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I suggest you do some searching on this forum for the information you seek. There are also online sites for the popular woodworking mags that run tool tests from time to time. They of course have to be taken with a grain of salt I think because they in my opinion can not be trusted to be truly neutral in their reviews. After all, who buys the ad space in their magazines? But still, they give you another perspective that you might not be able to compile as easily on your own when they line up 8 or 10 different makes.
Try this link, and do some searching here for some first-hand reports of the Pros and Cons of the BS1400.
I haven’t used other bandsaws in the Ridgid’s price range, so I’m limited to giving you my opinions on the BS1400. If you search this forum, you will see several recurrent issues, particularly: replace the stock blade and replace the belt. This is also true for other bandsaws in this price range. You will see (both in the forum and on the demo model) that the bottom door will not open all the way. When you change the belt to a link belt, this problem can be fixed. Overall, you’ll spend another $50-$100 getting the BS1400 performing adequately. This is probably true for the other saws in this price range. This also assumes you don’t plan on resawing boards over 5 1/2”. I’ve bought good blades, changed the belt to a link belt, replaced the tires with urethane tires and shored up the stand. Now the saw is okay.
Another issue I have seen within the last six months is three (?) posts in this forum reporting the bottom tire coming off the wheel. I wish I could give specifics. I don’t recall reading anything other than the problem. Maybe it was wheel alignment, maybe blade tension, maybe operator error.
I also own a Ridgid table saw (TS2424) and planer (TP1300). I would recommend either to a friend without question. I would tell the same friend to think twice about the BS1400. It isn’t that I dislike the saw, it just doesn’t live up to the same standards of my table saw and planer.
To try to summarize; I bought mine when it was 20% off (several Christmases ago) and had a 10% off coupon. At that price it was a great deal. At full price I would probably spend more money and go with different saw.
I picked up a BS14002 just after Christmas. I had read reviews by folks I trusted (in FWW) and the Ridgid bandsaw came out near the top and definitely lower-priced.
First off, I got rid of the blade (get a Timberwolf), and ditched the v-belt (get a link belt). Then, move the motor to the back of the mounting holes, align the pullies and install the link belt. Works like a charm and you can then open the lower door all the way. Plus the link belt reduces the vibration way down. Further reduction of vibration is to bolt a 3/4" piece of plywood on top of the bottom leg braces.
I've tried getting another upper wheel (out of the box unbalanced), under warranty, but the supplier has sent me 2 (count 'em 2!) cracked wheels. Maybe the 3rd time will be a charm.
For about $200 more, you could get a Jet 14" and probably be happier, but then you have to wrestle with the motor and align it in an enclosed stand. Not my idea of fun.
Still, with the Timberwolf blade installed, and the re-habs I just described, I get flawless re-saws on 5.5 " walnut
Just my 2 cents.
Yes, the Kreg fence bolts on, no worries. All bolts. etc. included. The instructions are some of the best I've ever read. Can be adjusted easily for drift and can be used with a high side and a low side. Available from Woodcraft (definitely) and Hartville Tool (I think).