4 x 6 Bandsaws

On impulse, I bought the Harbor Freight 4x6 Bandsaw on sale, combined
with a 15% coupon 2 days ago. (The coupon expired that day, and it's
been harder to get them.) I haven't opened it yet, and I am beginning
to have second thoughts. I got the 2 year warranty, and the total was
Looking at Grizzly's G0622 (which should be the same basic machine)
that would be $298 (w/shipping) with a 1 year warranty. So it seems
like the HF is a good deal.
But I noticed on the web site a G1010 4 1/2 x 6 bandsaw, for $319
(w/shipping). Now it's made in Taiwan, from an ISO 9001 factory. I
also see the base is much beefier, which is a frequent complaint of
the 4x6.
I don't need the saw now (I have a HF portable for cut-offs), but I
can see it being useful in the future.
I guess I'd like opinions on the G1010, and is it that much better
than the vanilla 4x6. If so, I can return the HF 4x6, save up a few
more pennies, and get the G1010.
I noticed the G1010 it can be re-wired for 220v.
Also - it's not in the Griz catalog I just got. I only see it in the
web site. Strange... It doesn't say it's new.
I don't mind spending an extra $100 if the quality's that much better.
I won't be using it a lot. I'm a hobbyist.
Reply to
Bruce Barnett
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I've got about ten years of an hour per week operation on my cheapest-of-the-cheap 4x6.
A little basic maintenance on bearings and adjustment fasteners is about all it takes to make the saws perform as advertised. The motors usually suck, but it'll fail after warantee (guaranteed to fail) and you'll replace it anyway.
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
The saw you got is The Golden Standard in 4x6 BS. It lasts for years and years, even with heavy use (knifemakers abuse it the most, cutting knfe outlines outta really tough steels, thin stock with few teeth in contact with metal).
Buy a quality bi-metal blade for (.025 thou is ideal) and it will too, last you for years. The plain carbon that comes with it is cr@p.
Adjust the lower wheel (it slides on it's shaft) to where it is coplanar with the top one and it will track like a champ.
There's a Yahoo group dedicated to it:
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Reply to
You will be fine... it is a decent saw that with a little tuning will work surprisingly well.
Just make sure swhen you start is to ensure the wheels are co planer (use a long straightedge to see it touches at 4 points -- top of top pulley, bottom of top pulley, top of bottom pulley and bottom of bottom pulley. This is critical.
Then, loosen all the bearings away from the blade. Tension the saw by hand as tight as you can get it... you can not really overtension this saw and run the saw to see that the blade tracks on the wheels. (FYI... it is best to de-tension the saw when not in use.) Turn off the saw and begin to set the bearings.
This is the harder part and is sometimes a royal pain in the butt. Every saw has it quirks -- so you will have to play with it for a while to get the bearings to twist the blade vertical. Be patient, watch the blade. Adjust only one set first.. I usually start at the top bearing, get that set, (run the saw to see if still tracks) then do the bottom bearing set.
A problem with some of these cheaper bandsaws is getting the blade bearings to "twist" the blade vertical as the are supposed to... sometimes the bearing guides do not line up right (slight off drilled holes or channels). If that is the case, send the saw back. Or if you are interested and handy enough you can get the bearing guides to work... it is just a matter of some minor drilling or reaming.
As the one poster said to buy a better blade is absolutely correct, buy a good bi metal variable tooth blade from MSC or the like. In fact buy 2.
Again, though, these saws are WELL worth the money. I have mine for almost 10 years now and it still cuts just fine.
Reply to
Steve Koschmann
Forget yahoo and go to Grant Irwin's excellent article at
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The motors do tend to run hot, esp. during a long cut. I solved that problem by drilling a lot of 1/8" vent holes in the motor's end bells. I have been using the original motor for 10 or 11 years now. I'm not sure of the brand - mine came from Enco.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
When I bought my HF 4 x 6 saw, I didn't know if I would like it, or if it would do what I wanted it to do. So, I bought the cheapie.
I have always been a fan of overbuying so that I don't outgrow it, or need for any other reason, to go down any time soon and upgrade.
If I had it to do all over again, I'd buy the bigger more expensive saw in a heartbeat. Just for reliability, accuracy, and longevity.
AND, unless you go out and get a big one, it isn't all that much more money. Might save you some headaches later, although mine is chugging along. If it ever does take a dump, I'll just sell the carcass to a fixer upper, and go buy a good one in the $500 range.
I just love band saws over chop saws. I'd never ever own another chop saw.
Reply to
Steve B
I haven't used the G1010, but only going by the pictures, it looks nearly the same as the basic generic model. I bought a Homier 4x6 (for about $150) at a tool show that passed thru several years ago. This model required some effort and new, better quality hardware to meet my minimum servicability/functional characteristics. This is typical rework and tuning required for most of the low-end import stuff.
After some changes and minor modifications, it has proven to be a very worthwhile and mostly trouble-free machine, definitely more value than $150 worth of hacksaws and blades.
There are many HSM websites describing lots of inexpensive accessories and modifications for these versatile little saws, and here are some of mine
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WB metalworking projects
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Reply to
Wild Bill
I also bought the HF saw with the 1HP motor for $159. It worked well right after installation and has been taking abuse for months without any adjustment. I did have to replace the saw blade at one point (dropped something on it) but that was a fairly trivial matter. I never experienced a situation where the motor was getting hot.
BTW: I have also noticed the ads including the term "ISO Factory". My only experience of going through ISO certification taught me that this is an almost complete BS because there was nothing in the certification process that actually affected the quality of the final product of my employer at the time. I would buy products based on reported user experience and not ISO certification.
Reply to
Thanks for the feedback. I am reading each one in great detail. I've seen the FAQ, but I haven't seen a comparison between the G1010 and the HF/G0622. This would probably be the last one I'd ever buy. So far I am feeling better about my impulse. :-)
Reply to
Bruce Barnett
I've had an HF 4x6 for years. I have found it to be an excellent machine. The original blade was a POS. I run Sterrett 16 tpi blades in it and they seem to last pretty well. I cut mostly tubing and other small stuff in it (I have a Wilton 7x12 with a 4 tpi blade and a flood cooler in it for bigger stuff...). I did have to make a tee-nut, etc., for the angle adjust and I tossed the cheapie sheet metal stand and welded up a real stand for it, which was a BIG improvement. The motor does get warm when I am running it more or less continuously, but it is hanging in there nicely.
One other point: In my opinion, two year extended warranties are a total rip. HF is very good at standing behind their stuff and, given the fact their QC is all but non-existant (and, believe me, they are FAR from the only folks guilty of that one), you will find some defective equipment right out of the box. But, if it doesn't fail the first few times you use it, it will probably hang in there longer than you will. And, if it does fail out of the box, HF will probably replace it for you. (I suspect they find this cheaper than having a real QC.....)
BTW, I have never had to do any adjusting on my machine. It cut right from day one and, if it starts to wander, it is because the blade is getting worn out...
It should be noted that, somewhere in HF's specification on it, it is noted that it is not intended for production use. But, that being said, it will probably pay for itself many times over before it turns into a wore-out piece of junk.
Reply to
Jerry Foster
That strikes to the heart of the certification process. It's all about well documented process, rather than well built product.
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
In addition to several good suggestions here, here is my mods to my 4x6 you may find useful:
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saw.txt and the accociated jpgs. JR Dweller in the cellar
Bruce Barnett wrote:
Reply to
JR North

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