First Bandsaw Question

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Forum topic by mvh posted 11-16-2008 06:32 PM 1852 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 3690 days

11-16-2008 06:32 PM

I am in the market for my first bandsaw and have a question concerning what motor size is adequate for a 14” bandsaw resawing 10-12”. I was at the local Woodcraft store the other day and was told that 1.5 HP is the minimum for this type of work. The guy was pushing hard for the 14” Rikon which I know is a good saw, but I don’t know if the amount of use that it would get can justify the cost. I am a weekend hobbyist just getting started, buy enjoy it a lot. I hear alot of good reviews about Grizzly’s Ultimate G0555, but it only has 1 HP. Can this saw really handle resawing around the 10-12” with out greatly bogging the motor down? With the information from the Woodcraft salesman, my top picks so far are the Grizzly Extreme 0555X($672 w/shipping+riser), Steel City($619 + tax+riser), or the Rikon 10-325($800 + tax). I don’t mind spending the dollars for these saws if it serves my needs and don’t have to worry about being dissatisfied with my purchase. But I also don’t want to buy a lot more saw than I really need either. I guess I am just curious if I really need 1.5 HP when other saws of lesser HP get good reveiws. Also if anyone has one of my three picks that I mentioned I would like to hear any feedback about them. Thanks.

12 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4024 days

#1 posted 11-16-2008 07:43 PM

The Rikon has been reviewed here and the Grizzly G0555 has been reviewed here and here. A review of the Steel City bandsaw was posted by GaryK and Closetguy added another review. There are other review posted for band saws. Just do a search in the review section to see other comments.

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

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4077 days

#2 posted 11-16-2008 10:22 PM

I have had the Grizzly 555 for about a year now, and I’m pleased with it. I put the riser kit on it and using a Woodslicer blade, I’ve re-sawn 11” mesquite with no problems. And when set up right, I have no drift at all. To me, it was well worth the price.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3850 days

#3 posted 11-16-2008 10:36 PM

a 1/2 HP motor is adequate for a 14” bandsaw. If you plan to saw
a lot of thick stock or run dull blades you may want more. You can
always upgrade to a bigger motor later if needed.

Guys like BIG horsepower. If you plan to resaw 12” boards all day
get a 2-3 hp saw… but to be honest it’s easier and more fun to
cut those wide boards in half and resaw them at 4-6” wide and
then joint and glue them back together. Wide resawn boards
warp, often badly.

if you are sawing out bowl blanks… well ok then – get a 1.5 or
bigger saw.

I like a big saw with wide tires so I can run a 1” wide blade on it –
not an option you get with most of the 14” saws out there.

View mvh's profile


18 posts in 3690 days

#4 posted 11-16-2008 11:22 PM

Thanks for the info. i hadn’t thought about the warping factor which makes a lot of sense. to ask a dumb question since I’m new to the woodworking hobby- What does the term drift mean? I take it to mean that the blades stays in about the same place and the cut off piece is a consistent width. Am i on the track?

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4018 days

#5 posted 11-16-2008 11:28 PM

Exactly. Drift is how much the blade wanders through the cut.

And my 14” Jet has a 1 hp motor with the riser. It has no problem re-sawing 10” maple. The 14” cast iron saws are all practically identical Delta knockoffs. It wouldn’t surprise me much to discover that the castings are all manufactured in the same plant in China.

Loren has a good point too. I can’t tell you how many times I have re-sawn a wide board only to have it cup, requiring ripping in half, face jointing and glueing back together to get the cup out.

-- Scott - Chico California

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3970 days

#6 posted 11-16-2008 11:34 PM

1 horse can go it. i have a 3/4 horse and i can get though 10 – 12” stuff. just take your time and use as course a blade as possible.

View Grumpy's profile


24658 posts in 4053 days

#7 posted 11-16-2008 11:56 PM

teenagewoodworker has the key with that low TPI blade.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3876 days

#8 posted 11-17-2008 01:05 AM

Even with my smaller blades i tend to only keep 3/4 skip tooth blades around. the slight rough cut is fairly easy to sand down and the speed increase on the cut side makes up for the finishing side.

View DonFaulk0517's profile


132 posts in 3688 days

#9 posted 11-18-2008 02:39 AM

I have had a Rikon 14” Deluxe Bandsaw (#10-325) for 1 and 1/2 years now and have great sucess with it. The only thing I have done is to get rid of the poor quality blade it came with (rough cuts and quite a bit of drift while cutting) and put on a PS Wood blade ( Using the Rikon with the PS Wood blade I get smooth clean cuts with no drift. I am also new with woodworking, and with the Rikon (and the quality blade) I can follow lines easily. I highly recommend it.


View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4190 days

#10 posted 11-18-2008 02:53 AM

I have a Delta and a Steel City. They are both pretty good. The Steel City comes with a mobile base built in and also comes with a fence and light.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3939 days

#11 posted 11-18-2008 03:38 AM

If you are intending to re-saw a lot of wood in the 10” to 12” size, I recommend you get a larger saw with at least a 3 hp motor. I use a MM24 (24”) band saw for re-sawing. I also have the Hitachi dedicated re-saw band saw. The Hitachi has a 3” wide blade. The MM24 has a 5 hp motor and is designed to re-saw wood all day long if needed. The Hitachi has a 2 hp motor and I fell is inadequate. I will eventually put on a 5 hp motor so it can actually do what it is intended to do. You could get by with a 1.5 hp saw for short runs of wide boards. However, the motor will eventually fail. Laguna, Minimax, along with a few others make good band saws for re-sawing. You might also consider picking up an older American made saw that has been or can be restored. They are very strong and worth the effort. The larger diameter band saws will also allow you to use a carbide blade. My 2 re-saw band saws have carbide blades on them. They may be expensive at the start but will pay for themselves quickly because they last so long. Good Luck, John

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Albert's profile


516 posts in 3792 days

#12 posted 11-19-2008 02:43 AM

I think if you go over 1 1/2 HP you need to upgrade to 220 volts, something to consider depending on your electrical setup.

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