All Replies on Trying to decide between a Rikon, Laguna, and Grizzly Bandsaw - any input?

  • Advertise with us
View tengallonhat's profile

Trying to decide between a Rikon, Laguna, and Grizzly Bandsaw - any input?

by tengallonhat
posted 01-18-2014 02:57 AM

46 replies so far

View Fish22's profile


83 posts in 3883 days

#1 posted 01-18-2014 03:51 AM

I have the 14” grizzly with the riser block, and am very happy with it. I would recommend the same to you, because the difference in resaw capacity is an 1/8”, and to me I would rather lose that small amount, but keep $300 in my pocket.

-- Bryan, South River, NJ

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3197 days

#2 posted 01-18-2014 03:52 AM

There is a huge difference between a 14” saw and a 17” saw, are you sure you are comparing apples with apples?
I have a 25 year old 16” Grizzly and really like it, but they don’t make them that cheap any more, it is just a basic bandsaw, but it gets the job done.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View rustfever's profile


793 posts in 4080 days

#3 posted 01-18-2014 03:57 AM

My experience with the Laguna 16 is very good. I would recommend both the company and the tool.

Never an experience with the Rixon.

Grizzly 18 was a difficulty, to say the least. Ended up giving it away, as I felt to to be so bad I could not justify selling it to anyone.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4418 days

#4 posted 01-18-2014 03:58 AM

I don’t really recommend a 14” band saw if you can get something
bigger, because the throat capacity of a larger saw really does
come in handy.

However those ceramic Laguna guides are really good. The Laguna
comes with a nice fence for resaw work and the travel of the
upper guide is probably pretty consistent, which reduces the
need to reset guides when cutting height is changed.

People do grouse about Laguna but they do have a lot of
experience making band saws to meet professional woodworking
standards. I’d say they are more working to a quality standard
while the others are shooting at price points.

The other thing I tell people who are looking for a band saw
for resawing is “get the one that takes the widest blade”.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1447 posts in 3434 days

#5 posted 01-18-2014 04:07 AM

I have 2 of the Rikon’s, they are great saws. The 17” Grizzly is also a great saw, I have used one of these. I know nothing of the Laguna, I know nothing about it. Either of other two are great saws. Good luck.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 3056 days

#6 posted 01-18-2014 04:17 AM

I use a HF with a riser and it’ll do just fine. As long as you know how to set up a BS properly, any of them work fine. I can see going with something that has a large bed and good fence if you resaw primarily, but fact is, you use the BS for all kinds of things. I watched a vid that Charles Neil posted a week or so ago and I can easily resaw hardwood up to about 10 inches thick with a 1/4 timberwolf blade. It’s all in the set up.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3056 days

#7 posted 01-18-2014 06:04 AM

The Laguna has cast iron wheels whereas the Grizzly’s are aluminum. Not sure about the Rikon.

The Rikon has two speeds, which might be useful if you’re interested in cutting metal.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 4512 days

#8 posted 01-18-2014 12:59 PM

I love my 16” Laguna and contrary to other reports I have found their support department to be very professional. I bought the saw used and Laguna was very helpful when I had questions and even e-mailed me the manuals for the saw and driftmaster fence.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2965 days

#9 posted 01-19-2014 12:58 AM

I think part of the answer lies in what level of re-sawing you plan on doing and the frequency.

For the occasional re-saw I would go with the Grizzly. I have one and it works quite well with an upgrade to a nice dedicated re-saw blade.

That said, if you need to do this sort of work regularly I would go with the Laguna. I believe the Laguna’s are ‘made more’ for this sort of work as opposed to just a saw that can ‘double’ as one.

Let you need/frequency be the decider…

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3460 days

#10 posted 01-19-2014 01:45 AM

I have the 17” Grizzly Extreme Series and would recommend it highly over the Grizz you have referenced. BECAUSE it has cast iron wheels, comes with a nice resaw fence, and has cast iron trunions.

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

View WoodJitsu's profile


49 posts in 3562 days

#11 posted 01-19-2014 01:59 AM

I bought the Rikon last weekend when Woodcraft had their sale on them. I was debating over the same three you are, but eventually decided that the Rikon was perfect for my needs – and I have ZERO complaints (yet) It runs smooth as silk and powers through wood just fine wired 110v. I’ve not yet resawn anything over 6”, but from what I’ve read, it should be no problem. If space is a premium, get the Rikon – 12” resaw with a very small footprint. Table is nice and big too, love the extra table size compared to my Ridgid that I just sold. I’ve also read that the guide bearings are a pain, but I’ve not noticed this yet, but if they do become a problem, they are easy enough to upgrade.

Edit: My concern before I bought the Rikon were the trunnions. The Ridgid had an awful setup and I didn’t want to deal with something similar. I’m very happy with the trunnion. Very smooth and lock in place just fine. They are not cast Iron, but rather some sort of cast alloy. Seem very heavy duty though

-- Family, Friends, Jiu Jitsu, Woodworking. Order varies daily!

View Guy Belleman's profile

Guy Belleman

18 posts in 2388 days

#12 posted 01-19-2014 02:50 AM

I have an old Grizzly 15” and a newer 17”. After years of using a 14” and adapting its problems, the box frames of both were a huge improvement. The 17” is a dream. Many models of the 17” to chose from. I really like the tension and tracking windows.

For years, I read the great reviews on the Laguna drooled to eventually own one. When I actually used one, it was impressive, and then I saw the Grizzly in the showroom and was equally impressed with it. I got the 17” five years ago, had some money over to get a couple of good blades and have never regretted it. Actually, it is still wired for 110V from before I added 220v to the shop and it has done everything I wanted.

As mentioned above, there is a huge difference between a typical 14” saw and a larger saw. It is comparing apples to oranges. Get the larger saw if feasible.

View thedude50's profile


3611 posts in 3248 days

#13 posted 01-19-2014 03:14 AM

I am going to recommend the new Jet as its simply finer than all three saws on your list the saw is simply perfect.the model is jwbs14sf I have been testing it for the past month and have to say it is the best band saw in a 14 inch i have ever used. I will be doing a full review of the saw in the next couple of weeks.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View RichardDePetris's profile


61 posts in 2455 days

#14 posted 01-19-2014 07:38 PM

Nice list. I have a so called Crapstman Professional 14” Bandsaw which is nearly identical to the Rikon 320 (older model), but has a 4” higher cutting capacity. You can see the pictures as well as a nice jig for cutting logs.

I will give you a definitive an answer to your question: buy the Laguna! I don’t own one, but I want one after reading the reviews and using my bandsaw over the past year. Both the Grizzly and Rikons are based off of the same tired old design that hasn’t changed in decades. They are probably made in the same facilities with different branding and little in the way of value added features. Laguna appears to have invested R&D into solving some very important issues facing the bandsaw that keep it from becoming the true go-to-tool in the shop. The beauty of the machine alone is worthy the price. Checkout the video: Boy, they really went all out on this model!

Here’s the most important criteria for any bandsaw:

Quality of cut is the most important factor, but Bandsaws all have the same issues and although I haven’t seen the cut quality of the different machines, it’s largely determined by your setup and blade. Of the three bandsaws, Laguna takes a lot of the work out of the setup that typically causes bandsaw owners grief.

The Laguna ceramic guides are legendary. On the other models, you have the typical bearing guides that are painful to adjust. You just want to get your work done instead of playing machinist. With the Laguna just set it and forget it. This also makes it brain dead easy to change the blade which leads us to the next criterion.

Most bandsaw owners keep one general purpose blade on the machine or dedicate the entire machine for one type of cut. They do this because changing blades is too troublesome. You want to change the blade depending on the type of cut without making compromises in quality. Overall, the blade swapping appears to be easy on the Laguna, but since the table is dead flat, there’s less messing around with the table lock to align the table.

The Laguna trunions are very durable and cast iron. It appears to be better designed. My bandsaw has a cheapy aluminum one and it’s a PITA keeping the table squared because there’s a friction knob that slips due to heavy stock or time. The Rikon 325 is iron, but same basic design.

The fence on the Laguna is way better than the Rikon or the Grizzly. It’s the same as on their larger saws you don’t have to buy or make a specialized fence for resawing. It can be oriented to a low profile as well for smaller stock easily. Few bandsaw owners like their fences.

Since the Rikon and the Laguna are identical in cutting capacity, I would definitely rule out the Grizzly. There’s nothing worse than not being able to process raw lumber because of cutting capacity limitations.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2880 days

#15 posted 01-19-2014 07:50 PM

I have a version of the Grizzly 17 (the X2BF version) and am highly pleased with it. I have used it extensively for re-saw work (my own and as a subcontractor) and it has held up for hours of continuous running. I’m not really impressed with the fence, but I always use a ruler.

For about any saw you will need a better blade. The Woodslicer (highland hardware) or the Timber Wolf are usually considered the best.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#16 posted 01-19-2014 08:00 PM

Lance,I love you but $2000.00 for a 14”band saw,you must be out of your mind,
I just got the Grizzly 17 extreme, this a lot of saw for the price.

-- Bert

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 2525 days

#17 posted 01-20-2014 05:59 PM

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful insight. I’m still trying to decide, but leaning towards the Laguna. Rockler has it on sale right now for 10% less than anybody else.

I didn’t consider the cast iron differences on the Grizzly/ The Extreme series actually looks great. The Grizzly G0513X2 that was mentioned above ships for basically the same as the Laguna 14-12.

Both look great. Although I am intrigued by the Laguna guides being stock on the new 14. The 17” Grizzly looks really well made and I love my Grizzly G1023RL cabinet saw.

I can’t imagine if the blade changes were that fiddly on the Grizzly people would like it as much as they do.

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#18 posted 01-20-2014 07:30 PM

I have been a LJ for many years, during this time I read many horror stories about Laguna equipment, this is a brand I would stay away from.
The latest story, I am award of, is this woman in Hawaii who burnt three motors on the same Laguna saw.
I would not even consider buying any Laguna equipment

Buy the Grizzly, I am delighted with mine

-- Bert

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 2525 days

#19 posted 01-20-2014 07:40 PM

It’s amazing the polar opposite opinions of Laguna. I can’t imagine what is happening in their offices to make such a difference. Some people seem to have awesome service experience and others have terrible experience. I don’t know what to expect/believe. I can understand there being problems that come up with a new piece of equipment. As long as they are willing to make it right in the end, I guess I can live with that. I do know Grizzly has good customer support and have had luck with their support in the past.

Decisions… Decisions…

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3211 days

#20 posted 01-20-2014 08:28 PM

I’ve got the Rikon you mention and I really like it. Really my main nits are:

- Adjusting the table so that it’s square to the blade front-to-back is a PITA. Fortunately I’ve only had to do it once
- Really could use some dust collection near the lower guides. I had to jury rig something
- Fence isn’t great, but I don’t really care as I often use aux fences anyway.
- It’s not bigger

That last one isn’t really a fault, but it is something to consider. If you can get an equal or better 17” bandsaw, I’d check it out. When I got mine, I only had 110v available. If I had to do it over again, I’d spend the extra few hundred $$ for a 17”. Honestly I haven’t had the need for more than 14” very often, but it really does seem like whenever I do, it’s only 1-2 inches. Anything above that would be cost prohibitive anyway.

One thing to watch out for with the Grizzly you link is that those wheels are cast aluminum. Both the Rikon and Laguna are CI wheels. More mass = better. I don’t really see the Laguna being worth the extra money above the Rikon though.

Not sure where you live, but last time I was in there (about a month or two ago), Highland had some of the 16” Rikon bandsaw on clearance for $999. I believe it’s a discontinued model now, but may be worth looking into if you’re in the Atlanta area.

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#21 posted 01-20-2014 08:43 PM

“One thing to watch out for with the Grizzly you link is that those wheels are cast aluminum”
not true, on my 17” Grizzly extreme they are cast iron for less monay that a 14” Rikon

-- Bert

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 2525 days

#22 posted 01-20-2014 08:50 PM

Yeah, sorry for confusing matters. I originally linked to the Grizzly Anniverary 17” which does’t have the cast iron trunnions or wheels.

The one b2rtch pointed me to does and looks to be a great value. Bert- how do you find changing blades on your Grizzly?

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#23 posted 01-20-2014 08:53 PM

As on any band saw, relatively easy, no major issue.

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#24 posted 01-20-2014 09:10 PM

Ten, did you read this post?

-- Bert

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3018 days

#25 posted 01-20-2014 09:53 PM

Being an owner of the Craftsman version of the Rikon 10-320 I cannot say I would recommend the Rikon. I know people have good luck with them here, but mine is just ok. I paid 299.99 for it brand new. I would be pissed if I paid $550. My local woodcraft almost refuses to sell the 10-325 due to the rate of failure/return. There’s nothing particularly bad about it, but nothing particularly wonderful about it either. The 1/4” minimum blade size is annoying if you want to do scroll or tight work also.

If you are going to do a ton of resawing, get the grizzly 17”. 14” wheels just cannot properly tension wide blades half as good as larger diameter saws can.

Also Russell, I’m going to call BS on resawing 10” thick stock on a riserblock saw with a 1/4” blade :) I don’t care how you set it up – that’s drift city. Post a video for us to see.


View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 2525 days

#26 posted 01-20-2014 10:02 PM

Thanks Bert, I did see that thread, I was hoping one of the owners of the Laguna on that thread would chime in on their saws. The recommendations to go with the Grizzly Extreme Series are really starting to sway my opinion. With the money I save, I could buy a full range of blades too.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5289 posts in 4730 days

#27 posted 01-20-2014 10:46 PM

Gotta remember that the Grizz after-the-sale support for tech and parts is second to none AFAIK.
I have the 0555LX, and am very well pleased.

-- [email protected]

View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 3212 days

#28 posted 01-21-2014 12:40 AM

Tossing this out there for comments stating the 14” Griz doesn’t have cast iron wheels. The G0555LANV does. It also has a 12 inch resaw capacity with this riser kit.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 2525 days

#29 posted 01-21-2014 06:44 PM

Thanks everyone for the input. I’m now leaning more and more towards the 17” Grizzly Extreme that has been recommended by several people. (
All things being roughly equal, the Grizzly gives you 3 extra inches in the throat and a wider table. The Laguna gives you the ceramic guides. I was really interested in the Laguna for their ceramic guides, but I am now thinking I can upgrade the guides someday if I need to, but I can’t add extra width to the throat of the Laguna.

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#30 posted 01-22-2014 06:35 PM

Grizzly is the good choice, you will like it

-- Bert

View Gentile's profile


361 posts in 2588 days

#31 posted 01-27-2014 07:02 PM

My cousin bought a Laguna. I was looking to buy a new saw and he recommended the Rikon. I like the Rikon it was on sale for about $1000.00. Cousin said the Laguna was a PITA to change blades. No experience with Grizzly….

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 2525 days

#32 posted 01-27-2014 07:06 PM

@gentile – I’m pretty sold on the Grizzly G0513X2 that b2rtch (and others) recommend so highly. I’m just curious, did your cousin say why the Laguna was a PITA to change blades? From all the reviews here and elsewhere, blade changes seem like they are easier and a redeeming quality of the laguna saws because of the ceramic guides.

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#33 posted 01-27-2014 07:13 PM

tengallonhat, if you buy the Grizzly, buy the one with cat iron trunion and foot brake. it takes a long time for the blade to stop

-- Bert

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 2525 days

#34 posted 01-27-2014 07:15 PM

Interesting, how long does it take to stop? Is that a problem common to all band saws? I have an old craftsman,admittedly not well tuned, that stops pretty quick. But that could be the result lots of added friction.

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2694 days

#35 posted 01-27-2014 07:39 PM

I have a G0514X2B with a built in motor brake, it stops inside 3 seconds.

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#36 posted 01-27-2014 07:49 PM

The reason is the heavy cast iron wheels.
I wish I bought one with a brake, this is not a deal breaker ( sorry) but I would prefer to have the blade stop faster.

-- Bert

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2876 days

#37 posted 01-27-2014 08:55 PM

My father in law has the G0513×2b. That saw is flat out amazing. We’ve resawn 12” wide 8/4 ash 10 ft long like it was balsa wood. The grizzly resaw fence is wonderful. He loves his and I love his enough to buy the Grizzly 514x. I picked up mine for ~$600 used off of craigslist, in basically unused condition. It was a unbelievably lucky score to be sure, but I’ve seen the 17” posted near me for $800 as well. The craigslist deals are out there if you have the patience and a trailer.

+1 on buying the version with a brake of you’ve got the extra coin. I’m toying with the idea of retrofitting a brake on my G0514x.

I’ve never tried the other 2 saws, but you probably won’t go wrong with any of the above.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#38 posted 01-27-2014 09:04 PM

“The craigslist deals are out there if you have the patience and a trailer” and luck,.
I waited almost one year to find one, and I never did

-- Bert

View Gentile's profile


361 posts in 2588 days

#39 posted 05-07-2014 09:21 PM

Ten gallonhat- sorry, I just noticed your post…
I’ll see my cousin this week and I’ll get more details for you

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 2525 days

#40 posted 05-07-2014 09:31 PM

I ended up finding a spectacular deal on Craigslist. A guy was selling his whole shop (outfitted with Grizzly tools) for 30-40% of the cost new. The machines are all < 10 years old, so I couldn’t pass it up. It was THAT Craigslist find you hear about but never see.

I got a G0513 with the upgraded resaw fence in the deal. It doesn’t have the cast iron wheels or the slightly wider table, but it does have the upgraded fence. I decided for the price I got it I was more than happy to live with the lighter wheels.

I put a 3/4” Woodslicer blade on it and have to say that resawing is a lot of fun on it. No regrets on getting the ligher duty wheels (but maybe I don’t know what I’m missing).

In addition to the bandsaw, I got a 15” G0453 Planer, an 8” G1018 Jointer and a G1014z Disc/Belt Sander. It was pretty crazy how it worked out and I ended up upgrading the rest of my shop (already upgraded my Table Saw lasy year)y plus added a sander.

View WoodNDust's profile


228 posts in 2876 days

#41 posted 05-07-2014 09:36 PM

I have the 14” Rikon, got it on sale at Woodcraft for $799.99 last year. It’s a very fine saw. As others have said, think about what size of re-sawing you will do. If the throat height on a 14” is sufficient, then you’ll have good saw. I have read good things about the other brands. I have also read bad things about all the brands including Rikon.

View Gentile's profile


361 posts in 2588 days

#42 posted 05-15-2014 05:30 PM

Tengallon-I spoke to my cousin…
In his shop he has a new Rikon, he sold his Laguna. I asked why he switched (he had told me before and I had forgotten)’ he said he didn’t like the height of the table(he’s 6’+), he didn’t like the ceramic blocks, if they weren’t adjusted properly, he was afraid of causing sparks and starting a fire inside the machine(I have no experience with them). He also said that it took too many tools to change the blade.
With my Rikon, it takes several also…
That’s what cousin had to say about the Laguna…One thing he did do was to add lamp to the saw.Cousin is a retired Journeyman electrician. He drilled a couple of holes and wired into the on switch. He put in a halogen lamp with a flexible goose neck. The light comes on when the saw is started. I’m going to do the same some day..

My opinion of the Rikon is that it’s a great machine.
I would suggest getting an assortment of different size blades. The one that comes with it is lathered in cosmoline, I ran some scrap wood through it to clean it up. I used it while I waited for the blades I ordered online to show up.
The Rikon saw was ready to go from the factory, that surprised me. I was dreading having to adjust everything…

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4355 days

#43 posted 05-15-2014 07:56 PM

I can only advise you as follows
If you wish to resaw buy the biggest, sturdiest,widest blade capacity you can.You will find resawing easier with a big hefty saw compared with a puny little tiddler. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View giser3546's profile


179 posts in 2242 days

#44 posted 05-15-2014 08:12 PM

I purchased the Laguna 14 12 not knowing that it had been released not even 2 weeks before. I was immensely frustrated with my underpopulated 1/2 hp 14” aluminum wheeled craig’s list POS and had to upgrade. I walked into woodcraft and asked what the best bandsaw for resawing they sold was, not 10 minutes later I walked out with the Laguna. A few things took some getting used to, the ceramic blade guides for example but I absolutely love it and it has gladly handled 6” thick cherry and 9” thick red oak with no trouble. My one complaint would be the blade size. I know most blades are sold in custom lengths but had some trouble finding a 115” blade when shopping for a carbide tipped resaw blade. I’m not terribly happy with the laguna blades, they don’t seem to last as long as the timberwolf blades i bought for my old saws, but I am in the process of finding a good substitute.

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

View GCWC's profile


138 posts in 2070 days

#45 posted 01-21-2015 09:02 PM

I have the Grizzly 0513 and love it, upgraded from the Craftsman professional series..haha…professional series.
I have had this for 6 years, no issues, would have liked a resaw fence but you can make those.
I have yet had anything that it couldn’t handle or even started to bog down on.

highly recommended

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 2106 days

#46 posted 05-30-2015 02:59 PM

I have the Grizzly G0513×2. Wow. It is an excellent resaw beast. The stock blade sucks so I went with a kerfmaster 5/8” similar to wood slicer bit way cheaper from spectrum supply. My only regret is not getting the electronic brake because the cast iron wheels take awhile to spin down. I’m not big on euro guides. I prefer the bearing guides. As to Laguna, check out threads re customer service. Not familiar with Rikon looms like nice saws.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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