Bandsaw upgrade input

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Forum topic by Dward67 posted 02-14-2017 05:46 PM 684 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 1272 days

02-14-2017 05:46 PM

Hello everyone! Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I am brand new to the forums and rather new to wood working in general. I started about 2 years ago and have been building things in my garage in the evenings and weekends.

I was hoping to get some input from the more experienced on getting a new bandsaw. Currently I have an old 10 inch that has served me well but really cannot handle hardwoods or cut straight for long. I tried to make a simple bandsaw box and it just could not make the curve. Drift is a huge problem. Up until now this hasn’t been a big problem because I did not use the bandsaw much but my project list is adding larger works.

Is the bandsaw a major use in your shop and projects? If you were going to get one tomorrow what would you go with? (for reference I am considering the Grizzly GO555). Do you consider it a must have for the weekend wood warrior?

Just to fill in a few variables I can say that (up to a point) spending the money is not a huge issue but I don’t want to buy an expensive statue. Power might be a concern as I work in my garage (and space to a lesser extent). I would say I average about 20 hours a week tinkering around in the shop making things for friends and family. I enjoy being out there and making sawdust!

I’m not sure what else to say but will greatly appreciate any input from everyone on these forums.

Thank you


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5 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2800 days

#1 posted 02-14-2017 05:54 PM

The 555 style 14” Saws are workhorse saws. I have the Shopfox version. If you plan to resaw boards larger than 6”, you will either need to add the riser block or go to one of the steel framed saws fro Rikon, laguna or Grizzly to get more resaw capacity.

Watch the Alex Snodgrass bandsaw video to learn a quick and easy way to set up the saw properly. Even your 10” will act like a new machine. Curves and drift have a lot to do with blade choice and saw setup. On the larger saws you can add the small blade pretensioner to really get tight curves. One may not be available for your 10”, but they are for the 555.

There are plenty of bandsaw boxes and scroll projects made on those 14” saws. I think you’ll be happy with it.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Matt's profile


163 posts in 1756 days

#2 posted 02-14-2017 06:12 PM

I find that there are very few of my large form tools (check out what I’ve got in my workshop) that don’t get used on just about every project I do. It might be just one operation, once, but it’s usually easier than reconfiguring another tool to do it. If you’re looking to upgrade, my recommendation is to do it once, so you don’t spend good money after bad. Purchase a quality saw (I have Grizzly products and have been very happy with them) that will meet your future needs, fit close to your budget (or save a little longer), and can be supported by your existing power (most 14” are 110v) and dust collection (unless one or both are being upgraded any time soon.)

-- My "projects" always look better when your glasses are broken.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2291 days

#3 posted 02-14-2017 06:26 PM

I looked at upgrading my 14” delta and discovered it would cost me another 100-150$ to get a new grizzly with a riser block.

I got the G0555LX with riser kit and I’ve only had it a week but I’m happy so far.

I use thin stock all the time and it’s better for me to resaw it as opposed to planing the hell out of it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Crickett's profile


137 posts in 2285 days

#4 posted 02-14-2017 08:17 PM

Dward – here’s some food for thought. If your current saw has enough height capacity for your style of work, and if the saw has sufficient horsepower, that you’re best bet has to be investing in a carbide tooth blade. Two reasons: 1) carbide tooth band saw blades nearly eliminate drift entirely when properly tensioned where HSS blades tend to be sharper either on the left or the right which gives you the dreaded drift problem (that’s not coming from me – that’s coming from David Marks but I completely agree and it’s why I use a 1” Lenox Tri-Master); 2) your saw won’t work as hard with carbide teeth and the longevity factor will pay you back

To me the band saw is a very crucial tool and one that you shouldn’t skimp on when looking to acquire a new one. My progression was a little crazy with my first band saw. I bought the Griz 14” Anniversary edition and it was a decent saw to learn on. I quickly slapped a 3hp motor on it and controlled it with a VFD. That was a fun upgrade and worked great but was akin to putting lipstick on a pig. I bit the bullet and bought a Minimax MM16 and haven’t looked back. It’s a top shelf bandsaw that I can’t image ever outgrowing (plus it comes with a mobility axel in the rear to move it around, don’t try putting a 700lb bandsaw on a mobility cart – yikes!). What I’m meaning to say is that you have to reflect on your projects now, your interests, and what you want to do in the future. Research quality bandsaws and go with your instincts. If you’re current saw fits the bill than great; try upgrading your saw blade to carbide (they come in a wide variety of widths and lengths). It will be a night and day difference. Happy woodworking from Ohio!

View Dward67's profile


15 posts in 1272 days

#5 posted 02-14-2017 10:10 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions and input! The bandsaw I have now is a Chicago tool bench top from the 90’s and it uses 1/4 blades and looks like this except it doesn’t say Craftsman.

I can’t say for sure what all I hope to do in the future as I tend to get a wild idea and just dive in. That being said I think I am more of a crafter than furniture maker. Lots of boxes, and pallet wood projects. Most of the time I see something that someone else has done and it inspires me to do something of my own.

Cricket I will look into those blades you mentioned and see if they are available for the saw I have and if so how that works out. The saw you suggested looks amazing but is probably more than I need and would not only take a bite out of my wallet but devour it and demand more ;) What did you end up doing with the Grizzly you had before the upgrade?


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