Nice review and like myself I'm at that point of pulling the trigger on a better saw. The one I have a craftsman 12" dose the everyday chores but I find myself need a bit more power for re-saw purpose. Your review will help in my target practice so to that I say thanks and I hope you enjoy your new saw….Blkcherry
I bought this saw 3 years ago, based on the reviews in WOOD magazine. Have never looked back. In my experience, would agree with every point you make. The issues you list do become pretty irrelevant with time. Is a GREAT re-saw machine. Great value for every dollar. Buy one! ....$100 less than I paid.
I've been doing exactly what you mentioned, agonizing about which band saw to buy. Been leaning towards the Grizzly 555x with a riser, but why? At this price the rikon has good reviews and the cost is close to the combined price of the saw, riser, and labor (mine) to assemble the whole thing. It will also give me a different relationship with the local Woodcraft store. Going to the Sacramento Woodworking show tomorrow, and will ask lots of questions, but I think this will be the saw I purchase.
Just bought this model at Woodcraft Thursday and did catch the $699 sale. Have not taken it out of the box yet but, looking forward to putting it together and making some sawdust. I will be using 220V for mine also.
Thanks for the heads up on the blade, what brand did you go for? This is my first bandsaw so don't have any experience with them.
Did you install yours on a portable base? If so what did you use?
I used the timberwolf blades, and my wife accidentally ordered 3 of everything. Oh well, happy accident again. I also used the Jet mobile base, but be sure to put a 3/4 ply inside the base as a stable platform before you do the heavy lifting. Take your time with the manual and be sure to adjust everything. If you need help doing this, wait until they are in the office and give them a call. They are very helpful with the setup.
Enjoy! You've purchased an awesome tool there. I still love firing mine up with each simple cut, let alone the complex ones.
this saw is great i have had mine since fathers day and i haven't had a problem yet(knock on wood here.) viking my only piece of advise to you is have a friend help you assemble it, the thing is a beast to try and put together alone. have fun and be safe.
Like mine quite a bit too and will be doing a buncha resawing with 6" quartersawn white oak over the holidays.
Coupla issues I did run into with mine:
1. the lower blade guides did NOT offer enough adjustment to accommodate a 1/8" blade (smallest spec'd for the saw). Had to machine the adjustment slot slightly larger so the blade could ride near the center of the wheels AND not have the blade teeth bearing on the guide bearings.
2. the table is not smooth and polished, but rather some rough and roughly machined surface… not a deal-breaker, but not what I expected.
3. when moving the upper blade guide assembly up and down, the guides invariably move out of position as the assembly seems to wander a bit as it moves. Locked down it's stable, but I find I have to reset the guide bearings more often than I believe I should.
4. I set the saw up on a mobile base such that the bottom cabinet door hits the wheel of the base with the door only open a few inches. D'oh! Too lazy to flip it around. Guess I can't blame Rikon for that .
There are four set screws inside the upper wheel housing that allow you to adjut the blade guard so it runs parallel to the blade. Once set, you shouldn't have to readjust your guides when moving it up and down.
Just wait. Use it for awhile and you'll notice you sopend more time setting it up than using it. Everytime you change blade sizes you are going to have to adjust the lower wheel. The top wheel will slide forward all the time too. Look at how it sits …. yep, it slides forward in that slot while in motion, throwing the blade into the door.
The show that holds the pulley wheel to the motor. Mine shook loose and fell out. The lower rear bearing shook loose and fell out. Each time I start it up the tension is different and I have to adjust yet again. I suspect its the upper wheel moving constantly.
Try a 3/4" blade. You'll never get it to tension. The whole frame starts to bend.
I liked mine too at first. But I mess with it more than use it. Who wants to buy a used Rikon?
You must have got a bad one. I have never had any similar issues with mine. I have 1/4", 1/2" and 3/4" Timberwolf blades and change them all the time. I would like to eventually buy a larger BS dedicated strictly to re-sawing, but that's for the future.
This is my second. They replaced the first one. One improvement was they beefed up that lower wheel adjustment. The first generation was real week and the lower bolt and its housing stripped out.
I cant change a blade without going over setup in its entirety. Just today I fired it up and the blade on the lower wheel tracked back about 1/4". Had set it up yesterday. Same blade, same tension. All I did was slide he tension lever over and start it up. I take tension off anfter use and find the upper wheel rarely lands in the same spot twice.
I like the Timberwolf blades too. I will be reaplcing the saw. BusyBee, our Grizzly has some contenders out in this space now with a better build in my opinion.
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