Bandsaw for a beginner

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Ilan posted 12-21-2018 06:34 PM 1782 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ilan's profile


18 posts in 1842 days

12-21-2018 06:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question humor tip


I am looking to add a band saw to my shop. I’ve never owned one but I took a bandsaw class at woodcraft so that makes me an expert :-D
My shop is 1/2 a garage so I want a 14” and a mobile base. My budget is around $1000. I just got my christmas bonus so I can stretch it a little bit I guess.

The saw will be used for curves and for resewing (nothing huge) so I will be changing blades and I’d like a saw that I wont have to spend 30 minutes doing so. It’ll be nice if I can switch between an 1/8” and a 3/4”.

I was doing some research and I believe I’ve narrowed it down to three:

1. Rikon 10-326
6. Laguna 14-12
8. Go cheap for a Grizzly 14” 35 year anniv. edition.

I’d love your input on what should I get and I’d also love tips and ideas on how to get coupons for the best deal on any of these.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

40 replies so far

View ocean's profile


232 posts in 2071 days

#1 posted 12-21-2018 08:05 PM

I have Rikon and love it. I also don’t think you can go wrong with the Laguna either. Even thought both saws can use a 3/4”, you will find a 1/2” much more usable. If you can swing it get a carbide toothed blade, makes for easier resawing.

-- Bob, FL Keys

View Phil32's profile


1582 posts in 1141 days

#2 posted 12-21-2018 08:20 PM

It may be a choice You’ll only make once. I have a Craftsman 2-12 that I bought as a teenager about 70 years ago. I have always been a woodworker hobbyist and the saw has been adequate for my needs. However, if you go from 1/8” to 3/4” with your blades, you’d better check the guides!

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View TimInIndiana's profile


161 posts in 1378 days

#3 posted 12-21-2018 08:29 PM

If it helps your decision at all – I received the Woodcraft catalog today and it looks like they are gearing up for another 10% off sale. As far as I know, these sales are not specific to Woodcraft.

View Fleamo's profile


67 posts in 1208 days

#4 posted 12-21-2018 08:54 PM

I have the Rikon 10-326 which I picked up about a year ago. I installed a Laguna Resaw King carbide blade and dialed it in thoroughly (see Alex Snodgrass resaw clinic video). Adding a outfeed table has really helped make resawing a breeze. I am very pleased with the Rikon.

-- Visit the forest and appreciate the source of our craft’s raw material.

View Woodchuckswife's profile


122 posts in 2548 days

#5 posted 12-21-2018 09:03 PM

I have had grizzly for over 16 years and never had a problem .Changed to a carter guide for scroll work best thing I ever did. Good luck with what ever you get.

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 4559 days

#6 posted 12-21-2018 09:23 PM

The 10-326 and 14/12 are more capable than the venerable Delta clones. My personal opinion in order would be the 14/12 then the 10-326 with the G0555 varients last. The differences between the Laguna and Rikon come down to details and things like which guides you prefer. The Rikon was a better deal until Rikon had to relent and raise the prices due to the tariffs.

View steve104c's profile


52 posts in 2476 days

#7 posted 12-21-2018 10:01 PM

I have 2 Delta 14”. Last of the USA made. The best advice I can give is buy high quality the first time and you may never have to buy another. I have had my Delta for 33 years now and have only had to replace the tires. I have up graded the fence, blade guides, added 6” riser and quick tension lever ( Carter’s). Laguna is a good choice. Check reviews on all the different brands. Don’t cheap out. You will be sorry. Steve.

View BattleRidge's profile


152 posts in 1454 days

#8 posted 12-22-2018 01:38 AM

In general, if you choose a Laguna, Rikon, Jet or Grizzly, you are likely to end up with a pretty good saw. For the most part, I personally think it comes down to finding the saw that has the features you consider the most important and would be the easiest and best to work with.

Features that I personally like and helped me choose the saw I did include: ceramic guides which I really like a lot, blade brake which is a great feature to shut the saw off and bring the blade to a stop more swiftly for safety and when switching between various tasks and not wanting to wait for the blade to slowly come to stop, both dust ports on the same side of the machine whereas some come out on two different sides and protrude into my work area, the table size and cutting capabilities (height and width), and any other creature comforts that would fit your needs.

If possible, it can help immensely to get your hands on as many different machines as you can and being able to view and touch the saws can help greatly in coming to your final decision. My search for a bandsaw to several different dealers in three several different directions (each an hour or so away) and while I originally wanted something inexpensive to get started, I eventually chose the Laguna 18BX and since placing it in my shop I haven’t had any regrets and truly love working with it. I likely could have been satisfied with several other saws, but knowing what I do now, may have possibly had regrets in one way or another.

Good luck in your search.

-- ~Art~

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6748 posts in 3547 days

#9 posted 12-22-2018 03:35 AM

I agree with the widest blade be 1/2 on a 14 in saw. One of my bands saws is 16’’ and i think it does better with the
1/2’’ over the 3/4.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View ArtMann's profile


1483 posts in 2054 days

#10 posted 12-22-2018 03:18 PM

I have both Rikon and Laguna 14 inch band saws. I recommend the Laguna over the Rikon for one reason. I much prefer the ceramic blade guides over the roller bearings on the Rikon. They are both good saws.

View Ilan's profile


18 posts in 1842 days

#11 posted 12-22-2018 07:27 PM

Features that I personally like and helped me choose the saw I did include: ceramic guides which I really like a lot

Thank you for your detailed answer. What’s so great about ceramic guides?

View sawneck's profile


49 posts in 4392 days

#12 posted 12-22-2018 07:46 PM

Features that I personally like and helped me choose the saw I did include: ceramic guides which I really like a lot

Thank you for your detailed answer. What s so great about ceramic guides?

- Ilan

supposedly they are easier to set up than ball bearing guides, this is helpful if you plan to change blades around frequently. . Also they are supposed to clean dust off the blade a bit when resawing wet wood whereas BB guides can compact it in the gullet. Downside is ceramic is expensive to replace.

Just be warned if considering the Laguna, while the saw may be nice the company as far as Customer Service is a complete joke. Call for yourself before you plunk your money down.

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

410 posts in 1888 days

#13 posted 12-22-2018 11:36 PM

Having a Jet JWBS14OS which is pretty similar to the Grizz (the Jet has served me well for 14 years) I would cast a vote to the Rikon 10-326, with second choice being the Laguna 14-12.
The reason for preferring those two over the Grizz is you won’t need to upgrade anything to cut 6+” tall pieces.
You also get a more powerful motor with the 10-326 and the 14-12.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View yvrdennis's profile


50 posts in 2315 days

#14 posted 12-23-2018 12:48 AM

I’d second the advice to not cheap out. I’ve had my forever bandsaw (Laguna LT18) for 5 years or so and it is awesome. I owned 3 bandsaws before that, each more expensive than the last and my only regret is that I didn’t go for the big one to start with. My band saw is my most used stationary tool. But, I mill up salvaged logs into turning blanks using my chainsaw and band saw, so maybe I’m an extreme case.

Also, Laguna customer service is famously bad and has been for a long time. I chased them for months before they finally shipped me the saw I’d ordered.

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 4559 days

#15 posted 12-23-2018 01:33 AM

Just be warned if considering the Laguna, while the saw may be nice the company as far as Customer Service is a complete joke. Call for yourself before you plunk your money down.

- sawneck

This was certainly the case prior to them moving to a dealer based system a few years ago, in recent times their CS reviews have been MUCH better. The reviews of their CS are night and day now compared to 4+ years ago.

The ceramic blacks are indeed somewhat expensive to replace but they are maintenance free and one will likely replace the bearings on bearing based guides several times before beginning to wear out ceramic guide blocks. They also have the advantage of controlling the blade closer to the work and can be run kissing the blade for increased control as well. These are also true for other types of block guides as well.

showing 1 through 15 of 40 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics