A band saw is a tool that offers a high level of power and precision, all in a single fixed position that’s ready to go to work whenever you need it to. This is a considerable upgrade for any hobbyist workshop and opens up a wealth of new possibilities for what you can create. This is a tool that stands for precision and power and that will take up a permanent spot in your workshop thanks to its size and the fact that it has its own table for resting the materials you’re working with on.
In short, a band saw is a considerable upgrade for most people and one that you should definitely consider adding to your repertoire if you want to start creating things with a little more precision and finesse. Whether you’re looking to cut detailed patterns into your wood, whether you want to make beautiful bezel cuts, or whether you just need to make some curved lines – the bandsaw is your friend.
But does the Rikon 10-305 hold up in practice? Is this bandsaw enough for your requirements? Read on and let’s find out…
Looks fairly standard but…
To look at, the Rikon 10-305 is a fairly standard bandsaw. It is big, flat and oblong and colored in dark blue. It’s definitely not fancy in any way but it looks and feels well made and you’ll be confident when you need to place pressure on it.
More importantly, unlike some other – less expensive – bandsaws, the Rikon 10-305 does not shake and vibrate violently when you’re using it. This is a big pro as that can otherwise be quite an unsettling feeling – you are working with a very sharp saw going very fast after all! This is thanks to the body being made from steel, which is definitely an upgrade over the plastic that you’ll find in many competing products.
The quality is also felt and welcome in the cast iron table that you’ll be working on. It’s a nice and large table too at 13-3/4” x 12-1/2”. Cast iron tables are common in bigger units but it’s rare to find it in something this small and light.
It also does okay in terms of power – the 1/3HP motor is a step up from several others and this allows for some serious work power when you need it. You also get the usual fence for making nice and straight cuts and micro adjustable guide post for raising and lowering the guide post.
There are a few things that are notable in their absence here though. For one, there is no option to tilt the table, thus meaning no bevel cuts and there’s no miter gauge either. We also though it was a shame that there was only one speed setting, as some cheaper units do offer adjustable speed.
Finally, it would have been nice to see a laser. This is something that a lot of tools are missing but it would still be nice to see as it does help you to cut with confidence knowing that things are lined up nicely.
The Good & the Bad
The general idea behind this saw is to offer the kind of quality you normally get with larger saws but for less expense and without taking up so much space. And to be fair, that’s pretty much exactly what you’re getting here. The power is pretty good but what’s more impressive is the sheer build quality. The cast iron table, the steel chassis and the overall feel of this tool is beyond what you might normally expect at the size.
But you are also going to miss out on a few features at the same time. No bevel cuts, no laser and reportedly the saw that comes with the package is also not great. Oh and you’ll need to buy your own stand if you want one…
Overall then, this truly is a high quality saw for the price and size. It doesn’t have every bell and whistle attached but that is perfectly fair considering what you’re paying and how compact the unit is. For most purposes, this is more than good enough and it’s nice to use something that feels premium too! Click here to find out what bandsaw i think is best.