Bandsaw Recommendation for Wood Ripping

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tibi

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Hello,

I am woodworking mostly with hand tools, but the worst thing for me is sawing 50 mm (2 inch) thick boards by hand. I was considering a small bandsaw, as I do not have space or money for an industrial machine.

I have read reviews of some machines under 1000 Eur and they all have a pile of negative reviews concerning the quality of manufacturing and using suboptimal parts that will not last. If I will not be satisfied with Makita LB1200f for 650 Eur, I might be as well dissatisfied with Lidl Parkside model for 99 Eur and save 550 eur.

What should I expect from a hobbyist band saw? I need it just for ripping and maybe for resawing drawer sides, so I do not need big capacity. It would be nice if it could saw straight along the fence, too.

Thank you.
 

Jacob

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You need a big saw for straight ripping even 2" thick stuff. Forget small and cheap!
Circular saw much better except for depth of cut. Can do deep cuts from opposite sides and take out the middle with a hand rip saw or a smaller band saw - the circular saw cuts help guide the blade.
 

tibi

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You need a big saw for straight ripping even 2" thick stuff. Forget small and cheap!
Circular saw much better except for depth of cut. Can do deep cuts from opposite sides and take out the middle with a hand rip saw or a smaller band saw - the circular saw cuts help guide the blade.
Thanks Jacob, I have an electrical circular hand saw and I do not want to buy a table saw. I wanted a band saw, because it is supposedly safer and quieter and I do not have to fix material to a table or anything (opposed to a circual hand saw).
 

Jacob

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Thanks Jacob, I have an electrical circular hand saw and I do not want to buy a table saw. I wanted a band saw, because it is supposedly safer and quieter and I do not have to fix material to a table or anything (opposed to a circual hand saw).
Yes band-saw safer and quieter but I'd buy a table saw first. The best you can afford as they can be very versatile, precise and get used a lot. Much better than a hand-held circular saw which are generally horrible to use! I hate them!
 

tibi

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So in general, unless I do not have a professional grade and big machine, those cheaper band saws are not worth the money.
 

Jacob

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So in general, unless I do not have a professional grade and big machine, those cheaper band saws are not worth the money.
They are good for small stuff - a step up from the scroll or fret saw
 

Bojam

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I don't see any reason why you can't rip hardwood boards on a small bandsaw. Re-sawing will obviously be limited by the stability of the machine, power of the motor and max depth of cut.

If you're looking at a benchtop model then I would look to buy a higher quality machine like the Record Power Sabre 250 (10" flywheels). This has a 0.75HP motor and max depth of cut of ~125mm. Stability might be an issue with longer boards and you would need a slow feed rate to offset the small motor.

If money would stretch to it then the Record Power Sabre 350 (14" flywheels) would be a better bet as it is a heavier floorstanding model. More stable. More powerful motor (2HP). Much greater max depth of cut @ ~285mm.

Whatever you decide, a good quality sharp blade will make a big difference. Look at Tuffsaws and consider the M42 bimetal blades for durability and longevity.

Personally I think a bandsaw is the better choice for ripping hardwoods than a circular saw or track saw. That's not to say that you can't do it with those tools but you'll find a well calibrated bandsaw does it better imo. A tablesaw is of course an alternative option, but a bandsaw is a more versatile tool that is a great addition to a small hand-tool oriented workshop.
 

Ttrees

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You can expect anything under 400mm wheels will be loud.
If noise is an issue, then likely one which can honestly handle a decent blade
(which has sufficient "beam tension" )
will be able to cut without making contact with the thrust bearing(s),
(the source of most noise)
Beam tension is also very apparent if wanting to rip using the fence.

Noise doesn't seem to be a concern as far as manufacturers go, regarding anything smaller.
i.e flat tires not optional, in favour of tires suited for all work like tight curves needing narrow blades
and not dealing with ignorant consumers returns, as flat tires are more finicky for one who wants to change blades often.

440/450 to 500mm cast iron wheeled machines are the sweet spot in size, (if price is anything to go by)
since they take up the same machine footprint as something smaller with legs,
and maybe somewhat utilize a stouter blade regarding noise concerns,
depending on flavour.
i.e
Say you wish to use a 3/4" blade and track it off the edge of the wheels like on some quieter larger machines with flat tires...
The blade tracking like that is getting more leverage, like a longer handled prying tool,
so the little details like weight might be more important than some other specs/bells and whistles.

Many things maybe no real use on a machine of this size, take guides,
only really need a single thrust guide to stop the blade walking.

I bought mine for 500 quid needing work, 3hp/2.2kw, 3 phase (dual voltage 240 volt) motor means that I can use a household plug using a hundred quid VFD/inverter
rather than needing a sparkey to upgrade my supply to 16amp blue plug.
Just saying as second hand is half the price of a new machine, and three phase is half the cost of that again.
 

grumpycorn

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I've an old Axminster 250 model which is similar to the sabre 250 (not quite as powerful, but similar). It will resaw 120mm euro oak without issue. A bigger saw would do it more quickly, but it gets it done.

It also saws parallel to the fence with no issue - though the edge does need cleaning up with a hand plane, but I assume any bandsaw would need that.

I am planning on upgrading at some point for a bigger resaw capacity, but that’s the only reason.
 

Bojam

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I've an old Axminster 250 model which is similar to the sabre 250 (not quite as powerful, but similar). It will resaw 120mm euro oak without issue. A bigger saw would do it more quickly, but it gets it done.

It also saws parallel to the fence with no issue - though the edge does need cleaning up with a hand plane, but I assume any bandsaw would need that.

I am planning on upgrading at some point for a bigger resaw capacity, but that’s the only reason.

Do you use it on a workbench? And, if so, how is it fixed down? Or does it have a dedicated stand? I see that the RP Sabre 250 has an optional metal stand that effectively makes it a floorstanding machine (albeit still lightweight).

My bandsaw is a larger 17" floorstanding model. Weighs ~150kg I think. I have no stability issues and wonder how stable the 10" benchtop machines are in use? Is there a practical limit to the length of boards you can feed through?
 
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grumpycorn

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That’s a good point actually that I hadn’t considered. Mine sits on top of a metal cabinet (around 400*400) then on some wheels. My workshop is only 8’ by 10’, so I usually put 4’ max through it with no issues. I think I have ripped a 6’ length before but it would have been better with an out feed stand.
 

TRITON

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I've an old Axminster 250 model which is similar to the sabre 250 (not quite as powerful, but similar). It will resaw 120mm euro oak without issue. A bigger saw would do it more quickly, but it gets it done.

It also saws parallel to the fence with no issue - though the edge does need cleaning up with a hand plane, but I assume any bandsaw would need that.

I am planning on upgrading at some point for a bigger resaw capacity, but that’s the only reason.
I've the same saw, and i should point out that as long as you dont force it, you can remove the upper guide assembly, which gives you 162mm depth of cut.
I was using a new 1/2"x 3tpi ripping blade

I last cut hard maple at a depth of about 155mm(I cant remember now what the exact depth was, but at least the 6"), with no problem whatsoever.

While not ideal, and some might suggest problematic or the blade could come off, it didnt present any problems like that and it was a quick fix in a tight spot. So in the future if youre stuck, it might help you out to get a job done
 

tibi

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Thank you very much all for your input. I will take a look at something bigger, yet portable, as I have to put it into the corner of the workshop after each use, as I do not have any space left for a stationary machine. But I will buy it soonest the next year, as this year, my woodworking budget is almost over.
 

TRITON

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Have you an ebay account ?. Im a great one for clearing out and getting some funds back which are then put to other things
 

tibi

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Have you an ebay account ?. Im a great one for clearing out and getting some funds back which are then put to other things
Yes, I do have one. I buy on ebay, if I cannot find something locally, but only small items, as transport from UK to Slovakia is rather expensive for big items.
 

Jameshow

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Yes, I do have one. I buy on ebay, if I cannot find something locally, but only small items, as transport from UK to Slovakia is rather expensive for big items.
My sister knows a man who takes stuff in a van from UK to Cz if that's any help???
 

tibi

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Thanks for the help, but as I said, i am not going to buy a bandsaw this year, as I have already bought way too much woodworking stuff this year and want to stay married :) , so I started this thread just to make a decision which way to go and make saving budget for the saw next year.
 

Jameshow

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Thanks for the help, but as I said, i am not going to buy a bandsaw this year, as I have already bought way too much woodworking stuff this year and want to stay married :) , so I started this thread just to make a decision which way to go and make saving budget for the saw next year.
Replace bandsaw with PT!!🤣🤣🤣
 
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