Bandsaw choices - SIP or Charnwood

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Charlie Woody

Established Member
10 Dec 2010
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West Devon
I am thinking of getting a new bandsaw (for various reasons I don't want to buy secondhand) and have narrowed my choices down to:

Charnwood W730 table 550x400mm cast iron, throat 340mm, depth 230mm, blades 6-19mm, motor 1.5hp £489
Record BS350S table 548x500mm cast iron, throat 340mm, depth 230mm, blades 6-19mm, motor 1.5hp £670
Axi AWHBS350N table 500x400mm cast iron, throat 335mm, depth 200mm, blades 6 – 16mm, motor 750W 1hp?? £400
Scheppach Basato 3h table 548x400mm, throat 306mm, depth 205mm, blades 3.5-15mm, motor 1.1hp £460

I will want to resaw oak, and some curved work mainly. So I therefore think that I need the widest blade and most powerful motor which seems to point towards the Charnwood & Record.

Did see somewhere on here a review of the Charnwood and it seemed to need a fair bit of fettling, but not sure if the Record would too. The Record is over my budget of £500 but so would the Charnwood once a wheel kit is added!

Does anybody have any opinions on the merits of any of these machines for my purposes please?
They say great minds think alike - almost exactly the same questions, about almost exactly the same machines as my thread I started 8 hours before you...

Admittedly, you're more precise. Thanks for the suggestion of the Scheppach - I'll look at that myself.

One thing I noticed different between the Record and the Charnwood is that the Record has cast iron band wheels - supposed to be better balanced in general, and add a "flywheel" effect to help overcome sudden resistance like knots.

The Axi machine seemed to be offering altogether less for the money, so hasn't made it to my shortlist.

Cheers, hope we both get some answers and help choosing.


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Hi Nic

Thanks for your comments and for pointing out the benefits of the cast iron band wheels. Yes I don't think the Axi will be my choice either.
I'm not a great mind, but apparently am in the same bandwagon... can I ask you why the Axminster saw comes short?

Miguel, Looking at it, I think they've actually changed the <£500 model recently, I'm sure the last time I looked that it didn't have bearing guides on the blade guides and I'm positive the previous model had smaller clearances.

The only thing worrying me about the axminster one that currently sits at that spot (Axminster Hobby Series AWHBS350N) now is that the motor is only 650 watt vs >1KW on the record and charnwoods. I was led to believe that the lower power that the motor was, the harder the bandsaw would struggle when cutting thick timber, and since I want mine largely for cutting bowl blanks and sometimes for making veneers from nice chunks I manage to get from my tree-surgeon buddies, then that's a pretty big thing to me.

Interestingly the model above that on the axi site has only a 550watt motor, for almost £800 so I wonder if they are some kind of high-output, low wattage ones, but I very much doubt it.

I've been a little put-off the Charnwood by Jaywhoopee's blog on tinkering one up to scratch for working, so I'm waiting till the community gives us some feedback on this and my own thread on the matter, before I make any further steps. Will be a couple weeks before I can go ahead and order anything anyway.

- FYI: Jay's blog on the Charnwood 730 -
Thanks for the info, I'll take a look at that link. I don't need a very powerful machine but I do need an accurate one - if one can be had in this price range.

All the best,
Many years ago (must be at least 12) I bought a cheap 6" depth of cut Bandsaw - Axminster Perform. It was terrible out of the box but eventually I made little mods here and there and it does 'perform' pretty well considering it's obvious limitations. One thing I disliked about it was the upper bearing guides. The bearings themselves were pretty poor and the method of adjustment was terrible. I replaced them with the type that are now in the Record machines. An improvement but I still wasn't entirely satisfied with them. The guides and the thrust bearing are not the race type but plain metal discs. They aren't perpendicular to the blade and I don't think I saw them spin very often. I've now taken out the side bearings and glued hardwood blocks (dowels) on to the guide adjuster. I can now have them very lightly touching the blade and they are very easy to set. Apart from that the Record machine looks pretty good. I haven't used one but I've seen one close up in the flesh. The cast iron wheels are usually considered a benefit.
I think it's safe to say that Blade and set up is pretty crucial on any Bandsaw that you buy. Spend time getting that right. It took me quite a few hours to get mine co-planar but I got there in the end. I checked mine some 6 years later and it was still fine.
BTW. The motor on my cheap Chiwanese Bandsaw must be pretty decent. Although I rarely test it to it's max depth of cut I've yet to hear it bog down once. I have cut very near 6" Maple and Walnut with it - just not that much or that often.
I'm still trying to make a decision! So could anyone who has owned or used any of the machines listed below please give me some feedback on the good and bad points of that machine.

Charnwood W730 table 550 x 400 mm cast iron, throat 340 mm, depth 230 mm, blades 6-19 mm, motor 1.5hp £489
Record BS350S table 548 x 500 mm cast iron, throat 340 mm, depth 230 mm, blades 6-19 mm, motor 1.5hp £670
Axi AWHBS350N table 500 x 400 mm cast iron, throat 335 mm, depth 200 mm, blades 6 – 16 mm, motor 750W 1hp?? £400
Scheppach Basato 3h table 548 x 400 mm, throat 306 mm, depth 205 mm, blades 3.5-15 mm, motor 1.1hp £460
I'm still deliberating on what bandsaw to get and have realised that the Record BS350S is just too tall to fit under the ancient oak beams in my workshop. The smaller BS300E would fit.

Seeing the problems that another forum member had fettling his Charnwood I am a bit concerned about its quality.

Just noticed ... aw-14.html which seems very good value for money.

However did a search on here and not many people have positive comments on Warco products which they said were imported from Tawain. These posts are some years old so not sure if quality has improved recently.

The Warco has larger capacities & motor to the Charnwood & Record but is cheaper - £460 delivered - which if the quality has improved sound very good value.

So has anybody bought / seen any of their current version of this bandsaw please?
Just found out that Record Power is waiving delivery charges on their bandsaws for a month. That's my mind made up. BS350 for me, reasons as follows.

1- Heavy and well balanced Cast Iron Wheels
2- Cast Iron Table - not only stronger and tougher than aluminium ones, but compatible with my home made Neodymium magnet fence and guides.
3- Easy cam-operated tensioner for popping off the tension when not in use - will save the bearings from damage since I'm not using it every day - also makes it easier to change blades.
4- solid design, reputable company and 5 year parts warranty
5- one of the most powerful motors in its price range, great for re-sawing or veneer cutting wider or knottier stock.

Down sides
1- 5 year warranty is not on electronics
2- not got bearing guides on upper blade guide

Still slightly more money than I'd originally intended, but the benefits are pretty... well beneficial. Looked at Dewalt, Axminster, Charnwood, Sheppach, SIP, and a couple of others, and now that the record is essentially £160 less than it will be next month... I think that's my descision sorted.

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