Bandsaw Motor Upgrade

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Forum topic by TheChucker posted 1194 days ago 5058 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TheChucker's profile


38 posts in 1611 days

1194 days ago

I’m looking to upgrade the motor on my 14” Delta Bandsaw. I saw this motor for sale at Harbor Freight online now for $100. It’s a 1 1/2 hp and should defintely give a boost from the stock 3/4 hp motor.

I don’t know much about electric motors, or if this one will work for this application. It is a Harbor Freight motor, so I am taking that into consideration too. Anyone upgraded a bandsaw motor know if this would work? Thanks.

-- Wherever you go, there you are.

13 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4520 posts in 1572 days

#1 posted 1194 days ago

Sometimes, when you increase horsepower you worry about the drive train being able to handle the extra torque. However, the “drive train” of a bandsaw is a belt. I expect you will have no problems. The worst case scenario is that you need to buy a stronger belt.

Of course, the other issue is mounting the new motor. That may take some creative engineering.

If you are doing any resawing or big band saw boxes, you want all the power you can get and this motor will help a lot. If you are just working with flat wood, why bother?

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

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2492 posts in 1604 days

#2 posted 1193 days ago

I just up graded the motor on my 14 inch 1972 Rockwell. I found a 2 hp at a yard sale for $25, 1725 rpm and like Rich said, it takes a bit of rework to get-r-dun. Just did some resawing today as a matter of fact and it works much better than the 1/2 hp stock. And add a wood slicer blade as well.
Personally, I would not get the HF motor. You can find Baldor and Dayton motors for pennies on the dollar. The most important thing is the rpm, stay at 1725.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3182 posts in 2458 days

#3 posted 1193 days ago

PLEASE don’t put a crap motor on your BS. Do you have an elec. motor shop in your area? If so, check with them for a good motor.


View TheChucker's profile


38 posts in 1611 days

#4 posted 1193 days ago

Thanks for the input. Sounds like the motor upgrade is a good idea, but stay away from the Harbor Freight junk. I’ve gotten into some more resawing last summer, and I just don’t have the power with the stock motor. I think I’ll just scour through Craigslist and see if something pops up.

-- Wherever you go, there you are.

View b2rtch's profile


4018 posts in 1546 days

#5 posted 1193 days ago

Harbor freight is not necessarily junk, I would buy a motor from HF.
With may be two exceptions I always had excellent luck with HF

-- Bert

View Loren's profile


6734 posts in 2145 days

#6 posted 1193 days ago

The HF motor is made by Marathon Electric, which has been around
for a long time (if it’s the same company) and makes good motors. I’ve
had a couple Marathon motors and they worked fine.

View JB's profile


53 posts in 2126 days

#7 posted 1193 days ago

I have a 14” Delta Bandsaw (‘42 model). For some reason my dad put a Harbor freight motor on it…..been working great for years now.

My dad usually bought good stuff, wish he were still around to ask him what he was thinking : )

-- JB

View TheChucker's profile


38 posts in 1611 days

#8 posted 1193 days ago

The Harbor Freight motor runs at 1800 RPM’s, you think the additional 75 RPM’s would cause a problem in compatibility?

-- Wherever you go, there you are.

View Jonathan's profile


2603 posts in 1548 days

#9 posted 1193 days ago

Sorry I don’t have anything to contribute at this moment, but I have just started contemplating the same question since I recently added a riser block kit tomy Delta 14-inch BS. So, anyone with good information will be helping several fellow LJs at once.

Thanks for posing the question.

If I discover any helpful information,I’ll make sure to add it here

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View IrreverentJack's profile


722 posts in 1341 days

#10 posted 1192 days ago

The Iturra Design people have an article, “Supercharging your 14” Delta”, in their 2010 Catalog that addresses blade speed. If you have a bi-metal or carbide tipped blade, good tires(like their polyurethane ones), at least 1 1/2hp and use you BS for re-sawing they have “high Speed” pulley sets to increase blade speed from 3000SFPM to 4000SFPM (surface feet per minute). That’s a 33% increase in blade speed and they refer to it as “living on the wild side”. 75rpm would only be a 4-5% increase. If you choose the HF motor, see if they have an extended warranty for it. -Jack

View Richard Dunlap's profile

Richard Dunlap

64 posts in 1363 days

#11 posted 1191 days ago

There is no indication as to rotation direction. Something that you need to know. For your BS you need a CCW rotation. The mounting frame is different, not a major problem. Also the shaft diameter is probablly larger than your present motor so a new pulley would be required.

View Steve Rathke's profile

Steve Rathke

26 posts in 2211 days

#12 posted 1190 days ago

check which nema mount is on your saw. you may not want that motor most tool motors are nema 56. Baldor is a good brand, grizzly sells their own. 175 or so priced.

View spamfilterman's profile


147 posts in 1519 days

#13 posted 1190 days ago

As someone else said, that appears to be a Marathon brand motor, which is not just some random HF generic brand.

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