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Thread: Could I hear from owners of the 14" Craftsman Bandsaw 22401?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2004
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    Could I hear from owners of the 14" Craftsman Bandsaw 22401?

    I'm fairly sure my next major machine purchase will be a bandsaw and have been reading here and elsewhere about the Craftsman 14" steel frame saw (22401). Would any owners care to chime in here on their experiences? I seem to remember a review in a woodworking mag recently, although I can't remember which one, that rated it quite high.

    This would be my first bandsaw ever and I envision doing some curve work,some ripping, and perhaps some small resawing. I don't need or have the room or budget for a big saw designed for resawing, so I'm looking for a moderate general purpose saw. Also, I would put this on a mobile base so any experience with that would be helpful too.

    Now that Christams is over it's time to start thinking about tax refund time!!
    Jeremy Gibson

  2. #2
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    Don't have one. The Rikon was top choice with the C-man taking best value. I think the primary complaint was the lack of a quick-tension control. Other than that, they (can't remember the mag) liked it for the price.

    P.s. Just my opinion but, after owning a BS without a quick tension release and guide blocks that are less than easy to adjust, my next (and hopefully last) bandsaw will have to have them to be in the running for my dough.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  3. #3
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    I just bought the Craftsman 14" 22401 band saw. I'm very impressed. You have to understand, however, that my last band saw was one my wife inherited from her uncle after he really used it hard. That was about 25 years ago. I'm certainly no expert on band saws. I can say that I'm very impressed with the the saw and the lack of vibration. I can barely tell it's running. I'm looking forward to some projects that I have planned for the coming year, but I haven't had a chance to do more that some test cuts.

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=48365

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=48491
    Don Bullock
    Woebgon Bassets
    AKC Championss

    The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
    -- Edward John Phelps

  4. #4
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    Hi Jeremy,

    the review was in the November issue of Popular Woodworking. Contact me offline and I can send you more info on the test.

    I was thinking the Craftsman was too good to be true but given the review and after seeing one in person, it's a great bandsaw. The worst thing about Craftsman power tools is that they come in a bizzillion pieces and take a while to be assembled -- i can handle that. I can't rationalize the Rikon @ $750 vs the 22401 @ $489 (on sale for $429 a lot) for my needs The 22401 is a great machine at an awesome price.

  5. #5
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    has anyone made or adapted a quick tension release on the Craftsman? This seems to be the one major drawback to this saw.

    I swore I'd never buy another Craftsman a while back, but now it seems this saw is proving itself with real woodworkers.
    Jeremy Gibson

  6. #6
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    I bought the 22401 at about $325 or so during a short lived sale and at that price it is a steal. It works very well for resawing 6" cherry and walnut, especially with the Timberwolf 3/4" thin kerf (.025") resaw blade. It is powerful and smooth running. Knowing what I know now about the saw, I would buy it again even at $400+. My main complaint is with the blade guides. First of all, they are tedious to adjust. The mechanics are a little sloppy and the guide position changes as you tighten the screws. It is workable but takes some getting used to. Also, the bearings are cheap and the little grease seals pop off. I have read that replacement bearings are inexpensive and easy to find.

  7. #7
    I bought the C'man as my first bandsaw and like it so far. It took me two tries to get one that worked though!! Nothing like getting it fully assembled in the basement to realize it won't start. After a sale and discounts, I believe I paid around $360.

    If you look at the pictures side by side, the craftsman is the exact same saw as the cheaper 14" Rikon. (not the deluxe model)

  8. #8
    The Grizzly G0555 would have been $1 cheaper delivered to my door, but I chose the 22401.

    I just bought and assembled the 22401 last night. I'm in love with this little saw. I paid $429 + tax. I assembled it myself, but it would be much easier with two people. It took the better part of the evening because I took pics as I went. Plus, I love the process of assembling things.

    The 22401 runs super smooth. I was use to my Taiwanese 14" and the new saw blows it away in every way.

  9. #9
    I've owned this saw for almost a year with no problems. I replaced the stock fence with the Kreg and replaced the bearings with ABEC 5s obtained from a local skate board distributor. I also rewired for 220v. Ditto comments on the tension release but I figure over time, someone will devise a better workaround for that as well. Good value for the money.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by E W Wilkinson
    I've owned this saw for almost a year with no problems. I replaced the stock fence with the Kreg and replaced the bearings with ABEC 5s obtained from a local skate board distributor. I also rewired for 220v. Ditto comments on the tension release but I figure over time, someone will devise a better workaround for that as well. Good value for the money.
    E W:

    Did you have to modify the mounting method on the Kreg fence at all? I've looked at the fence and it looks like the Kreg bolts to the front edge of the table, where the Craftsman stock fence bolts on from the bottom.
    Jeremy Gibson

  11. #11
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    From what you described for the use of your saw, this will fit the bill nicely. I've had this model for about 4 months, and I can't get over how inexpensive it is relative to what it can do.

    Yes, you'll need a buddy to help you put it together. For some reason Sears can't seem to make a owners manual worth a damn.

    It cuts accurately and smoothly. Passes the nickel test with ease, in fact it runs so quietly that you have to check to make sure it's on.

    Good luck with your decision.
    Trees. Tools. Time.

  12. #12
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    HI guys
    I am looking at the Craftsman 22401 band saw. I sent an e-mail to Carter asking about their tensioner. The reply is that it will work if the saw has a cast iron frame but not if it has a steel frame. however it is sold as fitting the Rikon band saw and many people feel these are the same saw or at least made by the same people. Anyone able to tell me if the saw frame is cast iron or not?

    Thanks
    Al

  13. #13
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    I have the 12" version of this saw. The blade guide bearings didn't seem to last very long. I bought replacement bearings from a local supplier. other than that, I think it's a good saw. I don't know about the 14", but my 12" can re-saw 7" and has a full 12" cut capacity. It also has a larger table than most 14" saws.

    John

  14. #14
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    Al, First of all, welcome to Sawmill Creek (SMC). You revived an old thread that I forgot about. I have a Craftsman 14" 22401 band saw as I mentioned above in the thread. For me, it's still a very good saw. This year I did have problems, however. The run capacitor burned up and Sears parts does not sell them individually. They wanted me to pay $200 for the motor/capacitor assembly. It took quite a while for me to find a capacitor that would fit, but finally did. I paid less than $20 including shipping. As John mentioned, the bearings go pretty quickly, but that's a very easy fix. I documented the solution to the capacitor here on SMC and the bearing solution is also well documented here as well.

    Now on to your OP. The saw is a steel frame saw. Laguna claims no connection to the saw, but the parts diagrams for their saws and the Craftsman saws are identical. I discovered that when I was trying to find a source for the capacitor.

    There are a lot of individuals here on SMC who have one of these band saws. Other than the capacitor problem or the bearings I haven't seen any problems mentioned. If you are serious about your woodworking you'll find this place very helpful. Again, welcome!!
    Don Bullock
    Woebgon Bassets
    AKC Championss

    The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
    -- Edward John Phelps

  15. #15
    I know this thread is a gazillion years old but I saw a question about the Kreg bandsaw fence.

    No, you don't *have* to modify it but then you have to take it off every time you want to change blades which is a pain. I just cut my Kreg fence mount in two so I could get the blades on and off. The whole mod took about an hour.

    Required some careful measuring because I had to drill two new holes (one in each piece of the mount) and then drill and tap two matching holes in the bandsaw table. I drilled the holes in the mount oversize to give me some adjustment room.

    I'm happy now. I came here after a search for a quick release. Want to find that answer because it's really tedious how much the tension wheel has to be turned to change blades.

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