AWFS: Rikon rolls out two market-leading machines
If you are in the market for a big bandsaw with serious resaw capacity, you might want to wait. Available in March or April of 2014, Rikon’s new I-18 bandsaw will boast a whopping 19-in. of capacity and a host of user-friendly features, with a price tag that comes in lower than similar models on the market.
It will have everything you’d expect in a big-time bandsaw, like a big motor, a brake, roller guides, and serious dust collection, along with a few innovations of its own. My favorite is the quick-release tension knobs. They are accessible from the front or rear of the saw, and when activated, will not let the saw restart, saving you from a scary moment and maybe a damaged blade.
We saw a prototype, without the final guide design or motor size, but this looks like one to watch for.
Jumping into the segmented cutterhead game, Rikon is set to add a true helical head to its already highly rated 12-in. planer jointer. Watch for that by the end of 2013. And once again, the price will be unmatched, $2,500 for a lifetime of big milling capacity. What I was happiest to hear is that Rikon will be replacing the European-style cutterhead guard with the pivoting U.S. pork-chop style, which is more convenient. I don’t know af another planer-jointer that checks all those boxes.
Rikon's new I-18 bandsaw will have a massive 19 in. of resaw capacity, with a host of user amenities.
Note the MDF insert at the lower dust port. You slide it into the spinning blade, and then it acts a a zero-clearance scrubber, stripping the dust off the blade so it can be pulled into the port.
Quick-release tension knobs are accessible from the front or back of the machine, and the power switch won't work until the tension is back on.
Rikon's nicely designed jointer-planer is getting a high-end segmented cutterhead, plus a U.S. style guard (Euro version shown here), all for under $2,500.