Are the $1k band saws worth it for a hobby level woodworker?

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Forum topic by Destinmatt posted 06-13-2014 12:10 AM 1708 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1610 days

06-13-2014 12:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw

I’m interested in acquiring a band saw again and want to know if the Rikon 10-325/Laguna 14-12/Grizzly G0513ANV are really worth the extra $300-$500 they cost over a used delta style 14” saw and/or Grizzly G0555?

I used to have a very used poor quality harbor freight 14” bandsaw with riser block that worked but had a lot of blade drift and was a pain to change blades. I was able to resaw logs ok, but the blade would stop with the slightest pinch or twist.

I plan to do basic furniture width cuts, less than 4”, and bandsaw boxes with occasional log resawing. Maybe in the future I would also like the ability to resaw veneer with an upgraded fence. I also have to stay mobile/moving conscious so 220V isn’t an option, and the amps the G0513 require is pushing it. I’m also at the level of, if I can get 3-10 projects done a year, it’s been a good year.

14 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


8155 posts in 2297 days

#1 posted 06-13-2014 12:14 AM

I have a G0555 with the riser block and can resaw stuff 12” wide no problem. If you will use it all the time, get the better saw. If you don’t need the extra 3”, get the G0555 and a riser block.

Just depends on how much you will use it.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3795 days

#2 posted 06-13-2014 12:15 AM

I find resawing over-rated in furniture making. A solid band saw
with 6” height capacity is adequate to build some very fine
stuff, even cut veneers.

A larger band saw is nice to have of course, but that goes for
most woodworking machines where larger sized machines
tend towards true industrial quality.

View Bieser's profile


176 posts in 2182 days

#3 posted 06-13-2014 12:29 AM

I just upgraded from a porter cable 14 inch to a Laguna 14 inch SUV. I haven’t put enough hours on the machine yet to tell. I am not sure I see the value in it yet. I bought so I could do some resawing so we will see the 3hp motor does move along nice though. I would say if you don’t plane to resaw often the 14 inch saws in the 400 to 600 range will do just fine.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2682 posts in 3069 days

#4 posted 06-13-2014 12:47 AM

-I agree with Jmartel I have a GO555 and use it mostly for re-sawing. I am a hobbyist but I spend 40+ hours a week in my wood shop. I do not know of a band saw with an easy blade changing feature. I can change and adjust mine in five minutes now, but it took longer when I first got this saw.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Andre's profile


2067 posts in 1953 days

#5 posted 06-13-2014 12:50 AM

I have an older Delta 14” and very happy with what it can do, it has a few upgrades but your best bet is get some good blades! LV has some great options for whatever you may want to do. I got my saw for $300.00 used (very little)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View nicksmurf111's profile


367 posts in 1598 days

#6 posted 06-13-2014 01:00 AM

I paid $250 for a vintage Delta, but see them regularly on Craigslist for less. If your at all handy, I wouldn’t spend big bucks unless it fills a certain nich.

-- Nicholas

View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 1742 days

#7 posted 06-13-2014 01:10 AM

I have a 25 y/o Rockwell 14” that has been worked to death. The band saw is my favorite tool and it gets a workout everyday. I have up graded the guides to roller guides, changed out the tension spring for a better one, put good urethane tires on the wheels and I use nothing but Timber wolf blades, mostly 1/4” and 1/2” and I can still get a pretty good band saw box after all these years. Changing a blade is about a 15 minute pain in the backside but that how it is. I’d love to have something better but I am too old to invest in something expensive. So I am really OK with this antique. If you only make 10 projects a year and not all of them on the band saw I don’t see investing more than $400-500 in a new saw. Look for a used on on Ebay and Craigs list, sometime you can find a gem.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View nicksmurf111's profile


367 posts in 1598 days

#8 posted 06-13-2014 03:14 AM

I have one of those aftermarket cranks on my Delta 14”, so the only thing slowing me down while changing a blade is removing both covers (they don’t hinge). The original tensioner was missing (I got the machine all the way home and re-assembled before I missed it).

-- Nicholas

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6947 posts in 2346 days

#9 posted 06-13-2014 03:44 AM

To some it’s worth it.. be it for the warranty, the shiney new object effect, a commercial/business environment, whatever.. to some it’s not, and a tried and true older Delta or similar fits the bill nicely. I personally would (and did) save your money and wait for a nice used machine to come up on Craigslist or other local classified.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Destinmatt's profile


2 posts in 1610 days

#10 posted 06-13-2014 03:54 PM

Thanks for all the advise! New and shiny isn’t important to me at all. I haven’t had the opportunity to use any of the new bandsaw models. I didn’t know if they made any big improvements over the 50+ (sure it’s way older) year old design of the 14” cast iron delta. If all you get is a bigger motor and a sleeker appearance, it’s probably not worth it.

View nicksmurf111's profile


367 posts in 1598 days

#11 posted 06-13-2014 04:00 PM

I already have a big motor on my 50 year old Delta, and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

-- Nicholas

View WhyMe's profile


1053 posts in 1708 days

#12 posted 06-13-2014 04:01 PM

Have you taken a look at the Craftsman 14” bandsaw? It’s made by Rikon and is the same as the 10-321 give and take a few minor cosmetic differences. I’m a hobbyist and I’ve got the Craftsman 14” and it does great.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2517 days

#13 posted 06-13-2014 04:36 PM

I paid under $200 for my 1984 Delta 14” a few years back on CraigsList. All it needed was some cleaning. With some extra money, if I had any, I would upgrade the guides. Only updates are timberwolf blades and cool blocks. I’ve resawn 6” wide walnut to pieces around 1/8” thick without issue. I’m sure the cut quality would improve if I had a fence, or better guides, but it did what I needed it to.

Long story short, you can get a great hobbyist bandsaw for way less. And have money for upgrades, and then some left over.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View BigJerryWayne's profile


138 posts in 2250 days

#14 posted 06-14-2014 12:25 AM

I have a Craftsman 14” and a friend has a 14” HF. I wouldn’t trade my Craftsman for 4 HF saws. I have used his quite times.few

-- An oak tree is just a nut that stood it's ground.

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