Startrite 352E 345mm Bandsaw 240V
For the money - the best!
Had this saw for twelve months now and its in daily use in our workshop, so have got to know it well.
Firstly its ripping width is 345mm (without the fence) also its not rack and pinion table tilt as Screwfix suggest its two machined solid cast iron trunnions with toggle bars - much better. The table can be adjusted with one finger then locked RIGIDLEY in place! Check out the competition at this price level there all cast aluminium and require two hands...
The bandwheels are cast iron as opposed again to aluminium, this has inertia and helps pull the balde through the cut.
The tensioning assembly is massive with proper springs
The heavy cast iron table is very well machined and flat almost polished.
The fence is easy to adjust, rigid, adjustable for square and can be laid flat for small work under the guides.
It rips 5" oak with a 3/4 blade without the motor even changing pitch let alone slowing, then its just at home with a 1/4" blade doing tight curves. It will take a 1" blade max
We also have two old Startrite bandsaws in our shop a Bandit and a 301 (not made anymore) The construction of this machine in my opinion is better and they were made in England!
Then why only 4 stars for performance?
1) I dont like roller guides, although you dont seem to have a choice nowadays, you cant see under them unlike the rubbing blocks on the older machines.
2) A judder as the machine is slowing down (not when in use running) but this is a small niggle - forget about it.
3) Didnt seem right to give it 5 out of 5 all the way!
Buy it, you wont regret it, it will last years.
Ok its Â£1100, you can curse once when you buy it or buy a cheaper model and curse everytime you use it!
14 Mar 2012