Anyone owning a Delta 14" bandsaw can explain the differences between
various models, such as Delta model 28-475X, Delta model 28-263
Platinum Edition and model 28-206. What are the differences, in HP,
Carter blade guides, made in the USA, Taiwan or China?
I am particular interested in buying a used Platinum Edition and
trying to understand Delta model numbering system. Thanks for your
On Fri, 12 Jan 2007 03:47:20 GMT, email@example.com (Charlee)
Don't take this as gospel, but I discovered with my bandsaw, which was
marked 28-280 on the boxes it came in, that it is really a 28-203 (I
think) with a 1 HP motor and enclosed base. That's what makes it a
There are other iterations as well. 3/4 HP, open base, etc., which, as
you and I are both hinting at, can cause a change in the numbers.
As far as the Platinum Edition is concerned, that was around for only
a year or two, and to my knowledge, didn't have any effect on the
model numbers--just paint color. The X-5 series seems to have thrown
numbering all over the place. I couldn't depend on any model number
nowadays as having relevance to those I was at one time sort of
Unisaws are the worst, I think.
Frank Broecchter (sp? Sorry, Frank) may be able to answer some of your
questions more authoritatively.
It is pretty close to gospel ... the 28-203 was Delta's basic, and only,
wood cutting 14" bandsaw for a long time... made in USA, with some of the
forging done in Mexico for a while and sold in different packages, with
stand, without stand, limited edition, motor size (3/4 and 1 HP mostly), and
various model numbers designating package.
Reviews are mixed on Delta's new bandsaws and the model numbers have turned
into alphanumeric confusion.
There are two flavors of the basic 14" bandsaw. The base
model 28-200 came out many years ago (mine is a 1979) and
it was manufactured for many years prior to that.
The basic design has changed very little but Delta did make
the same mistakes others have made and went with the cheaper
version to be sold to the general public.
The all start out with the same appearance and change models
by adding or subtracting various "features".
The most common features are (1) motor size (2) paint color
and (3) with or without a fence (4) open/closed base.
Another marketing genius decided that by changing the color
and adding a mobile base, this would be another model #.
There are several "current" versions:
There is also a vanilla version with open base 28-276
$439 often seen in Home Centers.
The cheaper model is simply that...cheaper and not as
beefy or as sturdy as it's very similar brothers.
The X-5 (475) is itself a "copy" and a "price point" re-engineered one to
Todd Stock wrote an interesting post back a year or so ago about the
<Todd Stock post, 02/03>
You did get the best of the 14" saws, but in adding power to the package,
Delta made a cost engineering change that moved them in the direction of the
The problem with the new Delta 1.5 hp is that they upp'd the motor speed
from 1750 to 3450 (to keep the price point for the motor and drive train
identical to the old 28-299) and replaced the excellent balanced steel and
iron pulleys that were supplied with the old 3/4 and 1 hp saws with the
same crappy cast alloy sheaves that the Jets and other imports are using.
This drive train vibe is more noticeable than on the imports because speed
is doubled and power is higher on the new Deltas.
Junk the alloy sheave (the motor is likely a machined steel sheave and is
probably OK) and invest in a cast iron, balanced Browning sheave for the
driven shaft - about $28 from MSC. Make sure you get the proper bore (3/4")
and correct 4L pitch diameter (NOT the same as the outside
Also - swap to a link belt. These are the fixes that Iturra recommends for
the Jet and other imports, and appears to be necessary for the new Delta
1.5 hp as well.
I hope Delta gets enough complaints to change the drivetrain back to a
balanced system - just one of the many things that justified a higher
price tag for the saw."
Obviously bears occasional repeating, IMO.
??? Well sure it is a "copy" in that it is a 14" iron frame bandsaw.
But no one had any of the features (dust collection design, preset
tensions for multiple blade widths, 1.5 Hp, multiple table tilt
presets) at the time of introduction. We thought it was innovative
No, the goal was to add a half horse, create a one box pack, improve
the dust collection to the best available, add preset blade tensioning
and quick tension release, add multiple table tilt presets ( for those
demanding casting pattern makers) add all new, improved blade tension
spring components and in doing so, keep it cost nuetral to the unit
that preceded it. Mission was accomplished.
A good idea. Also top of the stand on early models tended to oil can
a bit (not lighter gage but wider expanse, bigger cuttouts). I think
an angle rib was added to later models, easy to add one to early
models. bolt on ok, no need to weld. It will be obvious what to do if
you study it a bit.
Regardless, until you guys/Delta put the extra 1/2 horse on the 299a, IIRC,
there was never much question about which was the best 14" bandsaw out here
in the real world. Once that happened, it has been a downhill ride in
quality, at least in this mere observer's estimation.
It might not be a fair assessment, or benchmark, but the perception and
hands-on of the folks out here who use/buy the tools seem to all tell the
same tale, sorry to say.
Could those "cost neutral" improvements be the reason for what I, and many
others, have perceived (hell, noticed to the point of being slapped in the
face with some shoddy product), as a loss in quality?
The cost of these "improvements" had to come at some price, and it certainly
appears to me that they were made in conjunction with some "value
engineering" to insure "mission accomplished"?
Not taking you to task, but telling you that I was once a BIG fan of Delta
table saws and Bandsaws, own both, and what I see on the market today,
despite the rhetoric and "cost neutral improvements", does not compare to
what I have in my shop ... it's that simple.
In short, and sorry to say, I've pretty much lost all faith in most Delta
products, since about 2002/3.
That sucks ... and maybe it's just a cynical, aging codger viewpoint, but it
Don't know, but nothing was taken away with that "cost nuetral" change
with the exception of the pulleys already mentioned and they were
bought with a balanced specification BTW. All the remainder was
added. Larger table, and all the feature mentioned above, all from
focus groups or user requests.
The cost of packing one box instead of two, hardly a customer concern.
The cost the additional HP came from volume breaks by using a very
strong motor that was already in use for other units. You buy more,
you get a better price.
The customer did have to assemble the stand rather than have it
assembled and welded in the factory which helped cost but would hardly
be an quality issue. And the separate sub base was eliminated as
being a costly look good but do nothing of value item.
The idea was to take away nothing of importance and add as much as
possible. If that perception is not there, maybe mission was not
And in the world we live in cost is very important. When all of your
competition is from China cost becomes a focus. I could write a book
on the quality differences, but would do no good, a lot of people buy
on price and price alone. And soon, I believe, there will be no
Sorry to hear that, however, since I haven't made the product since
about that time frame, I don't have to take it personally. Wouldn't
anyway, opinions valuable, and when statistically relevant, often
Understandable. Particularly for another aging codger. Nobody is
more upset with the decline, perceived or real, than I am. It's a
When pot metal knobs break off in my hand, and the plastic bits crack ...
Hell, I grew up thinking/knowing that Delta tools were the best in the
world, and there was some comfort there. Then Elvis went and got fat and
died, LBJ sent me a draft notice, SRV just had to go get on that damn
helicopter, Delta went from Tupelo to Hell-in-a-handbasket, and now Brittney
went and flashed us with her thing proving they're all the same ... things
just ain't what they used to be.
On Fri, 12 Jan 2007 17:00:02 -0600, Frank Boettcher
My apologies for butchering your last name in my post. I've seen it
here many times, and I obviously know who you are (as apparently do a
lot of others) but I just couldn't put my fingers on one of your posts
to get it spelled correctly. Sorry. I meant well.
I have owned the Delta 28-475 for a year now and use it daily. Even
though I use it every day, I don't care for it, but i'm stuck with it.
Set up was troublesome, had to replace the belts, the cord wouldn't
reach with the extension attached, had to modify this and that, not to
mention it's underpowered for my use. Well, I can go on and on, but I
would reconsider buying this machine for what it's worth.
On Fri, 12 Jan 2007 03:47:20 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Charlee)
28-475X - The last promotional unit that Delta produced in Tupelo.
Transferred to Jackson, TN, and still in production. Made in the USA
(depending on the serial number, newer production may be loaded up
with some Chinese iron, but still assembled in Jackson, TN. No
Carters, but, that's not a bad thing necessarily. 1.5 HP (at least the
early production used the same basic motor as the last domestically
produced contractor saw and it was strong, rated really at 2 hp at
240V and a marginal 1.75hp at 120V. Has the best dust collection of
the lot, and lots of features that you may or may not be interested in
(numerous preset table tilts, pattern makers love those for inducing
draft in casting patterns, preset blade tension for various width
blades with quick release, good tension spring, etc). If buying new,
has 5 year warranty and some free goods.
At the time of introduction, this model beat every competitor in every
comparable feature, including things the buyer would not see like arm
defelction under blade tension. Competitors have released some newer
models, and I haven't had the opportunity to keep up.
Better hurry on that one new. Based on the number Delta experienced
people who have recently been put on the street by B & D, I would
suspect they are throwing in the towel on domestic units and going all
Platinum Edition - one promotion prior to X5. Late '90s time frame.
Fully made in the USA, including motor. strong 1HP resiliant mount
motor. I think it only came out under the one model number. it was
primarily a color, touch points and free goods promotion. Premium
stock blade. I believe it had Carters. A very good unit.
Essentially the base and overarm is the same as units going back 40
28-206 - An enclosed stand version imported from China. 1HP. If I had
a choice of either of the above listed models, I would take them over
this one, although it sells at a lower price new than they might used.
Hope this helps.
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