on May 17, 2012
First off, everyone who gave this saw a low rating never stated WHY they didn't like it.The only complaints are "it's junk and it ruins wood!!!". That is simply not the case. This saw IS the Rikon 10-305. Look for reviews here and other major, respected, high end tool websites like woodcraft. With that said, this is a low end, small, benchtop band saw. If your plans include creating beautifully re-sawed 6"+ walnut veneers in the blink of an eye, you have no business even looking at any 10" benchtop band saw. If you want to cut curves or patterns into 4/4 wood (8/4 if you have a lot of patients), you are in the right place. I'd like the echo the other positive reviewers sentiments that is is one of if not the best current banchtop band saw available. If you are looking for a benchtop band saw, you really cannot go wrong with this or it's Rikon cousin. If you are cheap and think a sub 1hp band saw with a cheap resaw blade is gong to allow you to make some nice, big veneers or resaw some 12/4 hard maple, you will be sadly disappointed in this saw, and any other benchtop saw you purchase.
For future purchasers, do your research on bandsaws in general and understand their intended uses and limitations. If a small 1/3hp saw will meet your needs, this is the one to get.
on December 10, 2012
Note: Review written on the Craftsman version of this saw:
I was looking for a small, bench mounted bandsaw- both for budget and shop space constraints. For the price (I paid 169) you CANNOT find a better quality saw. This little saw is a gem compared to the numerous cheapo 9" saws out there under different brand names, all cheaply cast and with horrible guides. This is essentially the same saw as the Rikon 10-305 or the Jet JWBS10OS just with a few different components (and a bigger motor on the Jet, but for a lot more money). The blade guides are full roller bearings with quality extrusions. The wheels were a little off when I received the saw, to where sliding the guide up and down would move the bearings on the rear of the blade about .05" away from the blade. I removed the upper wheel and shimmed the axle out with a single washer, then slightly adjusted the axle on the lower wheel, and it was perfect. The saw blade is now perfectly square to the table on both axis's, and the blade is very secure with the quide bearings adjusted. The bearings make some noise when the blade turns them but who cares- you should be wearing hearing protection probably anyways. The included fence and miter guide are pretty cheaply made but on the Rikon and Jet versions I'm sure they're a little better. The motor is probably adequate for most people, so far with just the stock blade I cut a bunch of 4" rounds from a local very dense and still wet wood, the saw did great at reasonable feed rates. Also I've cut 1/8" aluminum with it, the blade runs perfectly smoothly with no tick-tick-tick sound. Eventually I'll try to figure out how to put another motor on it to slow it down more for AL or even steel but for now its ok. All in all you will not find a better benchtop bandsaw out there at this price IMO.
on August 30, 2014
A Rikon, by any other name, is a Craftsman...well, not exactly Shakespeare but, you get the idea. Made by Rikon, and identical to the Rikon, the Craftsman 10" bandsaw is solidly built, quiet, and smooth running. I bought it for lightweight use and it excels at this task. I took the time to set it up properly, so that the cuts were accurate. Out of the box, the wheels were lined up properly. Using a small square, I lined up the table to the blade, from both the side and back. I tested the saw on a 3 foot piece of 3/4" oak. I was surprised at how quickly and smoothly it went through the piece, leaving a smooth kerf. The resulting cut was squared off. The saw is extremely quiet. Since the base and table are cast iron, it has very little vibration. I bought the saw to build a couple of acoustic guitars; I need accuracy more than speed, but the saw handled the oak very easily, and cut through it like butter. I bought the saw for $189 from Sears.
I tested the saw on a solid piece of 8" x 2" oak and a piece of 4" x 4" pressure treated fence post. I cut 1" slices off of each of each piece of test wood. It handled both pieces easily, although I went slower with the 4x4. The resulting kerf was squared off and smooth enough that, taking a couple of quick swipes with 320 grit sandpaper, completely smoothed it. I also used it to cut several pieces of 1/4" oak plywood, which went through the saw quickly. All of the cuts were done with the stock blade. As time passes, I'll update my review to include precision cutting on Peruvian walnut, mahogany, maple, rosewood, ebony, and different species of spruce.
****UPDATE, January 1, 2015****
As I've gained proficiency with the saw, the more I've come to appreciate it. Using a thin piece of wood, and placing a piece of ebony cut off from my guitar fingerboard on top, I easily made extremely thin veneer(.34 mm thick, using a caliper to verify), to use as a saddle shim on my build. Using the stock blade, I sawed approximately 6" into the thin wood, then leaving it in place, put the ebony on top and sawed the ebony. It came out extraordinarily thin, and even. Frankly, I was amazed that the saw had this capacity. With the thin blade in place, it is easy to control; I preshaped my guitar braces. I've had no problems with the saw, and once again, cut several chunks of 4" pressure treated wood for another project. I have a lot of power tools in the basement, including a precision 10" radial arm saw, but the Craftsman 10" bandsaw is my goto saw and has proven to be indispensable.
on May 4, 2012
This is the same saw as the RIKON 10-305, for more reviews look there too. This is the second benchtop band saw I've purchased and it is by far the best I've been able to lay my eyes on. My first was a Sears Companion model and it was a real junker, I sold it to a pawn shop for $10. I worked my way through college as a machinist and have had the pleasure of using and industrial quality 16" band saw. I don't expect a $200 saw to do what a $2000 saw will, so I looked for the best built becnhtop I could evaluate first hand. Unfortunately there just isn't a perfect benchtop on the market. Check the reviews of all the makes; nobody is making a 10" saw with all the features of a 14" or 16".
I found this to be the best saw in this size. It has the best blade guide system of them all. Three bearings both above and below a solid cast iron table are what sets this apart from all the rest. I can track within 1/32" of a cut line. I had no hope of that with my previous saw. The fence is not solid but will do for rough work, it actually funtions better than I expected. The Crafstman version comes with a miter gauge, though not a very exciting one. The blades are an odd 70 1/2" length. The Sears store I picked my saw up at didn't have any blades in stock, but they are available at numerous online shops.
There is a Jet benchtop saw on the market (Jet JWBS-10OS), but I wasn't able to find one in a store to evaluate, and its price is about 70% higher.
on June 3, 2012
"I was a little apprehensive about this saw when I first purchased it, but after getting it home and doing a hour hour set up, I was amazed how well it made straight cuts as well as scroll cuts. It cuts hardwoods like butter and the accuracy is exceptional. The rip guide locks solidly and doesn't move. The miter guide that comes with it is cheaply made but I had one laying around that fit the table groove and it made a big improvement for doing 90's and angles. This little saw is a giant! This is such an exceptional piece of equipment for the price. This band saw is made by Rikon and is the same as Rikon Model 10-300 which has great reviews. You must do the set up to get the best performance. I paid $170 online from Sears.
Easy to use,
Good power output,
Best Made in the 10 inch size
Safe to use
on January 19, 2013
I bought this band saw to compliment the scroll saw work that I do, and to do more intarsia style designs. The unit is solidly built and rests well on the counter top in my shop. This fit my first criterion for a crafts-style band saw. I own a monster Grizzly band saw that I use almost exclusively for re-sawing; unfortunately, it does not do detail work very well. Back to the Craftsman. All the parts were available and organized/sealed effectively in bags designed for the specific assemblies. All the tools that I needed ("hex" wrenches) were included, so I did not need to use any of my own tools. The assembly process is very simple, however, I think the manual is poorly written. For example, the first step in the instruction manual names 3 specific parts, that, if you don't know what to look for, will cause you to sit and scratch your head for about 20 minutes. On the other hand, if you look at the expanded view of the parts and their locations, you can look up the names of parts and then you are good to go. After completing assembly, I adjusted the blade tension and other settings. According to the manual, these adjustments had been done at the factory, but it was advised to check them in case of slippage during shipping. I always like to adjust my blades myself, so I did it. Finally, I took a small piece of 3/8" oak. I cut some curvy shapes and tried out the fence and the angle functions. The saw cut cleanly and quickly. I could not have been more happy with the performance. I did order 2 additional blades . . . a 1/2" resaw, and a 3/16 detail blade. I bought the 3/16 because I read a review that there are tracking problems using a 1/8" blade with this particular saw.
I have only owned this band saw a short period of time, so I cannot address the question of longevity. However, I have been very pleased thus far, and the price was right. I also use an 18" Craftsman scroll saw and have used it extensively for 2 years. It handles pin-end and pinless blades very well. If this Craftsman band saw is as sturdy and dependable as my Craftsman scroll saw, I will be a very happy camper. Sincerely, Dr Tim Wittman
.... (November 22, 2014) .... Going on two years since I reviewed my Craftsman 10" bandsaw. Still runs like a champ. I had to replace the v-belt today because it shredded. My fault for severely over loading the machine. Call me a passionate wood carver, right?! : ) Anyway, I ordered a new belt, installed it myself, and happily returned to wood working. Very, very pleased with this bandsaw and the very reasonable price. Tim
on November 2, 2013
This is an excellent saw. Anyone who says otherwise is simply not qualified to write tool reviews. This saw is manufactured by Richen and can be found under the following brand names: Craftsman, Ricon, Jet, Scheppach, Steel City, Powertec and several more. For this reason it is ridiculous to claim you can't get parts, can't find blades, or it is inferior to the Ricon, etc. There are slight variations in many of these brands, but the fundamental saw is the same. The Craftsman version is the best bang-for-buck; the Ricon has the best warranty. I chose this saw over getting a used Rockwell full size saw, mostly due to space considerations, but also I feel the modern design is better. How can I say that? Most older saws use cast iron and cast aluminum parts at the guide and with age they crumble. The Craftsman is all machined billet aluminum at the guide system, with a rigid beam steel frame. The wheels are cast aluminum and then machined perfectly straight with large cartridge bearings. The cover pieces are steel - not plastic like you'd expect. It uses a bearing guide system instead of caveman blocks. There is nothing wrong with the bearings. Anyone who says they wear out fast simply did not bother to set-up the saw, and the bearings were dragging on the blade, heated up, and lost the grease. With any bandsaw you must learn how to tune it. It isn't hard, but you cannot skip the setup and expect good results. Even so - out of the box the blade tracked straight! This is probably the best quality Craftsman tool I've purchased in a long time. The only small bandsaw that is any competition is the Shopsmith 11", and that will cost you around $600.
on June 10, 2013
I have owned and used this band saw for about 6 months now and have used it on a daily basis throughout that time. Granted there is a bit of initial setup time involved but if you set it up properly you'll find the saw is a superb saw within its capability. Speaking of capability, I have resawn hard maple logs 6" in diameter with the machine cooperating nicely using a 1/2" x 3 tpi blade. I have no problems with the machine tracking a 3/16" blade and can also track a 1/8" blade but the rear bearing won't advance forward enough to engage the smaller 1/8" blade so I use a block of hardwood instead of the bearing to rest on the back of the narrow blade to help keep it on track, so no problem there. Overall the machine is well built with metal coverings and a welded metal frame to keep it solid and steady, cast iron table and good fit and finish. I would definitely recommend this saw.
on December 23, 2015
Not sure what the negative reviews were really expecting out of a bandsaw in the $200 range maybe a bit cheaper when at a discount (from SEARS). As a beginner and because I tend to move locations often enough, I’ve had my eye on an entry level bandsaw for about a year. After some research I ended up buying the 9 in Skills bands. Unfortunately, the one I purchased did not have the wheels balanced which resulted in significant vibration and also had friction blocks which I really was not a fan of. I ended up getting the 10 in Craftsman bandsaw instead of the 9 in one since it had bearings guides all around and was capable of resawing a little bit more. The construction of this bandsaw is solid and by no means is it a light tool. Assembly was pretty easy, and word of advice to everyone, take your time adjusting the bearings to the blade before you first operate the equipment and every time you adjust tension on the blade or change the blade (there are plenty of youtube videos that will illustrate the proper way). I have given this product 4 stars rather than 5 because I feel that craftsman could had given this tool a bigger motor. I say that because I was resawing ½ in oak strips and I would have to be careful not to go too fast or I would stall the motor. I did do some research on this and perhaps I can improve the performance of this bandsaw with a premium blade and not forcing the feed. Another thing that was a bit weird to me was that unlike the 9 in version, this bandsaw did not have a tension release lever. Overall I am very satisfied with my purchase as an entry level woodworker. I hope this review was helpful
I hope this review was helpful .
on December 2, 2013
This little saw is a great buy! Unlike the competition in this price range, it has a cast iron table, precision AL guide height adjuster instead of plastic, ball bearing guides instead of blocks, well balanced AL wheels, a pretty good fence, and serviceable miter gauge. The stock blade isn't very good. Research bandsaw blades and buy some good ones - the aftermarket blades really improved the cutting.
I use a 1/2" wide resaw blade with great success. I can cut 4 1/2" thick material with a proper 3/8" blade down to less than 1/16" thick - it cuts straight when properly set up. Yes the bearings do whine and the blade will squeal a little so I wear hearing protection (which I always wear operating power tools!). Unlike competitors at least this saw has ball bearings, which can easily be replaced. The blade guides provide precision adjustment as well, although the lower guide is a bit of a pain.
If 4 1/2" resaw capability is enough, and 9 1/2" throat is enough, this saw can pretty much handle whatever one needs to do. It's ripped right through notty red oak 4 1/2" thick, which can be pretty tough, as well as 3/4" baltic birch plywood and walnut. I haven't cut green wood so I can't comment. I suspect folks who had issues with this saw didn't properly set it up - it's not rocket science but it's important to have a good quality blade for the cut being made and have the guides set properly. I would certainly buy this saw again. I paid $188 at Sears.