Deciding on a Band Saw - A beat to death topic

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Forum topic by IHRedRules posted 02-08-2015 03:43 PM 1044 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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115 posts in 1678 days

02-08-2015 03:43 PM

Well, I’ve gotten my tax return back and it is burning a hole in my pocket. I currently have a Craftsman 12” tilting head bandsaw, which is a small step-up from having nothing at all. I am wanting to upgrade to a much higher quality of saw. I’m looking at spending ~$1,000-$1,400 on it. I know there is the Rikon 10-325 which looks like a fairly decent saw, then there is also it’s big brother the 10-351 which looks really nice. There is the Laguna 14/12 which I really have been looking at, but when I saw it sitting next to it’s big brother the LT14 SUV, it suddenly seemed less impressive. And then there are the myriad of Grizzly saws.

What I’m looking for are your honest opinions on which you think is the best saw for the money and my needs. I would also appreciate any feedback on any of these saws you might own. I am afraid what i’m doing at the moment is simply stuck in the “bigger is better” state. While I certainly want to buy the right saw the first time, I don’t want to overbuy if I don’t need to. I would like to use the saw for some reassign, so certainly I want it to be capable of handling a 3/4” blade, but is 1.5 to 1.75 hp adequate, or should I look more at the 2-3 hp range? I am also not a business, this is just a hobby, but who knows, maybe in another 25 or so years when I retire, I might go into business and I would hope that what ever saw I buy is still going strong and capable of handling any tasks I throw at it.

6 replies so far

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117330 posts in 3779 days

#1 posted 02-08-2015 03:57 PM

This subject has been addressed many times,since I’ve only owned one of the brand names your talking about I’ll only talk about that brand. For years on LJs there has been many many reports of how terrible customer service is at Laguna tools including my own bad experiences, so why anyone would put their tools on a list of tools their considering to buy is beyond me.Good luck on your band saw purchase.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Drew's profile


350 posts in 3302 days

#2 posted 02-08-2015 04:09 PM

IMO the Laguna 14/ twelve sets the bar for bandsaws in this price range.
I routinely resaw 10-12 ash with mine with better results than i have gotten from any bandsaw I’ve used under $2k.
The ceramic guides are excellent, rack and pinion guide height adjustment are very tight and dust collection is excellent.
Everything about it is very tight and well made.


View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2807 days

#3 posted 02-08-2015 04:12 PM

Laguna has the best saw currently for the money. The feature list is superior to Rikon or Grizzly, or Powermatic.

There are complaints about their customer service. As someone who buys used tools typically and I am used to fixing everything myself I don’t get the big deal. But your mileage may vary.

What saw you buy depends on what you are trying to do. If you plan to cut curves then horsepower doesn’t matter so much as any saw will do it just fine. If you plan to do a lot of resawing 8+ inch wide boards then horsepower is everything. If you are going to take 20 inch logs up there and cut it into circles for turner then you might want to skip past the 14” range and go with an 18 or 20” saw.

If you plan to cut curves and occasionally do a little resawing then a 1.5 or 1.75 hp motor is fine.

Things to look at is resaw capacity, fence capabilities, the type of blade guides used, and trunnion configuration. The Laguna is superior in all of these categories which is why its getting so much attention lately.

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170 posts in 2295 days

#4 posted 02-08-2015 06:54 PM

I just bought the Rikon 10-325 on sale at Sears for $799. I considered the Laguna too, but it would have been $400 more. I think it is nice, but maybe not at 50% higher in price.

View Andre's profile


2217 posts in 2008 days

#5 posted 02-08-2015 08:13 PM

Just looked at a new 10-325 and must say was very impressed, not sure but the blade guides looked pretty easy to adjust, maybe they have been upgraded in the newer machines? The 14/12 is about $500.00 more around here very hard to find, the Grizzly’s are in U.S. $ so at the moment out of the question.
I am using a Delta 14” 1 hp which works great but would like to resaw more than 6”, I picked up the Rikon 10-305 already so looks like the nest step is the bigger brother or a 17” Grizzly if the Can. Dollar comes back up a bit.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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344 posts in 1625 days

#6 posted 02-08-2015 11:08 PM

I just bought a 14|12 last week and I could not be happier. And the customer service has been absolutely stellar – so much so that I will post about my experience when I have time.
In the 14” range, it is a hell of a machine, no doubt the best design machine.

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