View Full Version : Seeking opinions on the Enco 5x6 bandsaw

dan s
11-19-2007, 12:58 PM
Lat night I noticed Enco had the 5x6 bandsaw with the UL motor on sale for $199. Does anyone own this saw, is it any better than the other import models?


11-19-2007, 01:42 PM
It's one of the best tools a home shop can have for the price.
First thing to do is replace the blade with a better one. And the
base is flimsy .I took plywood and built a box to fit inside the base to stiffen it up. And put a door on box and now store all my saw supplies and tooling for saw inside box. It works great.

11-19-2007, 01:51 PM
It's one of the best tools a home shop can have for the price. First you have to replace the cheap blade that comes with it and then you have to stiffen up the base as it is flimsy. I made a plywood box inside base to beef it up.Then I built a door on box and keep all my saw blades and supplies and saw tooling inside box

Bill Pace
11-19-2007, 03:13 PM
Those things are one handy tool to have around a home shop...I'd sure hate to have to do without mine.

Theres a dedicated yahoo site for these saws ---they're usually refered to as 4x6, which is more accurate anyway---with some 15-1800 members.


From following the yahoo site and other forums, there doesnt really seem to be much difference in the brands of them .... theres an awful lot of the guys take advantage of Harbor frts --almost always on sale-- version at around $160, ---and youll have to pay frt on the ENCO one and that'll probably be hefty.

They can sometimes be a bit troublesome getting setup to cut true,-- this is another reason to go with HF as they will take it back/exchange it with no questions and without the hassle of shipping. But the percentage of problems seems to be relatively low considering the number of these things sold, besides, its worth a little tinkering to get one of em going.

And, as already mentioned, replace the blade (SOON!) with a good bi-metal blade ---now, this is where ENCO comes in, they have good blades at good prices

11-19-2007, 03:23 PM
Can't say anything about that saw, specifically, but I agree that one of those small bandsaws is an incredibly handy thing to have. Whatever brand you get, it will almost certainly require some tweaking, as the other guys have said. View it as a semi-finished kit of parts and you'll be happy; even viewed in that light, I think they're a good deal.

dan s
11-19-2007, 04:01 PM
After sawing through a 2” diameter chunk of 4140 with a hack saw last week, I have definitely learned the advantage of a bandsaw. :)

The local Menards carries the Jet version that I am sure will go on sail in a month or so, I was just wandering if the UL motor was worth the extra cost of ordering from Enco.

11-19-2007, 04:07 PM
I think I'd buy locally and save the hassle and expense of shipping. I don't think the motor is a huge selling point. The motor on my no-name 4x6 is pretty flimsy...but it's worked fine for about 20 years.

11-19-2007, 04:22 PM
I've had the Jet that Menards sells for about a year, have used it quite a bit. Stuck a good blade on it after the original broke and no problems since.

11-19-2007, 04:46 PM
I have the newer red version from HF and have been very happy with it. As a matter of fact I just sawed a bunch of cast iron and aluminum with it over the weeknd without a problem.

11-19-2007, 05:04 PM
I don't have an Enco, but my HF looks the same. My motor runs a bit hot, but hasn't failed in 5 years. The legs on mine were rahter flimsy, so I threw them out.

I built a 21"x33" rack about 3' tall. 5 shelves for stock. The top is a watertight tray, with the bandsaw bolted on. I run with flood coolant.

It took about 30 minutes to set the guides true, and now it cuts square as long as the blade is good.

I've never used it in the verticle position, but it's a fine horizontal bandsaw. I would buy another one, if somebody stole this one. (Fat chance, that rack is full of stock, and weighs more than my milling machine.)

11-19-2007, 05:26 PM
i havent got any opnions my self but iam converting my 12 inch delta bandsaw with a custom made blade that will hadel everything from aluim to stainless steel, having the advantage of full vertical i hope i gothe vertical part right anyhow use i can also use a thiner blade the same and do some scroll cutting as well.

11-19-2007, 05:31 PM
FWIW I got the ENCO about 5yrs ago and there will be no way to tell if
it will be similar to the current ENCO or not. The motor was a US made
Marathon and it also warms up a bit when run. Not too hot to touch
though. The blade guides, at that time were CI, where a friends HF
equivalent were cast aluminum. Other than that they were pretty
close. We both checked the gear boxes but neither machine had any
obvious crap or debris in the oil. I have used mine to cut a piece of RR
track in half, had to flip it over mid way. The OEM blade took 45min
to go half way through, top down and then broke. Morse replacement
took 20min to cut through the bottom and half way up the web.
First, get a good US made blade (make sure it is no thicker than 0.028"
or it will be too stiff to make the small diameter pulley curves) and
then beef up the legs and put better wheels on the axles.

Barlow L
11-19-2007, 08:53 PM
Can you post a photo of your stand. That's one of the things I've wanted to do to mine but never put any thought into it.

I'll just echo what others have said. They are pretty much all the same what ever name is on it. Find the cheapest on sale that is local. Spend the shipping money on good blades.


11-19-2007, 09:39 PM
"The motor is pretty flimsy but has worked well for 20 years", had to laugh at that one.

11-20-2007, 07:40 AM
Unfortunately the 1/3 hp motor on my Jet burned up. Replaced it with a Ύ hp and have been running strong ever since.

Been meaning to ask what is the proper TPI. for cutting heavy aluminum stock. Right now I am using 10 TPI for cutting 4” al. round stock. On the harder steels, I get a straighter cut using the 18 TPI. But if I try using that cutting Al. it takes all day and the fine dust clogs up every thing.

But yes, the saw started cutting straight once I started buying Moorse blades, and that means less work on the mill to square off a work piece.

11-20-2007, 08:34 AM
I was in a local CNC shop the other day and they guy was using one of those multiple tpi blades to cut 6" Al. rounds. An inch at 4tpi and the next inch at 3 ....

Looked like a tree saw blade. :eek:

He was telling me the tooth has to be big enough to not get filled as it passes thru the cut.


11-20-2007, 09:10 AM
HF has them on sale now for 159
Also the new version, within the last year, has a 1 hp motor. Of course thats a "metric 1 horse"

Anyways I got one a year ago with the 1 horse and when it finaly dies I will buy the same thing again... It works great. It took an hour to align the blade but was worth it. The origonal blade did die in short order. I got new blades from McMasterCarr which were sold as no name bi-metal and turned out to be starrat. Like posted above the verticle table is flimsy but I use it without any issues. The HF saw looks EXACTLY like the Enco

Your Old Dog
11-20-2007, 09:19 AM
Been meaning to ask what is the proper TPI. for cutting heavy aluminum stock. Right now I am using 10 TPI for cutting 4” al. round stock. On the harder steels, I get a straighter cut using the 18 TPI. But if I try using that cutting Al. it takes all day and the fine dust clogs up every thing.


I just went from 18 to 10 teeth for aluminum and am happy with the speed of the cut. Don't care about the finish as it's always cleaned up on the lather or mill.

11-20-2007, 11:24 AM
I inherited a very similar saw and have never managed to get it to cut true... doesn't appear to have all that much adjustment...
Could someone offer a tip or three :D on how to go about truing one of these up?

11-20-2007, 11:48 AM
i have one of the 4x6 saws most used machine in the shop. i have had mine for over 20 years. i use the cheap blades one will last 2-3 months. i did bolt some bracing in the lower legs on mine.

11-21-2007, 11:23 PM
How I stiffened up my saw base and use it for storage of blades and saw tooling . Now it's painted green.


dan s
12-13-2007, 01:27 AM
Just wanted to follow up and give a short Review.

I eventually decided on the JET 5x6, primarily because I could pick it up locally. It’s a quality machine based on my limited experience with it. The motor is a ½ horsepower UL rated unit. As everyone said the stock blade is crap, though I was able to use it tonight to turn 40 feet of 1/8”x 3” into 5” long pieces.

I have posted some close up shots on my website (http://www.dans-hobbies.com/2007/12/12/jet-5x6-bandsaw-review/#more-44).

12-13-2007, 02:39 AM
Dan, you did good!

I'll disagree w/ many on this thread, and say that Harbor Freight carries the 4x6, ENCO, Grizzly, and the Jet are 5x6 saws. They are two different saws. Some one here or on the saws group had one of each side by side. The 5x6 has a bit more throat. Get a hydrolic downfeed control if you can.


Your Old Dog
12-13-2007, 07:45 AM
Nice looking saw.

I had to take the belt guard off of mine to allow more air to my motor. If you got little kids running around in your shop I wouldn't reccomend it. I can't leave the shop when it's running as the motor gets really hot. Once read a post about a guys motor getting so hot it caught fire when he ran into the house for "just a minute". I sure like my 4x6 HF for the money but it looks like you got a better saw then mine.

12-13-2007, 10:26 AM
You'll be happy with the Jet. I've had mine for 3 good years and I think it's a keeper;)
Couple of suggestions, put on a decent blade (I use Lennox 14 tooth for most things) and maybe make up a larger/heavier table for vertical use. I've got mine bench mounted to save floor space and can swing it out for cuts on full lengths. I also added a spring to the belt tensioning system for easier changes. Have fun!

dan s
12-13-2007, 12:26 PM
I also added a spring to the belt tensioning system for easier changes. Have fun!

Now thats a really good idea, i wish i had thought of it. :D

I couldn't find any decent blabes locally, so I will need to place an online order.

Anyone used Irwin Blades?


12-13-2007, 01:51 PM
Back when I used to have a 5x6 saw the best general purpose blade that I found was the bimetal blade sold under the rigid name at home depot. Gave a good straight cut, lasted a long time, and home depot was right down the road.

12-14-2007, 01:53 AM
I've got the Jet 5x6 at home and a Wilton 7x12 at work. The little jet has chewed through 4" round 1020 pretty easily. I use Lenox Diemaster blades.