Band Saw Suggestions?

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Forum topic by DavidNJ posted 03-02-2013 05:19 AM 5251 views 1 time favorited 67 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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389 posts in 2018 days

03-02-2013 05:19 AM

Note: while I want a band saw I really don’t have the time now to deal with it. However, two current sales plius the session at the Somerset Woodworking Show have peaked by interest.

Right now the 14” Powermatic with riser is on sale for $1020. The Jet is on sale for $845, but the fence is optional. A Jet fence is $120, a Kreg fence is $110, and a Grizzly is $140; consider the saw $965. The get comes with the riser pre-installed, the Powermatic in a box. (I was hoping to win that one at the show :( ). Grizzly’s 14” with cast iron wheels and riser is about $720 with shipping. The Grizzly is with legs, the others with cabinets. The least expensive 14” Grizzly with a cabinet is $1030 or so.

Grizzly also has a 17” with aluminum wheels for $1000. It has a 12” height and looks more more substantial. It doesn’t come with roller guides, but after the demo I’m thinking Carter guides should be part of the plan.

The Grizzly 14” models are 1hp and 1.5hp, the Jet 1.25hp, the Powermatic 1.5hp, the 17” Grizzly 2hp.

The question is: are these prices compelling? Among these saws which is the best choice or the best value? On the surface the Jet seems to be the best value and the Powermatic the most complete for under $1000.

Or are the slightly more expensive 17” Grizzly’s a better way to go. My guess is whatever I get and whenever I get it, it will be the last bandsaw I ever get.

67 replies so far

View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 2022 days

#1 posted 03-02-2013 12:12 PM

If you are not in a hurry keep watch for a used one most of them never get used enough to hurt them. I just got done rehabbing a 1930’s vintage 12” walker turner I have less than $200 invested including the cost of five new blades. My 12” saw has its limitations of course but it works as well as any of the new 12” saws on the market. My son just picked up a 14” Walker Turner for $350 it needs a little tlc but he will have a great classic saw for under $500 when he is done.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2947 days

#2 posted 03-02-2013 12:26 PM

I have a grizz GO555X (14”) and it has been great since the git go. If I had to do it again I’d go for the 17” for a little more capacity.
Whatever you buy, take the time to read the specs and tune it up before trying to use it and you should be well satisfied.

-- Life is good.

View Mark's profile


919 posts in 1999 days

#3 posted 03-02-2013 03:17 PM

I’m in the same boat as you are. Just starting to look, can’t make up your mind. Every thing I’ve read or heard is “size matters”. Foe $1000 I’d say go with the 17” More power, larger capacity, probably heavier ( less vibration). I think you’ll find most of those models have aluminum wheels. I’ve read many articles where the guy says that after a year or two he wishes he had something bigger. JM2C
But don’t they all look the same? :)

-- Mark

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3985 days

#4 posted 03-02-2013 03:24 PM

I have the 0555LX w/o riser (maybe someday) since I don’t do a lot of wide resawing.
Great saw, good value.


View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3183 days

#5 posted 03-02-2013 03:53 PM

Among those saws, I’d go with the 17”... it’s not even close.

-- jay,

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 2018 days

#6 posted 03-02-2013 04:50 PM

I’ve seen or seen listings for used ones. The older commercial systems look like they have had deferred maintenance. Those with hobbyists are often neglected rather than abused from use.

There are other options. Carter mentioned Ridgid. It probably pays to make your own base there, remount the motor, and change the guides (Carter sells guides). However, reviews on Home Depot’s site (the exclusive retailer) The Powermatic comes with a Carter blade tension release lever; the Jet with “Carter-like” roller guides.

Of the ones above, only the 17” Grizzly’s have aluminum wheels. The 17” Grizzly is available with cast iron wheels and trunnions for $1200 delivered, with electric brake for $1400. All come with the Grizzly fence that was the overall winner in a recent Fine Woodworking test ($110 Kreg fence was second, and I like the Kreg because it has t-slots of auxiliary fences and guides (like the rubber rollers).

Now to make it more interesting, Grizzly started a 30th Anniversary sale today. Not only that, it is so new the details on two new, all black (which beats green), anniversary models isn’t even posted! Basically, the 14” anniversary version seems to be the G0555LX (cast iron trunnions) for $100 less, now $620 with riser and shipping with 1hp, cast iron wheel, and riser. The G0555LX is also discounted $100.

The 17” model seems to be the G0513 pictured above. It also is black and the regular model is also discounted $100. This 17” model has 2hp, but aluminum wheels and doesn’t have roller guides. Carter guides are $265 for the 17”, $180 for the 14”, but only the 17” doesn’t have rollers standard. The 17” comes with the base of the high-end Grizzly fence, the added parts are $120.

Note, while not sure, I think only the Jet includes urethane tires; it also includes a brush on its lower wheel. U believe the others have rubber tires. The Jet and Powermatic 14” models have their dust ports directly under blade in the lower cabinet.

Other than stability, I’m not sure how often I’d use the extra 3”-4” (the riser takes 1” or so of space on the 14” Grizzly and Powermatic) of throat capability of the 17”. They all have 12” height letting me resaw boards and trees, at least any tree parts I could handle. Or is the extra width necessary to handle the resaw with a resaw fence in place?

The reason for not postponing the riser is because with the riser it takes different length blades. I’m also told installing the riser is a PITA because of the weight of the components and the alignment of the wheels with the riser.

Still, 14” Grizzly for $525, $610 with riser is very tempting.

View woodmaker's profile


321 posts in 2716 days

#7 posted 03-02-2013 05:24 PM

17” you will appreciate that extra space between the blade and frame. Spend a few more dollars. If you can and get the cast iron wheels, they’ll give a smoother run and last a lot longer and if you can spring for the electronic brake or foot brake because it takes awhile for the blade to stop otherwise.

-- Mike

View Woodmaster1's profile


981 posts in 2611 days

#8 posted 03-02-2013 05:27 PM

I like my rikon deluxe 14” bandsaw.

View unisaw's profile


92 posts in 4157 days

#9 posted 03-02-2013 05:32 PM

Also like my Rikon 14”. No riser required. $1,000 +/- at Amazon with free shipping for Prime Plus customers.

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 2018 days

#10 posted 03-02-2013 05:56 PM

The Rikon does look interesting. 1.5hp, cast iron wheels, cabinet, fence, 13” cutting height, integrated riser, $950 from various sources including Amazon and Woodcraft.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2995 days

#11 posted 03-02-2013 06:03 PM

I have a little 10” Rikon and I love it.
Very nice machine.
My next saw will be a 16” or bigger.
I have planned to build my own, I have plans from “Woodgears”, but if I come across a deal I would consider another Rikon, but I wouldn’t rule out a Grizzly either.

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 2018 days

#12 posted 03-02-2013 06:10 PM

In various reviews the Rikon is criticized for difficult blade changes and difficult guide wheel adjustments. In the 2007 Fine Woodworking magazine test some sewers were over 3 times faster than other models. The Rikon was among the slowest.

What has been your personal experience in those areas?

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2209 days

#13 posted 03-02-2013 11:19 PM

Just putting this out there, I have used both the powermatic (which i have) and the 17” grizz and 2 grizz 14” saws (one with cast iron one without) and i think that cast iron wheels make the bandsaw feel so much heavier duty and feel like alot more of a saw. If i was going 14” i would defiantly do the rikon or the grizz extreme series.. The powermatic feels just like the grizz but the grizz has a better fence. If you are going 17” you defiantly want cast iron wheels. If i had to choose i would choose the 17” with cast iron wheels and brake. The brake is defiantly nice to have although not a necessity.

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2653 days

#14 posted 03-03-2013 01:17 AM

yes, the guides on the 10-325 are a bit finicky. but that’s it’s only negative attribute. in every comparative test of 14” BSs, the 10-325 is either top tool or top value. for < $1000, it performs like a 17 or 18” BS. there isn’t a better 14” BS in the market today at it’s price point.

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

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2714 days

#15 posted 03-03-2013 03:15 AM

I have the 17” Grizz Extreme series and feel the extras that come with it more than justify the price: cast iron wheels, cast iron trunions, resaw fence, roller guides, bigger table, 2 HP motor, etc. I caught mine on a free shipping deal which was a big bonus!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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