I'm looking into a new bandsaw. Any opinions from the group would be
appreciated. Have you read the review in the current FWW? Their top choices
are a Laguna & a Grizzly. Laguna is pricey (maybe worth it) . I got a
grizzly jointer earlier this year & really like it. The price was good & the
spiral cutter head handles difficult woods easily, but there were some
things about the initial set up that could have been easier. The FWW review
says blade changing is a pain on the Grizzly. Anyone have a decent powered
Grizzly that they like?
I googled this group and this question has never been asked in 10
years. So I just bought a 30 year old Delta bandsaw. Try Google
advanced search using bandsaw purchase in the all words box and
rec.woodworking in the exact phrase box.
I have a Delta X5 and my experiences are far from what they found, which
is too bad. I hate to hear about what used to be a good tool doing
poorly. It seemed that they did the resaw test using the stamped
tension scale, which isn't accurate on mine either. Mine is equipped
with cool blocks and a link belt, but was only $800 at the time I bought
it. I also noticed the glaring lack of the American Flag on the
magazine photo of the X5.
Based on the review, I'd probably buy the Laguna, but I'd give the Grizz
a really good look. While Grizzly has come an awfully long way, their
resale value seems to really suck in my area, so I'd have to be sure I
was keeping the tool for a while.
Don't forget to keep certain ratings in perspective. For example, some
people are constantly changing blades. For them, easy blade changes are
a big deal. I do 99% of my bandsaw work with the same 1/4" blade, only
changing to a 1/8" or 1/2" on rare occasions, so that feature would move
down the line for me.
I bought a Grizzly 17" G0513 about three years ago. It has worked
well for me, never stalled or given me any problem. Blade changing is
not really hard once you get the hang if it. Hope this helps.
What did they say about Grizzly? What size are you looking for?
I am having a GO514X delivered today; though it might take a while to make
it to my basement.
I chose it over a european saw because it was 2/3rds the price. If you are
using them all day long it might be worth the price, but most home
If you are buying a replacement, I'd say go with the Laguna. First saw,
consider the Griz, you probably will not know the difference. The Griz will
be a good value and will get the job done.
The Laguna will be a polished version and will not likely to ever need to
be upgraded or have better components installed to replace the stock ones.
The guides are probably the best money can buy, the motors are Baldor, and
the fences are large and strong to name a few.
Keep in mind that there are 2 groups of Laguna's. The less expensive line
is built in Bulgaria and the more expensive HD series is built in Italy. I
personally have the LT16HD and it will be my last BS.
My Laguna vs. the old Craftsman and 2 week old 18" Rikon stays adjusted with
repeated blade tensioning. I simply retention the blade and I am good to
go, I had to fiddle with the Craftsman and Rikon every time I used it to
get it to track decently.
Typically a BS takes longer to change blades and set up that other saws.
The faster and more successful this procedure goes the more you will
probably use it.
June of 06 I put a Rikon 18" 10-345 on layaway from Woodcraft on one
of their $999 sales.
Since I had no shop to put it in yet, as it was planned construction,
the saw stayed at Woodcraft until December of 06.
I put the saw together in June of 2007, and found that the plastic
that covers the main table had sagged and allowed a corner to dry out
from the covering lubricant to prevent rust.
Other than cutting a few dowels and some pen blanks, I just this week
tried to put on a Woodslicer blade I bought June of 2006. The blade
turned out to be about 1/2" too long. A trip to a local saw shop got
the blade cut down to fit.
The stock blade was CRAP for resawing, but fine for general bandsaw
work. A new woodslicer is on it's way with no shipping charges from
the supplier for my troubles.
The top wheel assembly was not tight to the frame, and require both
tightening of a set of allen bolts, as well as shimming of the spring
assembly to the frame. It had left to right movement.
I used my shortend woodslicer last night to resaw a 5/4 cherry board
into 4 1/4+ slices for some trim to put on a cabinet. Worked great,
and my opinion of the saw rose a bit.
I bought a Powermatic PWBS-14CS in February, It was on sale for $899.99 and
came with a $100.00 rebate and a free riser. I absolutley love it. I have
compared it to a buddies 14" Delta X5 and it beats it hands down on fit,
finish, power not to mention the full Carter guides and blade quick release.
The saw is quiet and vibration free. The extra power is nice. Nice table,
though the table extension is kind of odd. I hvae use mine for resawing oak,
maple, walnut, bloodwood canarywood and purpleheart so far and it has been
Good luck on your choice and with whatever saw you decide on.
Given the price difference between the Laguna and the G0457, I would
strongly argue to go with the Grizzly. When I shopped around for my first
BS, I finally just settled on the RIDGID 14-inch, which was far and away
the least expensive. I've never ha a problem with it, once I had it
properly setup and learned the tricks of tuning it. The Delta, Grizzly
555X, the Jet and several others are all nearly identical. Bandsaw
performance leans heavily on three things: engine HP, blade quality, and
the care the operator has gone to ensuring it is tuned and aligned
properly. Where the motor is rated the same, the blade is what makes the
difference in cutting speed. Wheel balance and quality comes into play
with cut quality, since better wheels, properly aligned eliminate
Ideally, paying more should mean better quality and more useful details,
like a fence system included, wheels carefully aligned, etc. In the FWW
article you can see that price doesn't predict cutting speed, nor does it
predict much else. The two saws with perfectly aligned wheels for example
are the cheapest (G0555x) and one that costs twice as much. The rest vary
from 4/100s to over 1/5 inch in misalignment.
So, look for the features and size you want. If possible check the actual
machine out. That is absolutely the only way to be certain of the
machine's quality. If your shop is up or down a set of stairs, can you
get it in? How much ceiling clearance to you have? If you plan on building
your own add-on table, or you have ideas about the ideal resawing fence,
etc. go for fewer features and lower cost. If you decide on a cast-iron
frame look at the Grizzly 555X with a riser block. That was my second
choice when I bought mine. However, its hard to beat $250 for a new saw
when you know you can make or buy anything you want in the way of
customization. The money you don't spend on the saw itself can go to
better blades and equipment you decide will be useful.
Thanks for all the advice & viewpoints. I have a 14" Jet w/riser blocks. Not
enough power to resaw, I really want to get a BS that I will live with
without changing again. When I got the Jet some people told me to stay away
from it, but price played a part of that decision. So I must say I'm leaning
towards the Laguna, but I'll weigh it up.
No matter how good the saw the technique is just as important. It is
frustrating to deal with a band saw that can't easily be tuned up and
tuning up a good bandsaw is not exactly fun. Resawing typically needs
a little more power and wider blade, but it still can resaw with some
patience. I compared the 14" Jet and Delta side-by-side and the
performance was close. I don't like the dust collection of my Delta
bandsaw but have made a few improvements. What really matters in the
end is accuracy of cut and the Delta wins there. Luguna is most
likely better than any Delta, but only if you have lots of extra $$$.
And my 14" Jet with 1 hp does a fine job of resawing. It has no blade drift
since I put the Iturra tension spring and went to the BC saw blades. I resaw
with a 1/2" blade, but I have a 3/4" that I seldom put on because the 1/2"
blade does just fine.
I have some 144" blades made by one of the popular manufacturers that are
I got a Laguna 16HD about 6 weeks ago. As a "non-bandsawer" prior to
this purchase I had a bit to learn, but the saw itself was a
no-brainer. It's easy to set up, runs in an almost eery silence, and
with the Laguna blades (probably not the best, but good enough so far)
cuts everything I've put through it (up to resawing 14" hard maple)
without problem. I guess, in this case, you may in fact get what you
Just my experience.
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