1hp VS. 1.5hp Bandsaws


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I notice a lot of bandsaw questions here lately and for good reason, there are a lot of great sales going on this time of year. I've even asked one myself, but here is a follow up question that I think really gets to the heart of the matter at least from my perspective. 

 

Do you need 1.5hp+ or is 1hp really enough? We all know that there are other factors like resaw capacity, but that can all kind of become equal once you consider riser blocks and that factors like blades can make a big difference. So really does that extra .5hp get you something for the extra money you have to spend? 

 

So do you have a 1hp and ever have trouble resawing wide stock? Have you had/used one in the past and upgraded to a bigger saw and really noticed the difference?

 

I'm just trying to flush all of this out since like a lot of people I don't have local store with all these options in stock. 

 

Thanks!

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I think if your going to do any thick resawing, then power becomes a big issue.  I have a 14" Rikon with a 1.5 HP motor & 12" resaw capacity, but I don't think it would do very well with a hard wood 12" thick.  I've resawn 4" thick walnut with no problem though.

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@Particle Board that leads me to another idea. There is a Grizzly 17" thats sale price makes it competitive with the 14" market, but has a 2hp 220v motor. Do you think that might be where you'd start to see the difference? The only downside I see is that it has aluminum wheels vs. cast iron. 

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Don't know I really only have experience with bigger saws. I can tell you my 5hp 24" can't compete with the hype that most claim on their 14" saws. You really just have to look at your budget and do the best you can. Most of what you read is really just folks that are happy with what they have. Re sawing takes hp and what make one guy happy may disappoint another.

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I have resawed 6" wide boards with my 1HP motor on a 14" saw.  I run a 1/4" 6 TPI Timberwolf blade on my saw.  I don't resaw very often, and the longest board I have resawed is somewhere between 24"-36".  

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Don't put so much weight on resawing. Rarely are you in a hurry to resaw if you were then you would buy a real resaw not a bandsaw.

For me table size front to back not throat and rip speed was important. I wanted to rip 4/4 as fast as I could push. This was my priority. You just have to decide what your priorities are. If it's really resawing then your not looking at the right machine.

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@Particle Board - I see what you're saying and I agree esp. with table height I would ultimately like something at the same height as table saw. I think part of my deal with resawing has come from the fact that I've made it by with a bench top saw for so long and run in to several spots where I want to resaw a 5-9" board, instead of just planing material way that it is why I've focused on it so much. I went by Woodcraft yesterday and looked at the Rikon 14" deluxe model that is on sale for $799. It seems pretty solid and I got actually see it work vs. just looking at it online. FWW kind of panned it a bit, but others have given it high marks. I think it will eat up my tool budget for a while, but will end up worth it in the end. Like you mention the large table seems important to have and the trunnion seems really solid. I also got in front of a ShopFox which is basically the same as some of the Grizzly's I've looked at and while it's a nice, solid machine, it's just not as feature rich or powerful as the Rikon. I think in long run the $200 will be worth it, so I'm leaning that way right now. 

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I bought the Rikon last year for 799 when Woodcraft had it on sale. I've been happy with it so far. My only complaints about it is the horrible placement of the light, and having to have the light on a separate power plug, the blade guard on the bottom of the table is essentially useless and poorly designed, dust collection could be better, the dust port is blocked by a large piece of metal, which should be drilled to increase dust collection. A few weeks ago one of the guide bearings seized up on me, it got dirty and full of dust and whatnot, I just soaked it in some citrus bearing cleaner, then soaked it in some WD40 and it loosened up and is nice and smooth now. When I assembled it,  I followed the tuning instructions that are in the Alex Snodgrass band saw tune up video, and with everything setup out of the box I cut some 1/16th" veneer with ease and great accuracy. 

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@Cancelleri, glad to hear that it's worked well for you. The biggest thing attracting me to it is that for the price I'm not sure it can be beat. The 14/12 Laguna is probably a better saw and the Grizzly Deluxe is probably as good with more power, but they're both $1000+. I think I will probably wait until the Woodcraft Black Friday flyer comes around in the next couple weeks just make sure they don't do a big sale not the laguna or something. I have read the thing about the light and agree that common sense says it should be on the front side. I imagine some marketing guy told the engineer "hey people really like to have a light on bandsaw, lets put a light on it" and the engineer said "no problem here's a light, we can put here in the back, so it's not in the way" leaving them both feeling satisfied, the only problem begin neither had ever made a micron of saw dust in their lives. 

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Splinter ->

 

1) have you thought about going used? You can get some monster deals on used tools if you're willing to spend some time doing setup work. I understand the desire for "new and shiny", but if its the difference between stepping up from 1 to 2hp and make your life easier, it may be a more prudent purchase.

 

2) resawing 7" stock with 1hp... is a pain. I have a 4 tpi AGGRESSIVE blade, and I really wish I could use a higher TPI blade for better book matching. I wind up needing to plane it down and losing some of the effect of book matching. Half the time if I have a great piece, I'll pay a local cabinet shop to bookmatch it for me. 

 

3) for veneer work, more is better simply for the fact you can use a higher tpi blade and not get burning or take 3 hours to cut a sheet. 

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the only problem begin neither had ever made a micron of saw dust in their lives. 

 

That's the damn truth. 

 

The Laguna 14/12 is a beast, It wasn't out when I bought the Rikon, it was only released this year, I couldn't wait the 6-7 more months from when it was supposed to be released, however the Laguna is engineered very well. Much smarter design and better fit and finish, however same power and capacity as the Rikon, and they both do their job well. The Laguna has a light but it's a $100 addon, the mobile wheel is another $149 addon. I find the fence on the Rikon is sufficient, perhaps a little taller would be nice, but I haven't had issues with it as is. I did buy the Carter blade stabilizer for scroll work. While it probably won't be the last bandsaw I buy in my lifetime, I'm sure for the next 7-10 years it'll suffice.

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After reading through everything here, I'm not sure where to go. I was at a local store yesterday and they are closing out a 1hp steel city 14inch, but no riser block. It does have the mobility kit built in, and it sports a granite table. Sale price is $600. But then I went to woodcraft and checked out the Rikon on sale for $800, plus the mobility kit for an additional $50ish.

My concerns are the size of the table on the Rikon is a bit higher than steel city. In a project journal posted today I mention height is my issue- 4'8". So either the table top is at mid chest, or in the case of a PM, practically chin level. The steel city is a bit lower, and that includes the mobile base built in already. And of course, the capacity is quite different between them, both in height and motor (1hp vs 1.5). The price difference is not so substantial that the Rikon is out of range, but is it worth the extra? My goals are curves of course and some resawing, though as of yet the widest boards I've bought in the rough were 6.5 inches before jointing. Those were red and white oak. My table saw (Bosch jobsite 4100) struggled to rip them, and yes I had a new Freud thin kerf rip blade installed.

So bottom line is, is a 1hp with six inch height sufficient, or with the price difference not enough to justify passing on the Rikon while on sale? Really the issue is one of bang for the buck, and and would the steel city represent a better value? I already know I'll need to rearrange my shop a bit to accommodate either and will probably need to make a platform to get a better view/ handle on things.

One last question: I hear bandsaws can be messy. I have shop vac and dust deputy but no 4 inch pipe or large DC. Will I be hating life?

Thanks.

Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk

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I ran my 18" Jet monster saw on a shop vac for years. I have resaw board up to 8" with a TimberWolf blade. Yes it does make some mess but hey Sawdust Happens!!! First thing you need to do is chuck the blade that comes with your saw or cut it up for a bow saw. They are garbage. Get a real blade. If you want help picking one out search the archives or ask. I have a 3 TPI 1¼ blade for resawing and resawing only. I have a 3/8th" and a ¼" blade for other bandsaw purposes. I also have a 14" Delta that is new to me and it has a 1/8" blade that I have have just played with but I cut a lime sized circle and came back out the same cut. I would get a saw with iron wheels because those wheel have momentum and that will help carry the blade thru a cut smoother. And we all want smooth band saw cuts because we all hate sanding. I am tired and had 3 glasses of wine and 3 of port and 2 of champagne. So basically I feel no pain...

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  • 4 years later...

Technology is great but for cars, stereos and bandsaws I'll take raw horsepower any day.  That being said, I have a 10" saw for lighter work and it is 1/3 HP and does fine in up to 3/4" material.  It does fine up to 4" material if you have some patience.  To qualify that, I do not hesitate to use it on 1-1/2" to 2" material as a matter of course.  This little saw let's me keep a resaw blade on my 17" machine most of the time.  I would not want it to be my only saw.  If my 17", 2HP machine had 4 or 5 HP it would not hurt my feelings one bit.

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