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Thread: Good starter bandsaw

  1. #1
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    Good starter bandsaw

    What would be a good starter bandsaw? Kind of on the fence about getting one this holiday season. Can definitely see the use for one, just havenít had the space or the time in the past. Donít know how much resawing Iíll do, but general detail cutting would be nice. Saw the Laguna 14/bx on Amazon, price doesnít seem bad. Can go up or down though if thereís something better. Saw there was a 14/suv which looks like it adds some capabilities, but not sure of what or the price difference.

  2. #2
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    Doing some poking around, looks like the Laguna lt14 suv is the way to go unless I want Italian made? Where do folks buy these from? Iíd rather go with someone I can talk with versus woodcraft or rockler, not knowing if Iím getting the latest and greatest version.

  3. #3
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    Casey,

    You can buy them from Amazon but you can contact these folks https://lagunatools.com/contact/.
    Ken

  4. #4
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    My vote is figure out what you want to do with it and give us a hint of the budget available. That would help you get more advice.

  5. #5
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    Starter? A lot of folks started with the good ol' Delta 16". They're often available used on urban craiglist for $300. But out there in the desert, you might have to drive a long distance to get to one. Perhaps buying something new, so the UPS truck brings it, may be less hassle.

  6. #6
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    I think he means delta/rockwell 14" BS

  7. #7
    Consider either the Laguna 14 Twelve or the Jet JWDX-14DXPRO. The Laguna has a slightly higher hp motor. The Jet was on sale on-line at Home Depot last year around this time but doesn't come with a fence. Both are around $1000.00.
    Last edited by fritz eng; 11-17-2019 at 1:04 AM.

  8. #8
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    What I want to do with it replace my jigsaw for any curved work, and a couple grand doesnít bother me. Realize I might have to spend a little more to fully outfit with a fence and whatever else. And yeah, nothing used out here without taking a drive. I like the ups man!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Carr View Post
    What I want to do with it replace my jigsaw for any curved work, and a couple grand doesnít bother me. Realize I might have to spend a little more to fully outfit with a fence and whatever else. And yeah, nothing used out here without taking a drive. I like the ups man!
    A "couple Grand" you might as well go for the 18 BX.

  10. #10
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    I think some of the lackluster replies come from a need to better understand what you want to do with it. You can certainly replace a jig saw with a 10" bandsaw if you don't do any fretwork. If you want to do curves in thicker stock, a 14" saw is the starting point for many wood workers. Cast iron machines probably have the widest available after-market stuff available if that is important to you. Steel spine 14" machines have come of age and are getting decent re-saw height and power plants.

    Getting a larger machine could possibly let you use the same machine for the rest of your days. Some 17", 18" and 20" plus machines are in your budget but, you are moving towards a tier that can move up quite a bit in price. Some folks feel that changing blades is too much hassle and prefer a large machine for re-saw and a smaller machine for curves. These folks generally just keep their smaller "starter" saw for curves and buy a larger saw mostly for re-saw.

    You can see that there are a lot of variables. There is no such thing as a "best" choice that 9 out of 10 of us will toss out there without understanding a little more about what you want to do. To give a specific response as to what works for me; I have a 17" machine that I use for re-saw and for large curve work. I also have a 10" machine that is my main go-to for quick cuts. I have other machines but, these two do the lion's share of the work for me. I build everything from picture frames to china hutches.
    I am familiar with modern idioms but they are outside the vocabulary of what I want to say.

    - George Dyson (composer)

  11. #11
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    Plus "not enough space" in the past is also a little vague. How much space are you willing to part with. A 20" machine will do almost everything a 10" machine will do and give you a lot more real estate to place your work on. To me you either have unlimited room, room for a bench top model, or a stand alone. A 14" band saw isn't going to save too much space over an 18" saw but that 18" saw is most likely going to a noticeable step up. Maybe a nice scroll saw would be a better fit if all you want is to replace using your jigsaw.

    I personally recently upgraded from a 14" cast iron BS to a 19" Grizzly. Night and day difference. Now that 14" saw was under powered so that was some of it but having a massive table extra weight along with the extra power makes for a much nicer user experience. Also with the larger wheels I can run blades that I could only dream of before.

  12. #12
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    Casey, don't buy a starter band saw for 2 reasons

    1) Many starter band saws are what I refer to as "band saw shaped objects". They look like a band saw, they just don't work like a band saw. Many will make you frustrated with band saws, and you'll have to replace them.

    2) in my opinion somewhere around 17" is the size of saw that will resaw, break down rough timber, make veneers and use a 1/4" blade for more intricate cuts. They also have tables which are a bit lower so that they are more comfortable for larger work pieces. In addition they can do a better job of adequately tensioning blades.

    regards, Rod.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Carr View Post
    Doing some poking around, looks like the Laguna lt14 suv is the way to go unless I want Italian made? Where do folks buy these from? Iíd rather go with someone I can talk with versus woodcraft or rockler, not knowing if Iím getting the latest and greatest version.
    I agree with others that, if you can swing it, the 18BX is the way to go unless you want to have _two_ bandsaws in the future. (I have one. It doesn't take up much space...) I used to have a 14" Delta, which you can often find used for not a lot, and there's no comparison re performance. Plus, it has a good look, if you care about that sort of thing.

    Re where to buy, I've had really good luck with acmetools.com. I don't like getting soaked on delivery charges.

  14. #14
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    I want to build furniture. Dressers, bed frame, maybe a table and chairs at some point, bed frames for kids, etc. Donít want it for re-sawing just yet as I donít have a planer or dust collector, but donít want to have to upgrade later to get the capability. Firm believer in pay once, cry once and not every time I use it. Donít mind spending more to get a better machine.

    Space issue is I work out of my garage. Itís a three car, but I keep two vehicles in it as well. I pull my truck out whenever I need to work on something. I just built the frame for a workbench for a buddy of mine and my scroll saw was worthless on 1.75 maple. The jigsaw too rough. Bandsaw would have been pretty nice. Can see utilizing one for the bed frame I want to build next.

    The lt14 suv seems to get good reviews, havenít looked at the 18 Bx. The lt14 has a 14Ē re-saw capability though. Figured that would be pretty decent. If the 18bx is a better overall machine, Iíll definitely look at it.

  15. #15
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    I got a 14" Rikon 10-326 this summer. It's my first bandsaw so I guess it qualifies as a starter saw. It handles blades up to 3/4" wide easily. I've used it for curved work as well as resawing up to 8" so far. I've been very pleased. I got it on sale for about a grand.

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    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

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