4x6" bandsaw options

NortonDommi

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the downside seems to be that they lack the auto shut off so you can just set it cutting and do something else while it does the work.
An auto shut off is nothing more than a bit of bent tin and a on-off switch, the only time I've needed to adjust is when the rubber cover wore through and after a move when the arm that works the switch got bent. Many ways to rig up.
Those Rong Fu sound like could be a bargain and if it two for one the parts could be useful.
One thing it's worth mentioning is gearbox oil. Whatever you get check it, change it and run the correct oil. I put in Amsoil synthetic after about 20 hours use because it was all I had in 1986 and it is still going strong.
 

Redbird

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I have a wen drill press that I love, but parts are a problem. Be Nice to no where to go for them.
 

Downwindtracker2

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The Home Depot's General International is one step up from the Harbor Freight, but then again almost everything is. General International is no more, the new buyer ran it to the ground. They were a little more picky about QC, buying from better Chinese factories.

I have Rong Fu 128, badged BusyBee (Grizzly in Canada). Rong Fu started making them in 1979, I think it's their design, mine is a very early import, early '80s. I bought it recently for $100 when my $50 TWS got to be too far gone for any more repairs. When new the TWS was the better machine.
 

Dabbler

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General is gone??? An mainstay of tooling here in Canada,,, (sigh)
 

Doubleeboy

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That HF 4 x 6 is not 1 hp, its more like a half, but that should be good enough. I ran a half horse Jet for years with out motor problems.
 

coherent

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I had the HF for a while. Bought it new and made a new stand and a couple of other minor upgrades and it served it's purpose well. The only issues I had was I didn't care for the vice setup, and while you could find a way to cut smaller stock, it wasn't really set up to do so. I recently sold it on craigslist and moved up to a Grizzly 7x12. 3 times the price of their 4x6 but I'd say more than 3 times the machine. So far I'm very pleased with it but it is no where near as easy to move around the shop as the smaller saw was. I think if you are willing to tinker a bit and make a few upgrades to the HF, it's a very capable saw for the money. With a 20 or 25% off coupon it's a good buy.
 

Aaron_W

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Had some life issues come up which postponed the hunt... still looking. I'm liking the portable bandsaw idea more and more at least as a short term solution. I've run across a few older Milwaukee corded band saws at a nice price. It seems like they would remain useful even if I later buy a larger saw.


I didn't see a response to my question about the amp rating relation to the motors power? I've noticed you will find machines with lower amps being rated with higher HP. Electrical is not one of my stronger skills, but assuming the same voltage shouldn't more amps = more power?
 

Bob Korves

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Had some life issues come up which postponed the hunt... still looking. I'm liking the portable bandsaw idea more and more at least as a short term solution. I've run across a few older Milwaukee corded band saws at a nice price. It seems like they would remain useful even if I later buy a larger saw.


I didn't see a response to my question about the amp rating relation to the motors power? I've noticed you will find machines with lower amps being rated with higher HP. Electrical is not one of my stronger skills, but assuming the same voltage shouldn't more amps = more power?
Amps is multiplied by voltage to get watts, which is the definition of power in the metric system. Horsepower is the equivalent in the imperial system. 746 watts = 1 horsepower. Motors do not put out the same power that is used from the electrical grid. There are inefficiencies involved. There are different ways of measuring motor power. There are conservative ratings and flat out lies listed on motor data plates. The safest thing to go by is the input power rating in watts, if you can find that to compare your candidates.

Old American horsepower:
1521764776552.png

Chinese horsepower:
1521764859464.png
 

Bob Korves

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I'm looking at getting a 4x6" bandsaw. It looks like I have several options.

Cost is always a concern, but more important to me is size and power. I do not currently have 220v available, and while I could probably make a larger saw fit into my space, I don't really see the need for a larger saw and I need it portable so am limited to something on wheels in the 100-150lb weight range. This requirement pretty much limits me to the 4x6" class. I know the 4x6" Harbor Freight saw has many supporters.



The Harbor Freight / Central Machinery 4x6" seems to be the standard for comparison, $259, 115v and listed shipping weight is 131 lbs, they don't give actual weight anywhere I can find. Says it has a 6.4 amp, 1 hp motor. 90 day warranty.

Home Depot offers a Wen 4x6" which looks to me to be nearly identical to the Harbor Freight saw, $239, 115v, 109lbs, lists a 4.6 amp 3/4hp motor, same exact speed ratings 80/120/200. Parts breakdown in the manuals is very close to identical, just numbered differently. 2 year warranty.

Home Depot also lists a General International, marked down to $299 (was $417). No longer listed on the GI website so I suspect it has been discontinued. Also looks very similar to the Harbor Freight saw but possibly using castings for some parts in place of stamped metal. About 60 fewer parts listed than the HF saw. 115v, 5 amp 1/2 hp motor, 121lbs 3 speed 80/120/180. 2 year warranty

Grizzly also has a 4x6", again very similar to the others. $339, 115v, 117lbs lists a 5 amp 3/4hp motor, 3 speeds 78 / 108 / 180. 1 year warranty

All saws use the same 64-1/2 x 1/2" blade.



From there it looks like Jet's 5x6" bandsaw would be the next logical step, but at $640 it is more than twice the price of the others, with nearly identical specs to the HF saw except for the motor which is rated 5 amp, 1/2hp. It is upgradable to 220v, don't know what benefit that provides. Also uses a 64-1/2" blade. 2 year warranty.


I don't know how well I trust the motor ratings, I don't understand how a 4.6 amp motor can be rated 3/4 hp while a 5 amp is only rated 1/2 hp.


A major advantage to the saws sold at Home Depot is I have one 10 minutes away and they offer free shipping to the store, the nearest Harbor Freight is 70 miles away.



I've have been watching Craigslist and Ebay. Relatively small saws like this rarely come and they are almost always the HF saw when they do. Most are 7x12 or larger and 220v or unspecified power.


I'd be very interested to hear opinions on the other saws. It isn't hard to find info on the Harbor Freight. I'm particularly interested in the Wen as I suspect it may be the same saw as the HF / Central Machinery so the many DIY upgrades out there would also apply to it.
The H-F 4x6 saw is a good machine at a low price. You will have to adjust it out of the box to get it to do the things it is supposed to do, and to make the cut square. You can find 20-25% off coupons to save money on the deal, and H-F also has fliers everywhere with the 20% deal and for freebies to pick from "with any purchase." There is lots of support in the machining community for that genre of saw if you have problems. I am totally happy with mine.
 

Bob Korves

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The H-F 4x6 saws have enough HP to do the job. They also have three speeds.
 
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