I'm about to make a band saw purchase for my husband for his birthday (and delayed father's day) gift. I am having trouble deciding between the 14 and 17" models... I see Grizzly has a summer sale going until Sept 25th. I'm not sure when their next sale is... but his birthday is Oct... so I guess I should buy now. I have settled on Grizzly for sure.
I read from past advice that a 14" would meet most of his needs... esp. with the riser kit (an added $70)... I guess I wonder if I purchase a 14 GO555X with a riser kit... I'm up to $700 anyway... Should I just get the 17"? I assume you don't need to purchase a riser kit if you are buying the 17". In addition, would you recommend saving money by buying the Polar Bear series... even tho' it wouldn't match his Green Grizzly Cabinet Saw? Would that throw most men in a tizzy by not having matching tools?
And then if I buy the 17"... do I need the deluxe version? And if I get the deluxe should I spend $20 for the cast iron trunnion? It's a slippery slope as you can see...
I know he's interested in sawing larger cedar logs and we have a bunch of reclaimed wood from an old barn... but I'm not sure if that's enough info for you guys to help make a decision...
He doesn't get to use his tools a ton as he works long hours and we have 5 kids... but I know when he does use them... he's in his glory... He's also very talented and can make anything he sets his mind too... certainly he has a talent in woodworking and probably as we get older (more free time) would use his tools much more...
Any advice for your recommendations would be great... Money is always a factor... but I don't mind spending an extra couple hundred if in the end it's a wiser purchase... I just don't want to buy way more tool than he'll ever need. I'd like to keep it a surprise until they drop it off...
If you're doing the G0555X w/riser, I'd definitely recommend going to the G0513P for a similar cost (and you don't need a riser kit for it - in fact, there's no such thing given the different construction).
I have the G0513X2B, and it's a GREAT bandsaw once you get a new blade on it. The main difference (for me) was the cast iron wheels, which theoretically make for smoother cuts, but honestly I'm sure that the cast aluminum wheels will be fine (and you'd get aluminum on the 555X anyway, so I think that's fine).
At $698, that polar bear series 17" is a steal. It wouldn't bother me a bit that it was a different color than my other tools - it's all about the function of the tool and what I can build, rather than what the tool looks like. And, it'd bother me even less if my wife was buying it for me
You have developed a good understanding of what you are purchasing. The 17” saw is a great choice! The extra inches of work room will be valued. The cast iron upgrades would be nice but stopping with the standard equipment will be just fine. Some say the cast iron wheels reduce blade vibration and the cast iron trunion would likely be a little stronger. However, they are not very important additions for a home wood shop.
I helped a neighbor get his new 17” unloaded and into his shop. Some planning will be necessary for delivery and transfer into the shop area because it is a good size piece of equipment.
Jennifer - when I bought my bandsaw - I waited and saved for several years.
I was back and forth about 14 vs 17 and even 19 inch saws.
Finally I bought the Grizzly 513x2
I can attest to that being the absolutely right way to go -- for me.
I also work long hours and use my shop only sometimes
Going from a 14 inch saw to a 17 inch saw is a different category of saw.
It's not just the size of the saw - it's MANY many configurations of the saw.
The 17 is an entirely different saw.
I have used 14 inch delta and 14 Craftsman saws
The Griz 513x2 is a far superior saw to those.
When you get the saw delivered - make sure the delivery truck has a liftgate that is a must or they will not deliver it.
If you could borrow a pallet jack to have handy on delivery day - you will be glad you did.
Last edited by wood_worker; 09-18-2010 at 06:50 AM.
I know I am a bit late in replying to this thread, but I just wanted to share. I am very satisfied working with a Grizzly 14” band saw machine. I guess I am not the only one satisfied, since recently, it has been receiving good reviews at www.bandsawreviews.com .
I visited the link and would have wanted to do a review of my band saw machine but what I have was not listed. I found the site helpful though for those who are looking for the right band saw machines for them.