Review: Grizzly G0513P Bandsaw

Manufacturer: Grizzly Industrial, Inc.
Model: Grizzly G0513P – 17″ 2 HP Bandsaw, Polar Bear Series
Model: Shop Fox G7314Z – Heavy-Duty Mobile Base
Cost: $895 and $74.95

 

Overview

Having a bandsaw in the shop opens a completely new avenue of possibilities in the way wood is cut: everything from making accurate curved cuts to resawing.  The resawing ability itself is enough justification to own one, and the main motivation behind this purchase.

There are quite a few things to consider when making this purchase, first would be cost.  Depending the size and quality the saws range from under a hundred dollars to several thousands.  Here’s the criteria for this purchase:

  • At lease 14″ throat capacity
  • 6″ cutting height at a minimum
  • 110/220v motor (convert to 220 at a future date)

Many saws were considered, here are a few:

Harbor Freight 14″: $370
Laguna 14/12: $1097
Rikon 14″: $800

Of course the Delta, Jet and Powermatic were evaluated as well.  Also, the eBay and Craiglist offerings were looked at as well, but most of those saws had a hard life, I did not want to spend a lot of time and money refurbishing.Grizzly_G0513P_30

The Harbor Freight saw is basically junk, parts literally broke in my hands as I was adjusting the guide post.  The Laguna is very nice, but the mobile base option was another $150 and the saw does not even come with a blade.  The Rikon looks promising, but the model I was interested in is now discontinued and cannot be purchased locally.

Value for money, the Grizzly G0513 is hard to beat.  It’s a 17″ with a 12″ cutting height and has a 2HP motor.  The mobile base option only costs another $75.  With shipping, including the lift-gate service, the total was just a bit over $1000.

The saw arrived within a week of ordering it (it would have been the same week if I had not missed the call to schedule delivery).   It arrived via UPS Freight, the truck had a huge lift-gate that made the process much easier.  The driver actually used a hand truck to position the saw on the lift-gate, but also to put it right in the garage:  fantastic service from UPS!

The saw was packaged well, mounted to a pallet and crated in with styrofoam inserts.

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Once all that was removed, then the assembly could begin, starting with the mobile base.  The Shop Fox mobile base is a universal kit that can be adjusted to fit many different types of equipment.  In this case it does not quite fit to the exact form of the saw base.  Assembly was straight forward, but the stationary casters were a little tricky to get installed, a small screw driver was needed to guide the nut and lock washer onto the bolt.  It should be noted that a piece of 3/4″ plywood was needed for the saw to sit without wobbling because the four steel plates that the saw rests on were not all straight and level.

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With the base assembled, it was time to move the bandsaw from the pallet.  First the four lag bolts holding the saw in place had to be removed.  Next, a couple pieces of 2×4 were placed onto the mobile base.  The saw was slid onto the 2x4s then tilted to one side, one was removed, tilted to the other side and the second one was removed.  These pictures do not show the plywood that was added later.

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The cast iron table was clean with paper towel and WD-40 and fastened to the saw.  The fence was then attached to the table and the final step was to wire the motor for 110v (was pre-wired for 220v) and a plug was attached.

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Once assembled, blade tension set and the table zero’ed out, a few test cuts were made.  The included blade worked well cutting the pine scraps, and resawing a 6″ piece was like cutting through butter.  After that I made three more clamp racks using the leftover 3/4″ plywood.  The saw performed fantastic, runs smoothly and is surprisingly quiet.

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Very worthwhile purchase, one that I wish I had done years ago.  Given the features, capacity and build quality of this saw, I cannot imagine buying a Laguna, Jet or Powermatic.  I’m sure they are all quite capable, but it also seems like spending money for the name.

 

Next:  I’ll get 220v into the garage and set the motor back and then get the dust collector hooked up.

 

 

Comments please!