I just sold my 14" Delta because it really wasn't up to cutting big turning
blocks. So now I am under the gun to order its 3hp replacement.
The two choices seem to be the 19" Grizzly and the 18" Jet. Any reason to
pay a few hundred more for the Jet?
(I am planning on the old Grizzly 19" because it is cheaper than the new
ones. The main differance seems to be the cast iron trunnions, but those
can't be worth $200, can they?)
I know the Rikon is well regarded, but they don't seem to have a 3hp.
There are better saws out there for bigger bucks, but if I use it 50 hours a
year that will be a lot; so industrial quality would not be a good
Where'd you get stuck on the idea of needing 3 hp? The right blade
and setup are a lot more important on a BS than the hp of the motor.
I think the bigger wheels need more power so that's why the hp goes up
with the size of the saw. I just find it strange that you're starting
with "3 hp" when most people start with the capacity.
I took a turning course at a local highschool. They have a 5hp Powermatic.
As you might expect, the blade is so battered that it barely has teeth; yet
it goes through 20/4 oak easier than my 1hp Delta with a brand new good
blade. The bigger wheels much contribute an awful lot of moment to get
through any sticking points.
If it were available, I would actually prefer a 14" with a 3hp motor; as
long as it cut 12". I was tempted by the European 16" saws, but they are
just too expensive.
This is not a unique problem with Rikon, it is a problem IMHO with any saw
that has roller bearings. Rikon just happens to only come with roller guide
As far as what to look for, I would pay more attention to the mass of the
upper and lower wheels. The more mass the more smooth the saw will operate
in heavier cutting. You might want to go to the Laguna site and take a
look at those saws. I do not know what your price range is but the Laguna
will probably be your last BS and probably has a 99.9% chance of satisfying
all your needs with out compromise. The Laguna BS's come with 10 point
ceramic guides that tend to be self cleaning and don't vibrate.
I went through this in the Winter and Spring of last year. I had an old
Craftsman, bought the 18" Rikon, kept it for about 10 days and returned it.
A couple months later I bought a Laguna.
Laguna is a reseller/distributor of excellent machines, built by others,
elsewhere. 'Really a Laguna' is an interesting concept.
They seem worth their price, according to most who own/use them.
I think I made this comment before, but I have the Rikon and indeed the guides
did load up. After cutting a dozen or two green logs I stopped, cleaned the
guides and the blade, and wiped the blade with some version of TopCote - not
that brand but something similar. I then cut another 30 or 40 blanks with no
I can't swear that the technique will work for everyone, but based on my
experience it's certainly worth a try. Not just on the Rikon, but on any
roller guide bandsaw.
It's turtles, all the way down
I appreciate the offer, but have pretty decided on the Grizzly; I am just
trying to work up the nerve to actually order it. Getting the beast into my
basement is intimidating.
Wednesday I am driving to Syracuse to pick up my new Oneida "Portable" and
If you know anyone who needs a DC, my old one is on Craig's list.
The Grizzly is $1100. I don't know what the Jet is because the two lowest
price sellers don't seem to know what the freight charge is. (I am guessing
$1,600) The Laguna LT16 is $1800. No matter how good it is, it can't be
worth 60% more than the Grizzly.
If I had access to either I wouldn't be asking advice here.
But Grizzly would have to be real crap to be worth that much less than
Laguna, and people seem happy with Grizzly in general, so it probably isn't
Grizzly used to have a service where you could ask them for someone in
your area with the exact model you were contemplating, and they would hook
you up so you could try one out. You might want to call and see if they
still do that.
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