24 hours with the Axminster Hobby Series AWHBS250N bandsaw!


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Established Member
8 Aug 2012
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HI Guys

I received my Hobby Series AWHBS250N bandsaw yesterday, bit the bullet on new years eve whilst they were on special offer & knowing they would be going up in price the day after.

Have spent weeks not knowing which saw to buy, searched forums, reading reviews and was no better off, I had all but decided to get the bigger saw whilst it was on offer (the 350) but it was at the top of my budget if stretched, I was also concerned about the size in my cellar workshop.
My only real worry with the smaller saws was about the lack of power and the amount of reviews I had read putting problems down to this.

The larger Axminster saw was out of stock, so just bit the bullet and went for the 250 hobby size, my thinking was if it can't cut hardwood, at the very least i can make all the jigs i use that are mostly made from thin ply & mdf.

It arrived, well packaged , Building it up was very easy and straight forward, within an hour I had it ready, the build of the machine for the price IMO is excellent, a few rough edges but on the whole, its solid, the cabinet it comes with is sturdy and does its job, the panels on mine were a bit twisted from being boxed up under their own weight, but it all works, I added a handle to the door as it was stiff to open and shut.

This is my first bandsaw so i sat and scrutinised everything, I had in the weeks building up spent a lot of time watching your tube videos on setup and use... so i began by taking the blade off, backed off the tracking knob & unsetting the guides. I reset it using the notes from the videos & re set the guides, it was pretty easy with only 20 min or so fiddling to get the blade tracking perfectly.

My only 2 gripes with the machine at this point are

1) the table angle adjustment mechanism is rubbish, borderline junk... this is the only part of the machine that need a complete redesign, i will never be using the table anything other than level because of this. that being said it does lock perfectly level.

2) the bottom bearing guides are very hard to adjust without taking the table off, which is not a fast job if you just need to tweak the thrust bearing at the back.

I then checked the table surface & fence which was right on the money, so i had it all up set & tracking with the supplied blade, turned it on, very quiet running... NICE!

So we were off, wanted toe check the cut so I started to cross cut into a piece of pine... not so good, even going slow the blade started to struggle & slow up, arrghhh!!! (panic)

So, went back to look at the instructions & then searched here & there, remembered they are a 2 speed machine even though there is little info on this in the instructions, back to the machine, slackened off the motor, moved the belt, re tighten and double checked the machine setup. Turned her back on - bit louder & the blade running so much faster... tried again, cut into the pine like a hot knife through butter, had a look, nice clean square cut.

I was impressed, tried a few other cuts on thick ply, MDF, some other odds and ends, all cut great. this made me happy to try something a little harder, found some oak 1" board off cuts, quickly ripped one in half, no issue.
I then took the off cut which was 3" wide, stood it on its side and then attempted to re-saw the 1" x 3" tall piece, the bit i had was approx. 8" long... didn't rush or push the machine but it cut it well, the result was a very good job that would have needed minimal plaining, whilst not perfect considering this was the 1st time I have set up a saw, used one & had the stock blade in it made very easy work of it.

I got more adventurous cutting a few thick veneer leaves off one of the pieces i had re sawn, it cut consistently time & time again, though they wold need sanding down to remove the blade ripple.
It handled pieces up to 3" thick no problem as long as you work to the speed the machine is happy with, I certainly didn't get frustrated with the speed. it did it quick enough for me & i feel happy it would be ok on longer pieces.

I was then out of time with the little saw as i had other work to do.

So overall I'm thoroughly impressed with this saw & will be doing lots of work on it as its giving me all sorts of ideas, despite multiple accounts of them being inaccurate, I found if you take time to check everything and set it up from scratch it cut near perfect 1st time, even with the stock blade. its all down to preparation & reading up... the fact that the machine comes factory set to an near unusable speed is bloody daft but thats its biggest draw back... the table tilt is garbage but the price, I'm Chuffed.

I have several Tuff Saw blades on order as they seem to be recommended by everyone & given the general consensus is that stock blades are garbage, I can't wait to see how well it performs with them.

Anyone short on space, not got the cash for a trade quality machine... this could be worth it, it can handle hardwood even with the stock blade & do a decent job, But only if you put a bit of time in with setting it, which you should do with any machine & tool anyway.
Hi giantbeat,

thank you for detailed review of your latest ewquipment. Just right for me as I am presently trying to decide which bandsaw to start with.

The way you have described the setting up is what I would envisage myself, having looked at several videos of how to do this correctly and on a number of bandsaws. I look forward to hearing an update once you have installed the Tuff blade, as several others have commented on how good they are and how much smoother they make these saws run and cut.

I am new to carpentry other than my schooldays of 60 years ago and a little carpntry about 30 years ago, but am looking forward to getting started again.

Thank you again. Much appreciated.

This was very helpful. I am looking to buy a bandsaw and was a bit gutted they raised the price by so much . I've emailed Axminster with a cheeky request, and haven't heard back yet!

But I was torn between the Axminister and the Record Power BS250
Good review. I have had the forerunner to this model for absolutely ages. It's a keeper. A brilliant little bandsaw. Please to see that they now include the better fence as standard....the early version was not very good but that was about 8-9 years ago!

Surprised you say you're having difficulties adjusting the bottom bearings as I don't have that problem with mine. Maybe a design change ?

On yours, where is the adjuster for the top guide sub-assembly height? I have two knobs on mine. One locks it and the other winds it up and down.

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