10-inch bandsaw for a hobbyist: Craftsman or Jet?

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Forum topic by n00b posted 10-25-2010 03:18 AM 11668 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 3822 days

10-25-2010 03:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question bandsaw

Years ago I was a modelmaker and I used tools all the time. Now I work with computers. And I’m getting antsy: I want to work with my hands again! I’m setting up a modest shop in my garage, trying to get the most bang for my buck. I want to get a smallish bandsaw. I plan to make small projects – boxes, maybe some toys, that sort of thing. No resawing or heavy stuff.

I joined to humbly appeal to the wisdom of the knowledgeable woodworkers here.

I’m torn between these two saws:

Craftsman 21400 — I’ve seen this for $190 at a hardware store nearby

Jet JWBS-10OS — Currently $299 at Amazon, but the price fluctuates almost daily

I’ve seen both in person, briefly, but I haven’t seen them running. The Jet seems to be of higher quality, but it costs 50% more. People seem to love the Craftsman, but the fence seemed like a joke to me (am I wrong to expect anything from the fence?).

O Lumberjocks, is there someone out there who can help me make this torturous decision?

(By the way, I know someone will say to get a used saw on Craigslist. Which I’ve looked into. It makes sense, except that I don’t know much about saws. I’d feel more comfortable getting something with new parts and a warrantee)

Thanks in advance!

- Joe

12 replies so far

View bent's profile


311 posts in 4720 days

#1 posted 10-25-2010 03:25 AM

i know you didn’t list it as an option, but i have a 9” delta shopmaster that works like a champ. it sells for a little over $100 new. for the money, it’s a good buy.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4022 days

#2 posted 10-25-2010 03:45 AM

I had a little 3 wheel Delta 10”. A worthless thing for cutting anything tougher than styrofoam or balsa IMHO.
See these on CL all the time, usually for $35-$40. Don’t waste your time.

I recently bought a Rikon 10” at Woodcrafter. They had it on sale last month for $199 and I had a $25 gift certificate. Love this machine. I believe it is identical to the Sears you listed.
- Beware, Sears sells a cheaper version with a smaller motor but otherwise similar for less. It’s much cheaper and I didn’t like it at all. I don’t think it even had a fence.

The Jet you listed has a bigger motor, bigger table, roller blade guides, LED work light and weighs about 10 lbs more. In the picture it looks like it also has a miter gage in addition to a fence. I would’t argue it appears to be a better machine, but it is also 50% more money. I can’t answer if that is worth it for a 10” saw.

For $300 Sears has a 12” band saw, another re-branded Rikon I think, that is what I would have bought if I wasn’t building a bigger saw (16”) to go with my 10” Rikon. I would rather have the 12” Sears than the 10” Jet if that was my choice. It handles wider blades.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20613 posts in 4727 days

#3 posted 10-25-2010 06:19 AM

I don’t know which saw, but if you keep looking at tools and saws, Amazon will offer you better deals. Regular customers get a higher price than occasional buyers they are trying to snag ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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1162 posts in 4395 days

#4 posted 10-26-2010 05:25 PM

IMHO I would pay the extra for the 12” Sears. Christmas is coming and you’ll probably find a great sale. I have the 10” and it’s fine for me, BUT I’m not making boxes or re-sawing. The 12” has a 7” resaw cap. I have a dickens of a time getting the blade to track right and I bought the nicer Wolfcraft blades. I couldn’t get a 1/8” blade to stay on the wheels and had to go to a 1/4”.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View n00b's profile


18 posts in 3822 days

#5 posted 10-26-2010 05:33 PM

Thanks for all the great advice! I guess when I think about it, the only real factor is price. If money was no object, I’d have no questions at all. So I like Vicki’s advice to look for Christmas sales. Black Friday is just a couple of weeks away… I guess I’m in no rush.

Thanks again!

- Joe

View FatScratch's profile


189 posts in 4354 days

#6 posted 10-26-2010 06:32 PM

I have the Craftsman you listed. I got it on sale for $150. I also got it before I knew much about tools and woodworking; however it has done quite well over the last three years. It is no comparison to a real 14 inch saw, but it has its place in my workshop and gets quite a bit of use. I put a Timberwolf blade on it and it cuts everything I ask of it. The saw is really pretty good quality, supposedly the same manufacturer as the 10 inch Rikon that sells for a lot more. For the extra $100+, I don’t think the Jet is going to be a better saw. These are little machines for small hobby work. I would love a 14 or 17 inch Grizzly, but everytime I start thinking about buying one, I ask myself why do I need it? As long as you really understand its limitations, then it can be a good buy. If you think you are going to grow out of it, then save your cash for a quality 14 inch saw. Oh, the fence is crappy, but is workable. For what this bandsaw costs, plus a quality $20 blade, I have no complaints.

View woodklutz's profile


221 posts in 3819 days

#7 posted 10-27-2010 11:26 PM

I have the Jet 10” from Amazon, shipped free $299. First one had problem called Amazon they over nighited a replacement. I have found that they are the best place to purchase from. Never a problem returning.
Aside from the saw, the packaging is a joke, delivered by ups carton falling apart. All parts were there and no damage. Saw is fine for my purpose. In retrospect I would have purchased a 14” saw. Max blade width is really 3/8” 1/2” not ideal (my feeling). Well constructed, easy set up, miter and fence.

-- honing my craft one mistake at a time.

View TheDane's profile


5952 posts in 4714 days

#8 posted 10-28-2010 12:05 AM

I had a Craftsman 10”—it was a piece of junk. Sold it on CL and bought a Jet 14”—happy as a clam with the Jet.

The craftsman wouldn’t track straight, and the lower guides were impossible to align.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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118161 posts in 4628 days

#9 posted 10-28-2010 12:11 AM

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4515 days

#10 posted 10-28-2010 05:25 PM

Given just the original two choices I would favor the Jet. I’ve owned and worked with both brands. I’ve never been happy with a craftsman power tool. The adjustments are finicky, the materials are cheap and thin. The threads of many of these touchy adjustments tend to strip out.
I have three Jet tools, one being a 12in bandsaw. Been happy with all and the one time I had to call customer service for some advice from Jet, they were knowledgeable and helpful. The guy I spoke to wound up staying over his shift a little to finish up with me. I’ve never met a sears salesperson that knew tools let alone the specifics or troubleshooting.
Good luck.
a1Jim gave a good link. Grizzly has also been good to me for the price. As you said, no hurry and holiday sales are around the corner.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View JohnGreco's profile


284 posts in 4106 days

#11 posted 10-28-2010 05:50 PM

I have the 10” Craftsman. Bought it just over 2 years ago and knowing now what I do, I would rather I had bought a slightly better saw.

Tracking is an issue as said above, also the blade size is really oddball, like 70.5” which no good mfr’s carry. You will either need to settle for junky Craftsman blades or custom order Olson or such. Price works out to be about the same either way (roughly $17/blade), but I really hate having to custom order blades.

I personally wouldn’t go smaller than 10” because I want to be able to resaw up to 4”, and 9” saws all seem to max out at just shy of that.

Good luck with whatever you choose!

-- John

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