Buying a Bandsaw and boiled it down to $'s per pound. Thoughts?

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Forum topic by Woodwrestler posted 12-08-2013 08:13 PM 1793 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12-08-2013 08:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am in need of a bandsaw and have done all the typical searching.

Weight is often brought up as a measure of the quality and seeing the huge number of saws available and their comparative features I thought why not just look at $’s per pound. After all Steel/Cast Iron prices are normalized around the world so things should be close. Anyway for my short list here are the results….

Laguna LT18 3000 $2,195, 525 lbs, $4.18 per lb.
Hammer N4400 $2,495, 374 lbs, $6.67 per lb.
MiniMax MM16 $2,900, 530 lbs, $5.47 per lb.
Grizzly G0636XB $2,699, 620 lbs, $4.34 per lb.
Grizzly G0514X2B $1,595, 427 lbs, $3.73 per lb.
Powermatic PM1500 $2,899 394 lbs, $7.35 per lb.

It’s an interesting way to boil it all down. LOL
Features on all these saws are pretty comparable. Grizzly and Laguna represent the best value. They also come out as top saws in most of the magazine write-ups. To be fair they ever include the Italian made saws in those. However, it appears that in Europe cast iron and steel are much more expensive. However, I am betting what your really paying for is the high value added taxation that the European Union levies on products.

Finally, Powermatic, true to form, completely marks up their product way above everyone else.

Now I know I am going to get pummeled for this but let me know your thoughts!



-- What man is a man who does not make the world a better place?

3 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4379 days

#1 posted 12-08-2013 08:53 PM

If you’re spending in that price class look at Agazzani.

Big band saws are easy to find used at steep discounts,
esp. 24” and larger machines.

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1941 posts in 3071 days

#2 posted 12-08-2013 08:58 PM

I would look at used saws. Old Rockwells are a good buy.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2769 days

#3 posted 12-08-2013 09:38 PM

While a computation like that can be an interesting way to kill time on a slow day, I don’t think it tells us very much. For a bandsaw, things like horsepower and resaw capability are rather important, in my not-so-humble opinion. And in that regard these machines aren’t, as you say, pretty comparable. Biggest motor is 5hp, smallest is only 3. Resaw capability ranges from 12 (your average 14” saw with a riser) up to 16” (playing in the big leagues now). If we break it down that way we get:

Laguna LT18 3000 $2,195, 4hp 15.25” resaw
$548/horse or $143.93/inch

Hammer N4400 $2,495, 3.5hp 12.25” resaw
$712/horse or $203.67/inch

MiniMax MM16 $2,900, 4.8 hp, 16” resaw
$604.16/horse or $181.25/inch

Grizzly G0636XB $2,699, 5hp 16” resaw
$539.80/horse or $168.69/inch

Grizzly G0514X2B $1,595, 3hp 12” resaw
$531.67/horse or $132/inch

Powermatic PM1500 $2,899 3hp 14” resaw
$966/horse or $207.07/inch

We immediately see that the 2nd grizzly isn’t in the same league as the first one, so it’s not a fair comparison. And we might think that the Laguna, with a slight disadvantage on horsepower cost, but a big lead in cost-per-resaw-inch is the heavy favorite. But that would be disregarding Laguna’s less than stellar customer-service record. How do we factor in the value of knowing that when it breaks the company will stand behind it?
And of course we can’t forget what is, for some people, the most important factor in buying a tool, and I don’t know how to break down that cost (penny per wavelength?) – the color scheme. It doesn’t matter if it’s got 10hp, 30” of resaw, is CNC and costs less than a 6-pack, they’re not going to buy it if the color clashes with the curtains or the shag carpeting in the breakroom.

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