Bandsaw shopping

I really appreciated the posts related to Bob Davis, and I too am looking for a bandsaw.
But my budget is much lower. I am working in my garage with limited space and a limited budget. I'm only a hobbyist.
My intended uses are some limited resawing - 4", MAYBE 6". Mostly I intend to cut curved lines in items like headboards, and dresser tops.
I am thinking of going with the 14" grizzly G0555 (to be used at 220VAC), or possibly the Ridgid. Problem is, the guys at the HD near me don't know anything about the Ridgid bandsaw. Any comment on that bandsaw, and if HD in fact sells it?
Any other suggestions in the $500 and under range?
I prefer a unit capable of 220VAC, min 1HP, a fence, blade guides.
Seems like Delta and Jet sell the fence and blade guides separately (which in my mind is nickel-and-diming).
Thanks in advance.
Mark
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mhandley wrote:

I agree. When I bought my Jet, the fence was free as a special offer. According to the salesman, many people really don't want the stock fence and prefer to make their own, so to keep the price down, it is added as an option. I use mne.
Never saw the Grizz. I think the Jet is better fit and finish than the Ridgid. Closed base versus open base on the Ridgid. One magazien said the closed base units are more stable an dhave less vibration than the open stands and downrated the Ridged for it.
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Ed
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I don't know if this helps or not because it's mostly hearsay, but never shy to give an opinion even if I don't have one, here goes.
JET - I have several JET tools and have been very happy with all of them. I don't have the bandsaw though (well actually I bought one last night, but haven't used it yet). JET consistently comes out towards the top in tool tests along with Delta, but again I don't know for sure about their bandsaw. I've looked at it in their warehouse that's a couple miles from my house (lucky me!) and it's a nice saw. I think the price of their lowest-priced bandsaw is over $500 though.
Delta - I can't believe I don't own any Delta tools, but I guess with JET being so close I've bought mostly JET stuff. Anyway, they usually rank at the top or tied for the top spot in tool tests. Their bandsaw is more than $500 though.
Grizzly - I've never bought any of their tools either, but I've been at their warehouse in Bellingham. The tools seem well built. There are numerous threads about the Grizzly 14" bandsaws so if you do a Google search you'll find lots of reading. I believe Grizzly has a good reputation for tools, but not as high as some of the higher-priced options (e.g. Delta/JET).
Ridgid - I've heard comments both ways on their tools, but my perception is most people are happy with the Ridgid tools. They also score reasonably high on tool tests. I have their planer and have been quite happy with it. They seem to do a better job (my opinion) than other companies of adding useful user features (soft knobs, handles in the right place, on-tool storage for wrenches, etc).
Harbor Freight (don't laugh, I'm being serious) - Some (most?) of the HF stuff is very low end, but I've read some threads about the HF bandsaw and it sound like lots of people are happy with it. IIRC most of the happiest users are those that spent the time and had the skills to tune the saw up properly. Again DAGS and you'll find these threads.
Used - this takes more patience and care, but you can ultimately end up with more saw for your $500. After about a year of looking I finally found a nice JET 14" with the riser block and fence at an auction. I might have paid more than I should have, but it was $225. If you are willing to spend $500 you could pick up a very nice used saw or you could save some of your money and buy the equivalent of a $500 saw.
Now that I re-read what I wrote, I strongly suggest you DAGS on each of the saws listed above because each has had numerous threads about them. You'll be able to find many comments about the pros/cons of each.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

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I don't think you can go wrong with the Grizzly. My neighbor bought his last summer and installed a new blade (Timberwolf). It cuts like a champ. And the price is right. It comes with roller bearing blade guides and thrust bearings. The fence system is great and with the addition of the extension for the extra height, I have watched him resaw BIG ash billets into thinner boards. BTW, I have the USA made Delta 14" and have added the Carter guides as well as urethane tires. My neighbor cuts his wood for a lot less money!
Philski
mhandley wrote:

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If the choice is between the Grizzly and the Ridgid, get the Grizzly
John
On Sun, 8 Feb 2004 09:29:20 -0500, "mhandley"

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On Sun, 8 Feb 2004 09:29:20 -0500, "mhandley"
Like Larry said. If you're patient, persistent, and have cash on hand you can find very good deals on used bandsaws. Look in your local classifieds, Pennysaver, Ebay, and local used machinery dealers. I bought a 1hp open stand Delta with fence, miter gauge, and mobile base for $250. It was in tip top shape too. That left me money for upgrades like link belts, cool block clones on Ebay, Timberwolf blades and hopefully soon a nice hand wheel to replace the stock blade tension knob. For $500 you could find a very good 18" or even 20" BS.

It seems like nickel and diming but I can see why the manufacturers would offer these as options. Some people don't use the stock fence or miter gauge. In fact, I'm planning on replacing the stock fence with the one from Woodpecker...if they ever decide to re-offer their BS table system soon *sigh*. Or, I'll replace it with the one from Mule Cab which is very nice.
As for which one is better Jet or Delta: both are very good saws. My dad has the Jet closed stand which he likes. However, I prefer the Delta if for one reason only, and that is the micrometer blade guide adjusters. I always loosen the tension on my BS blades after I'm done. When I retension them I back off the guides and pluck the blade while turning the tension knob till the blade goes from making a "twang" to making a nice tight sounding "ping". Then, I reposition the blade guides. Granted it's not a big deal, but it makes life that much easier, especially when adjusting the lower blade guides. If Jet offered such a feature on their BS I think the price would be much closer to Delta's.
Layne
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