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Bandsaw: Craftsman 22401 vs Rikon 10-325

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  • Bandsaw: Craftsman 22401 vs Rikon 10-325

    Hello all!

    I am in the market for a new bandsaw. I received $600 for a new bandsaw as an x-mas gift, and I've narrowed down the list to the Craftsman 22401 or the Rikon 10-325.

    I currently own a Hitachi 12" CB13F bandsaw. It was my first bandsaw, picked it up on clearance from Lowe's, and it is now broken! The bottom wheel snapped off. I do plan to repair it at some point and throw a small blade on it for cutting tight curves.

    I used the Hitachi for doing curves, which is seemed to do fine, and for re-sawing (had a 5" re-saw capacity), which it did very slowly, but managed. I did manage to stop the blade a couple of times, notably when trying to re-saw 4.5" hard maple. Was trying to go too fast.

    I am trying to decide between the Craftsman which has 8" re-saw and goes on sale for $400 (curretnly on sale for $470, normally $499) or the Rikon which has 13" re-saw and is $750 (does this ever go on sale??). I'm not sure what direction to go. I don't really plan on re-sawing anything much bigger than 6", as I only have a 6" jointer, and I'm not a turner. Also, the little 12" Hitachi did almost everything I needed it to, so I am leaning toward the Craftsman. I have recently been wanting to get into bent laminations, and so I am also interested in a drum sander at some point. If I purchased the Craftsman, I'd be $350 closer to a drum sander.

    However, I don't want to make the mistake of buying a too-small bandsaw, or wishing in the future that I had purchased a bigger model. Does the Rikon offer other advantages besides re-saw capacity? I know it has a quick-release tension lever, which would be really nice, and 1/2 hp bigger motor. Am I missing something else? Does anyone have experiece with both of these models? Are there other models I should be considering?

  • #2
    I have the Cman and it is a very good saw for the price. If I would have had the cash for the Rikon I would have gone that way. The Cman has done everything that I have tried to do with no problem. I use a TW 1/2 3tpi blade for re-sawing and it does not bog down and gives a nice cut. The fence is somewhat of a pain to adjust but with the blade tracking adjusted there is no drift. DC is only so-so. I made a crank for the tension adjust so it's easy to tension and release. If you are sure you will never need the 13" resaw capacity the Cman gets you the Ridgid OSS sander (which I also have and recommend.).
    Chas

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    • #3
      Went with the Grizzly G0555

      I've stopped buying craftsman - I think they are fine tools but overpriced. Also I consider it "graduating" to move beyond Craftsman to names like Porter Cable, Delta & Powermatic. The last Craftsman I bought was a little 6" jointer that I love, so don't get me wrong - I just think there is better bang for the buck out there.

      For Christmas, my parents, MIL & LOML got together an also gave me a $600 budget to buy a bandsaw. I was definitely, no doubt about it, going to buy the Grizzly G0555X ($595). But then I drove up to their Muncy store and compared it side by side with the G0555 ($395). The X was awesome, but for 50% more? I couldn't justify it. SO I was able to get the G0555 AND a dust collector and a couple accessories for my $600. I am very happy! Check out my blog for a video of me assembling it.

      BTW, The 0555 is essentially the Delta 14" bandsaw which seems to be the standard. The Grizzly is less expensive and seems to have a better fence. Everything is true and working out of the box - the included blade is crap though, so I bought a couple timberwolfs.

      Note that both the 0555 and 0555X can be fitted with 6" Delta style risers to increase resawing to 12" (something I don't think I need) - the "X" has an extra 1/2 HP motor, bigger table and includes the upgraded fence.

      Thanks:
      JC
      Last edited by affyx; 12-26-2007, 04:24 PM. Reason: mispellings
      Thanks:
      JC

      LumberJocks: http://lumberjocks.com/affyx

      "I lost my little saw and now I can't cope."

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      • #4
        I recently bought a Powermatic 14" BS and am realy impressed with it. With the $50.00 rebate from Powermatic it's only about $100.00 more than the Rikon and I think worth the money.
        I was in Woodcraft today and took a close look at the Rikon, it is a nice looking unit. There were a few things I didn't like about it though; The fence can be used on either side of the blade but the mount has to be changed each time you move it, it doesn't come with a miter gauge and the quick release lever can't be reached from the front of the saw and the frame is steel rather than cast iron.
        www.woodcraft.com/depts.aspx?DeptID=4065
        Dick

        http://www.picasaweb.google.com/rgpete2/

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        • #5
          I have the Rikon. It does occasionally go on sale (I think I combined two discounts to get mine at around $630 at Woodcraft). The astounding 13" re-saw capacity was a factor. I was pointed in this direction by Gwyneth as I pondered 17" saws. It has a nice sized motor, and is built really solid. It has a quick-release on the blade tensioner, and does an excellent job of dust collection with a single 4" port. I have found it to be a solid machine, and the factory support (only questions, no problems) is excellent. The only suggestion I would make to them is to put a blade brake on it, because the thing is so smooth that it keeps turning for 90 seconds after I shut it off.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Uncle Cracker View Post
            The only suggestion I would make to them is to put a blade brake on it, because the thing is so smooth that it keeps turning for 90 seconds after I shut it off.
            I'm glad I'm not the only one to see that as a problem. My only injury in a lot of years was a couple of weeks ago. After turning off the Rikon, I was going back to move some scrap and not noting the blade was still turning.... Minor damage but a clear warning.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MikeMcCoy View Post
              I'm glad I'm not the only one to see that as a problem. My only injury in a lot of years was a couple of weeks ago. After turning off the Rikon, I was going back to move some scrap and not noting the blade was still turning.... Minor damage but a clear warning.
              I spoke to the factory about that, and they explained that there was no way they could stay within their price point if they included the blade brake. I guess I can live with that, since the money is spent on performance instead. But it has made me a little more observant when I'm working with it (I guess that's not a bad thing, either).

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              • #8
                I had the craftsman, and upgraded to an 18" Jet recently on a great buy. I did quite a bit of veneering work with my craftsman, and it is capable. 8" resaw is good, but the 1hp motor was hard pressed to do that in really hard wood. I did resaw about 8" repeatedly with good success on curly maple with a woodslicer. Purpleheart, however, was more like 6", and some really hard stuff was no more than 4" (Lignum). If you are sawing veneer, you really need your jointer to be of the same capacity as your bandsaw, and to own a drum sander. You can use the DS instead of the jointer to flatten, just takes a lot longer.

                To JC, I can't agree with you. Craftsman doesn't make anything, so you are really saying that you don't want to buy things from Yukon, Bosch, Techtronics, etc... which is fine, just avoid all of those manufacturer's tools. Certainly Sears often charges more for the same item, the Bosch router kit for instance, but if you get a good sale, sometimes it makes sense to buy the Craftsman version of these tools.

                I certainly enjoy all of my Bosch tools, and that Bandsaw is the best for the money. I got mine for 384$, and it was certainly worth it. I only upgraded due to a great opportunity price wise, and my continued wanting to saw veneer.

                The Rikon is also a great tool, if you see them side by side, the guides are very similar, it's really the resaw and the 1hp vs 1.5hp motor that is in issue.
                Keith Z. Leonard
                Go Steelers!

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                • #9
                  re:bandsaw choice

                  I'm leary of anything Craftsman. I was a professional cabinetmaker for a few years and lost faith in them pretty quickly. Granted, I haven't used their equipment for a long time so maybe they've improved over time. I just recently bought an older, 14" Grizzly model which I'm pleased with. I'm not that familiar with Rikon but I've read some good reviews of their machines. I would consider Grizzly, Delta and Jet as well. I just bought Grizzly machines for our model making shop at work and I'm very pleased with them.

                  A great way to get an idea of how others feel about the machines you're considering is to go where you can find some reviews. Some people will have an ax to grind but if you read enough of the reviews you can get a good idea of how the machines are generally received.

                  Good luck!

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                  • #10
                    Welcome Tom, I don't currently have any craftsman tools in my shop, but I've had some, and they performed well. Again though, it's not at all a statement about "craftsman" which is a made up name put upon tools made by a variety of manufacturers. I certainly LOVE my Bosch router, and the C-version I'm sure is as good. I completely agree with you that the secret is to know the particular tool.
                    Keith Z. Leonard
                    Go Steelers!

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                    • #11
                      FYI about the Rikon 10-325 vs. Craftsman 22401

                      I know this is an older post now but I thought I'd point something out when comparing these two saws. Popular Woodworking had a bandsaw shootout back in 2006 and while they chose the Rikon as their overall pick for the 14" bandsaws that they tested, they also picked the Craftsman for best value. But what's more interesting is the fact that upon further investigation, come to find out the Rikon and Craftsman are actually very similar in design as well as the parts used. I can verify this not only from pictures from the magazine article but photos online as well. I own a 12" Craftsman bandsaw, which is a scaled down design of their 14". I can tell you that, except for the 1/2hp larger motor, different fence, on/off switch design, blade tension adjustment window and the table trunion design, these two saws are pretty much identical. The bearing guides and surrounding hardware, table itself, blade wheels and other internals look exactly like my Craftsman as though the parts came from the same source as for the Rikon saw. I say all this to say that even though some people may knock Craftsman at times, if you don't need the extra resaw capacity or 1/2hp, the Craftsman wasn't a bad deal for the money. I say "wasn't" because Craftsman no longer offers this model. Even my 12" that I bought 3 years ago is now discontinued. I'm actually looking for either a used Rikon 10-325 or I may purchase a new one. I'm keeping my 12" for finer 1/8" blade work and adding a larger resaw bandsaw for my bigger stock.

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                      • #12
                        Nothing like dredging up an over 4 year old thread... But your point is well taken. Most people agree that the current model Craftsman 12" band saw, is indeed built by Rikon... If I were to go with a smaller saw, that would be my choice for sure...
                        Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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                        • #13
                          I know it's an old thread, but if this is still accurate, it could end the discussion.
                          http://www.searsoutlet.com/1-hp-14-B...74&mode=seeAll

                          I do have the 10" craftsman and it is a clone of the Rikon. Smooth little saw.

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                          • #14
                            What was true 4 years ago is still true today. It makes little difference whether or not Rikon makes the Craftsman bandsaw or not. The bottom line is the specifications that either one or both are manufactured too. Without first hand knowledge of all of the specifications involved in the manufacture of these two bandsaws, all that can be accurately claimed is that they look alike.
                            _________________________
                            "Have a Great Day, unless you've made other plans"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sailor55330 View Post
                              I know it's an old thread, but if this is still accurate, it could end the discussion.
                              http://www.searsoutlet.com/1-hp-14-B...74&mode=seeAll

                              I do have the 10" craftsman and it is a clone of the Rikon. Smooth little saw.
                              According to that site, there is one in West Covina, CA for $120.83, only 1769 miles from me!! I was in Pomona a few weeks ago, but i don't think it would have fit in the overhead bin!
                              earl

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