For the drive belt, the first place to try would be your local auto parts store. Like the similarly appointed Craftsman and Central Machinery models, the Ryobi sports a blade tension release lever, something more typically found on full-sized band saws. I checked the blade tension, as well as the tightness of the drive belt, and even swapped blades with the Craftsman, just to make sure that the blade wasn’t at fault; nothing seemed to improve the tool’s resawing performance. As a commercial building contractor, I have owned and operated a vast number of tools.
This does add substantially to the weight of the saw: it’s 14 pounds heavier than the lightest 9″ saw, the Skil. If your saw has been preset to zero on a scaled angle indicator, use the zero or 90 degree mark to facilitate this step. The 9″ Central Machinery 96980 band saw sports a nice cast-iron table that mounts t the frame via a handy geared trunnion assembly. Bi-Metal bandsaw blades are also most commonly used for metalcutting, i.e. carbon steels, light alloy steels, mold steels, and tool steels. Sears PartsDirect has a large inventory of repair parts to choose from for almost any Craftsman power saw.
This isn’t too surprising, considering the similarity of the blade guides and post, and the fact that all four 9″ saws are powered by a 2.5-amp induction motor that drives the lower wheel via a short belt. I found a phone number for Power Tool Specialist, 800-243-5114, that handle all kinds of parts for older power tools and I’m having the belt sent to me. Hopefully it will be the right one. Most benchtop band saws in this test, including the 10″ Craftsman 21400, have an adjustable brush that prevents sawdust buildup on the lower wheel’s tire. Switched on, the Central Machinery band saw has good overall power and runs smoothly, with an acceptable quality of cut.
The number of teeth per inch will determine the effect of the cut on the material you are cutting. The Skil’s overall build quality seems good, and the saw features a guide post made of cast alloy that feels very solid. It doesn’t look like any saw you would see being used to build a house in Texas. It is actually a combination machine with a Rockwell 4 inch jointer attached to the side. For practical purposes, a single speed saw will work for most wood-cutting projects. Goes thru the belt on is pinched shut on either side of the break, and it works.
The only thing I could figure was worth the extra cost is the RIKON’s whopping five year warranty — the longest in this group of benchtop band saws. Bi-Metal bandsaw blades can cut all types of woods and are especially ideal for hard woods, i.e. oak, maple, walnut or cherry. The Proxxon Micro Saw is by far the smallest, lightest, most easily portable and stowable saw in this bunch. Industrial Bandsaw Services combined 50+ years industry experience achieve even tiniest models mini scroll or micro-mark.
A few other features on the JWBS-10OS are worth mentioning: It was the only saw that had a built-in blade tension scale that clearly showed how tight to set the tension knob for any blade that would fit the saw, from 1/8″ to 1/2″ wide. Second, take some time setting the saw up. It is pretty much ready to go out of the box, but you might not be happy with the results. Like the Skil, there’s a gooseneck LED light, but the JET’s has a separate On/Off switch which allows you to see what you’re doing before starting up the saw.
Despite the saw’s good features and performance, one reservation I’d have in choosing this over the other models is that it only carries a 90-day warranty, not much compared to the one- to five-year warranties that come with the other benchtop band saws. Besides varying in features and cosmetics, each saw has its own performance personality, and some just flat-out cut better than others. The time it takes to get your replacement parts could mean the difference between meeting or missing a deadline. I’m not familiar with shopcraft, but if it’s a 3 wheel saw I’d not be interested. This same function done other devices such as miter online at tool direct by brand, model, parts.