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RBI Hawk -VS- Bushton Mfg. Hawk

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Forum topic by Tedster posted 12-30-2012 11:32 PM 3166 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tedster

2271 posts in 864 days


12-30-2012 11:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: rbi bushton hawk dewalt 788 scroll saw

As I’m sure many of you scroll saw experts are aware, RBI closed their doors in 2009 and was subsequently bought out by Bushton Manufacturing. Bushton has made some significant improvements to the Hawk line of scroll saws – all 2 models :).

I might have a chance to get my hands on an old RBI scroll saw for just under $300 plus a major hassle of getting out there to pick it up since I would have to borrow a car from somebody who will want to know when I will get the car, when I will return it, coordinating with the seller who I assume would have to schedule it for after work… basically, it would not be an easy transition.

I’m wondering if it would be worth it. The Bushton model with it’s improvements is priced at about $2,000, but I’m not sure if that’s a good comparison. The seller assures the tool is in good working condition, but in the photo (craigs list) I see some surface rust on the exposed metal parts.

Also, does the old RBI model have quick change for the blade? That would be important, as I plan to do a lot of inside cuts, like lattice work and such.

Something else to consider is that I can also get a gently used Dewalt 788 with the stand for $300 + the same transportation hassle. From what I understand, both are very good saws. I know the Dewalt has quick change for the blade, which is a stong selling point.

Finally, the RBI will come with about 100 assorted blades.

Any thoughts on this?

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th


9 replies so far

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Tedster

2271 posts in 864 days


#1 posted 12-31-2012 04:31 AM

Did somebody read this post, see that I’m in chicago, check chicago.craigslist.org and buy the RBI? hee hee… anyway.. looks like it sold. I figured it wouldn’t last long.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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William

9021 posts in 1495 days


#2 posted 12-31-2012 02:11 PM

Sorry Ted. I’ve been busy lately and not keeping up.
I don’t know much about the differences in the Hawk saws since the transfer to a different company. I just wanted to let you know not to let 100 blades sway your decisions. You can buy a gross of blades (12 dozen, or 144 blades) for less than thrity bucks shipped. That’s the way most of us scrollers get our blades. Blades do break a lot on a scroll saw compared to other tools. So you buy a lot of them if you do much scrolling. Gross pricing online versus local pricing in most places makes it worth the hassle of ordering online. I know where I live, the same price I pay for a gross of blades online would only get me about three dozen blades locally.

I buy my blades here.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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Grandpa

3130 posts in 1328 days


#3 posted 12-31-2012 07:55 PM

thanks for the link for saw blades William.

I can’t tell you if the Bushton saws are better but I can tell you I sent them an email about how to download an operator’s manual. I sent it in on Sunday afternon and got a response in just a few minutes. That tells me they want good customer service. One of the owners sent the response. An employee sent another response in 2 or 3 days.
be patient but be poised for action

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MisterBill

337 posts in 904 days


#4 posted 12-31-2012 11:19 PM

Grandpa and Ted,

I had a similar experience with Bushton. I sent them an e-mail today (New Year’s Eve) looking for a Owner’s Manual for a Hawk 220 VS Scroll Saw. They e-mailed me the manual within a few hours and I would have had it sooner if I had included the Serial Number as they had requested on line.
I agree that this company gives good customer service.

Mr. Bill

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Tedster

2271 posts in 864 days


#5 posted 01-01-2013 12:27 AM

Hi William.. I knew you would chime in sooner or later :)

I will make it a point to buy my blades for MikesWorkshop.com… that is, when I do get around to buying blades.

I decided to put off buying a scroll saw until I can get a new Excalibur, probably the 21” but if I can afford it I might even go for the 30”. My reasoning is that no matter what I find on craigslist or ebay, it’s going to cost me a lot more than the asking price. It’s going to cost me time, which for me is at a premium. When I’m not working on making a living, I’m working on getting my website going. That combined with the fact that I would have to borrow a car to go get the tool, and I would still end up with a tool devoid of any warranty, and on top of all that I will know that I’m settling for less than what I really want.

I did my research and from what I can tell, the Excalibur is my best choice for quality, features and price range. For about $830 I can get the 21”, and if I can swing an extra couple hundred at the time, I can get the 30”. Hegner and Bushton saws are also top of the line, but double the price.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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Grandpa

3130 posts in 1328 days


#6 posted 01-01-2013 02:24 AM

Now that is a plan. We need a plan then put the wheels into motion. I don’t know anything about those saws except I read that they are good. I knew someone that had an RBI Hawk (uncle) and he paid about $850 for it around 20 years ago. When I found one in my little town I went for it.

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William

9021 posts in 1495 days


#7 posted 01-01-2013 03:59 AM

From everything I’ve read, both of the saws being discussed are great saws. I only wish I could afford either one of them. I have several scroll work pieces that I’ve got literally hundreds of hours in. I’ve always said that if I ever was able to sell one of them, it would give me enough, I’d buy me an Excaliber. For me though, and the size of some of the projects I do, it would be pointless for me to spend that kind of dough if I did not go ahead and spring for the 30”.
I gave up on saving for one long time ago. With a large family like mine, there is always more pressing expenses than an expensive saw like one of those beauties. If I got that much in one hit though, like selling one of those pieces, I’m going to pull the trigger on it before anything, or anyone, else gets the chance to stop me.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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Tedster

2271 posts in 864 days


#8 posted 01-01-2013 06:37 AM

William, if you lived closer you would be more than welcome to use mine when I’m not using it. In other words, when I’m sleeping.

If anybody is near Chicago and is interested, the RBI Hawk I was looking at was relisted. $285 looks like a pretty sweet deal. If I didn’t have to borrow a car to go get it, it would already be mine.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/sox/tls/3508984321.html

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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OkiePaul

4 posts in 633 days


#9 posted 01-04-2013 02:56 AM

I bought a vs Hawk , don’t remember the number, when I started at an auction for $200.00 and really liked it then ran into a Dewalt on Craig’s list and bought it for $300.00. I like being able to top load the Dewalt and like having the on/off switch right in front of you and being able to adjust the tension from right in front of you. They are both good saws but I’d take my money back for the Hawk if anyone could pick it up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

-- OkiePaul

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