Bandsaw which is the best?

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jxdubbs

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Sep 28, 2017
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157
Location
Derry NH USA
Hi,

I've been looking to buy my first bandsaw. I'm making pens for the most part, but as well as other woodworking projects like bowls, cutting boards Ect.

So I have around $300 to spend. I've been researching for a few weeks. The ones I like the most would be...

WEN 3962 10-Inch Two-Speed Band Saw with Stand and Worklight

WEN 3962 10-Inch Two-Speed Band Saw with Stand and Worklight

OR

RIKON 10" Bench Top Bandsaw, Model 10-305

https://www.rikontools.com/product/10-305

Honorable Mentions...

GRIZZLY-G0803 - 9" Benchtop Bandsaw

9" Benchtop Bandsaw | Grizzly Industrial

Thank you for all your wonderful help. I've looking forward and exited to what you have to say about these band saws.

James

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skypilot444

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Mar 9, 2019
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Florida
I have the wen. It’s ok, especially in that price range but it’s limited to a maximum 3/8 blade. If you do other carpentry work ( like resawing) you won’t be happy. Does the job for small projects though.
 

dogcatcher

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Jul 4, 2007
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TX, NM or on the road
I would go to Craigslist and look for about a used 12" bandsaw. Do not even look at the ones that have 3 wheels. A used one from most home shops will be in good shape. I would skip any industrial shops, they may look good, but they can be refurished to look good.
 

mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
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Tehachapi, CA
I have a Rikon 10” and a Laguna 18”. I use both. The Rikon has a very narrow blade which is used for tight curves or most curves period. My Laguna has a 3/4” Resaw King that is for resawing and general cutting that is in a straight line.

Tune up that small bandsaw and keep the bearings oiled and you can do lots of great work. Be sure to loosen the tension every time. Best of luck
 

FGarbrecht

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Aug 22, 2019
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Location
NY
I recommend this one: (I realize this doesn't really address your question, but building your own is a great learning experience and will get you more capacity for the dollar than can be had buying new. This is a 14 inch that cuts pen blanks, prepares larger pieces for turning, and can do some resawing as well. Takes time to build but depending on how well you can scavenge a motor and a few other parts, this was pretty cheap (less than the Wen saw). The frame is build from cheap scavenged lumber too (no hardwood required for most of it).
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jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
There is no such thing as best especially in that $$$ range. You wind up with a toy. But you can choose what color toy suits your taste because they are all about equal in performance. Decide what you need to do with it. People talk about cutting bowl blanks but never in their life make bowls. Any bandsaw can do what you ask. Not detail cutting in what you ask. You do not mention resawing so that is out. Making pen blanks with segmenting can be done but better done on a tablesaw. Jigs will need to be made. Keeping a saw tuned is paramount. Using a good quality blade is also high on the list. So here is a link to the top benchtop saws as you requested. Many woodworking magazines run these. Rikon seems to come out on top. But underpowered. Good luck and think about it if you have the room a floor model is the better way to go. More versatile and better resale value.
www.toolnerds.com/saws/bandsaw/benchtop/
https://toolsadventure.com/best-benchtop-bandsaw-reviews-for-the-money/
 

howsitwork

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Jul 9, 2016
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Thirsk
Sorry I do t know those saws but I would try them and have a look at their dust extraction as bandsaws generate a lot of fine dust and it’s best sucked away at source . Over here I went for Elekra Beckum 10” cut then upgraded to a startrite 352 but that’s industrial build. Elekra has better dust extract but not as bigger depth of cut. Blade quality is key and ease of change of the belt is important . They all look to have easy open knobs top and bottom so that’s good but give em a try and see which you like.
Thats my 50c worth anyway !
 

penicillin

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Feb 27, 2019
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Did you look at the used bandsaw market in your area? Sometimes you can find a far superior used bandsaw in your price range. The "oldies but goodies" may not have as many fancy features as the new models, but who cares if it cuts well and does what you need?
 

VA Jim

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Jun 10, 2018
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Location
Charlottesville VA
Don't know anything about the Wen. I've got a 10in Craftsman I bought new in the box from an estate sale. It's the same as the Rikon. Definately has it's limits but it's a good saw so I'd say go with the Rikon.
Whichever you go with take a few minutes to watch the Alex Snodgrass youtube on setup.
Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass
For what it's worth, I followed what he has to say and my saw doesn't drift and I can cut a 1/16" veneer strip off 5/4 stock.

For blades I've used Cyber Woodworking Depot www.toolcenter.com (they are Lenox blades). Good prices and flat rate shipping. They've also got drive belts & tires for the Rikon.
Another good source for drive belts and tires is Polytech Design www.PolyBelt.com out of NJ and they have free shipping on most belts & tires.

Good luck!
 

pawpaw gene

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Feb 28, 2019
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Location
Houma, Louisiana
Thank you VA Jim for the link to Alex Snodgrass' video. I recently bought a Jet 14" bandsaw in great shape for $200 that I was having some minor issues with. After watching the video I went to the shop and started from scratch just like he said. When I was finished I cut a few blanks, it worked perfect. I also did some scroll work for the fun of it and to my amazement I had none of the problems I had before.
Many thanks again,
"gene"
 
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