View Full Version : tilt head craftsman bandsaw

Mike Corrigan
02-08-2001, 04:49 PM
Anyone out there familiar with the craftsman 12" tilting head band saw? Seem like the advantage is that the table is larger than most bandsaws and the work is held flat on bevel cuts while the blade head tilts. I am concerned about buying any craftsman carpentry tool. I have their radial arm saw and discovered that you better dedicate it to only one function and that is cross cutting, unless you wan to spend 1\2 your life adjusting it if you try to bevel or miter cut with the darn thing. This 1 1\8hp tilt head bandsaw looks good but I wonder if it can resaw smaller stock. It also looks like it takes up more floor space than a coventional bandsaw, and it says it can also be used for metal cutting which I would never do. Anyone out thre own one? Give me your opinion. Thanks, Mike in Largo Fl.

02-08-2001, 06:13 PM

A bandsaw is a great tool. But it is like most good tools in require of precise setup and adjustment to get the maximum performance out of the saw. The mechanics of tilting a table is one thing that can be controlled but tilting the whole mechanism to avoid that is just stupid.

I will not buy another craftsman tool in my lifetime, I still have three in my shop. Their new stuff is just not worth the money they want. Most of the time you can get a professional quality tool for the price they want for a poor home tool that will not give you the kind of performance that anyone would want.

First determine what you will do with a bandsaw. I would recommend looking at Krenov's books for what can be done with one. It is the most versatile saw in a shop. The only cut it won't make is a Dado.

Then based on what you want to do with it get a good name brand, set it up with a good blade and watch the results.

Here is a good place for blades.


02-08-2001, 10:36 PM
My neighbor has one and he seems happy with it...it isn't his main tool in his shop but it gets the job done....
I just picked up a Rigid 14" bandsaw(I know that people aren't too keen on them but seems to do the job well so far)
How well do those blades work? What sizes do you have and how do they compare to the blades that you used previously?

02-09-2001, 02:58 AM
I don't know much about the Ridgid bandsaw, It could be a good unit.

On the blades they have made all the difference in my bandsaw. First they run much truer, they require much less tension so there is much less stress on the saw. They cut like a dream and leave a very smooth edge. You can track them better for resawing than any blade I had used before.

The size and kind of blade will depend on what you are trying to do. For resaw, a 1/2 3 tpi blade is the right one. For small fret type work you will want 1/8 and about 20 tpi. General work I would go with 1/4 and about 6 TPI. There are some very good articles on bandsaw set up and blade choice in Fine Woodworking back issues.

02-09-2001, 10:33 AM
I've worked with a Craftsman 16" (I think it was) tilt head before, and all I can say is that it performed just fine as long as you were cutting patterns out of 1/4 to 3/4 stock with a narrow, high TPI --teeth per inch -- blade. And yes, the larger table was nice...

But, tilting the thing for bevel cuts? Hard to set and awkward to use. Resaw? Been there, tried that. NOPE.

I've noticed that Craftsman makes a 14" 'Industrial' BS now, which looks quite like a DELTA clone. Although personally I wouldn't spend perfectly good money on ANY Craftsman powertool, perhaps THAT saw is worth further investigation and would fit your needs. Perhaps you should spend a little more money and get a DELTA or JET? (I run a DELTA 14" with a riser block and after-market guide bearings... all told, a dropped a little over a grand on it.)

Good luck and happy hunting.

02-14-2001, 12:37 PM
I have had the Craftsman 12" tilting head BS for several years and have no complaints. I use the tilt head and also do a lot of resawing with it. But follow Lou's link to PS Wood and get their blades. Makes a world of difference ! I use the 1/8" blade for cutting tight patterns and the 1/2" blade for resawing. Also PS Wood has an after market guide bushing that I also recommend. Saves time and work and is up where you can get at it easily. Good luck on whatever decision you make.

Myron V.

02-14-2001, 01:31 PM
LOL! I'm glad SOMEBODY can make it resaw!

Happy Sawdust!

02-14-2001, 04:09 PM
Sorry to have to say it but, I have a new Jet 18" BS in my shop and it only cost $999.95
I feel like I got a deal now. But I do do some serious (to me) resawing and first sawing with it.
Still figureing it out, but it's fun ta run. And will roll an 1 1/2" 1.21 TPI blade just fine for my firewood to lumber burl and grain hunting.
Have fun with whatever you get! Work safe!

02-14-2001, 11:28 PM
Just remember, it is not the saw that cuts, it is the blade. Try PS Wood's blades and even you will see a difference. With the Sears blade I couldn't resaw either. LOL........

Myron V.

02-15-2001, 12:10 PM

Your right it is the blade. I love my bandsaw, and maybe you have one of the few good sears units. For a bandsaw blade to cut it has to track straight and smooth. The wheels need to be aligned and the guides need to have just the right amount of gap.

Even the best blade won't cut well on a saw that is hard to adjust and keep adjusted.

Glade yours is working for you, but, unless you know what it is like for other machines you might not know if it is easy or hard to setup and keep true a moving head vs. a fixed head bandsaw.

Not trying to open wounds here just trying to expand the exchange to the orgies issue.

The idea has some appeal but, it would be hard to accomplish on a low end tool. And maybe I have just been burned one time to many by Sears.