I'm thinking of buying a bandsaw, mostly for resaw work, but possibly for
cutting tenons and whatnot as well.
What brands/features do you recommend?
The Grizzly G0555 seems nice for the money, but I really don't know much
about bandsaws. And, $500 is still a bit more than I really have to spend.
Are there any less expensive bandsaws that are worth the money?
Sure - they're used, but they CAN be good deals. Look around a local
classifieds, auctions, eBay, Craigslist, etc. If you're patient and
learn what to look for, you can get a good machine for a great price.
In the 14" range, apparently the older Delta/Rockwell models have
better castings than the new ones, so even if you need to replace
tires, guide bearings, drive belt, etc., it may still be a good deal.
I'd recommend getting one of Duginske's bandsaw books (there are
several) as well as an Iturra Designs catalog, which is a great
resource for bandsaw information as well as parts/upgrades (no website,
I beliee that Grizz offers one a bit less expensive. It would be along the
lines of a
Delta or Ridgid - $350 -$400 range.
Depend upon your expectations and needs. Are the less expensive ones
doing resawing? A limited amout and not wider than 6" unless you add a
For my occassional needs and the types of projects that I do I have had no
the Ridgid recertified saw that I bought at a Cummins Tool show. I know
are better saws but for my needs it works just fine. It's easy to get
caught up in the
bigger, better, more trap. Buy what you realistically need. OTOH, most
who over-buy don't complain.
If you live in a more populous area keep an eye out the local newspaper
classifieds in the "Tools" section or even better the estate sales and
auctions. There are very good deals to be had at some privately run estate
sales (not all). Tools are often sold by family members who don't want to
move them around and want to get rid of them. I have seen some where radial
arm saws, table saws and band saws are sold with every accessory imaginable
for a pittance.
Better yet, run a "band saw wanted" in the same local paper, in the
tools and building matierals section. I did so last winter and was
offered a half-dozen saws ( I live in a town of about 50,000) including
three that suited my needs perfectly-- 14" Jet, Griz, and Delta saws
that were fairly similar. I chose the Jet, largely because it was
barely used and included lots of extras (Carter guides, Jet's larger
fence, 3 spd kit, many blades, mobile base, etc.). The kicker? All
three of the 14" saws were $225-250 in really good condition.
I was also offered a 25" BS that was probably 50-60 years old, 3-phase
power and would have needed a lift to move. The guy only wanted $150
for that one.
After shopping for a new BS in the same price range, I chose on the
Craftsman 14" model 22401. I *believe* it's actually made by Rikon --
even the stickers on the doors are the same. With a cast iron table
and wheels (reduced vibration, increased stability), 8" resaw
capability (thickness), a 1HP induction motor (very quiet), and roller
guide bearings (instead of blocks), you'd have to spend a lot more for
anything else that's comparable. I've used mine quite a bit to make
veneers, bent laminations and panels. A *lot* nicer than the $99 Delta
9" wobble-monster I was using.
Some people bought this saw this weekend for an unbelievable $319.
YMMV. You can also find recent discussions on http://www.woodnet.net
Search for "+bandsaw +sears" in the Power Tools forum.
I agree with slahdev. I bought the Sears also and it is far better than most
I've found in that price range. I know a lot of people don't care for Sears
BUT the price ...service... and most of all the quality are there in the
The best bandsaw for under $500 is the Grizzly G0555 for $425, no question
about it. Why would you buy a cheapo for a little bit less than that, and
before long try to sell the cheapo and step up to a better one? It doesn't
make sense to me.
My 2 cents worth.
I hope your not referring to the Sears as a cheapo. I think it's way above
that and the Grizz is a great one but factor in the freight and ( call
freight went up) and it's a lot more.
Of course thats' my opion and I respect yours.
I live about 350 miles from Springfield, MO. My wife and I took a trip to
Branson and on the way back I stopped at Grizzly and loaded the G0555 into
my SUV. $425 + 6 1/2% sales tax. If you ever get a chance visit one of
their warehouse showrooms. It's a real experience.
I got some great bargains in their scratch and dent section at one of the
showrooms. And seeing all those tools set up is a little intimidating. You
know no matter how much money you spend, you will have little effect on the
local tool population.
If you're considering a G0555 also take a look at Harbor Freight's 14"
saw. The 4 speed saw goes on sale several times a year in the $220-250
range. However, if you are planning on using it mainly for resawing, I
don't think you will be happy with either. Occasional resawing, fine,
but neither of these is really made for lots of resaw use.
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