.

-- It's only wood.

View brunob's profile

brunob

2277 posts in 2913 days


#11 posted 09-16-2010 02:32 AM

I vote for the Grizzly. I’d buy the Wood Slicer blade. Well worth the investment. I have two of them.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1114 posts in 1804 days


#12 posted 09-16-2010 02:58 AM

PLEASE stay away from ANY 14” bandsaw for resawing I own a Grizzly G0555 14” bandsaw that barely can tension 1/2 blade.

14” bandsaw was never intended for resaw use. They are most use for cutting curves.
At least have 2HP or up for resawing.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2246 posts in 2291 days


#13 posted 09-16-2010 04:16 AM

all great info, thanks everyone, I always know where to come for great advice, I am nearly talked into the grizzly, seems a little beefier then the 14” rikon for close to same price.

for the record I have always wanted one of the 14” grizzly 400.00 bandsaws for just cutting curves and such, I would like to add down the road, but not a priority right now as I have a nice jigsaw that follows a pencil line great. thanks everyone.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1667 days


#14 posted 09-16-2010 04:37 AM

Steve I disagree wholehaeartly with you. I have a grizz 14” go555x(not the standard 555) and it resaws beautifully. I run a 3/4 blade and it has never failed me. That includes cutting maple,oak mahogany hickory you name it.

-- Life is good.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1114 posts in 1804 days


#15 posted 09-17-2010 04:44 AM

1 1/2 HP motor with cast iron wheel compare to 1 HP with aluminum wheels is a big difference in performance.

Any band saw can resaw. The question is how well and how thick
I also depends how often you resaw.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase