Old 16" Delta 3-wheel or New Craftsman 10" Band Saw

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Forum topic by splinterking posted 12-05-2012 10:33 PM 6695 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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67 posts in 2031 days

12-05-2012 10:33 PM

Okay as I went to do some resawing last night I decide the blade on my old 9” Delta Bandsaw needed just a little more tension and that was all she wrote for that tool. A part of the “tensioning system” broke that’s not made anymore.

As some that helped me with my tablesaw choice may remember I’m in the middle of Christmas projects right now so I kind of need a stop gap solution here and one I can find locally would be better. The other problem is I just dropped close to 1000 bucks on table saw so my budget is pretty limited.

Anyway I’ve found an older Delta 16”, which from the research I’ve done would be one of the 3 wheel models for 150 or the new Craftsman 10” that seems to be the same as the Rikon 10-305 for 169.99. I would do the Rikon, but none are available at my local Woodcraft.

I’ve heard that 3 wheel band saws are not so great, but would a bigger machine even with that disadvantage be better?

Also is the Craftsman really the same thing as the Rikon?

I there something else I should be looking at in the lower range.

Any opinions to help me decide would be great.


-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

8 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8006 posts in 3370 days

#1 posted 12-05-2012 10:39 PM

The 3-wheelers in general are very difficult to get to track properly, and they break more blades….not recommended.

AFAIK, the Craftsman 21400 was made by Richen Enterprises, who owns Rikon, and it is indeed very similar, if not identical to their 10”. It’s not a major workhorse, but within it’s capacity limits, most seem to like it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2167 days

#2 posted 12-05-2012 10:44 PM

3 Wheeled band saw is not good. Because it breaks blades more frequently than 2 wheeled.

-- "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 shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2177 days

#3 posted 12-05-2012 11:11 PM

Resawing on either of those saws isn’t going to be much fun, but of the two the 10” Craftsman will work marginally better. 3 wheeled bandsaws are pretty much junk.

Given that the maximum height you can resaw is less than 5” on the Craftsman, you’re probably better off resawing on your table saw. Make a cut from one side, flip it over, and cut it on the other side (keeping the same edge against the fence).

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3571 days

#4 posted 12-05-2012 11:36 PM

spend a little more and get a 14” band saw. I’ve seen some on Craigslist for $75- $250 range

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Bill White

4928 posts in 3954 days

#5 posted 12-06-2012 12:04 AM

Not tryin’ to spend YOUR money, but the Grizz 0555LX is one fine saw for the money. Mine was easy to set, and the after-market blades have made this my “go-to” BS.
Not a monster resaw BS, but will do all I need for general BS work. I have not added the 6” height unit as yet.
I have no connection with Grizz.
I lived with a ShopSmith 11” for many years before I opted for the Grizz. The SS BS did a lot of work, but was under powered as well as having less capacity. No reflection on the SS, just enjoying the added power of the Grizz.
Wanna know how I really feel?


View rncurrie's profile


40 posts in 2348 days

#6 posted 12-06-2012 12:57 AM

The three wheeler is junk. I bought a new one years ago and after breaking the blade many times I took it to the delta repair shop. The repair man actually laughed at my problem, he then told me that breaking the blades are inherit to a three wheeled ban saw and there is nothing that can be done to change it. I now have a very little used delta ban saw setting under my bench collecting dust and probably rust. (but it’s not breaking blades)

-- Richard,, rccarvings facebook

View splinterking's profile


67 posts in 2031 days

#7 posted 12-06-2012 01:55 AM

Hey thanks everybody. I went by Sears tonight and as usual looks like the cheap option is the bad option. I will just have to do some research and shell out some more cash it looks like.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2669 days

#8 posted 12-06-2012 03:44 AM

Band saw blades have a minimum bend radius. Even if you don’t go to the minimum radius the smaller this gets the more the metal in the blade is worked so it will fatigue and break. The wheels on the 3 wheeled saw have a very small radius. If the blade rolls over any part of the wheel it has conformed to the radius. That is why the 2 wheeled saws with the larger wheels is better. Forget the tracking problem and that alone makes them better. Then you throw in the tracking issue. Look for a saw with a metal frame so you can really put tension on the blade then go for more horsepower.

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