band saws

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Forum topic by maineman posted 02-20-2012 02:46 PM 2015 views 1 time favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 2544 days

02-20-2012 02:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: band saw bandsaw resawing recommendations advice

I’m looking to purchase a band saw and am looking for recommendations. I know my fellow Lumberjocks have plenty of experience and knowledge so I am hoping for some good advice. I presently have a 10 inch bench top model that has served me well however there’s no way I can resaw any thing with accuracy and it’s now a very old cheap saw to begin with (think i bought it in the late 80’s). I’ve done a fair amount of reading but there’s nothing like first hand knowledge. Seems as though a good 14 inch model would do me well but not sure at this point. Primary use would be patterns out for various projects and some resawing/ripping of stock averaging 3 to 4 inches thick.Thanks in advance

-- Marc, Maine

27 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3310 days

#1 posted 02-20-2012 02:58 PM

I have 2 bandsaws and use each of them quite a bit. One bandsaw is an 18” with a 3/4 blade. I use that saw, almost exclusively, for resawing and other straight line cuts. The second bandsaw is an 11” with a Carter Stablizer and a 3/16” blade. It is perfect for the curvy stuff. I think using 2 different bandsaws for 2 different types of work is a great strategy.

The Carter Stabilizer is great. Check the videos at the Carter website. If you could put a Carter Stabilizer on your bench top saw, then you could focus on resawing and straight line cuts on the other bandsaw (i.e. a bigger and more powerful saw).

Many of us ask our bandsaws to do 2 very different types of tasks. When we try to find a bandsaw for both types of tasks, some compromise is required.

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

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3158 days

#2 posted 02-20-2012 03:19 PM

I have a GO555 with a riser from Grizzly and like it. I only use it to resaw, so I have 1/2” “woodslicer” blade on it.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View unisaw2's profile


209 posts in 3271 days

#3 posted 02-20-2012 03:22 PM

Ditto what Rich said. I also have 2 bandsaws set up for complete different uses. A larger 18” saw with a 1/2” skip tooth blade mainly for resawing, and another 14” bandsaw with smaller blades for tight curves small detail cuts.

Below is my smaller 14” bandsaw set up with a 1/8”(?) blade and zero clearance table, cutting small quarter inlay fans. The small inlay is hot melt glued to a hand hold block for safety. I could do this with the larger saw but it is a completely different setup.

Assuming you have the room and the money I would get your smaller bandsaw perfectly tuned for smaller work, and look at a larger saw for resawing and cutting bigger stuff.

-- JJ - Northern Illinois

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2911 days

#4 posted 02-20-2012 03:26 PM

Ditto what these guys are saying. Why compromise when you are already half way there. Tune up the old smaller saw and look for a larger saw from one of the better companies. Look for a saw that will handle the larger blades….like a 1” width. Keep us posted on your decision

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2929 days

#5 posted 02-20-2012 03:29 PM

^I’ll chime in a bit. Watch out for blade length on whatever saw you buy. If you buy a common saw Grizzly, JET, PM, Rikon, etc., saw blades are readily available at typical lengths. I’ve got an older bandsaw that required custom blades. It’s not so much the cost; it’s the waiting and waiting…. I think a 14” saw that has an optional riser kit is a nice way to go. I think your budget will do most of the deciding for you. I know a lot of people with the Powermatic 14 who are quite happy. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View maineman's profile


26 posts in 2544 days

#6 posted 02-20-2012 03:54 PM

Thanks for all the quick replies so far, great information and I like the idea of having two saws set up for different operations especially since I have the room. The 10 inch I have is a Craftsman, blades are readily available and it runs fine but has limited capabilities hence the need for something a bi more substantial

-- Marc, Maine

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2929 days

#7 posted 02-20-2012 03:57 PM

I hear you, Marc. My big machine is dedicated to resaw. It’s a 20” saw and I usually run a 3/4 or 1” blade, so changing the blades is not something I look forward to. I had a 10” benchtop that I planned to use as you describe but it got killed in a cross country move. I sure wish I had mine and I would definitely recommend that you keep yours, whatever you decide to buy. It’s nice to have a little bandsaw just waiting to cut a curve.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View rkober's profile


137 posts in 2528 days

#8 posted 02-20-2012 04:05 PM

I got a 19” Grizzly last year and really enjoy it. However I can see the validity of two saws, as others have, since changing blades is a pain. Also consider what saws are popular when you go to buy parts and add-ons (blades, zero clearance inserts, guides, etc.). I believe it’s the Delta 14” that you see a lot of parts for that makes it easier to customize for what your doing.

-- Ray - Spokane, WA - “Most people don’t recognize opportunity because it’s usually disguised as hard work.” - Unknown

View jdmaher's profile


440 posts in 2815 days

#9 posted 02-20-2012 05:01 PM

I don’t have a band saw, and now you say I need two?

I LIKE this idea!

I use a jigsaw when I need to cut curves, but there’s a limit on depth of cut and not much accuracy. And I just don’t resaw at all – since I really can’t. And I’ve been reluctant to buy a smaller saw (for curves), then maybe a riser, then look forward to changing blades. Been thinking it through for years now, and doing without.

But maybe I could get a used. smaller saw (and maybe that Carter stabilizer). Then beg a lot around Christmas time and maybe get a Grizzly 17” for resawing. Put ‘em both on mobile bases in the garage. I’m getting excited already.

So, what’s a good smaller saw that I can probably find used? I won’t be over-taxing it. Casework, mostly. Pretty gentle curves, usually, and occasional cuts that are easier on a band saw than the tablesaw. What do you think?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View lazyoakfarm's profile


144 posts in 3033 days

#10 posted 02-20-2012 05:02 PM

I have the Go555P from Grizzly with the riser and carter spring and so far its been good. If I were to do it again, I think I would go with something a little more robust. Not that I have had any real issues, I have only had it for a couple of months. I’m just afraid that I may have under bought. Love my Grizzly planer and Jointer, I just think I was too budget minded when I got the band saw and drill press. I like the 2 saw idea. How far away is Christmas?

View RogerM's profile


799 posts in 2635 days

#11 posted 02-20-2012 06:09 PM

I have a 14 inch deluxe Ricon and have excellent service from it. Coupled with a premium blade such as the Highlands Hardware woodslicer or the Timber wolf 2/3 TPI or 4 TPI this is a lot of saw for a reasonable price.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View maineman's profile


26 posts in 2544 days

#12 posted 02-20-2012 10:03 PM

I guess I’m down to a couple of manufacturers at this point based on what I’ve read for all of you plus what I’m able to garner off the site on previous responses. Rikon and Grizzly, now it’s a matter of which model I choose. I wish money was not a problem but like everyone else we want the most for our hard earned dollars. I’ll probably spend a bit more to make sure I buy the right one the first time. it will be a 14 inch since a riser can be added if I need the additional height down the road.

-- Marc, Maine

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2548 days

#13 posted 02-20-2012 10:34 PM

Whatever you decide, keep back a few bucks for cool blocks, or something like them. Also, my BS is the tool most happy on a mobile base, most of the time it sits against the wall, but being tall and squarish, it is easy to spin it out into what might be generously considered my aisle, to run long stock thru.

That two machine thing is intriguing, seems like I always have the wrong blade in. although- a 3/8 inch band is actually not that bad for a short resaw job, if you go slow.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3431 days

#14 posted 02-20-2012 10:45 PM


I’ll add a vote for the Rikon 10-325 Deluxe 14” BS. I have had mine for a couple of years. Whichever one you end up with you will want good blades as seems like most new band saws come with crap blades.

I have had excellent performance and service from 1/4”, 1/2”, and 3/4” Timberwolf blades but, many prefer the Woodslicers also.

Like Rich Greer I am on the lookout for a heavy duty 18” or larger BS for resawing large timbers.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View maineman's profile


26 posts in 2544 days

#15 posted 02-20-2012 11:15 PM

Yes, I agree that all the band saws come with lousy blades and the first thing to do is change it out. Timberwolf seems to be the most mentioned.

I also like the Rikon saw, wish I could go into a store and kick the tires so to speak. I’ll have to see if anyone around me has one or a shop that carries it. I have a Woodcraft nearby and know they carry the Rikon brand but not sure if they’ll have the 325 on the floor.

Thanks for your input, well worth hearing your opinions.


-- Marc, Maine

showing 1 through 15 of 27 replies

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