Band Saw Advice

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Forum topic by Stupe posted 11-06-2012 09:26 PM 3082 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Stupe's profile


9 posts in 2230 days

11-06-2012 09:26 PM

I am a long time reader (I love this site) but this is my first post.
I am getting back into the woodworking hobby after about 20 years away and have been slowly outfitting my shop. Next on my list is a band saw. I know this has probably been discussed at least a ba-gillion times, and I did use the review search function, but I couldn’t find much on what I was looking for.

Although money is not the sole determining factor, I am cost conscious and definitely don’t want to break the bank – especially since I am just (re)starting out. My plan was to keep it under 700 bucks or so.

I was at first looking at just purchasing the Porter Cable 14 inch at Lowes but I am not finding much on it and that kind of scares me. It does have a 1.5hp motor which I like and it is 449.00, which I like even more. Other than that it doesn’t look too fancy

But then I saw the Rikon 10-325 on sale at Woodcraft for 799.00 AND a 100 dollar gift card. Also, the Rikon comes with a fence and a 1.5hp motor as well. It also has a much larger re-saw capability. I was about ready to pull the trigger on the Rikon, but started reading reviews and although people seem to like the saw, everyone (even seemingly experienced folks) say what a pain in the rear it is to change/adjust the blades. Given that I am such a noob, this scared me.

As far as my usage intentions, they will start out pretty basic as I learn as I go. Pretty much just small projects at first and basic furniture. I do see myself doing some re-sawing, but nothing too extreme. I really want something that I can grow in to as well.

So, now I am torn and I hope that some of you experienced folks can help guide me to enlightenment.

I am open for other brands, and have heard great things about Grizzly, but I really wanted to buy from a brick and morter store in case I have probelms.

Thank you in advance for any insight.

18 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2489 days

#1 posted 11-06-2012 09:29 PM

A few things you might want to edit the post to include are: What type of work do you plan for the BS to do? What type of wood will you be using? Do you plan to resaw? How much and how large do you want to resaw?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4026 days

#2 posted 11-06-2012 09:40 PM

I own two band saw and bought one direct from Grizzly on a Black Fri. sale and the other slightly used off of Craigslist. I would most diffidently shop around on Craigslist first it could save you a few hundred bucks. Just my thoughts good luck on your B.S. purchase….BC

View Stupe's profile


9 posts in 2230 days

#3 posted 11-06-2012 09:46 PM

Thanks, RussellAP. I did the edit. Much I don’t know, such as what type of wood (probably an array of hardwoods)and how large I want to resaw.
I know that Rikon has a much greater resaw capacity and I like to think I will be using it. That said, I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Thanks again,

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2376 days

#4 posted 11-06-2012 09:46 PM

When looking a band saw , try to ask yourself a few questions :
What material will be cutting?
What shapes of material are being processed?
Blade and material sizing?
Is bundling important?
Is mitering necessary?
What production levels are needed?
- I read this somewhere in internet before and it helped me somehow in choosing the band saw that I really need.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2388 days

#5 posted 11-06-2012 10:25 PM

The PC can have 12” of resaw with an optional riser

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5128 posts in 4163 days

#6 posted 11-06-2012 10:32 PM

I just bought the Grizz 0555LX this year. I did not add the riser yet, but the saw has been a bargain. Good features at a great price. I did buy good blades from a local blade supplier.
Setup was easy (with some help lifting the saw unit), and the settings were very good right out of the box. There was some minor tweaking, but that’s to be expected.
I would suggest that ya look at it closely ‘cause I would certainly buy it again.


View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3174 days

#7 posted 11-06-2012 11:22 PM

Sears has a version of the 14” Rikon, the older one with 6” re-saw and no provision for a riser block, for less than $400. It varies, was $349 a couple of week ago, then $379 today. Pretty cheap for a decent saw.

But, if you think you might want to re-saw stuff in the future, I’d hold out for a 16” or 17” or a super 14” from Craigs List.

View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2831 days

#8 posted 11-07-2012 02:59 AM

That said, I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

and that’s the reason almost everyone choosing the 10-325 chooses the 10-325. i have a larger rikon (10-340) and can say, unequivocally, that their tools are very well built.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 3038 days

#9 posted 11-07-2012 03:23 AM

I don’t have either of these but based on what I can see on the Rikon I would not be inclined to buy it. I have a lower end delta bandsaw where the blade goes through the table the way the Rikon’s does and that often keeps me from changing the blade if I can help it in any way. I’d assume that is the issue you’re seeing and it would stop me from looking at it. It looks like they fixed the problem by not having the fence rail all the way across but the better solution is bring the blade in the side like most bandsaws especially since I prefer the fence to the right of the blade.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Stupe's profile


9 posts in 2230 days

#10 posted 11-09-2012 12:26 AM

Thank you all for your responses. I am sure that I am making way more of this than necessary…..especially since I am so inexperienced. I just want to make sure I am gettin the best bag for my buck and something I can grow in to. Probably whatever I get would suit me fine. I may just go ahead with the PC…but I also see the Craftsman now on sale for 3 hundred and change. No fence though (but neither does the PC). I read today that the same people who make Rikon also make Craftsman?
I have looked at CL for a couple of months but nothing in my area (east TN)
Heck, after Bill’s comment, I may look at the Grizzly after all.
derosa – I am not sure ewhat the blade change issues are specifically, only that it got negative reviews with regards to balde change.
Thank you all!!!

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2779 days

#11 posted 11-09-2012 12:45 AM

FWIW, the rikon is a killer deal with the sale and gift card. I’d not go for the PC. It’s just a rebadged delta that was just ok.
The grizzly G0555LX gets good reviews and is a heck of a saw too.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Stupe's profile


9 posts in 2230 days

#12 posted 11-09-2012 02:21 AM

Thanks, NiteWalker.
I am going to go with the Rikon and be done with it. It was my first instinct and I have done nothing but try to talk myself out of it. The only negative I have read is the blade change.
Thanks again to all!

View bryguy22's profile


38 posts in 2417 days

#13 posted 11-09-2012 03:14 AM

Like the others said, It depends what you are using it for but the 13in resaw is nice if you are going to be book matching boards or gang ripping large duplicate parts. I have a 12 inch bandsaw i use for lots of small scrolling work and then the 18inch rikon bandsaw for larger work mostly resawing. It comes in handy. If you are not wired for 220 the rikon you were talking about is a great deal. It is similar to a grizzly from the import perspective but had much greater resaw without the riser block. Just a tip, buy several timberwolf bandsaw blades and get rid of the one that comes with the saw. The timberwolfs are well worth the price and will last a lot longer with lots less frustration.

-- Bryan, york pa

View jaysonic's profile


219 posts in 2345 days

#14 posted 11-09-2012 04:09 AM

I, like Bill, also bought the GO555LX a few months ago. It was my first bandsaw purchase, and I even had to dish out a few extra $ for the freight charges, since I live in B.C, Canada. I’d purchase it again in a heartbeat, for a 14in. anyways. I’d def. suggest buying a few extra blades though, since every job seems to need a different blade, haha. I had a few difficulties setting it up, but I’ve never done it before…with the help of everyone on LJ’s combined with the Grizzly customer service, it was real easy. Biggest selling point for me was, compared to all other 14in bandsaws, this was BY FAR the best price. Grizzly STILL has a promo deal on it, at $445, you can’t really beat that?!

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3117 days

#15 posted 11-09-2012 04:12 PM

Hi Stupe,
I have mentioned this on other similar theads, but I’ll restate it here for your information:

  • Your resawing ability is probably going to be limited by the size of your Jointer. The largest resawing I have done to date, on my 14” Rikon BS is about 9” and I have an 8” jointer. Sometimes a #6 or #7 handplane jointer can help/assist (in addition to) you with this, however only using the HP route will test your stamina and patience.
  • I have gotten away with using a TW 3/4” 3TPI on my Rikon 14”#10-325, but I do feel that this is maxing this little unit out. A much better choice would be the 18” Rikon, IMO.

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

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