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Thread: Which 17" Bandsaw

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    East Jordan, MI
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    Which 17" Bandsaw

    OK Guys, You've been a wealth of knowlege and advice so far. I've learned a lot. When I came on the Creek awhile back, I asked advice about which 14" Bandsaw to buy. Many of you suggested I consider a larger saw. As I learned what others are doing with their bandsaws, I came to the conclusion I should be looking at a larger saw. That said, I've even considered 20" and 21" saws. However, the size of my new shop, 20'x20', and the size of some of my projects, 18' boats, limits the size of bandsaw I can easily put in the shop. There seems to be a wealth of 17", well -thought-of bandsaws on the market, at reasonable prices. I've narrowed it down to the 17" Grizzly($849), General International($1099), and Bridgewood($999). They seem to be the same saw, probably from the same factory. I've been told that shipping with the Bridgewood would probably be more than Grizzly, and so would make it even more expensive. The General International is $255 more than the Grizzly, But I would pick it up at the dealer for no shipping. The General International would also give me the benefit of having a dealer to work with. The only real difference in the saws, that I can tell, is that the Bridgewood and General International have cast iron wheels. Does this make much of a difference?

    I would love any thoughts and advice as to which direction to go. I should say, I'm leaning towards the General International because of the dealer relationship. I'll be buying more machines in the future and having a working relationship seems like a prudent thing to do. On the other hand, I don't want to spend money unwisely. What say you!


  2. #2

    17" Bandsaw

    John

    I just recently purchased the 17" Grizzly(before the price increase). I think it was the best bang for the buck out there and still is a pretty good buy. I looked at and read everything I could about comparable saws and came to the conclusion it was the best buy I could make. Now that I have it and have used it, I'm convinced it was the right decision. It has cut extremely well with the stock blade and with a new aftermarket blade I'm putting on it should do even better. I'm not knocking the other two, because I understand that they are very good saws, but for the money I don't think you can get a better buy.

    Good luck with whatever your final decision is! By the way, where is East Jordan, MI. I'm in NE Indiana and wanted to know where you are from me?

    Hope I've helped!

    Larry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Clinton, NJ
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    40

    Bridgewood has add'l differences

    I have the Grizzly G0513 and have been satisfied with its performance. However the Wilke/Bridgewood clone was not available at the time. You are correct that the manufacturer is the same for all the three sources, but the Bridgewood has the following differences from the Griz: cast iron wheels, door micro switches, bearing type guides (Griz has euro style guides), magnetic switch.

    Any of the machines you list would do a fine job.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    East Jordan, MI
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    Larry,

    Thanks for the input. I'm in Northern lower Michigan. East Jordan is northwest of Traverse City, close to Charlevoix. Where in Indiana are you? I go to Chicago alot and I use to live in Coldwater, MI. I'm familiar with NE Indiana.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Knoxville TN.
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    2,667
    I have a Grizzly 18" and love it, but if I was to do it over I would get a "RIKON 18" 2-HP Bandsaw" from Woodcraft. This is one really nice saw. If you have a Woodcraft near by you might want to check one out.
    Dick

    No Pain-No Gain- Not!
    No Pain-Good

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    John, I think that involving a dealer in your purchase is VERY IMPORTANT.

    I assume that you are talking about the General International 90-240. I recently purchased a band saw and that one is the only one that you are considering that made my short list. I have tried it and I have talked to a couple of folks who own it and it's a good saw! (aside: in the end I bought the ACM Star 400)

    I have read a lot of "experts" opinions and the majority if them say that a cast iron wheel is an important consideration once you get above a 14" diameter wheel.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Thomasville, Georgia
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    1,142

    Grizzly G0513

    Here's another vote! I'm totally satisfied with my decision to purchase the G0513 a few months ago. It's a great choice when considering the price/value equation.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in South Georgia.
    Food for Thought: The Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.

  8. #8
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    Dick,

    The same dealer that handls General International handles the Rikon 18" as well. What is it that you like about the saw above the others, or, your Grizzly 18".

    John

  9. #9
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    Frank,

    I imagine the General 690 was also on your short list. What made the ACM Star win out. I suspect the ACM is a bit more pricey than I'm willing to go, as was the General 690. But, I'd love to know what won you over.

    John

  10. #10
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    Feb 2003
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    Southern MD
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    I have the G0513 and like it. If I was buying today, I think I'd go with the Wilke saw. A few improvements for a few extra bucks. Personally, I'd like the better bearing guides. I've been considering calling them and seeing if I can get them.
    I agree that all the saws you're considering are pretty much the same saw. I think the BW and GI are the exact same saw, so I wouldn't pay the higher price for the GI.
    I would recommend the G0513 over the BW if the prices were $750 vs. $1200. But, for $150 extra I'd opt for the CI wheels and better guides. I don't know what your shipping delta would be on top of that, but it factored into my decision to buy the Grizzly over the old Laguna LT16.

    Jay
    Jay St. Peter

  11. #11
    John,

    I have the Grizzly G0513. I'm super happy with it. No one bit of trouble with the aluminum wheels and I have resawn to the max capacity of the machine. I highly recommend the Grizzly but all the saws on your list should be fine performers. I have a full review of the G0513 on my site if you would like to check it out.

    Terry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    34
    John,

    May I kind of throw something else in? I saw that the UtterGuys have the 17" Shop Fox for $849.00 which is the same saw and price as the Grizzly 17", but has cast iron wheels and probably a few other small improvements. I think the fence looked different, whether it is better or not is up to you. I thought you might like to at least check it out. I think if I were to buy a 17" bandsaw today it would be the Shop Fox 17" or Grizzly. Good Luck. Have Fun shopping Let us know what you get and take pictures.

    Tim

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bailey
    Frank,
    I imagine the General 690 was also on your short list. What made the ACM Star win out. I suspect the ACM is a bit more pricey than I'm willing to go, as was the General 690. But, I'd love to know what won you over.
    John
    Yes the General-690 was also on my short list. Both the General-690 and the ACM Start-400 were, as you say, "pricey", in fact a lot more "pricey".

    The prices (in Canadian $) for the three saws we have mentioned were:
    Gen Int-240: 1,500

    Gen-690 2,100

    ACM Star-400 2,350
    (these prices include mobile bases and delivery but not taxes)

    They all look like very nice machines and I am sure that I would like any of them. I ended up paying the extra money for the ACM because:
    (1) I plan to do a lot of re-sawing and this machine with its bigger motor and weight seemed best for the job

    (2) The fit and finish seemed better on the ACM

    (3) I liked the "euro" guides on the ACM

    (4) It appeared to me that the blades would be easier to change on the ACM

    (5) The best bandsaws are made in Italy

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    East Jordan, MI
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    Terry,

    Your site is what changed my mind to go with a 17" saw. Great info, thanks. I think you mentioned you picked the saw up because you were a two hr. drive to the MO Grizzly. If that was the case for me, I think I'd go with Grizzly. Just doesn't seem you get any better value than with a Grizzly.

    John

  15. #15

    Smile

    John...

    Tim raised an interesting point about the ShopFox. If you have a dealer near you check it out. I've bought two ShopFox machines from my local dealer, and I know he would match the Florida price of $849. 'Course there would be tax, but he delivers for free.

    Anyway, it's essentially the Grizzly with, I guess, a few upgrades for about the same price, and you get a local dealer, as you want.

    Just something else to look at, and to muddy the waters even further!!

    Good luck with your search...

    Gary

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