Buying my first bandsaw

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Forum topic by hab posted 06-23-2011 09:24 PM 1167 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 1946 days

06-23-2011 09:24 PM

and I’d love some guidance in picking one out!

I need a band saw that I can mount on a table or workbench. It will be used in cutting small pieces of wood to make very small wooden boxes. No larger than 6” but more like 2” to 4” range. Precision is critical. I’ll be using mainly black walnut, so I guess the blade selection is important as well.

Can anyone point me in a good direction. I’m resisting a trip to Lowes or HD for this saw.


8 replies so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3001 days

#1 posted 06-23-2011 10:03 PM

I still would recommend you buy the bigest and best you can afford.Whats good for today might be inadequate for tomorrows need and tastes. MY 3 cents.If your determined to buy a small machine and can see no reason to worry about the future, them buy at least the best quality and best deal money can buy, not necessarily the cheapest around that might prove to be a poor choice in the long run.
I bought a very small bandsaw for my metalshop thinking it would do for cutting metal as I already have 3 bandsaws ( in my woodshop) but immediatelly it came out of the box and I set it up ( a half days work all those fiddly little nuts and bolts for the stand) I shook so badly I thought it would vibrate the house down my mistake anyway good luck and have fun. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View hab's profile


6 posts in 1946 days

#2 posted 06-23-2011 10:35 PM

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I agree with what you’re saying. What I need is a great, smallish (10” tops) band saw. I thought I wouldn’t be happy with a trip to Lowes or HD (could be wrong) Can you recommend a specific saw?

View WayneC's profile


12642 posts in 3514 days

#3 posted 06-23-2011 10:45 PM

Hmmm, sure you want a bandsaw to make percise cuts like that? Perhaps handsaws and a plane with a shooting board.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2387 days

#4 posted 06-24-2011 12:48 AM

I have, and highly recommend the 10” Rikon. Woodcraft sells it, but you can get it a Amazon as well. I paid right at $250 for mine on sale last fall. I think its about $279 right now at Woodcraft.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View Loren's profile


8155 posts in 3064 days

#5 posted 06-24-2011 02:06 AM

The under 12” bandsaws tend to suffer a bit from blade breakage due
to the blade bending more, so I recommend a 12” or larger saw if
you have the room.

among vintage machines, the old INCA 10” bandsaws are very well made.
If you can find one you’ll really enjoy the built-in precision and fine balance.

The old Shopsmith bandsaws are pretty good too I’ve been told.

If you don’t have a standard you’re holding the saw to because you’ve
never used a fine bandsaw, you’re at a disadvantage because you
may not know how nicely a bandsaw can run.

I wouldn’t expect any home center to carry a benchtop bandsaw capable
of fine precision work without a lot of modification. Most I’ve looked at
in recent years has glaring compromises made in the fit and finish to
meet a price point.

View Delta356's profile


463 posts in 2270 days

#6 posted 06-24-2011 02:22 AM

I say go with a 14”, they can convert to make the saw have a bigger re-saw, or left along in your case. Whats nice you’ll get better quality in a 14” than the smaller models.

Here’s a great 14” bandsaw, Made buy Delta. In my opinion the best 14” out there.

Thanks, Michael Frey
Portland, OR


View mchuray's profile


81 posts in 2414 days

#7 posted 06-24-2011 02:39 AM

Are you sure you want a band saw? While I have a 14” Shop Fox and like it very much. It seems that for the kind of work you are doing you need a good scroll saw. I recently got an Excaliber EX-21 and am very impressed by the quality of cut and precision that I can get with it. For the kind of work that you described you may want to look at some of the scroll saws. I can make a much cleaner, straighter cut with the scroll saw than the band saw. Also the cut is so clean that I really don’t need to sand the saw ridges out of the edge. Now if you want to do resawing that is a different story, and you need the largest saw you can afford. Also the band saw is really a tinkers delight. You really have to tune it every time you change a blade. Scroll saws have come along way since the old Dremel with power take off. Just some thoughts to keep in mind.

View hab's profile


6 posts in 1946 days

#8 posted 06-24-2011 12:33 PM

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I looked into a Scroll saw, but decided on the Craftman 10” bandsaw. The Scroll didn’t seem right for cutting objects taller than a couple of inches.


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