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A Review of My new Rikon Bandsaw.

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Forum topic by Dick, & Barb Cain posted 2568 days ago 10757 views 0 times favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2930 days


2568 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: review bandsaw rikon video images dick

I decided to post a review of my Rikon.

I just bought my machine back in March of 2007. Woodcraft had a weekend discount, plus free freight so I jumped at the deal. I saved $75, just on the freight.

I’ve had an old Taiwanese machine for many years, but I figured I owed myself a new saw, So I did a lot of research, & decided on the Rikon.
Now I have to decide on what to do with my old saw, because it still works.

The saw comes with about the lousiest manual, for such a nice piece of machinery.

The pictures are very unclear.

I called Rikon right after I got the saw, & they said they were working on a new manual.

They’ve been kind of slow about it, because I haven’t seen a new edition yet.

I haven’t had a chance to use it much yet, but the times I’ve used it, have been very favorable, meaning Man, do I ever like it.

Heres some things I’ve found out about this machine so far.

After setting it up, the first thing that happened to me, was when I hit the start switch, nothing happened it blew out the circuit breaker. Now what? I tried a couple more times with the same results, so I called Rikon, he asked what size breaker I had. I told him 20 Amps. He told me to go to 30 Amps, because of the heavy starting load, even with the motor being rated less than 20 Amps. I change too 30 Amps, “problem solved”.

Since I made this review. I’ve had a chance to test it on some projects. & I’m very satisfied with it.

I recently re-sawed some 9” Maple, & it sliced it like butter, with no blade drift whatsoever.

I had a question about the blade guide setting, I didn’t think they were right, so I did some checking, & now I use the thickness of a dollar bill for blade clearance setting,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I like the large highly finished cast iron table, & an excellent fence.

The heavy cast iron wheels run very smooth.
The inertia in the wheels allow it to coast almost 30 seconds after shutting down. That also helps with the power with heavy work loads.

The windows for tension adjustment, & centering the blade are also good features.

Blade check window.

There’s one thing I discovered with the dust collector port. It has a steel baffle welded about 1/2” in front of the hole. It stops the air flow, & it did a poor job of sucking away the dust.
I called Rikon ,& they said it was a safety feature specified by OSHA, to prevent getting fingers in the wheel spokes.
I suggested drilling holes in the plate would allow air flow, & he agreed with me. He said he’d pass it on to his engineers.

This is the dust port with the holes drilled in the baffle.
I put a board between the wheel to prevent damage to the wheel.

I have completely removed this baffle since this picture was taken, & now I’m much more satisfied. I’ve noticed in advertising their latest model, they’ve relocated the dust port. They must have gotten complaints about it from others.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here's a review of this tool, by Fine Woodworking.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1


42 replies so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2791 days


#1 posted 2568 days ago

how exciting
your photo series reminded me of when Rick and I had to get our bandsaw down into the basement—no cart … and then when we finally got it all set up we saw that it required the higher amp service and we couldn’t use it until we got the electrician in.. argh.

So, Dick .. what have you made with it?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2930 days


#2 posted 2568 days ago

Deb,
Like I said, I haven’t used it much yet, but I used it while making my Thorsen table.
I also re-sawed a bunch of Brazilian Cherry flooring.
It sitting there, & waiting for me though. :)

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6647 posts in 2610 days


#3 posted 2568 days ago

Hi Dick;

Keep us posted on the saw, when your able to use it.

Good luck with it.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2652 days


#4 posted 2568 days ago

Very nice bandsaw Dick.
I am certian you will really enjoy it.
It seems to have most of the features I got with my new saw.
Man, what a difference vs the old Delta “knockoff”

Guess who got to use it first? <g>
bs-linda2

bs-tension

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12262 posts in 2728 days


#5 posted 2568 days ago

Thanks Dick. I have my eye on this one too.

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

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2717 days


#6 posted 2568 days ago

While it’s my 1st bandsaw and I don’t have anything to compare it too I’m a little disappointed in my Grizzly G0555. I’ve had problems getting the guides to align properly when switching blades and I don’t see how it can be adjusted any further. I’ll have to take some photos. I installed an 1/8” blade and the guides just simply can’t be aligned properly.

I stuggled 1st with tensioning and blade alignment when I installed the 6” riser block and installed the 3/4” resaw blade. I finally got that solved with lots of head scratching and poor directions. But the problem with the 1/8” blades I don’t think can be solved with these guides.

I hope most of this is simply my inexperience with a bandsaw and not the saw itself. I may end up looking for a cheap benchtop on craigslist to just keep an 1/8” blade in if the problem persists.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14378 posts in 2697 days


#7 posted 2568 days ago

Nice saw Dick – what is that white stuff on the ground? We rarely see any of that here in Southeast Louisiana – but we do see our share of water!!!!. Hope you enjoy your saw.

Bob, I have the Grizzly G0555 saw too and absolutely love it. I haven’t tried the 1/8” blade though – have you called Grizzly’s Tech Support? I’ve had pretty good success with them. I also have not added the riser block yet – but it’s on my list of things to do. I assume it’s not an easy job?

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

View Bob Morris's profile

Bob Morris

39 posts in 3003 days


#8 posted 2567 days ago

Bob, the narrowest blade I use is 1/4”, I’ve had no problems with this size, most of my cutting on the GO555 is resawing 8 1/2” wide stock. Must say after many years useing a 12” Craftsmen the GO555 is just great.
Bill, adding the riser block is quiet easy, just have a strong friend to help steady things until the mounting bolts are tightened.

-- Bob Morris, Ohio, http://www.bmcustomguitars.com

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2930 days


#9 posted 2567 days ago

Fww, has an article, The new Breed of Bandsaws

It gives a fairly good explanation on saws in this category.

The Rikon has dropped in rating by them, it was rated first this spring, but I’m still glad I bought mine.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2652 days


#10 posted 2567 days ago

I am finding that many of the so called comparison tests appearing in these magazines are fairly subjective rather than objective.

By that I mean, that unless the products being tested are all identical in power and it’s distribution to the cutters there is bound to be numeric differences that could be attributed to performance.

If a BS is cutting at say 1000 feet per minute with 1 hp at 1:1 ratio it will not seem to be as efficient as a different saw cutting at 1200 ft per minute with the same specs and 1:1.2 ratio
Even if they use the same blade.
The other thing that rankles me is when they limit the tests to primarily the advertisers in their magazines and then choose the best from the select group.

Not long ago, FWW did a piece on large format lathes and did not even mention One way lathes which are considered by many to be the “Cadillac” of the breed.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2717 days


#11 posted 2567 days ago

I actually installed the riser block by myself with the help of a couple of pipe clamps to steady things. That part was easy. I had some problems (probably more me than the bandsaw) with adjusting the tension after, finally fixed that. I had gone from a 3/8” blade to a 3/4” blade during the switch and the guides adjusted fine. The biggest problem is the 1/8” just can’t be guided properly. I haven’t called tech support yet but I will.

I hear you Bob…sometimes you have to wonder about the tests.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2791 days


#12 posted 2567 days ago

when I spoke with Robin Lee, he too was concerned with the “testings” and ratings. If you test only one tool, then you are not testing the tool in general, but that particular tool. You might have a really good one or you might have a really poor one; it may not be representative of all of the tools. A true test tries several.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 2725 days


#13 posted 2567 days ago

Thanks for the additional commentary Dick. I almost bought this model but ended up with a similarly designed 16” Jet (I got a good deal). I lack a blade tracking window in the cabinet of mine and I do have a regret there. I’m considering a little action with my dremel tool to make my own. LOL

I share the sentiments others expressed about the reviews. In my research, I tried to read as many different articles and reviews as I could, both older and more recent. I distilled the info the best I could. I still was unsure. It can be a tough thing avoiding buyer’s remorse…

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2930 days


#14 posted 2567 days ago

Hi Jeff,
I remember seeing that nice new Jet in your workshop. I looks like all steel framework similar to my Rikon.
I think jet makes good quality tools.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1044 posts in 2699 days


#15 posted 2566 days ago

You’re right Dick, the latest rating had it in the middle of the pack. 2 other publications ranked it first in performace and value. The reason for the drop according to the article was that the guides are difficult to tweak. This is true and untrue. Yes, they take more time than saws without bearing guides. However, the time is negated by better performance vs. nonbearing models. I don’t change blades too much, so it might be a hassle if you had to change blades a bunch.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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