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Thread: recommendation for band saw purchase

  1. #1

    recommendation for band saw purchase

    I'm looking to get a band saw for under $2000.

    I'm a total woodworking rookie ... it's been a hobby for about 5 years. About every 6 months I'll look into band saws and then talk myself out of getting one. Then I'll do a project where I wish I had one...

    Every time I go "low end" on a (power) tool, I end up "getting what I paid for" and I feel like I've wasted my money ...

    I'm betting the answer to this question is, "depends on what you'll use it for" ... and ... I'm not really sure (it's not like I'll be re-sawing 18 inch boards every weekend).

    I'd like to have something that will last 10 or 20 years... and probably be enough of a machine that I can "grow" into ...


    I'm looking at:

    https://www.rockler.com/laguna-lt14-x-14-suv-bandsaw


    any opinions (or facts!) would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    6,148
    The Laguna LT14SUV is a fine choice. The Grizzly G0513X2BF would be a good choice, too, and allow you to run carbide blades w/o issues. With the 14" wheels on the Laguna you would likely be limited to Resaw King blades if you wanted carbide.

    Personally, I almost always look for a used machine first when considering a "new" stationary machine, and for $2K you may be able to find a used MM16 of modern vintage (white) which would be a step up from either of the other two.

    John

  3. #3
    Two grand!
    You have answered your own question
    Get a 20" 200kg machine at the very least, or a heavier 20" that can tension a blade to 25k PSI.
    If you want a machine you can grow into then its a used 24" 3 phase using a VFD.

    Take my opinion with a pinch of salt if you don't mind a loud machine you have to baby and don't mind replacing thrust guides often.
    BEAM TENSION is what the bandsaw is all about.
    That's referring to the blade, not the frame which would need to be stout in order to have a 3/4" blade tensioned correctly.
    Tom

  4. #4
    +1 on no smaller than 17" wheels. That gives you the capability to run carbide tipped blades like the Lenox TriMaster which is a game changer for resawing. A 17" saw really doesn't have a larger footprint if space is a concern and the additional throat depth never hurts. IMO any of the Grizzly 0513 series are a great value if you are not a brand snob (we have 2 in a college shop and have never had problems with them).
    Kevin Groenke
    Fabrication Manager
    UMN Design

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Posts
    1,379
    I find I have used my bandsaws mostly for smaller work so if you get into to a large saw they don't work the best for smaller blades and things so a smaller to mid size saw is best if you only are going to have one saw as if you don't do a lot of re-sawing a smaller to mid size saw can do it all.
    One of the mid size Laguna's would be my vote....
    Richard Poitras
    Central, Michigan....
    01-02-2006


  6. #6
    I bought a MM16 in 2005 and the only regret I have is I can't run a carbide TriMaster blade on it. I had one break on me after maybe a couple of hours of use, ouch! I'm a hobbyist so the price premium for new equipment is usually more than i'm willing to pay. I prefer to buy a better quality used machine then a shinny new one that i'm disappointed with. If you do any amount of woodworking you will realize the advantage of having two band saws one set up for ripping, resawing and a smaller one with a narrow blade for curves. I bought a 14" delta off craigslist for $150.00 that i keep a 1/4" blade on all the time. Keep a lookout for a used saw or two. I have seen 20" Deltas going for around $1000.00 or less in my neck of the woods.

    When starting out there are so many tools and supplies you need. It's important to not blow your entire budget on one tool and then not have the funds for another you need. That's a lesson I learned the hard way. Also, when buying used if you are not satisfied with a purchase just turn around and sell it. I have done this a couple of time and have even made a few bucks on some sales.

    Let us know what you decide to do.

    Regards,

    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    6,148
    Quote Originally Posted by David Micalizzi View Post
    I bought a MM16 in 2005 and the only regret I have is I can't run a carbide TriMaster blade on it. I had one break on me after maybe a couple of hours of use, ouch! I'm a hobbyist so the price premium for new equipment is usually more than i'm willing to pay. I prefer to buy a better quality used machine then a shinny new one that i'm disappointed with. If you do any amount of woodworking you will realize the advantage of having two band saws one set up for ripping, resawing and a smaller one with a narrow blade for curves. I bought a 14" delta off craigslist for $150.00 that i keep a 1/4" blade on all the time. Keep a lookout for a used saw or two. I have seen 20" Deltas going for around $1000.00 or less in my neck of the woods.

    When starting out there are so many tools and supplies you need. It's important to not blow your entire budget on one tool and then not have the funds for another you need. That's a lesson I learned the hard way. Also, when buying used if you are not satisfied with a purchase just turn around and sell it. I have done this a couple of time and have even made a few bucks on some sales.

    Let us know what you decide to do.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Maybe you just got a bad blade, David. Lots of folks run 0.035" gage TriMaster (and Woodmaster CT) blades on a MM16 w/o issue. And I completely agree with your recommendation to have two BS's.

    John

  8. #8
    Totally agree with you David
    95% of folks expect a small machine to do all sorts of stuff, with the mindset of...
    If it has that much resaw height under the guides, then it must be capable of doing so, if one is patient like I am.

    No one told them that it IS capable of cutting at that maximum depth, but not for cutting timber, for cutting foam insulation.

    Therefore you have a huge variety of curve cutting machines that people are trying to flip all the time,
    And they will do the very same mistake again, their expectations will be high, and they will be fooled by the marketing
    because they're thinking with their wallet instead of their brain.

    If you think this or that is capable because you seen this review, I suggest you watch the promotional video closer again.
    What you won't see is a cut from start to finish in REAL TIME without some 90's easy going cheesy sax music that makes your brain shut off

    You only get to see the very start of the cut, and then its either sped up or edited out until the very end of the cut.
    If this was not done, you wouldn't watch the video because the screaming thrust guides would put you off.

    Just a heads up
    Tom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
    Posts
    396
    Laguna 18BX

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,109
    I have a 14'' delta with riser block in my shop as my small saw. The bigger machine is now a centauro CO 600 (24''). I sold a 18'' Steel City when I bought the Centauro. I wish I had sold the Delta and kept the Steel City. My vote would be for a 17''-18'' saw for a great place to start. Leave a 3/8'' blade with 3-4 teeth per inch on it for most stuff and have a coupe 1/4'' blades as well as a 5/8 or 3/4'' blade for resaw. Grizzly 513 series is great value and decent saws.
    Last edited by Mike Kees; 10-12-2019 at 9:29 PM. Reason: spelling

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Lake George NY
    Posts
    143
    I had a 14” ridgid band saw that I tried like heck to use for everything. As I don’t do much resawing I thought for the few times I did need to resaw,I could get by with it. So I put a riser block on it and with 1/2 inch resaw king blade. Also put a fence on it. Well it was a total disappointment. I suffered for a while,then finally bought a Grizzly 513x2f. I put a Timberwolf 3/4 for resaw and it’s a beast. Love this saw and a great value for 1500.00, kept the ridgid for the couple of hundred bucks I might get for it and put a 1/4 blade for small stuff and cutting curves. Love having the 2 saws.
    Last edited by Rick Peek; 10-13-2019 at 8:57 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sykesville, maryland
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    321
    Two saws is best. But if you can only have one, then get one that will take small blades first, since resawing isn't a primary chore for you. I have a cheap 14" with a 1/4" blade on it with a carter blade stabilizer. And I have a 513X with a 3/4" blade on it. The smaller saw gets used by far the most. I've been looking to upgrade the smaller saw from the used market but haven't found something suitable for what I want to pay ($500). For small blades I like the Lenox bimetals.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,375
    I got my first bandsaw this summer. I went in thinking I'd go with a Powermatic but wound up with a Rikon 10-326. It's a lot more saw for the money. Now that it's set up properly and I bought a couple good blades it works exceptionally well.

    48393929847_ba2f0510d5_b.jpg
    Last edited by Rob Luter; 10-13-2019 at 9:37 AM.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  14. #14
    You didn't post your age, which has something to do with this question. I bought a MM16 15 years ago, and have not used it hard enough to hurt it. I use it for feet on my chests, once in a while I resaw some drawer sides, but do not use it for a sawmill. Have a bandmill for that. Thing is, a MM16 or larger will outlast you and could outlast your heirs, unless you use it 8 or more hours per day.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    132
    If I were buying new on your budget I'd get the Laguna 18BX. They're currently on sale for 10% off at around $1799. Great features and I've been really impressed with the build quality. The ones I've seen have been smooth as silk.
    Buy once, cry once. Go with 17" + wheels. You'll be much less limited in what you can do with it down the road. Blade life is better, more capacity, etc.

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