I have a small shop, and need to add a bandsaw- should it be a 14″ Rigid $350 starter, or is that a waste of time and should move straight up to a $1200 Jet 18″ model?
I have been in the woodworking field for almost twenty years, and this tool will only see limited use for starters, but may be used daily in production.
Looking forward to your advice, Ings
If you gave me the chance to spend your money I would buy a MiniMax 16. I bought mine to replace a 14" Jet. This is a workhorse machine. Unfortunately it is another $1,200.
Buy the best you can afford.
Michael in San Jose
"In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted." Bertrand Russell
I looked at the Jet 18" seriously also -- partly because my neighbor has one. After much consideration, I got the Grizzly G0513 17". I wanted 12" resaw capacity (without having to use a spacer in the post), as well as other features like tension release, etc. The Grizzly is $750 plus $78 shipping to a freight terminal near you; you can also get home delivery, but it's not that difficult to transport in a pickup truck.
Others will steer you toward MiniMax and they must be great machines but I wasn't about to spend three times what my Grizzly cost to get the same basic machine. For a small shop, a machine like any of those mentioned will take approximately the same floor space.
Bill Arnold - Custom Woodcrafting
Food for Thought: The Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
What you get should depend on your needs. I've used my 14" saw to cut an occasional curved piece and have never done any serious resawing. If I needed something resawed, I had someone do it for me. Recently, I've had an increased need to resaw and the 14" just doesn't do the job in terms of size and horsepower capacity. In the future, I plan to get a 17" saw but I won't spend top dollar because, even then, I will only use the saw every now and then.
You should check out the Grizzly G0513. I went through the same decision process you did. For the money you can't beat Grizzly. I would recommend Timberwolf blades as well. I included a link to a post of some pics when I bought mine some time back. For the money I saved, I bought a table saw. Just food for thought. Good luck on the decision.
The pics are at 17846.9 (I think)
I appreciate your response, and all the past communications- I've studied them all , printed the PSF file owners manual, read it through, and am ready to order it. I'll keep you informed of my new machines performance.
Generally I like Ridgid tools, but there are a couple you should avoid - their band saw and their lathe.
If you want a 14 inch bandsaw, I strongly recommend the Grizzly G0555 - I bought it as an upgrade from the far more expensive Jet. It isn't a heavy duty bandsaw for resawing, like the several recommended, but with the riser block it can do occasional resawing, and is very good for the class of work you could use the Ridgid for.
Charlie Plesums Austin, Texas
I recently bought the Grizzly G0555 14", put a 1/2" Woodslicer on it and am pretty impressed thus far. This is a fair amount of machine for the money IMO and I'm getting good results.I had contemplated going to a 17" machine but couldn't quite justify this (yet) for the hobbyist work I'm doing. If I had, and wanted to stay under $1k, I probably would have gone with the Bridgewood machine. Over $1k...probably the MM-16.
Go out and put your arms around a couple of the different saws out there. You might just find that what is right for one person just doesn't feel right to you. If it doesn't feel right before you buy it chances are it never will and you'll never be happy with it.
My guess is that there are a lot of woodworkers with expensive equipment that they don't like because it did not feel right or meet their expectations. In retrospect there are a lot of folks with inexpensive equipment that they think its not up to par just because of the price they paid for it. Sometimes the less expensive Grizzly is the best choice and sometimes the more expensive Jet is. It all depends on the person using it and how comfortable it feels when they use it.
Personally, I feel comfortable with the new, new Jet 18X. I don't feel that way about the Delta but I sell equal quantites of both. Happy hunting.
The Tool Guy
Having spent many thousands over many years, I understand your philosophy. I also understand the value of a dollar, and the response I received about the Grizzly 17", and the fact that I can save $350-500 makes it as good as a done deal.
Hopefully when I receive and set up my new tool, I can convince others of it's value. If not, then hey- I'll work with it for a while, inform others of any imperfections, and replace it someday.
Thanks again, Ings
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