Author Topic: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?  (Read 16419 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Dan Clark

  • Posts: 540
    • talkFestool
Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« on: November 25, 2007, 10:29 AM »
Hi.  In this post, Matthew made an interesting point about bandsaws:
Even before I owned any Festool tools, I never used a table saw for short, narrow pieces.  I used a bandsaw for those, and that's what I continue to do today.  In fact, as things evolve in my shop, my table saw gets less and less use, my Festool saw gets more and more use, and the bandsaw fills in the gaps, cutting those smaller pieces, better than any other tool.

In this post, I asked about the best tablesaw for Festoolians.  But the key issue is that there are some situations where other saws might be better than a Festool circular saw.   Outside of North America, other Festoolians have several options - like the CMS - that we don't have here.  In the US, our options seem to be limited to tablesaws and bandsaws.   

Bandsaws seem to have some advantages over tablesaws.  They may be a little safer because the won't have kickback.  And they can be used to resaw raw wood (a nice option).   And they take less floorspace than tablesaws.   Since we discussed tablesaws, I thought I'd ask the same question about bandsaws - what's the best bandsaw for Festoolians?



Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.

Offline Lou Miller

  • Posts: 480
  • North Wales, PA
    • Some of my work
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2007, 12:11 PM »
Minimax! MM16, MM20, MM24, It doesn't matter which one... Its without a doubt the best bandsaw I've ever used. I don't own one yet, I currently have a 17" Grizzly. The Minimax puts my bandsaw to shame. My helper bought one about 9 months ago and I've been using it quite a bit. He's got a 1-1/4" carbide blade on it for resawing and its like slicing through butter. At some point, I'll be selling my saw and buying a Minimax.

Offline Steve Rowe

  • Posts: 830
  • Teach them safety when they are young.
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2007, 01:47 PM »
I think the best bandsaws made are Italian whether it be Minimax (Centauro), Laguna (ACM), Felder (ACM) or Agazzanni.  I would have any of them in may shop.  I have had a Laguna LT-18 for about 8 years now and it is great.  My only wish:  it was bigger.

Offline Dan Uhlir

  • Posts: 138
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2007, 02:49 PM »

   Yeah, i have the MM16 on my wish list along with one of those combo machines and more importantly space to use 'em. thanks dan

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3759
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2007, 04:18 PM »
When I decided a bandsaw might make sence in my shop, i had not had any experience with them.  I figured it would get little use, but would be handy to have when needed.

I went down to my local toy store and looked tem over.  They had a 16" Reliant that supposedly had a greated resaw capacity than any of the more expensive 14" more common brands on the floor. Aaannnndd it was considerably cheaper. I had evidently not learned my lessons about not looking for cheeeep instead of quality and bought the cheapy.  what a wrong move that was.  I am currently keeping my eyes open for a more substantial BS with option to use atleast a 3/4" blade for resawing.  I have a little Delta/Rockwell/Milwaukee 9" that i inherited from my Dad that gets a lot of use.  I don't think I would be without a bandsaw.

 As one of my masonry friend and teacher used to say, "So soon, ve grow oldt.  So late yet, ve getd schmaht."  He vas a great old Cherman craftsman and a great teacher.
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Loren Woirhaye

  • Posts: 124
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2007, 04:40 PM »
Without a doubt in my mind the bandsaws that follow Festool design
philosophy the most are the INCA bad saws, now out of production.

I own the two smaller INCA saws and they are very portable with
direct drive motors.  Older models sometimes had belt-drive motors,
which makes the tools less portable.

The INCA saws take probably a 1/2" blade maximum, which is fine
for most ripping for furniture making.

A great deal is made of large resaw capacity... which is great to have
if you do woodturning or want to mill some logs on your saw.  For
cutting your own veneer its probably not generally necessary to
have greater than 6".

Here's why:  slicing veneer is finicky, tricky work. The less width you
slice through the greater your chance of getting consistent cuts.
If I had an 8" wide board I wanted to get quality veneers out of I
would generally cut it in half and cut the veneers off 4" wide boards.

If you are making acoustic guitars and for some reason you MUST
saw up boards for your soundboards, a saw with a 8" plus capacity
is essential.

The bandsaw is the best tool for rip cuts in solid wood.  Kickback is
not a problem and kerf wastage is minimal.  Properly tuned, a quality
bandsaw gives exceptional results.

With larger bandsaws you can run 3/4" and wider blades, and there
is an advantage to that.  They seem to track better and produce
straighter cuts... plus carbide teeth are available which makes
working with plywood more convenient.

I have never owned a 14" Delta saw... though I did have a crappy
import knockoff at one time.  Some guys love these saws.  I would
never pay new price.  I see Deltas often in Los Angeles area classifieds
for around $150.

Italian steel-framed bandsaws offer great features at a premium price.

I have never owned one, but I'm not sure they are that superior
to my old Delta 20" saw.  Large steel-framed saws are stiffer
than most cast bandsaws, and not so vulnerable to damage.

I seldom use the height capacity of that large saw except
to break up firewood.  The 1.25" blade on the thing runs
straight though, and its super convenient for roughing out
parts, notching panel corners, etc... 

Cheaper imported bandsaws can often be "tuned" and modified to
deliver better performance than you would expect.

Offline Emmanuel

  • Posts: 174
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2007, 07:20 AM »
I own a Steel City 18" bandsaw. It is reasonably priced and fullfill all my needs.
Festoolians will probably like the dust collection which is excellent without any mods even though there is only one 4" port.
I can resaw 12" boards with it which matches the capacity of my lunch box planer.
I have mounted blades from a 1/4" to a 1" resaw blade.

In my shop the bandsaw is used most often to rip thick stock or thin strip as well as to do some resawing.
I do not do curve work often but when I do I appreciate the large table.


Offline michaels

  • Posts: 2
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2008, 03:41 PM »
Late to the party I see, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in :)

my MM16.  It's the new model w/ 16" resaw and it is a SUPERB machine.

I wish it had the larger table of the mm20 or 24 but frankly, the resaw and power of this machine are already sufficient.  Just wish for more table space and throat depth.


Offline Ned

  • Posts: 1146
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2008, 04:00 PM »
my MM16.  It's the new model w/ 16" resaw and it is a SUPERB machine.


Is "MM16" the brand?  model?

Do you know the manfacturer or distributor's website?


Offline joraft

  • Posts: 860
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2008, 04:11 PM »
I've got my eye on the Agazzani B24. A well made, VERY smooth running machine. I was drooling over one of these just the other day.

The standard model B24 has a resaw capacity of 15 3/4", but I understand they're now putting out a limited edition with a taller frame (not a riser) that will resaw up 20". I don't know if I'll ever need that much height, but it would be nice to have anyway.


Offline TahoeTwoBears

  • Posts: 194
  • Sugar Bear - South Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2008, 04:24 PM »

The site appears to be:


Offline Dan Clermont

  • Festool Dealer
  • *
  • Posts: 1134
  • Canadian Festool Dealer
    • Ultimate Tools
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2008, 03:50 AM »
I own the Laguna LT 14SE and am happy with it. Although if I could have afforded the MM16 I would have bought that instead

Dan Clermont

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5198
Re: Band Saw...Re-Saw (gambling) advice needed
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2008, 10:00 AM »
I have a 3/4" maple board I need to rip to 5/8".
The board is bowed to one face and I'm wondering
which face to saw off to straighten it up.
Is this predictable or just a gamble either way?

Offline michaels

  • Posts: 2
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2008, 12:13 PM »
woops, sorry Ned.  The site provided is correct.  The MM16 is the model of the saw that I have.

They are manfactured for MM-USA by Centauro over in Italy.

The current MM16 (the model I have) is a monster with a 4.8h motor, nearly 550lb total footprint (it has 5mm thick plate steel for the frame) and runs a 1" carbide blade through wood like a hot knife through butter.

The only complaint that I have is that I didn't have a bigger budget for a larger unit.  I don't need more resaw height as I primarily work with 8-14" stock, but the extra table would have been VERY nice.  I use my BS to rip and rough cut woods quite a bit as it's arguably the safest ripping machine in the shop.

They are not cheap, but like the festool equipment you get what you pay for imo.  They also hold their value very, very well and I could probably sell mine after 2 years use for 70% of what I have into it for an upgrade to a 20 should I feel the urge when funds are free.

(a combo J/P in the 14+" class will be first though)


Offline Loren Hedahl

  • Posts: 160
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2008, 02:23 PM »
I agree that there are certainly better bandsaws, but the best one for me is the one I have, a 12 inch Craftsman that has been thoroughly tuned up.

It doesn't owe me a thing, I've used it so much.

And by not having "bandsaw two-inch-itis" it frees up a lot of cash for whatever else I might want!
Location (generally):  Thirty five miles west of Seattle by the way the crow flies.

You can tell a Norwegian, but you can't tell him much!

Offline Scott W.

  • Posts: 333
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2008, 08:58 PM »
I have had my  Luguna 16 Heavy Duty model since 1999 and it has never missed a beat. I use it all the time it re-saws like a dream. I understand that the new models have a new ceramic guide system that is impressive.

Photo of mine Here

Scott W.

Offline Fred West

  • Inactive Member
  • *
  • Posts: 652
  • Festool Junkie Banner :o)
Re: Best Bandsaw for Festoolians?
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2008, 11:25 PM »
I too have the Minimax 16 and it is one hunk of awesome iron. 13" resaw capacity with a 4.8 hp motor. I have found very, very little that I cannot do with this machine. Steep price like festool but also amazing quality. You will never regret buying one. Fred
Domino,TS 75, Trion PS 300, RO 150, ETS 150/5, DTS 400, RS 400, LS 130, RS 2, Deltex 93, CT 33 CT 22, CT Midi & 3 MFT 1080s, OF 1400, C 12, RAS 115, MFK 700, MFT/3 :o)