Buying A Bandsaw

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by chrisc posted 04-22-2008 05:19 PM 15470 views 1 time favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View chrisc's profile


19 posts in 3892 days

04-22-2008 05:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw grizzly laguna

First, thank you for the warm welcome to Lumberjocks!

I am about to buy a bandsaw. I know this topic has been discussed in many threads. Over the past few days, I have searched here on LumberJocks, and other forums including Fine woodworking, and Grizzly seems to get very positive ratings from most people.

As mentioned in previous posts, Grizzly just won best value from FWW while Laguna was best overall.

A little background on me and what I am trying to do. First, I only have a few hours a week,at most, to enjoy woodworking and will probably never be able to do more than 10 hours a week – even when retired. I use hadntools a lot and can joint edges by hand, if necessary. I mention this because I would like to use the bandsaw for resawing, curves and ripping in place of a table saw – i am flexible here but would at least try this before buying a table saw.

i would like to buy one saw that I can keep for a very long time. I feel confident that if I bought the Laguna, I would be buying a top saw and would be happy – but I hate wasting money and I am not convinced that the extra expense is worth it. the baldor motor does add value imho.

So, that leads me to the new 14” Grizzly. I don’t need a huge saw and I think this probably fits my needs. The truth is, though, that the reason I am focussed on this model (G0457) is that it was written up in FWW. If they chose the 17” or 19” model, I would be looking at that one. Seems a little random to me.

Any suggestions about how to make a selection with all of the models out there?

Thanks, Chris

-- Chris

38 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4028 days

#1 posted 04-22-2008 07:08 PM

Hi Chris,

You are right in that this has come up several times. In general with Grizzley, Powermatic, Jet. Laguna, Delta at the 14” or greater size you are getting a quality saw irrespective of the brand. I happen to own a Powermatic and am completely satisfied with the saw. But I just happen to like Powermatic tools. Two things I would strongly suggest you consider, irrespective of the brand, is to get a riser block and toss the blade that comes with the saw. Get a Timberwolf or Woodslicer blade for your saw. Either of these is a great performer. You will need a 1/4” blade for general use and a 3/4” blade if you do any resaw work. With a riser block you will need a larger blade. For instance my Powermatic comes standard with a 95 1/2” blade but with the riser block it has to use a 105” one.

Hope this helps.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 3984 days

#2 posted 04-22-2008 07:26 PM

Welcome aboard!

The GO457 is the same model I have on my wish list. They don’t make a riser block for this saw but it has a 10” cutting height and resaw fence out of the box. The 2hp motor should be plenty strong enough to handle anything you throw at it. I currently own a Grizzly cabinet saw, dust collector, and 8” jointer and have been extremely happy with these.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10334 posts in 4258 days

#3 posted 04-22-2008 08:20 PM

I have the G0555 w/ entender block… like it.

Laguna is the Cadillac of the bunch, for sure…

I’d call the Grizzly G0555 more like a good Chevy / Ford… in comparison…

They both get you from one place to another…

If you are looking to resaw sheets 12”++ in height, I would suggest thinking past the Chevy/Ford level… & into the Mercury class++ getting what your budget can stand w/o being stretched too far… like a 17”+ tool.

Also remember… the bigger the saw, the more expensive the blades get… because they’re longer! :)

A friend of mine has the Grizzly 17” machine and really likes it…

BTW… W E L C O M E . . . A B O A R D !!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View chrisc's profile


19 posts in 3892 days

#4 posted 04-22-2008 10:15 PM

Thanks for the replies. I really like the idea of getting a great value more than getting the best saw at any cost. I am concerned, however, that I buy one thinking that it’s a good value and find out later that I saved money but didn’t get what I wanted.

Bottom line, this input is really valuable – it makes me think that the Grizz may be the right one.

i was concerned about the blade size until I saw that I can get a 1/2” wood slicer stock or a timberwolf to fit.

I will keep looking but I am getting closer.

Thanks again – all other comments are welcomed.

-- Chris

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 4021 days

#5 posted 04-22-2008 11:29 PM

I have the GO555 too, it’s great band saw. their customer service is better than anyone’s I’ve ever dealt with. They are american when you call and when you email they get back to you in less than 24 hours.
The only problem i’ve had with mine is that 2 of the bearings, a thrust and a guide, froze up. It was no problem to order and replace.
and as for blade size, they use the standard 93 1/2.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4005 days

#6 posted 04-23-2008 12:12 AM

I have a powermatic 14” with a riser block. I looked at Grizzly 17” and Laguna and in the end chose this saw because the Laguna was just too much money and did not go with Grizz because in the end, I don’t see resawing more than 10” or so. The only real advantage to going with a larger saw to me is the resaw capacity.

The Powermatic has an advantage int hat it co,es stock with starter guides and tension. Any saw I would have gotten like Jet or Delta would have made me want to add that later and in the end would have cost more. To me, carter guides can make almost any saw a great saw.. but at a price.

Secret to me is having a big enough resaw capacity, a motor big enough to do the jobs I need and a great guide and tension system.

-- making sawdust....

View chrisc's profile


19 posts in 3892 days

#7 posted 04-23-2008 04:46 PM

I just thought of another question that I would like to hear comments about. Laguna makes a big deal about their guides and they are different. Are they really that good? And if so, is it worth the extra cost for this saw, given that the saw is so highly recommended?



-- Chris

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3943 days

#8 posted 04-24-2008 02:15 AM

Chris, I have a Minimax 24” bandsaw and used to have their 20”. If you are really planning on doing a bit of resawing, I recommend you purchase a 20” or bigger. The larger diameter wheels extend the life of the blade. The reason I bought a Minimax is because the frame is very strong and can handle the pressures needed to get proper tension on the blade. I believe Laguna is now making some better saws than they used to. I also recommend you use carbide toothed bandsaw blades to get longevity and great cuts. As far as Laguna guides, I have a set of their ceramic guides on the 24” Minimax and they really work great. They quiet the saw down a lot and will extend the life of the blade. The blades do not get hot. Granted, these bigger saws do cost more, but they are worth it in the long run. John

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4005 days

#9 posted 04-24-2008 02:45 AM

the Laguna guides are great. so is the carters. Each have their pros and cons

-- making sawdust....

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3897 days

#10 posted 04-24-2008 10:58 PM

don’t have a band saw but a hearty welcome enjoy

pommy aka andy

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View chrisc's profile


19 posts in 3892 days

#11 posted 05-27-2008 05:20 PM

41468.81 in reply to 41468.80

It was a tough decision so thank you to everyone here for the great input and advice.

I placed my order for a Minimax E16 bandsaw last week. It came down to four manufacturers: Felder, Minimax, Laguna and Grizzly. I was able to see the minimax MM16 in a home shop referred to me by Minimax and speak with an owner of the E16. I also visited the Wilmington, DE Felder office and saw the N4400. Grizzly supplied two mailing addresses within 1.5 hours of my house (no phone or email – and I did not follow up with snailmail) and Laguna was unable to find an owner close by, so I did not see machines from either manufacturer. laguna does have a show in Richmond in June and I had planned to see their saws there.

In reading through the comments on this site, and Finewoodworking, I thought the quality of all the machines I was looking at was similar. However, I did favor the Italian built machines over the Taiwanese machines and was a little suspicious of the Bulgarian made Laguna – this is purely a feeling and really played very little in my decision.

In the end, minimax came through with a great price and threw in a miter gauge. The mobility kit is standard as is the footbrake with micro switch. They also reduced shipping costs; the E16 won out.

Grizzly does not offer a footbrake with micro switch on their 17 inch model and neither does the N440. The N4400 was the most expensive of the bunch – but has the largest motor.

To make my decision, I compared the bandsaws head-to-head on a spreadsheet. I priced out the options and used ordinal values for things like euro-mobility kits versus standard after-market mobility kits. This method gave me a final delivered price and a relative ranking for each machine. Obviously, many of the rankings were based on my personal perceived value of the item.

I was impressed with all of the people I dealt with at all four companies and felt like any of the machines would have been a good purchase.

I am having an electrician run a 220 line to my garage – this week – and should be up and running this weekend.

Thanks again!

-- Chris

View Amir1234's profile


4 posts in 3585 days

#12 posted 02-23-2009 04:12 PM

Hi Chris, hope you are still active on this site. Now that you have had your E16 bandsaw for almost a year. How do you rate it? I am interested in being able to cut stright lines (Resaw) easily and quickly. And of course, ease of adjustments, such as blade change, tension, guides, etc. Is it stright forward and quick, or is it like my 14” Delta that…...........................


View chrisc's profile


19 posts in 3892 days

#13 posted 02-25-2009 10:29 PM

Hi Amir,

In fact, I do not have the E16. Here’s the story. I did receive it and did test it. It does cut well. There were several issues that I discussed with the sales rep; they ultimately agreed to take it back. My mistake was to order the E16 and not the MM16. MiniMax as a company, both the sales rep and the home office people were great. Very responsive and helpful. If I had bought the MM16 – i would still have it.

Part of my trouble with the E16 was related to expectations; e.g., I wanted the doors to open independently, as advertised, and they actually do not. Another problem was that part of my analysis was based on the hypothesis that, all things being equal, heavier bandsaws are better than lighter ones. The weight listed on the sight was off by over 100lbs. The fence was not exactly square – they agreed to send me a new one. There were other issues that I cannot really remember.

The bottom line is this, at $1,700 with shipping, which is what I think I paid, I thought I had over paid and was frustrated that I did not get exactly what I thought i was getting. I had done a lot of research and, being a numbers guy, compared all of the contenders on a spreasheet. The E16 won – based on some bad information.

Despite all of this, the saw is pretty good and may still have been a good choice for my 1/2 garage woodshop.

I had a delta 14” previously – you cannot even compare them. It’s really night and day. Resawing was easy – I used a 1/2” woodslicer. You’ll need to build a resaw fence. I love the european guides! Overall, a very good saw, but over priced. If you have space – look at the MM16.

I ended up with the Grizzly GO514X2. For the money, pretty good saw. I like many of the features. I do not like the guides. The resaw fence, in theory, is a great idea, but mine was not flat. They sent me another one without objections. Again, service is excellent at Grizzly – but I have had to call more than once.

If I had it to do again – I would spend the money to get the best.

i am happy to speak with you about this further, if you like.


-- Chris

View Amir1234's profile


4 posts in 3585 days

#14 posted 03-19-2009 03:22 PM


Thanks much for your reply, and how timely it was that I read it today. I was almost ready to order!!

I have also been researching those same brands, plus Agazzani. I was down to GO514×2, MM E16 and the Laguna 3000 series. I went to Grizzly show room in PA. The saw looked good, but a little sloppy and a bit bumpy, no nickle test needed. They said it was because of the mobile base! Agazzani is a mystery, there isn’t enough information on it. I called one of the resources they had listed, while they did not give a bad review, they didn’t sound that enthusiastic either.

I looked at the Hammer brand, and it did look a bit on the light side. I suspect the E16 is the same.

So, the question is, if you didn’t have the extra cash (like me) to go for the best, would you still buy any of these? Or would you try to live with your 14” Delta.

How do you like your saw? Is the drift adjustment easy with the change of blade?................

Thanks Much


View dandydon's profile


1 post in 3222 days

#15 posted 02-22-2010 10:20 AM

Amir and Chris,

Though these posting are rather old, I am in the market for a new band saw and wanted to know which saws you both finally purchased, why, and are you satisfied with your purchases? I’m hoping enough time has elapsed since this last posted message for both of you to have made your purchases and know if you feel you made the right decisions. Needless to say, like you, it’s been overwhelming trying to decide which saw to purchase.



showing 1 through 15 of 38 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