Things to look for when looking at used bandsaws

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 05-18-2014 03:04 PM 1039 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2139 days

05-18-2014 03:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw

Hey guys,

I am on the craigslist trail again, this time searching for a bandsaw. I am looking for a long-term saw with a decent amount of power (probably at least 2 hp, I do have 220), that has the capability to occasionally resaw boards about 10” wide. I have a decent amount of experience with bandsaws, but my current one is a homemade hand-me-down that doesn’t have a ton in common with your common bandsaw.

My question is what do I look for when I go to look at a saw in person? Obviously, a sample cut will reveal some things, as well as a visual inspection, but do y’all have any tips beyond that?



-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

5 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile


1309 posts in 2965 days

#1 posted 05-18-2014 03:56 PM

I have an old Walker-Turner 14” bandsaw from the 1940s that I bought used in about 1960. I still have it and it runs and saws like a dream! I would look for a used light industrial saw like a Powermatic or Delta. The really old ones from the 1940s on are well built heavy cast iron machines. As long as all of the parts are there there should be no problem If it hasn’t been badly abused. The damn things just can’t wear out! Most of my machines are older Delta machines, most from the 1960s and 1970s and the run just like new. The only “new” feature you see on many of today’s expensive bandsaws is some additional vertical capacity for re-sawing.

Most wood working machines are simple machines and the only thing that can WEAR out is the bearings which are easy to find and inexpensive. I have never had to replace a bearing in any of my machines most of which are 45 to 70 years old. In fact, I have never had to replace ANY part of my machines except the side guides in the bandsaw that tend to wear over time and these are cheap and easy to replace.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Wildwood's profile


2482 posts in 2339 days

#2 posted 05-18-2014 04:20 PM

What is your budget for a used 2 hp band saw? Used might prove more expensive than buying new.

Why not look at Grizzly G0457 14” saw with 10” cutting height or G0513ANV 17” saw with 12 1/8” cutting height?

Can find lot of old used 14” with ¾ or 1 HP saws with riser kit, urethane tires and other updates people want as much as 17” G0513 ANV saw.

Might not be cheaper finding a 14” band saw without riser kit that need to add one and replace the motor.

-- Bill

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3736 days

#3 posted 05-18-2014 04:25 PM

Loosen the blade and check the wheels for play, that will indicate worn out bearings. Decent tires are about $30 each, check those, expect to replace them on an old machine. Assume that wearble items are worn out until you know better,such as guides,belt, etc.You don’t want cracks in the cast iron. Make sure all the knobs tighten, loosen and do what they should. Check the blade tensioner and tilt. Cut some wood, see how it handles under a load.

Back in the day, dust collection was a broom and dustpan. It may or may not be an issue in your case.

Do some research, find out what’s good and what’s crap. Show up with cash and a truck to negotiate your best price.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3852 days

#4 posted 05-18-2014 04:33 PM

Look real carefully for cracked castings. They can be braised
but I wouldn’t recommend paying much for a saw with
a crack.

Band saws are pretty simple machines. If you can swing
it, look for a steel framed saw 16” or larger. Older
industrial cast iron saws are another option but they
tend to be real heavy.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2139 days

#5 posted 05-18-2014 09:44 PM

Thanks for the tips guys.

I have thought about a new grizzly, but all told to get the saw I would want, it would probably cost me about $1600 or $1700, which is about twice what I want to pay.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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