|Forum topic by DavidNJ||posted 04-13-2013 08:15 AM||1511 views||0 times favorited||34 replies|
04-13-2013 08:15 AM
First, I already belabored this topic to death: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/47356
From that the Rikon appeared as a top value and performer in home workshop bandsaws. It still wasn’t on my shopping list until 2014. However, Woodcraft has a sale on the 14” and 18” Rikon saws now, and for an unrelated reason my table saw purchase was delayed, meaning I can combine the delivery charges. Net: time to get the bandsaw.
Now to choose between the 14” and 18”. Prices are $800 and $1050. However, an extra shipping charge and a sales tax make the difference $330. Still, this is a one time purchase (the saw will probably outlive me) and $330 over 10 or 20 years isn’t much.
The 14” is more of a KD kit, where the cabinet needs to be assembled. The 18” comes assembled, which makes it harder to transport and move to the basement.
The 18” has a more powerful motor, 2.5hp vs. 1.5hp. It takes 1” wide blades and flexes blades less with the larger diameter wheels. Some blades for cutting green lumber only come in 1” and bigger.
The 14” actually has a greater cutting height, 13” vs 12”. The 18” has an 18 3/8” cutting width compared to the 14” 13 5/8” cutting width. Nearly 5” greater.
Both have large tables: the 14” is 16”x21”, the 18” is 21” x 19”. Rikon has a funky table slot for the blade, coming through the front of the table. On the 14” they made the fence rail just to the left of the slot. The 18” has front and rear fence rails which should be more stable. The rail goes the full width of the table. The front rail is held on with thumb screws that allow it to be removed for changing the blade.
I’m not sure how much of an issue storing the longer blades is.
I’ve been told I probably don’t need anything more than the 14” However, I’ve never heard anyone say their bandsaw has too much power. More power makes it less likely that the operator will force the work causing drift.
They are about the same height and depth (the 18” 1” and 1.5” bigger). The 18” is 5 3/4” wider and 140 lb heavier.
What are your experiences with 14” and 18” bandsaws? Has anyone used both and formed an opinion? My gut says get the 18” but my head says get the 14”. Which should I listen to?
I need to decide by April 25th.