For a project I am doing I need a bandsaw. Since nobody seems to rent
them, I am considering buying. I have been looking at Delta and
wondering if the basic model BS100 9" would be good enough or if I
should be thinking of the 28-206 14" at about 4 times the price. What
is to be gained from buying the more expensive one besides capacity
for cutting larger material that I may never need?
Check with your local community college, or maybe high school. Many of
them have community programs where you can come in after hours to use
their equipment. Alternatively, perhaps there is a woodworking club in
your area which might help you.
Accuracy! Versatility. Capacity aside, the 9" saw fall into the toy
category. If you are making some cutouts on 1/4" wood or plywood, it may be
sufficient. If you are getting into more serious work, the 12" or 14" saws
are smoother cutting, less blade drift, many more types of blades available.
For a one shot deal, go for cheap or ask around to borrow some time. For
long term, spend the extra now for a Delta or Jet saw.
By not saying what you are doing nor what you are going to cut, makes
any recommendation questionable. What is the project? How thick is
your material? Type of material? Size of material? Density of the
materaial? Will you be cutting at an angle? Will you need dust
collection? Need portability? May a scroll saw be better? Perhaps a
hand-held jigsaw will give a better value?
The main project right now is cutting spindles for a railing from
2X6's, each about 2ft long with gradual curves, but there have been
many times when I wished I had a bandsaw and didn't. I have tried a
hand-held jigsaw, but didn't have very good luck trying to keep the
cuts perfectly vertical. Likely any future use will involve similar
cutting or with thinner material. I doubt that I will ever be doing
resawing, so don't need that capability.
Thank you all for your replies.
A benchtop model with a 1/2 HP motor should do the job you describe.
A floor model with more HP is more sturdy and needed for resaw
operations. Stay clear of the 3-wheel bandsaws--the blade is more
difficult to track and the blade endures more strain than the 2-wheel
models. Having a quality blade is very important. A benchtop model
will run $250 or less. You can do a lot with a bandsaw. Bandsaws
tend to produce a lot of fine dust; I strongly recommend a Dustfoe
mask (~$30) to protect your lungs although it won't work well if you
have a beard.
I had similar ideas about what a bandsaw and scroll saw would do to
produce a finished edge at the fiirst go. Won't happen. Else it will
take forever, by cutting slowly and very carefully, to get anything
like the final finished edge you see in the advertisement
illustration. Finally decided to buy a sander (belt/disc combo) and
that did the trick. Roughly saw close to the desired cut line and
sand to finish.
The 14 inch bandsaws have been around a good long time, so parts are readily
available. Also, you will probably find a much bigger blade selection for
93-1/2 inch blade circumferences, so you can do more with the same machine.
And, there are extensions available that will raise the throat capacity from
6 inches to 12 inches, should you ever want to split a 1x12 down the middle.
Most woodworking bandsaws are single speed and are meant for cutting just
wood. But for a bit more money you can get a multi-speed unit that will slow
way down and cut metal and plastic as well. If you expect to utilize these
materials often, then that's something to consider.
Depending on how much cutting you need to do, check at a local woodworking
supply store, if there are any near you. Some have fully-equipped shops that
they will rent out, or hold classes in. If you only need to make a few dozen
cuts, this may be a way to get it done cheaply, and if you find you need a
bandsaw for more projects, they may also get a sale out of it.
<< For a project I am doing I need a bandsaw. >>
Wouldn't a good sabre saw do what you want? The better ones these days have
good rigid blades that make nice vertical cuts. Bosch, Porter-Cable, DeWalt,
Milwaukee all have these capabilities. Anything over 1" thick, you should go
for the band saw, preferably a 14" size. Don't neglect eBay as a source for
good used ones. Good luck.
My experience with bandsaws is that the cheaper they are the harder it
is to get a straight cut. The 9" Deltas fall into this category. I
owned one, even bought a fence, and couldn't get it to cut a straight
line. If you need straight cuts get a 14" Delta or Jet. The larger
blade and sturdier guides make a huge difference in producing accurate
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