Need help pulling the trigger! $5k for Bandsaw, Drum Sander, and Dust Collection

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Forum topic by Slyced posted 07-30-2017 04:17 AM 5054 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 1079 days

07-30-2017 04:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: help bandsaw 5 000 budget grizzly vs laguna drum sander tip question resource sanding joining veneering

BLUF – If you had a 5k budget to spend on a Bandsaw, Drum Sander, and suitable Dust Collector… what would you choose? Looking for info on brands and models. (New equipment only… not patient enough to stalk for used units any longer.)

Wide variety of uses. Cabinetry, end grain cutting boards, fireplace/window/door casings and surrounds, some furniture, curving and resawing. Budget is a firm $5k… that means completely set-up and ready to go. Blades, upgraded components/accessories, delivery, etc. Located in East Texas – single phase 110/220 power.

Would like cast iron wheels/trunions, a nice resawing fence (add-on is fine), a foot brake (optional), and great guides… (suggested ceramic add-ons would be awesome). Ease of changing blades is a must. Prefer 17” or greater but will go 14” for a “better” unit. In-other-words, I will happily buy a smaller unit if I get a considerable performance/reliability improvement over a larger unit. Customer service is always a consideration but not as important as the other factors.

I would greatly appreciate any and all input, your personal experience, what you have heard/read, other units you think may be better, experiences with customer service, how much trouble set-up is… you get the idea. :)

Currently Considering

Band Saw
• Grizzly G0514X2
• Laguna MBAND 14BX and 18BX
• Rikon? I like the warranty but…

Drum Sander (If I go with a larger unit I will end up running a 13” benchtop planer… should I invest more in the planer and go with a smaller drum unit?)
Jet JWDS-1632
SuperMax 19-38
Shop Fox W1678

Dust Collection
Jet DC-1200VX-CK1

Please don’t forget to chime in about upgrades. I.E.- your preference on blades, fences, guides, mobile bases, tires, etc.

**FYI – I do not like settling for something below size or budget just to have to upgrade it a few years later. I want to do it right the first time – even if that means waiting a bit so I can spend more on a unit.

Again, I greatly appreciate your input. I know your time is valuable so when I eventually decide and receive my equipment, I will take the time to fully review them here in the forums as well as keep an eye out for future seekers and share my experiences.



34 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile


3798 posts in 2000 days

#1 posted 07-30-2017 01:32 PM

It sounds like you have already done more research than many people ever do 8^)

Best overall advice I can think of is search for used, it can effectively double your tool budgets buying power.

It’s rare to find anyone who has experience with similar tools over a variety of manufactures. Typically a person is familiar with the brand/tool they bought years ago and can tell you the good/bad for that item. Of course that item is usually no longer made…

As to a BS, reliability (IMO) comes down to the guide system. The saw itself usually can be dialed in and there it will stay until something wears out. Guides are where your accuracy and quality of cut are set, and of course you will be changing these settings a lot as you switch between resaw and standard blades and adjust for height.

A drum sander is one of my most used tools, but it is quite “specialized” (and expensive). Dust collection is mandatory.

I have the same Jet jointer. Works great for when I need it, but I wish I had gone bigger. It doesn’t get much use otherwise.

I have a Delta “lunchbox” planer that gets used on occasion, but my go-to route is usually resawing to thickness on the BS (Minimax 16”) and final dimensioning on a Performax 16/32 DS (with 2hp cyclone).

Note that this is all for dimensionally “small” projects (boxes, small tables, etc.) Your house work sounds like you need good portable tools, of which a table saw would be the most valuable.

With no experience on the actual tool, the Laguna BS seems well equipped. Beyond that, the $1k to $2k price point has a huge variety to choose from.

Sorry I can’t help more, tool luck on your quest!

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1697 days

#2 posted 07-30-2017 02:43 PM


I purchased the Grizzly 0636X 17” bandsaw a few years ago. I have had no issues with the Grizzly bandsaw. I have a Laguna shaper and conclude it is a fine tool. Based on my experience either manufacturer would ship a bandsaw that will perform well. However, from what I read, if a problem should arise with the purchase, Grizzly customer service may be easier to deal with than Laguna.

Drum Sander. Of the two drum sanders you list, I would be inclined to the closed end SuperMax. My concern with the open ended drum sander is whether any flex in the overhead arm might spoil the sanding operation. On the other hand, I suspect Powermatic as engineered as much flex out of the machine as possible and with the extremely shallow passes typical when using drum sanders, it may not be an issue.

I have a Woodmaster 38” drum sander, but Woodmaster also offers a 26” drum sander for about $3000. I mention Woodmaster even though evidently beyond your budget because they offer two optional items of equipment that make using the drum sander much easier. The first is extension rollers that support longer workpieces. These extension rollers come in handy when using the reversing switch, the second option. The reversing switch allows the operator to stand on the infeed side of the sander. The workpiece is fed into the machine. Once the surface has completely passed under the sanding drum, the conveyor belt direction is reversed by flipping the reversing switch and the workpiece comes back through the sander to the operator.

Perhaps either or both drum sanders on your list offer these options. If they do, these options are, in my experience, very nice upgrades and well worth the additional money. If not, looking into the Woodmaster USA made machine may be worthwhile.

The tone of your post suggests that you view a dust collector perhaps as more of a convenience tool (to keep the shop cleaner) than an essential tool. If so and you plan to go forward with the purchase of a drum sander, I suspect you will quickly conclude that a dust collector is an essential tool. The drum sander will generate a lot of dust that, without a dust collector, will lay on the workpiece. This dust will have to be wiped or vacuumed away before the workpiece can be sent through the drum sander again. If not wiped away, the dust on the workpiece can adversely affect the sanding job on the workpiece and quickly clog the sanding paper. If the dust is wiped off the workpiece, a lot of air-born dust will result so a dust mask would have to be worn, which could be intolerable in East Texas. If vacuumed, the shop vac would have to be emptied frequently.

Other Tools. Since there are several other tools you would like to purchase, it may be worth your while to drive up to Springfield, MO, and look around the Grizzly showroom. It could be an informative trip, and even if you walk away deciding to buy no Grizzly tool, I would think the trip would be enjoyable. On the other hand you may be able to buy every tool on your list and stay close to your budget.

View Slyced's profile


18 posts in 1079 days

#3 posted 07-30-2017 03:31 PM

Thank you both a ton! Lots and lots of great information in both posts. :)

I am definitely going to add dust collection as a priority. If anyone has an “affordable” unit they highly recommend that can handle a larger drum sander, please include it.

The same goes for anyone who has had success with a DIY cyclonic system that is cheaper and outperforms a big box unit… I would definitely be interested in that. I have researched them in the past an endorsement by anyone with experience would be awesome.

I have attempted to find some good, used items off and on for the past few weeks with literally zero leads… but I will continue until I have made a decision.

View Slyced's profile


18 posts in 1079 days

#4 posted 07-30-2017 03:32 PM

Splinter – how do you feel about your Performax (now Jet)? Any issues with flexing/divots on pieces larger than 16? Any con’s that just really bother you?

Also – with a planer and drum sander, what jobs make you wish you had gone with a wider jointer? I wanna make sure it is relevant to me because I doubt I will be using it for pieces wider than 4 inches.

View Slyced's profile


18 posts in 1079 days

#5 posted 07-30-2017 03:45 PM

JBrow – Oh my how I wish I could afford the Grizzly 0636X… that and the Laguna HD (Italian Model) are at the top of my list but I really can’t justify the additional cost unless it is a machine that is going to last me a lifetime… which it may very well be. (I am 40)

Excellent info on the sander – looking more into the Woodmaster now.

I totally understand your explanation on dust collection… any suggestions?

Thanks again you guys!!

View Kelly's profile


3021 posts in 3722 days

#6 posted 07-30-2017 05:33 PM

The dust collector is a must, especially for things like the planer and jointer, and just, generally, spoiling yourself.

I use my collectors, exclusively, to clean the floors of things not caught by the collector. A sewer tube made a good extension.

I have four collectors:

- Two are four bag, 3hp Jets. One has a cartridge filter and is behind a Oneida Super Dust Deputy. The other will be getting a SDD XL soon.

Both 3 hp units are older ones. I paid $250 for the first and swapped the bottom bags to big box store clear lawn bags. I also swapped the stock bags for 1 micron upper bags for $100.00. The second, I paid $425.00 for and it came with canister filters. The difference in draw, between the two, is notable.

- One is a 1-1/2 hp Jet with a canister filter. It does a good job, but it got upgraded to the 3hp with two canisters.

- The one that gets drug out to vacuum pine cones and leaves is a Harbor Freight 2hp. It babysits the miter, when not on yard duty. I changed to a finer filter on it too. I’d say, for a couple hundred bucks, it would be a damn good investment. My bet is, it would handle your drum sander.

I’ve seen some Grizzly 3 hp units on the local craigslist too. They look like knock offs of the Jet and might be well worth considering too.

If you can handle 240 and 15amps run current, the Jets are worth the jump. Otherwise, anything 1-1/2hp and up is going to be night and day over nothing.

I never knew what I was missing, until I had one. Now, having at least one dust collector is as important as any other piece of equipment.

I built a sanding station with nylon sides, top and back and it makes sanding and carving projects that fit in it a pleasure. In fact, the seemingly small amount of air pulled in makes that a comfortable place to sit, after the rest of the shop gets too hot for comfort (84 and up).

As to cyclonic units that outperform big box ones, I’d be hard pressed to believe any of the DIY have any significant performance improvements over a plastic Super Dust Deputy at $200.00. Too, what would it cost to fabricate a SDD equivalent?

View Kelly's profile


3021 posts in 3722 days

#7 posted 07-30-2017 05:44 PM

On jointers, I had a 4” nearly fifty years ago. I outgrew it in a week, so made the “jump” to a Craftsman 6”. I out grew spending all my time trying to align it and keep it aligned. I went to a PM 6” and it was an honest jump, but I still longed for a long bed.

A few years ago, I bought a 8” Grizzly with a long bed, a spiral head and a mobile base (490X), It’s gold. The spiral tackles figured wood just fine, and runs quieter than my old knife jointers.

I don’t need bigger, or should say I can work around the limitations of an 8”, but I wouldn’t want to go back to a 6”. At least up to a point, bigger is better.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5810 posts in 3086 days

#8 posted 07-30-2017 05:50 PM

Like already said,,,,,,,,,If you’re going to get a drum sander you have to have a dust collector, not potentially.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Kelly's profile


3021 posts in 3722 days

#9 posted 07-30-2017 05:57 PM

As to fence upgrades on bandsaws, I think it’s a personal preference in many cases.

I’m running the cheesy, stock fence of my PM. After looking into fancier fences and getting significant use out of mine, I think it would have been easy to buy the wrong one and joint the other forum topic about wasted money spent.

Having to have a magnetic fence to adjust for drift suggests it’s time to go back to set up school. The blade drifts because it’s set up wrong or the nails took out teeth on one side causing the blade to wander.

Too, I like the idea of the blade being locked at the front and the back when I’m pushing forty or so pounds of wood past the blade.

In the end, my stock fence does fine, it just doesn’t do it as pretty.

As to guides, you can expect a lot of different opinions on whether all bearings or cool blocks are the cat’s meow. What I will say is, for 1/4” and under, go with the Carter Stabilizer. It is the lion’s meow.

Meanwhile, I buy my bearings, ten at a time, for about $6.00 and shipping from bearing suppliers, rather than from the PM manufacturer at about $200.00 for a set.

View Slyced's profile


18 posts in 1079 days

#10 posted 07-30-2017 07:25 PM

Thanks Kelly! Awesome info.

So I am now adding a 220 Jet system to the list.

This one looks nice... but is it enough?

Jointer – I think I am going to drop this from the list for now… I have access to one when needed so unless someone drops a link for an exceptional performer below $1k… I am gunna spend it on the other equipment.

BS – This was the main reason for this post… and I am just plain stuck. :( I have watched hours worth of videos and read so many reviews. Both Griz and Laguna have some nightmare reviews but overall both have far more positives… which says a lot.

That said, the Laguna’s 14bx really seems like an awesome machine that wont require and upgrades with the least amount of problems out of the box. One of the nicest things about it is how easily blade changes are and I will likely be making those changes quite frequently.

While Griz may have better customer service and be just as good (if not better) of a machine… I have read more reviews where Laguna users have literally never had to call em while Griz owners seem to almost always have to make a call to customer service right out of the gate for vibrations or other issues.

Basically, that makes these two units a wash and so I end up leaning towards the Laguna simply for the better fence and guide system.

Thanks for the info on the Carter Stabilizers… Seems like a very nice addition to have on hand but not something to really improve the day-to-day use over the standard guide system.

Ugghhh!!! I can see myself tossing a coin tonight after a glass of bourbon. lol

View bigJohninvegas's profile


776 posts in 2239 days

#11 posted 07-30-2017 09:42 PM

I have the Grizzly G0513×2 band saw. 17”, a size smaller than what you are looking at. I am very happy with it, and the price was right.
when I was looking to buy, I read a lot of negative reviews about Laguna in general. (Customer Service)
I have been looking into a drum sander myself. Had not read a lot of good. seems like they all have issues somewhere, but I have been mainly looking at used, older models.
Just saw the newest Supermax at the AWFS fair last week. I was impressed with them, and was looking at the same machine that you are looking at. The main issue I have always read about with drum sanders is keeping the drum parallel to the bed. Supermax convinced me that this is not an issue with there newer products.
Supermax also had a prototype 16-32 priced at $1199.00 it featured a quick release handle that let you travel the drum without the hand crank. you set it to the starting thickness then hand crank to fine tune as you sand. Very nice. No word as to when it would be available on the larger machines.

Have you considered wood master planer/sanders?
I had never looked at these, until earlier this year. A friend has the Woodmaster 725.
Turns out its a planer,drum sander, moulder, gang rip saw. all in one.
We were working with a live edge slab that needed some drum sanding help, and he had offered to let me use it.
It to was very nice. Easy to switch from planer to sander.
I too am still using a 13” lunch box planer, in a home shop that is running out of space. That woodmaster is pricey, and outside of my budget at the moment. But it does so much, very well, in a single tool footprint.
I like the Supermax 19-32, but if I go that way at $1399. and then step up the planer at $2000+, I think the woodmaster becomes more realistic down the road a year or two from now.

Jointers are pretty basic, straight forward machines. I am using a older style ridgid 6” jointer.
8” long bed would be nice, and I am becoming more impressed with Grizzly products.
I have never used a spiral cutter head but I hear they are really nice if you are working with a lot of figured wood.
Anyway, Grizzly basic 6” jointer is around $610, I think I saw 8” starting at $875. Also as simple as jointers are, I would look hard at a used machine. very little to go wrong with one, and easy to fix if it does.

I am using a Harbor Freight DC. It actually works pretty good. got it for $100 off craigslist about 4 years ago when I was just starting out. So I figured if it lasted a year I got my money out of it. Now if, when it dies. I think it may be worth buying another. I am really shocked that it has lasted all this time. It does need to have an upgraded filter bag. Thats its only real weak spot.
Just like the 1st Jet you are looking at. A 30 micron filter bag, really, on a Jet. I bet they come off the same factory line in china.
Cost twice as much for the Jet name. You can have the Harbor Freight for around $200 new, and buy a 1 micron filter bag on amazon for it.

By the way, I like Jet tools. Bought a Jet 16X42 lathe, and had full intention on there 14” band saw. Several Friends bought the Grizzly lathe after I got my jet. That got me looking at Grizzly when I saw how nice there lathes were.
I’m by no means all Grizzly either. For example I hear there Drum Sanders are crap.
Good luck.

-- John

View Slyced's profile


18 posts in 1079 days

#12 posted 07-30-2017 09:59 PM

Thanks John!!

That Woodmaster looks amazing! Thank you for including that in your write-up! (Wait… that is one more thing I have to research now… lol) :P

Great info and thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences! Notes taken. :)

Man, this site is pretty amazing… I’ve never been into forums and I have already posted more in the past 24 hours than I have in my entire life on forums. lol So glad I signed up.

View JackDuren's profile


1236 posts in 1737 days

#13 posted 07-30-2017 10:09 PM

Why so much focus on the band saw?

When you say “work”. It sounds more cabinetry than furniture…

View Slyced's profile


18 posts in 1079 days

#14 posted 07-30-2017 10:48 PM

Good question Jack… very good question.

Honestly, there is equal importance in the sander but lesser on the jointer and dust collection… mainly because I don’t see nearly the “need” for a jointer as I have been using other good equipment to achieve similar results for most of my life. A bandsaw and drum sander both have things they do exceptionally better than other alternatives.

While I do a great deal of cabinetry, I have had (and have more planned) far more projects over the years where a good bandsaw would have significantly improved both the range of design as well as the efficiency of time and materials.

That said, I also do a lot of custom casing/surrounds like for windows and fireplaces so that Woodmaster sounds like a really good investment… if the reviews show it’s moulding performance is acceptable. Again, a bandsaw greatly increases the range of designs I am able to build in regards to transitions and columns.

View Slyced's profile


18 posts in 1079 days

#15 posted 07-30-2017 10:52 PM

As for dust collection… I just don’t mind a litte dust floating around (gunna die from something else first… can dang near guarantee that. lol) However, I was quickly educated that it is a necessity if running a drum sander soooo… I just need one that will do the job.

If that means I need to spend more, I will… reluctantly. lol

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