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Buying a bandsaw

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Johnwa

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I'm looking to buy my first bandsaw , I dont need a large machine, it wont be used. I cant see myself cutting wood much thicker than 3" or 40mm depending on which way you bend so I'm looking at the "hobby" end of the market. I keep returning to the Metabo BAS 261 from Miles Machinery and was wondering if the more experienced amongst you all had any experience of it. I have gone the ebay route but the stuff is either too large for my needs, too much for my finances or is way overpriced for average gear, with no real guarantee of condition. At least buying from a dealer does give the feeling of security if something goes wrong. So there it is, any ideas from the forum will be gratefully scrutinised.
 

MusicMan

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If you can find an old Inca, that would meet your needs nicely with excellent engineering quality. They do come up on eBay a few times a year. Otherwise I have no expertise but have heard good words about the Record 250.
 

TheTiddles

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I’d buy as big as you can, you can easily do small things on a big saw but not the other way. Axminster do a really nice small one bit I think it’s expensive. Unless you were happy reworking it or really trusted the person selling it I’d agree with your sentiment on buying new.

Aidan
 

sunnybob

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Its a sad chinese world, that everything made there has not been quality controlled. Even with new, you should expect problems. But, as you say, you can just send a new one back, even if you have to do it twice.
 

Cordy

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My machine is the Metabo BAS 318 which I am quite happy with
Can be bought new for a little over £400
 

John15

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My first bandsaw was a Record 250. For a small bandsaw I found it a very good machine to use.

John
 

mikej460

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Whichever you choose make sure it has a good quality blade. Many of the cheaper bandsaws have poor quality factory fitted blades that should be replaced. In my experience this can transform a cheap bandsaw into a useful machine. I've just bought a Lumberjack 305 for my new workshop but haven't unboxed it until the shop is finished.
 

Stevebod

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..Scheppach Basa3? Seems to be a decent size at a reasonable price...lots of YouTube vids...

 

Retired

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Hi,

Over the years I've had a number of bandsaws; a lovely small but now rare Startrite 4"; an industrial Startrite Volant 24" and now I own a Wilmac 6" plus an horizontal metal cutting bandsaw.

All my woodcutting bandsaws were bought second hand and all were rebuilt be me; I'm a mechanical engineer with the means to carry out such work.

The Wilmac was on eBay with a price of £150 it being described as "Refurbished by owner" sold without motor. I drove over to Derbyshire to collect it and brought back what turned out to be a scrap machine. I think refurbished must have been dust dropping from it. However this didn't bother me in the slightest; I not only rebuilt it but heavily modified it. The main drive shaft was useless as were all the bearings; I turned a new driveshaft to my specification and replaced all bearings; I already had a suitable single phase motor plus starter plus drive belt to hand so I enjoyed doing the restoration.

Given the small capacity you at the moment need I'd advise against buying second hand; a new bandsaw will come with a decent warranty and up to date safety guards also it will have a cross cut/mitre guide?

I fully agree with mikej460 a quality blade will transform even a poor bandsaw after all as long as the blade tracks it's the blade that does the work.

Tuff Saws

Trucut, The Narrow Bandsaw Specialists - Home

I buy from both companies at the above links and buy 3 blades at a time; on the Wilmac it's being run with a 4tpi blade which is fine as a general blade and I even cut aluminium with it.

If you are short of funds and as you say you only want to do light cutting then a cheap new bandsaw will get you started and should you wish to upgrade to a larger machine later the small bandsaw will easily sell at a fair price.

Bandsaw_0004.JPG


My Wilmac 6" cut x 12" throat bandsaw not exactly as I would call refurbished but it would soon be.

Bandsaw_0001.JPG


Broken casting and rough bearings.

Bandsaw_0002.JPG


No problem just modify the saw; new bearing housings and bearings installed back and front; these are readily available through eBay and cheap enough; any local bearing supplier will also stock these in assorted sizes together with drive belts.

Bandsaw_0003.JPG


Original drive shaft top my completely new design of driveshaft below. I also like lathes having owned five lathes at one point.

Bandsaw_0001_01.JPG


The fully restored Wilmac and it gets regular use; it's now a joy to own and I enjoyed restoring it. I'm aware very few members have my workshop capabilities but I'm adding this to show the perils of buying second hand; at least with a new machine it comes with a warranty and will be plug and play unless it needs a bit of assembling. Restoring machines is just one of my hobbies I encourage such restorations of old machines rather than let them go to scrap. The lathe also just seen in the picture is my fully restored and heavily modified Graduate; this lathe not only turns wood but I do metal spinning on it too.

Joy.JPG


My workshop has evolved over the last 44 years; My lovely wife and I haven't had an holiday away from home for the last 43 years this is where we prefer to use our hard earned money having something to show for it; my wife has her own studio to the rear of the bungalow. I can make anything out of wood or metal and have both arc and Tig welding equipment. Our hobbies are our holidays which we can and do enjoy the year round. It suits us.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Ollie78

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I have a basato 3, now called basa 3. It has variable speed on v belt with windy handle but to be fair I leave it on max torque mode almost all the time.
It is a decent machine for the money but I would not buy one again.
The guides are not the best design in my opinion, the lower guides can work loose and grip the blade. Then you have to open the door (with annoying interlock) to adjust it, awkward for the alan key access as well.
It tensions up a skinny blade fine, I normally keep a 1/4 inch blade in it.
I think either ceramic guides or bearings running the other way would be much better.
It actually cuts well but all the plastic knobs and levers are not nice and neither is the fence.
By comparison my mate has the similar sized Record which is a bit nicer ( same motor size, slightly bigger wheels) but still not great.

When I buy another bandsaw it will be a bigger one and I will look carefully at the guides and how adjustments are done. Personally I quite like the look of the Laguna machines but will need to have a good look at one. Second hand might be the way give Scott and sargeant a ring.

Ollie
 

Alexam

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As I expect you may well want a larger size that you start out with and if that were the case, if you buy a new machine, you would be reluctant to change. Possibly try a second hand bandsaw to start with, learn the basics and get used to working with it, then it;s easier to move up. There are often a few machines on the market and the Record 250 would be a good place to start, but whatever comes up, ask again on the forum about what you have seen and ask for opinions. Being in Wolverhampton, there may be a few members that could help out by showing you their machines, but the lockdown may not allow this at present. Whatever you buy, this forum will become a very helpful place to find help. When I started, only some 6+ years ago, I picked up loads pof advice from here. Good luck.
 

stevek

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Has anyone on here tried one of the Aldi ones? They are appantly rebadged screwfix offerings and I think from memory sell for around £80,,,lots of good reviews and plenty of poor ones but there is a well respected uk bandsaw guru on utube ( he has a fancy name which I cannot recall) who has tested them and I beleive said they can be very usable machines,,,might even come with a 3yrs G/tee,,,they are a small machine and Ive been very tempted at times. As has been said already blades seem to be a big factor in how well the machine performs,,,and I think from the little Ive read that buying an expensive saw might still get you a crappy cheap blade! I would be interested to hear what any Aldi saw owners have to say,,,
 

Jameshow

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Hi I'd make 10" your minimum size both in terms of capacity, power and weight.

I have a 10" Ryobi and a draper one. The Ryobi is heavier than the draper / record bs 250.

No both run well.

Reviews here -


Cheers James
 

stevek

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Has anyone on here tried one of the Aldi ones? They are appantly rebadged screwfix offerings and I think from memory sell for around £80,,,lots of good reviews and plenty of poor ones but there is a well respected uk bandsaw guru on utube ( he has a fancy name which I cannot recall) who has tested them and I beleive said they can be very usable machines,,,might even come with a 3yrs G/tee,,,they are a small machine and Ive been very tempted at times. As has been said already blades seem to be a big factor in how well the machine performs,,,and I think from the little Ive read that buying an expensive saw might still get you a crappy cheap blade! I would be interested to hear what any Aldi saw owners have to say,,,
Heres the fellow,,,great name that I should remember,,,Alex Snodgrass's Bandsaw Clinic video on YouTube is excellent for tuning up the little Aldi/Scheppach saw.
 

Retired

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Hi,

I agree with you stevek; here's Alex in action and well worth watching;



I used to post this video link but as with any subject then the "experts" disagreed with Alex. I run my blades as Alex demonstrates and they track well.

Kind regards, Colin.
 

Stevebod

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Ref the Aldi ones, I got one of the earlier (smaller) 8inch bandsaws and for what I use it for it has been really good and punched above its weight. I mainly needed something to help me repair a rotten conservatory that needed a lot of relatively small pieces of hard woodcut up, and it proved a real time saver.

I fitted a Tuffsaws blade which made a BIG difference to its performance. I have had it for about 3 years and recently replaced the blade which has given it a new lease of life. However it is very much a low usage "hobby" saw. I did try to buy the later larger (10") bandsaw when it came out a few months ago as I was looking for something bigger but by the time I had finished procrastinating they had sold out :( .

I am now looking at something a little bigger and will probably get the Scheppach Basa3 as it seems a reasonable compromise. Again for me it is more a tool of convenience and not something that is going to get a lot of heavy use.
 
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bourbon

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My Aldi band saw is still going nearly 4 years after I got it. OK, I don't use it much. I do keep breaking blades, but I think that is more user error rather than the machine itself. I have just put an Axminster blade on it. and went through 2'' of Black walnut easily enough.
 
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