I purchased a Rigid 14" bandsaw 6 months ago (july 08). Out of the box, the saw had a resonance vibration problem. The vibration would "cycle" rather than continually vibrate. Upon calling Rigid, they gave me a "song and dance" and wanted me to take it to an authorized repair facility.
Are these people on drugs? They want a customer to pack up a floor tool and deliver it? to me, this is a "stop gate" to reduce warranty claims on products. These tools are simple in design. 2 wheels, some guidework, friction tires, motor and frame. If an owner cannot repair/replace the parts, they should not own the tool!
Customer service is at the low end of the scale. I own several tools from Grizzly Industrial both woodworking and metal working). If you ever buy one of their tools and have a problem, you will find out what EXCELLENT, repeat excellent customer service is ((dewalt also has excellent customer service)- they are committed to "working the problem" not creating another (frustrating customer service.
So here I am, owning a Rigid 14" bandsaw with a vibration that I have not been able to correct as of yet. At the IWF, at the carter bandsaw booth, they had a rigid set up alon with 1 or two other bandsaws. I mentioned my problem and their representative said it was "generally" a wheel problem.
Too bad Finewoodworking is dependent upon advertisers and their products to test. They would probably steer us away from some of these manufacturers due not only to inherent design/manu problems, but to the failures of manufacturers to SUPPORT NOT THE TOOL BUT THE CUSTOMER WITH THE TOOL after the sale. I bet that if a warranty meant we could return the tool for a full refund within the warranty period, they would make sure their tools performed to OUR standards/expectations rather than ours.
I am very disappointed with my band saw.I bought it in December, but haven't used it much till now. The winter temperatures here in Michigan make it uncomfortable to work in an unheated work area.Since it has warmed up, I can finally work use my work area without my hands becoming numb so I started on a project that has been on hold.I got all my wood together and started to make my first cut, when the band saw started to vibrate, screech and the cut went way off line.It seems that the arm that allows the tracking of the blade on the upper wheel had snapped off the upper wheel assembly.The upper wheel developed a wobble that caused the whole tool to dance around and the work piece was ruined.Fortunately I was able to get my hands out of the work area and shut the saw off.When I opened the upper wheel cover I could see that the tracking was way off and the lower part of the wheel was rubbing against the back of the housing.I tried to adjust the tracking, couldn't change the orientation of the blade enough to rotate the blade manually.I loosened the tension and removed the blade from the upper wheel and felt around behind the wheel.I found something loose where I didn't thing anything should be loose and managed to work it free. It was the arm that the tracking adjustment screw engages to adjust the tracking. It had broken loose.In all I think I have cut three pieces with this tool. I don't think I will be recommending this tool to any of my fellow wood workers.Nor will I recommend anything else from this company. Not because of the quality of the tools, but because of the quality, or lack thereof, of the customer service.Customer service consisted of someone who obviously had no idea what a bandsaw was telling me that I would have to take my brand new bandsaw to a customer service center in downtown Detroit. It was very obvious from the monotone conversation, on his side, that he could have cared less.Has anyone else on this board had this kind of problem with their bandsaw or their "customer server"?I have a Rigid palm sander and my some has a Rigid miter saw, both of which seem to be good tools.
I bought this bandsaw approximately 3 years ago. I usually trust reviews from publications like FWW, which led me to purchase this saw. My overall impression is that it represents good value for the money, BUT....next time I would spend more $$ to overcome some of the annoyances. I think that in the long run, I would have forgotten the couple hundred bucks extra for a higher quality rig.My main beef with this saw is that the vibration out of the box is unacceptable. I was convinced it was the wheels, but in fact, after much troubleshooting, it was one of the tires that had a bulge. I purchased a replacement tire, with marginally better results. I've recently purchased a link-belt, and hope that it improves things once installed.The second beef is the useless rip(off) fence. This fence is a really weak effort from Ridgid, and is a huge disappointment. I spent nearly a hundred bucks for it, and it's a piece of junk. I've recently purchased a Kreg fence, and hope to install it when I find the time.Overall, it's the most disappointing machine in my shop. Next time, before I trust positive reviews, I'll check for user comments first.
I'm really new to woodworking, but I'm getting tips from friends that are professionals......so maybe my opinion isn't as good as others...but....Complaints:-I didn't like the stock steel guide blocks, and replaced them with the graphite coolblocks available everywhere. Next time I'll get ceramic. -I replaced the wimpy 3/4HP motor with a Leeson 1.5HP unit. -Also, the vibration is not fun. I put on a "power twist" link belt and it got a lot better. Next step is urethane tires to replace the visibly uneven rubber ones. I can only imagine it will get a lot better with new ones. -stock, it comes with no rip fence. The Ridgid unit is pathetic and they want over $100 for it. I opted for the Amazon.com $67 JET fence and did a little modifying with the drill press and a dremel to make it fit. VOILA! great fence for less than $80 shipped. -the riser block is also WAY overpriced at $142 from RidgidParts. From what I've researched, the grizzly block fits, but the guide post does not. If resawing taller stock, it does not matter; For what it is, and the price, it is alright. Cast iron construction and decent tensioning as far as my experience goes. Just be prepared to live with some vibrations, or tweak it a little for your needs. Or, you can spend a lot more $$on a better saw.
I purchased this band saw at my Home Depot. The price was right, and I assumed, incorrectly, that Ridgid would have corrected the wheel balance problem that is stated in 4 of the 7 reviews on the HD webpage reviews. I was wrong. Not only were the wheels on my band saw severely out of balance, but Ridgid, when contacted, seemed to be in denial that there is a wheel balance problem with their product. Out of the box, after assembly, the band saw was unrunnable due to the severe vibration. Due to the weight of this band saw, the assembling time and the inconvenience for returning this product to Home Depot for replacement, I decided to check the upper wheel for balance and balance it correctly. Removing the blade and tire, I found that the wheel would settle with one point, the same point always showing heaviness. Taking the wheel off, I found that on the inside of the wheel (out of view) were 4 drill holes at the point where the wheel was still heavy. This was, I assume, an attempt to balance the wheel by the producer. In order to balance this wheel, I had to drill an additional 13 holes (for a total of 17 holes) on the heavy side to get it in balance. I was running out of places to drill holes - that is how bad this wheel was. Reinstalling the now-balanced wheel, the vibration was greatly diminished, but not corrected. However, the saw was now runnable but still needing more tuning. Unfortunately, the tire would not stay on the upper wheel. It would either slide off the front or back of the wheel and run into the door or cabinet. Burning rubber indicated that a quick shutdown was needed. I went through many many adjustments trying to resolve this tire problem. I found that there was no adjustment that could keep the tire from sliding off to either the front or back. Thinking that the remaining vibration might be the source for this sliding tire problem, I removed the lower wheel to balance it. On the inside I found 4 holes identical to those I found on the upper wheel. Unlike the upper wheel, I could not find a good way to check the wheel balance - the keyway in the hub did not help. I reassembled it and began to tape washers to the wheel in a trial and error effort to balance this lower wheel. I quickly realized that this was going to be a long process - one that I might be willing to undertake for a used saw needing rebuilding but not for a new saw. I contacted Ridgid via their website email. I stated my problem to Technical Support, Customer Service and Sales. I received a reply from only Sales. I was told "The number of reported wheel balance issues verses the volume of sales of the band saw, indicates that there is not an actual wheel balance problem that effects hundreds, or all Ridgid band saws, as someone's post on a Forum might lead others to believe or suspect." Their corrective action is stated as "If you happened to obtain a Ridgid band saw that has wheels that are not properly balanced, we apologize, and we will be glad to provide corrections for the saw through your nearest Ridgid authorized service dealer where the wheels can be physically inspected and properly replaced, so that the saws warranty coverage is not voided, or a replacement saws can be received in exchange, through the retail distributor from which the saw was purchased." Loading and hauling this heavy, bulky saw in my pickup to the "authorized service dealer" would be a major, time consuming effort, and the closest center was 20+ miles away. I also perceive that they are warning me that my warranty may be in jeopardy unless all repairs are done by them, not me. Those who did modifications and wheel balancing to get the saw to run may have voided the warranty. I suggested a good alternative : Ridgid would send me 2 new, precision balanced wheels, I would install them (about a 10 minute project) and then return the bad wheels to them. It was not even considered by Ridgid. Instead, they insisted I take the saw to the authorized service center or return the saw for replacement to Home Depot. My answer is to pack it up, return it to Home Depot for a refund, not a replacement. Further, I will never purchase another Ridgid product since, by their lack of concern for me, their customer, they show that they are not sincere about producing, selling and guaranteeing a good product for the consumer. In summary - don't buy this saw. Also question, not only the Ridgid product that you are considering buying, but also question the company policies for supporting the buyer.