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Which bandsaw 14 inch bandsaw: Powermatic or Jet...

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Forum topic by mlindegarde posted 03-06-2012 08:56 PM 4365 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mlindegarde

49 posts in 1725 days


03-06-2012 08:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw question opinion powermatic jet

I’m going to be purchasing a bandsaw in the near future and I’m looking for a little input as to which model to go with. At this point I’ve narrowed it down to these two:

- Powermatic PWBS-14CS
- Jet JWBS-14DXPR

I believe they both have the same parent company, so I’d expect customer service issues to be a toss up. I originally had every intention of going with the powermatic, but the specific Jet I mentioned above has me impressed with some of its features. Here are the basic differences I see:

Powermatic
- Comes with a fence, work light, and chip blower
- Slightly larger work surface
- 1.5 HP motor (vs. 1.25 for Jet)
- Carter quick release lever

Jet
- Essentially has the raiser block built in
- Brush on lower wheel
- The motor is on top of the base making all of the space inside of the base usable for storage
- Blade tracking window
- 2 speed motor (1500 and 3000)
- $999 (vs. $1199 for Powermatic)

It seems that both have cast iron wheels and a 4 inch dust port. I’d have to buy an after market fence (Jet or Kreg) and miter gauge for the Jet, so the price is really about the same.

Does anyone have either of these saws or just have any input in general? I’ve considered the Grizzily G0555, but I prefer to buy locally. Thanks in advance.


18 replies so far

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

184 posts in 1612 days


#1 posted 03-06-2012 10:09 PM

First off, note that Jet is on sale at Woodcraft (everywhere else, too?) at 15% off through almost the end of March. Not certain, but Powermatic may also be on sale with the same deal. Some machines are not included in the sale, so do your homework before you embarass yourself.

To the point: judging by online review there have been a lot of problems with the Powermatic in terms of the riser block. Not all have reported a problem, but the hint of something as important as accuracy was enough for me to give the Jet a hard look. You’ll give up some power with the Jet, but you will be dodging the aforementioned problem. A fence I can make, so for me the choice was easy: Jet. My saw is on order, and so I have a couple of weeks to think of a way to sneak that monster into the house and have a back-up story along the lines of “gosh, honey, I’ve always had this saw – you must have forgotten seeing it.”

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2342 days


#2 posted 03-06-2012 10:47 PM

Make your own fence and save the money. I wasted over $100 on my aftermarket fence.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6938 posts in 1568 days


#3 posted 03-06-2012 10:55 PM

And WC also has the Rikon 14in Deluxe on sale for $799. It has ALL of those same features that the OP listed, except $400 less expensive than the Powermatic and $200 less than the Jet.

I have the Rikon going on two years and love it. Spending much time resawing 7-9in Ash and Maple using a TimberWolf 3/4in 3TPI blade. It does not miss a beat. Research it on LJs, you will find several folks who can give you their opinions as well. This Rikon resaws up to 13in WITHOUT the need for any extender block (steel frame all the way).

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7556 posts in 2302 days


#4 posted 03-06-2012 11:18 PM

If you’re looking at spending a grand, I recommend
looking at steel framed saws.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View KenBry's profile

KenBry

449 posts in 1101 days


#5 posted 03-07-2012 01:10 AM

If you get the onyx powermatic, it comes with the riser for the same price as the gold. There are still several onyx around. If they are throwing in wheels on the bottom thats $120 savings normally the wheels arn’t part of the package.

Not real sure but the power matic has upper and lower bearing guides. I think the jet might not.
I have seen the gold version on craigslist for 700.
I have the onyx and love it. The fence that comes with it is good enough and works well for my needs.
Oh and one thing that made me go with the powermatic was the light. I put an LED bulb in it and it stays cool

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View MoshupTrail's profile

MoshupTrail

292 posts in 1135 days


#6 posted 03-07-2012 01:24 AM

Jet or Powermatic? I like the Rikon. HorizonalMike has it right. I love my Rikon. It runs smooth and accurate, and re-saws 12” (never went that much myself) without the hassle of a riser block. Uses a 111” blade. My only complaint: some of the adjustments for tension and centering the blade on the upper wheel are a bit squirrely.
Another thing I’ve found – good blades make a HUGE difference – maybe a bigger difference than the saw itself. If you plan on resawing dry wood, get a Wood Slicer from Highland. For slabbing wet logs just use a 5/8” 3TPI brute of some kind. But wow! I love that Wood Slicer.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View mlindegarde's profile

mlindegarde

49 posts in 1725 days


#7 posted 03-07-2012 01:49 AM

@fuigb
Thanks for letting me know Woodcraft has them (or some of them) on sale. It seems like you came to the same conclusion I’m leaning towards

@HorizontalMike & MoshupTrail
Thanks for suggesting the Rinkon. At the moment I don’t know much about it. I’ll have to investigate. The Jet I’m looking at has 12 inch resaw capability out of the box. It’s one reason I’m leaning towards it over the Powermatic.

@Loren
Can you recommend any steel framed saws?

@KenBry
Actually, I placed an order for the Onyx Powermatic only to get a call the following day telling me that Powermatic is now out of them. That is the saw I wanted. If you know a place I can buy it, please share. If you go to http://www.powermatic90.com/ and click the “Buy Now” link, all of those resources are now out of stock. Amazon.com still has one, but I’m not paying extra $200 extra for a color (although I really really did want it in black).

Oh, and both the Jet and Powermatic have upper and lower bearing guides. Thanks for all of the input so far. I’m going to head to Woodcraft later this week to see what I can in person. I’ll investigate the Rinkon and see what it’s all about.

View Schoey's profile

Schoey

23 posts in 2129 days


#8 posted 03-07-2012 02:27 AM

I was at Highland last weekend and I ordered a new Rikon 10-325. $799 + free Woodslicer. After years of looking at them and comparing them to their competition, I feel very comfortable with my purchase. I feel Jet is going down the same road as Delta. I read more and more negative remarks on both. Their quality does not match their price. After my last two Delta purchases I will never be fooled by them again.

View woodman88's profile

woodman88

116 posts in 1303 days


#9 posted 03-07-2012 03:00 AM

I also have the Rikon about a year now and love it I would check it out and it is onsale at WC

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7556 posts in 2302 days


#10 posted 03-07-2012 03:12 AM

The steel framed saws like the Rikon will run wider blades. Wider
blades can have fewer TPI and that means they can rip (resaw)
thicker stock better.

If you are serious about resawing, get a saw designed for it. The
14” cast-iron saws can do it, but they are much fussier to
set up for it and can only run narrower blades. The wider
blades have more beam strength front—to-back under tension
which helps control or eliminate “fishtailing” which leads
to bellied cuts in thicker stock. Bellied cuts ruin expensive
boards and will make you hate resawing.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View mlindegarde's profile

mlindegarde

49 posts in 1725 days


#11 posted 03-07-2012 03:25 AM

@Loren

I’m going to give the Rikon some serious consideration. However, at this point my priority is using the band saw for cutting curves. I intend to make some larger scale toys and bracket feet for furniture: things that are just too big for scroll saws.

With that said, it makes sense to me to get a bandsaw that also excels at resawing.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7556 posts in 2302 days


#12 posted 03-07-2012 03:30 AM

Look at 18” and larger saws for excellence in resawing. The
exception is the Hitachi resaw which has 14” wheels but
runs 3” wide blades.

As a practical matter, resawing anything wider than 5 or 6 inches
is a demanding task and not much fun on a saw not designed
to run wide blades. I recommend ripping wide boards down
to 4”-6” width if resawn timber is wanted, resawing, then
jointing the boards again. It is way easier to do it this way than
mess with the striving and frustration of trying to cut a wide
board on a saw not designed specifically for the work, which
the cast-iron saws, despite the availablity of riser blocks, are not.
The frames are not stuff enough and the wheels and tension
systems are not designed for it.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Sawdust4Blood's profile

Sawdust4Blood

348 posts in 1676 days


#13 posted 03-07-2012 03:46 AM

Back in November the wife bought me the Powermatic Onyx for our anniversary. It came with the riser block and also includes the lower wheel brush that you mentioned on Jet. The riser block installed in less than 30 minutes and allows for resawing to slightly above 12 inches. While you definitely pay a premium for PM, the good side is that it pretty much comes fully loaded with upper and lower bearing guides, Carter quick release on the tension, the light, a blower to keep the cut line clear of dust, and others. Mine was a piece of cake to set up by myself and all adjustments were quick and true in no time. The upper mount motor and add’l storage below will be a bonus if you have a shop where the saw stays in one place all the time. I work in my garage and have to wheel machines from the edge to center when I’m working and back to the edge when I am done so the wife can put her car in the garage. The extra weight down below is an advantage in keeping the center of gravity down when you’re wheelin’ it around. Dust collection was above average if connected to a suitable volume collector. The fence is okay, though not what you’d call precision and you’ll probably want to attach a taller auxiliary fence if you want to resaw larger widths. I’d be happy to answer any other questions you have that I might have missed.

-- Greg, Severn MD

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mlindegarde

49 posts in 1725 days


#14 posted 03-07-2012 03:52 PM

@Sawdust4Blood
The Powermatic Onyx is what I wanted and tried to buy: only to find out Powermatic is out of them. I like that it comes with the upgrades that you mentioned. Certainly a plus for that saw.

@All
Thanks for all of the input. At this point I think I’m looking at the Powermatic or the Rinkon. I’ve more or less dropped the Jet as an option. If resawing was my number one concern I think the Rinkon would probably be the way to go. However, I’m more interested in making curved cuts than resawing (although some resawing will happen I’m sure)....

I’m going to have to go check out the Rinkon in person this weekend.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2833 posts in 1897 days


#15 posted 03-07-2012 06:39 PM

Since they are all made in China, I don’t see having any problems with any of them, other than being made in China.

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