Author Topic: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?  (Read 14522 times)

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Offline Alex2

  • Posts: 44
Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« on: November 29, 2009, 11:56 PM »
I'm in for a new bandsaw. However I still do not know which one to get. Budget is up to 3000$. What bandsaw do you currently own and which one would you buy these days if you had to ?

My current list is comprised of the followings :

Steel City 50250 18'' : 1700$
Hammer N4400 : 2300$
Minimax MM16 : canadian price unknown at the moment

Have a good day and thank you for your advices

Alex

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Offline mattfc

  • Posts: 553
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 03:59 AM »
I have the Hammer N4400 on order so will let you know when it comes what I think. One of the challenges I found researching on the net was that in general often discussion boards tend to have comments from people who are polarised, e.g. they either love something or hate it, which makes it harder to get an objective review.

I have had a physical look at the n4400 and look very sturdy, only point really to note is that the table doesn't tilt to 45deg.

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Posts: 1039
    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 06:47 AM »
Have you considered Laguna?  Top rated in FWW's Tool Guide

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 971
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 07:27 AM »
Have you looked into the Grizzly 514X saws. I have not heard anything bad about them.
They have a lot of nice features & also have a very nice price. I do not own one yet, but that will be my next band saw.


Chris

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Posts: 1039
    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 09:03 AM »
I'd look at the Grizzlies too.  I have an 8" jointer and love it.  A lotta bang for the buck.  Right now many of them offer free shipping.  http://www.grizzly.com/products/mach-specs.aspx?key=420000

Offline Alex2

  • Posts: 44
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 11:25 AM »
We can't get Grizzly here in Canada... However there's the Busybee brand which is very close to Grizzly. I think 2 brothers own the 2 companies and they make all of their homebrand tools at the same place. Laguna is available here in Canada but I heard bad things about the service. But then again, I never had to deal yet with a Laguna rep so I can't comment on that. The MM16 looks like a benchmark from all the reviews I've seen on the internet.


Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1713
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 01:12 PM »
I own an 18 inch Steel City and I have used a Laguna.  Both are excellent machines.  I wouldn't expect very high levels of customer service from either company - certainly not in the league of Festool.  Both will probably also require some fine tuning (e.g. wheel alignment, table shimming).  Either can do any job I would imagine in a small woodshop.

Offline john ferri

  • Posts: 47
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2009, 01:15 PM »
I have a pretty nice Jet 18inch bandsaw. I find changing the blade to be very difficult and time consuming. Don't just consider the specs, ease of use and setup are key for bandsaws.

Best,

JF

Offline TheToolPlace

  • Festool Dealer
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  • Posts: 64
    • The Tool Place
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2009, 03:07 PM »
Have you considered the General Lineup of Band saws?  We stock both the General and the Steel City units, but I thought I'd throw the General 18" Band saw into the discussion here as well.

Mini max MM16                                                                 General 90-270         General 90-270 HD         Steel City 50250

    * 16" resaw capacity                                                                 18?                             18?                               15-1/2"
    * 11.5 ? under guide                                                                  12?                             18?                                  12"
    * Max blade thick      1?                                                             1.5                              1.5                                 1.25"
    * Standard bearing guides(bushing)                               tri axis bearing guides no bushings             Roller Bearing Guides
    * 4.8hp (1x230v), S-1 rated 60hz motor                                   3 hp                            5 hp                                 2hp                             
    * Flywheels weigh 25 lbs. apiece                                             80 lbs                          80 lbs                                 ?
    * 13 lb. cast iron fence with quick drift adjustment                               comparible                                           similar
    * 17.75" x 24.5" cast iron table with indexing pin                 24 x 19                       24 x 19.5                         20" x 20"
    * 154" blade length                                                                     153                           153                                137"
    * 530 lbs. net weight                                                                   616                           710                                450

?          1 year warranty                                                                    2 year  + limited liftetime                              5 Years

?         $2800.00                                                                        $2749.00                        $3099.00                       $1899

Note the 4.8 hp motor rating on the Mini max single phase is a conversion from a three phase motor that does not develop full torque , the General 3 hp motor along with the heavy wheels make this machine very powerful and we never hear complaints about these saws being underpowered.

I hope this helps with your decision.

Chad
Visit us online at www.thetoolplace.ca

Offline Aegwyn11

  • Posts: 168
  • South Dakota, US
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 05:18 PM »
FYI, the N4400 is on Christmas sale right now. $1599 (plus freight, mine is going to be right at $500, OUCH).

Felder Christmas Sale


Oh, and if you need it soon, the N4400 isn't your puppy....leadtime is painful right now...
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 05:19 PM by Aegwyn11 »
Nick & Tanya

Offline Alex2

  • Posts: 44
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 07:13 PM »
Hi Chad

Yes I have considered General but only General and not General International. I do own a GI drill press which is Ok but I would like to stay out of Chinese / taiwan imports as much as I can for my next bandsaw (yes I know Steel city bandsaw is also made in the pacific rim).

Now the N4400 looks attractive. It is 2200+shipping here in Canada. Should be 1800$ max considering exchange rate but then again that's not too bad of a deal even at 2200$. So I'm still puzzled. I do love the General 20'' bandsaw the one made in Canada but it's completely over budget and i do not need a mammoth like this saw (900lb!). Maybe Laguna ?  There are not a lot of reviews on the net for the N4400 so I was wondering why did you chose that saw instead of the others ?

Alex


Offline Aegwyn11

  • Posts: 168
  • South Dakota, US
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 11:20 AM »
Now the N4400 looks attractive. It is 2200+shipping here in Canada. Should be 1800$ max considering exchange rate but then again that's not too bad of a deal even at 2200$. So I'm still puzzled. I do love the General 20'' bandsaw the one made in Canada but it's completely over budget and i do not need a mammoth like this saw (900lb!). Maybe Laguna ?  There are not a lot of reviews on the net for the N4400 so I was wondering why did you chose that saw instead of the others ?

Alex

Several reasons. The reviews I was able to find for the N4400 were all very positive with the only complaints being space on the table in front of the blade and not being able to tilt the table to 45 degrees. With that said, most of the people making these comments didn't think they really affected anything very much anyway. I like the idea that the saw is made in Italy/Austria, not China. And finally, I had a Hammer A3-31 already on order that the N4400 was going to ship with, so freight was CHEAP (<$100). Now that I picked up my AD731 for a ridiculous price, freight is back to the normal ridiculous price, but I'm still very happy with the decision. Working with the guys at Felder USA is very easy and pleasant.  Per the purchase contract, they could have easily told me too bad on the deposit I put down on the A3-31, but they didn't and applied that money to the N4400. I was supposed to take delivery this month, but they over packed the container and called and asked if I could delay until February...but they compensated me well for the added wait  ;)
Nick & Tanya

Offline Alex2

  • Posts: 44
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2009, 08:10 PM »
So the Steelcity BS is not in the finalists. I really would like to get a BS made in NorthAmerica or Europe.

I got a price on the MM16.. 3100$ canadian

Also, I have added the Laguna LT16 in the runner ups. Still waiting for a quote on this one

Thank you for your help

Alex

Offline tDot

  • Posts: 87
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2009, 08:47 PM »
I was at a local wood show recently, with the idea that I would be looking at and potentially buying the Laguna 16" Bandsaw and their combo jointer/planer.  My brother has owned one of the Laguna 16" bandsaws for about 5 years, and has always been very happy with it, though he's replacing it, since he traded it away.  He came to the show with me, and we were both shocked at the lack of quality in the both Laguna units, we were even more put-off by the Laguna reps, both the guys from Europe and the US.  He decided that he wouldnt be buying another Laguna, and after looking at the Hammer and Felder lineup, we decided that the difference in quality more then justified any price difference.  Neither of us had even considered the Hammer prior to that show. 

Before the woodshow; Laguna, Grizzly, Rikon, Powermatic and General were all on the list.  Now it's down to Hammer and Powermatic (only cuz I occasionally see used Powermatics for pretty inexpensive prices)

Offline Aegwyn11

  • Posts: 168
  • South Dakota, US
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2009, 11:05 AM »
I was at a local wood show recently, with the idea that I would be looking at and potentially buying the Laguna 16" Bandsaw and their combo jointer/planer.  My brother has owned one of the Laguna 16" bandsaws for about 5 years, and has always been very happy with it, though he's replacing it, since he traded it away.  He came to the show with me, and we were both shocked at the lack of quality in the both Laguna units, we were even more put-off by the Laguna reps, both the guys from Europe and the US.  He decided that he wouldnt be buying another Laguna, and after looking at the Hammer and Felder lineup, we decided that the difference in quality more then justified any price difference.  Neither of us had even considered the Hammer prior to that show. 

Before the woodshow; Laguna, Grizzly, Rikon, Powermatic and General were all on the list.  Now it's down to Hammer and Powermatic (only cuz I occasionally see used Powermatics for pretty inexpensive prices)

I know Grizzly is a re-badger (doesn't make their own stuff), but isn't Laguna as well? If thats the case, it would go a long way to explaining the quality inconsistency you saw....depending on who's machine they are re-badging, it may or may not be crap. Nothing wrong with re-badging...the N4400 is sort of a re-badge (if I remember right, the saw is made by AMC in Italy and Felder puts in the motor and electronics in Austria). You just need to do your research to understand what you're buying as when things are re-badges, the name you see on the outside doesn't necessarily mean much.

Again I'll say that my interaction with Felder's customer service has been very positive so far. Interesting that you mention PM...PM was on my list and when I mentioned that to my Felder rep, his response was along the lines of "couldn't fault you on that one...PM makes a helluva bandsaw".
Nick & Tanya

Offline Alex2

  • Posts: 44
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2009, 12:48 PM »
So I got a canadian quote for the MM16 : 3000$
Laguna LT16 is 2000$
N4400 is 2200$

I've read also some bad stories about the LT16 but also there are a lot of people happy with this saw.
The MM16 is my 1st choice but I'm still asking myself if I really want to shell 1000$ more for a BS..
N4400 is in close second.. However if the Minimax and Felder saws were the same price, I would go with the Minimax.. Only reason I would get N4400 isntead is because of the lower price (1000$ cheaper).

Alex

Offline Neill

  • Posts: 889
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2009, 01:27 PM »
So I got a canadian quote for the MM16 : 3000$
Laguna LT16 is 2000$
N4400 is 2200$

I've read also some bad stories about the LT16 but also there are a lot of people happy with this saw.
The MM16 is my 1st choice but I'm still asking myself if I really want to shell 1000$ more for a BS..
N4400 is in close second.. However if the Minimax and Felder saws were the same price, I would go with the Minimax.. Only reason I would get N4400 isntead is because of the lower price (1000$ cheaper).

Alex

Alex,

You might want to check Mini-Max's website.  They have an ME-16 for $1,400 US.  It is a scratch & dent model that has been discontinued in the US.  They offer full warranty and repair parts availability when you need it.  It is not an industrial version but might suit your needs.

Neill
Kapex, Domino, MFT/3, Rotex 150 FEQ, CT 22E, TS 55, RS2E Orbital Sander, C12 Drill, 1400 Router, Rotex 90 DX, Rotex 125 FEQ, LS 130 EQ Linear, Parallel Guide Set, Deltex 93 E, Trion 300 Barrell Grip, ETS 150/3 EQ, ES125 EQ, Guide Rail Accessory Kit, Sanding Block, various rails, systainers, sortainers, vacuum hoses and accessories for various tools.

Offline tDot

  • Posts: 87
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2009, 08:35 PM »
I know Grizzly is a re-badger (doesn't make their own stuff), but isn't Laguna as well? If thats the case, it would go a long way to explaining the quality inconsistency you saw....depending on who's machine they are re-badging, it may or may not be crap. Nothing wrong with re-badging...the N4400 is sort of a re-badge (if I remember right, the saw is made by AMC in Italy and Felder puts in the motor and electronics in Austria). You just need to do your research to understand what you're buying as when things are re-badges, the name you see on the outside doesn't necessarily mean much.

My understanding was that Laguna was rebadging a bandsaw originally (I dont remember what company, but I think it was the same guys as Felder/Hammer) that is the saw that most people are happy with.  Their new model saw is a copy that they have had made in Asia, without the original designers consent. Now of course this is just the musing of some old men hanging out at a woodshow, so I dont know how much truth there is too it, but  they seemed to be fairly well informed ( and working in the industry)

Offline Alex2

  • Posts: 44
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2009, 09:08 PM »

[/quote]

Alex,

You might want to check Mini-Max's website.  They have an ME-16 for $1,400 US.  It is a scratch & dent model that has been discontinued in the US.  They offer full warranty and repair parts availability when you need it.  It is not an industrial version but might suit your needs.

Neill
[/quote]

Yes I asked Minimax US about the E16.  They still have it but I will go for more HP.. The next BS i wanna buy will be my last one (so to speak). So I prefer to pay 1000$ more today than buying 2 x 2000$ BS instead of just one for the next 30 years.

Cheers

Alex

Offline Steve Rowe

  • Posts: 828
  • Teach them safety when they are young.
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2009, 09:11 PM »
I have had a Laguna LT18 for going on 8 years and it is a great saw.  I have not had any significant problems with Laguna although they can be slow at responding at times.  It really depends on the rep.  I would definitely buy again.  The saw I have is made in Italy by ACM.  The Minimax are made in Italy by Centauro and I have used both the MM20 and MM24 models.  The Felder bandsaws are made in Italy by ACM.  I am not sure about the Hammer but check with Felder on it.  The Agazzani is also made in Italy.  All of these are top performers and short of a bad batch of switches in the Minimax line a number of years ago, I have heard nothing but good things about them.  I wouldn't hesitate to have any Italian bandsaw in my shop, they are all great machines.  

The bottom line is you get what you pay for, whatever you buy.  

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2458
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2009, 11:20 AM »
I also own a Laguna LT18 and love the saw -- it is smooth operating and I would buy again.  The new ones come with a Baldor motor which is awesome (I upgraded my 2001 model to the Baldor this year and I am very pleased with its performance).  I have always received great service from the folks there too.  I agree with others that any of the Italian machines are going to be great machines and should serve you well.   

Scot

Offline emccollu

  • Posts: 3
Re: Bandsaw.. which one to get ?
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2010, 12:08 PM »
I have the Grizzly 514x2 19 inch and love it.  Use with one inch Timberwolf blade for resawing and it is great.  Lige