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  • Craftsman or Ryobi?

    As for bandsaws, I have narrowed my choices down to the Craftsman and Ryobi 9 inch offerings. I like the price of the Ryobi, and many people on this site think it is goos. But I like the Craftsman because it has an extendable table that gives it a ripping cappacity of 12 inches. If anyone has any good or bad comments on these two saws please tell me!! I have also looked at both the Craftsman and Ryobi 10-inch saws. The Craftsman is (of course) a little more expensive, but it has a head that tilts for the angled cuts instead of having the table tilt, which they claim in the catalogue helps the saw's performance because you don't have to worry about forgetting to tighten up the clamp for the table like on other saws. I like the Ryobi because it is less expensive, it comes with a dust bag, and it is supposed to have more space between the throat and the blade than the Craftsman. This will be the saw that will be used for just about everything right now in my shop. I am a little tight as far as money goes, so it is going to be quite a while before I have all the tools I need for woodworking. I am looking at bandsaws because I have seen that they are very versatile, and a versatile saw is what I need right now. What I need for versatility is a saw that will cut both metal and wood, and a saw that can cut reasonably fast as well as cut a fine finish cut. I also feel band saws are very safe. I am going to be using it for the same purpose as a table saw for the short term, as well as a saw for cutting out pieces for wooden toys such as cranes, tractor trailer trucks, and trains.I probably will also need a saw that can resaw stock reasonably well, although it will not be used for this purpose very often.

    [ 12-11-2004, 03:05 PM: Message edited by: buctooth ]
    <a href=\"http://www.freewebs.com/buctooth\" target=\"_blank\">www.freewebs.com/buctooth</a><br />Please tell us how you like the site, even if you hate it. If you want, feel free to visit the forum.

  • #2
    Buy the one you like not the one someone else likes.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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    • #3
      BucTooth,

      I have the Ryobi BS902 and really like it. No problems at all and the addition of the fence and worklight is nice. This is my first bandsaw and it is a good learning tool. At $87, it's hard to beat.

      But, (there's always a "but") the Craftsman is also nice and perhaps parts availability may be an advantage over the Ryobi if, and when, it comes down to that. Tech support for Craftsman, Ryobi, and Ridgid are all the same now (in case you didn't know). Sears usually has a good parts policy, but I don't know how that will continue now that it is part of K-mart. At this date, Ryobi parts for the new bandsaw are still hard to come by.

      Bottom line though, as Dave mentioned, is buy the one that you like! With regard to the table extension that you mentioned... building or setting up an additional support device is not a big deal to do and realize that both the Craftsman and Ryobi tables are comparitively (to a 14-inch) lightweight and will need additional support areas for anything heavy. I suggest you compare the quality level, the blade guide assembly, motor size, tension release, and general operability and make your decision based on those comparisons.

      Hope this helps,

      CWS

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      • #4
        You really didn't say what you wanted to use it for. Most benchtop bandsaw are extremely limited in performance. Personally---I'd suggest a scroll saw----much more versitle and you can get a better performing scroll saw than the same dollars spent on a benchtop bandsaw.
        Dave

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        • #5
          Buctooth - I've never used the Craftsman, but can vouch for the Ryobi BS900 which is a predecessor to the BS902. You can't really do a useful comparison of most of these benchtops to a good 14" saw b/c the 14" is in a different league, but within it's capacity limits I've pleasantly surprised by the performance of my BS900. The fact that it's < $100 helps justify it's existance, depending on your needs of course....if you can afford the bigger saw, there's no doubt that's the better choice.

          The stock blade stunk, but the Ryobi did much better with a 3/8" 6TPI Vermont American blade. There is a bit of vibration, but that may be specific to my machine and not representative of all of them. I've had good results cutting curves in oak, cherry and even hard maple. I've resawn up to 3" hard maple....I couldn't believe either, but it did it and didn't hesitate much. I've done curves in 2" maple. Trying to cut curves in the same wood with my B&D jigsaw usually results in a cut that's skewed from 90 degrees.

          There have been plenty of tasks that it can't handle....8" resawing, curves on a big board, etc. You can resaw up to 6-7" with most table saws, and a buddy with a bigger BS can be valuable sometimes.

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          • #6
            As many of you probably know because of my post "something interestin" I have just about ruled out the Ryobi and definately ruled out the Craftsman. But is Grizzly really worth the money for a very small shop?
            <a href=\"http://www.freewebs.com/buctooth\" target=\"_blank\">www.freewebs.com/buctooth</a><br />Please tell us how you like the site, even if you hate it. If you want, feel free to visit the forum.

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            • #7
              If the 9" bandsaws look like brothers it because they are. Ryobi makes the Craftsman, Craftsman said so themself. This makes the craftsman a better buy since it comes with three blades for only $10 more.

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              • #8
                MDEly,

                While that was definitly true on the old Ryobi BS-900, I don't believe it followed through on later models. The Ryobi BS-901 and the present BS-902 are distinctly different from the current 9-inch Craftsman bandsaw. (At least that is true in my local store and in the 2004-2005 Craftsman catalog.) The main casting, covers, guides, table and even power switch are all different. Sears/Craftsman has had a tendency in the past few years to contract with a wider variety of manufacturers both here and abroad. However, perhaps your source of information is more accurate than mine.

                Respectfully,

                CWS

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                • #9
                  I was looking at the BS902 at HD via the internet and the Craftsman 315.214770 and I noticed they looked very much alike so I emailed Sears cs to see if I could download their manual like I did Ryobi's and they did not have it available. I then emailed back and said it looked like the BS902 and asked who made the Craftsman. They emailed back that the BS902 is the Ryobi in Craftsman wrapper.

                  Mitch

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                  • #10
                    Craftsman tools that have the vendor prefix of 315 are made by Ryobi and Ryan

                    315 Ryan
                    315 RYOBI
                    315 Ryobi Motor Products
                    316 RYOBI
                    316 Ryobi America Corp
                    316 Ryobi (made in USA)

                    for the complete list go here;

                    http://www.owwm.com/Craftsman/Manufacturers-Prefix.asp

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                    • #11
                      Mitch,

                      Thanks for your update info... I guess I have to get to the Sears store a little more often. I haven't seen that particular model. Last month when I was there all they had was a Tradesman and a Craftsman model that looked a lot like the Delta. On page 139 of the 2004/5 Craftsman catalog they list only one 9-inch, which is different from anything else I've seen. But yes, if it's got the 315 prefix, it's a Ryobi.

                      I have the BS-902 and for a small bandsaw I really like it. I've seen some comments that were pretty negative, but from my own experience it has worked quite well. The only problem I've had is when I over-tightened the tension knob and started to push the rod up through the top of the plastic... oops! I called to buy a replacement but, as yet, parts aren't available.

                      Thanks again,

                      CWS

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                      • #12
                        CWS

                        While I have yet to buy a Ridgid tool to date, I know shame on me, I try hard to reseach what I do get. I have enjoyed and gained knowledge from this forum. So when possible I try to contribute.

                        I actually found the Sears saw on the their website and ordered it to my home. The store nearest me didn't have it.

                        Have a Merry Christmas!

                        Mitch

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                        • #13
                          Does this mean that NO craftsman power tools are made by them? They just rebadge the power tools from other manufacturers? I noticed this to be true on a Craftsman jig saw that was the same as a Skil sabre saw. And the Craftsman version of the Dremel was nearly identical. The only difference was on the label on the back, it was made it different places...

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                          • #14
                            axio,
                            That is correct, craftsman does not make their powertools.
                            www.TheWoodCellar.com

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                            • #15
                              They also don't make any of their handtools either. Craftsman is nothing more than a Trademark licensed to Sears/K Mart.
                              Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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