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Petey83

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A questions asked a million times but i'd like some current and up to date opinions.

After a few years away from wood working i've found the recent lockdown has reinvigorated my passion for woodworking. Guess the amount of renovation work that needed to be done to the new house over the last few years took the enjoyment out of it. Anyway i digress....

I am looking to add a bandsaw to the workshop to compliment the Bosch table saw and SCMS. I'm mainly doing small projects such as tea light holders, coasters, serving boards etc etc but also doing some smaller bits of furniture out of reclaimed timber.

The machines i am looking at are the budget end but funds dictate that presently and I'm trying to be more price conscious compared to how i've been in the past.

So the Machines

Records BS250
Charnwood B250
Axminster AC1950 B

Right off the bat the axy machine is probably a no go as its out of stock with no date for it being back when I checked last week which is not a surprise given the global situation.

I could potentially push the budget up to the Charnwood B300 if its genuinely worth it but the Record BS300e is to far past what I can realistically spend and its only compounded by the circa £40 delivery.

With no shows on the cards in the foreseeable future the show discount route is closed to me and second hand seems off the cards as well.

any opinions or advice greatly appreciated.
 

twodoctors

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A question that's been asked a million times, and still get a million different answers!

I'm in the "go pre-loved" camp, and would suggest you get a decent pre-loved machine. Obviously you need to know what you are looking for etc to avoid the duds out amongst the rough diamonds out there.

Charnwood quite often have ex-display machines for sale. It would be worth giving them a call to see what they have. Still have the same (only) 1 year warranty as with their new machines.

Also look at Scheppach. I won't normally recommend Scheppach for most things, as you will notice that, like some brands, they are all based on the same generic framework/design. Scheppach bandswas normally has a frame that is different from other brands, so they probably actually design and build their own machine. (I'm sure someone will prove me wrong soon).

In any case, the general rule of thumb is get the biggest machines you are willing to pay and have room for. I bought my Scheppach Basato 3 for £300 (there is one in Gumtree for £400 at the moment) but that's a guide for you.

(Personally I think Axminster brand is over-rated by that's just me!)

Good luck!

Adrian
 

Steve Maskery

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A 250mm bandsaw is very small indeed, not just in capacity, but it will have a power commensurate with its size.
Try to spring for something a bit bigger, at least 300, 350 or 400 would be better. I have the big Basato and have never regretted it, but that is not a cheap machine. They do, however have smaller machines in a similar style.
Record get decent rating too.

If you feel comfortable around machinery you best bet would definitely be something S/H. A Startrite would be ideal, though some of the older ones, whilst built like a tank, have guide-bearing designs that leave a lot to be desired.
 

Petey83

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Thanks for the input.

Pre-owned just won't happen at the moment due to lockdown and social distancing. I want something sooner than later as the point is to have it for projects now given we're all in lock down.

I'd like a 300 bit even the Charnwood which is cheapest is pushing budget.

Realistically I don't see me doing much above 4" for the next year or so as I'm aiming at smaller craft type projects as opposed to furniture
 

Trevanion

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I've got an old Scheppach Basato 3 that I bought for about £150 secondhand which was around five years old at the time and I've had for about seven or eight years since and I've absolutely abused it. All I've had to do in that time is put replacement catches on the doors (Common fault, plastic breaks), replace the cheap bearings in the band wheels last year which had begun being noisy for good quality SKF bearings and I replaced the thrust bearings on the blade guides for bearings rather than discs. It hasn't got the greatest capacity in the world but it'll do most work without complaining too much so long as you put a decent and sharp blade in it.

I've actively been trying to kill the damn thing but it still keeps chugging on, I'll actually be sad if it ever does go bang :lol:
 

twodoctors

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In which case let's talk customer service.

I've heard great things about Axminster. I guess that's why people pay over the odds for the same machine made/sold by someone else.

I have no experience with Record Power but they do have a good reputation.

Charnwood is only 20 mins drive from me. They have a nice showroom and the guy who served me was very helpful. As I said they do have ex-display machines so it's worth giving them a call and see what they have (if they are open).

Scheppach can be bought via Screwfix etc. I think they make their own bandsaw but they also buy in other stuff and stick their own name on it (like Axminster, Charnwood, and Record Power). That's my observation based on the almost same design of various machineries between brands.

Hope that's helpful.

Good luck and stay safe.

Adrian
 

gwreis

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Hi Petey83,

I´m on the same boat. I´ve been researching for a very long time and I believe I have analysed most bandsaws available on the market on the budget/range you presented. As you and other fellow members noted most of the commercially available bandsaws on the market nowadays are just re-branded versions of a couple of different models. So beyond the models you listed, maybe you should consider these ones as well:

- Dictum (http://www.dictum.com) at Germany has started to sell bandsaws as well. My research indicates that they sell the same machines as Axminster does in their craft series. The Dictum BS 270-10 is exactly the same machine as the Axminster AC1950B, but instead of ceramic guides, it uses roller bearings. They have it on stock and it´s the same price as the AC1950B, but you have to pay 50 euros for the shipping (to France at least):

https://www.dictum.com/en/power-tools-s ... -10-727447

They also have the bigger one, equivalent to the Axminster AC2305B and a smaller one, that would equivalent to the Axminster AC1400B.

- Another brand you might want to consider is Lumberjack Tools (https://www.lumberjacktools.co.uk)

They sell a 10 inch model with 150 mm cutting depth capacity:
https://www.lumberjacktools.co.uk/produ ... w-lum00028
Paul Sellers did a mini review on this machine (it starts at 12 min 50sec): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXCgWIoQ9Ak

- There is also Bernardo from Austria and they sells the exact same model as Lumberjack does:
https://www.bernardo.at/en/holz/holzbea ... s-260.html

I believe both the Lumberjack BS254 and the Bernardo HBS 260 are exactly the same as the Charmwood BS250.

I don´t have direct experience with any of these bandsaws, in fact this I never used one. As many members in this forum pointed out in dozens of occasions, a used one (older) is probably a better built machine and you should buy the biggest one you can. In my case I have a very small workshop and I live in the Alps. It´s also very hard to find good used machines at a decent price in France. There is always the occasional Inca Euro 260, a Kity 413 or 613 for sale, but in general they are 300/400 km away, in terrible condition, no fence and expensive (300 - 500 euros). So I end up always going back to the idea of buying a new 10-12 inch one. So if you decide to pull the trigger, share your experience with us later on.

Cheers,
Gui
 

MikeJhn

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Hi Gui, the reason for my question is that I have a Record Power BS350 fitted with various upgrades and would like to know who makes it if not Record Power.
 

Mrs C

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MikeJhn":rod3j5rx said:
I would really like to know who's machines Record Power re-brand as their own?
I thought it was all their own - at least that’s what the guy at the Record Power show led me to believe. They own the tooling and have it made for them in China
 

Petey83

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looking at the links shared and having done a little more research I would say Record power do indeed seem to be unique in as much as the design is not directly copied by anyone else.

The Charnwood as shown has at least 2 alternate brands selling the same machine. The Dictum takes me by surprise a little as Axy make a point of saying in the video on the craft series bandsaws that they are their own design....

My understanding is a lot of companies in China make a white labeled version of a machine and companies come along and have the option to upgrade bits within parameters of their target price. If you look at bench top PT machines they are all pretty much the same machine but some have a better fence than others and are a little more refined.

Its perfectly feasible that record have their own tooling and manufacturing processes in place with a Chinese factory - almost a case of outsourced manufacturing as opposed to what others do which is source and re-badge existing products.

In the 10" category i am leaning towards the record machine as a few videos on you tube show a guy using a tuffs saws blade to go through 4" oak and whilst he is having to go slowly it does it well enough and produces a decent cut. Even with a decent blade and an improved fence from Axy its still cheaper than the Charnwood (unless they have an ex demo in as has been suggested)

I keep weighing up the bigger Charnwood 12" machine but its £150 more than max initial budget.
 

MikeJhn

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The only further advice is get the biggest you can afford, but do look at the "For Sale" section on here, its possibly the only second hand area where you can probably believe what the advert says, I bought my BS350 from a chap on here and it was exactly as described.
 

gwreis

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MikeJhn":w092xjbe said:
Hi Gui, the reason for my question is that I have a Record Power BS350 fitted with various upgrades and would like to know who makes it if not Record Power.
Sorry Mike,

My reply was to Petey83. It was late and I was tired. I don't know who makes the Record Power saws.

Cheers
 

Petey83

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So the Axy saw is actually back in stock. In theory it has a little more capacity and power but I'm out off by reports of the frame twisting under tention.... Is this still the case?
 

RichardG

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I bought the Axminster AC1950B bandsaw and sent it back after a few weeks. Two reasons, one the upper guide moved as you adjusted the height and felt flimsy. I did manage to adjust and improve it but still not great. The other was the flex in the chassis as you adjusted the tension. I later had the chance to visit the shop and the next model up has an additional metal frame on the back which improves the rigidity no end.

I bought a used Record Power BS300E off this forum for the same money and it’s a much better bandsaw in my view. Many people hate the guides with this saw but I’ve found them to be perfectly usable.

Buying from Axminster is zero risk though if you can face re-packing the saw if you don’t like it.

Richard
 

Petey83

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Hi Richard,

It was actually your review that gave me pause for thought in the Axy machine.

I have to agree that whilst I've not seen any of them in the flesh I have noticed in photos the 2 bigger machines have additional bracing, my guess is that Axminster didn't feel there would be enough stress on the smaller machine for it to be an issue?

So I have ended up ordering the Axy machine today. The guide issue you mention is almost a much the muchness for me, the other machines in this space all suffer similar issues from what I have read.

The flex issue did worry me but no one mentions it in the reviews on their site so I wonder if your issue was a unit specific one off?

Either way as you say it's a no risk purchase, it it turns out to be a lemon it will go back and I guess I'll be saving the extra pennies for a record 300 or the Axy machine the next size up and just have to make the space for them somehow
 

MikeJhn

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You have already lost faith in the AXY machine so why bother with it, cancel your order, save a bit more and get the machine you want, you will never be satisfied with the AXY.
 

Petey83

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I've not lost faith in it, I am however cautious. I'll set it up and see how it goes. Richard may have been unlucky as the reviews on the Axy site are generally positive and no one else mentions the issue.

If I have the same issues it'll go back and I'll be back to the drawing board
 

Paul M

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Hi
I received my 1950b a couple of days ago, I too was a little nervous however despite a couple of niggles. One of the bolts securing the work table mounting base clashed with the rotating base bolt fixing to the table (0.5mm). Easy fix since additional flat washers included (verying thickness).
Secondly table adjustment screws not fitted. Axminster have sent grub screws out and asked if i wanted to return.
That said table is true on one axis, adjusted on table bolt and only a few thou out on the other (Tested with reversing wood) and without grub screws there are no issues
The cuts are extremly accurate, with and without guides adjusted, (taking 0.5mm to 1.5mm)early days but I am pleased. I have spent a day setting up but all straightforward.
Customer help line answered immediatly, which is great since the country is in lockdown
 
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