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Trying to decide between a Rikon, Laguna, and Grizzly Bandsaw - any input?

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Forum topic by tengallonhat posted 175 days ago 1917 views 0 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tengallonhat

77 posts in 341 days


175 days ago

I’m trying to decide between the following three bandsaws. I mostly plan to use it to resaw, but will be doing some free hand and curve cuts as well.

I’ve gotten stuck trying to decide between these three as they are the ones that seem like the top value in (or slightly above) my budget.

Laguna seems far and away the most expensive of the 3, and Rikon is going to be the least expensive. The Laguna and the Rikon go on sale fairly regularly (They both are right now).

They are all within a few hundred dollars, but the Grizzly stands out to me. The new Laguna looks nice, but hasn’t really been established yet because it’s so new.

Any thoughts or input would be appreciated!?

Thanks.

Grizzly 17”: http://www.grizzly.com/products/17-2-HP-Bandsaw-Anniversary-Edition/G0513ANV
SPECIFICATIONS:

Motor: 2 HP, 110V/220V, single-phase, TEFC capacitor start induction, 1725 RPM, 60 Hz, prewired 220V
Amps: 20A at 110V, 10A at 220V
Power transfer: Belt drive
Precision-ground cast-iron table
Table size: 17” x 17” x 1-1/2” thick
Table tilt: 10° left, 45° right
Floor to table height: 37-1/2”
Cutting capacity/throat: 16-1/4” left of blade
Maximum cutting height: 12-1/8”
Blade size: 131-1/2” long
Blade width range: 1/8” – 1” wide
2 blade speeds: 1700 and 3500 FPM
Wheels: Computer-balanced cast-aluminum with polyurethane tires
Wheel covers: Pre-formed steel
Blade guides: Euro-style roller disc with full enclosure protection
Bearings: Sealed and permanently lubricated
Overall size: 73” H x 32” W x 32” D
Approximate shipping weight: 342 lbs.

Laguna 1412: http://www.lagunatools.com/bandsaws/1412-Bandsaw
Motor: 1-3/4 HP TEFC
Voltage: 115/230V (pre-wired 115V)
Wheel Size: 14’‘
Throat Depth: 13-5/8’‘
Resaw Capacity: 12’‘
Footprint: 25’’ x 18’‘
Height: 70-1/4’‘
Table Dimensions: 21-1/2’’ x 16’‘
Table Height from Floor: 38’‘
45° Table Tilt Right
7° Table Tilt Left
90° Positive Stop
Miter Slot: 3/8’’ x 3/4’‘
Fence Dimensions: 18’’ x 5-1/2’’ x 1/2’‘
Blade Length: 115’‘
Min. Blade Width: 1/8’‘
Max. Blade Width: 3/4’‘
Trunnion: 8’’ x 13’‘
Illuminated On/Off Switch
6’ Cord with Nema 5-15P plug

Rikon 14” Deluxe: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/rikon-14-deluxe-bandsaw.aspx
Motor: 1-1/2 HP
Cutting Capacity: 13-5/8” Wide x 13” High
Table: 21-1/2” wide by 16” deep
Table tilt: up to 45° right or 5° left
Dust port: 4”
Blade Length: 111”
Blade Width: 1/8” – 3/4”
Comes with 5/8” blade installed
Cutting Speeds: 1445 / 2950 fpm
Overalll size: 30” wide x 25” deep x 75” high
Weight: 251 lbs
Footprint: 24” wide x 17-1/2” deep


44 replies so far

View Fish22's profile (online now)

Fish22

52 posts in 1698 days


#1 posted 175 days ago

I have the 14” grizzly with the riser block, and am very happy with it. I would recommend the same to you, because the difference in resaw capacity is an 1/8”, and to me I would rather lose that small amount, but keep $300 in my pocket.

-- Bryan, South River, NJ

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1446 posts in 1013 days


#2 posted 175 days ago

There is a huge difference between a 14” saw and a 17” saw, are you sure you are comparing apples with apples?
I have a 25 year old 16” Grizzly and really like it, but they don’t make them that cheap any more, it is just a basic bandsaw, but it gets the job done.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View rustfever's profile

rustfever

619 posts in 1895 days


#3 posted 175 days ago

My experience with the Laguna 16 is very good. I would recommend both the company and the tool.

Never an experience with the Rixon.

Grizzly 18 was a difficulty, to say the least. Ended up giving it away, as I felt to to be so bad I could not justify selling it to anyone.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7164 posts in 2233 days


#4 posted 175 days ago

I don’t really recommend a 14” band saw if you can get something
bigger, because the throat capacity of a larger saw really does
come in handy.

However those ceramic Laguna guides are really good. The Laguna
comes with a nice fence for resaw work and the travel of the
upper guide is probably pretty consistent, which reduces the
need to reset guides when cutting height is changed.

People do grouse about Laguna but they do have a lot of
experience making band saws to meet professional woodworking
standards. I’d say they are more working to a quality standard
while the others are shooting at price points.

The other thing I tell people who are looking for a band saw
for resawing is “get the one that takes the widest blade”.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View bugz's profile

bugz

773 posts in 1249 days


#5 posted 175 days ago

I have 2 of the Rikon’s, they are great saws. The 17” Grizzly is also a great saw, I have used one of these. I know nothing of the Laguna, I know nothing about it. Either of other two are great saws. Good luck.

-- Bob, Lewistown, Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2935 posts in 872 days


#6 posted 175 days ago

I use a HF with a riser and it’ll do just fine. As long as you know how to set up a BS properly, any of them work fine. I can see going with something that has a large bed and good fence if you resaw primarily, but fact is, you use the BS for all kinds of things. I watched a vid that Charles Neil posted a week or so ago and I can easily resaw hardwood up to about 10 inches thick with a 1/4 timberwolf blade. It’s all in the set up.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1016 posts in 871 days


#7 posted 175 days ago

The Laguna has cast iron wheels whereas the Grizzly’s are aluminum. Not sure about the Rikon.

The Rikon has two speeds, which might be useful if you’re interested in cutting metal.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Toolz's profile

Toolz

999 posts in 2328 days


#8 posted 175 days ago

I love my 16” Laguna and contrary to other reports I have found their support department to be very professional. I bought the saw used and Laguna was very helpful when I had questions and even e-mailed me the manuals for the saw and driftmaster fence.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View ScrubPlane's profile

ScrubPlane

187 posts in 781 days


#9 posted 174 days ago

I think part of the answer lies in what level of re-sawing you plan on doing and the frequency.

For the occasional re-saw I would go with the Grizzly. I have one and it works quite well with an upgrade to a nice dedicated re-saw blade.

That said, if you need to do this sort of work regularly I would go with the Laguna. I believe the Laguna’s are ‘made more’ for this sort of work as opposed to just a saw that can ‘double’ as one.

Let you need/frequency be the decider…

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10418 posts in 1275 days


#10 posted 174 days ago

I have the 17” Grizzly Extreme Series and would recommend it highly over the Grizz you have referenced. BECAUSE it has cast iron wheels, comes with a nice resaw fence, and has cast iron trunions.

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

View WoodJitsu's profile

WoodJitsu

42 posts in 1378 days


#11 posted 174 days ago

I bought the Rikon last weekend when Woodcraft had their sale on them. I was debating over the same three you are, but eventually decided that the Rikon was perfect for my needs – and I have ZERO complaints (yet) It runs smooth as silk and powers through wood just fine wired 110v. I’ve not yet resawn anything over 6”, but from what I’ve read, it should be no problem. If space is a premium, get the Rikon – 12” resaw with a very small footprint. Table is nice and big too, love the extra table size compared to my Ridgid that I just sold. I’ve also read that the guide bearings are a pain, but I’ve not noticed this yet, but if they do become a problem, they are easy enough to upgrade.

Edit: My concern before I bought the Rikon were the trunnions. The Ridgid had an awful setup and I didn’t want to deal with something similar. I’m very happy with the trunnion. Very smooth and lock in place just fine. They are not cast Iron, but rather some sort of cast alloy. Seem very heavy duty though

-- Family, Friends, Jiu Jitsu, Woodworking. Order varies daily!

View Guy Belleman's profile

Guy Belleman

18 posts in 203 days


#12 posted 174 days ago

I have an old Grizzly 15” and a newer 17”. After years of using a 14” and adapting its problems, the box frames of both were a huge improvement. The 17” is a dream. Many models of the 17” to chose from. I really like the tension and tracking windows.

For years, I read the great reviews on the Laguna drooled to eventually own one. When I actually used one, it was impressive, and then I saw the Grizzly in the showroom and was equally impressed with it. I got the 17” five years ago, had some money over to get a couple of good blades and have never regretted it. Actually, it is still wired for 110V from before I added 220v to the shop and it has done everything I wanted.

As mentioned above, there is a huge difference between a typical 14” saw and a larger saw. It is comparing apples to oranges. Get the larger saw if feasible.

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3503 posts in 1063 days


#13 posted 174 days ago

I am going to recommend the new Jet as its simply finer than all three saws on your list the saw is simply perfect.the model is jwbs14sf I have been testing it for the past month and have to say it is the best band saw in a 14 inch i have ever used. I will be doing a full review of the saw in the next couple of weeks.

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View RichardDePetris's profile

RichardDePetris

25 posts in 271 days


#14 posted 174 days ago

Nice list. I have a so called Crapstman Professional 14” Bandsaw which is nearly identical to the Rikon 320 (older model), but has a 4” higher cutting capacity. You can see the pictures as well as a nice jig for cutting logs.

I will give you a definitive an answer to your question: buy the Laguna! I don’t own one, but I want one after reading the reviews and using my bandsaw over the past year. Both the Grizzly and Rikons are based off of the same tired old design that hasn’t changed in decades. They are probably made in the same facilities with different branding and little in the way of value added features. Laguna appears to have invested R&D into solving some very important issues facing the bandsaw that keep it from becoming the true go-to-tool in the shop. The beauty of the machine alone is worthy the price. Checkout the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrnLrMfM9tc. Boy, they really went all out on this model!

Here’s the most important criteria for any bandsaw:

QUALITY OF CUT
Quality of cut is the most important factor, but Bandsaws all have the same issues and although I haven’t seen the cut quality of the different machines, it’s largely determined by your setup and blade. Of the three bandsaws, Laguna takes a lot of the work out of the setup that typically causes bandsaw owners grief.

GUIDES
The Laguna ceramic guides are legendary. On the other models, you have the typical bearing guides that are painful to adjust. You just want to get your work done instead of playing machinist. With the Laguna just set it and forget it. This also makes it brain dead easy to change the blade which leads us to the next criterion.

BLADE CHANGES
Most bandsaw owners keep one general purpose blade on the machine or dedicate the entire machine for one type of cut. They do this because changing blades is too troublesome. You want to change the blade depending on the type of cut without making compromises in quality. Overall, the blade swapping appears to be easy on the Laguna, but since the table is dead flat, there’s less messing around with the table lock to align the table.

TRUNIONS
The Laguna trunions are very durable and cast iron. It appears to be better designed. My bandsaw has a cheapy aluminum one and it’s a PITA keeping the table squared because there’s a friction knob that slips due to heavy stock or time. The Rikon 325 is iron, but same basic design.

FENCE
The fence on the Laguna is way better than the Rikon or the Grizzly. It’s the same as on their larger saws you don’t have to buy or make a specialized fence for resawing. It can be oriented to a low profile as well for smaller stock easily. Few bandsaw owners like their fences.

CUTTING CAPACITY
Since the Rikon and the Laguna are identical in cutting capacity, I would definitely rule out the Grizzly. There’s nothing worse than not being able to process raw lumber because of cutting capacity limitations.

View JesseTutt's profile

JesseTutt

792 posts in 696 days


#15 posted 174 days ago

I have a version of the Grizzly 17 (the X2BF version) and am highly pleased with it. I have used it extensively for re-saw work (my own and as a subcontractor) and it has held up for hours of continuous running. I’m not really impressed with the fence, but I always use a ruler.

For about any saw you will need a better blade. The Woodslicer (highland hardware) or the Timber Wolf are usually considered the best.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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