Baldor or Leeson for t/s motor

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Forum topic by CrazeeTxn posted 04-26-2013 02:01 AM 1613 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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150 posts in 947 days

04-26-2013 02:01 AM

Searching around, there are hit and miss topics about which is “better”. From what I’ve read, Baldor is at the top of the list with Leeson a close second.

Reason I’m looking is because the motor on my 80’s craftsman saw has a bad bearing. The guy at the motor shop said the ball bearing was easily replaceable, but the sleeve bearing is what’s getting ready to go and those aren’t. It has a subtle yet annoying vibration that will shake wood and tools from the extension tables. He checked the shaft and it was straight.

Looking around, I can get both in a 1hp, but I can get the Leeson shipped to the house for $200 and the Baldor shipped to the house for $240. I’m all about saving a buck, but would I be doing myself an injustice saving $40?

Both are made in the US and that’s one of the reasons I’m after them.


11 replies so far

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2644 days

#1 posted 04-26-2013 02:06 AM

Both are good quality. Baldor has the edge in longstanding
reputation but both brands are built pretty much the same.

Set up properly and maintained (they don’t need much)
motors can last for decades. It takes a lot to wear them


View CrazeeTxn's profile


150 posts in 947 days

#2 posted 04-26-2013 12:38 PM

Hmmm, while I was looking at them some more, it seems the Leeson doesn’t have overload protection. Probably NOT a game changer, but now I’m leaning more towards the Baldor.

Either way, I’m going to have to order and wait for the brown truck to come around…

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2821 posts in 1490 days

#3 posted 04-26-2013 02:01 PM

Baldor are good quality industrial motors. But in a home shop setting, either brand (plus a few others) would be equally good. I replaced the Baldor on my DC with a Leeson (very long story). Personally, I don’t see the overload being an issues, but that’s just me. In your case, the savings are minimal and if you value that overload I’d get the Baldor….but no matter which you buy, it’s going to work our well for you.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View toolie's profile


1877 posts in 1625 days

#4 posted 04-26-2013 02:01 PM

the unisaw i sold had a 40yo baldor motor on it. the motor bearings were replaced and it ran like a new motor. lots of torque. but i don’t think you can go wrong with either motor in a hobbyist shop.

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

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1573 days

#5 posted 04-26-2013 03:14 PM

Are you sure they’re made in the US?
I thought both switched to overseas manufacturing.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View nwbusa's profile


1017 posts in 1283 days

#6 posted 04-26-2013 04:52 PM

According to Leeson, some of their motors are manufactured in the US, while others are manufactured abroad:

LEESON’s 48 and S56 frame AC motors are manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility in West Plains Missouri and Juarez, Mexico. In the western Wisconsin city of Black River Falls, LEESON manufactures 56 and 140T frame standard AC motors. Larger frame standard AC motors manufactured in Monterrey, Mexico, Lebanon, MO, and Wausau, WI. Our gear reducers are assembled and manufactured in Union Grove, Wisconsin. Permanent magnet direct current motors, built to NEMA and IEC metric dimensions, are the focus of LEESON’s facility in Lincoln Missouri. And our plant in Hanover, Ontario is dedicated to short-run specials—particularly multi-speed designs—for U.S. and Canadian customers.

Couldn’t readily find first hand evidence regarding Baldor’s current manufacturing locations.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Earlextech's profile


1142 posts in 1687 days

#7 posted 04-26-2013 04:57 PM

I’ve never had a Leeson motor but I have had several Baldor. Never had a problem with them over 30 years.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

5453 posts in 1376 days

#8 posted 04-26-2013 05:09 PM

I like to factor in the life of the machine so if you keep the saw 10 more years the Baldor motor will cost an extra $4/yr. May or may not be worth it but it sounds as if you want the Baldor so it’s something to consider. If you’re only going to keep the saw a few more years then buy a used or rebuilt motor.


View CrazeeTxn's profile


150 posts in 947 days

#9 posted 04-26-2013 07:50 PM

Being US made is one of the main reasons I’m looking at these two. And doublely checked with the shipper. Not idea how long I’ll keep the saw, but I can guarantee you the old ones going back on there and the new one on a new one or something to that affect.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

5453 posts in 1376 days

#10 posted 04-26-2013 08:08 PM

A busted motor will make the saw next to worthless if you try to sell it.


View CrazeeTxn's profile


150 posts in 947 days

#11 posted 04-27-2013 02:50 AM

I’d let them certainly test drive it before hand and make sure they know about the virbation. It may be tolerable for some, but it was certainly annoying to me.

Anyhow…I appreciate all ya’ll’s inputs. $237 I have a Baldor L1309A on the way. 1 hp and overload protection, 3450 rpm, keyed shaft…and some machined pulleys on the side :)

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