Let me start off by saying I have no affiliation with Grizzly Industrial, Inc. I have been in the market for a bandsaw for a while now and due to overwhelmingly positive product and customer support reviews I decided I would try my luck with a Grizzly. It also happened that they had their 30th anniversary edition of their popular G0555 band saw on sale for $100 off the regular price. Sounds like a winner here.
This is the first “real” band saw I have owned. I say “real” because about three years ago I purchased a 9″ Skill brand benchtop band saw. That turned out to be more of a craft saw than anything so I sold it at the first chance I had. I also have some experience with a much larger 32″ band saw from a previous job (frame mill in an Ashley Furniture manufacturing facility). I’m not going to make this post into a product review but rather I would like to give you my honest opinion about the saw.
The first thing you notice is how beautiful the piece of machinery is. Cosmetics are something that I really do not care about in tools. I could care less if the tool was painted pink with purple dots as long as it works well. That being said, this bandsaw sure is pretty. I throughly looked the saw over and can’t find any cosmetic defects. All the paint lines are crisp and clean and the black painted metal is flawless, even on the blade wheels.
The blade guide setup consists of Carter style bearing guides. One larger bearing spaced .016″ away from the back of the blade and two more bearings stop the blade from wandering left to right. In case you are wondering, .016″ is roughly the thickness of a dollar bill folded twice (thanks to the easy to follow directions). The adjustment of these bearings is extremely easy with an included allen wrench. There is a set above and below the table.
The height of the upper blade guide is adjustable to give support close to your thinner stock or to allow a maximum rip capacity of 6″. There is a riser kit you can purchase to allow a higher max rip height but I don’t see myself ripping anything that tall anytime soon. I can always purchase it later if need be. The adjustment is made via a large hand wheel in the back and a smaller locking knob on the side. Both are easy to use. On the back of the upper wheel housing is the blade tensioning unit. This is a real clever feature if you ask me. The large lever handle near the top is a quick release for the blade tension allowing fast blade change and the turn knob on top is for adjusting blade tension. Speaking of blade tensioning. The tensioning assembly has a nice handy blade tension gauge with markings for each common blade size. I really like this. I remember watching the maintenance crew at Ashely Furniture plucking the blade like a guitar string and listening to the tone to get a certain tension. This makes it fool proof. In the rear of the saw is the motor and dust collection hookup. The motor is wired at 110v and rated at 10A. I cut about four feet of 4″ poplar shortly after I assembled it with the stock blade with no problems. The dust collection hookup is ready for a 4″ hose. I use a 4″ harbor freight dust collection hose and it slips on snuggly with no problems. The dust you see in the picture above is from above the table. A bandsaw and a miter saw are both pretty difficult to get 100% dust collection. The dust collection works great inside the lower wheel housing though. The stand is impressive if you ask me. The only other tool I have in the same price range that came with a stand is my Porter-Cable PCB270TS table saw. Having assembled, handled, and used both I can say that this stand feels a lot stronger. The metal itself feels thicker and I believe the solid sides also add a lot of stability. The stand is leveled via 4 leveling feet hidden on the inside. The saw also comes with a lockout switch for those worried about kids or other people who shouldn’t be using the saw. A large keyed lock is included. I don’t see myself ever using this lock but I can give a big thumbs up for including it. Kids are curious and including a simple inexpensive lock goes a long way in preventing unnecessary accidents.The miter gauge that it comes with feels solid. It is a standard 3/4″ wide so I can use it in on both my table saw and band saw. The lettering on the miter gauge is large font which makes it easier to read. I don’t want to sound older than I actually am but I have horrible vision and little details like these are very welcomed. I also like the taller adjustment knob as it is much easier to use than my table saw miter gauge (left of the blade in this picture). The table is also very nice. An easy to adjust positive stop bolt ensures a quick return for the table to perpendicular to the blade. The fence rail is a single piece of extruded aluminum. The fence itself is a t-square style fence that glides very easily and locks down tight. There are a few adjustment screws in the front to adjust for any blade drift. Overall I have to say that I am very pleased. I feel like this was money well spent and again, I do not have any ties to Grizzly tools. Simply put, when you make a quality product you have happy customers. I am extremely happy with this purchase and have no problem with letting everyone know. There are a lot of tool companies out there that make a great overall product but always seem to skimp out in one or two areas. I don’t feel that way here. From top to bottom I can’t find anything to complain about…at all. Even the assembly instructions were easy to follow. So if you are in the market for a 14″ bandsaw I say try your luck with Grizzley and get a G0555. I’m glad I did.