Help me choose a bandsaw

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Forum topic by MrDan posted 08-20-2011 06:24 AM 2927 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MrDan's profile


209 posts in 3673 days

08-20-2011 06:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw question

Hey folks, I’m looking at two bandsaws tomorrow and I’m not sure which one to go with.

Before I list the contenders I need to emphasize that I don’t have much space and I do move a lot (so the lighter the better when it comes to big tools) and I have to fit it in my car when I pick it up. :)

Also I only have $150 to spend.

So with that said, the first option is a 1987 Grizzly G1019 for $125. It’s 14”, heavy (200lbs.) 3/4 hp with a little bit of rust here and there.

The other is a Craftsman 12” 3/4 hp practically brand new and $150. This one is a bit lighter @ 150lbs.

Now normally I steer clear of craftsman for anything other than mechanics tools. (sorry, don’t mean to ruffle any craftsman fan’s feathers out there, but I’ve been burned a few times and have read way too many poor reviews with this company), however this particular one is often compared to the Rikon and I’ve read some good reviews about it. Also I like the fact that it is 50lbs lighter.

The thing about the Grizzly is that it’s an ‘87 and I don’t know what Grizzly was like back then. Was it still decent quality? Better quality? I have no clue. Also the extra 50lbs turns me off.

Any insights or experience anyone has would be very helpful as I’m going back and forth with this.


13 replies so far

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3369 days

#1 posted 08-20-2011 07:46 AM

I don’t know how grizzly was back then either;but i would take it over a craftsman.
i have a couple grizzly tools and what is great is the quick or responsive service. where as sears is hard to find anyone who knows how to look up a part number.

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3848 days

#2 posted 08-20-2011 08:11 AM


-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their [email protected]

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3384 days

#3 posted 08-20-2011 08:13 AM

If the Craftsman is the older tilting head model, I used to have one and it was not a bad saw. The large table was a plus and it was nice for angled cuts to have the table flat. If it is the one with the small tilting table, the extra cutting capacity of the 14in saw is a big advantage. As to the extra 50 pounds, there is a reason these are called stationary tools.

It really depends on how much cutting capacity and what kind of work load you are looking for. If space and mobility are that big of an issue and you are only doing occasional curved work, just get a bow saw and don’t worry about it. If you are doing thinner stuff, just get a scroll saw or a jigsaw. Or just buy a $10 coping saw and get on with your life.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View MrDan's profile


209 posts in 3673 days

#4 posted 08-20-2011 09:13 AM

Thanks for your thoughts guys.
I need the saw mostly for cutting gradual curves and resawing. I’m getting into a lot of inlay lately and I like to cut my own thin stock. Nothing taller than 6” though, so either of these should do fine. Unfortunately space and mobility have to come first over what my work demands from a saw, so I’m looking for a decent compromise.

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2979 days

#5 posted 08-20-2011 01:39 PM

Grizzly and with Band Saws IMHO the bigger the better.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3460 days

#6 posted 08-20-2011 04:13 PM

FWIW – I have a friend with an older Craftsman tilt head band saw. He was not getting very clean cuts and I noticed that the blade looked a little too loose. He was somewhat inexperienced and didn’t realize that the blade was too loose. Per my suggestion, we tightened it. But, before we could get it to what I thought was the right tension, the gear mechanism that tightens the blade broke.

I felt bad because we broke the saw based on advice I gave. OTOH, it appears that this saw cannot handle being tightened as much as it should be.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View scopemonkey's profile


191 posts in 4549 days

#7 posted 08-20-2011 04:26 PM

Grizzly…but if you want to do a lot of resawing, both of these may be too small/underpowered.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3236 days

#8 posted 08-20-2011 04:36 PM

Cast iron absorbs vibration. Those extra 50 lbs. will become your friends very quickly. And anything under 14” is just going to build frustration and erode your relationship with the tool.

Go Grizzly, though some of the earlier ones weren’t as good in the fit and finish dept. as they are now.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3357 days

#9 posted 08-20-2011 06:29 PM

There is a chance that the Grizzly could have a spacer block added to it for greater resaw capacity, but at 3/4 hp you are not going to be winning many resaw races. I think Grizzly still sells this saw so they would most likely still support it as well.

If the Craftsman is the one that looks like a Rikon with black paint, I really wanted one of those for small work. It’s limited to about 6-1/2” resaw capacity; no way to add a spacer block, but a really nice little saw. I plan to build a 16” saw for resaw work so the small saw was to be only used for small work. I wound up getting the Rikon 10”, even smaller, but just because I got a real good deal and a gift certificate at Woodcraft.

For the money you are talking, I would love to have either one of those saws, but probably the Grizzly would be my first choice. It’s a bigger, more heavy duty saw, for less money.

View MikeGo's profile


76 posts in 2889 days

#10 posted 08-20-2011 06:50 PM

Grizzly all the way

-- Mike, Marietta,ny

View pmayer's profile


1047 posts in 3451 days

#11 posted 08-21-2011 02:17 PM

irrespective of brand, i would go with 14” and cast iron, so in this case it would be the Griz.

-- PaulMayer,

View Bjohn's profile


7 posts in 2862 days

#12 posted 08-21-2011 09:53 PM

Grizzly!! The older ones are better than the new ones.

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4555 days

#13 posted 08-21-2011 10:46 PM

Grizzly. Great customer service.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

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