Makita LB1200F 305mm (12") Bandsaw - Follow up

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Bodgers

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A while a ago I posted about a bandsaw I bought review-of-makita-lb1200f-305mm-12-bandsaw-t97885.html.

At the time I had only had it a few days, but not long after, long story short, it turned out to be a lemon.

The most frustrating thing about this, is that there is so much to like about the saw (great table, plenty of power, decent dust collection) but Makita simply don't know how to sort the problems, and they are well aware of them.

I didn't mention anything earlier as I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and fix it. But they couldn't.

After a few days the LED light broke. No big deal, I thought, I'll just swap out the bulb. Except, it isn't so simple as the bulb is soldered and hardwired into the bandsaw and the part isn't freely available anywhere. It isn't even listed on the official parts list by Makita.

Originally, there was some vibration that I thought was just a setup issue, and would be resolved by some minor tweaking and a better blade. Several blades later, and some adjustments to the stand to stabilise it; no difference. I basically just battled on with it as it was a useful workhorse to do rough resawing. But after a while the vibration got a lot worse to the point where it wasn't possible to precisely cut curves etc. I tried clearing compacted dust from the wheels etc. but it made no difference. After experimenting with running the saw without a blade on and putting a dial indicator on each wheel it seemed pretty clear that the top wheel was not only out of shape in its diameter but also out of balance.

Looking at some French and Eastern European forums (where most buyers seem to live for this unit) I was not alone in this problem. Some people giving up on it completely, others attempting to rebalance it by setting up a jig and drilling it and re-machining wheels etc. LED failures are also reported.

I decided to let Makita have a shot. After wanting me to take it to a local Makita dealer (which turned out to be my local timber dealer who were very non-plussed about the situation) they accepted it back for repair. After palletising it and sending it to them - no mean feat for a workshop machine, and after having it a week they assured me they'd fixed it. But alas it came back the same, except slightly worse as they'd taken chunks out of it and allowed the table to rust by apparently putting something damp/wet on it. They offered to take it back again, but by this point I was unwilling to play ping-pong with a 100Kg workshop machine and asked for my money back. Eventually, the retailer intervened for me and offered me a partial refund.

The retailer talked to Makita about the bandsaw and apparently this is an issue that's come up before, but alas they seem to be unable to do anything about it. Which is unfortunate for them, as it is actually a promising machine.

So, this is a buyer beware warning. If you are considering one, be prepared for problems.

If there were plenty of English based forums/sites out there with these problems discussed on the Makita I would never have bothered with it. It seems to be a fairly uncommon machine here, and to be honest it needs to stay that way. What is interesting is that there is a Metabo version (318) of this which seems almost identical (and is slightly cheaper in the UK but much more expensive in mainland Europe) and after talking to a few people in Russia and the Ukraine on YouTube the Metabo version seems to not suffer from the same problems...
 

MikeJhn

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So what made you buy this lemon in the first place, was it just based on cost?

Did you consider a tried and tested Bandsaw rather than this unknown?

Mike
 

Bodgers

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MikeJhn":2m0wxp4d said:
So what made you buy this lemon in the first place, was it just based on cost?

Did you consider a tried and tested Bandsaw rather than this unknown?

Mike
Price wise it was middle of the road for this size Bandsaw (305mm).

Primary reason was a very positive review in the Woodworker magazine:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3OMXX ... p=drivesdk

All of what is said there still holds. They just don't mention QA issues :)

Second reason was the Makita name - I have other Makita stuff that works well. That brand seemed more 'tried and tested' to me than some of the UK independent brands like RP and Charnwood etc.

Reality is, most of this midrange to cheap stuff is built in a factory in China based around standardised basic designs. What differentiates them is the QA that the requesting company applies to the factory. Metabo are obviously doing a better job on this model.







Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
 

MikeJhn

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Every one on here seems to be on side with Record Power for Bandsaws, I just wondered why you went another way?

The problem I have always found with magazine articles is the bias if the manufacturer or retailer advertise's in that particular mag, notwithstanding the product.

Mike
 

Bodgers

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MikeJhn":22cw2jqi said:
Every one on here seems to be on side with Record Power for Bandsaws, I just wondered why you went another way?

The problem I have always found with magazine articles is the bias if the manufacturer or retailer advertise's in that particular mag, notwithstanding the product.

Mike

I thought I answered that... :)

I don't think it is that much of an off the wall choice. It seems quite popular in mainland Europe. Besides, you don't have to buy whatever everyone is buying here - there are plenty of owners of other stuff I'm sure.

The Record Power stuff looks ok, although not without fault themselves in this price range.

I think I will either go for their 305mm unit or possibly the Scheppach Basa 3 which looks to get half decent reviews and has pretty good depth of cut for its size.
 
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