There's a sweet spot in the market for 14" band saws at about $650 to $900.
The more expensive saws from Delta, Jet and Powermatic are all excellent
purchases at that range. A step up from there gets you into the smaller
Laguna 14" saw.
The original Delta 14" has been the market target for decades.
Hmm. It does look better, in all sorts of little ways. I had
decided on a limit of $1000 as the maximum I wanted to spend on a
band saw, so.... even with the $200-and-some I spent on a miter
gauge and a good fence (Kreg), I'm still not breaking my limit too
You'll be pleased to know that I'm taking your advice. I talked to the
dealer today and showed them my pictures and some sample cuts from
before and after the problem occurred. They would have replaced the
saw with no problem, but I told them I'd rather just return it and
upgrade to the X5. After the rebate it will be $800.
I should amend that lukewarm reference to something a more positive
now that I have the new saw.
I took the old saw back yesterday, no problem at all with returning
it. They were holding the Delta X5 bandsaw for me. I was surprised;
they didn't charge me shipping for the new saw (delivery to my
house), and threw in some Cool Blocks and one of those multi-purpose
Leatherman-like tools as a gesture of goodwill. I don't really care
for the multi-purpose tools -- I prefer a dedicated tool that does
its job properly instead of a multi-purpose one that does nothing
particularly well -- but it was still a nice gesture. (I'll throw it
in the glove box and hope I never have to use it. <g>) Oh, and they
let me keep the extra blade that I got with the old saw. (It was part
of a deal where you get a certain dollar amount of accessories when
you spend over a certain amount.) That was also unexpected. I
offered to give the blade back and then pay for it, but they said to
I haven't finished assembling the new saw yet -- other things like
food, sleep, and SWMBO intervened -- but I like what I've seen so
far. Even the packaging was better. Instead of being in styrofoam,
the X5 was bolted to a thick piece of plywood, and components like
the table and door were in their own boxes inside the large box
instead of being in plastic bags. Handles that were plastic on the
cheaper saw are made of aluminum. Pulleys are machined instead of
cast. The wheels are still cast aluminum, machined on the rim, but
they're better-looking in some way I'm not sure how to express. The
stand feels much more solid, and ought to: it's heavy as hell. (I
include this not to impress the experienced woodworkers here, but
hopefully to inform others who may be helped by it.)
All in all a good experience, even if I was disappointed with the
first saw. I got the definite impression that the dealer was willing
to take a bit of a hit on this saw so that they could have me as a
repeat customer who might also refer business their way.
Even better, the X5 bandsaw has a choice of a US$100 rebate, a
router, or a portable belt sander. I think I'll pick the router, as
a good one would cost more than $100 anyway.
Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments and advice.
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