Band Saw Opinions? - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
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Band Saw Opinions?

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I have been using an old Craftsman scroll saw but now the guy who lent it to me wants it back. I think that a band saw might suit me better anyways so I have started looking around the local hardware shops. Ryobi, Mastercraft, Jobmate, Ridgid...preferences, opinions, any gems of learned experience, things that you wish you had known before you bought your own saw? Table model, floor model, power, blades, saw size, tables...I'm all ears.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:33 PM   #2
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Re: Band Saw Opinions?

This may sound a bit trivial, but whatever brand/model you choose, make sure there is a ready supply of replacement blades. Nothing worse than having a band saw with a non-standard (or non-available) blade size. These days it's hard to find people who still do blade repair . And just because a big box store carries a saw brand doesn't mean they also carry the blades!

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Old 09-28-2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: Band Saw Opinions?

Mine is a Mastercraft 14". Its OK, but one thing I would look for is a fence that's vernier adjustable. Mine has to small finger clamps that hold the fence in place, and its very easy to have the fence misaligned (not square) before cutting. I use the blade that it came with, and it still seems OK after almost 2 years of use. I still have to finish sand anything that comes off the saw anyways.

Hope this helps. Daren
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:50 PM   #4
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Re: Band Saw Opinions?


I have a 9 in. Mastercraft bandsaw from CTC that I use almost every second day. I find it very useful. I also have a scroll saw bur very seldom use it.

I find the 9 in. width a little narrow and a problem sometimes when I want to cut or work with larger pieces of wood - I would recommend you look at one that would cut a larger width, that is, unless you are willing to work with other saws to cut larger pieces.

I have several blades so I can do fine cuts, rough cuts and to cut metal.

It is the one tool I would strongly recommend for any shop.

I hope this helps.


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Old 09-28-2010, 06:33 PM   #5
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Re: Band Saw Opinions?

My uncle used to repair metal cutting band saw blades with silver solder. Haven't tried it myself yet but I will in a pinch.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:39 PM   #6
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Re: Band Saw Opinions?

I have a General 14 " from Rona. Heavy duty, accurate. Can slice planks from blocks of balsa. Probably my most used tool in the shop.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:51 PM   #7
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Re: Band Saw Opinions?

Look for a 14 or 15 inch 2 wheel saw that also has a height extension as an accessory.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:45 PM   #8
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Re: Band Saw Opinions?

Originally Posted by Ken Currell View Post
Look for a 14 or 15 inch 2 wheel saw that also has a height extension as an accessory.
Yes. I agree. Wheel diameter is the most critical feature. The larger the diameter, the less flexing you have on the band saw blade.

The more it flexes, the more likely your blade will break.

My first bandsaw was a 3 wheel design that worked well but it had small(ish) wheels. It ate through blades like no tomorrow, and although I had the ability to re-weld blades back together, it still had me replacing blades often. Nevertheless, the breakage frequency was really frustrating.

When it broke its umpteenth blade about 2 years ago, that was it for me.

I bought a 2 wheel say with NICE BIG wheels. Like I said before, the bigger the wheel, the less fatigue it puts on the belt and will be less likely to break.
2 years on and many many hours of use, I have not broken a single blade yet.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:10 PM   #9
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Re: Band Saw Opinions?

+2 for the General 14 it worth the extra $
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:12 PM   #10
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Re: Band Saw Opinions?

I think it depends on what your going to use it for... The scroll saw I find, I use for most of my modelling.. I have a 14in General, but I don't use it for the small modelling stuff.. You might be best going to a scroll saw still..
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