View Full Version : bandsaw recommendation

02-23-2012, 07:32 AM
I am brand new to knifemaking and in the process of equipping my shop.
Can you make a recommendation on a band-saw?
I have noticed a few negative comments on particular saws elsewhere on this board.
I live a good distance from town and I'm concerned with reliability.
A comment on features, either desirable or unnecessary would be helpful.
I am really enjoying the video and I hope you make more.

02-23-2012, 09:32 AM
The Delta is a good saw but fairly light, if it's still made, even. I have a Jet 16" that must weigh 6-800 lbs. and have been totally happy with it. That's about it for my experience, sorry to say. Perhaps someone else can chime in? Thanks for the comments. Gene Osborn died this past year, so I won't be doing anymore DVD's with them, maybe someone else, sometime. We were about to make a Hunter video, but that didn't get done, sorry to say.

Larry Peterson
02-23-2012, 03:28 PM
If I May,

I have a Delta ban saw that is ok for antler,wood and thin non-ferris metals. I use a "93 inch long blade cut off saw". It will stand up and has a flat peice so you can use it like a regular ban saw but it is not very useful in that position. This is a floor model and does a great job as a "cut off", but not good for much else.

I don't use a ban saw to profile, so I haven't invested in the free standing ban saw. My methods are to remove excess metal with a 36 grit belt being driven by a 3 horse power motor. I do not claim that this is better than using the ban saw. It is just my way.

There is one thing I would say about purchasing a ban saw to cut tool steel. It will very likely be best to save up and purchase a larger saw and one that has the ability to weld, and anneal the blades on the side. There are a lot of "less than desireable" ban saws on the market today. I gave one away a few months ago that was worse than junk. There is a frustration factor that translates into lost time and money when trying to use equipment that won't do the job! Horse power is also a factor when deciding on which saw to purchase. My counsel is to not skimp on horse power. I hope this counsel has not "crumbled your cooky."

Best of luck! Larry Peterson

02-23-2012, 09:28 PM
Thank you both very much for your replies. It is wise counsel and I appreciate it. I agree with the idea of being disappointed in the long term by trying to scrimp or get bargains. Every time I have tried that, I have been sorry.
Aside from knifemaking, I visited your part of the country last June for the Pageant.
I thought is was outstanding!
Thanks again,

02-23-2012, 11:33 PM
A wise knifemaker once told me to get the heaviest, best milling machine I could afford. I picked up a used Bridgeport and have never regretted it. Same thing goes for my band saw, it has never skipped beat and it is about 12-15 yrs. old.

It's hard to come up with the money, I know, sometimes the lower priced machine will just have to "do," until you can upgrade. You can do a lot with a little, if you have to. YOu should ahve seen Loveless' shop when he finally had the means to equip it as he pleased! But.....when I arrived in Lawndale in June of 1970, he had a little Delta band saw, one buffer, a little Clausing Mill, one Burr King grinder (bought a Square Wheel not long after my arrival) a torch, a vise, or two and some files and sanding rolls. That was about it. Heck, if we could afford everything we wanted, what would we have to look forward to?

Brad Johnson
02-24-2012, 08:35 AM
You might want to look at the Wilton wood/metal bandsaw, its 93.5" so blades are readily available. they run around $1,000.00. I run good bi-metal blades and it does a really nice job using a 6 step pully system to change speeds (80-2000 sfpm). My 2cents, good luck on your search.

02-24-2012, 09:53 AM
i bought a 7x12 horizontal band saw from harbor fright and it will also cut vertical to,so far it has been a great saw!
it look's like a jet 7 x 12 band saw but i don't know if it is made by the same company.
the thing about it is if you buy the 3 year ex warranty if any thing goes wrong they will give you a new saw!

02-24-2012, 10:02 AM
Thank you, Col. Johnson. I believe that saw is a lot like the Delta that I referred to. They do a good job for a long time and are affordable to boot. I searched a bit and found this quote on "Wilton Corporation a subsidiary of the Waler Meirer Manufacturing Corporation (WMH) has made major changes to the WILTON product line. As of 2010 all WILTON metal working machinery (Bandsaws & Coldsaws for example) are now marketed under the JET name. WMH however has made NO changes in manufacturing of the machinery itself. In fact the JET machines are still manufactured in the same plant as were the WILTON and parts are interchangeable between the WILTON and JET product line. Specifications have all remained the same." The saw that they show is $1429.00.

02-24-2012, 10:04 PM
Yiou have all been very kind to take the time to research and respond so quickly.
Thank you. I will follow the good advice.
Take Care,

02-27-2012, 01:10 PM
FYI: ENCO has the JET 14" Wood/Metal Vertical Bandsaw on sale for $1099.00, with, I assume, the step-pulley speed change feature. Variable speed is $1499.00.

Here is the link:

Just for fun, I filled out and order and this is the total that it came to, including shipping:

Subtotal $1,099.00
Total Tax $.00
Shipping $179.00
Total $1,278.00

02-28-2012, 11:53 AM
I got a JET 4x6 Horz band saw five years ago and it's been going strong with heavy use. You can also go online and see dozens of mods you can do to it to make it more versatile. Don't be fooled the one Harbor fraud sells that looks just like it. I've heard a lot of bad reports about it. It's the age old advice of you get what you pay for.

02-29-2012, 08:43 AM
i have had the one i got from HF for two years now,and i use it all the time and have had no trouble with it,and i payed 998.00 for it so it was a little lower in cost then the jet,and yes most of the stuff you buy there is cheap but so far it had been a great saw!

03-02-2012, 03:13 PM
That's a great price on the "Enco" band saw! I have heard some pretty positive things about Enco.
Since you have all been so helpful, I might press my luck and ask if the group has an opinion on an "Index" mill. From what I can tell so far, It looks like a little brother to the Bridgeport. The one I am looking at is the model 745, which is a non CNC unit and is "Pre Wells". The back-story on the mill is that it was genly used by a gun-smith, who was the first owner. My vision of knifemaking is more craftsmanship than production, so at least for now, CNC is not in the picture.
This is a great group!

03-02-2012, 03:32 PM
I should have said "Jet" band saw at Enco!