opinions on band saws & stuff

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by codyAllen191, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Ive been hunting down band saws for about 4 months now and Ive come to decide between these 3:

    Harbor Freight:

    Sears Craftsman:

    My friend can get me a 10% discount because he works at Sears.



    I also need some input for a decent jointer, and a drill press.

  2. Peaved

    Peaved Peeved? No. Peavey? Yes.

    May 1, 2008
    I'd spend the extra and go with the Delta. If you go with less than a 14", you'll wind up kicking yourself at some point. As to Harbor Freight, I've never been particularly impressed by the quality of their off-brand tools or their service.
  3. yeah, i was afraid I would...hmm....alright....Delta is looking to win the shootout now.
  4. Jonsbasses


    Oct 21, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Builder: Jon's Basses
    Stay away from Craftsman and Harbor Freight, both are hit and miss quality tools. Why don't you go to a local Woodcraft / Rockler and talk to their employees about what you're looking for specifically. Chances are you'll find a better deal waiting for one of their sales - I've come across several in the past 6 months. Remember, you'll probably be using this tool for a long while, you'll be kicking yourself if you purchase something that craps out on you after just a few uses. I certainly am with my bandsaw. :)
  5. Harbor Freight=definitely crap
  6. i think the closest woodcraft to me is like....Ft.Worth or Dallas
    so thats kinda hard to do, but I will keep and eye out online for sure.
  7. Peaved

    Peaved Peeved? No. Peavey? Yes.

    May 1, 2008
    Keep an eye on your local classifieds, too, since you can pick up a quality used bandsaw that may be worth double or triple it's new cost. I found a Powermatic table saw for steal that way.

    As to the extra $$ for the Delta...I don't remember ever buying a tool and regretting paying too much. It's generally the other way around ("I wish I'd have spent another hundred bucks to get what I really wanted!").
  8. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
  9. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    Keep in mind that a lot of the 14" open frame bandsaws are made by the same builder in Taiwan and labled here by different companys. For example my Ridgid saw is the same as a Jet, Delta, Grizzly and even Harbor Freight. As a matter of fact I used a Jet riser kit on my Ridgid saw and it was a direct bolt on. The Grizzly one would have worked too, the difference is usually in the warranty, motors and prep (balancing ect).
  10. Delta or Milwaukee
  11. Bofee


    Aug 19, 2005
    Grass Valley, CA
    I bought a Rikon 14" steel frame bandsaw about a year ago. I routinely resaw 6" wide hardwoods like Chechen, Bloodwood, Katalox, Maple, etc. as well as softer woods like Mahogany and Acacia to .10"-.20" thick for instrument building. This saw has been extremely reliable and is easy to set up and use. It has a lot of features that cost extra on the Delta's and clones. It uses the same blades sizes as all these Delta knock-offs so they are easy to obtain. If you want an American built saw you should check out Laguna, but you'll have to pay a lot more. Do a search online for reviews on 14" bandsaws and read up.

    Here's a link to the Rikon I purchased and the source:
  12. That's a sweet deal on the Rikon.
    [tool GAS...]
  13. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA

    Virtually all of my friends are serious woodworkers, and we've been chagrined by declines in quality since Delta & Porter Cable were bought by Black & Decker: if you want a Delta 14" you're probably better off buying a used saw.

    I've read lots of positive comments about Rikon band saws, but i've never seen one in person - definitely worth looking at based on the press they're getting.

    For the kind of work I do, a 14" bandsaw just isn't large enough. I bought two band saws: a 20" Inca, followed by an 18" Laguna. They're both keepers. I decided to buy the Laguna because we have several Laguna band saws at school (from 16" to 28"), and they're Great: I find it difficult to imagine someone being disappointed by a Laguna band saw.

    That said, there's no iron like old iron, and there are killer deals on used tools if you keep your ears open and know how to inspect before you buy. A buddy recently bought an old Oliver that's probably 26" and it's killer - great saw!
  14. smakbass

    smakbass Smakkin basses for 25 years..

    Aug 6, 2002
    Vancouver Canada
    I have a general its quite nice.
  15. Whoa!....i just looked up prices on Laguna bandsaws....thats alittle excessive for my budget right now...though they sure are nice to look at

    seems like I can swing a Rikon(just got another graduation check to add to the pile from my aunt and uncle in NJ.....$250!)
  16. Inisheer


    Aug 10, 2007
    My first bandsaw was a 9" Delta...and it broke in less than a day. I returned it for a new one and it broke too. I got my money back and bought a 10" Craftsman and have never had any problems since.
  17. Bofee


    Aug 19, 2005
    Grass Valley, CA
    The only downsides to the Rikon that I see are that the motor on the basic 14" saw runs only on 110V, and you can't add a riser to the steel frame saws. If you need the extra 6" of clearance, you have to buy the saw with the taller frame right off the bat. I would prefer 220V operation and will upgrade the motor when it becomes unavoidable. I don't need more than 6" of clearance above the table, so I'm happy.

    You'll need to replace the blade right away. All these imports have lousy blades on them from the factory. I run blades from 1/8" to 1/2" wide. I don't recomend anything wider on any of these "consumer" saws. I bought one of the Lenox carbide tipped resaw blades ($$), and while it will chug through anything and remain sharp, I don't think it's worth the money. A decent 1/2 steel (bimetal) resaw blade is 1/4 the cost and cuts smoother with less waste.
    (That's my $.02)
  18. Stone Age

    Stone Age

    Apr 13, 2008
    I have that Craftsman Bandsaw. It was relatively inexpensive, and I think it's pretty good quality. The light doesn't quite reach everywhere I'd like it to, but all in all, it's a not a bad purchase.
  19. hmm....yeah...that might be a problem down the road....oh, yeah...i figured I'd have to change the blade, kinda like changing strings on a new bass i suppose.
  20. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006
    Grizzly makes great tools at affordable prices. You can find them online here: http://grizzly.com/

    I've been using their 6" jointer (with 4' bed length) for over 3 years now and have never had a problem with it.