So-So Entry-Level Bandsaw

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Review by Hawgnutz posted 02-29-2008 09:17 AM 5793 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
So-So Entry-Level Bandsaw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This bandsaw looked really good on paper with bearing guides, 7” resaw capability, and “adjustable” fence. Well, after all that hype dissapeared, it turned out to be only a so-so machine! I am dissapointed and wished i had saved my money and bought a Jet, Rikkon, or even a Grizzly!

Within 4 months of very sporadic use, one of the bearings siezed on me. (Thank God I bought the extended warranty!) The service tech ordered set for me, but it still has a funny sound when I turn it on. The assembly directions are unclear and do not include directions to install the stop bolt on the bottom of teh table. I had to figure that one out by myself. The table does not travel smoothly on its base, either, so making angled cuts are problematic, at best. I just keep the table level. It is sufficient for simple bandsaw boxes and patterns I make.

I like to make boxes, so its 7” resaw seemed like a good feature, but with a jointer that handles 6 1/8” at max, this does not seem to matter that much. (Once again I was trapped by the advertising hype!) I bought this on sale after Thanksgiving for $230.00, and that was a good price, but it is a strange model between a benchtop bandsaw and the 14” stand models. As such, you cannot find upgrades, such as a Kreg fence, a quick-release tensioner, or replacement guides.

Al-in-all, this will serve its job as an entry-level bandsaw for me, but I will sell it and buy a Rikon or Jet once I can afford to. If you buy this or any other Craftsman power tools, buy the extended warranty! Their quality is not the same as the Craftsman tools I or my father grew up with!

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 4924 days

6 comments so far

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4646 days

#1 posted 02-29-2008 01:14 PM

nice review. Good luck in selling it. You may take a slight loss but in the end, better to take a short loss than feel bad about having a tool you don’t like and does not do what you want it to. 230 is a lot of cash,.. but a good lesson.

Since craftsman stopped buying from Emerson electric, they are no longer a viable source for power tools in my book. The old craftsman is now Rigid. They tend to be a bit better but in my opinion are also not really professional grade. I also am not a Rikon fan.. for the money, look at Grizzly, Jet, or Steel City. If you save a bit more, Powermatic is also great.

-- making sawdust....

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4722 days

#2 posted 02-29-2008 01:38 PM

I will not buy anymore Craftsman tools. They have really gone K-Mart. I have a Grizzly 14” that I am quite happy with.

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 4924 days

#3 posted 02-29-2008 06:59 PM

Yes, Rikkor, I will not buy any new Craftsman tools, except those not available elsewhere, such as the 7 1/4” miter saw and their smaller biscuit joiner. There quality has really gone downhill these last years.

Yes, Hunter, I will take a loss on selling it, but quality is worth a hit in the wallet. I don’t live near a Grizzly store and their shipping costs kinda make me hesitant. I would rather drive drive to Tucson and buy one I can see in use at Wodcraft. But I will not hesitate to buy a Grizzly. here customer service is GREAT!

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4601 days

#4 posted 02-29-2008 07:06 PM

I have just about stopped by anything Craftsman that is powered. I still like to buy the hand tools though.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View jim1942's profile


11 posts in 4236 days

#5 posted 02-20-2009 04:37 AM

I bought this saw about a year ago. Fair saw but really hard to set the lower guides. Almost have to remove the table to change blade and reset guides. Glad I kept my old saw. I keep a 1/8 blade on the old and the larger blade on this and it seems to work out okay.
Along with lots of other folks this will be my last craftsman power tool. sad…...........

-- jim1942

View knotscott's profile


8385 posts in 4223 days

#6 posted 03-19-2009 03:52 AM

Hi Hawg – I’ve had this 12” BS for a couple of years now. AFAIK, it’s made by Richen Enterprises who also makes the Rikon. If you look at the schematics for both, there are several shared parts.

My experience with this saw has been really good. I’m consider adding a review of it here also…I’d rate it a solid 4 Stars. I agree that the bearings are not high quality, but I replaced them all for under $10 in about 15 minutes. All’s well now. I have 3 different Timberwolf blades for it, and it’ll cut well to it’s capacity limits. The fence is functional, it has a large cast iron table, and with the proper blade, it’ll resaw to it’s full 7” height with a reasonable feedrate. It’s no Minimax, and no doubt it won’t hang with the upper end 14-17” saws on the market, but nor do I expect it too. My shop is small, and my budget is typically tight. The 22400 fit the bill and the budget….it replaced a 9” Ryobi, and has done really well by me. Their 14” model has a fairly large happy following too.

This was the 2nd major Craftsman tool purchase for me…the other being the Craftsman (Orion) 22124 hybrid saw, that was super. I think some of the newer Craftsman tools are extremely competitive if you can swing a good sale price. I’ve since upgraded the table saw to a 3hp cabinet saw, but there are still aspects of the 22124 hybrid that I still miss.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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