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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.
One of the lowest-priced saws and a near twin to the Central Machinery, the Reliant is the only saw in the test with four speeds, a plus for metal cutting. It made acceptable resaw and curve cuts. But while resawing, the motor quickly bogged down when the stock was pushed too fast, a problem corrected by slowing the feed rate slightly. The fence doesn’t adjust for blade drift the table insert is a piece of flimsy plastic. There’s no dust port. Yet, if price is a big consideration, and you’re only an occasional bandsaw user, the Reliant is worth considering.
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