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Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

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  • Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

    Going to get a bandsaw and cant decide between the two. Generally when I see Sears vs any other brand the other brand is always recommended. Whether there is bias against Craftmans or its real world experience I do not know. However it seems the Craftsman Pro 14" band saw has very good reviews and I saw an article from a woodworking magazine calling it a top value (although I think the issue was several years old). Some factors to consider:

    1 - Trying to keep cost down as I need to get a root canal tomorrow and will have a fair amount of out-of-pocket expenses (my dental is so-so). Also have to repair the chimney so money is flying out the door it seems. Right now I can get the Craftsman for total cost of approx $498 and Jet for $565. The Jet (closed stand model) does not come with rails and fence but the Craftsman does so the Jet will require additional funds.

    2 - I am very new to woodworking and want soemthing that will be easy to use and will last me awhile. I also dont need to get the best possible band saw out there as I am not making things for a living, just a hobby. Otherwise I would just get a laguna.

    3 - The Jet will be shipped directly from the factory whereas I can get the Craftsman local. This could be a factor if the saw ever needs service and I have to send back for repairs. I dont have a vehicle where I can transport it (a friend would pick up the Craftsman with me in his truck) but Sears is minutes from my house, the nearst Jet dealer is not that close.

    Its tough because I have read many good reviews from people that bought the Craftsman but dont see many for the Jet. Both have thier advantages and disadvantages. Is one far and away a better machine, I doubt it but any input would be gladly welcome.

    If the Ridgid didnt get knocked so often I would put that at the top of my list just because its much cheaper. I looked at Grizzly but shipping will be an issue as I wont have anyone to help unload it. Plus I would like a closed stand saw.
    Last edited by Pez; 12-31-2007, 12:06 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

    I think the Sears bandsaws are being made by Rikon...

    Rikon has pretty positive reviews as does the Jet...

    If I were just starting out like you I would save some money and go with the Sears saw in this instance...

    The Sears saw has some nice features such as balanced cast iron wheels instead of the cheaper aluminum ones most often seen in this price category

    Use the extra money for some nice wood or more tools

    My 2¢
    Cheers! - Jim
    -------------
    All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

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    • #3
      Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

      I own a Jet BS and I am very pleased with it. Thats about all I can tell you. Never had a problem, works just fine....
      Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

      http://www.contractorspub.com

      A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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      • #4
        Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

        It hasn't always been the case, and you need to pick and choose carefully to avoid their lesser tools, but IMO Sears does have some nice machines these days. Rikon makes this one and a couple of others for Sears. They're all getting really good comments and good reviews. I've got the 12" and am really pleased with it. You might want to replace the roller bearings with some $10 ABEC 5 roller blade bearings.

        I'm sure either will be fine but I don't think the typical "Craftsman" jitters apply to this one.

        I'd consider the Grizzly too...

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        • #5
          Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

          Thanks guys.

          I think part of me wants the Jet just because its a Jet and also like Hewood said the craftsman jitters.

          I did look at the Grizzly but shipping is an issue - you have to unload the tool yourself from the truck. If I knew for a fact I could get help unloading I would most likely get a Grizzly. Oh well, green is not my color anyways.

          I placed an order for the Sears today. I am sure both saws are fine and have thier own positivies and negatives and either will suit me fine.

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          • #6
            Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

            The Sears/Craftsman bandsaws are not made by Rikon...at least that's what I was told when I was talking to the area rep on the phone a year ago.
            ---------------
            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
            ---------------
            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
            ---------
            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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            • #7
              Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

              Hmmmm.... found out after a quick search that this seems to be a controversial topic...

              I've also heard that Yukon makes them and I've also heard that Palmgren makes them...

              Whoever makes them seems to do a pretty good job as there's not too many negative reviews but rather tons of positive ones...

              Was sure that I read about Rikon making them in a woodworking tool review somewhere...
              Cheers! - Jim
              -------------
              All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

                Originally posted by jbergstrom View Post
                Hmmmm.... found out after a quick search that this seems to be a controversial topic...

                I've also heard that Yukon makes them and I've also heard that Palmgren makes them...

                Whoever makes them seems to do a pretty good job as there's not too many negative reviews but rather tons of positive ones...

                Was sure that I read about Rikon making them in a woodworking tool review somewhere...
                They look like the Rikon and because of that I thought the same. I have also heard Orion. Its crazy how many products are made by only a handful of companies and then some other company slaps thier label on it and possibly adds a few features.

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                • #9
                  Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

                  Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                  The Sears/Craftsman bandsaws are not made by Rikon...at least that's what I was told when I was talking to the area rep on the phone a year ago.
                  AFAIK, more specifically, Richen Enterprises owns Rikon and makes the Rikon and Craftsman. A quick check of the owners manuals reveals nearly identical manuals and many shared part numbers...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

                    I got a Ridgid 14" about a month ago. Not a dang thing wrong with it. Runs great and smooth as a baby's bottom.

                    I am a weekender garage shop guy, not using my tools to make a living. Not making junk either. My saw does everything I need.

                    Your mileage may vary, but I took the difference between an Ridgid BS and a Jet and bought a dedicated mortiser....

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

                      I have the 14" Pro Craftsman and wouldn't trade it for any other in it's price range. If you read the descriptions you'll see the Craftsman has an 8" re-saw capability. No other 14" saw does, that I'm aware of with out adding riser blocks. If you do go with the Craftsman I would recommend a new blade after you play around and get the feel of the machine. It comes with a 1/4" blade which is good for some scrolling and light resawing. I put a 1/2" on for resawing and it's a dream. Best of luck in your decision.. Keep us informed once you decide.
                      If at first you don't succeed, try reading the owners manual.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

                        I have the Craftsman pro on order, should be in the 18th.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

                          What do you intend on using it for the most? I use mine mostly for re-sawing. I have a scroll saw for scrolling. I have cut tennons with it too. Let me know how you like it when you have it up and running.
                          If at first you don't succeed, try reading the owners manual.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

                            Originally posted by amcnerl View Post
                            What do you intend on using it for the most? I use mine mostly for re-sawing. I have a scroll saw for scrolling. I have cut tennons with it too. Let me know how you like it when you have it up and running.
                            It will mostly get used for curve cutting and tenons in the beginning. As I get more experienced with woodworking and aim for bigger projects I will do some re-sawing. The first project is a set of adirondack chairs. I could use a jigsaw but to be honest the jigsaw is my least favorite tool.

                            The Craftsan pro just got a whole lot more attractive - as low as $399 for craftsman club members.

                            Once its set up and running I will post back - less than two weeks to go.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sears vs Jet 14" Bandsaw

                              Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                              The Sears/Craftsman bandsaws are not made by Rikon...at least that's what I was told when I was talking to the area rep on the phone a year ago.
                              Ditto here, Bob. I asked Rikon about this and had a reply from a Rikon 'VP'. He was emphatic that this is not true. here is part of his reply;
                              'RIKON does not manufacture the Sears Bandsaws. The factory which we work closely with manufactures for several companies throughout the world.'

                              Of note is that Rikon has specs and tolerances that the manufactuer must adhere to, any other brands that may be made by the factory are not subject to these specs and tolerances.

                              Having spent over 3 decades in manufacturing I have constantly witnessed side-by-side production lines with one producing the highest quality product available, and the next line producing cheaper less expensive products.
                              Poplar Branch Wood Crafts

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