– Ben Martens

Grizzly Band Saw

grizzlyg0555lanvThis weekend I placed an order for a big tool that I’ve never used before: a band saw. Specifically, it’s a Grizzly G0555LANV 14″ Deluxe Bandsaw Anniversary Edition. As I’ve gotten more into woodworking, I’ve realized that it is an incredibly useful tool that will open up a lot of builds that just aren’t feasible right now. This is sort of a middle of the road model. It’s not a smaller benchtop unit, but it’s a fraction of the price of some of the big name brands. Grizzly makes great tools with no frills. No, it’s not the same quality as a Powermatic, but it’s also going to be a quarter or a fifth of the price. For a home woodworker like me, even the Grizzly is probably overkill.

I struggled for a long time about whether to buy this new or used. I know that I could have saved money buying a used one, but since I have almost zero experience with a band saw, I did not believe that I could accurately evaluate a used model to know if I was getting a good deal or not.

I’m lucky to be located pretty close to one of Grizzly’s three showrooms, but I still chose to have it shipped from Bellingham. I was able to get it shipped for $35 (had to pay for curb side service since I don’t have a forklift to unload it myself) and for that much money, it was hard to justify borrowing a truck and making the ~2.5 hour round trip drive.

If you’re not familiar with a band saw, you might be wondering what it is good for. In general, pretty much anything you can do on a table saw, you can do on a band saw and it’s arguably a bit safer for some tasks such as cutting dove tails or box joints. Additionally, you can cut curves and you can resaw thick lumber and save wood. When I built Tyla’s jewelry box, most of the pieces were 3/4″ thick so that’s the stock that I bought. But a couple of the pieces only needed to be 1/4″ thick. If I had a band saw, I could have cut the board in half to make two thin pieces. Since I didn’t have one, I had to run it repeatedly through the thickness planer and turn 2/3 of the board into expensive saw dust.

I’m excited to get this thing set up and learn how to use it! Stay tuned for my first projects. I have a big stack of ideas waiting for me!