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Band Saw

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Hi All,


I am about to purchase a new band saw for the hobby, but which one as externally these all look the same


Record power










Any thoughts or experience with any of these and their respective suppliers




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All of the 9" and 10" bandsaws I have looked at are pretty much the same design manufactured in China.  It is only in the details that they differ.  Look at the construction and check to see if the frame is all metal and fairly heavy to prevent flex.  Some of these saws have wheels make from plastic.  Not a good idea, you want aluminum wheels or even better steel. Check the table, it should be solidly made and easily adjusted with a robust means of attaching to the frame.  Make sure that alinement of the wheels and guides is adjustable (believe me they will need to be adjusted to make the saw work properly).  check to make sure the blade size is a standard one and can easily be replaced without special order.  A few nice to haves is a blade tension release lever, easy to replace blade guides (carbon for preference), A blade tension indicator and a port that a vacumn can be attached to to remove sawdust.

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I see that there is a quantum leap in price from the 10" saw to the 12" saw.  But if possible, I'd consider a secondhand 12" saw (better yet, a 14").  The 12" saw won't take up much more room, but they are significantly more robust and the blades usually last longer.  But above all, avoid a three-wheel saw -  they have a tendency to track poorly. 


An important consideration is whether you can adequately judge the condition of a secondhand saw.  Take an experienced friend along to help the inspection and keep you from an impulse-buy.   If possible before going, look up the operator's manual and study it, and find reviews as to which parts might be susceptible to wear or breakage.   Also check to see if parts are available (My sturdy 14" Delta-Milwaukee left the factory in the 1940s and every part is still available.); missing parts are usually a dealbreaker for me.

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I bought a used 14" bandsaw that is a '70s clone of the Delta made in Taiwan.  With the exception of the belt drive it is an exact copy of the of the old Delta saw.  The belt drive is adjustable to give 4 different speeds for cutting different materials.  The saw is all cast iron.  Heavy but very stable.  Cost was $100.  With a little tuning up it runs like new.  Takes up more room than a bench top saw but is great for resawing lumber up to 6" thick.  Look for a good used saw and don't overlook the older clones.

Edited by grsjax
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Every kid should have a sturdy cast-iron band saw as the first electrically powered cutting tool. When it comes to band saws, price is commensurate with quality and ease and pleasure of use.  If I was marooned on a desert island with a single palm tree with an electrical outlet mounted on the trunk, then I would choose a 1) drill press (pillar drill for the Brits), 2) a band saw, and 3) a combo disc/belt sander.  If the palm tree didn't have an outlet, then I could easily get by with Japanese pullsaws, a gimlet, and a Stanley/Record No.4 hand plane.  A Stanley 60-1/2 would be very useful too.   

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