Finally bought a bandsaw

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 01-21-2013 04:20 PM 4202 views 0 times favorited 49 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2452 days

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.


49 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19018 posts in 2772 days

#1 posted 01-21-2013 04:22 PM

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

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 01-21-2013 04:30 PM

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.

View DIYaholic's profile


19709 posts in 2879 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 04:30 PM

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 procrastination a bad thing?

View a1Jim's profile


117342 posts in 3781 days

#4 posted 01-21-2013 04:32 PM

Enjoy your new saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2452 days

#5 posted 01-21-2013 04:33 PM

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


View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3892 days

#6 posted 01-21-2013 04:43 PM

Congrats , Joe : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2258 days

#7 posted 01-21-2013 04:52 PM


-- Joel

View Bob817's profile


673 posts in 2587 days

#8 posted 01-21-2013 04:53 PM

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.

View mak's profile


29 posts in 2254 days

#9 posted 01-21-2013 05:36 PM

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?

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2452 days

#10 posted 01-21-2013 05:46 PM

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.


View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2378 days

#11 posted 01-21-2013 08:35 PM

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


8547 posts in 3853 days

#12 posted 01-21-2013 08:55 PM

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.

View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2833 days

#13 posted 01-21-2013 08:59 PM

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 just have to be willing to find it.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2452 days

#14 posted 01-21-2013 09:12 PM

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


View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2490 days

#15 posted 01-21-2013 09:20 PM

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

-- John, BC, Canada

showing 1 through 15 of 49 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics