I recently bought a really cheap bandsaw from Home Depot, and wow is it a piece of crap. It will not cut straight. I have been trying to set it up to cut straight for weeks. I give up, you get what you pay for.
So I am looking for something better I dont have a bunch of room so would prefer a benchtop model. What would you guys suggest? Under $500.00
Standalone ShopSmith, but you have to find one locally with a stand. Great quality, US made equipment. Better than Delta. You might want to put a larger pulley to slow it down a bit if you cut tropical hardwoods, but that's a minor adjustment. Another things is to replace the blade guides (blocks) to Carter guides (bearings, cost $100). Those will allow you to resaw wood very cleanly up to 4.5".
The two that I use are 1) an old Delta Homecraft that I inherited from my father, this one is phenominal for wood, and 2) is a portable bandsaw used for metal that I built a vertical stand for. The Delta came out in the late '40s and is a cast iron work horse. Parts are still available and the only thing that has been replaced on this one in 50 years of use (between my father & I) is the rubber tires. The metal one is a HF and uses the standard 44 7/8" blades. This one has been great for the small metal cutting I need and also for some quick work outside. I made the stand out of a piece of 1/4" plate for the base and some 1/8" x 2" angle for the upright so that the saw is held vertical by to quick release clamps.
If you could spend a little more I would suggest a 14" Jet bandsaw.
Here is a link to one on Amazon.
I have 2 of these that I use here.
One is just like the one in the link.
The other has the 6 inch riser block, roller guides and re-sawing fence.
They cut great, easy adjustments and simple to change blades.
I would second Mark on the 14" saw. Jet or Ridged
I have a Ridged. and its been running strong for 6 years and counting. :)
Amazing timing! I'll be watching this thread.
Both of the ones I spoke about before are bench top and the two together would easily be under your $500.00 limit. Please allow me a second try at this with pics.
Delta HomecraftAttachment 2666
HF Portable w/ home make standAttachment 2667
I have a benchtop band saw (never could get it to cut straight on anything thicker then 1/2 inch) and a deep cut porta band (awesome tool for cutting metal) Yet I still recommend a 14" band saw or larger for resaw work, cross cutting etc. Especially for some of the woods we like as knife handles. Rosewoods and Iron woods and many others including stabilized block are very hard and dense.
Here is another vote for the Shopsmith bandsaw, although mine is powered by the Mark 5 unit. I'm also using the 6X48 belt sander on the mark 5 to do all my blade grinding, and horizontal boring capacity to make handles.
i have a craftmen 12 inch and a roll n saw 14 inch
let the saw do the work and get good blades
making sure that you have proper tension on the blade will also help keep the cut on tracck
that is the blade kerf and tooth TPI how wide is the blade all are things that can hell keep a cut straight