Bandsaws: Ridgid 1400 or Delta 28-243

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Forum topic by yrnomad posted 05-12-2013 06:23 PM 11435 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 3359 days

05-12-2013 06:23 PM

I’ve been shopping for a better 14” bandsaw than the Central machinery 14” that I have. I’ve been shopping craigslist for a delta, ridgid or craftsman contractor grade for around $200. Recently an older (20ish years) Delta 28-243 popped up for $200 and I got excited… but it only has a 1/2 hp motor, I expected at least a 1hp motor. What do you folks think, is it still worth it over the ridgid / craftsman products?

25 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2627 days

#1 posted 05-12-2013 06:39 PM

I have the newer (Orange) Ridgid bandsaw. I’d gladly trade it for a 1/2hp Delta.
Personally, I’d put the Ridgid in the same class as the Central Machinery that you already own. Its not a terrible machine. But I’d describe it as mediocre- at best.

Are you planning to install a riser kit for resawing?? If not, then 1/2 hp is plenty for a bandsaw.
And you can always put a larger motor on it later if you really wanted to.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2499 days

#2 posted 05-12-2013 06:51 PM

I’m not sure the Delta with 1/2hp is much of an upgrade. I have the Orange Ridgid BS and with some tuning up I now LOVE it.

You could tune up your HF saw and make it really nice for less than 200 bones in my opinion.

You can see some of the pics of the BS if you peruse my link below.

link belt, eurathane tires, balanced tires, place saw on solid base, cool blocks, Timberwolf blade. With the 3/4hp motor I resaw 6 inch hardwoods with ease.

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1554 posts in 2499 days

#3 posted 05-12-2013 06:54 PM

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1797 posts in 2311 days

#4 posted 05-12-2013 08:12 PM

1/2HP is fine if you’ve got a good sharp blade with 3 TPI. A bigger motor will permit a dull blade to keep cutting but it won’t make the cut any better.

If you’ve already got the Rigid I’d be inclined to suggest you just hang onto it. The performance increase provided by the more expensive saws is marginal. In fact, the more expensive saws often have fancy blade guides with bearings instead of blocks and those bearing guides are a genuine hassle to tune up.

One word of advice on the Rigid though, the stock base is likely a thin sheet metal affair. If you either reinforce the base with plywood to stiffen the top up or build a new base like Todd did you’ll find it operates much more smoothly.

Now if that Delta has a decent fence (and if your Rigid doesn’t) it might be a worthy upgrade. A bandsaw without a fence is a crippled bandsaw. That being said, aftermarket fences are available that can be added to the Rigid.

-- See my work at and

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#5 posted 05-12-2013 08:14 PM

If you are looking to “UP-grade” why not look for something better than what you currently have?
And bigger.
Bigger is better.
I have a couple of power tools from Delta of about 16 years ago.
A 10” compound miter saw.
It’s nothing to crow about.
I have a little Delta 12” band saw from the same time period.
It’s a POS, with three plastic wheels, sheet metal frame and an aluminum table.
All tools Delta were not great.
Especially when they were known as Rockwell Delta. At least , in my opinion.

View toolie's profile


2121 posts in 2622 days

#6 posted 05-12-2013 08:49 PM

yrnomad… a big fan of ridgid’s power tools, i’ve heard, and read, that the bs1400 is probably the weakest link in their stationary power tool offerings. that said, with a littlel effort, it can be made serviceable, as todd indicated above. you should also know that michael fortune, of FWW magazine, reportedly uses a 1400 as his “go to” band saw. so i see your choice as kind of a toss up, and would determine my choice based on the condition of whichever unit i found first at an agreeable price.

todd23…... nice job on the 1400. you’ve hit all the areas that need to be addressed to make the 1400 serviceable. now just get a good lennox blade from iturra or a woodslicer from highland WW and start utilizing the full potential of your 1400.

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

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2271 days

#7 posted 05-12-2013 08:55 PM

If you have $200 saved up, you may luck out getting a better than Ridgid bandsaw. But, if you can save up and swing more $$, look into a Grizzly 14”. The G0555 family of bandsaws are a good bang for the buck and get good reviews… I own the G0555P and have had no issues….

The G0555LANV is the 30th Anniversary Edition….currently on sale.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2499 days

#8 posted 05-12-2013 11:13 PM

Thanks for the kind words Toolie, and yes when the TW blade dulls I’ve thought about getting a Lenox or Woodslicer blade next.

View yrnomad's profile


8 posts in 3359 days

#9 posted 05-15-2013 01:21 AM

Thanks all,
Well, I missed out on the Delta. It was a 3 hour round trip drive, so it was hard to get schedule in right now. They dropped the price to $175, but by the time I saw that it was gone.
There is still an orange Ridgid for $175 (no fence, no other goodies) and a contractor grade Craftsman (has 1-1/2hp motor, but again no fence, no other goodies) for $150
So I’m in kind of a holding pattern to see if something comes up with better accessories.
There are gray Ridgid Bandsaws. but I’m not sure how old that makes them or if they are any better. Usually Delta and Jet 14” saws start at $350 I don’t think I’ve seen a grizzly bandsaw on CL… or many other of there tools, which I think is strange since I live in the northwest.
Todd, when you said balanced tires, does that mean balancing the wheels with weights, like you do on a car?

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2684 days

#10 posted 05-15-2013 01:45 AM

I just got a gray Ridgid bandsaw and rehabbed it. It doesn’t seem to have the problems that people talk about with the orange ones.

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

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

158 posts in 2045 days

#11 posted 05-15-2013 02:02 AM

What do you not like about the CM you have now? I don’t know much about the delta, but it the CM seems awfully similar to the Ridgid and a lot of the other 14” band saws in that class. It seems you would be trading one saw for a nearly identical one. I have the CM band saw and after replacing the v-belts with link belts, balancing the wheels, adding cool blocks, adding a 4” dust port to the lower door and adding a better blade I’m pretty happy with it. I just wish it had a fence. If it were me I would spend that money on hot rodding the CM or save up for something bigger and better.

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View yrnomad's profile


8 posts in 3359 days

#12 posted 05-15-2013 04:06 AM

Hmmm. good question.
For starters, I’m not sure how old it is. I got it from someone I lived next to 15 years ago when he upgraded to a Jet So, maybe it’s a bit of fear of opening a can of worms. I replaced the guides above the table with cool blocks, but the ones below the table are round, so I guess I need to replace the brackets, blocks, rear bearings…

View yrnomad's profile


8 posts in 3359 days

#13 posted 05-15-2013 05:31 AM

Maybe I should ask… if I don’t have a model number for a brand that not usually included in the list of ones you can get parts for… how do you get brackets, and bearings and such?

View toolie's profile


2121 posts in 2622 days

#14 posted 05-15-2013 01:34 PM

what’s the model number of the contractor grade 1 1/2 hp c-man you mentioned above? some of those were built for sears by rikon and they are dead ringers for rikon, like the 22401.

also, as an FYI, those gray colored ridgid stationary power tools were made in the usa by emerson tools for ridgid and carry a lifetime guaranty against manufacturing defects that attaches to the tool regardless of ownership. my family are big ridgid users and we’ve never been disappointed with them or the support form ridgid.

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

View MrRon's profile (online now)


4761 posts in 3237 days

#15 posted 05-15-2013 05:50 PM

Fine Woodworking on line has a section on tool reviews and rates all the bandsaws. The Ridgid and HF bandsaws got pretty good reviews. I have the Ridgid BS1400 and I modified it as shown in the photo. Works much better.

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