Rikon, Where have you been all my life?

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Forum topic by USCJeff posted 07-23-2007 04:33 AM 3814 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4305 days

07-23-2007 04:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: rikon bandsaw

I’m about to rave about my new toy, but should preface this with a disclaimer. Prior to this purchase, I was using a piece of junk $100 benchtop bandsaw. I hated using it because it was a fight to get it to do even a poor job.

I finally earned enough points at home to talk my wife into setting me loose at the local store. I’ve been wanting Rikon’s 14” 1.5HP Bandsaw since reading the Editor’s Choice review in Fine Woodworking. I looked hard at the Craftsman that got Best Value as well. It was less than $500. Not bad compared to the $800 tag most of the other one’s sported. I’ve learned the lesson though, get what you will want a couple years down the road. I’ve broken that rule too many times and it hits me in the wallet every time.

Anyways, I wanted to give it a quick test after assembly. The assembly itself was only difficult because the manual was as poor as I’ve seen. That’s the only flaw I’ve seen so far though. It came with a generic 3/4” stock blade. I changed it out for a 1/2” TimberWolf 4TPI blade I talked them into throwing into the purchase (Also scored a can of Topcote). I looked for the nastiest piece of lumber I could find and went to work. I couldn’t find anything to tough on hand. I ended up laminating a huge block of oak together to test the 13” resaw capacity. FineWoodworking said it cut their oak without pause. This was the case with my glued up piece as well. The fence and resaw bar are actually pretty nice compared to a Grizzly 14” and a Jet 14” I’ve used elsewhere. Not as nice as an aftermarket fence, Kreg for example. I also like the blade tracking window in the side of the saw. No need to open it up. Just take a peek. Blade change was average. There’s a slot in the table top to take care of that. On a side note, I learned how to coil a bandsaw blade at the store yesterday. I always wondered how that was done.

I only made a couple modifications. I built a mobile base for it, but really don’t anticipate moving it much. I added 100lbs. of sand to the base for stability. Not sure that it would need it as it already was pushing 300lbs. The sand was on hand and in the way, so I played it safe.

I’ll give a full accounting of its performance after a few projects. If anybody wants to know how to put this bandsaw inside a Mustang for transportation, let me know. I’ll only say this, after it was loaded. . . The salesman asked me if he could take a picture for their website. I also could not get it out the way it went in. I had to take it out of the box inside the car!

-- Jeff, South Carolina

19 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4637 days

#1 posted 07-23-2007 04:38 AM

Well why didn’t you post the picture. Curious minds want to know.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4233 days

#2 posted 07-23-2007 06:26 AM

cheers on the new saw!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4302 days

#3 posted 07-23-2007 08:06 AM

Good for you Jeff – happy that you got your “dream” saw – enjoy. Post some pics when you have a project. Wouldn’t mind some photos of that saw and if you can, the saw in your Mustang.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4397 days

#4 posted 07-23-2007 12:34 PM

celebration time!!

re: folding the blade. We struggled with instructions and finally just hung them up “as is” until the Wood Whisperer demonstrated how to do it… Pshaw WAY too easy.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View WayneC's profile


13798 posts in 4334 days

#5 posted 07-23-2007 03:25 PM

Enjoy the toy Jeff. You will have to do a review in a month or so after you have it fully checked out.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4305 days

#6 posted 07-23-2007 03:49 PM

Yes Debbie, I just watched Marc’s demo on coiling the blade. His style was the same as the guys at WoodZone (plug) that showed me. He actually said that one of the companies that sells some of the huge blades has it coiled into 6 loops when packaged. Neither of us could figure that out in the few minutes we tried. Word to the wise, wear gloves and long pants! I’m at work, but I’ll get some pics of the saw and transportation pics tonight.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4398 days

#7 posted 07-23-2007 04:30 PM

Nice find Jeff. It sounds like you got a great bargain, as well as a nice tool. We are looking forward to hearing of your adventures. I wonder if we will be seeing bandsaw boxes soon?

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4503 days

#8 posted 08-03-2007 09:57 PM

Yes. . . band saw boxes! But Bill, I just looked at your site and didn’t see any band saw boxes there. What’s with that? Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View CedarFreakCarl's profile


594 posts in 4290 days

#9 posted 08-04-2007 01:04 AM

Glad you gave WoodZone Karl a plug. I’ve bought a good bit of stuff from Woodzone and am probably going to get a Rikon bandsaw from there. At 3/4 hp, my Ridgid ain’t gettin it done. Karl, his wife and the whole crew have been good to me. He’s got some pretty good classes going also although I haven’t been able to attend any. Ok, well I guess I just gave him a plug.

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4547 days

#10 posted 08-04-2007 01:53 AM

You didn’t take a picture of it in the Mustang? What were you thinking? I know…you couldn’t wait another second to get it in the shop and make some dust, right? I’d like to hear more as you get some time with the saw.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4199 days

#11 posted 08-04-2007 04:45 AM

Congrats, Jeff, Nothing like a new toy especially a band saw. Have fun!!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4305 days

#12 posted 08-04-2007 05:35 AM

Hey Os, No I didn’t take the picture myself. As Carl mentioned earlier, I got it locally from which opened their first physical retail store here in SC this past year. Woodzone Karl, and the other staff there have filled a major void in this area. There were only a couple places to get the more common items. Most of those are geared towards construction and framing. It was nice to get a dedicated WWing store. Their competitor here just partnered with Rockler and added about a 1000 SF of Rockler Merchandise. Yes Carl, I’ve heard through the grapevine that the classes are popular, especially turning. Good to see another SC WWer on LJ’s. I hope you get the Rikon. I’ve put very little mileage on mine and have found it as the hype declared thus far. I found that adding casters to the predrilled base holes sacrifices a lot of stability. I went back and framed a mobile base around the saw and it solved the top heavy issue. I poured a 50lb of leveling sand and about another 50lb’s of fragments from some heavy paving stones that had been broken. I do have to move it reguarly away from the wall for long stock, so I couldn’t do without the mobility.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View CedarFreakCarl's profile


594 posts in 4290 days

#13 posted 08-04-2007 02:58 PM

Well, let me put it this way. I’m going to get the Rikon, it’s just a question of when and how to sneak it under the wife’s radar. ( Not really, she’s pretty good about tool purchases. I just have to get her something at the same time. lol )Sounds like you’ve got your stability and mobility under control. The Rikon is a really well engineered piece of equipment. I’m sure it will serve you well. Nice chatting with you.

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

View TruckGuy's profile


10 posts in 4375 days

#14 posted 08-04-2007 04:59 PM

Jeff, Thank you for the great review. I just sold my old Shopsmith bandsaw w/power base and it’s time to get a “REAL” bandsaw. The Rikon is high on my list. Your review really helps in my decision.

-- Russ - Bloomingdale, IL

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4398 days

#15 posted 08-04-2007 05:00 PM

Hope you can get some pictures soon Jeff.

No Donna, I have not tried bandsaw boxes yet. Right now I am concentrating my efforts on furniture, with a few small items as time permits. Maybe in the future I will try it.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

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