Craftsman 12" bandsaw

  • Advertise with us
Review by mustang958 posted 09-25-2011 07:52 PM 25445 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Craftsman 12" bandsaw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Hello fellow lumber jocks! Scored a Craftsman 12” bandsaw and mobile base this weekend off of CL. $50 for the saw and $10 for the base plus the owner still had the original manual. When I went to check it out it had been sitting in a basement unused for at least a year. It had the usual crud buildup on the table from sitting there but I could see that there were only a few spots of rust on the table itself. Plugged it in and it fired right up and made a nice straight cut with no blade waver. Everything was tight and looked in good shape. There’s some rust here and there but other than that it was in good condition and could see it was taken care of. Also it had a fence and small miter gauge. Spent Saturday morning getting it home as I had to get the base off to get it out of the basement. I ended up having to cut some of the bolts off to remove the base so I decided to replace all of the bolts with hex heads to make it easier to remove the base in the future if necessary. Spent Sunday morning cleaning it up and getting it back together. Really happy with this purchase and looking forward to using it on some upcoming projects. From everything I could find it seems like a decent piece of equipment that’s popular. For what I need it for it will serve me just fine. I had at one time a bench top Delta bandsaw that just absolutely sucked. Could never get it aligned and properly tensioned. I always had to be careful when cutting due to both the blade moving or the chance of it popping off of the wheels. Wanted something bigger but I just didn’t want to spend the money on a 14” saw, I couldn’t see the need. Thought about another bench top model and started reading reviews on Friday. Just about every answer said buy used so I thought what the heck let me check CL. Must have been my lucky day. Not only was this saw still available but the owner lived in town a few miles away. Now it’s in my shop. I think the only thing I may have to do other than buying a particular blade here or there is replace the tires and get some new blade guides. Since these parts are all still available from the Sears parts site it should be no problem to change these out and maybe have some spares on hand. So another nice addition for my shop. Will be posting some pictures of the shop in the future as I’m finally getting it straightened up and set up.

Thanks for looking,

View mustang958's profile


63 posts in 4201 days

16 comments so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3541 days

#1 posted 09-25-2011 08:09 PM

I have one just like it. I have really enjoyed mine for the last year or so. I do mostly resawing of hard woods with it and use 1/2” x 80” 3TPI blades.
It cuts through Osage Orange like it was butter and I’ve never had problems with a wandering blade.

One thing you need to do if it’s been sitting very long, order a new belt. Also check the pulley on lower wheel. This saw is famous for that pulley wobbling and getting egged out of shape. Sears doesn’t sell or make that replacement pulley any more. The best way to fix it is to have it bored and a bushing installed with a keyway.

Good Luck on your new toy! They are a really good saw for the price!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View mustang958's profile


63 posts in 4201 days

#2 posted 09-25-2011 09:02 PM

Thanks for the input and the advice. The belt was something I hadn’t even thought about. I will definitely add that to the list when I order parts. And I will be sure to check out the pully. I’m not sure how long it’s been sitting but I’d rather order these items and have them to change than to be in the middle of a project and end up having to wait. Thanks!


View Oldwest's profile


86 posts in 3858 days

#3 posted 09-26-2011 10:52 AM

I had one of these for 18 years before I upgraded last year, it worked great for most projects.

It was interesting because the who head moves when you cut an angle on it but once you get
used to it it works fine. I put a tooth brush on the wheel to keep it clean and put some Cool Blocks
on to make it cut a little better but a great basic machine.

You did well.

-- Anyone who isn’t totally confused just doesn’t understand the situation.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3814 posts in 4491 days

#4 posted 09-26-2011 03:25 PM

I’ve got the 14”, had it for 35 years and it’s still running. I don’t resaw trees with it but for regular use it’s great.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View GaryCN's profile


499 posts in 4988 days

#5 posted 09-28-2011 03:17 PM

See if Carter has blade guides for it, they will make for a great upgrade. I have them on a Skil bench top.

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

View MakerofSawdust's profile


45 posts in 3670 days

#6 posted 09-28-2011 05:06 PM

I also have the same saw and was very disappointed for a long time. It was basically delegated to menial, non-precise work. I had been using multiple different blades over the years then I got the Wood Slicer Resaw blade from Highland Woodworking this past year. Now I love my bandsaw! I’ve had to replace a couple of the guide bearings, but that’s it. You can get top quality guides for it, but they cost more than the saw. I now resaw 9” walnut without any effort and it’s straight and smooth. It’s a great saw for the money.

-- - Kevin from Cincinnati. All my work is guaranteed: Three minutes or three feet; whichever comes first.

View sgtq's profile


370 posts in 3730 days

#7 posted 09-29-2011 09:33 PM

I have this exact saw, I took it off its base and built a mobile base and I love it, (the base is in my projects gallery) One question, would you happen to have the model number of the fence, as I dont have one and would like to try and find one.

-- There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~William J. Clinton

View GlennsGrandson's profile


443 posts in 3363 days

#8 posted 05-09-2012 05:13 PM

I just bought one of these off of CL sight unseen. The lady says her husband was a woodworker and mainly did furniture and didn’t hardly use this as much as he anticipated. She said she could probably count on one hand how many times he used it. It probably just needs a little cleaning up. I’m really excited to pick it up this evening. My first bandsaw, I’ve been scouting CL twice a day for a month looking for something like this. Hopefully your’s is still doing well for you.

-- Grant - N Dakota

View joewilliams's profile


89 posts in 3178 days

#9 posted 08-08-2012 07:00 PM

I just got one of these for free…need to replace the missing lower thrust bearing and come up with a fence of some kind. I’ll definitely be looking into the Wood Slicer Blade mentioned above.

-- Joe - - - something witty should go here - - -

View Howarddavidp's profile


7 posts in 3157 days

#10 posted 08-22-2012 06:35 PM

I also got one for free. The previous owner did not want to try and fix the lower pulley problem, so he gave the saw to me. I took it apart and inspected everything, looks like it is all there, just need to figure out what to do for the pulley. I hope to put it all back together and have it work over the winter, this is a cold weekend’s project for me. I was able to get all the frozen and rusted bolts out with an impact driver, so when I re-assemble it will be with stainless hex bolts to make things easier to service in the future. Mine has the electronics, so it will tell you the blade rpm’s and the angle adjustment of the blade, seems nice and it all worked when I stripped it down. I was not able to cut b/c of the pulley, but I think I can improvise a pully from something else.


View mountainaxe's profile


158 posts in 3559 days

#11 posted 10-27-2012 12:58 AM

I’ve never used a band-saw in my shop, but have been looking to try one for a while. Reviews about this Craftsman model were relatively positive and, since they are available and cheap, I kept my eye out for one. This month, I noticed this exact model on Craigslist for $75 just a few miles from my home being sold by the original owner. It included paperwork, manual, and fence. I picked it up and am pleased so far. I didn’t care for the rather flimsy metal stand, so replaced it with a mobile wooden stand I fabricated to match the height of my work counter (which extends the table by 8’). Seems like a good “starter” unit, so I’m excited about putting it to use!

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3559 days

#12 posted 10-27-2012 01:05 AM

These are just classic tools. This Sears BS was sold by the thousands and they just have a cool look to them. Glad to hear they work well. I have a Ridgid 14inch BS but for some reason always admired that Sears saw.

View burlbeginner's profile


4 posts in 3381 days

#13 posted 01-29-2014 12:10 AM

anyone know what price these ran brand new? I’m looking at one on cl for $150 with less than 10hrs or work on it. Anyone think it’s a good buy?

View pathfinder027's profile


6 posts in 2220 days

#14 posted 03-18-2015 01:23 AM

I just acquired this same 12” Craftsman band saw last week. It cleaned up well and cuts straight. My neighbor, whom I got it from, said he’d sell it to me on the condition he got to use it once in a while if he needed to. :-)

One question: the Sears parts store had only one blade in their inventory, the 1/4”, 80 tpi, p/n 9-26595, for $10.49 plus $6.99 shipping (not maintained in stock). That is an 80-inch blade. I checked some local stores and all they had was 64” and 93” band saw blades. My question is, where do you get 80” blades for this band saw? I would like to obtain a variety of sizes fro 1/16” to 1/2”. I read about the Wood Slicer 1/2” blade in the 1999 book, The Bandsaw Book by Lonnie Bird. I would like to get one of them, too.

View mustang958's profile


63 posts in 4201 days

#15 posted 03-18-2015 10:08 AM

That’s a nice solid saw isn’t it? And if it’s like mine it was manufactured by Emerson Electric in the US. For what I do this is all the saw I need. It performs just fine. I never really looked in Sears for blades. I never trusted those kinds of parts from them. The big box stores carry some 80” blades but not a wide selection. Check online. There are a number of sites that sell the blades including Grizzly, Woodcraft, etc. There are even a few sites that only sell blades. I picked up a 1/2” blade awhile back. Forget where I got it but it was reasonably priced and works fine. Check around and compare prices. You’ll be able to find whatever you need. And good luck with the saw. I think you’ll find the more you use it the more you’ll like it.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

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