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Thread: Bridgewood Bandsaw Info?

  1. #1
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    Bridgewood Bandsaw Info?

    Need to get a new bandsaw. Have an old Grizzly 14" that has finally gone beyond repair.
    Decided now is the time to move up to a larger bandsaw.
    Trying to decide between the Bridgewood BW-17WBS and the Grizzly 513.

    Have seen and used Bridgewood tools before and they seem to be a bit better built and machined then the Grizzly tools. I have many Grizzly tools and they are not bad but not great either.

    Does any one have the Bridgewood or know of a review on it I can read?

    I am trying to decide if it is worth the extra $150.00 over the Grizzly.

    The ones of you that have the Grizzly are you still happy with it?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated, I need to replace ASAP!

    Thanks
    George

  2. #2
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    Bridgewood bandsaws are built in Italy by ACM. ACM also builds the bandsaws sold by Laguna and Felder. The saws from all three retailers are almost identical, so reading a review on any one of them will give you a good feel for the others. I've got a Laguna 16" saw (the LT16HD model), and it is a good machine.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton
    Bridgewood bandsaws are built in Italy by ACM. ACM also builds the bandsaws sold by Laguna and Felder. The saws from all three retailers are almost identical, so reading a review on any one of them will give you a good feel for the others. I've got a Laguna 16" saw (the LT16HD model), and it is a good machine.
    I believe that the one difference is that the Bridgewood version has a North American made motor...check the Wilke site to be sure.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    Jamie,

    Thanks for the reply.
    I don't think this model is made in Italy, I think it is only their proffesional series. If I am wrong someone please correct me as I have several machines made in Italy and they are very well made.

    I know the Bridgewood has cast iron wheels, magnetic starter and I think I read some place was a little heavier built then the Grizzly but I don't know if it is $150.00 better.

    I am trying to find some one that has actually seen one to see what they think.

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    George

    I couldn't help but wonder how old your newest Grizzly tool is?

    Because Grizzly has been making a lot of improvements lately.
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

    My web page has a pop up. It is a free site, just close the pop up on the right side of the screen

  6. #6
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    Bart,

    My Grizzly machines are about 16 years old. I have a table saw, jointer, shaper, dust collector, and drill press. Also had a lathe which has been replaced and the bandsaw I am replacing. I have not had any real problems with anything just minor things with fit and finish and some weak cast parts. The lathe and bandsaw are the only tools that have not been very good from the beginning.

    I may very well go with Grizzly again, but I remember visiting Wilke Machinery a few years ago and thinking how much better their machines seemed to be. I did have a 15" Bridgewood planer at one time and it worked great just wasn't big enough and replaced it with a Powermatic.

    I have always had problems with the bandsaw and just don't want to make the same mistake twice.

    Doesn't anyone know anything about the Bridgewood, or maybe someone can convince me to go with the Grizzly?

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Skinner
    Doesn't anyone know anything about the Bridgewood, or maybe someone can convince me to go with the Grizzly?
    The model you are looking at is a brand new item...'doubtful that there is much experience with it out there! (My comment on the motor was for the "original" 17" BS...I didn't know about the new one) The specs on the BW-17WBS don't look bad at all. I like the fact that the wheels are cast iron and balanced, too. Give that Wilke has a good reputation, the Bridgewood is a good alternative to similar machines from Grizzly and others.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    George, I don't have experience with the BW bandsaw, but I do believe it comes from the "other half" of the ACM factory in Italy, which makes some of the Laguna's. I'm not saying this is bad or good. That's just the way it is. As for Bridgewood and Wilke, I *do* have experience with both. Had a 2hp dust collector. Very nice machine, no problems and did an excellent job. I picked up a Yorkcraft lathe from Wilke a couple years ago or so. Again, no probs and pretty much a duplicate of the same size Jet, only much less $$. Finally, I took receipt of their BW10LTS table saw just a month or so ago. I sincerely don't think I could be happier with *any* of the major brands, including Powermatic! And, as an additional note, Wilke Machinery has got to have some of the absolute best Customer Service around! The couple very minor issues I had with any of my Wilke purchases were taken care of quickly and in a very professional, yet friendly manner. Oh, and I have no beef with Grizzly, either. Good experience with them, as well, but on this one, I think it may be worth your while to spring for the extra buck and a half. Just MHO, of course....

    PLEASE NOTE EDIT: Just as Jim B. says, I just checked out the Wilke site and this is a NEW machine, which doesn't advertise the USA motor. I have a hunch (check with Wilke) this is NOT going to be a Euro machine, but probably a Taiwan/China machine. Again, not necessarily bad and if Wilke is selling it, they've probably done their homework on it! Let us know what you find out and/or decide!
    Last edited by John Miliunas; 12-08-2003 at 8:07 AM.
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  9. #9
    George,

    The BW appears to be the same basic saw as the G0513 Grizzly, with a few exceptions. I have the G0513 and am totally pleased with it. There is a review on my site if you would like to read it, click the "www" button on the bottom of this post.

    The BW has cast wheels, better I'm sure, but the aluminum wheels on the Grizz seem to be fine. The blade guides on the Grizzly are the "euro" style rollers while the BW has the more normal looking rollers. Any idea how my shipping is from BW? Grizzly subsidises shipping costs so it is $55 on the G0513.

    Probably can't go wrong either way, but the Grizzly is performing perfectly in my shop.

    Terry

  10. #10
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    Wink

    Man you guys are no help.

    How am I supposed to choose. One post I lean toward Bridgewood and then the next post someone tells me the Grizzly. Maybe I should just buy both and I won't have to decide (I wish).

    Unless someone can break this tie I am going to call them both and see who can win me over with their customer service and knowledge as it appears either machine would be a good choice.

    I will let you know what I decide.

    Thanks everybody.

  11. #11
    George,

    I feel your pain. I've been looking at the Grizzly for some time and am/was thinking of picking one up in Feb when I move to my new house with a 2 car garage (Gloat).

    The Grizzly can't be beat on price, and the reviews as above by Terry point to the saw being outstanding. My only issue that would sway me away to another bandsaw is what you mentioned above: Service and Support.

    The little things that make me wonder about the long term service and support are the fact that the Grizzly website still has errors on the page selling the thing even though they know the information is incorrect.

    Both the blade length and the motor amp requirements have been found to be incorrect but Grizzly has not taken the time to reflect these changes so customers are still mislead today. The blade length problem is the most anoying since folks buying the saw will buy a handfull of blades which don't fit. Wastes time and money getting it resolved. They should just fix it. And if they don't take the time to update the webpage for pre-sales, how much effort is given to after sale support? But also let me say that I've never bought large tools from Grizzly, so I'm only making assumtions here.

    Then I got the BW mailer with the new 17". Looks nice and the features added for $150 are nice. Also, I've bought from Wilk in the past (jointer) and have been seriously impressed with their pre-sale and post-sale support. To me it was beyond my expectations.

    So in summary, I haven't helped you make a decision and may have muddy the waters even more. But I wanted to put my 2 cents in.

    If you buy the BW or the Grizzly, let us know what you think!

    Thanks,
    /Kevin

  12. #12
    George,

    Either one would be fine....really!!!

    I have had good luck with Grizzly customer service. I have no experience with Wilke, but I have read good about thier CS also.

    I'm still interested to know the final price including shipping for both. Please let us know the final price and what you decided to do.

    Thanks,

    Terry

  13. #13
    Kevin,

    Agree that Griz should get the website updated, but it's still a good machine one way or the other. I noticed that BW lists the blade length at 132" also. I wonder if that is correct or not.

    Terry

  14. #14
    The Bridgewood professional series are the Italian bandsaws by ACM. The one you're looking at is probably an Asian import. If you want a bandsaw a bit better than the Asian imports from Grizzly, Bridgewood, Jet and others and slightly less robust than Bridgewood's Professional line or the Minimax MM series, with a pricepoint in between, then checkout the Minimax S45. The S45 has an 18" throat, 2.5 HP Motor, 10" Resaw, and weighs in at 320 lbs. It's normal price is $1395, but it should be on sale through the end of the year.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Wilson
    ... then checkout the Minimax S45. The S45 has an 18" throat, 2.5 HP Motor, 10" Resaw, and weighs in at 320 lbs. It's normal price is $1395, but it should be on sale through the end of the year.
    The S16 (not the "S45" but same specs) is on sale for $1295 until the end of the year and includes some goodies. The MM-16 is on sale for $1799 and includes the mobilty kit, miter guage and a 1" carbide tipped resaw blade. These prices are good on orders placed before 31 December. If you can pick up at a show...you also save on shipping...which is exactly what I'm doing with the MM-16 (stealth gloat... )...picking it up on 11 January at a show. That's saving me $460 not including whatever shipping would have been.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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