Bandsaw advice

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PlacidCasual

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I’m setting up a workshop to do some hobby woodworking. Now the first machine Im planning to buy is a bandsaw but don’t know which to go for. I’ve looked at the Axminster and a Record Power ranges but the engineering solutions don’t look very good until your at the £450+. The Axminster HBS310N at first glance looks a better designed piece of kit than the Record but I’m concerned I’m over buying for my first piece of machinery. On the other hand I don’t want to buy anything too small and regret it quickly.

Any advice on buying a first bandsaw?
 

Bodgers

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The Axminster vs which Record Power? The hobby Axy range is probably slightly below the standard RP stuff in quality.

What do you mean by 'engineering solution'?


I think you are probably on the right lines, not sure how much room you have, but I bought a small HBS250 Axy bandsaw and I sold it for a larger Scheppach after a few months because the depth of cut and power just weren't there.
 

Orraloon

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I would advise at least a 14'' saw with at least 1.5 HP if you want to do general woodwork. The smaller machines are only good for small work. It is a bit of money up front but cheaper than having to get a larger saw after first getting a small saw.
Regards
John
 

Random Orbital Bob

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topic78828.html

It would be worth sticking a coffee pot on and spending half an hour reading and digesting the wealth of comments and experience contained within this thread. It covers pretty much everything you might need to know about buying and setting up a bandsaw.
 

Random Orbital Bob

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PlacidCasual":ql30ttwd said:
I’m setting up a workshop to do some hobby woodworking. Now the first machine Im planning to buy is a bandsaw but don’t know which to go for. I’ve looked at the Axminster and a Record Power ranges but the engineering solutions don’t look very good until your at the £450+. The Axminster HBS310N at first glance looks a better designed piece of kit than the Record but I’m concerned I’m over buying for my first piece of machinery. On the other hand I don’t want to buy anything too small and regret it quickly.

Any advice on buying a first bandsaw?

Beyond the wealth of information in the BS400 thread I linked, there is a more generic bit of sage advice that crops up time and time again for the many people who have cycled through the forum asking the same question as you which is: In the main, buy bigger and more powerful than you think you'll need. Bandsaws at the lower end of the ranges, as you have spotted in terms of the engineering, are rather flimsy, poorly built and underpowered. As soon as you put them under any pressure, they stop coping, especially resawing hardwoods with a reasonable thickness. The general advice is to buy bigger than you might think and if that means going 2nd hand, go for it, you can always sell it on if it doesn't meet your needs and you'll have lost very little. Personally, I would never go below a 16" machine now. There's enough throat, power and height under the guides to tackle most jobs but then I do cut a lot of green stuff from the log so my needs are likely different to yours. The amount of folk who post on here that they're disappointed with the low power/capacity purchases is surprising and they then just upgrade anyway. Save yourself the mistake and buy bigger from the start, you'll never regret it and the bandsaw is, in my view, the most versatile cutting tool in the shop, nothing beats it for sheer usefulness in so many situations.

In a different life, I would tolerate a 14" machine as well as I think that's the real entry level ie the threshold at which they stop being underpowered and flimsy in the build quality.
 

Racers

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Secondhand Starite 352 would be my recommendation, simple and bulletproof.

I have one and it does everything very well.

Pete
 

Ttrees

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There seems to be a surge in bandsaw prices at the moment. :roll:
I would expect to get a 20" machine, that's at least 200KG for around £500 or less,
most anything smaller would probably be a dissapointment, maybe the n440 if one wanted a smaller machine.
Forget those cabinet mounted machines
 

PlacidCasual

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Thx for the advice, I’ll read a few times and cogitate.

The Record Power band saw I looked at was the 300. I thought some of the construction lacked details the Axminster had but the guide adjustment looked marginally better the bearings themselves looked marginally less so. But that is just a first glance impression of an engineer. Of the two I’d go Axminster interesting to hear people suggest the Record Ill have to look again.
 

Random Orbital Bob

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dickm":2abfvyke said:
One number, and one only:- 352.

Put some effort into drawing your conclusions from objective/empirical evidence about the machines on your mental shortlist. The sentiment behind the advice given is that the Startrite (352) is generally a good quality machine and that advice is sound. It is however NOT the only choice and that distinction is, an important one.
 

Random Orbital Bob

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PlacidCasual":c28lwudt said:
Thx for the advice, I’ll read a few times and cogitate.

The Record Power band saw I looked at was the 300. I thought some of the construction lacked details the Axminster had but the guide adjustment looked marginally better the bearings themselves looked marginally less so. But that is just a first glance impression of an engineer. Of the two I’d go Axminster interesting to hear people suggest the Record Ill have to look again.

Remember that both Axminster AND Record Power source their machines from Chinese factories. In my view there are differences but frankly, they're little to do with build quality because the Chinese origin is common to both. If build quality (with the eye of an engineer) is what you really desire then a European sourced machine is where you might like to focus your search. What IS different about record Power and Axy is two fold:

1) RP now own Startrite and come from a Yorkshire/Sheffield heritage. With that co-ownership comes a provenence and understanding of which features are important in good bandsaw design. Cast iron features strongly in the designs of RP machines which is a stability and vibration absorption measure they've crossed over from the Startrite universe which is aimed at the industrial strength market. Band wheels, table, trunnions and the fence assembly are all areas where the RP machines have benefitted from design ideology inherent in the more robust/expensive Startrite range. the difference is that a) they're made in China and b) not all features have crossed the bridge.
But RP have co-invested in tooling in these Chinese manufacturing facilities so there is more vested interest than just painting and badging a pure import.
2) RP offer a 5 year warranty versus the Axy 3 year equivalent (which until recently was only a year). RP are clearly the more serious player in the bandsaw market. They are more steeped in the historical dominance (Startrite) and they put more financial energy into ensuring the machine designs are fit for purpose. They also, put their money where their mouthes are and back that risk with a 5 year warranty. That means investment in parts inventory, trained service engineers etc...ad nauseam. Bottom line, they're serious about this market and that seriousness is reflected in the features of their offerings and the associated services.

An unknown about RP that gets little attention is they continue to service their products long after the warranty has actually expired! In fact, my experience has been that, as long as they can source the parts, your RP product is really guaranteed for life! They just dont like to broadcast that. My experience with Axy is a bit more cut and dried than that....they ask for the receipt. RP have never done that to me....just an old fashioned, if we sold it, we stand by it kind of Yorkshire attitude which I rather like.
 
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