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A Band Saw for a small shop. And I mean small...

25388 Views 22 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  BillWhite
First I want to say hello. This is my first post of many to come I am sure. I have been lurking around for awhile.

Alright first things first. I really enjoy woodworking, however the only spot I have to do it will give you an ulcer. I currently only have access to a 8' x 8' shed as my workshop. Or as I like to call it my "Shed Shop". I added a built in workbench about a month ago and it has worked out pretty good.

Now I am on the lookout for a tabletop band saw. I would like to keep the cost down to about $150.00 for this. Currently I have only seen a 9" & 10" Craftsman, 9" Ryobi, 9" Skil, and 9" Hitachi. I am currently leaning towards the Craftsman 10".

The Hitachi has a unique system where the table stays fixed and the whole saw moves for angle cuts. The reviews I have read on this have not been good though.

I have also seen where two saws that are not produced anymore, the Delta 9" and Inca 9", are really good. Should I look into a used one of these.

This will be used for mostly small projects and some medium sized ones like some Adirondack chairs.

Thank you for you help and suggestions in advance.
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first thing first - Welcome aboard!

second - you'd be surprised at some of the workspaces some people have to work in. I need to find the link, but theres a guy that does amazing work in almost a closet space shop… so you're would be considered a factory to him ;) it's all about perspective - and about what comes out of there.

now… bandsaws? what are you planing to use the bandsaw for? a tabletop bandsaw can really only do so much. but if I had a choice, I'd go with the Rikon 10". it has a small footprint, good quality metal construction, and great customer service from the company. hands down.
Mr. D
I saw a post on finewoodworking from a guy that did woodworking in a New York city Appartment. His dust collection system was his bath tub! He was using the craftsman band saw clamped to a black and decker workmate. I have seen the craftsman and the rikon and thought the rikon was built a little better and had a little more beef to the frame. coming from a pretty small shop my self if you dont have a table saw already i'd consider the bosch. What a great portable saw. Just my opinion though. Good luck with your choice.
I own the 9" Delta. Given the obvious limitations of such a small saw, I've been very satisfied with its performance.
I have a delta 9" I have done some resawing of birch and oak. If you take your time buy quality blades it will work ok. By the way I have a small shop
For years now I have tried to make a shop out of a walk in closet that's out in what we call "the Green Room". We have a pool table and arcade machines in there. The closet is so packed with my wifes stuff that you can't set foot in it, for that matter, it's spilled out into the Green Room and we can't even play pool. The good part about this is that I will be building a shop soon. My shop is currently in the form of my parents old house. We will be tearing part of it down in a couple of weeks. I'll use that wood to build the shop and a place to store the rest of the wood when we tear the rest of the house down. I think the older part of the house was made using rough sawn oak studs. I look forward to recycling those.

For the past 5 years I have worked on a 9" Delta bench top band saw. In that time it has seen a fair amount of use, but not as much as I would have liked. The saw is great. I have replaced the wheels, changed many a blade, and "tuned it in" more times than I care to count. If you are in the market for a bench top bandsaw, Delta's 9" or 10" would be my recommendation. I have to confess that I have never bought used tools before, so I don't have much to say about that.
I was recently thinking that the typical tool starter set for first time woodworker of a table saw and a drill press is really too much - a bandsaw and a router table seems to me a much better way to start out.

Based on my experience with other Ryobi tools (have not used the bandsaw), they are cool and have nice features but their build quality isn't on par with a delta.

If you are tight on space and want a more complete setup, look in craigslist for a shopsmith with the optional bandsaw.

Good luck!
Thanks for the tips and advice so far.

JC - I have a Ryobi router that my Grandfather gave me and it seems to be pretty good. I am a little worried about the amount of plastic that the Ryobi and the Skil Band Saw's have on them.

Purplev - I will take that Rikon into consideration. It is a bit more than I was looking to spend (and convincing my wife into letting me buy), but it way be worth it in the long run. I will need to find a place around me (Columbia, SC) that has one. I don't want to buy one without being able to take a look at it.

And so far the Delta 9" is getting the most votes per say. Just don't know how I feel about a used piece of equipment.
Looking at the Rikon website I see there is a distributor here in my town. Will have to visit. I also see that on their website that an updated 10" saw will be available this fall.

10-300 - Current Model
Cutting Height: 3-3/8"
Table Size: 11-13/16" x 11-13/16"
Amps: 4.5

10-305 - New Model in Late Fall
Cutting Height: 4-3/8"
Table Size: 13-3/4" x 12-1/2"
Amps: 3.5

The bigger cutting capacity and larger table may be attractive enough to wait for if I decide to go with the Rikon. Will have to wait and see if it will be more costly.
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I don't reccomen buying craftsman tools very often, but this is one case that I will. I would highly reccomend the craftsman 10". It is made by Rikon and the same as their new model. I owned that saw for about 1 1/2 years until I moved up a size to a grizzly G0555. That craftsman is a heck of a nice saw, cast iron table, roller bearing guides, wheel brush, cheap miter guage, and a ok fence. You can't beat it for that price. And suffolk and Ittura can make blades for you. It can even resaw it's whole 4 3/8 capacity with the 1/3 hp motor it has. If you watch the sales and craftsman club you can get it for $99, the rikon will run you $250. The rikon 300 doesn't have a cast table, or fence and costs more. The craftsman is much better than the 9"'s out there and costs the same. Once it is set up it cuts nice and clean. Thumbs up on the craftsman 10"
My uncle used to build model boats he made some beuties in his attic /loft space he had a nice little dewalt elu three wheeled bandsaw did everything he wanted.Anyhow they come up very cheap on ebay in fact if you lived near to me I would have given you his old one free as he died anumber of years ago.Alistair
I have a very similar sized shop and I use an old Delta 10" bandsaw. It fits quite nicely and has plenty of power and stiffness for most of the things I want to do. I would recomend a nice two wheel 10" at least with a stiff spine of steel or cast iron. Avoid the plastic ones as the tensioning on the blade can be an issue. The Craftsman/Rikon/etc. that are all basically knock offs of each other are decent machines. A friend of mine has the Craftsman 10" and he likes it.

My Delta

I usually take all my machines outside to do any work. That is a good way to increase the size of your shop.
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You could busy a pretty good jig saw for that amount on money.
Hey Nick Welcome
This is a subject that is asked frequently on LJs I suggest doing a search on this site and make a choice after that . As for My 2 cents I like Grizzly products. There are good reviews on Grizzlys in the review section and other saws too..
If you were any closer I'd just about give you my 3 wheeler:
i got my grandfathers craftsman 9''. he had it as far back as i can remember. it works like new to this day. love it! couldnt be better! wm
oh, and by the way, as is posted in my workshop, i have the 10×10 version of what you have probably. frustating… but possible
In never thought my three wheel craftsman was good at anything but thin craft projects. I would reccommend buying older tools you will get more bang for your buck. check out
Jeff L
I have a Craftsman 9'' in addition to my 14" bandsaw and I use the 9" way more than the larger saw. I bought the 9" ,used, for $50 at an auction, check your local auctions and
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