Some issues/ Gloat

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Review by cpd011 posted 05-25-2013 02:35 PM 10955 views 1 time favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Some issues/ Gloat No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just picked this up yesterday. I have been previously using the 10” version but have been looking to upgrade to a 14”. I have been very happy with the 10” and think everything about the fit, finish and performance is great (within its 1/3 hp capacity). I been watching craigslist (Chicago area) and good 14” saw at a good price have been fairly elusive. I stumbled upon which lists all their returns/refurbs/open box items. They had this one at 279.00 plus tax. Yesterday they dropped the price to 229.00 so I rushed over looked at it and was out the door with it for 245.00. It was a return, never assembled, everything still in the box. Ok here’s the review points:

Assembly was very, very easy, even with the crappy photos in the manual. Didn’t try to assemble the stand, it’s already on a homebuilt base. I had read a review where someone returned theirs because the belt would slip off of the tensioner pulley. When I turned this on this very thing happened. Maybe I got this guys saw. I took a good look at everything and adjusted the lower blade wheel. It’s hard to explain the parts but it’s very easy to do when You take a look at it. Take off the wheel, loosen the large shaft nut, loosen the shaft leveling screws, and then push the shaft a little further in the housing. Took about 20 mins and now everything lines up correctly and it hums. Whoever assembled it at the factory just did a poor job of alignment.

The cast Iron table is very large with double standard miter slots. I love the rack and pinion blade guide adjustment (same as on the 10”) It’s extruded aluminum but very robust. very easy to adjust. I find it The blade tension nob on top is very large and there is a tension gauge on the back. Tensioning/detensioning is very quick. The access doors open very easily with a 1/4 turn of a large knob on each. Having had to remove the blade a few time while I was fixing the pulley alignment problem I can say that blade changes are a breeze. There is a handy little window where you can see your blade tracking without opening the doors. The included blade is crap, screams like a banshee. I did a few test cuts and everything track well. I’m very interested to see what good blades do for the saw and have very high expectations.

I know there are a lot of craftsman naysayers. I truly believe whether you’re buying yellow, blue, red, HF or even craftsman, you have to look at the tool and kick the tires. I haven’t met a tool yet that didn’t need some sort of tuning. This is a very robust machine. Again the fit and finish are first rate. If it weren’t for the alignment issue I would give it 5 stars. If it weren’t for the alignment issue I wouldn’t have got a brand new bandsaw for $245.00. Some of the other reviews cover some finer points and I agree with them.

Sorry, no picture yet.

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91 posts in 4006 days

26 comments so far

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7741 posts in 2775 days

#1 posted 05-25-2013 02:58 PM

I’d say you did fine. Does it mean you rate a “You Suck”? We wont know till you make sure it performs as it should!
Good deal at any rate

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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1690 posts in 3401 days

#2 posted 05-25-2013 09:40 PM

I’ve looked at that BS a few times and wish I owned one. I personally think its the best 14” BS in that class. It can commonly be had for $350 or less brand new (on sale with coupons). Getting it for $245 is almost the same as stealing. Nicely done.

View ward63's profile


363 posts in 3855 days

#3 posted 05-26-2013 02:27 AM

Looks like you got a deal. Great review!
Thanks for sharing.

View dustyal's profile


1319 posts in 4243 days

#4 posted 05-26-2013 04:42 PM

I did a review of this saw and agree with you. I didn’t have a problem with the belt coming off tensioner.

I assume you replaced the OEM blade with one that actually cuts?

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3283 days

#5 posted 05-26-2013 07:02 PM

Allright, you knew one of those “Craftsman Naysayers” would show up…well, here I am!

The main reasons I do not buy Craftsman is exactly why you got a bandsaw for $229. It did not work out of the box, not even close. The owner was not as engineering talented as you are, and could not remove a lower wheel, make the necessary adjustments to bring things into coplanar, and make it work. Isn’t that Craftsman’s job?

I had the same problem over the years with:
Router (switches and lamp)
Variable speed corded drill (three of these, all switches)
Belt sander (Front wheel was not keyed and when I ran it, the hotmelt glue melted and the front idler wheel came off)
Chainsaw (Bar studs were mounted in aluminum, not magnesium, and they slowly came out, causing it to constantly cut in a circle)
Lawn Tractor (16 repairs in the first year of warranty, Sears wanted $369 for a second year of warranty – I said to my wife I could buy a motor for that. Guess what? Within 6 weeks of the second year, the engine blew up)
Wire cutters (cut some tough braided wire and the cutting edge dented, went back for warranty and they said they do not cover sharpened edges!)
That is all I can think of right now, but there were a couple more back 10-12 years ago. My Mother-In-Law worked for Sears for 22 years, and is loyal, we clash on that….
As as far as the lifetime guarantee? I get the same thing at virtually every tool store, including Walmart, who easily replaced a 1/2” ratchet wrench I broke with a big pipe a couple years back. Went to customer service, the lady asked me if I knew where they were, I said yes, and got a new one.

One last thing…The sheer fact that Sears keeps return forms under the desk, ready at any time.

Add to this that you say that you “have not met a tool yet that didn’t need some tuning”. Well, let me introduce me to my shop, where 95% of all the tools I buy are out of the box and running first time, every time. Be it Grizzly, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt, sometimes even Harbor Freight, I don’t seem to have any problem unboxing my tools and using them. Maybe I am not as detailed oriented is you are, but I do just fine without Craftsman.
Sorry, now I feel better…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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1554 posts in 3274 days

#6 posted 05-26-2013 07:36 PM

CPD, glad you like your saw. Sounds like the price was right and it should give you many years of enjoyment. My Ridgid BS needed MUCH more tweaking to be servicable than your C-man did.

Thanks for the review—-let’s see some pic of the actual saw in your shop!

View Tedstor's profile


1690 posts in 3401 days

#7 posted 05-26-2013 10:14 PM

If you know of a retailer that sells a consistently perfect bandsaw- for less than $400…..let us know. It sounds like you have a knack for scoring perfect tools at affordable prices. As far as I know, all BS brands in this class have their warts. My Ridgid certainly did. And I wish it only took me 20 minutes to tweak it into decent order. But I’m not ready to swear off Ridgid over it.
Why wouldn’t Sears keep return slips under the sales desk? Would it be smarter for them to run into the back room for a slip every time someone returned an item? I’d think a store that sells tools by the ton would keep lots of retun slips under the desk. There are many reasons to return a tool. Unwanted b-day presnt, wrong size/type, found cheaper elsewhere, and of course broken/defective.
Don’t get me wrong here. I can understand your beef with Craftsman tools, given your history with them. I have some history with them too. But EVERY brand has some turds in their catalog. And every brand has some gems. We’ve reached an era where no single brand can deliver all things to all people. Each tool really should be judged independently. Just blindly buying a tool based on brand alone is tough to do these days. Not without spending top dollar anyway.

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3772 days

#8 posted 05-26-2013 10:34 PM

I have the 12” and have been very happy with it. As you did I caught it on sale at Sears adn just could not justify the difference in price with it being on sale to purchase the 14”. You will love this saw, congrats

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View kajunkraft's profile


188 posts in 2978 days

#9 posted 05-27-2013 01:43 AM

I cut my teeth on Craftsman tools and still use some that are over 40 yrs. old. Never hesitated to buy Craftsman if it was a tool that I needed/wanted. Not only have they been of fine quality, but if a problem arose I knew that there would be absolutely no problem with replacement. Until lately. Now I am concerned that Craftsman (Sears) won’t be around in a year or two. Repair parts will probably be available thru some source, but there will be no Sears to cover any expense. Given their overall financial condition you also have to wonder about the quality going into the build of any tool as well.

View cpd011's profile


91 posts in 4006 days

#10 posted 05-27-2013 02:59 AM

I didn’t want this to turn into a craftsman sucks thread. I know it’s not a $750.00 saw. Every tool brand has some product that falls short. It also seems increasingly that a lot of brands use the same initial manufacturer and then put on a different coat of paint and different knobs. I like to touch and play with tools before I purchase them. I was able to do that with this saw. For $350 or $400 I thought it was a great saw. For $250.00 I ran to get it. It’s a big chunk of steel with 2 wheels for goodness sake. I’m just a hobbyist with very little free cash.

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1554 posts in 3274 days

#11 posted 05-27-2013 03:41 AM

CPD, enjoy your saw. You got a super deal on it.

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8382 posts in 4144 days

#12 posted 05-27-2013 10:53 AM

”I know there are a lot of craftsman naysayers. I truly believe whether you’re buying yellow, blue, red, HF or even craftsman, you have to look at the tool and kick the tires. ”

Amen to that…..thanks for the review. There are clunkers of every color….not that Sears doesn’t more than their fair share, but they also have several good tools left on the roster. I never completely rule out any brands for any reasons if there’s a chance that a decent tool may eventually emerge from the rubble at a decent price. I take it one tool at a time. It looks to me like you got a very decent saw (is that a Rikon clone?) at less than 50¢ on the dollar. Congrats.

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

View StumpyNubs's profile


7804 posts in 3569 days

#13 posted 05-27-2013 01:29 PM

Mustache Mike has this saw in his shop. It’s a nice one, and the best part is the 8” depth of cut, which is the best in its class.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3017 days

#14 posted 05-28-2013 02:55 PM

Threw mine on an HTC HD mobile base last week. I also added the Rikon 10-320 fence and rails. It’s an awesome saw.


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91 posts in 4006 days

#15 posted 05-28-2013 03:36 PM

How do you like that fence?

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