|Forum topic by lumberjoe||posted 01-21-2013 04:20 PM||2448 views||0 times favorited||49 replies|
01-21-2013 04:20 PM
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.