Which bandsaw to choose

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Forum topic by Jack Lewis posted 03-25-2018 03:27 PM 1790 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jack Lewis

576 posts in 2364 days

03-25-2018 03:27 PM

Who among you will comment their experiences with and the pros and cons of 14”-17” bandsaws? Among my choices are Laguna, Rikon and Grizzly. I have eliminated Jet because of past experiences with them. I would want to be able to resaw reasonably, round out bowl blanks and general usage. I am not looking for the cheapest but the best bang for the buck in reliability and service if necessary. Is the 17” vice the 14” sufficient to warrant getting a larger saw? Other models I have not considered?

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

32 replies so far

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1789 days

#1 posted 03-25-2018 03:36 PM

I had a Grizzly 14” and it worked great. I did not do any resaw work with it and looking back I seriously doubt I could have. I recently updated/upgraded to a 15” PowerMatic. I took a very hard look at the Laguna when I bought it. I just could not warm completely up to those ceramic guides that cost $100 to replace. One thing the PowerMatic has for resaw is a bar you can use in lieu of the fence. Gives a little better control during the cut. As far as the sizes go, the biggest jump is going from a 14” to a 15”. From the ones I have used I believe you would have to go to like a 20” from the 15” to really make it worth while. But, that is just me. No matter what size you get you will always wish it was bigger, but I am so far very happy with the PM1500. Like a lot of things, resawing is as much a matter of using the right blade as it is the right saw.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5361 posts in 5246 days

#2 posted 03-25-2018 03:37 PM

Jack, I have the Grizz 0555LX. Use good blades, no riser (yet). Certainly not the capacity of a 17” saw, but does all I’ve ever needed. Good bang for the buck.

-- [email protected]

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3420 days

#3 posted 03-25-2018 03:48 PM

Think Laguna or Rikon 14” BS’s will get the job done for majority of bowl blanks. If looking at Grizzly do look at their 17” saw over 14”

I have and love my 14” Grizzly BS without riser block BS. Been abusing that saw for years.

Yes lot cheaper to replace steel bearings, but ceramic guids & bearingss do have longer working life. Think if shop around can find cheaper ceramic’s then OEM supplied when time comes.

Plenty of owner reviews right here on all the BS’s you mentioned.

-- Bill

View JuniorJoiner's profile


497 posts in 4726 days

#4 posted 03-25-2018 04:05 PM

i have had a few “new” bandsaws. I had trouble with all of them, most of the 14” saws are imports, and have import motors. problem being they use copper coated aluminum windings, and cheap switches and capacitors. when one of those goes ( my bet is within 18 mos of moderate use) it is quite a task to remove , repair and reinstall a motor from the lower cabinet of a bandsaw. warranty covered or not, u still need to spend your time fixing a machine instead of using it.
14” saws goes through blades quicker. biggers saw means more teeth per blade, less heating, so longer blade life.
i eventually found a old 1973 rockwell 20” with a 1hp motor, haven’t had a issue since.
if u have experience with bandsaws, try the used section and find one worth your dollars and shop time

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View LesB's profile


3140 posts in 4729 days

#5 posted 03-25-2018 05:15 PM

I have been using a 17” Grizzly for about 4 years now and would never go back to a 14” unless I just did not have the space for the bigger saw. That being said if a 14” is set up correctly it should do what your are looking for.

The blades for the Grizzly 17” are an off size (131 1/2”) so they are not available off the shelf in the local big box store. I have no problem getting them made up at my local saw shop, Grizzly has them, and others like Wolf will make them up at little or no extra cost. I just had a 1/4” and 3/8” made for $29.

If you haven’t seen the video by Snodgrass on setting up a bandsaw I suggest you take a look. It is the best info I have seen and is slightly different from others I have checked out.

-- Les B, Oregon

View bigJohninvegas's profile


1120 posts in 2748 days

#6 posted 03-25-2018 08:16 PM

I have the grizzly GO513X2 17” saw and I love it. the 131-1/2” blades can be ordered from all the major web sites. But so far I have got all of mine made at a local shop. Phone in what I want and pick up same day most of the time.
I opted not to get the model with the foot brake, and it does take about 40 seconds for the blade to come to a stop on its own. If I remember correctly, its been a little over two years now that I have had this saw. I have not done a lot of re-saw work. Around 8” is the largest I have tried, and had no problem. Most of what I do is turning blanks, and general use. I keep a 1/2” blade in it most of the time. About a 15 minute set up for me to go to a 1/4” blade. I am also a bit new to setting up band saws. So I imagine some will switch blades faster.
When I was shopping I noticed most the 14” saws had a little more re-saw capacity than the 17” saw.
So keep that in mind.

-- John

View CWWoodworking's profile


2295 posts in 1465 days

#7 posted 03-26-2018 03:04 AM

I would say in largely depends on what you do with it. I cut a crap ton(100-200 pcs/week) of pine into letters, words, hearts, etc. on a 15 year old 15” grizzly. It performs fine for what I do. Have not replace a thing yet. I would love to have a bigger, more powerful saw, but need a table saw more.

I have never resaw on it but I can tell you it would struggle and be slow. IMHO, if you want to resaw, you need a more industrial machine. Meaning 3HP and up.

If you want to do things like I am doing, I cant speak more highly of Carter guides. I was night and day difference.

I also would recommend finding a good supplier of blades. I buy 12 at a time and get a pretty good blade for less than 12$ The same blade from Grizzly I think is 20 plus shipping, and isn’t as good.

View DocFluty's profile


8 posts in 1493 days

#8 posted 03-26-2018 05:48 AM

I just sold my grizzly 555lx. never got a real good feel from it. I finally got it acceptable after some timberwolf blades but then grew frustrated by the 6” resaw capaicty. I could have got blocks but I felt like that was sticking on a band-aid. The fence and other issues would never give me the confidence I want.

So I sold it and will be picking up a Laguna before the month end. I was going to get the 14bx but now with 10% off the 18bx is only $300 more than I was going to spend anyway… so now I’m ordering that one.

I really like the innovative features such as the foot brake and others. I say get the best version of a Laguna that you can while there is a sale.

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3420 days

#9 posted 03-26-2018 10:28 AM

I like both 110 or 220V version of this BS, if were buying a saw today. Don’t have 220V in my shop so would op for 110V.

Have seen lot of reviews on this BS with few hick up and little cheaper than BX version but would buy the BX model.

-- Bill

View Sparks500's profile


282 posts in 1616 days

#10 posted 03-26-2018 12:04 PM

Last year I picked up a used Grizzly GO457. It comes with a 2HP motor, cast iron wheels, blade tension relief, and this one had the Carter guides installed. I’ve enjoyed using it so far and the only drawback that I see with it is it needs 240 volts. I did have to mess around with the blade tensioner, as it was assembled wrong from the factory, apparently.

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View Woodmaster1's profile


1860 posts in 3873 days

#11 posted 03-26-2018 01:16 PM

I have the Rikon 14” deluxe bandsaw and just cut 7 logs 12” to just under 13” diameter in half. The process went very smooth and blanks were cut very smooth as well. I do have a 3/4” resaw blade on the saw which helps.

View RandyinFlorida's profile


257 posts in 3353 days

#12 posted 03-26-2018 01:18 PM

Grizzly G0555X. Had mine now for 3 years. I’m happy with it. Yes, as mentioned earlier, only six inches of resaw capacity. Enough for me. Buy quality blades, tention them properly, good to go.

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View Robert's profile


4786 posts in 2766 days

#13 posted 03-26-2018 02:02 PM

Factors for a resaw machine:

1. Capacity
2. HP

I’ve resawed on 1HP 14” saws in the past and it can be done, but…..

I have the Rikon 10-345 18” & it does an excellent job. My only comments are the capacity is only 11 1/2” and the motor went out after about 6 or 7 years of light use and the fence is a little cheesy.

But the machine is a beast and holds it settings.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View toolfooldan's profile


67 posts in 2924 days

#14 posted 03-26-2018 02:42 PM

I have the Rikon 18”. Bought it on sale for ~$800 from Woodcraft. It’s going on 10 years now and there have been no major problems; but it gets light use. Other than the roller bearings, no parts have been replaced. I’ll need to replace the tires soon.

My beef with this saw is I believe the blade guide post is a wee bit sloppy. And resetting the roller bearings after a blade change is a total royal pain. You’ll get the bearings where you want them, and then they’ll move when you tighten the bolt. So its necessary to compensate for this.

As rwe2156 mentioned, the fence is cheesy and really not suitable for resawing, imo.

View Steve's profile


2647 posts in 1868 days

#15 posted 03-26-2018 06:26 PM

Hopefully I’ll be able to use my Rikon 10-326 at some point. It looks like they are on backorder until May after the Woodcraft sale. :(

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