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Blade Change Expectations - 10" Craftsman vs 17" Grizzly

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Forum topic by Keith Kelly posted 05-20-2015 06:22 PM 812 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1125 days


05-20-2015 06:22 PM

I have a 10” Craftsman (Rikon 10-305) that I like, but: blade changes don’t seem very easy. I’m eyeballing the Grizzly G0513×2, and from what I can tell at the store, blade changes should be quite a bit easier than the CMan:

  • Fence & Fence rail don’t have to be removed (Craftsman they do)
  • Griz has a quick-release lever
  • Griz guide bearings look much easier access for adjustments

But, people say they hate changing blades on big bandsaws.

Does the bandsaw size matter that much when it comes to blade changing? Is it more the expanding/collapsing of the blades that’s a pain?

My shop is my 2-car garage, so I’d like to only have 1 bandsaw.

Do you think this transition (Craftsman 10” to Griz 17”) will make blade changes easier or harder?

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com


18 replies so far

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

728 posts in 2527 days


#1 posted 05-20-2015 06:53 PM

Keith: I think changing blades is a PITA no matter what size saw you have. The steps are still the same for setting up your saw and adjusting the blade so that it tracks straight and cuts accurately. The 17” Griz will be more versatile overall than your 10” saw with more capacity for standard use and re-sawing. Except for the blades length, they all set up in a similar fashion in adjusting the tracking, the guides, the tension etc; just a little different for each saw. Do you need the extra capacity for your work? Have you found yourself wishing for a bigger saw so that you could do something that your 10” can’t do? Or are you like most of the rest of us and want a bigger and better something. Buy what you need and can afford, and deal with the minor issues as they become major ones. Just my humble opinions, and I could be wrong. Have fun and work safely!

BTW: I’ve been to Bolivar many times. I lived in Springfield for 20+ years after graduating from SMS, SMSU, MSU or whatever they are calling it this year. I love that part of the country.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1125 days


#2 posted 05-20-2015 07:19 PM

Thanks Woodbum. My current saw runs well and is powerful enough for anything it can handle size-wise. I’ve resawn Hickory on it a number of times with a WoodSlicer blade.

However, 4” resaw capacity is becoming a joke. I have some spalted maple logs I’d like to cut up into some turning blanks, some figured lumber I’d like to resaw into thinner stock, my father-in-law has a project up his sleeve for turning a tree from his property into a mantle, and black walnut is everywhere around here – I’d love to be able to mill up some of that. Then yes, bigger/better is certainly a feeling as well, but since my space is limited, bigger/better isn’t the primary motivator this time :)

re: Bolivar/Springfield: Crazy… Bolivar’s a small town and it seems that most people don’t know about it. It’s a great area. If you visited here sometime in the past 13 or so years, chances are that we know some of the same people.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2152 days


#3 posted 05-21-2015 12:36 AM

I have that 17” Grizz and the only pain about changing blades is having to readjust all of your guides when you change SIZES of blades. If you are just swapping a 1/4” sharp blade for your 1/4” dull blade, quick and easy!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1420 days


#4 posted 05-21-2015 01:00 AM

My guess is the guides are the bulk of the work, unless you really had to remove the fence system…? That stinks.

The PM use tool free guide adjustments and I can remove and reinstall with all adjustments in 3-4 minutes. Very easy. The guide adjustments are easy to get to and big enough for a man’s fingers.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

493 posts in 2783 days


#5 posted 05-21-2015 01:31 AM

Adjusting the guides will be similar in that neither are tooless. The Grizzly will be quicker since you don’t have to remove the fence rail but hit the Rikon fence rail with a chop saw and you want have to remove it either, I have done that on several saws that I put non-OEM fences on that made front loading blades impossible with the fence on. The longer blades (and possibly wider as well) blades will take a little time to get used to opening and folding them back up and a little more care installing them just due to their size but after a few times the blade change will probably be a little faster with the Grizzly. If you are changing blade width (or thickness / metal composition) the quick release probably won’t save you much if any time since you have to change the tension in those circumstances.

Releasing tension after use is a contentious issue, I for one have never bothered but again opinions differ.

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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1125 days


#6 posted 05-21-2015 01:39 AM

Thanks for the additional advice.

Re: the guides – gfadvm – do you find the allen wrench for the Griz is natural? I adjust my craftsman with an allen wrench, and I don’t think the allen wrench part is that bad – just the location of the screw for the lower back guide – it’s hard to get a wrench in there. The tool-less adjustments on the PM saws look very nice, but it’s a luxury I can live without (mainly because I haven’t ever experienced it before..ha!) My question is: Are the access locations for the guide adjustments easy to get to?

When changing blade sizes, the side guides typically don’t need to be adjusted, correct? Just the back bearings?

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

493 posts in 2783 days


#7 posted 05-21-2015 01:48 AM


When changing blade sizes, the side guides typically don t need to be adjusted, correct? Just the back bearings?

- Keith Kelly

Changing blade width or gauge (thickness) will almost always require the side guides to be adjusted. In the case of a width change the side guide must be moved forward or backward so the bearing is in the proper relationship to the gullet. In the case of a gauge change the side guides will have to be moved in or out (left/right when facing the saw) to keep the correct clearance. Unless I am in an unusual rush I do a full set up anytime I change a blade however I usually only change a blade when it is dull, having multiple saws allows me to change saws not blades.

Also there is really no need to sweat the 17” saw as it really isn’t anywhere big enough to make blade changes an adventure, that really starts when you get into the 16’ and longer blades, off the top of my head I would think that is about a 11 foot blade which hasn’t gotten to the point of being particularly unruly yet.

View emart's profile

emart

422 posts in 2090 days


#8 posted 05-21-2015 01:57 AM

I have changed blades on a bandsaw much larger than that it isn’t too bad if you have a system down.
I have changed blades on this monster before. the trick was to use a broom handle to hold the blade in place on the bottom section while you pisitioned the top.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

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AHuxley

493 posts in 2783 days


#9 posted 05-21-2015 02:09 AM


the trick was to use a broom handle to hold the blade in place on the bottom section while you pisitioned the top.

- emart

On my larger saws I often use spring clamps on the top wheel to hold the band.

While the band on that Marvel isn’t very long those tilt frame/sliding table bandsaws can be a PITA to change the blade on!

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1125 days


#10 posted 05-21-2015 02:15 AM

That’s an impressive saw. I may need to reorganize my 2-car-garage-shop to fit that in there.

AHuxley – good point about the gauge & width. the Craftsman has a quick-adjust lever to move the whole housing forward and back, so I’m assuming that the Griz has at least as good, but probably better adjustment.

And, I wonder if my blades are all the same thickness, because I rarely if ever need to change them in a sideways movement, so this is good to know. (or maybe I use too big of a gap)

Thanks again

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4216 posts in 1661 days


#11 posted 05-21-2015 02:17 AM

When changing blade sizes, the side guides typically don t need to be adjusted, correct? Just the back bearings?

When changing blades, it’s always best to go through a full adjustment – Tension, tracking, guides… there is no magic bullet. Once you get the routine down, it’s not that bad. Fortunately, you typically don’t swap blades often. If you do, you might consider getting a second saw and keeping a thin blade on one and a wider blade on the other.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2152 days


#12 posted 05-21-2015 02:23 AM

Keith, I use a short screwdriver type Allen Wrench rather than those L shaped ones but a tooless system would be nice. The screws under the table do require a light source but are accessable.

Brad’s comment about a second saw is spot on. My 14” Ridgid does all the curved cuts and the 17” Grizz does the resawing.

As an aside, the Carter Stabilizer makes changing small blades painless as there is only one guide (and it’s about the only way to use 1/8” blades on the 17” Grizz)

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

493 posts in 2783 days


#13 posted 05-21-2015 04:01 AM



AHuxley – good point about the gauge & width. the Craftsman has a quick-adjust lever to move the whole housing forward and back, so I m assuming that the Griz has at least as good, but probably better adjustment.

Actually, the Grizzly has a more basic standard allen head cap screw. I have lots of opinions about bandsaw guides as to which ones are better for specific uses but with that said guides are one of the least important attributes for most bandsaw operations. The thing to remember is going through a full setup of the saw with each blade change is important (although sometimes one can get away with not doing a full setup), part of my reasoning is each time you do it you get better and quicker at it, practice is the only road to perfection. The reality is the Grizzly guides are quite functional but certainly not the best nor easiest to manipulate but then we are talking about a bang for the buck saw not bandsaws made in the same region as Ferrari nor old American iron that would or does sell for Honda Accord money now.

In the end don’t sweat the blade changes, it just takes a little practice. However, I do recommend the multiple bandsaw approach (unless you use only one type of blade) many people see the benefit of two saws large and small or you can move farther to the extremes and drag home 6 like me or more like some of my bandsaw nut friends, but admittedly we are a little daft, but we don’t change blades often…

View emart's profile

emart

422 posts in 2090 days


#14 posted 05-21-2015 07:10 AM

this thread makes me glad I have my little 12” bandsaw. it takes me less than five minutes to change blades. the blade guides are adjusted with a flathead and the casing is just held on with some chrome knobs.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1183 days


#15 posted 05-21-2015 12:29 PM

I have a 20” Grizzly that is used primarily for resaw work so the blades are substantial at 1 1/4” wide they can be tricky to coil and uncoil. The setup is a non-issue as over 90% of the time the blade is being replaced with the same thing, only sharper.

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