I have been thinking of buying a new bandsaw (still).
I really want the 16" Laguna, but I can't get myself to write a check to a
small company for a huge piece of equipment on the other side of the USA (im
in NC). What if there is a problem with it?...I don't like it..etc? Sounds
like it could be a huge PITA.
I think I am gonna get one tomorrow (order?) from Woodcraft down the street.
I am torn between the 18" Rikin (which I know Leon tried and hates) or the
18" Jet. The Jet 710750 has a 1.75 horse motor. The guy at Woodcraft says
he can order me the Jet 710751, which has 3-horses, much like the Laguna 16"
I wanted. If Laguna was down the street this would be a no brainer.
I researched this to death because i am on a tight budget. If money were
not a problem, it would be the Laguna or MiniMax.
I am in Canada so the product names are a little different but the machines
are basically the same. If I were in the US I would have chosen RIKON.
They are not available in Canada under that name. Later on I found a
Canadian retailer who imports RIKON under their own house name but they had
a 6 month waiting list. So I went with a Canadian importer who uses the
trade name KING. Not quite as impressive but I am more than happy. Machine
came totally and accurately setup.
Bottom line.... take the RIKON unless you have bags of money or are making
a living with it.
BTW HP is not an issue with a bandsaw....it's all in the blade and your
patience in feeding stock.
I'll second that. Although I do not cut wet stock (green logs) I have yet to
bog down 2HP. IMO feed rate is limited my blade speed (generally constant),
sharpness and tooth geometry.
Laguna's $250 shipping costs turned me off too.
With 5HP Baldor motor it sure isn't :)
Although even my saw still doesn't do well with 36 teeth in the cut
at one time :) (Less than 3tpi blades aren't very common and I
haven't bothered to get any yet)
After having a crap bandsaw (Old 18" 2HP Grizz) I just spend the
extra money to avoid the headaches you get with lower quality
equipment. Though someones personal/financial situation, and the work
they do would play a large part in their decision.
I'm still expecting my saw to be serving me in 40 years.
Hmm, I got mine into Canada (their depot is about 30 miles from me)
email@example.com chopping out the mortise.
BBS'ing since 1982 at 300 bps.
Surfing along at 19200 bps since 95.
WW'ing since 1985
LV Cust #4114
Nothing catchy to say, well maybe.....
WAKE UP - There are no GODs you fools!
My experience was two years ago and they would not offer me any break unless
I purchased an accessory package that I did not want, or traveled 250 miles
to a show, at which I could pay tax and then figure out how to get it home.
I bought someone else's saw.
It may be a great saw, but I found their pre-sales support to be aloof,
unmotivated and unaccomodating.
Apparently a lot has changed. Contrary to what I have heard about Laguna
they have been very helpful. I told both the Laguna salesman and the
MiniMax salesman that I was going to commit at show time and that I was
going to see and touch the saw before deciding. Both were very respectful
of my concerns and both told me that regardless of which brand I bought that
it be my last BS that I would have to buy and would be hard to beat in
quality and performance.
That'd do it for me.
I can't stand those types of sales people ether.
I have, on occasion, been known to point that out to salespeople as well.
in a nice way, of course...'cept once.. *muses at the memory*
Dreyfus, DeVito. 1987. "Tin Men"
KING is a strange company in the sense that their hits are great and
their turkeys are godawful. One year ago-ish I encountered their plunge
router. Crappola, sir. Just not good. No other outfit offers such a
I have a KING bandsaw and it is all I ever wanted. If had more use for
it, I'd probably have spent the coin on a Laguna/MiniMax/Rikon. But this
saw is amazingly well done for the money.
Now I'm getting the inside poop that Sonoma (Sanoma?) has a 23 ga. pin
nailer which is a sleeper. A total honey for the money. Go figgur, 'cuz
the rest of their line is trashy.
So tell me something. Is the Jet just another re-badged OAV or is it actually
made in a different factory? I am still thinking and researching my own
purchase and damn near all the saws we can get down here are re-badged OAV I
have found out, Carbatec, Holytek, Magna, Trupro ... and they all look exactly
like the pictures I have seen of Ricon and Jet. Most of the difference seems to
be in guides used and accessories (tension release lever) and motors.
I'd be grateful if somebody could confirm or deny,
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
I can confirm that most Name Brand companies that do not own their on
manufacturing facilities typically want the manufacturer to make their saw
look and function like the Italian made Band Saws. Where they are actually
built really does not matter too much unless they are not built by an ISO
manufacturer. Just because a tool or machine is not built in the USA,
Canada, Taiwan, or Europe does not mean that you will not get a quality
built machine. Typically however you do not want to pay much for a quality
built machine and you know, you get what you pay for. For the most part the
American market demands low prices and unfortunately many that buy the
cheaper brands do not know what to look for in a particular machine and
often gets sub par quality. The quality standards are set by the company
that puts their name on the product. Whether Jet, Delta, Rikon, or Grizzly
are built in the same factory or not, it all boils down to what they require
out of the manufacturer. Manufacturers are flexible and they can build as
much quality, fit and finish or features as the company that they are
manufacturing for wants.
I'll say that I have been in this situation wanting to save money on a
machine and who isn't. I purchased a Rikon 18" BS and waited over 2 months
for its delivery. When it arrived it was in a fantastic crate and well
protected. Inside bubble and shrink wrapped and every thing looked perfect.
The quality appeared to be very high however I found that features seemed to
be added that were not really cutting edge. When compared to the Delta 18"
saw it seemed superior even after I decided that the Rikon was not up to the
standards that I was looking for and returned the Rikon 2 weeks after I got
IMHO most name brand wood working machinery is INEXPENSIVE for what you are
getting. If you demand higher quality spend more money.
I see band saws selling for $400 and jointers for $350. 20 plus years ago I
paid about those prices for a Craftsman BS and jointer. The band saw was
half plastic and the rest was aluminum. I would venture to say that after
20 plus years of inflation and with some of these machines still being in
the same price range that you are certainly getting what you pay for.
I have come to realize, I think, that I need to buy Old machinery that was
expensive 20 plus years ago and maybe have to rebuild it or spend more money
so that I get what I Want rather than what appears to be the best bargain.
Because the economy is good and that there are more wood workers today than
in the years past demand is up and so is the competition. The businesses
that are having machines made today are in many cases building a machine
that they think that the
consumer wants and not often a machine with features that really matter.
Talking to both MiniMax and Laguna and Timberwolf I have learned and
realized that most band saws are filled with unnecessary bells and whistles.
The money that you spend on a BS goes towards those bells and whistles when
it should be going to better specific parts. Both Minimax and Laguna have
indicated that they gave gotten caught up in the wants of the customer vs.
what really makes a better machine for the customer. Five years ago 2 hp
was enough power to resaw 12". 3 years ago 3 hp was enough to resaw 12".
Today it takes 4.5+ hp to resaw or at least that is what the consumer
thinks. So both have upped the hp on their 16 heavy duty saws.
I was one that was caught up in the quick tension release feature. My
Craftsman required turn after turn after turn to tension and distension the
blade. My Rikon saw had the new design release lever that should have more
correctly named the less tension lever. So far the MiniMax and Laguna do
not offer this feature. They simply use Acme threads instead of the fine
threads on their tension mechanisms and I can say that this set up works
pretty good as witnessed by me on my Rikon when I simply turned the tension
wheel 3 or 4 times.
Anyway my advice is not to look only in your price range. Look also at the
expensive stuff and "educate yourself" Then start comparing features and
see which one you really need and which actually fall into the bells and
whistles category. I think you will find that spending more money and
waiting linger if you have to is going to typically get you a better tool
that requires less setup and daily tweaking, and one that should actually
last a lifetime.
Don't blame China and Taiwan for the quality you get, blame the company that
you give your money to for not requiring higher standards of the machinery
that they are having built.
lots of stuff that I basically agree with.
China, I am reserved about, very reserved - I've just had too many abysmal
experiences. Taiwan I am _quite_ willing to consider; they've come a long long
way in the last 15 years.
Unfortunately it seems that you and we have almost no brands in common, the
exception being Jet - which is sold as slightly up-market here but which I have
also read a lot of negative comments by some reviewers about. So my thinking
is: IF the Jet is an OAV, then I might as well get a cheaper one and get the
accessories I need/want during negotiations. The motor size craze hasn't hit
here yet, most shop sized 20" saws are sold with a 2 horse motor, only the
sawmill resaw jobs have 5hp..30hp.
Your point about the tension release lever is well taken. I'm sure I'll pay
more attention to solid wheels and the kind of guides I want over that feature.
I can actually get access to three Italian brands but Laguna is not amongst
them: Lazzari is one, and I can't recall the other two names. But they are
nearly twice the price for a smaller (!) saw (16" vs. 18").
My policy is to only buy very good quality tools, always - it pays off even in
the short run. I'd rather wait and save than waste my money on stuff that'll
end up in the junk pile in short order. But I simply don't do enough woodwork
(it's my long term hobby, not my job - I only rarely take on commissioned work)
to really warrant a 3700 NZ$ expense on a 16" B/S.
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
I certainly see your point but the Chinese are capable although we do not
often see it.
Laguna is an American brand built by SCM in Italy IIRC. They seem to put
more R& D into the out come of the version that they sell. Yes the Italian
brands are pricey, Ferrari pricey. I'll be paying almost 3 times what I
paid for the Rikon.
Unfortunately for me I had to learn the hard and more expensive way on many
of my purchases. Well, my first nail gun was a Senco which turned out to be
a top of the line tool back in the late 80's. :~)
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