Band saws cut material with a continuous, serrated band of metal conveyed around a circuit by two driving wheels. Most 14-inch bands saws on the market will be semi-industrial machines used for light or medium duty in small workshops. Band saws are highly versatile and cut anything from soft wood and hardwood to glass and galvanised metal. On a 14-inch band saw, 14 inches of the blade are exposed, although all 14 inches may not be available for cutting because of safety guards. Prices for 14-inch band saws ranged from less than £260 to more than £5,070 in January 2011.
The GO555 by Grizzly Industrial is a user-friendly device aimed at the casual woodworker and comes almost completely assembled. A reviewer for the Long Island (N.Y.) Woodworkers Club said he had the unit put together and ready for action in two minutes. TheGO555 has a quiet 1-horsepower and an adjustable band speed between 1,500 and 3,200rpm.
RIKON 10-325 Deluxe
The RIKON machine, at the opposite end of the price spectrum from the Grizzly, represents the high end of the band saw market. It features 13-inch re-saw capacity, two speeds and a 1.5-horsepower motor. The saw also is equipped with micro-adjustable blade guide bearings, a blade tension lever, and quick-release table tilt for fine-tuned cutting accuracy. A cabinet is included for the storage of spare jigs and tools. The complicated mechanisms mean that this band saw is not for beginners. Finewoodworking.com said that the Rikon had the most re-saw capacity of any saw it tested and produced a good-quality cut.
The BS1400 is basic band saw with good capabilities and is at the lower end of the price range for band saws. To keep the cost down, the unit is chiefly made from cast iron, including the frame, work table and band wheels. The BS1400 is powered by a ¾-horsepower induction motor and has a retractable blade guard that allows a maximum cut of 6 inches. FineWoodWorking.com described the unit as among the best values in 14-inch band saws on the market.
This 14-inch saw has a magnetic emergency stop switch in close proximity to the work table. It has no blade guard, which allows larger cuts than the Ridgid device. The maximum cut of the SIP is 14 inches. The Tool Guru website praised the SIP for its powerful 1.3 horsepower motor, which allows the saw to cut efficiently and accurately right up to its maximum depth. The 01489 also has two-speed capability, enabling it to cut hardwoods and nonferrous metals.