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The bandsaw is a versatile tool that rips, resaws, crosscuts, and cuts curves. And when the table is tilted, it makes all kinds of angle cuts, too. Plus it can be used to cut tenons, dovetails, and various other joints. The 14-in. size is good for most small shops, so we decided to test nine popular models on the market, evaluating them for wheel roundness, alignment, blade tension, and table flatness.
The Central machinery Model is the lowest-priced saw of the bunch and a near twin to the Reliant. The saw mustered only 8,000 psi in the tension test, but it produced acceptable resaw and curve cuts. When resawing, the motor bogged down when the stock was pushed too fast, a problem corrected by slowing the feed rate. The fence doesn’t adjust for blade drift and the table insert is flimsy plastic. Yet, if price is a big issue, and you’re only an occasional bandsaw user, it’s worth considering.
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