Scott Bybee

Looking For a Bandsaw

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Hey everyone, I'm looking to buy my first bandsaw and was hoping you guys could give me some help.  I've been thinking about buying a Grizzly as they seem to have good word of mouth... problem is, there are so many different models to choose from.  I want to spend less than $1000, and there are ten models in that price range on Grizzly's website.  I'm a rank amateur and hobbyist, but I don't want to buy a cheaper model only to find down the line that it lacks some features I might need.  I'll be doing some resawing, but nothing too large... I'll mostly use the saw for smaller work.

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Rule of thumb, if your budget is 1000 then buy the best bandsaw in that price range that you can afford. Things to consider, if you are turning or big on resawing, you want ample power and resaw capacity. If you are making larger furniture curves or using for large safer than table saw rip operations, you want a bandsaw with a larger throat. If you are 220 equipped in your shop, you should be able to score a nice grizzly 17" bandsaw.

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I bought the Grizzly G0555P a couple years ago and have been VERY happy with it.  If I bought one right now, and had your budget, I would seriously look at the Anniversary 17" bandsaw, assuming 220 is a possibility.  If 220 isn't, I would look at either the Anniversary 14" bandsaw or the Extreme 14".  Links to all the bandsaws I mentioned below.

 

 

http://www.grizzly.com/products/14-1-HP-Bandsaw-Polar-Bear-Series-/G0555P

http://www.grizzly.com/products/17-2-HP-Bandsaw-Anniversary-Edition/G0513ANV

http://www.grizzly.com/products/14-Deluxe-Bandsaw-Anniversary-Edition/G0555LANV

http://www.grizzly.com/products/14-Extreme-Series-Bandsaw/G0555X

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Scott!!! Welcome to the party!  Good place to hang out.  I got my 18" Jet BS after a long and consistent search on Craigs List.  They're out there in good shape if you want a used one at a decent price.  I paid $800.  I see the 14" BS's often for a few hundred dollars.  There are some guys here who have bought the Griz band saws. They can weigh in but I have a Griz table saw and dust collector and have been pretty satisfied.

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Thanks for the responses guys.  I'm actually looking at the 513 anniversary edition (cheapest of the 513 models).  It comes wired 220, but looks like it can be rewired for 110.  I need to check my circuit to see if it can handle a 20A load.  I've never rewired a tool before, though I imagine it can't be too difficult.  I was looking around on craigslist for awhile, but I don't really have a good vehicle to transport a saw... would rather have it dropped off at the house.

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One thing to point out, is the power demand is 20amps @ 110, so you will need a dedicated 20amp circuit for that.

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Or...I have a Jet 14" bandsaw 220V (can be wired to 110V) with riser block, Carter guides and 105" re-saw blades for sale.  :)

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For hobbyist, 14" inch saw with 1/2 HP would be enough. However, since you're planning some resawing, I think you should get a large saw that your shop can accommodate. In addition, cost would not directly nor exactly tell the quality. Just don't expect to  get more than what you've paid for.  Band saws with riser need at least 1 HP. Go get saws with excellent blade guides, thrust bearings, solid fence and blades. 

What ever band saw you choose, proper installation, maintenance and utilization and right blade are the most important. 

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Respectfully, I must disagree on motor size.  A 14" bandsaw should have at least a 1HP motor so that it can muscle through thick stock.  With a 1 hp you can begin to think about doing some resawing.

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Respectfully, I must disagree on motor size.  A 14" bandsaw should have at least a 1HP motor so that it can muscle through thick stock.  With a 1 hp you can begin to think about doing some resawing.

 

Pretty much any 14" bandsaw will resaw its max capacity even with a 1/2hp motor. HP lets you take advantage of beam strength of the blade. Meaning you can apply enough force to the wood to get a decent feed rate. Small motors allow you to nap wihile sawing. :) You can a take a 1/2 HP saw, 1 HP, 3HP, 5HP or even a 20HP all with a 1" blade resawing 7" they will all saw. The difference is the 1/2hp is very slow going and it takes two grown men to feed the 20HP at its optimum feed rate.

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Not fully disagreeing with PB.  That is why with my own bandsaw I didn't sweat going with a 1 hp.   Much of what makes a band saw able to resaw is more in the blade then anything.  Technically speaking any motor will successfully resaw.  The issue, you hit on, is that the feed rate.  When you get under a certain point in HP the feed rate gets so slow that either it gets frustrating pushing it through, and there is a tendency to want to push it too fast.  Their are two issues with that.  First the safety factor of pushing to hard resulting in sending a  finger or three into the moving blade.  The other is pushing too hard is hard on the motor and may cause it to over heat to the point of smoking it.  Not saying it can't be done, just wouldn't recommend it.

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I have a 14" grizzly bandsaw with a riser block and am very happy with it. I reswaded 6" cherry boards on it just last week. I will say the guides are not the best and may eventually upgrade. The performance of a bandsaw has more to do with proper set up and selecting the right blade than sheer horsepower but like PB said it just takes longer. I can imagine that woodworkers who have been the hobby for a while probably have two bandsaws. It's probably the only machine in the shop (non production) where having two makes sense.

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I can imagine that woodworkers who have been the hobby for a while probably have two bandsaws. It's probably the only machine in the shop (non production) where having two makes sense.

Is this so 1 can be set-up for re-sawing & the other for cross/rip/curve cutting? 

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More so for straight (including re-saw) cuts vs. curved cuts, especially if you do a lot of both.  For my bandsaw, I have a one size fits all setup and works for me, but I do very little resaw.  There are more optimal setups for resaw that if you are doing a lot of it, it would make since to have a dedicated saw for it.  Rip, crosscuts, and other straight cuts can also benefit from that setup.

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Thanks for starting this one Scott.  I was about to ask the same exact question!  I am wondering one thing that I don't think I saw mentioned in all the replies.  I too am contemplating the Griz 14" or 17" models.  It sounds like you can't go wrong with the bigger one for most bandsaw operations, but when it comes to smaller operations, would the bigger one be able to be fitted with a smaller blade and perform as well as the 14"?

 

Another thing I was wondering about the G0513 17" model is how good the blades guide are.  This is how the website describes them; "Blade guides: Euro-style roller disc with full enclosure protection."  Are those on par with the bearing-type guides or should I only settle for a saw with the traditional bearing-type guides?

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In theory yes.  However, I have known more than one person end up buying a second small band saw for doing curve work.  This may have to do with less frequent blade changes, but I do think they also found a higher degree of comfort doing intricate work on smaller saw.  I will also mention, there is a couple blade manufactures that make an 1/8" blade, but typically only for 14" and smaller band saws.

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1/4 blades are pretty much the standard for tight curves any less a scroll saw would be a better option. Big saws take 1/4" blades just fine. My 24" takes down to 1/4" just fine. The size of the saw is the wheel diameter and throat depth. 

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Always remember that 1/8", 1/4" and 3/16" are the smallest blade you can use in a 14" band saw.

 

 

Blade min width is not determined by wheel diameter. The guides determine min blade width. The back of the blade needs to be supported while the side guides are behind the gullet.  

 

FWIW you can run tiny blades on any saw by changing the back support bearing to a v groove bearing and not using upper side guides or any of the lower guides.

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Thanks for the discussion guys.  After some consideration, I've decided to hold off on a purchase for now.  We live in a rental, and my workspace only has one 15A fuse that is also used to run a refrigerator and chest freezer.  My wife and I have started looking for a new house, and hopefully we'll find one with a decent size shop/garage that I can get wired for my needs.  I'm still looking at the 17" Grizzly, but my dad has started me thinking about Rikon saws now as well.

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Thanks everyone for the info as well.  I actually got a nice gift certificate for Grizzly for Father's Day and I have enough for the 17" Griz bandsaw (happy day!).  I was wondering if anyone has this one or one like it with the Euro-style roller disc with full enclosure protection that they say it has on the Grizzly website?  Are these guides good or should I look for something different?

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Just a different direction on the topic,

My main saw is a 24"wheel, 36" throat metal munching monster. I have put a 1/4" blade on it to cut wood and solid stock Alum (just keep 3 teeth in the work at all times). For smaller work, I hung out on Craigs list, I picked up an older but in good shape for what it is, H.F. 14" wood band saw for $75. A new blade and a new blade throat plate and it is good to go. Rated at 1hp (sure it is) too. Is it going to be the cats meow, well no but it is cheep and gets the job done then when somethint else is need, it doesn't hurt to just send it down the road. Just two cents on a different take on the topic, esp since you are in a rental situation.

 

OOPS, didn't see the second page and the above post. Congrats on the GC!

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Thanks everyone for the info as well.  I actually got a nice gift certificate for Grizzly for Father's Day and I have enough for the 17" Griz bandsaw (happy day!).  I was wondering if anyone has this one or one like it with the Euro-style roller disc with full enclosure protection that they say it has on the Grizzly website?  Are these guides good or should I look for something different?

 

I dont have that saw but my saw has euro disc's on the bottom and double rollers on the top. The euro's on the bottom are easier to adjust. I dont think you will have a problem with euro guides on top and bottom.

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