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Do I Really need a band saw?

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Forum topic by RJS posted 1379 days ago 4119 views 1 time favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RJS

89 posts in 1451 days


1379 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question band saw

Ok, so I am building my tool collection and do not have a band saw. There are a few projects that I have seen some lumberjocks have made some awesome things with a band saw. I see them for sale on Craigs List for a decent price. Can anyone here tell me if this is a wise investment for a couple hundred dollars, or if I should pass?
What kind and how big of a band saw is good for a starter?
If anyone can tell me what to look for when buying a used band saw I would REALLY appreciate it.
Thank you all for you’re help.

-- RJ


27 replies so far

View Dandog's profile

Dandog

249 posts in 1379 days


#1 posted 1379 days ago

well you can take a jig saw to large parts ,but for cutting smaller irregular shapes its the way to go. If your on a tight budget u can invert a jig saw on a piece plywood .

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile

Lumber2Sawdust

136 posts in 1470 days


#2 posted 1379 days ago

For a long time I had a table saw and thought there wasn’t a big need for a band saw. I ended up buying an old, abused 14” Delta without a motor at an auction. I cleaned it up and put on a 1/2 HP motor from HF. It cost be about $200 total.

When I use it, I keep thinking “How did I not have one of these before?” It isn’t an essential tool, but I have cut tenons on it done some simple resawing and used it for odd cuts for carpentry projects, too. I even used it to make some custom shims I needed.

One of the nicest things is that I was able to make cuts I needed on the band saw which meant I didn’t have to change the setup of the table saw when I was in the middle of a “project”.

I have some plans to do some resawing for boxes, and maybe try a band saw box over the winter, too.

In short, you can certainly do a lot without it. But if you can afford one, I think you will enjoy having it and will find lots of ways to use it.

Good luck

View newbiewoodworker's profile

newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 1432 days


#3 posted 1379 days ago

I would go 14”.. its a good middle ground…

I dont recommend the inverted jigsaw method.. Its dangerous. It lacks a guard, and it can buck like a POed bronco…

Its good for moderate sized scrolling.. for fine scrolling you need a scroll saw, for rough scrolling, you can use a jigsaw..

They are 1 of 2 saws can that resaw… 1 of 1 that can do it safely… And the only one that can slice paper thin veneer…

They are also good for cutting circles, with the appropriate jig…

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

View Abbott's profile

Abbott

2570 posts in 1909 days


#4 posted 1379 days ago

I think a guy’s shop grows to the point where a bandsaw becomes a very handy piece of machinery to have. A 14” saw will work especially with a riser block. I am watching for a 17” saw to come along. Band saws also need to be “tuned” and have a quality blade to get a good straight cut…the good part is once they are setup they seem to stay that way for awhile.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Tomoose's profile

Tomoose

312 posts in 1978 days


#5 posted 1379 days ago

I bought a Hitachi CB13F used on CL for $85 and would say I can’t live without it now. That said, a bigger saw like the guys above are talking about would be great if you can swing the $$. For me I have never done any re-sawing, and will be limited by my little saw if I do, but it has allowed me to do some cool projects with little to no experience with the tool – see my chess set bandsaw project here: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/24718 – this was the first thing I did with a bandsaw and was great practice making fairly intricate cuts that you just cannot do with another tool (as far as I know…). I would say get one for sure if money and shop space allow.

-- cut it twice and it's still too short...

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1455 days


#6 posted 1379 days ago

Stay away from the three wheelers. They’re entry level, not stout enough, etc etc.

I think the value in a new one is in the Grizzly GO555 but that is not in your post. Yes, used, Jet on up, avoiding early green Grizzly. All the parts are easily seen on the bandsaw, so a careful inspection before buying will assure that you have no ugly surprises. Know that you can replace the tires, and the blocks, and the guide bearings, easily.

Happy hunting!

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View DragonLady's profile

DragonLady

298 posts in 1612 days


#7 posted 1379 days ago

well…NEED and want are two entirely different things :)

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2302 days


#8 posted 1379 days ago

If you’re going for a band saw get a good one I have a small cheap one and it is sitting in the corner collecting dust.

View Roper's profile (online now)

Roper

1351 posts in 2318 days


#9 posted 1379 days ago

Yes a band saw is a must have in a custom shop. If you plan on doing any odd or irregular cut you need a bandsaw. If your building boxes you probably don’t. 14 inch is a great home shop size.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust- www.roperwoodturning.com

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2697 days


#10 posted 1379 days ago

I put off buying a band saw for years. Now, like many of the above LJ’s, I don’t know how I lived without it. Very versatile piece of equipment if you get the right size (14” is great) and spend the money to put a very good blade on it.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2498 days


#11 posted 1379 days ago

of all the stationary tools I own

the band saw would be the last one I would give up

trivea

of all the stationary tools I own, the band saw has retained the most value

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

3474 posts in 2132 days


#12 posted 1379 days ago

I’ve had my band saw for years, an old Delta, 14”, I love it. I’ve replaced the motor three times and if this one goes bad, I’ll put in another one. Don’t know what I’d do without it. Each time the motor went out I was desperate to get it running again. A must for a well tooled shop.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Ben 's profile

Ben

157 posts in 1969 days


#13 posted 1379 days ago

Yes, you need a bandsaw. You will use it on every project you build.

View Jesse 's profile

Jesse

105 posts in 1467 days


#14 posted 1379 days ago

Band saw was my very first machine I bought, and that was just a bench top ryobi. Now having a “bit” more experience under my belt, I wish I would have just gotten a 14” with a good resaw capacity. BUT, I didn’t even know what resaw capacity was a few months ago. Regardless, I used it quite a bit and just try and deal with it’s limitations.

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1588 days


#15 posted 1378 days ago

No, you don’t really need one. Although it would be tough for me to get along without one. I can’t begin to tell you how often I use mine. I would suggest a minimum of a 14” or larger.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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