|Forum topic by MJCD||posted 01-29-2013 11:54 PM||5516 views||0 times favorited||21 replies|
01-29-2013 11:54 PM
Several members have expressed interest in my expected delivery of the Hammer N4400 (17”) bandsaw. This arrived Thursday, last week, and I’ve had the opportunity to make two smallish projects (a Cherry serving tray, and a Tall Stool for my daughter) – nothing that would press a resaw test.
For the record, I’m leaving behind a 14” Delta that rattled and shaked, and seemed to never tension properly anything larger than 1/2”. For the Hammer, I paid $2,000, and installed a $50 WoodSlicer 1/2” blade – I didn’t have the working funds for the 1/2” Lenox Tri-Master.
The machine arrived in a well-built wooden casement; all parts were included, and it took me about an hour to get it ‘assembled’, aligned, and blade-guides set. The Hammer is a true European machine, and it does things metric (Felder provided metric wrenches for appropriate parts). As part of the Felder in-country service, pre-delivery they de-crate the machine, give it a close inspection, ensure all parts are included, and re-crate for final shipment. Mine arrived with a split plastic grommet (on the footbrake), which occurred during shipping – Felder has already mailed a replacement. Felder was great on the Customer Service, and when I called, they offered to have me speak with the technician who inspected my machine.
The blade guides are different from the Carter-type, which are excellent add-ons to the US saws. While my research show that individuals have strong views on different guides, I can see where the Hammer would provide much better blade support than the Carter-type. For my work these past two projects, I can properly tension the blade to where the guides were rarely touched – which is the way it’s supposed to be, anyway.
The saw was a joy to use on the two projects. Whereas my Delta sounded like a washing machine with a few loose marbles inside, the Hammer merely hummed: tight tolerance blade guides, 156” blade, and a 4hp induction motor – hummed along. The motor seems to be a soft-start feature.
Safety and engineering touches, which may be standard on larger saws: electronic cut-off switches on the upper and lower doors (if they’re not closed fully, the motor will not start); positive locking doors, and an external footbrake.
I can not compare this to the larger Powermatic, Grizzly, or Minimax machines – I have no experience with them. However, for the money, I feel the Hammer is both an excellent long-term investment, and a very capable saw – I intend to move some of my Table Saw work to the bandsaw.
This is not a review – two small projects do not a seasoned owner make. I’ll keep the Forum apprised.
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