Bandsaw reputation?

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Forum topic by willhime posted 01-20-2015 06:57 PM 1087 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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107 posts in 1536 days

01-20-2015 06:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question bandsaw

I’m wondering about some opinions on bandsaws. I decided to bite the bullet and drop a grand on one, but after much research and conflicting comparisons, I’m kind of at a loss on what to think. For the price, the Rikon ($700) 14” bandsaw looks like a good comprimise financially, but of course I’m looking at the Laguna’s value line ($1,100). Which is awesome, but $400 more? I could get that new woodriver 13 planer with a helical head. Then again, this is one of the industries that follows the ‘get what you pay for’ mode almost more than any other I’ve experienced. Steel city looks nice, as well as general machinery…

and lastly, I’m wondering if I’ll have buyer’s regret if I get a 14 then realize I should’ve spent just a little more to get the 18 ?

Sorry, I know that’s a lot, but any tips would be helpful.


-- Burn your fire for no witness

12 replies so far

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2602 days

#1 posted 01-20-2015 07:16 PM

The 14 vs 18 inch question should be answered by what you are going to do with it. If you plan to resaw a lot of logs that came straight form the ground or a lot of really really big bowl blanks that are going to be larger then say 20” in diameter then an 18” might be a better option.

If you plan to do some small resawing and some curves then a 14” is great.

I don’t own either saw. But I belong to a woodworking club in the back of a woodcraft and I pass the Laguna 1412 all the time. That is the saw you should buy if you have the money. It is superior in every way. They may look superficially similar. But there are quite a few differences. One of the major ones is the trunnion assembly. The Laguna has giant cast iron trunions and two of them that are double wide. The Rikon, well I think its pot metal but don’t swear me to it. Certainly they are much weaker looking. Will they work? Sure, but with these machines the more metal you throw at something the less vibration you have. And since your table and anything you put on it rests on these trunions its good to have strong ones.

Take a look at this obviously biased but helpful review on the laguna

Vs some pictures from this user review of the rikon

View Joel_B's profile


342 posts in 1378 days

#2 posted 01-20-2015 07:28 PM

You could look a Grizzly and save some money.
I just bought a used JET 14” for $300, you may not need to spend a grand.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View Scott's profile


121 posts in 2221 days

#3 posted 01-20-2015 08:53 PM

I have the Rikon 14” and it’s not perfect, but it does work.

I probably had 5 hours into it trying to get it tuned up right after the initial setup. The wheel adjustment is cumbersome and can take some time to figure out and achieve the right balance.

After a year. the tire on the drive wheel walked itself off the wheel. That was $50, as I replaced both tires at that point. Over the course of a year I’ll bet it only had 10 hours running time at most.

One of the guide bearings locked up, and the guide adjustments are annoying and inaccurate. I haven’t brought myself to do the Carter upgrades everybody seems to recommend.

The dust collection is dismal, but if you take an angle grinder to the metal cover that covers most of the dust port it works better.

On the plus side, the capacity is great, and I haven’t had any issues with the motor. The construction itself is pretty solid, and I plan to keep mine for a good long time as it’ll be cheaper to fix the few things wrong that sell it and buy another.

This is the only bandsaw I’ve owned though, so I can’t provide a comparison against what that extra $400 might get you. Better guides could be part of it.

Has Laguna fixed their customer service and/or quality problems yet?

View jmartel's profile


7888 posts in 2147 days

#4 posted 01-20-2015 09:04 PM

For that price range, I’d buy a Grizzly 17” saw. I’ve got one of their 14” saws which has been great. Had I had another few hundred in the budget, I would have gone with this one.

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

View Redoak49's profile


3242 posts in 1986 days

#5 posted 01-20-2015 09:12 PM

The best advice giveaways to figure out what you are going to use it for????? That is the question and answer you need to decide how big and how heavily built a machine you need or want. If it is for hobby use and a couple hours a week then a lower end machine will be fine. If you are going to resaw a lot of wide wood, then you need a heavy duty machine.

View bonesbr549's profile


1548 posts in 3064 days

#6 posted 01-20-2015 09:14 PM

I’ve got the Griz 17” and I use it exclusively for resaw. I have it setup tuned and don’t touch it. Good saw going on 10+ years. I’ve upgraded a few things like the guides and the fence, and put the Laguna blade on it. Cut’s great.

However, it ain’t no Laguna! Blade change over and tuning is a PIA big time. Not sub par and its good once it’s dialed in. The laguna with ceramic guides, big openings to get to the blade is really nice. I’d not put it in the same class as laguna.

I have a 1934 Delta 14” for day-to-day cutting with a 1/4” blade on it and carter guide. I use it fall all small stuff. I picked it up for a couple hundred off CL.

In the end it depends on how you intend to use it. I think you get what you pay for, but also get the best you can afford. I know that too.

I’ve got an old Walker-Turner cast iron 16” beast I’m going to restore (eventually)

An old Tannowitz would be a great choice!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Theo_31's profile


26 posts in 1220 days

#7 posted 01-20-2015 09:18 PM

Joel_B : are you happy with the 14” Jet, I’m thinking bout getting one of those. Mainly for bandsawboxes and cutting 4 to 6” boards in thinner boards. Would apreciate a feedback.

-- Theo , Germany - ---

View Joel_B's profile


342 posts in 1378 days

#8 posted 01-20-2015 10:20 PM

JoelB : are you happy with the 14” Jet, I m thinking bout getting one of those. Mainly for bandsawboxes and cutting 4 to 6” boards in thinner boards. Would apreciate a feedback.

- Theo31

I just bought it and its still in back of my van, too heavy too lift it out until I get help this weekend.
I will try to post a review once i get it up and running. As far as the construction goes it seems pretty robust.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1932 days

#9 posted 01-21-2015 12:00 AM

I have a 20” used powermatic, 2 HP that I paid $1000 for. If you like new, then do that, but don’t rule out used if you willing to do a little tweaking

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Loren's profile


10385 posts in 3645 days

#10 posted 01-21-2015 12:18 AM

An 18” or larger saw is handy for notching out dust panels,
making parts for furniture repair and template work for
furniture. It’s a marginal increase in convenience but
the time saved does add up. You won’t notice if all
you’ve used is a smaller saw or just use a saw for ripping
and resawing.

For furniture the saw is really the most creatively inspiring
machine. It makes all sorts of silly mockups and funny
shapes easy to try out. I making chair mockup and
patterns for steam bending the band saw is an essential
tool for me and mine has a 20” throat and makes so
many things easier. A bending form for a curved chair
rail is about 16-19” wide. The template work could be
done on a 14” saw but it’s a more relaxed process to
do it in between the column and the blade on the
20” saw.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1219 days

#11 posted 01-21-2015 12:37 AM

I bought a Shopfox 1707 in 09, with intentions for resawing, but it pretty much does all the jobs any 14” does. I haven’t done it yet but sometime in the near future I’m buying a 10” bench BS for the 1/8” blade jobs, I’m doing more with the scroll saw now than when I bought it in the early 90s, some of the projects are stressing the SS out.

The longer you have the tool and the more work you get involved with the more you’ll expect from it. I could have bought a dedicated mortiser with the money I would have saved buying a lighter BS but I already use my drill press for that and don’t do mortising often enough.

-- I meant to do that!

View bigblockyeti's profile


5113 posts in 1718 days

#12 posted 01-21-2015 01:34 AM

As many have mentioned, look at the offerings from Grizzly you can get a lot of saw from them for $1000.

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