I bought the equivalent of the current smallest Axminster bandsaw (when they sold the same machine under another brand) - it's fine for what I use it for BUT the small throat is sometimes an issue - in hindsight I should have bought the next size up.
A few years ago I brought the basic Aldi mini bandsaw. For £80 my expectations were very low, but it has proved to be one of the tools I use most and has punched well above its weight. I am only a casual user, but I had to do some fairly major surgery to repair our rotting conservatory which involved cutting out various pieces of timber and replacing them and for this type of task it proved invaluable. (I fitted a Tuffsaws blade which transformed it).
I would not be without one now.
The little Aldi saw has been great, but being cheap the table is only pressed steel rather than cast iron, and the "fence" such as it is is not particularly great, so if you do go "mini" make sure you pay a bit more for a cast table and decent fence....and get a Tuffsaws blade from the off!
I am now looking to "upgrade" to a larger bandsaw sometime soon when I can finally decide one which one to get.
All depends on what your expectations of it are, your budget and if you want it delivered or are prepared to pick one up.
As long as all the parts work as they are meant to and you have a good blade in there you should be good to go, just work within its limitations. Check the actual power of the saw motor, not the peak power. Older saws can be better value in what you get for your pound but equally you have no come back if they turn out to be lemons - and besides they can often require some parts fixing, cleaning or replacing which again is a skeet shoot in terms of value. Check out your local Facebook marketplace for local(ish) older kit. At least you can see it working before handing over cash. The often overlooked advantage of buying secondhand is the previous user is usually happy to offload all the accessories they bought for it themselves, like extra blades, bearings, push-sticks, etc. Try to get a cast table if you can.
I have a bandsaw question. I have Turkey Oak from a tree from our garden that I had converted to 30mm boards. Though I stacked them with battens to dry for several of years they have bowed. The only way I can use them, to reduce waste, would be to cut along the centre and then rip the pieces to half the thickness. (That cut would be 120mm deep at most.) At the moment I do this all by hand, which is good exercise but exhausting and dramatically limits what I can make. I'd like to make a chest but can't prepare that much timber by hand.
I have often thought about getting a bandsaw but wonder if would I need a really big, powerful and expensive one to do that ripping, in order to make reasonably flat and straight cuts? Or could I get away with a smallish one? I'm sure that once the converting was done, I'd find plenty of use for a band saw!
I’ve the Axminster rebadge of that machine (looks pretty much identical) and it’s a great machine. I would ideally like to upgrade to a bigger machine for resawing but that’s the only reason I’d swap it.
You may only want a small one but you often find added features and a better build on the larger ones, I started by wanting a small one to sit on a bench but ended up buying a Record BS400 which really does not take up a lot more floorspace.
I use the aldi one, 10 inch ferrex which has been superb for the money, it can do deep rips in 6 inch wide boards with the right blade installed, I did have to modify the tension adjuster though which was quite a job but it's improved it a lot, from what I've seen the record sabre range are amazing quality, I think that's what I will upgrade to when I can.
I was lucky enough to pick up an ELU3401....twin speed...made in Italy.
Aside from the table ....which perfectly ok, if it had a cast iron thick table it would be brilliant.having said that it’s mounted on a trolley I made and I can move it around the garage to where I need space.
They come up on eBay .....