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Record Power BS350 bandsaw review

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gidon

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[Edit: pics now finally here. Review may seem a little disjointed because the images were originally inline.]

I've been after a bandsaw for years but could never make up my mind what I wanted / needed. I wanted something with a decent resaw capacity, but I don't have space for anything really large. This new bandsaw from Record fit the bill, with over 9" under the guides and enough horsepower to match this capacity (2hp). There aren't many machines in this category - and the Record has a deal on it at the moment where you get a free dust extractor. So (as I've mentioned in another thread) I managed to get it at the Yandles show last week for £385 (they took the price of the extractor off since I already had one!) RRP is £499 and the cheapest I've seen it on the web is £480, so this was a very good price.

This saw is similiar to the popular RSBS14, which it is slowly replacing. It has a few improvements: a larger motor, larger cutting capacity, strengthened frame (and an extra shelf for stiffness in the cabinet), strengthened bandwheels and a 5 year guarentee.

Anyhow enough preamble, for the full spec see here. The machine is heavy - 100kg - I had to unpack it in the car before carrying each bit seperately up to the shed at the back of my garden. First impressions of the build were very good. Nice powder finish and very sturdy construction.

Assembly was fairly straightforward, and the instructions clear enough (you can download the instructions from the above link). Maybe took an hour to completely assemble.

The cast iron table has a nice finish, although the slots could do with a gentle file. The fence is good, locks firmly in place and can be adjusted parallel to the slots or for blade drift by adjusting two allen head screws. The measuring tape can be adjusted for zero - although I had to file the adjustment hole slightly to get zero on my machine.

The mitre gauge is quite sloppy but I sliced some very thin oak and stuck it on with double sided tape. I then sanded down to a tight fit.

The supplied blade is a 3/8 3 tpi skip tooth blade (I think). It's not awful, but on recommedations from this group I bought two blades from Dure Edge: a 1/2" 6 tpi for general use and a 3/4" 3 tpi for resawing. Installing the new blade was quite easy. The bandsaw has a quick release tension lever.

Slacken this off, slide the fence rail off after loosening the four thumb screws, and the blade comes out and in fairly easily. Although, a little tricky squeezing it past the hinges of the doors.

Tightening up the quick release lever, you set the tension suggested via the indicator. Although I had to tighten a little further for the 1/2" blade.

Cutting with this blade was a dream. The top guides and bottom guides are European style.

The top guides have easy-to-adjust thumb wheels. The bottom guides need an allen key though. As do the thrust bearings. Not difficult though. There is a slight problem with my upper guides in that they go out of parallel with the blade as you slide them in and out - makes adjustment a little tricky. I have asked Record to send me some new ones.

The frame of the bandsaw is very sturdy, with folded steel on the main column. The bandsaw is covered by a 5 year guarentee, although this doesn't cover the electrics - only six months (I've confirmed this with Record). Apparently this is because the motor manufacturer doesn't believe that some of these machines won't be used day in day out for trade. Record also say it's unlikely they wouldn't replace electric parts if there are problems in the first year. Although they seem confident that any problems with the motor come up in the first week of use, otherwise the motors should last a lifetime (their words, not mine!).

In use I really can't fault this bandsaw. It's very quiet, with no vibration. It has plenty of power behind it. I resawed 8" wide oak with the 3/4" blade with little difficulty (and the cut was flat across its width)! And with the 1/2" 6 tpi blade I resawed some 5" oak, beech and mahogany with ease. And very accurately too, with a nice finish. Hope this blade will handle most of my likely tasks.

The rack and pinion rise and fall mechanism works perfectly. And tracks the blade perfectly too - no need to re-adjust guides as you raise and lower the guides. And the rack and pinion table tilt is also very smooth and can be set accurately easily.

GWW reviewed the smaller version of this machine (BS300) and it came off very well too. For the price I paid, I think this machine is excellent value. And I would have happily paid the RRP for it too.

Sorry if this doesn't read very well, this is the last time I write something like this in front of the TV!

Feel free to ask me any questions about the saw.

Cheers

Gidon
 

Noel

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Nice review Gidon and photography is excellent. Keep us up to speed on things over the next few months.

Rgds

Noel
 

Midnight

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Damn good review Gidon....
couple of questions re the DC through the saw...

how effective is it??
any sign of dust getting compacted into the wheels....???
 

Philly

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Gidon
Congrats on the bandsaw! See, Yandles is worth the effort! :lol:
I have the "old" RSBS14 and love it-more power is handy, you can never have too much power! I cut some 2mm thick slices of veneer with mine the other day-sharp blade, plenty of tension and a steady feed-Bobs your Uncle. :roll:
best regards
Philly :D
 

Aragorn

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Good review - thanks! And good bandsaw too by the sounds of it.
One question re blade changing. Is it easy to adjust the guides top and bottom for a blade change without the table getting in the way?
Roughly how long does a complete blade change take including adjusting the guides?
Ta!
 

gidon

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Thanks chaps.

Noely - will do - I'll try and do a endurance test a la Pop Woodworking!

Midnight - ah knew I'd leave something out. The dust collection works surprisingly well. With it connected to a 100mm hose through to my Scheppach barrel extractor, I couldn't find much dust collected in the lower bandwheel compartment. The lower wheel also has a brush keeping things clear. Not all dust is pulled through though - some remains on the table surface - but I guess you ideally also need some directed collected there. Time will tell and I'll report back ...

Philly - what blades do you use with it? Yandles was well worth the effort this time around!

Aragorn - not sure I exactly understand your question. But I've tried a blade change maybe three times now and it's getting quicker. I would say under 10 minutes. I'm guessing I could get that time halved easily with a bit of practice. Procedure is: open all guides (pretty easy - table doesn't get in way), slide fence rail off, release tension (quick release makes this nice and quick), pull blade out - I'm a little slow here because I'm perhaps over cautious on blade getting nicked on door hinges - but's it's prettty straightforward. New blade on - found it a lot easier with 1/2 and 3/8" blades than 3/4". Re-tension, tracking, final tensioning and then adjust guides top and bottom. Top guides should be a doddle but as I mentioned the ones I have are slightly off to the blade (still awaiting replacement). Bottom guides are pretty easy to be honest but you need an allen key (you need this for the top thrust bearing too).

Cheers

Gidon
 

woodshavings

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Thanks for the review Gidon, it looks good. If the same deal as Yandles is available at the Kempton Show, then I think I will be making a purchase.

Anyone want to buy a RSBS10, a great saw but a bit too small for my needs now.

John
 

Aragorn

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Thanks Gidon - that answers my question perfectly. My EB bandsaw requires that you actually have to unbolt the entire table to change the blade to get to the guides underneath.
Consequently I almost never change blades!
 

Midnight

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Thanks again for taking the time Gidon.... appreciate it...

I got another question aimed at all the bandsaw owners here..

illumination....

I've only used a metal cutting bandsaw through work... big brute of a thing, and workshop lighting being as it is, some extra candlewatts directed at the work in progress is never a bad thing. I've only ever seen magnetic engineers lamps used, but these seem to have a fairly short lifetime, never there when you need it...
any thoughts..????
 
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Anonymous

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Gidon must admit never gave record a thought for bandsaws always looked at axminster/jets nice review though. Wonder why the 6 months on electrics seems a tad weird as all manufactured goods are supposed to have 12 months in this country :?
 

devonwoody

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To Gideon interesting review , thanks
But remember ater putting in the new blade you still need to run a scrap piece of timber through the saw ?
 

gidon

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Aragorn - nightmare! That really does sound a faff!

Midnight - I just have a cheapy clip on lamp which I direct wherever I'm working. Works ok for I really must sort out the lighting in my workshop ...

AB - To be honest I was the same as you. I almost went for the Axminster 3501, but decided against it when I went to their store and the salesman talked me out of the purchase! He thought the machine was underpowered (which had worried me with only a 0.75hp motor) and that the 8" cutting depth was misleading. Still it did look a nice machine. The extra cutting capacity and hp of the Record plus the 5 year guarentee did it for me in the end. See this post (two up from bottom of page) re the 5 year guarentee - it seems what Record told me last week was wrong ... all parts are covered for 5 years.

DW - cheers - I have a whole pile of scraps just for this sort of thing :).

Cheers

Gidon
 
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Anonymous

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Cheers, for that Gidon! I am deciding between the BS300 or BS350, and am erring toward the BS350.

What I wanted to ask anyone was 'What can be realistically expected from a bandsaw the size of say the 'BS350' ?

I mean say you had some 8x2 redwood joists of 15' in lenght, how would a bandsaw of this size cope with turning them into 8x1's?

Gidon said:
And the Record has a deal on it at the moment where you get a free dust extractor.
Where does it mention that Gidon? I had a look at Records site and D+M's and I cannot see anything.
 

gidon

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Spud

The hardest I've pushed it is some 8" wide am oak. But that is tough stuff - I went pretty slowly but it managed it fine. It has the space under the guides (actually 9 1/2") and a pretty hefty motor - so your 8x2 softwood joists shouldn't be too much trouble. It depends how much you have to do - this machine is not meant for day in day out use according to Record - that's what their Startrite industrial range is for.

The more I use it the more I like it - should do me for a while ... :).

I've noticed the Record site no longer mention this offer :(. But if you phone them up they may be able to honour the deal I got. They're a very helpful bunch.

Cheers

Gidon

[EDIT - http://www.recordpower.co.uk/index.pl?p=BS350&a=i does now list the offer :)]
 
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Anonymous

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Gidon, you mentioned you replaced the original blade with a 'Dure edge' blade. Is this the same people?

21 Station Road
Woodley
Stockport
SK6 1HN
Tel: 08702-252337
Fax : 0161-430-8008
 

gidon

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I didn't even have to move my lips - well you know what I mean :).

In comparison one free blade Record gave me - was over 1mm out at the join over 10cm! To be fair, they sent me another pack (of 3 blades!) free - and they're not bad.

Cheers

Gidon
 
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Anonymous

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You are right Gidon, Record have put the offer on their site now.

I have now ordered a Record BS350 and am looking forward to seeing it.

Hopefully because I have purhased it from D+M, the complete order will be with me within two or three calender months. Unlike that disgraceful set-up known as Rutlands, where it seems, the vast majority of the employees are compulsive liars.
 

gidon

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Nice one Spud! Hope you enjoy it.

I've found D&M to be quite good. Although I've always ended up dealing with the manufacturer after delivery - so never seen their after sales support.

Why 2/3 months?

Cheers

Gidon
 
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