LumberJocks

Buying first bandaw...tips??

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by YoungGrampa posted 2140 days ago 1191 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View YoungGrampa's profile

YoungGrampa

2 posts in 2140 days


2140 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw

I am looking at buying my first bandsaw for my small garage shop. I am currently looking at 2 models…Grizzly Ultimate 14” G0555 and Craftsman Professional 14” 22401. The Craftsman has a non-standard blade length of 99 3/4 inches w/ a 8” resaw with no ability for riser and a large 20×15 table. Also, it has a 45 degree left tilt table. The Grizzly has standard blade length of 93 1/2 inches w/ 6” resaw but has the capability for a 6” riser block. It also has a smaller table, 14×14, and 45 degree right tilt and 10 degree left. Just curious as to what factors should guide my purchase. I know that i can expand the table surface myself, but is there a direction of tilt that is preferred? Any other tips or details that i should pay attention to? Also, both are 1HP motors. I am looking to stay around $500. Any other saws that might work better? Any help is greatly appreciated.


16 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2420 days


#1 posted 2140 days ago

At this level you are going to get a quality saw irrespective of the manufacturer. With this size saw I would definately recommend getting a riser block. This will let you do resawing. While you may not need it now it is definately a capability that I feel it is better to have available. Largely the difference in prices at this level is due to the accessories that come with the saw. I have a 14” Powermatic and it comes standard with a 4” dust port, carter guides and quick tension release. These are upgrades on a number of bandsaws in this price range. Following are some reviews that have been posted here:

Grizzley G0555
Grizzley G0555
Steel City 14 Bandsaw
Rikon 1035

There have been other posted here as well. Just do a search for bandsaws in the review section.

One note I would add is to count on ditching the blade the comes with the saw. Generally these are poor quality at best. Replacing it with a Woodslicer or Timberwolf blade (these have been reviewed here as well) will save you a lot of grief.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2097 posts in 2326 days


#2 posted 2140 days ago

I don’t have a ton of experience with great tools, but I certainly echo Scott’s thoughts about replacing the blade. I tried to make due with the stock blade for a very short time, and when I replaced the blade with a decent one (not great, but ok) the difference was night and day. Looking back, I wish I had tried an even higher quality one for a little more.

Also, make sure to get the right blade for what you plan to do. Resaw blades are very different from the standard blades.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2897 days


#3 posted 2140 days ago

One thing about the ,Rikon 10-325 is you can resaw 13”, & you don’t need to install a riser block.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View DaveH's profile

DaveH

400 posts in 2376 days


#4 posted 2140 days ago

One thing I can tell you about Grizzly is that service support is excellent and every time I have needed a part for one of my Grizzly tools, it has been in stock and shipped immediately. I just picked up a used Grizzly G1019Z 14 1/2” band saw and needed a riser kit, roller blade guide set, table insert, and blades. All parts shipped immediately. I wanted to re-wire to 220v and the service tech emailed me the instructions. I can’t say enough good about their support.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2589 days


#5 posted 2140 days ago

I love my G0555, zero problems.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View closetguy's profile

closetguy

744 posts in 2490 days


#6 posted 2140 days ago

I bought my first 14” one this year and love the Steel City. Check out my review at http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/154

-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2130 posts in 2312 days


#7 posted 2140 days ago

I’ve got a Rikon 10-325, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Quiet, powerful, smooth, cuts like a dream. I really enjoy it.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3960 posts in 2662 days


#8 posted 2139 days ago

If you go for the cast iron frame and there is a riser kit – budget that in. You be glad to have it on at the start. That way you will only be buying the longer blades from the git-go. I’ve been going to add-on for a year and have never gotten around to it. Maybe Dick is on the hunt about the Rikon.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7231 posts in 2246 days


#9 posted 2138 days ago

I prefer the welded steel saws to the cast-iron 14” saws.

Welded saws are stiffer. Also, for most furniture work 8” is plenty
of capacity. If you think you’ll want to cut bowl blanks or
do other stuff like that you might want a saw with a bigger
resaw capacity.

For serious millwork on a professional level I would go with
an 18” or larger saw. That’s me. A big saw takes wider
blades which makes for straighter cuts.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View John's profile

John

341 posts in 2396 days


#10 posted 2138 days ago

I love my Grizzly G0555. Not having standard blade lengths with the Craftsman will be a huge pain in the you-know-what for years to come. If you really want a bigger table, go for the G0555Z – but I gotta tell you, the G0555 is my favorite tool and is plenty strong and I haven’t missed the bigger table. Good luck!

-- John - Central PA - http://affyx.wordpress.com

View dsb1829's profile

dsb1829

367 posts in 2225 days


#11 posted 2136 days ago

At this pricepoint you have several options. Grizzly has 3 saws under $550, Jet, Delta, Rigid, and other imports of lesser standing. For the most part these all stack up about the same with only minor difference in accessories and horse power. These import saws are very similar. Several come out of the same factory. So it is kind of splitting hairs to pit one up against another. I like the Grizzly for price, power, and features but the hit or miss on shipping damage scares the heck out of me. In the end I went with a Rigid since I could pick it up and easily return it if there was an issue. I threw out several of the sub-par stock components, added a Kreg fence, and tuned it. End result is a nice saw that cost about $500. Yes, it can use a riser but I am not going to commit to the resaw bandwagon yet. I can resaw up to 6”, which by coincidence is the largest that my jointer can handle. Check my workshop for a video review of my saw.

There are debates either way on most of these saws. Biggest difference I notice is in the operator. If the buyer is unwilling to tune the saw and they get one that requires work they are quite vocal on their displeasure. On the other hand some get saws that are perfect out of the box. They are also pretty vocal in commending their new toy. The rest of us are somewhere in the middle. I think all of these saws have the potential to be good saws. But like any other tool put together with the lowest cost parts and labor they do require some care for best results.

I would steer clear of custom length blades. Blades are consumable items, so you would either have to stock up on Craftsman blades or shell out for custom lengths from a higher quality vendor. Also if you have a standard length in a pinch you can go to your local HW store and get a replacement. That may not seem like much of an incentive, but half way through a project on a Saturday afternoon and it will become a much clearer advantage.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View SPHinTampa's profile

SPHinTampa

548 posts in 2283 days


#12 posted 2136 days ago

I have the Craftsman saw and really like it. It has sturdy construction, with a large flat table tap, no drift, a credible fence and well machined parts.

I found the guides very easy to set, with the exception of the lower guides.

It has plenty of power and I have used it to successfully resaw 1/8” veneer from 6” boards of paduak, purpleheart and hard maple.

It usually takes a week to get high quality custom blades from a number of websites. I also found a place in Miami that will ship cheap blades within a week.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View douginaz's profile

douginaz

220 posts in 2600 days


#13 posted 2136 days ago

Hi All, I’ve had the Griz G0555 for three years now. I spent some time with tuning the saw when I first received it then again when I put the riser in. I do bandsawn boxs and needed the extra capacity. I haven’t paid much attention to the saw, but on this occasion I spent a little time blowing it out and checking tires, belts bearings etc. Pretty much like new. I have run many a cabriole leg through this and quite a few band sawn boxes. I’m convinced the ballbearing blade guides and detensioner have saved me money on blade replacement.

That being said, the small table is a pita, and the saw will set up some strange harmonics at times. I still feel that for the money, this saw was the best choice for me – ymmv- Were I to do it over, I’m not sure I could pass up those granite tables.
Later,
Doug in AZ.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at http://www.wittywife.com

View Darell's profile

Darell

420 posts in 2192 days


#14 posted 2136 days ago

I’ve got the Grizz GO555X. It’s worth the extra price for the more powerful motor, resaw fence, cast iron wheels rather than aluminum, light and base with storage. I’ve done a bit of resawing on mine and it does great. Check it out.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

View kjwoodworking's profile

kjwoodworking

246 posts in 2485 days


#15 posted 2136 days ago

I have the Grizzly G0555 and love it. I have been re-sawing 5 1/2” x 5 1/2” x 4’ oak and it has done a great job!

-- Kirk H. -- http://www.kjwoodworking.com

showing 1 through 15 of 16 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

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase