rikon bandsaw

Does anyone have any experience with a Rikon band saw? I plan to buy a band saw and would like to know if anyone has purchased a Rikon and what size. What other band saw would you recommend.
There is a forum on woodworking.com discussing this saw. Do a Google search on "Rikon bandsaw".

I doubt that it is really suitable for serious resawing 12-inch stock as advertised, but probably a good general purpose saw; usually the saw is not the issue as long as you can get blades to track, the  guides and blades are very critical and important and guides might be able to be replaced

I have a  Lagunda.

I have an older 20" Jet (from when they were still blue). The thing I like most is the stiffness of the saw. When resawing 12" stock there is little to no vibration and the back stays rigid. I had a 14" saw with a riser block and found when resawing wide stock the back would flex, resulting in a cupped resaw. So I had to resaw with a very slow feed rate.

I think you could hunt around for a used saw and get something better than the rikon (I don't have one so I can't comment on the quality). But since I bought the Jet it's the most used power tool in my shop.

Don't be afraid of a 3 phase saw either. VFD's are very cheap now and make a 3 phase a good choice.
Stop! Stop! Down even think about it.  Rickon bandsaws are awful.  They are under power, adjustments are not as easy as many may think, the wheels are not really balanced well, the guides stink (very low quality), etc. etc.  The bandsaw is a machine that I would invest a nice chuck of change.  The way I think about it is that if you incorporate hand tools than you can do anything and everything with a bandsaw.  A table saw can't curves and you can only resaw so wide on the table saw.  If you can invest in a Agazzani band saw or old american made saw.  It all depends on your needs and line of work.  Good Luck!!

Freddy Roman
they are not cheap BUT,

I purchased a Mini Max bandsaw a few years back. It is the FIRST bandsaw that I can set the fence and rip/resaw a board and it cuts in a straight line just like a tablesaw, without having to mess with any drift angles. It was increadbly refreshing. I do still have a delta 14" bandsaw that I use for little things.

For what its worth,

Heck, I have a relatively recent 18" Jet I bought about 10 years ago that doesn't require accounting for drift. Michael Fortune wrote a piece in FWW a couple years ago describing his method of set up that I agree with.

To the OP. What exactly do you want to do with a band saw? If all you are going to do is cut curves, tenons, rip some boards, a 14" saw will do you very well.

If you are going to want to resaw 10" wide stock or less, an 18" saw with low tension blades such as the WoodSlicer will give you reasonable service. Blades marketed as Meat & Fish cutting blades are also great general blades for tenons and resawing and cost much less than the WoodSlicer blades.

Like everything else, one gets roughly what they pay for. If you are willing to accept the limitations of less expensive saws, the Rikon (or the Sears Craftsman which are made by Rikon) are OK saws.

The Mini Max is a wonderful saw. And I too recommend it if you can purchase one. Else get a "lesser" saw now and save for a better saw later. The smaller "lesser" saw will come in handy set up for tasks such as tight curves while the bigger Mini is set up for resawing and ripping larger boards.

I don't have a table saw that is very assessable. But I do have and use 3 band saws. I can live without the TS and all but live by the band saws.

Take care, Mike
I think Mike's right on this - it depends on what your expectations are.  One of the guys in my carving apprenticeship class just bought an 18" Rikon, and he loves it.  Mostly what he's doing is roughing out very large carving blanks, so extreme precision isn't what he's after.

In my case, I've an older Delta 14" with a  2 HP motor and a riser block, and I use it to resaw 10" wide or more mahogany all the time, with good results.  I suspect, however, that I'd have a fair bit of difficulty if I tried that with hard maple.  I also use a 3/16" wide blade and a point fence for re-sawing, which cuts down on the required horse power and force against the saw structure considerably.

Moreover, I don't attempt to cut veneer with this saw.  Lots of the magazine articles show methods to do this on a 14" saw, and while I believe that it's achievable, it's also extremely demanding, at least when I've tried it - you have to have an extremely well-tuned saw and be patient.

In regards to re-sawing big lumber, you might want to look up someone with a WoodMizer portable sawmill.  I had some 24" wide 12/4 mahogany that I needed re-sawn, and there was no way to do this without ripping it into pieces about 8" wide and running it through my equipment, which I wasn't prepared to do.  The Woodmizer guy I found was willing to do it for $1 a linear foot, and he was remarkably accurate - within a 1/16" in thickness.
Every once in a while I see a post on here I feel I'm very qualified to help out with. I have a 12", 14", two 20", a 32" and a 42" bandsaw and have used or set-up dozens of others. A few of these guys are on the right track by asking just what you need from the saw in terms of capacity which will affect your choice. Buy bigger than you think you'll ever need, eventually it still won't be enough! With the exception of a very select few, insanely expensive European models ALL new imported saws are GARBAGE!!!!!! Do yourself a HUGE favor: start hitting auctions and watching classifieds  and learn to fix machinery for yourself. You can expect to need things like bearings, maybe new tires or a motor but if the main castings are ok all else is repairable and you'll be way farther ahead in the long run. The knowlegde gained in tuning the saw will help you better understand the problem when something does act up. Just about every machine I own is older than I am for a reason, they're built better! PERIOD!!! Even with new Carter guides or trips to a machine shop adding up to more than the cost of a brand new saw you'll still be better off.  Out of my 6 saws the most expensive one was the $300.00 14" Bridgewood which I bought using the $200 gift certificate I won in my Vo-Tech high school! The only american company I know of still making/refurbishing bandsaws is Tannewitz which are among the best ever made but get ready for a second mortgage! Check out some of the better names like Yates-American(my Y-42 cost me $225.00 plus 110 for tires and another 150 for a machinist to make and fit a new upper wheel spindle, an equivalent refurb Tannewitz fetches close to $20,000!), Oliver, Crescent, Silver, Fay & Egan, Root on  www.OWWM.com  Some of those guys fix 'em up like classic cars! The moral of this....only buy new when you have no other option! If I had to start over buying all new tools and machinery equal in quality to what I already have we would be talking about hundreds of thousands!

Good luck!
I have to echo Mark's comments.  Watch the classifieds, auctions, sale bills in your area and you may make a steal on an oldie but goodie.  Two years ago I went to a public auction to buy some curly maple lumber.  I came home with a 16" Walker-Turner bandsaw that was a diamond in the rough and 28 handscrew clamps- but no lumber.  Boy, was my wife proud of me!  This saw is almost 100% cast iron- even the enclosed base and wheel door/guards are cast iron with ornamentation that would make a patternmaker proud.  After a month of evenings with a wire brush and paint, it looks like it came out of the showroom and better yet- runs as smooth as a Mercedes Benz.  Auction cost- $125.  All I had to replace were tires!  So, if you look in the right places, eventually something may show up that you just can't live without!