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Finally bought a bandsaw

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 452 days ago 1620 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumberjoe

2798 posts in 749 days


452 days ago

I’ve been in the process of buying a bandsaw for about 6 months. I weighed a lot of options and even purchased a used bandsaw a few months ago. It was an older Minimax beast that simply did not fit in my shop and needed a ton of work to get cutting. I sold that quickly for a little more than I paid for it. My intention was always to buy the Rikon 10-325. It seemed to fit all of my needs and the footprint was more than acceptable. The only issue was price. I am a very value conscious woodworker. My wife has also taken to the hobby and has started buying her own tools. We even made a separate shop for her in the basement, complete with a scroll saw, her own lathe, a bench top drill press, some cordless tools and dust collection. There have been some sales on the Rikon recently, but even at around 1000.00 shipped, that would have been a tough pill to swallow.

After tons of deliberation and research, I went with the Craftsman BAS350 – which is essentially the Rikon 10-320. It’s rated at 1hp (continuous), cast iron table, and an 8” resaw height. I will do a full review (since there isn’t one here) once I really get to use it, but my initial impressions are good.

This was the easiest tool I have ever assembled. I was making test cuts about an hour after unboxing. If you are not mechanically inclined, you may have a different experience. The assembly instructions are terrible. It is a few sentences that refer you to completely washed out pictures.

The only “issues” with this saw that are commonly brought up are not really even issues

1 – The non-standard blade length. It takes a 99 1/2” blade. I’m not calling this an issue because I would never walk into a home improvement store to get a bandsaw blade anyway. Any decent blade is made in whatever length you specified. I ordered a 3/4” resaw, a 3/8” 4TPI rip/cross cut, and a 3/16 10tpi pattern cutting blades from Timberwolf.

2 – No fence included. There are plenty of aftermarket fences. I went to my local woodcraft to pick up the Kreg fence, but saw a box with the stock fence that came with the Rikon 10-320. It was a cancelled special order and i got it for practically nothing. It bolted right up perfectly with no modifications to the saw or the fence in about 5 minutes. It can be removed without tools for quick blade changes

The removable resaw bar is nice. Given I only have the crappy 1/4” blade that came with the saw, I only tried it out with a 2×4. I was able to slice off a few even and clean 1/8” strips.

I may consider upgrading this fence in the future, but for the price I paid for it, it is a great value.

This saw is on sale for 340.00 right now on the Sears website. It is absolutely the best deal on the market (new), and over 100.00 cheaper than the Harbor Freight bandsaw with a lot less capacity and features.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts


39 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

13928 posts in 1068 days


#1 posted 452 days ago

there is nothing like a good bandsaw. You’ll love it.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - http://timetestedtools.wordpress.com (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1133 days


#2 posted 452 days ago

I’ve played around with that model in my local Sears. Seemed like a pretty nice machine. If I were in the market, that would likely be at the top of my list.
I must say that I’m surprised it can properly tension a 3/4 blade.

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DIYaholic

11232 posts in 1175 days


#3 posted 452 days ago

I bet you enjoy your saw! It is a beauty!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

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a1Jim

109273 posts in 2077 days


#4 posted 452 days ago

Enjoy your new saw.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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lumberjoe

2798 posts in 749 days


#5 posted 452 days ago

Ted, it lists 3/4” as the maximum blade width, so we’ll if it can actually handle it once I toss it on. This is why I haven’t done a formal review yet

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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Dusty56

11605 posts in 2188 days


#6 posted 452 days ago

Congrats , Joe : )

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

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jap

1218 posts in 554 days


#7 posted 452 days ago

enjoy

-- Joel

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Bob817

643 posts in 883 days


#8 posted 452 days ago

Congrats Joe on your new saw and can’t wait for you full analysis, you get right to the point without the fluff in your reviews.

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

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mak

29 posts in 550 days


#9 posted 452 days ago

I have that saw as well and have been really happy with it.

The only problem I had was that the black plate on the Rikon fence sticks up above the height of the table. Did you have the same problem as well?

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lumberjoe

2798 posts in 749 days


#10 posted 452 days ago

No, mine sits well below the table in the back. Did you put it on upside down maybe?

Edit – I think I misunderstood what you meant (black plate, not back plate). I did have that problem and you can see it in the pics. A couple washers under the rail took care of it. There is a lot of room between the fence and the table, so you can lower it a tad.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

2895 posts in 674 days


#11 posted 452 days ago

Congratulations on your new purchase! That’s a decent band saw!

-- "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 PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8473 posts in 2149 days


#12 posted 452 days ago

congratulations, considering this is identical to the Rikon it should be a good performer. the only thing you’ve lost in comparison to the 325 is the resaw capacity (and added HP which is only needed for that extra resaw height) – unless you need to resaw anything that wide this one will do just as good.

As for the blade capacity rated at 3/4” – the saw itself (body construction and wheel width) can support the 3/4” blade, but the issue with 3/4” blades on 14” saws is usually the blade itself and not the saw (as long as the saw is rated to support it of course). the smaller diameter of the wheel creates more tension on the blade that has to comfort to that radius – and can cause early wear and the blade. I find 1/2” blades to be just fine as long as it’s a good blade, and you could probably use 5/8” with good results as well. have not felt the need to go 3/4” with mine yet.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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toolie

1684 posts in 1129 days


#13 posted 452 days ago

congratulations on your new purchase! that’s a scaled down version of the 22401, which is a 10-320 with features like an enclosed stand, a light and CI 14” wheels. if it’s made by whoever makes rikons, you’re going to really like it.

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

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lumberjoe

2798 posts in 749 days


#14 posted 452 days ago

After doing more research I did reconsider the 3/4” blade. I found some similar information about 14” bandsaw wheels not being able to tension 3/4”+ blades well even if they have the capacity. I cancelled the timberwolf 3/4” and picked up an Olson Allpro 5/8” resaw blade on my lunch break at woodcraft today. I’m not sure how good it is, but for 15$ It’s worth a shot.

I knew I was losing height by not going with the Rikon deluxe. I don’t have a pickup truck or a wagon, so I am transportation-limited to what I can squeeze between the front seats. 8 1/2” is a pretty hard limit unless I am only getting one board (which never happens). Usually after jointing and cutting away defects on the edges, I have barely 8”.

I also question the ability of a smaller 115v motor to saw through 12” wide hardwood stock consistently for many years. Had I really needed the extra height, I would have went with something like the LT14SUV.

I’m sure there will be times I wished I had that extra few inches, but they will be few and far between. Also my lumber mill has a horizontal resaw and he only charges .15 per LF. It would take many board feet of resawing to equal the $550.00 price difference between my saw and the 10-325

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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nwbusa

1015 posts in 786 days


#15 posted 452 days ago

Congrats Joe. Having a bandsaw is way better than not having one :) I need to pick one up soon myself.

-- John, BC, Canada

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