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With a 1-1/2-hp motor, this new bandsaw from Steel City Toolworks (model 50100) has plenty of power. We immediately added an optional riser block, which gives the saw a generous 12 in. of resaw capacity. And there’s plenty of cast iron—the frame, wheels, table, and trunnion supports—which adds heft and helps the saw absorb vibration.
The saw also has handy features such as a convenient paddle-type on-off switch, an integrated mobile base, and a quick-release blade-tension mechanism. Bearing-type guides offer tool-free adjustment, a big plus. But the guides are mounted to shafts that tended to stick a bit, making for some sudden over-adjustments.
Performance-wise, the saw deftly cut all manner of curves, and resaw cuts were satisfactory. On the downside, the blade guards—both the regular-length guard that comes with the saw and the extra-long version that comes with the accessory riser-block kit—sit unusually low, making it difficult to see the cut line in some cases. Unlike the long version, the standard guard has a plastic window to help make it easier to see, but the plastic distorted the view of the cut line, so the result was not ideal.
Also, no matter how much muscle I applied, the lock knobs for the table-tilt mechanism did not adequately lock the table in place. It wouldn’t likely be a problem with medium-weight stock, but a heavy board just might cause the table to shift.
Overall, the Steel City 50100 14-in. bandsaw is a solid performer. It needs only a blade guard that allows for better viewing of the cut, and a better table lock. With those changes, it would have everything you could ask for in a midsize bandsaw, and at a great price.
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