My local tool store has sprung a big February sale on us, and it's got me pondering bandsaws. I've got a basic import 14" bandsaw which is not the greatest. I've been thinking about replacing it, primarily because I want to be able to resaw taller stock. This saw only can cut to a max depth of 5-1/2". The guides are also not the greatest (ie: upper guide is loose).
I have a basement shop, so a huge monster of a saw is not an option, so my focus would be a taller good quality 14" saw.
Right now the main contenders for me at this sale are either the General International 90-170B, or the Laguna LT14 SUV.
So I'm turning to you folks for advice. What sorts of things do you look for when checking out a bandsaw? What guided your decision when you were shopping for yours?
I compared the specs on the two, trying to come up with a pro/con list and I've got this so far:
These features seem to be a wash between the two:
- Laguna has customer service complaints / setup complaints. I've got a good local store for support here, so no worries.
- Either purchase will support the local store, and the store will support me.
- Either one is probably a giant step up from my current Trademaster 14" with 5.5" resaw capacity
- Both Offer: Foot Brake, Magnetic Switch, Quick release on blade tension, Rack + Pinion upper guide and Table size roughly 16x20
Laguna LT14 SUV
- Free Resaw King Blade ($250 value) Supposed to be a very good blade
- 3HP 220v/1phase motor (requires some rewiring in the shop)
- 14" Resaw
- Rack + Pinion Table Tilt
- unclear if fence is included or not.
- ceramic blocks for blade guides
General International 90-170B
- Significantly cheaper than the Laguna
- New as of fall 2010, so no real in-depth reviews out there that I have found (some reviews for the non-B model)
- lighter-weight wheels than the Laguna
- 1-1/2hp motor, pre-wired 110 (no rewiring needed in my shop)
- table height 36-1/2"
- includes Excalibur rip fence + curbed resaw guide block
- 12" resaw
- Ball Bearing blade guides
Any pointers appreciated.