Art

Bandsaw question

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I realize that questions comparing new bandsaws have been done to death, but I'm looking for opinions on a very specific question.  Is the brake a worthwhile option? I'm down to Laguna vs Rikon.  Originally I was choosing between the Laguna 1412 and the Rikon 10-326, both of which I have no doubt would serve me perfectly.  However, I would prefer to have a saw with a safety brake, which moves me up to the Laguna 14bx or the Rikon 10-353.  This adds about $700 CAD to the price.  However this also gets you a more powerful saw (2 1/2 or 3 hp vs 1 3/4).  I already have 220 in the shop, so that isn't a big issue.  

My thinking is mainly from a safety point of view, as well as convenience.  I already have a Sawstop, so that gives you an idea of how I value safety, and and my 10 year old daughter is spending more and more time in the shop with me, so this issue is always front of mind for me.  

To sum up: is this feature worth the price?  To those that already have a brake, would you ever go back to a saw that doesn't have one?

Thanks, Art.

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I have a 16" Laguna ( European built ) with a brake and yes I would get a brake again if I had to replace it.  And with your daughter in the shop I would consider it a must have.

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I've been looking into band saws recently, too.  There were a couple of threads from '16 & '17 and at least one discussed brakes.  Most everyone contributing was pro brake, though not everyone felt it was a deal breaker.  

You probably realise, but I'll mention anyway, the brake on a band saw is nothing like what's on the SawStop.  It stops power to the motor, then by friction slows the blade down to a stop like a bicycle brake, so you don't have to wait as long to set up for your next cut.  The safety benefit is something, but not SawStop.

Is there a brick and mortar store where you can try a band saw without a brake?

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Yea, I don't have a brake on either of my bandsaws and have never felt the need for it.  It's a very short period of time for the blade to stop and if you want it because what you're doing is sketchy in the first place then, it might be time to rethink what you're doing.

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My search for a bandsaw centered on the 14" and up Rikon, Jet and Laguna saws.  I spent countless hours researching online and covered many miles visiting multiple dealers to view the variety of options and to be able to touch each of the machines.  In the end I chose the Laguna 18BX and while it wasn't really within the budget, my CFO (and loving wife) and I were able to make it work (with the help of a 10% discount and picking it up at a dealer where I saved the standard $75 delivery fee).

One of the reasons I chose the saw was for the blade brake and it is definitely a feature I am happy to have.  The brake is great to shut down the saw and bring the blade to a stop more swiftly, particularly when there is a need to remove a smaller piece of wood that was left near the blade or when moving from one task to another that requires adjustment of the blade guide or fence.  It is also quite handy during certain cutting tasks when you start on the in-feed side of the saw and end up on the out-feed side, where you can conveniently tap on the brake to stop the saw and it doesn't require going back to the shut-off switch.

It is surprising how long - and how silently - the blade can continue to move once the power is shut off, and if you are actively moving from one action to another (cutting a board, placing the board on the assembly table, then moving back to set-up the saw or begin another cut), coming back to a blade that is fully stopped is much, MUCH better than inadvertently coming in contact with a moving blade that has the potential to cause serious injury.  Depending on the work I am doing, I don't always use the blade brake, though I often do with an easy application to shut off the saw and to bring it to a gentle stop.

The other features that swayed me toward the saw I bought were the ceramic blade guides which I truly love, having each dust-collection port on the same side of the machine (several saws have one of the outlets protruding into an area I use for a workspace and would be an inconvenience), the fence, features and overall build and quality of the machine.  I have also found the larger overall machine - horsepower, wheel size and particularly the table size - to be a nice plus.

The saw meets my needs exceptionally well and since placing it in my shop I haven't looked back with anything but satisfaction.  Each persons individual wants, needs and use varies though and with any investment, it can be good to do a lot of research (which it appears you are well involved in) and to get your hands on as many machines as you can.  Overall it could likely be easy to be satisfied with either of the machines you are looking at, it just comes down to what you think you will be most satisfied with - and is an investment toward future happiness.

While I have been fortunate enough to not have any unwanted events such as a broken blade or other surprise, the unanticipated can occur and having the option to bring things to a quick stop can be an advantage (should you remember to do so in the heat of the moment).  Below is a video that David Falkner was kind enough to share, and it can serve as a wake-up call as to how quickly and violently things can happen.  Very much worth the view.

 

 

 

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As you stated, the brake is not the same as a SawStop, Instantaneous,  and therefore, how would it have prevented David’s debacle from happening? I wouldn’t spend the extra $$$. 

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Thanks for all the replies.  I know that the brake isn't the same as the one on the Sawstop (and Coop, you're right, the brake wouldn't have made any difference in Davids incident).  Based on the feedback here, it sounds like those that have used saws with brakes are in agreement that they are a useful option.  It sounds like it just comes down to money.  

I think I've made up my mind.  When I do purchase, I post a pic :D

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Thanks @Battle Ridge for reposting that video and thanks @difalkner for posting it in the first place.  

Just a note, the David's band saw does have a brake (he was too startled to use it).  Still even damged it's worth noting how long the blade kept moving.  

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I guess I missed this post but I'll chime in on the brake.  While this is a 14" saw it's a large 14" saw.  Yes, it 'only' has a 14" throat but it's more like an 18" or 20" saw in power and resaw capacity, it just happens to have 14" wheels.  That said, I just tested it is 38 seconds before the blade stops moving after hitting the stop button or tripping the microswitch with the foot brake.

It only has to be barely moving to give you a good gash if you come into contact with the blade, especially this one - 1" Resaw King carbide.  I find the brake to be a very good addition to an already great saw and use it often.  It takes a couple of seconds to stop the blade with the brake but that beats 38 seconds.

When our grandkids visit and I make them something in the shop I always use the brake.  When I'm in the shop by myself I usually finish the cut and walk away.  It can safely coast while I'm doing something else.  But when I resaw wide boards, which I do often, there's a lot of blade exposed and I usually stop it with the brake and lower the guide back to the table before I walk away.  Oh, I also release the tension on the blade when it's not in use.

And the ceramic guides are excellent, btw.  Well worth the additional cost for that, as well.

'Startled' is close to my reaction in the being stupid video.  Mild state of shock may be closer! LOL! :o

David

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I have have two Laguna bandsaws a 16HD with the brake and a 1412 without. truth be told I really like having a brake and do miss it on the 1412. Would I spend an extra $700 just so I had a brake no way, never. Now if you want the bigger saw and are looking for a way to justify the addl $700 than yeah throw in the brake in :) 

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Again thanks for the replies.  The price difference doesn't just get you the brake.  It is an increase in power, but also I'm from Canada where everything costs more compared to the US.  In reality, the cost difference between the two Laguna models is closer to $500.  There is a bigger price difference between the two Rikon models...

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11 minutes ago, Art said:

Again thanks for the replies.  The price difference doesn't just get you the brake.  It is an increase in power, but also I'm from Canada where everything costs more compared to the US.  In reality, the cost difference between the two Laguna models is closer to $500.  There is a bigger price difference between the two Rikon models...

You're pretty close to the border...  Make a run to Grizzly in Bellingham..

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10 minutes ago, ..Kev said:

You're pretty close to the border...  Make a run to Grizzly in Bellingham..

I thought about that, but I'm not sure what the tariffs would do to the price.  The good thing about both of these machines is that they are (presumably) imported directly into Canada, and therefore aren't subject to any new tariffs.

Having said that I'll look into Grizzly.  There's also a guy selling a Hammer N3800 locally, but he's asking $2800.  I may shoot him a message to see if he'll take $2000.  

Edit - I just checked and the Hammer apparently doesn't have a brake.  That's surprising to me...

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I know lots of you folks North of the border shop there so, I'm sure it must be worth their time and money.

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4 minutes ago, ..Kev said:

I know lots of you folks North of the border shop there so, I'm sure it must be worth their time and money.

Thanks, Kev. For sure I'll give them a call.

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13 minutes ago, Art said:

Thanks, Kev. For sure I'll give them a call.

For what it's worth, I have 2 of their bandsaws and have had pretty good luck with them.

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9 minutes ago, ..Kev said:

For what it's worth, I have 2 of their bandsaws and have had pretty good luck with them.

I just had a look at their website, and they automatically convert their prices into CAD$.  They are expensive!  The equivalent saw to the two I'm looking at (14" 2-3hp, foot brake) is the G0817 and is listed at $2523 CAD.  Without the brake (G0457) is $2060.  The only one that seems reasonable is the 17" 2 hp G0513 Anniversary Edition at $1508, but no brake...

Overall their pricing seem all over the place.  Why would they price a 17" less than 14" with the same motor?

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I certainly don't have any answers for their pricing.  Both of mine were purchased on sale and I picked them up locally so, no shipping.

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6 minutes ago, ..Kev said:

I certainly don't have any answers for their pricing.  Both of mine were purchased on sale and I picked them up locally so, no shipping.

It seems to be the tariffs.  The G0817 which is about $2500 CAD is listed at $1425 on the US site.

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