Which Bandsaw to go with?

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Forum topic by SergeantSawDust posted 07-12-2012 04:17 PM 4268 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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173 posts in 2687 days

07-12-2012 04:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw dilemma grizzly woodworking sawdustking httpsawdustkingcom bandsaw box throat capacity rizer

I know this is a very general question and I’m sure everyone has a different opinion, but I’m wanting to buy a bandsaw within the next month or so (once I get back home, I’m currently deployed) and I’m just not sure what to go with. I really don’t know the benefits of buying a more expensive bandsaw over another. I have a cheap $120 one right now so I definitely want to upgrade from that. I’m leaning towards Grizzly’s bandsaws right now, but I don’t want to be too stingy, or go way overboard. What I want from it is to be able to rip lumber 6” wide with somewhat of ease if I needed (big enough to still use for my jointer), and be able to make a descent size bandsaw box. Again I think 6” seems pretty good. I noticed they offered a rizer block with them to help increase that depth, but I wasn’t sure if the motor that comes with them are adequate enough to handle it.

Also I’d like to buy one that’s not so large I need 220V to power it, but if it’s worth the buy then I’ll take that into consideration.

So as you can tell from my rambling above I’m not really sure what I want. So any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated, or if you own one of grizzly’s bandsaws let me know how you would rate it. Thanks for the help LJs.

-- Woodworking for the hobbyist woodworker.

29 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3579 days

#1 posted 07-12-2012 04:45 PM

If you have the room, I really like having 2 bandsaws as follows – one is an 18” big bandsaw (2 hp – 110 volt) with a 1/2” woodslicer blade. This saw is dedicated to resawing and other straight line cutting. The second bandsaw is an 11” with a Carter Stabilizer and a 3/16” blade. This bandsaw is dedicated to the curvy work including very tight curves. Both saws work very well at their assigned tasks.

When you think about it, the 2 main applications for a bandsaw are really quite different. It makes some sense to have a saw dedicated to resawing and straight line cutting and a second saw dedicated to curvy work.

By the way – I hate changing blades on a bandsaw, especially on the big bandsaws.

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

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3017 days

#2 posted 07-12-2012 05:02 PM

SDK, I can only speak for the one I have which is the Grizzly GO555P 14” bandsaw, I also optioned for the riser kit and couldn’t be more happy, you’ll need some help handeling it though when it comes time to lift it, if you look through my projects you’ll find a custom stand I built for mine as well, the orginal metal stand is still wrapped up in it’s plastic stored in the attic of my shop I also made it mobile.

AS for as blade size I don’t go over 1/2” blades though the unit is set up for it and I’ve done it before but it likes 1/2” and smaller does just fine, with the riser kit it gives you a clearence of 12” from table top to the cutting arm fully raised also you lose 3/4” on your turn radius from 13 1/2” down to 12 3/4” from the blade to the riser it’s self. Now on the deliver you have the option for a gated truck I optioned no to save that $45.00 extra and got a gate anyway oh and the driver helped with it as well.

I’ve ran up to 12” logs through mine many….... times and have made my own lumber using a 3 TPI 1/2” resaw blade. If you do look at my mobile station and light setup and want the same please be my guest and if any questions please ask

Look though my projects and you’ll see what all I’ve accomplished with it.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Ryan Haasen's profile

Ryan Haasen

385 posts in 2906 days

#3 posted 07-12-2012 05:05 PM

I have the Grizzly G5013X2 and absolutely love it. But it does require a 220V outlet (I tried with a 110 but it just popped a breaker every time it started up). This saw has a 2hp motor and I have never has a lacking of power, even when re sawing 10” maple or walnut. I do have a minor problem with getting a clean cut, they are slightly rough. I discovered the problem was a very small high spot on the tire. I email grizzly and they send me a new pair of polyurethane tires for free! I have had them sitting on a shelf for months but have not yet changed them because it really isn’t that big of an issue, only a little extra sanding. Over all I would rate this saw a 5/5, I don’t think I’ll ever need to upgrade.

If you don’ think you need a saw this big, I’d take a look at the G0555LX 14” saw, I have heard only great things about them.

-- Ryan

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5227 posts in 4465 days

#4 posted 07-12-2012 05:12 PM

Check out the new Grizz G0555LX. I am very pleased with mine. Nice features, easy set up, cast iron wheels, and very smooooth.
Get good blades whatever ya buy.

-- [email protected]

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2952 days

#5 posted 07-12-2012 05:27 PM

I have the Powermatic 14” and I like it allot.
You need to remember that the measurement size is from the blade to the inside of the riser. I would say a 14” is a minimum size to stick with. If you plan on resawing allot make sure that you have the horse power to cut deep boards.
A large table is very useful. I like the light on mine and use it all the time.

A fence system is a huge plus but you can always add the Kreg system or similar.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4153 days

#6 posted 07-12-2012 05:34 PM

Resaw capacity is over-rated in my opinion. Resawing wide boards
is a pain and if your work doesn’t require it (and most work does
not, even if you think it should) it is way easier to rip, resaw, joint
and go.

If you want to read up about Michael Fortune. The guy is at
the top of the game as a furniture designer and bandsaw
authority and as far as I know his go-to saw is the solid General
15” saw with like 6” of resaw capacity and (gasp) no riser
block available.

As mentioned by others, it’s nice to have 2 bandsaws if you
need a real resaw machine it is very worth it to get a machine
that can take 1” and wider blades. Those big blades are
a hassle to wrestle on and off the machine though so for
other work lots of smaller saws will do, including a host of
vintage 10”-12” band saws you can pick up cheap used.

I love the little INCA 340 band saw. There are a lot of them in
the states but only available used. They are a really fine
machine originally built in Switzerland and then France. If
you can find one in good working order (fortunately they
were often sold to hobbiests and not used much) you’ll
be pleased at what the little saw can do.

View EdwardR's profile


66 posts in 2759 days

#7 posted 07-12-2012 05:34 PM

Rikon 10-325 14-Inch Deluxe Band Saw I purchased this saw after a lot of reading of reviews. first trash the blade that comes with it. I read a great review here somewhere that recommended putting on the Carter guides for flawless re sawing. which by the way is 13”. I have not made that upgrade but plan on it soon. the saw cuts great and true.

I understand there is a upgrade coming so this saw has been on sale .

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3826 days

#8 posted 07-12-2012 05:56 PM

I second the Rikon 10-325. Have had it for almost 2 years and love it.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3017 days

#9 posted 07-12-2012 06:03 PM

When it comes to resaw, I think it depends on the person, myself I am glad I optioned for the riser as it gives my that extra room and allows for me to shop around for downed trees, someone setting logs out on the curb for pickup etc…. I’ll just grab my chainsaw and go to town by doing so it’s cut my overhead in half by not having to buy lumber from yards.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View mrgrinn's profile


7 posts in 2649 days

#10 posted 07-12-2012 07:29 PM

good read

View StumpyNubs's profile


7734 posts in 3305 days

#11 posted 07-12-2012 07:44 PM

Most 14” band saws are similar, based on the old Rockwell (Delta) design and made in the same overseas factory. They have a cast metal assembly on the upper wheel that takes all the stress when the blade is tensioned. They are fine for what they are designed for- cutting curves. If you want to resaw with a wide blade they won’t do it well just because you add a riser block. The motor won’t be powerful enough and that assembly won’t take the stress. I broke one doing that.

Few people will resaw wide stock like 12”. But 6” is a bit short.” I bought the Craftsman 14 unit the other day. It has an 8” resaw capacity, a slightly more powerful motor to do that resawing, and no riser block to weaken the frame. It also has bearing guides and an angle iron wheel assembly that is a lot stronger and will take a wider blade. Plus, it’s on sale for under $400.

I haven’t used it much yet, so I can’t go into more detail. But I already like it more than my Delta/Grizzley/Jet clone.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Heisbert's profile


34 posts in 2684 days

#12 posted 07-12-2012 08:03 PM

You might want to consider Trajan band saws. I have one working in my shop besides Grizzly and Jet. Among the three, Trajan works best for me. You can see details from this site –

View RogerM's profile


800 posts in 2904 days

#13 posted 07-12-2012 08:32 PM

Ditto to EdwardR on the Deluxe 14” Rikon. I have one too with the Carter blade guides. The Carter blade guides takes a real good band saw and makes it even better. In my opinion the Carter guides are worth the money.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View DrDirt's profile


4592 posts in 4247 days

#14 posted 07-12-2012 08:43 PM

The resaw capacity is one of those items that doesn’t matter till walk up to it with a piece a watch it hit the guideblock.

Michael Fortune indeed likes his 15 inch standard General – but it is one of 6 saws used routinely in his shop. (and those Generals are a one piece casting that cannot have a riser block installed)

You may decide you like turning and want to cut a green log section for a bowl blank

Kind of like my 6 inch jointer is great 95% of the time – then I need to flatten that 7 inch board – and have to switch to a sled in my planer. So there are workarounds – but just like camping – it is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
You are going to likely buy a saw ONE time. Few can ever justify upgrading versus a New tool…
ie do I upgrade to a new jointer for that 5% convenience, or get a shaper which I don’t have. For me I tend to ADD capabilities in other areas/tools and just suffer occasional inconvenience of current tooling.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3198 days

#15 posted 07-12-2012 08:52 PM

Rich, I’m glad you said it. I’ll do ANYTHING before changing the blade on my 20. I’ll break out the fretsaw,lol. In this particular instance a 14 sounds like a good compromise. Grizzly now, I don’t know. I’ll let yall duke that out:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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