First Bandsaw Buying Advice

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kc1

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This topics been completely covered way too much but... I'm looking into buying my first bandsaw soon which would be primarily used for general sawing, resawing, sawing tenons and probably whatever more I can think of. It's down to either the Axminster Trade AT2552B or AC2606B or the Record Power BS350S. Which company has the best after sales support that would be able to help with all the beginner questions I'd be bombarding them with? and does anybody have positive experience with any of the machines mentioned?

Cheers
 
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gregmcateer

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I've got a previously owned Record bs14, which I believe, but may well be wrong, is the predecssor to tha bs350. It's been great. It works well even when I throw large pieces of tree at it and only occasionally complains - often because I've pushed it too hard coz I'm impatient and lazy, so need to sharpen or replace the blade.

I think new record machinery has five year warranty, which seems pretty good, imho.

No experience of axi saws.
 

Spectric

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I have the Record BS400 which is good, but do not think you wll get a usable saw out of the box, they all need tweaking and definately throw away the blades they supply, look on these forums for the blades many of us use. Also Axminster is getting some bad reviews as far as their quality, so maybe the 5 year warranty from Record may be good.
 

kc1

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I've got a previously owned Record bs14, which I believe, but may well be wrong, is the predecssor to tha bs350. It's been great. It works well even when I throw large pieces of tree at it and only occasionally complains - often because I've pushed it too hard coz I'm impatient and lazy, so need to sharpen or replace the blade.

I think new record machinery has five year warranty, which seems pretty good, imho.

No experience of axi saws.
That's great to find out! puts the BS350S at the top of the list. Yeah I can see the five year warranty saving me a lot if I do buy.
 
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kc1

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I have the Record BS400 which is good, but do not think you wll get a usable saw out of the box, they all need tweaking and definately throw away the blades they supply, look on these forums for the blades many of us use. Also Axminster is getting some bad reviews as far as their quality, so maybe the 5 year warranty from Record may be good.

The BS400 looks great I would have definitely considered it if I could justify it's price for my work. I'm probably gonna buy a Tuffsaws Blade ASAP when I do buy, I have seen a real mixture of responses towards Axminster recently so it has been hard to tell.
 

thetyreman

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I would get one of the sabre ones instead, they are much better quality, even the small 250 is better quality than some more expensive ones because of the cast iron table and wheels.
 

kc1

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I would get one of the sabre ones instead, they are much better quality, even the small 250 is better quality than some more expensive ones because of the cast iron table and wheels.
The sabre models do look great but I'm not sure I could justify it's price for a first bandsaw, the 250 does look great quality for it's price but I think I might need a greater cutting depth at some point.
 

Spectric

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I should mention that the one thing I wanted on a bandsaw was a de-tension lever so that I did not have to leave the saw tensioned when not in use, I don't think it is good practice to leave the machine frame and blade under tension.
 

NickWelford

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If you can afford it, buy bigger than you think you will need. It’s such a versatile machine that you will find reasons why you need the larger one.
 

Wood&StuffLtd

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This topics been completely covered way too much but... I'm looking into buying my first bandsaw soon which would be primarily used for general sawing, resawing, sawing tenons and probably whatever more I can think of. It's down to either the Axminster Trade AT2552B or AC2606B or the Record Power BS350S. Which company has the best after sales support that would be able to help with all the beginner questions I'd be bombarding them with? and does anybody have positive experience with any of the machines mentioned?

Cheers
I recently purchased the Record BS300E 12” bandsaw and it works very well. I only bought the 12” due to space restrictions in my workshop. Do consider buying the optional wheel kit which allows the band saw to be easily moved around. This was essential for me. When you put the the body of the saw onto the base I got two strong blokes with a length of 4”x2” under the top box and quickly lifted it level onto the four retaining bolts on the base.
Like many of us old retired blokes, we wear the catalogues or the keyboard out, make a decision, order it, and then a lorry blocks the street as a driver with hydraulic tailgate and a 2 ton pallet lifter wheels it onto the drive, you unwrap a wheely bin’s amount of packaging and the faced with assembly (one person) and lifting stuff into position (two people). When I had my Axminster AT406WL wood lathe delivered, they wheeled it into my garage and due to space restrction it too me, my wife each steadying the 50kg legs and two strong local builders working next door to lift the bed onto the legs. Just saying! Even the Record 12” sander took two of us to lift it onto the bench! Good bit of kit though.
 

Delwood

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This topics been completely covered way too much but... I'm looking into buying my first bandsaw soon which would be primarily used for general sawing, resawing, sawing tenons and probably whatever more I can think of. It's down to either the Axminster Trade AT2552B or AC2606B or the Record Power BS350S. Which company has the best after sales support that would be able to help with all the beginner questions I'd be bombarding them with? and does anybody have positive experience with any of the machines mentioned?

Cheers
As far as after sales service I have found RP staff to be helpful and they seem to keep spares for older models. I have had a BS300 for 16 years and had no problems when I needed to replace the tyres on the band wheels and the motor drive belt.
I would endorse the advice about having the ability to move the bandsaw easily especially when ripping long pieces of timber, I move my saw to feed the wood through an open door.
 

kc1

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I recently purchased the Record BS300E 12” bandsaw and it works very well. I only bought the 12” due to space restrictions in my workshop. Do consider buying the optional wheel kit which allows the band saw to be easily moved around. This was essential for me. When you put the the body of the saw onto the base I got two strong blokes with a length of 4”x2” under the top box and quickly lifted it level onto the four retaining bolts on the base.
Like many of us old retired blokes, we wear the catalogues or the keyboard out, make a decision, order it, and then a lorry blocks the street as a driver with hydraulic tailgate and a 2 ton pallet lifter wheels it onto the drive, you unwrap a wheely bin’s amount of packaging and the faced with assembly (one person) and lifting stuff into position (two people). When I had my Axminster AT406WL wood lathe delivered, they wheeled it into my garage and due to space restrction it too me, my wife each steadying the 50kg legs and two strong local builders working next door to lift the bed onto the legs. Just saying! Even the Record 12” sander took two of us to lift it onto the bench! Good bit of kit though.

Glad to hear your machine is serving you well! mobility is definitely an important factor in my purchases too. i keep forgetting how heavy these machines are, i definitely need to put into consideration. getting it into my garage workshop is definitely going to be the most difficult thing.
 

kc1

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As far as after sales service I have found RP staff to be helpful and they seem to keep spares for older models. I have had a BS300 for 16 years and had no problems when I needed to replace the tyres on the band wheels and the motor drive belt.
I would endorse the advice about having the ability to move the bandsaw easily especially when ripping long pieces of timber, I move my saw to feed the wood through an open door.
That’s reassuring, i’m definitely gonna need all the customer support i can get. Wow 16 years is a long time, you got any tips for helping to keep it going strong for that many years?
 

deema

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Most company’s are interested in helping buyers with questions if they are related to issues concerning their product. However, they expect the person buying the item to know how to use it, or to have / planning on getting proper training in how to use it. They will I am sure be extremely reluctant to be a source of information and be ‘bombarded with questions’ about basic use and setup.
I think one of the best sources of information on bandsaw use and setup are the vidoes on uTube by Alex Snodgrass. You won’t go wrong by following his advise and methods of setting up a saw.

For a first bandsaw, I would usually suggest one of the older Startrite, Wadkin machines, These will last for generations, and maintain / increase in value. However, if your looking for some support / spare parts, I would look at the SCM MiniMax S45. This is a well built machine, strong back, industrial quality, and you can buy spares for older machines as the design has hardly changed. A good secondhand one will be cut a £1200~£1500. New they are around £2300.

Most of the modern none industrual machine are not sufficiently stiff to tighten up the maximum width blade they specify they can take. If the back is not sufficiently stiff the blade will wander in the cut as it flexes no matter how good the blade is or how well you set it up. the deeper the cut, the more apparent the problem. Any bandsaw setup correctly should cut straight, a lot don’t, and there are a number of suggested solutions including adjustable fences to compensate for the blade bending out of alignment Which are just work around s for a poor saw.
 

kc1

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Most company’s are interested in helping buyers with questions if they are related to issues concerning their product. However, they expect the person buying the item to know how to use it, or to have / planning on getting proper training in how to use it. They will I am sure be extremely reluctant to be a source of information and be ‘bombarded with questions’ about basic use and setup.
I think one of the best sources of information on bandsaw use and setup are the vidoes on uTube by Alex Snodgrass. You won’t go wrong by following his advise and methods of setting up a saw.

For a first bandsaw, I would usually suggest one of the older Startrite, Wadkin machines, These will last for generations, and maintain / increase in value. However, if your looking for some support / spare parts, I would look at the SCM MiniMax S45. This is a well built machine, strong back, industrial quality, and you can buy spares for older machines as the design has hardly changed. A good secondhand one will be cut a £1200~£1500. New they are around £2300.

Most of the modern none industrual machine are not sufficiently stiff to tighten up the maximum width blade they specify they can take. If the back is not sufficiently stiff the blade will wander in the cut as it flexes no matter how good the blade is or how well you set it up. the deeper the cut, the more apparent the problem. Any bandsaw setup correctly should cut straight, a lot don’t, and there are a number of suggested solutions including adjustable fences to compensate for the blade bending out of alignment Which are just work around s for a poor saw.
I have been watching a lot of set up videos by the manufacturers and some by matt estlea but i haven’t seen Alex Snodgrass’ videos yet thanks for the recommendation.
I wish i had the space and funds for a startrite or minimax machine, they’ll have to be dream workshop machines for now :(
 

Ttrees

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I wish i had the space and funds for a startrite or minimax machine, they’ll have to be dream workshop machines for now :(
Vertical space?
No difference up to about 20"/500mm wheeled machine in footprint area than something with splayed legs.
After 20" they start growing in footprint.
I would keep an eye out on ebay and gumtree for that money.
Used machines are half the price of new, and 3 phase at half that price again.
Look for the dual voltage symbol on the motor nameplate, and run it with a cheap VFD for a hundred quid (total cost of VFD & what you need for it)
You could get a single phase motor, but probably more expensive and you'd need 16 amp setup in the workshop, compared to using a VFD/inverter and running it off the 13a sockets.

That saw was 800 a few years ago, a small table on this compact machine as with many others up to that size.
$_86.jpg


A quick look on gumtree for 'band saw' not bandsaw, comes up with a few hits.
There are two nice Axi ones which are under that budget!
one in London, and the other in Angus.
Single phase ones, well only one is worth talking about is the one for 600 in Angus, but its a good example of what you can get with your dosh.
Screenshot-2021-3-7 Adminster plus Band saw 16amp in Kirriemuir, Angus Gumtree.png
 
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recipio

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+1 about needing help unpacking the saw.. I bought a Hammer N4400 bandsaw a few years ago and could not get the thing upright ! Eventually I clamped a 6 foot spar to the base and the law of the lever did the rest. In general I would advise getting the most powerful bandsaw you can afford and avoid alloy castings in the rise and fall mechanism. They break easily.
 

G S Haydon

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One further piece of advice, don't be afraid to use a coarse blade. They don't need to be flashy, just sharp 3tpi skip tooth blades. They don't tend to drift like finer blades, this is due to gullets filling with dust on fine blades.
 
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