I wrote to Rikon to see if there was a dealer near me where I could actually
look at one of the bandsaws. (This is the model that got a "Best Buy" rating in
Fine Woodworking a month or so ago.) Anyway, while there isn't one around here
yet, they said Woodcraft is going to start carrying them in about six weeks.
Retail is about $1000, I think. If anybody's interested....
Check out the Woodtek also at the same price. Notice the cast iron fence on
it as opposed to the Rikon's aluminum... Cast iron wheels too. Not sure if
the Rikon has the same. Anyhow, the Woodtek will be mine when money
I'm going on the recommendation of the author in Fine Woodworking. If money
were no object, I'd go for the Laguna. Unfortunately, I'm not as independently
wealthy as I'd like to be. Besides, I'm a relative newbie. I've never used a
bandsaw; never took woodshop in high school. Most of what I know I learned by
reading and stumbling around the shop.
I figure this'll be like when I got into computers: spend the money and then
I'll be obligated to learn how to use it. But I digress....
The author specifically mentioned the ease of changing the blade. I can't
remember any of the rest right now.
They scored it as good in the resaw test, excellent in the curve following test,
and very good in table lock effectiveness. On the negative side, it scored only
a fair in blade changing ease and was ten out of eleven tested in frame
deflection (lower is more desirable).
Found the article. Here's a direct link:
They must be hosting that page from a dialup connection. Anyhow, give it a
chance to load.
Now a couple things... (1) I honestly think these machines are now so
similar (minus the higher end makes, Laguna, Agazzani, etc) that the
deflection is going to be roughly equivalent. And any variance you see from
brand to brand is also likely to be seen from machine to machine within the
same brand. I have no way to verify this, but I'd bank on it being true.
(2) I think there are other considerations when shopping for a bandsaw. I
do believe that the Woodtek has cast iron wheels and trunions while the
Rikon has aluminum wheels and stamped steel trunions. Would need more info
from Rikon to be sure, but to me this is significant. (3) I think the
equivalent Grizzly model to the tested Rikon is in fact the G0514. Not the
more expensive G0506 they actually tested. Check the specs. I wouldn't be
surprised if the G0514 and the Rikon were in fact the *identical* machine
with different name tags with the exception of the slighter larger Rikon
table. The Grizz currently runs $925, and I can't find the Rikon online for
less than $999.
I swear I saw a Rikon ad that said the 18" saw listed at $899. Now, of course,
I can't find the damned thing. This is going to drive me crazy.
They seem to have a real low profile in the marketplace, though Woodcraft should
fix that. The $999 price at Toolcenter.com at least includes delivery to a
business loading dock; it's another 75 bucks to get them to bring it to your
house. (What in hell's the difference?)
the difference is that a 'business loading dock', which is at trailer height,
they can just run the pallet off, with a pallet jack or fork-lift (usually
supplied _by_ the dock . takes all of about 3 minutes
'Residential' delivery, involves getting it from truck-bed height down to
ground level. "Somehow". whole bunch more time/effort and tools/machinery
that 'somebody' has to supply. Often takes a _lot_ more time -- like 20-30
minutes. They may have to use a lift-gate truck -- more expensive, and
maintainence-prone, probably have to pay the driver a higher rate, per
For trucking companies that deliver _primarily_ to commercial locations,
residential delivery is a _major_ pain in the anatomy. They _do_ it, because
it is necessary, but they don't *like* to do it.
Probably 2/3 of that surcharge is 'justified' by additional direct costs
incurred. The remainder is 'nusiance' factor, to 'discourage' people who
"don't really need it" from using the service.
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