Bandsaw Choice

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Im looking to replce my 20 year old Craftsman 12" bandsaw. I will use it primarily for resawing, cuting dovetails and joints and some bandsaw boxes. I am trying to make my mind up between the Rinkon 10-325, Powermatic PWBS-14CS and the Jet JWBS-14DX.
The Basics:
Rinkon 10-325 -1 1/2 hp motor -16X20 cast table -13 inch resaw capacity -ball bearing blade guide -quick relase lever -work light -$749.99 with resaw fence
Powermatic PWBS-14CS -1 1/2 hp motor -15X20 2 piece cast table -12 inch resaw capacity -Carter ball bearing blade guides -Carter Quick Release Lever -9 spoke cast wheels -Halogen work light -cut line chip blower -$799.99 with resaw fence and 6" riser after a $100.00 rebate
Jet JWBS-14DX -1 1/4 hp motor -15X15 Cast Table -12 inch resaw capacity -Cool Blocks -9 Spoke cast wheels -Jet Quick Release -$759.97 with Resaw fence and 6" riser
All are within my price after adding delivery and a mobile base. I am familure with the Jet and have found good info on the Powermatic, but info on the Rikon is scarce. Anybody have any experience with these and any recommendations on what to buy?
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The Powermatic was my choice a year ago and I've been very happy with it. They also threw in the mobile base for free.
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I bought a used Jet a couple years ago, and have been pleased with it. I wish it had a little bigger motor though.
If you are in the Houston area, I know a guy with a 3hp Minimax he needs to sell. I wish I could afford to buy it. Low hours on it plus extras.
Regards, Roy

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Chicago area, too bad.
But thanks anyway.


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Neil Larson wrote:

The thing you don't mention is that the Rikon is 2 speed. 2950 and 1450, IIRC. That was the deciding factor for me. I think the low speed gave it the torque required to be the resaw champ in the Popular Woodworking article.
I haven't used mine a lot yet, but it seems to be put together as well as any other and I found little or no drift with the factory supplied blade.
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It's turtles, all the way down

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As I read it, the Powermatic is only $50 more and you get Light Carter quick release (insead of the Jet) Carter Ball Bearing guides Bigger table Bigger motor Chip Blower Resaw fence
I have the JWBS-14DX, but I wish I saved up for the PowerMatic when it was $200 more. For $50 more it's a no-brainer.
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It seemed that way to me especially as I am looking for high quality, low vibration, quiet and smooth operation. My old craftsman is 20 years old and I expect this one to last 20 or more years. As I see it, instead of upgrading this saw (once I buy it) I will add a 18" or larger saw when I am able to grow my shop.
But, that said, as I browsed the web and this board, I did find some very conflicting remarks. It seemed that in general, that the Powermatic was all I was asking for, yet some reported that they were nothing more than a Jet with a different paint. It does not look that way to me, but I am not a machinist. It is good to know that you have the Jet, which I understand is a quality saw in itself, and would prefer the Powermatic.
Thanks for all your feedback. I believe that the Powermatic will be coming home with me next weekend. And if anyone else is looking, The sale at Woodcraft is good through 03 March.
writes:

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They're made by the same company. The color is different - for sure, but the extra features are significant.
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Of these three I pick the Jet. Also, consider a Delta.
On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 21:40:56 GMT, "Neil Larson"

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Grizzly
wrote:

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Think again!

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Hmm, I have a G0555, nothing wrong at all with it. But a Powermatic it is not.

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Neil, I use a 12" Craftsman for several years also, about 20 years. Because the 18" Rikon got the best reviews I ordered the 18" model to replace my Craftsman. As far as I was concerned I got too little for what I was expecting. The biggest problem was with tracking and with 2 weeks of use learned to hate roller bearings in general. If you are truly looking to upgrade to an enjoyable saw for resawing I suggest you wait and save more money. Most of these models truly are a good value but IMHO for a first BS. Again IMHO you need to look at older units or something like a MiniMax or Laguna to make a significant move up in ability.

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On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 21:40:56 GMT, "Neil Larson"

You mean 14" bandsaws?
Especially since you mention resawing, take a hard look at Grizzly and Delta- Grizzly sells a riser block kit that will give you some extra cutting depth, and as far as I'm aware, it is 100% compatable with a Delta (except for color, of course)
Those Grizzly bandsaws are really worth a look. I've had the pleasure of using and looking over several, and they're a lot of tool for the money.
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wrote:

(a bit long...)
Sold my 3-1/2 yrs Grizzly G0555 for $350 at craigslist complete with 14" riser, cool block/ball bearing guide and several blades before I moved. I patiently waited at craigslist. Three weeks ago I bought a used Delta 28-262 platinum edition (made in USA) complete with mobile base and Carter ball-bearing guides for $275 (the guide and mobile base cost more than $200). Drove about 90 miles to pick up from a cabinet maker who gave up. After clean it up, the bandsaw almost unused, except the tires with slight score marks. I presume the cabinet maker does not know how to use a bandsaw as the adjustment/alignment were completely screw up.
You really cannot compare a Grizzly or Delta unless you have use and own both bandsaw. For a start, the guide rod, blade guards, bearings or cool block's setup in the Grizzly is flimsy, while the Delta's Carter guides are solid as a rock. Both bandsaw's are 1HP, but the Grizzly motor start clicking after the warranty expired. The motor cannot be upgrade as Grizzly doesn't have 1-1/2 or 2 hp motor available (check with them). The Grizzly motor's shaft is longer than the aftermarket motor. Therefore, forgets increasing the motor size. Delta has been around for ages and you can get almost any replacement parts including the motor. If you are serious in cutting precision tenon joints, don't even consideration Grizzly attractive looking the fence. Delta comes without a fence and I make my own fence after watching Mark Duginske's video. Both dust vacuum connectors are useless, but Delta have an edge. Delta finishing is better. Grizzly's cast iron table warped after a few months, while the Delta's cast-iron still maintains its flatness after spending a few lonely years in the cabinet maker workshop. I believe the cast aluminum wheels on the Delta (1-3/16") are wider I cannot be sure. Grizzly do have a quick blade tension release, while Delta doesn't. Adjustment on the Grizzly guide is faster and it takes longer with Carter ball-bearing guides. Lastly, I like Delta's lower square enclosure, seem more rigid and sound absorbing. Overall, Delta is a far better machine for a miserable $275 or even at $800.
I visited estate and garage sales including craigslist. An old Delta 14" bandsaw go for $13 and over. In craigslist, someone beat me to a Perfomax 24/48 thickness sander for $220, a brand-new still in boxed Perfomax 5hp for $2275, a vintage Delta/Rockwell drill press $75 (just like the one in David Marks wood Working shows in DIY). However, I bought an almost new Delta 8" 1/2hp disk sander for $65, a Delta 1-1/2hp Dust collector for $165.
You might wanna call Iturr toll-free phone - 888-72207078 and wait for a month or two for the catalog or buy something and have the catalog send immediately.
Disclaimer.. I have no relation with Iturr.
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Thanks for the review- I'm going to be upgrading soon, and I had the Delta in mind, but this re-enforces that. Most of the folks I've met with Grizzlys were very happy with them, and they appeared to be very solid machines- but all of them I've encountered were pretty new and not heavily used, so there wasn't much information on how they hold up on a longer time scale.
OTHO, you're right about the Deltas- at least the older models. I had the priviledge of using one that was about 50 years old to cut rafter beams for a curved roof a couple of years ago, and after I cleaned it up a little (and knocked the rust off,) it still worked like new. Here's to hoping the newer models are still at that level of quality!
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wrote:

If you have use and own both bandsaw's, you will know the differences. I brought the 14" Grizzly, b'cuz everyone here praises the Grizzly. I found many pitfalls after using use for 3 yrs.

I prefer to buy a used American-made Delta and upgrade it with replacement parts from Iturra, than a Grizzly. Take your time, at garage, estate sales or craigslist for one less than $300. You may be just as lucky as me. I have found very old ones for $120. Get an Iturra catalog, learn what to look for and to avoid. I lurk daily at craigslist and still finds many Deltas out there.
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Thanks to all who responded. The question was wether to buy the Rikon, Jet or the Powermatic. I did not mention Grizzly or Delta because I had already eliminated them. Grizzly because there are VERY mixed reviews out there, you seem to either get a good one or you never get yours right. And Delta primarily because IMHO it is almost EXACTLY the same as the Jet but more expensive.
Now before the Delta lovers start clamering for my hide, I have a Delta Contractors saw that I have had for 10 years and a Delta Planer, a Delta Drill Press and a Delta Sharpening station. I do like Delta tools, but I believe that their bandsaws live on the reputation of their table saws and really are no better than Jet.
The Powermatic is the choice I have made. I probably would have gone that way even if the sale did not include the riser, $100..00 off and $100.00 mail in rebate. I got good recommendations on the Jet and a few on the Rikon, though for some reason, as hinted at above, I got more on why I should be looking at a Delta or Grizzly.
Again, thanks for all your assistance, After I get the Powermatic in, deliverd and installed, Ill let yall know how it runs and cuts.

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In the end all that really matters is the accuracy of cut, and that's the Delta!
On Tue, 06 Feb 2007 03:28:35 GMT, "Neil Larson"

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I bought my Rikon 325 last October and had to contact Rikon they had a supplier problem with the lower ball bearing guide assemble. A few days after contacting them a complete new lower guide assemble arrived by mail and it works great. Then I went to Sears in search of a Table Saw and what do I see --> a modified to sears spec Rikon band saw for sale. It was only a regular 14" without the extra resaw capicity. I did buy the hybird table saw which looks very much like the Steel City hybird saw. Very pleased with both after taking the time to align them. I will be very interested in how the powermatic works out. It was my 2nd choice because of a higher price at the time and the reviews.
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