Benchtop bandsaw choices?


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Old 10-20-16, 08:27 AM
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Benchtop bandsaw choices?

Can't believe I've procrastinated so long not having a band saw, but finally going to make the leap. Due to space limitations and that I won't have a HUGE amount of use with it, it'll be a bench top 9".

The clear favorite as far as value for the $ on nearly every review I've read is the Skil 3386, available from Amazon @ $128 delivered (Prime). Had just about made up my mind when I caught a reference to Grizzly's 9" model 0803 which runs about $200 delivered. Did some reading and watched a YouTube review on it and now I'm torn; it has some better features (better motor, ball bearing roller guides top and bottom, etc) and the Grizzly name is pretty respected in power tools, but not sure about spending the additional 80 bucks.

Anyone with experience with either of these or both or other makes/models?
 
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Old 10-20-16, 07:29 PM
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I've made it over 50 years without a band saw.
I've built houses, garages, sheds, decks, cabinets, rebuilt boats, and never once had a need for one.
What do you plan on using it for?
A small saw like that will work fine if your working on just small modeling projects like making a pinewood derby car.
I for sure would go with the Grizzly over a Skil brand.
 
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Old 10-21-16, 05:18 AM
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Mostly curved pieces of woodworking projects. I've passed up several projects because they absolutely need a band saw, or I've made do with a handheld, but I'm never pleased with the amount of work required and trying to hold a decent line. The item on the board right now is a wood music stand made of QSWO. The feet (4) are 1" thick and have curves. Awful lot to expect from my handheld saber saw. I also from time to time want to cut small or thin pieces that are downright dangerous to do on either the table saw or the miter saw. Not planning on doing any re-sawing, I manage that on my 60+ year old table saw.
 
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Old 10-21-16, 06:23 AM
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Hate to say this, but if you're going to buy new, then buy cheap. New, smaller band saws all have the same fatal flaw - there's no real frame in them. So they'll flex when pushed hard and not cut straight. It sound like you won't abuse yours, so you should be fine with either one. Also, for a small saw like this, you don't have to have rollers. But I would replace the metal pins with "cool blocks". Good luck.
 
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Old 10-21-16, 07:42 AM
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Also, for a small saw like this, you don't have to have rollers.
I think that this is another big flaw in some band saws, the lack of roller guides for the blade. If you look at the Skil it only has metal pins for the blade guide as Markiz37 mentioned. However, if you look at the Grizzly you will see it has two rollers on the side and one on the back. This will keep your blade running true. I have used both (roller models and block models, although not these exact models) and I would take the one with rollers hands down. I would go with the Grizzly.

I am not a fan of Craftsman power tools, but did you check them out? They have a 10" that is around your price range. You could go to the store and man handle it.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 02:30 PM
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After checking out the Craftsman at the local store, I finally went with the Grizzly. The main thing the Craftsman had going for it was the cast iron deck, but other than that I wasn't really overly impressed. The tilt adjust mechanism and hardware, for one, seemed a bit cheap/cheesy.

I have the Grizzly set up and made a few test cuts. So far looks like I'll be happy with it. Going to start my State Fair project in the next few weeks, then it'll get a full work out. I'll update then.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 02:44 PM
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I think you made a GOOD Choice!!
 
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Old 10-31-16, 05:40 PM
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Gave it a bit of a test drive today. Cut the 4 "foot" pieces for the music stand project (full 1" thick QSWO). Had already made a template from the provided drawings in the plans. Cut them to rough size on the band saw then finished with flush trim bit on the router table. The new toy worked quite well. I think I'm going to be using it a LOT.
 
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Old 10-31-16, 05:46 PM
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I'm late to the party, but if I were going with benchtop, I probably would have gone with a scroll saw. I have a Craftsman floor model band saw, but almost prefer thr 24" throat scroll for small work.
 
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Old 10-31-16, 05:56 PM
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Happy to hear it is working out for you.
 
 

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