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Mario

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Hi all. I'm a new member and I really need your advice on purchasing my first bandsaw. I have nearly 20 years of experience in wood carving but never used a bandsaw before .
I would like to get the best ( biggest and most powerful )bandsaw for my budget which is £1300-1500.

Thank you in advance for any help/advice...

Mario

P.S. please excuse my grammatically mistakes but English is not my first language
 

Bojam

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Hi Mario

You don't say what you intend to do with the bandsaw or what power supply you have in your workshop. I'm assuming you have single phase and want a machine with at least 16 inch flywheels. For new machines in the UK around that price (a little higher but not much), have a look at these two options:

iTECH BS400 Heavy Duty Bandsaw
Record Power Sabre 450 18" Bandsaw

The iTech BS400 is a successor of the popular Startrite 403. It has 16 inch heavy duty flywheels, with a cutting depth of 280mm and a cutting width of 390mm. Powered by a 1.5kw induction motor. Weighs 160kg. Manufactured in the Far East (China or Taiwan I guess).

The Record Power Sabre 450 is a well regarded machine. With 18 inch flywheels, it has a greater depth of cut at 320mm. Also a larger throat depth (max width of cut) at 445mm. Same size induction motor (1.5kw) as the iTech. Weighs 150kg. Also manufactured in the Far East. There is a smaller version of this saw - the Sabre 350 - which is cheaper but personally I'd stump up the extra if I was going to buy from this range.

A potentially interesting alternative is the Centauro Smart 400 Bandsaw. This is a fully Italian manufactured saw from one of the world's leading brands. The "Smart" range is Centauro's new budget offering. It has 16 inch flywheels, a max depth of cut of 300mm and a max width of cut of 380mm. Weighs 155kg. Decent spec but the motor is rated at only 1hp which is about 0.75kw. This seems somewhat underpowered, especially if you want to take advantage of the 300mm cutting depth to do some resawing. Maybe not?

@ScottandSargeant sell all three of these models so I'd suggest getting in touch with them for advice. You might even consider visiting their showroom south of London to see the machines in the flesh. Assuming the showroom is open and they have stock. This is a something I wished I could do but geography didn't permit (I live in the tropics) so I had to order a bandsaw based solely on reviews, advice and shipping rates.

You might also consider buying a used machine if you can find a good deal reasonably local and have the knowledge/skills to evaluate its condition and undertake any work required.

Hope this helps.
 

Ttrees

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Don't discount 3 phase if you've only got 13a plugs.
I run a 3 phase, 3hp, 24" machine off the household plug, with the help of a hundred quid VFD/inverter.
Just look for 240v on the nameplate to be sure, some three phase motors you can't do this.
Had a very quick look on the bay, couldn't see anything on gumtree.
A rough Centauro compact CO600, another nicer one for a lot more, Griggio and Multico, hopefully all have dual voltage motors which means 240v on the motor nameplate.
Some are without fences, so that should be a big lump take off the price for that.

Some Aximinster machines there too might be worth looking at.
All could be bargained down to 1000 likely, or if not might be worth keeping an eye on it.
That's about the price what you want to be paying for a machine.
(in pristine condition)

All the best
Tom
 
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Bojam

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Forgot to mention Laguna. By all accounts they make real nice bandsaws - check out all the online reviews. Have won various awards. Very popular in the US.

The 14|12 is about your price range (£1600 inc VAT). Very solid frame, 14 inch flywheels, impressive 330mm max depth of cut, 340mm max throat width (without fence). Powered by a 1.3kw induction motor. Weighs about 120kg.

For a bit more (£1850) you can get the 14|BX which has an even more solid one-peice frame, a more powerful 1.8kw motor, and a foot switch and disk braking system. Same max depth of cut and throat width. Weighs about the same.

Laguna saws are relatively new to the European market. If I'd waited a little while longer before buying a bandsaw, I'd have been able to order one of these from the continent to ship here. Reckon I probably would have done so. Though I'd have probably gone for the bigger, heavier, more powerful and more expensive 18BX. Depends what you want to do.

@Nick Laguna UK should be able to answer any questions you have if you're interested. One thing I'd be interested to know Nick is where these saws are manufactured? I'm guessing the Far East but is there some connection with Italy (think I read something, somewhere...)?
 

Nick Laguna UK

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One thing I'd be interested to know Nick is where these saws are manufactured? I'm guessing the Far East but is there some connection with Italy (think I read something, somewhere...)?
Hi Bojam, they are built in Taiwan.
USA bring some Italian ACM saws in under the Laguna name, but we stick with exclusive Laguna designed units here in Europe.
Cheers,
Nick
 

Mario

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Thank you all for your replies.
I have a single-phase power supply in my workshop.
I will be using the bandsaw mainly for resawing pieces no more than 8"-10".
I have to admit that I do not have any skills or knowledge to evaluate a used machine, this being the reason why I turned down an offer of £1000 for a 5-year-old Startrite 403, 20 miles away from my home.

iTECH BS400 does not have too many reviews on here and I could not find too many online.
Record Power Sabre 450 also does not have too many reviews but RP Sabre350 it seems that has only happy customers.

I am torn between RP Sabre 350 or Laguna 14/12
Do you believe I should purchase one of these or I will be regretting not buying a bigger one as I am not planning to change the bandsaw for the next few years ( assuming nothing mechanically will go wrong with it )?

I do not have a high restriction and it seems that most of the bandsaws have the same footprint size.

P.S I have on my list only Tuffsaws blades and an Axminster De-Luxe fence (a tall fence that will help me a lot getting the first cut off the log)
 

Gordon Tarling

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I bought a Sabre 350 fairly recently and, overall, am fairly happy with it. My only very small gripes are that I feel dust collection could be better and that the supplied fence is too tall for most jobs that I do. I have since bought an accessory fence from Record and that has pretty much resolved that problem. I'm still looking to improve the dust collection. Otherwise, it's a good, well built saw, which cuts straight and true. BTW, I have recently added a machine LED light, as old eyes aren't what they used to be. Bear in mind that the Record machine is guaranteed for 5 years - not many others have a guarantee that long.

G.
 

Ttrees

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Hello again
How long is this timber?
Single phase you have, but do you have 16a plugs, planning to upgrade if on 13a household?
Dust extraction at the same time?

Planning on cutting curves, or is this for processing?

I'd personally be looking for the sweet spot in size around 20"
There is no space to be saved going smaller, unless you're in a tiny workshop.
The smaller you go, the more you can't use the fence, and need use a pivot fence.
Aluminium bits whats delicate, terrible fence design, although useless anyways.

Grand for wee curves though, and quite a large table for curves.
Wouldn't do even a small tenon with it though!
EB 315.JPG

Compact far Eastern machine with small table, the same footprint.
Not nice for doing tenons and dusty when you open the doors, unless you have dust extraction.
Cough splutter.
Checking for coplanar .jpg


depending on your space, that could be a compact one with not much space around the wheels and smaller table like some far eastern machines,
or if wanting nice guides which don't need maintenance then this Wadkin would be the best of both worlds, footprint growing very gradually.
$_86.jpg

This Wadkin which was on ebay few years ago for 800


"Seems" a teeny bit more compact than the Italian equivalent below, of which brands there are many.
(pretty much all have nice guides the same industry standard, GL345 system.
A well fitted machine.jpg

More Italian or Italian style machines for you to look at,
The SNA(C) is the extra 40mm wheel series, so guessing a bit larger. ACM made originally.
Old Felder might have some of those, they've changed and if I'm correct, I think its only the biggest
machines larger than these, which are made in Italy.
Seems a lot of companies are making the wheels a bit larger than the standard 100mm step up.
The old SNAC are a tad rarer I suppose.
Griggio SNAC .jpg



A 24" seems a good bit out of the wall by comparison, well the 20" Far Eastern machine I had anyway.
You can get these for very cheaply however,
This one required a lot, but bought for 500 euros.

I specifically sought out three phase (one with a dual voltage motor)
as I only have 13 amp household plugs.
The VFD enables one to have an easily adjustable soft start, as it's the starting inrush current
that is the strain on the supply, not running it, it uses the same juice on me auld laptop, whilst running idle.

SAM_0939.jpg


All the best
Tom
 

Mario

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I bought a Sabre 350 fairly recently and, overall, am fairly happy with it. My only very small gripes are that I feel dust collection could be better and that the supplied fence is too tall for most jobs that I do. I have since bought an accessory fence from Record and that has pretty much resolved that problem. I'm still looking to improve the dust collection. Otherwise, it's a good, well built saw, which cuts straight and true. BTW, I have recently added a machine LED light, as old eyes aren't what they used to be. Bear in mind that the Record machine is guaranteed for 5 years - not many others have a guarantee that long.

G.
Hello,
If you don't mind I ask you, have you bought the Magnetic LED Work Lamp and the Heavy Duty Cast Iron Mitre Fence from the Record Power webpage?
( I want to know, just in case I decide to go with RP Sabre 350 )
* A 5 years guarantee is something very important to take into consideration judging by the fact I am not producing industrially.
 

Mario

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Hello again
How long is this timber?
Single phase you have, but do you have 16a plugs, planning to upgrade if on 13a household?
Dust extraction at the same time?

Planning on cutting curves, or is this for processing?

I'd personally be looking for the sweet spot in size around 20"
There is no space to be saved going smaller, unless you're in a tiny workshop.
The smaller you go, the more you can't use the fence, and need use a pivot fence.
Aluminium bits whats delicate, terrible fence design, although useless anyways.

Grand for wee curves though, and quite a large table for curves.
Wouldn't do even a small tenon with it though!
View attachment 118359
Compact far Eastern machine with small table, the same footprint.
Not nice for doing tenons and dusty when you open the doors, unless you have dust extraction.
Cough splutter.
View attachment 118360

depending on your space, that could be a compact one with not much space around the wheels and smaller table like some far eastern machines,
or if wanting nice guides which don't need maintenance then this Wadkin would be the best of both worlds, footprint growing very gradually.
View attachment 118357
This Wadkin which was on ebay few years ago for 800


"Seems" a teeny bit more compact than the Italian equivalent below, of which brands there are many.
(pretty much all have nice guides the same industry standard, GL345 system.
View attachment 118358
More Italian or Italian style machines for you to look at,
The SNA(C) is the extra 40mm wheel series, so guessing a bit larger. ACM made originally.
Old Felder might have some of those, they've changed and if I'm correct, I think its only the biggest
machines larger than these, which are made in Italy.
Seems a lot of companies are making the wheels a bit larger than the standard 100mm step up.
The old SNAC are a tad rarer I suppose.
View attachment 118361


A 24" seems a good bit out of the wall by comparison, well the 20" Far Eastern machine I had anyway.
You can get these for very cheaply however,
This one required a lot, but bought for 500 euros.

I specifically sought out three phase (one with a dual voltage motor)
as I only have 13 amp household plugs.
The VFD enables one to have an easily adjustable soft start, as it's the starting inrush current
that is the strain on the supply, not running it, it uses the same juice on me auld laptop, whilst running idle.

View attachment 118362

All the best
Tom
Hi Tom, Thank you for all the info provided. Unfortunately, my budget cannot cover the acquisition of any of the bandsaws described in your post.
I am keen on purchasing a new bandsaw. I have no experience of working with a bandsaw and I do not have any skills or knowledge to evaluate a used machine.
* even I have managed to find a Griggio Snac 540 Bandsaw, 3 phase on eBay for £1990 (fully operational) that looks very nice
 

Ttrees

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It's at least a grand too expensive, without fence, and the tires could be quite old.
That's not going anywhere for that money.
Just put it up there to show the size, since you want the biggest best ect.
All the bits on the real Italian machines are interchangable,
For the money you should look at second hand pristine condition machines, most of them will be 3 phase, so make sure they have dual voltage motors.

You would find one should you want a large table, i.e.. cutting tenons, large curves possibly,
no dust collection (big enough to house the dust and table large enough to be away from the cut,
and safer for you're hand.

Planning to use over 3/4" blade

If you're using 13a plugs, as you will be limited to 2hp single phase due to startup surge.

*And have some time to wait for a better machine*
(something that will be ready to put to work)

All the best
Tom
 

Gordon Tarling

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Hello,
If you don't mind I ask you, have you bought the Magnetic LED Work Lamp and the Heavy Duty Cast Iron Mitre Fence from the Record Power webpage?
( I want to know, just in case I decide to go with RP Sabre 350 )
* A 5 years guarantee is something very important to take into consideration judging by the fact I am not producing industrially.
No, I didn't buy either of those from Record. Bought the LED lamp from RDG Tools and the fence I bought was the accessory rip fence which Record sell. The mitre fence, I bought from Woodworkers Workshop.

G.
 

recipio

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I think the Hammer N4400 is the best value bandsaw on the market. For cutting logs it has a 4 HP single phase motor although it will need a 16 amp socket. In practice once you have a good 3 tpi blade in the machine you will not want a lot of blade changing so power is the most important consideration. Down the line you could invest in a smaller bandsaw with a fine tooth blade for thinner materials.There is one on #bay at the moment with a wheel kit and table extension - a rare bargain. I'd grab it if I didn't already have one. !
 

Mario

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I think the Hammer N4400 is the best value bandsaw on the market. For cutting logs it has a 4 HP single phase motor although it will need a 16 amp socket. In practice once you have a good 3 tpi blade in the machine you will not want a lot of blade changing so power is the most important consideration. Down the line you could invest in a smaller bandsaw with a fine tooth blade for thinner materials.There is one on #bay at the moment with a wheel kit and table extension - a rare bargain. I'd grab it if I didn't already have one. !
I found that Hammer 4400 on #bay . ( at the moment just £255 but there are over 4 days left until the end of the auction ). From your point of view, what is the maximum price to be offered for that machine?
 

recipio

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I found that Hammer 4400 on #bay . ( at the moment just £255 but there are over 4 days left until the end of the auction ). From your point of view, what is the maximum price to be offered for that machine?
I think the machine retails at about £1750 inc vat. Its dangerous to put prices on #bay offers as they can spiral upwards. The bandsaw is very heavy so I'd say the wheel kit is desirable and the extension table would be handy if you are into cutting logs. I'd expect the lot will go for at least £1500 and probably more. Good luck !
 

Ttrees

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Was a pristine 3 phase one for less than a grand (pounds) on gumtree up north,
Not sure if it had extras, was there for a while, location is often a huge factor in price.
That's a sought after machine due to it's size, could get a 24" machine for half the price.

Just trying to give you more of an impression of how much saw you can get for the money, as new machines seems 2 1/2 times the cost than which they were 10 years ago.
Well, in Eire they are anyway.
 

Ttrees

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@Mario
 

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