Band Saw Review
Product Review: Grizzly 16-inch Wood Cutting Band Saw
Copyright © Stephen Chastain
The Grizzly 16-inch band saw is a mail order item. Freight was rather expensive adding a few hundred dollars to the cost. I have had it for about 13 years and it has received much use in that time. For all of the testimonials in the ads, I have never received a call from an interested buyer.
The selling point for this item was the heavy cast iron back. Yes, it has a heavy iron casting but I think that much of the weight could have been put into the frame and less into a job more suited to sheet-metal. The cast iron wheels do carry some momentum (as opposed to aluminum wheels). This is a big plus in that they will keep the blade going for a while in tough cuts. The blade guides are no better than those on any other inexpensive saw and should be upgraded for better work. Grizzly sells “Cool Blocks” blade guides which are roughly 1 ½ inch lengths of nylon rod. A pair costs about $20. You can buy 1-foot sections of the same rod from a supplier such as MSC or Enco for about $2.50. I would skip all of this and made a set of good ball bearing guides if I were planning on doing much precision work. I have always had trouble with the on and off switch on this saw, difficult to turn on and almost impossible to turn off. After a few years of banging, the switch went out completely and the saw is now wired on. I turn it on and off at the breaker box.
The saw makes quick cuts in smaller and thin wood but struggles in thicker material. The motor is a little under powered for the heavier jobs. I would put this saw in the same category as the Craftsman table saw. If you can it on the Craftsman saw, then you can probably do OK with this Grizzly band saw.
I use the saw quite often and it does work, however it is nothing special. I would rate it as being average.. about the same as the Craftsman. For the money and time I had invested in the saw, I would rather have purchased an Enco 18-inch band saw. I think that I would be more satisfied.