I have an older (20 years) Grizzly 16 inch band saw. Its the only band
saw I ever had, its all I know. I use it to do a lot of resawing but
also for other things. But I have always had the feeling that it should
be better. I just finished tuning it up. Its a loud machine, difficult
to change blades and not the best construction. Before I buy a new
machine ($900) I thought I would ask for some input on what I should
expect from a band saw. What is the quality of cut from a band saw? Are
the new steel frame models better? What brand? What about Grizzley? I
would appreciate any input.
I lot depends on what your expectations of the saw. I measure cut
quality by how smooth and if the cut is even top to bottom ( no
barrelling) speed is also a concern but not as important.
The type of blade, brand, hook pattern, etc also plays a huge roll.
I typically resaw 12" inches or more of very old air dried spruce and i
used a 4 tpi lennox carbide tipped blade on a MM16 bandsaw. typically
I can remove all traces of bandsaw marks by taking off less than a 1/16
with a thickness sander. The feed rate has always been faster than i
feel comfortable. this has been with spruce a cedar. I did some
bubinga and it was about a foot per minute.
AT the very least I would expect straight and true cuts. and be fairly
I had your problem a few years back, so I went to a woodworking show and
looked at all the bandsaws.
I noticed the sales people kept saying thier saw was "as good as a
Delta." So I figured they must hold Delta in high regard. I went to
Delta and got the demo. I bought the Delta and never looked back.
It's like Nahms saw.
I hate to say that a new BS for $900 may not be any better than the one you
have now. Last year I bought the $900 BS that all the magazines were
ranking #1. I kept it for 2 weeks as it was not much of an improvement over
my 20 year old $300 Craftsman.
I dug deeper into my pockets and bought a Laguna 16HD. Quiet, Cuts straight
and drift is virtually non existent, Top wheel tilt seldom has to be
adjusted unless going from a 1/4" to 1" blade and then it only takes 1
little twist of the knob. Blades track perfectly.
If you want better than run of the mill get some old iron or send for a
Laguna DVD and see how the saw is built.
I'd go back and look at Leon's post. I would guess the Rikon is the #1
rated model he traded for the Laguna. Of course it all depends on how
much you use your bandsaw and what your expectations are. Specs are
all well and good but nothing is the sames as actually being able to
make a few cuts with the machine. I tried the RIKON, SHOP FOX, JET and
GENERAL before tried the MiniMax. I'm sold on the MM16 I bought and
after using it for over a year I would never consider a bandsaw without
a foot brake. I've saved a ton of time with that feature alone. I'm
extremely pleased with how accurate the cuts have been and the
smoothness of them. The huge motor has made even my toughest resaw
jobs a breeze. when i first set up this saw it was wiping off all of
the cosmoline that took the longest. everything else was very straight
forward and almost everything was dead on right out of the crate. The
only thing that needed slight attention was the fence, a few stroke
with a mill file at it too was sitting square to the table.
I've owned lots of stuff with great specs and not so hot execution by
the factory. One of my former coworkers purchased a brand new pickup
in the early 90's. For three years, he described it as a "great truck
on paper". 8^(
The Pacific Rim is capable of manufacturing items ranging from
fan-freakin'-tastic to complete garbage. You just gotz to try it...
bunch of comments not relative to whether the Rikon is a good saw or
not. I'm looking to here from those (hopefully several) that have
ACTUALLY owned/used this piece of equipment -- hard data/evidence, not.
There was one post from someone who had one for 2 weeks and found it,
obviously, not really all that great. Thanks for sharing that info.
I sold a $700ish (including shipping) 8" Yorkcraft and I was pretty
happy to get rid of it.
Brand names are no guarantee for quality and that include Delta,
Crapsman. Most if not all American's branded machines are now made in
What amazed me was the 8" Yorkcraft was sparing use, after the first
year the parallelogram beds were out of alignment and since I have no
one to help me to lift the slides, I used mechanically leveraged to
lift the bed up slightly to insert a .002" copper shim. Beside that,
the fence was out of alignment too and one side of the bottom cast
iron fence scoring the bed. I have to file it lightly to reduce the
scoring the bed whenever the fence was moved.
Maybe Griz is a better value overall. I also owned and sold a Griz
G0555 bandsaw. The bandsaw was not the best either, the table warped
after one year sparing used. The machine was underpowered. The motor
starting to click, click sound whenever I start the machine and I
cannot find a suitable motor to upgrade other than from Griz. The
motor's shaft is longer than a normal motor.
I am getting off the topic now, but let me continue...
I bought all my machines new, based on the advices given here (no
disrespect to the very helpful good intention posters). I learned that
buying branded and expensive machines are no guarantees that you get
your money worth. Take your time and look around for a used
American-made machine. Make sure replacement parts are available. The
Yorkcraft's motor does not have RPM or HP on the nameplate, and the
shaft I believe is 1/4". I bought a Baldor 1720 rpm with a 5/8" shaft
together a new pulley. After installing it I discover it was acting
funny and I called up Wilke, they told me it needs 3400 rpm motor for
8,000rpm cutters' speed. Now, I have a new unused Baldor motor sitting
in my garage. I can go on and tell you of my other machines which I
have sold before I moved at a fraction of what I paid for.
I am in the market for used American made machine. Last week I bought
an almost new Delta 12" disk grinder and Delta's 1-1/2hp dust
collector (both Cheep, cheep and China made). I am monitoring Craig's
and a few excellent conditions' Delta's 14" bandsaws sold within days
for less than $300. I know I can get a good used American made Delta
bandsaw for less than $300.
I had the Rikon for 2 weeks. It is a decent saw but was not what I would
consider an upgrade. More of a large entry level saw.
I wanted a trouble free saw and this saw required tedious tweaking of the
upper wheel to get the blade to track properly. It did not like some brand
blades but liked others. I learned quickly that I do not like roller guide
bearings. Probably worth every penny that you pay for it but I was willing
to pay more to get what I was looking for.
I wanted smooth and quiet. If the wood you cut is slightly wet the saw dust
sticks to the blade and the roller guides pound it against the blade. They
makes the saw dust even harder to clean off of the blade and you hear a
constant pounding as the bearings hit the high spots where the sawdust is
and the guides would not stay adjusted.
I ended up with a Laguna with 2 ceramic side contact points on each side of
both top and bottom guides. These guides keep the debris scraped off and
are very quirt by comparison.
Interesting. Did that saw have a blade brush? So far I haven't cut wet wood,
but as I'm getting more and more into turning I probably will in the near
future. My new bandsaw does have roller brarings - I'll see what it does.
12 hours for me to answer your question, 6 minutes for you to respond again.
Whoa... Larry, tell me you nave not been waiting for my answer all day.
Yes both saws have/had a brush on the lower wheel. Actually both had a
wheel brush, not a blade brush.
You might want to dedicate a single blade for the purpose of cutting wet
wood. The debris was a B____ to clean off. Actually it was tough to get
off of the bearings also. Maybe a coat of TopCote on the bearings before
cutting wet wood. I did put a light film of oil on the blades but that was
Sap all over the bearings is my prediction. Neat thing about it is that it
doesn't respond to non-polar solvents like you use to lubricate the blade,
so you end up cleaning in two stages after a session of cutting roughs.
Detergent and lube.
Mine even has the ceramic thrust bearings now, but be cautious, because when
cutting dry, and especially dry punky wood, you can light off dust trapped
in the lower end with those occasional sparks you get from sideloads.
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