Band saw advice

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Forum topic by JamesG79 posted 09-21-2011 12:32 PM 1767 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 2615 days

09-21-2011 12:32 PM

So I need to get a band saw cheap and quick. I’m on a budget of no more than $400. I’ve shopped craigslist for a couple months now and what I’ve found is junk or way overpriced. So far I’ve found a model at HF I can pick up for $280 and I know a riser is available. I also found a Porter Cable at Lowes for $320 but I haven’t found any info on riser block availability or on that will fit it. I’d look at the Ridgid but being HD doesn’t carry that in store anymore I can’t use my 20% off coupon towards it. Does anyone know of any other saws that might fit my need? I did find a Steel City for $429 but by the time I buy a riser I’m over $500.

12 replies so far

View dustprocrastinator's profile


76 posts in 2855 days

#1 posted 09-21-2011 02:30 PM

Why do you need riser blocks, are you planning on doing a lot of resawing? I currently own the craftman’s 12 inch band saw and it has a resawing capacity of about 7 inches with out riser blocks. Their are no riser blocks for the unit, since it is a welded solid frame. For the money the band saw is not a bad deal, but it does have an irregular blade length that you can only get at Sears. Needless to say the Sears/Craftsman’s brand is not what it used to be. The band saw only has a 3/4 HP motor, therefore some heavy duty cuts can bog it down, for example when I was trying to cut through some laminated tatajoba that was 6.75 inches thick. I hope I was of some help if you have any more specific questions about the saw feel free to ask and you might want to check out Grizzly tools, I have no experience with their tools but most people seem to think they are a good deal.

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23 posts in 2615 days

#2 posted 09-21-2011 02:54 PM

I do want the ability to resaw boards. A lot of the rough lumber I buy is 6-9 inches across. Currently I just plane down to thickness which is expensive and wasting a lot of good lumber. I’m also looking at the riser right off the bat so I don’t have to buy blades twice. I’m liking the PC due to it having a 1 1/2hp motor. Just wish I knew about the riser for it. Some googling hasn’t been much help so far. I am calling their support line this morning also to verify. Grizzly would again put me way over budget because of shipping costs.

View mrg's profile


834 posts in 3169 days

#3 posted 09-21-2011 05:51 PM

James I think the Porter Cable is the same as the Delta saw that Lowes was selling just different paint. I lookedcat them side by side and they were identical. Remember Delta and Porter Cable were the same company till a few months ago. Call Carter they would be able to tell you what will fit the Porter Cable. I have an American Band Saw that is the same as a Jet all the jet parts ffit and it’s the same model number as the Jet.

Lots of luck and keep us posted.

-- mrg

View JamesG79's profile


23 posts in 2615 days

#4 posted 09-21-2011 06:02 PM

I called PC this morning and they have no riser for this band saw. I asked about the Delta compatibility and they said it wouldn’t work. :-(

View ShaneA's profile


7043 posts in 2767 days

#5 posted 09-21-2011 07:08 PM

Usually i would say keep looking on CL. But a brief scan had bleak results. You maylook at grizzly. All of their models should be upgradeable over time.

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3401 days

#6 posted 09-21-2011 11:53 PM

I have the previous model HF. If you can get it for $280.00, the riser is about $60.00. No matter the saw you get, figure new blades with a riser. Even the kits that come with blades, they more often than not stink…

2 other must do mods to almost all band saws is a link belt, and cool blocks. Both are cheap to do. And would keep you well within your budget. I use the snot out of mine, and the things I fussed about with mine are fixed on the new model…

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View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3817 days

#7 posted 09-22-2011 01:16 AM

Resawing is a drag without a seriously beafy saw, imo.

If resawing for veneers, I recommend ripping the stock to
2.5”-4” wide and resawing those pieces. Resawn wood
often cups anyways, so the idea that you must have a
big resaw capacity and it will get you out of ripping and
jointing and all that is a fallacy. The boards usually come
off the saw with all sorts of tension you have to correct

Resawing wide boards is also no fun. It takes awhile and
you have to be very focused and sometimes the blade
bows and messes up your boards.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2802 days

#8 posted 09-22-2011 01:25 AM

You might call around to every Home Depot within an acceptable driving distance and see if they have a Ridgid in stock. They are blowing them out for $200 in many locations. I picked one up last weekend. The Grizzly riser block reportedly fits like a glove for $70.

View mrg's profile


834 posts in 3169 days

#9 posted 09-22-2011 01:26 AM

Home Depot has the Rdgid for $369 +tax & free shipping. Google searched.

Harbor freights is 4 speed and not a bad price. Looks like mine and the Jet.

-- mrg

View JamesG79's profile


23 posts in 2615 days

#10 posted 09-22-2011 06:45 AM

dbhost – I just read your blog on hot rodding the HF band saw. Great write up! Your shop looks fantastic! Good to hear that people are having good luck with the HF saw. The price is nice. I’m looking very seriously at this.

Loren – Thanks for the heads up on re-sawing.

Tedstor – I called all over and all the HD’s in driving distance are sold out :( Would have been sweet to grab one of those for $200.

mrg – I happened to see the free shipping today while digging. It’s definitely back on the options list.

View JamesG79's profile


23 posts in 2615 days

#11 posted 09-22-2011 03:05 PM

What would something like this be worth? What are things to look out for with a saw of this vintage?

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23 posts in 2615 days

#12 posted 09-25-2011 08:43 PM

After spending some time weighing my options I ended up going with the HF band saw. I was torn between it and the Ridgid. The HF won because of the following: price, I liked the motor under the saw, 1 hp vs 3/4 hp. I got it assembled last night and should have it all tuned up tonight. This really looks like a great budget bandsaw. I’ll post a review of it soon.

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