Rikon Band Saw?

I have been in the market for a 14 bandsaw and I need some advice? Have not found any used. I have a 10 Delta Home Craft that I have had for years and I need to upgrade to something I can resaw with. I just received a Woodcraft flyer and they have Rikon 10-325 on sale for $750 this month. This looks like a good buy. Anyone have any comments on this saw?
I was just at a Wood/wood workers show and a fellow from Carter suggested an old Sears or a Ridge and update it with Carter roller guides, and different bands on the wheels and guides and it would work better than any of the others. For the price of their parts looks like the Rikon might come close and I might be better off? Grizzleys deluxe also looks good but is much more money? Bill T.
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BT98 wrote:

For the money the Grizzly gives you an extra half horsepower and an arguably nicer fence, while the Rikon gives you an extra 3 inches of resaw capacity. Both include roller guides and quick tension release.
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I have been in the market for a 14 bandsaw and I need some advice? Have not found any used. I have a 10 Delta Home Craft that I have had for years and I need to upgrade to something I can resaw with. I just received a Woodcraft flyer and they have Rikon 10-325 on sale for $750 this month. This looks like a good buy. Anyone have any comments on this saw?
I was just at a Wood/wood workers show and a fellow from Carter suggested an old Sears or a Ridge and update it with Carter roller guides, and different bands on the wheels and guides and it would work better than any of the others. For the price of their parts looks like the Rikon might come close and I might be better off? Grizzleys deluxe also looks good but is much more money? Bill T.
I was in a similar situation 3 years ago. Food for thought.
I had a 12" Craftsman that I used for 15+ years and it had a 1hp motor IIRC. I wanted something better, basically the improvement you see when going from a contractors table saw up to a cabinet saw. I purchased the Rikon 18" BS for about $1K. I kept it for 2 weeks and returned it. Had I been able to demo the saw in the store I probably would not have purchased it. I felt the Rikon was only marginally better than the Craftsman.
I did not like the fact that it was "in my case" blade particular. The cheaper the blade the easier it was to get it to track properly. The better the blade the more the blades needed constant tinkering. I simply hated the roller bearing guides, too noisy and too much vibration. In my particular case I was cutting wet wood and the damp dust would stick to the guides and that is what caused the pounding noise and vibration. I never really did too much resawing over 4" thick however the saw's 2 hp motor was plenty for that.
I ended up with a Laguna L16HD saw. 4.5 hp ,16" resaw capacity. and 10 point ceramic guides that actually keep the blades clean and quiet.
IMHO a band saw is a piece of equipment that has a wide range of pricing and quality and for the most part they go hand in hand. My Laguna cost more than twice as much as the Rikon.
Basically if you are looking for better and want to upgrade try your best to use/demo one before you buy to make sure that it is going to live up to your expectations. While the Laguna was much more costly than the Rikon I feel that it is a bigger bargain given the performance improvement and ease of set up. IMHO a band saw purchase is not one that will necessarily give you the results that you expect if you are on a set budget. I very seldom have to adjust tracking on the upper wheel even if going from a 1/2" blade to a 1-1/4" blade. For the most part for resawing you want to use a wider blade, wider blades need to be tensioned more. The better built the saw the better it is going to be able to apply and hold that tension with out the frame flexing. The frame flexing is one of the reasons that upper wheel adjustment is need for different sized blades and tensions. Additionally, as the blade warms up from use it will stretch a bit and will probably need to be retensioned. On cheaper built saws the upper wheel will probably need to be readjusted also. That was the situation I experienced with the Rikon.
OR like the Carter guy said, try to find an older Delta or reputable brand and install ceramic guides rather than bearing guides.
My 2 cents.
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I don't know if it interests you or not but you might check with your local Rockler if you have one. They had a 1 1/4 HP 14" Jet on sale yesterday for $499. It's possible they didn't sell all of them...
Larry
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On Sun, 01 Feb 2009 14:13:06 -0800, BT98 wrote:

I bought the Rikon when it first came out. My table was 1/64" low on one corner and Rikon promptly replaced it. I've been using mine mostly to cut logs up into turning blocks, but I've made a couple of small boxes and such on it as well.
So far I'm happy. The only problem with the design is that the included light needs to be on a slightly longer mount to shine over the fence when the fence is very close to the blade.
Roller bearings do tend to pick up sap if cutting green wood, but I fixed that by wiping some Boeshield type coating on the resaw blade.
With the saw on low speed to increase torque I've had no problem cutting up 12" diameter green walnut logs.
I used to work at Woodcraft (today was my last day) and my opinion is that while the Rikon may not be the best bandsaw Woodcraft sells (the Powermatic probably is), the Rikon is the best bandsaw for the money. As in the "Best Value" awards in tool reviews.
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