View Full Version : Horizontal band saw All the same?

Col Mckee
02-20-2005, 09:13 AM
Am getting ready to purchase a horizontal band saw as my old Marvel power hacksaw won't hold a true cut and I'm not interested in overhauling it a second time. The new saw won't get much use in my remaining years: maybe an hour or two a month (on average) at most. Are all the 9 X 12 imports (Jet, Turn Pro, Birmingham, etc. et al) about the same, and if so, are they any good? Don't really want to drop 3 grand into a Kalamazoo nor do I want something no better than my worn out Marvel which runs out from top to bottom of the cut. Thanks.


02-20-2005, 12:05 PM
Have you tried a fresh balde in your marvel? You do know that you never start a fresh blade in an old saw (kerf) cut - always teh opposite side? This is because the old kerf with strip the set off the blade and make it pull to one or the other side (crooked cutting) - if everything else is realtively tight on the old girl this is te most likely cause.

If you don't use it much, whay spend more money on new crap...

Dave Burnett
02-20-2005, 06:11 PM
I have a Rong Fu horizonal and it is a great. I had it for about 7 yrs and cut a lot of steel,brass,aluminum,plastic,wood and never had a problem with it at all.

Col Mckee
02-20-2005, 07:54 PM
My point, exactly! Is the new stuff all crap until one gets into the multi thousand dollar category of bandsaw? New blade won't help the old Marvel. Do you have trouble with runout from top to bottom of, say..... a piece of 5 inch stock? Thanks.

02-20-2005, 08:10 PM
If you mean the 7" X 12" models that sell for around $1000.00, those mentioned are pretty much the same machine, painted and badged differently.

I had a Wilton in my last maintenance shop, and it was OK. Not great, just OK. It did the job adequately and reasonably accurately. It would be a decent home shop machine.

I had issues with the vise, it would not hold for beans, and the hydraulic downfeed lunched in short order. The rest was pretty much the normal Chicom machine, butter bolts, poor fit up and too much plastic in the wrong places.

02-20-2005, 08:34 PM
For about the same $$$, you can buy a used, good condition, American made machine. Johnson (Kysor-Johnson, Dake-Johnson, Dake), W F Wells, Grob, Kalamazoo, and others come up frequently at auction & on eBay. Many USA manufacturers have parts available for saws built 30 and 40 years ago. IMO, one of these "old saws" will outperform & outlast a new saw from SE Asia.

Col Mckee
02-21-2005, 07:49 PM
Thankyou one and all for input. Suppose I will keep looking for a decent condition 'Made In US of A' machine, although I was hoping for once to go buy something new and not have to fix on something old (like my Marvel). I don't own much of anything imported (that I know of) so don't know what to expect of the imports. Again, thanks.


02-24-2005, 01:25 AM
Check out the "Ellis" brand of saws.

Bob Quale
02-24-2005, 09:12 AM
I'm going to cause some trouble here, but here it goes.

I have the Turn Pro. It is in the Enco sales flier on sale, $699.95. Made in Tiawan. It works well, I have done nothing to it, but use it. It cuts well and straight. I did have one of the small importes(Delta) and felt they were garbage! It was worth its' weight as scrap. I am a home shop and do some repair work so it only sees a small amount of work.

The only thing I really don't like about the saw is that the coolant does not all go down the drain. The pan is flat and not angled on the bottom, so some coolant pools a little. Granted, my floor is not level.

I live in CT and getting a used saw here will cost about $1000, and it will still need repair.

The Turn Pro was good for me! I would buy one again!

My two cents. Bob

Ted Coffey
02-24-2005, 10:14 AM
Try using a lighter downfeed. I find that these light saws tend to run "off square" I f the feed is too heavy.

02-24-2005, 01:52 PM
I have a 199.00 Grizzly saw I just put a
piece of 1"x 4"x 12" aluminum in my saw vertically and sliced off a 1"x 1" piece.
The piece cut off ended up being 1.006" all
the way to the end of the cut. I am using inexpensive Olson hardback blades.
I am very pleased with the performance of this saw. I am planning to purchase a bimetal blade when this one breaks.

02-25-2005, 02:57 AM
cars are all the same, right? I mean, they all look alike to me.
There is a big difference between a "Central Machinery" saw, and a Jet. The castings are not the same, to begin with- the Jet has a "Jet" cast right into it- so you know they use their own patterns. Plus they use better electrics, bearings, and a UL motor.
I would rank em as follows- Jet, followed by Grizzly and MSC, followed by Enco, Rong Fu, and all the ones where "your name here for a minimum order of 20 pieces".
Now this is not to say that any of em can hold a candle to a real bandsaw, made in America, Europe, or Japan. (Yes, the japanese make a kickbutt bandsaw, that is 5 times the saw a kalamzoo is- but try $30,000 for a full auto Amada)
But if your budget says chinese or taiwanese- try for a taiwan, and I would recomend Jet or Wilton- same company, different models. The Grizzly swivel base 4x6 is a pretty nice saw too- something like 400.
Then go to this website, and use their tips to make it work better.
And use good bimetal blades.

And if you have the money, look at Ellis, made in the USA, or Hyd-Mec, made in Canada, or Kama, made in Italy. All are more advanced, higher quality, and work better than those boat anchor Johnson or kalamazoo's you see used all the time.

02-25-2005, 10:51 AM
I bought a 7x12 Wilton a couple months ago and so far I love it. I also looked at Johnson and Kalamazoo used saws before I made the purchase but one thing that weighs in favor of the Jet,Wilton or Grizzly 7x12 type saws is the reasonable cost and easy availibility of replacement blades.