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OliT

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Morning all,

Having been mulling it over for a while I think I'm going to part with the cash for a Bandsaw. If my first "machine" rather than a tool and I was looking at the Axminster Craft AC1950B. Is there anything else I should be considering for similar money? Any other major brands to look at or deals that would be too good to miss at the moment?

Thanks
Oli
 

woodbloke66

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If you care to read the reviews, you'll see that most users think it's a great little saw. I can confirm that all the reviews are 'un-doctored' and appear as they were originally posted - Rob
 

Jon C

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I’ve seen one in my local store and it certainly looked good. I have a record power bs250, I paid £250 with free delivery. This is without a stand though.

To be honest, I’d probably buy the Axminster over the BS250 if I was buying again. Main reasons:
1. I like the idea of the extra dust port.
2. Ceramic guide blocks. The bearing guides on the bs250 (on mine at least) can be awkward to set perfectly.
3. The fence on the bs250 is awful.

I still like the rp, even after all that.

Decent blades are important. I’ve only used axminsters own brand and tuff saws. Both are very good.
 

sunnybob

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Only thing with buying your first bandsaw, think hard and long on what sized wood you want to cut. Many small bandsaws are really only fit for small works and model making.
Check the maximum depth and width of cut of the machine.
 

Jon C

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I’ll add a bit to sunnybob’s good advice.
I’ve got access to a 16” bandsaw at my workshop (business use). The bs250 is at my home hobby workshop.
On my bs250 (with a 3 or 4 tpi blade) I’ve maxed out the height capacity ripping softer hardwoods (meranti in particular) and softwoods. It isn’t fast but it’s do able. For harder materials, I’ve ripped 4” oak and hard maple with it, even slower but manageable.

If you’re going to be ripping a lot of thick material, a larger saw might be worth considering if funds and space allow.
 

OliT

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Thanks all. I have been thinking through the size restrictions. I've never used a band saw so this already feels like quite a significant investment in the unknown. My "workshop" is my shed and size is fairly limited but I could probably fit something bigger in, but I'm not sure budget can stretch to much bigger!

I'm hesitant because I don't want to end up with something that's not going to work for me after spending a lot of money on it!

Oli
 

Phil Pascoe

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Don't forget also that the capacities are optimistic - you might be able to cut 100mm balsa on saw with 100mm clearance, but it will struggle with 50mm of hard wood.
 

sunnybob

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I was in your postion only a few years ago. Starting from scratch with NO woodworking tools. I have a single garage, but it contains everything.
I bought small and cheap for the same reason you are, and spent almost 2 years fighting the piece of junk untill I bit the bullet and bought a 350 size.
That 350 bandsaw is still my most used piece of machinery, I wouldnt be able to do woodwork without it (I have no woodwork hand tool skills other than hammer swinging).
I was lucky to sell the first one on and get some of my money back, but I had already ordered the larger and would have gladly thrown it in a skip if it came to it.
And the difference in floor space between small and large is really very small indeed.
 

spb

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I got the slightly larger AC2305B a few months ago, and it's done me pretty well so far - with a claimed 175mm depth of cut, it's had no problem resawing 150mm oak (with a new blade and some setup tweaking).

You can see where the differences are that make it a craft rather than trade machine - for a start the blade guides are ceramic blocks rather than bearing guides - but as long as you're realistic about what you expect from it (it won't last long with all day every day use) and put in the effort to set it up properly, it'll be a good little machine.

Since this is your first bit of machinery, you'll want to think about dust extraction too; it'll need a proper high volume extractor and not a vacuum one. I have managed to run mine without it for various reasons, but only by unplugging it, opening up the case and vacuuming out the dust after every single cut, and that's no fun for any length of time.
 

grumpycorn

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I have an earlier Axi 'white' hobby model (probably about 10 years old, but definitely an older relative of the one you're looking at). With a decent blade (tuffsaw in my case) and a decent set-up, it will rip through 50mm Ash and Oak really easily. I've cut decent veneer on 100mm kiln dried Oak with a slower (but not ridiculously so) rate of feed, which is within 10% of it's max cut. I've been really happy with it. The newer model is a bit bigger and much more powerful than mine, so unless Axi have really cut corners somewhere in the last few years I wouldn't expect it to struggle.

I would, in hind sight, have gone for the bigger model even with a small shop because there's been a few times when the bigger cut (either height or width) would have been handy... I do like to work with wide boards though when I can. If you decide budget or size are too limited though I don't think you'd be throwing your money away with this one as it'll likely do 99% of standard bandsaw tasks.
 
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