Bandsaw Size

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Forum topic by greenwoodbob posted 07-10-2009 04:39 PM 1347 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 3211 days

07-10-2009 04:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: size 14 17 20 bandsaw question

Any suggestions on bandsaw size I may want for my shop will be appreciated. I want as much flexibility as possible, so I can make anything from curved chair backs to cabinet doors. For that kind of work, I know a 14 inch saw would work just fine. My real question is: will I be happier with a larger saw, particularly for such things as cutting large decorative brackets for historic homes (which is a project that I just landed).

Also, if I get a larger saw – say 20 inch – will it be able to do smaller cuts that are possible on 14 inch saws?

-- Bob Card

5 replies so far

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3682 days

#1 posted 07-10-2009 04:51 PM

i just got the 14 inch rikon and it has handled everything i have thrown at , i do a lot of natural edge bowls and have cut rough logs up to 10 inchs thick on it.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3617 days

#2 posted 07-10-2009 04:58 PM

you asked a good question and to that the answer is ‘no’ – the larger saws (18”, 20” +) cannot take the narrower blades that are used for more intricate work (curves, scrollwork,etc) they are somewhat dedicated to resawing. they do it great, but thats all they do. 14” are the most versatile, but cannot compare to the bigger saws when it comes to resaw capacity and power.

however – if you are not running a shop that does resawing 24/7 – a 14”-17” maybe all the bandsaw you’ll ever need. it’ll allow you to to intricate work, AND resawing (with limitation depending on the bandsaw model).

like Roper, I have the Rikon 14” deluxe bandsaw and find it one of the most valuable and capable tools in my arsenal. it does 13” resawing and with a good blade doesn’t seem to lack power even in harder woods. and it can take 1/8” blades on the other spectrum for scroll work.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3255 days

#3 posted 07-10-2009 05:24 PM

Machinery questions are always difficult to answer, because there are no cut and dry answers to them. There are usually several factors involved, starting with price. Are you willing to spend the extra money on a larger saw. If not, then you can very well make do with a 14”. I grew up with a 14” Delta, and it got the job done. I now have a 20” Powermatic at my door shop. I would not go back to the 14” now. We keep a 3/8” blade on the bandsaw, and it does most of what we do, like cutting cathedral and eyebrow arches for cabinet doors.
Occasionally we cut brackets like you’re talking about. I love the power and stability of the bigger machine, and the extra throat capacity is also a plus. Keep in mind, my thinking is from a production stand point.———-Bigger is better!
Then the question is, are you going to do very intricate work. If so, maybe the 14” would suite you better.
All that said, I have an 18” Centuro at my shop at home, which is my hobby shop. I would not be happy with a smaller, lighter machine. This is a very heavy duty saw also. Again, I don’t do much intricate work. I might get a scroll saw for that if needed. Sometimes it all depends on what you are used to and I’m a little spoiled when it comes to tools.
I realize that I probably didn’t give an answer, but I hope I’ve given some things to think about.
——Good Luck!


View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3310 days

#4 posted 07-10-2009 05:37 PM

i’ve got 6 bandsaws ,
with different size blades in each .
i don’t have to keep changing all the guides ,
every time i change a blade !
as stated above ,
it depends on what your goal over time is ,
that ricon 14 ” sounds good for varied work ,
but i’ve never used one .
as always get the best you can afford ,
before the price goes up again !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#5 posted 07-12-2009 06:53 AM

I have three band saws from 16” laguna to a 10” sears they all do different operations If I had one i would suggest a grizzly 14”-16’ there great tools at a good price.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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