Is this a deal worth looking at?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Chris posted 03-31-2014 06:11 PM 1466 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chris 's profile


178 posts in 1853 days

03-31-2014 06:11 PM

I am new to woodworking and on a tight budget. Like everyone else, I am always looking to try to buy a decent tool for a low cost. I am also embarrassingly frugal but I get the idea of investing in good tools if I can afford it.

So, with all that said, I am on the hunt for a bandsaw and I saw this post on craigslist. I am wondering if any of you can tell if this is a good deal? Any advice about what to look for if I was to go take a look at this bandsaw would also be appreciated as I am not real familiar with them. Thanks …

16 replies so far

View PaulJerome's profile


57 posts in 3302 days

#1 posted 03-31-2014 06:21 PM

Since this is your first bandsaw, I’d say go for it. Forty bucks for a learning tool to use and what you will need in a bandsaw is worth the admission price. Just make sure it works. Don’t expect much, however, you will learn each time you use the saw. It will get you by for a while. I did the same with an old 8” Delta and paid the same price. The more I used it and learned what a bandsaw should/shouldn’t do as well as how to tune I upgraded. The best way to learn is by doing. Again, go for it.

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View Bieser's profile


176 posts in 2303 days

#2 posted 03-31-2014 06:36 PM

I feel your pain on starting out and wanting to get tools on a budget. Let me say this, I have found in my experience that a lot of times the low buck tools to “get me by” or “get me started” ended up costing me more money in the long run vs. spending a little extra up front and getting a little better tool with parts readily available. I still have some of the tools I got early that I ended up discarding because it was not cost effective to keep throwing money at them.

A lot of times the lower end tools were limited to only a few years of production run and parts are hard to find. Just do your homework like you are.

Now with that said I am all about buying used tools most of my shop is used. Just be cautious of the low buck finds. Make sure all the parts are there, blades are available at a reasonable cost and tooling to work on it is available… IE. special wrenches to remove and adjust things.

I bought a jointer once that was what seemed like a smoking deal only to find out they don’t make the odd shape knifes that fit it anymore and I would have had something custom made, costing more than the machine.

My $.02

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5167 posts in 4229 days

#3 posted 03-31-2014 06:37 PM

Don’t know what you’re gonna be cutting, but the 3 wheel saws aren’t much unless you’re doing small stuff.
Check on blade availability too.


View shampeon's profile


1900 posts in 2452 days

#4 posted 03-31-2014 06:41 PM

+1 on not bothering with 3 wheel bandsaws. I bought one for $40 when I first started, and it was crap. Sold it for $40, and then bought a real bandsaw on CL for $100 (a Jet).

You can find old 12” Craftsman bandsaws every week for less than a Benjamin that will be better than that one, and if you are patient you can find a good deal on a 14” Delta or Taiwanese clone for $80-120. Keep looking.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Chris 's profile


178 posts in 1853 days

#5 posted 03-31-2014 07:25 PM

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and ideas. I am going to keep looking …

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2959 days

#6 posted 04-01-2014 01:13 AM

I agree Chris. Keep looking. I got a 14” Ridgid for free that just needed a little TLC to be a good saw.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2845 days

#7 posted 04-01-2014 01:35 AM

+1 more to keep looking.
If it was the 10” craftsman/rikon that sold for $99 at one time, I’d be all over it. I have the craftsman version and it’s a great little saw.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3916 days

#8 posted 04-01-2014 01:48 AM

I wouldn’t recommend it because the wheels are small
and your blades will break on you. Other than that
I wouldn’t object really. I have a larger 3 wheel
band saw with 10” wheels. I break blades on it
sometimes anyway but I solder up my own so my
cost is a lot less than yours are likely to be.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1306 posts in 1903 days

#9 posted 04-01-2014 01:58 AM

I would also not recommend a three wheel unit.

See what you can find on ebay, garage sales, craigs list.

Best is a euro type 14” or bigger saw.
2nd best an old delta 14”

You can rip , resaw, cut shapes.. you fill find that aside from the TS this is high use saw. I use it more than any other equip aside from my TS.

-- Jeff NJ

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2723 days

#10 posted 04-01-2014 03:41 AM

Buy the best tools you can afford. You can always update later. A tools that does a poor job or one that you spend more time fixing than using is not a bargain.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2362 days

#11 posted 04-01-2014 03:48 AM

For 40 bucks I’d go for it. It might be worth $40 just to get to fiddle with it and find out what makes bandsaws tick.

But if you’re determined to get a “full size” bandsaw sometime in the future it would also make sense to put that 40 dollars towards a different saw.

If you do get it try not to sink money into fixing and/or adjusting it.

You may want to ask the guy if he’s got any other blades for it he’d throw in.

View runswithscissors's profile


2964 posts in 2294 days

#12 posted 04-05-2014 07:17 AM

The only 3 wheel bandsaws I know of that might be okay are the Delta 16” (I think) and the Inca, about the same size. The Delta, as I recall, had a cast iron frame, so was plenty rigid. Though I saw an Inca once, I didn’t get to work with it, so have no ability to critique it.

Is anybody familiar with either of these 2 saws? I’d be curious how they worked out. I did see one of the Deltas on CL a year or so ago, but didn’t go look at it.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2362 days

#13 posted 04-05-2014 09:04 AM

What is it about a 3 wheel bandsaw that is undesirable? I would think more wheels might give you more stability. I’d also think implementing a third wheel would make the tool more expensive.

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2294 days

#14 posted 04-05-2014 09:33 AM

I cant speak to the pros and cons of 3 wheeled units, but it seems to me that you could put that 40 bucks on a 14 inch saw. It will be awhile before you need to upgrade it. That said, you can pick one of those 10” deltas that sit on the top of the bench way cheaper than 40 frogskins if you are willing to hit flea markets and mud sales. I got a delta 10 inch unit for 14 bucks at a flea market a bunch of years ago, it worked fine for what it was intended for, I just outgrew it and passed it on to a young fellow for 20 bucks.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View runswithscissors's profile


2964 posts in 2294 days

#15 posted 04-05-2014 08:41 PM

The most valid complaint about 3 wheelers, I think, is that the small wheels force the blade into sharp bends, which fatigues the metal and leads to frequent blade breakage.

I remember many years ago that certain magazines had plans for building your own bandsaw, using modified bicycle pedals (because of the bearings) to build 3 wheel saws, and even a 4 wheeler. The advantage being that you can get large throat capacity without having huge wheels.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics