Just a quick update on my Rikon. I've used it for a few months and it is a great bandsaw. No complaints. I highly recommend it. We should do a saw-off sometime to see if there are any subtle differences. However, if the blade spins and the guides are set correctly, and the wheels are true, they should be equivalent.
The single dust port keeps things really clean.
If ever your Laguna 14BX (I love mine, btw) decides not to run for you, start by assuring the box housing the interlock switch on the brake pedal is free and clear of chips, shavings, collected dust, etc. If that switch can't close again after you use the brake to stop the saw, it de-energizes the whole harness and makes it look like the magnetic switch is malfunctioning. Of course, I found that out after the new magnetic switch express mailed to me by Laguna arrived and didn't work either... Laguna stood behind it, told me to keep the new magnetic switch for a spare, and the guy who helped figure it out over the third or fourth phone call with me got points from his team for spreading the word.
I turned on my Rikon bandsaw yesterday. Its really nice.
All of the adjustments are easy to make, blade tension, belt tension, side blade guides, guide height. The rear blade guide is easy. However, I find there is less visibility so its a bit harder to adjust.
The tool-less bearing guide adjustments are easy to use. I am not sure I prefer it to other adjustment schemes that don't have springs. But it functions nicely. After I use it for a few projects I'll update this report.
I'm also tracking down a minimal vibration which I think is in the upper wheel or tire.
Even with these minor gripes, I'm happy I bought it.
I decided to go with the Rikon. It arrived a days ago and I'll have it adjusted and running this weekend. I'll give you an update.
As far as getting it assembled and upright on a mobile base, I was able to do it all on my own. It looks great. Everything fit together as it should. Zero assembly problems.
The Rikon mobile base was backordered so I got a Jet mobile base which worked great.
The differences I saw between Rikon and Laguna were
I am looking for a high quality 14" band saw. I already have a big 17" band saw , so I don't need it to be able to do large re-sawing. Smooth, low vibration with good guides are important. Quality construction and materials are also important as is reliability. Which brand should I go with? There is Delta, Laguna, Rikon, Grizzly, Jet, South Bend. What's your advice?
I just bought a Laguna 14bx and you are welcome to come to my shop and try it out. It's set up with a 3/4" wood slicer blade.
I'm pretty thrilled with it.
Mark - I think there are more important things to look at than the these. Cast iron for the table is nice, not so sure on the wheels. However I would first look at the blade guides and how easy they are to adjust as you will be dealing with these frequently. I like the ceramic guides. Second is how easy it is to change blades and a tension release is key. If these are hard or time consuming, you tend to not change blades or adjust the guides properly which is both unsafe and impact the quality of the cut.
Lastly two nice options are a break to stop the blade quickly and a good fence that has two positions (low and high). Check out the Laguna bandsaw.
I'm thinking of getting a 14 inch bandsaw. I don't use it daily but want something decent. One question I have is does it matter if I get one with aluminum wheels or cast iron wheels? Also, does it matter if the trunion mechanism is cast iron?
There are two Rikon models as well as Grizzly that offer 14 inch bandsaws with cast iron parts. Is it worth the extra few hundred dollars to upgrade to cast iron parts?
Thanks for your help, and its fine to call me.