The Ridgid BS1400 Band Saw is a fine 14-inch entry-level band saw for hobbyist and weekend woodworkers. However, if you plan to put this model to use in a production wood shop, you'll likely be disappointed. The motor is rather limited in power, so the blade speed will drop substantially when cutting some hardwoods or resawing. Additionally, the unit doesn't come equipped with a fence or miter gauge, and you may find that the stock blade will likely need to be upgraded to a better blade. Additionally, the unit cannot accept a spacer block for cutting larger boards like some other 14-inch band saws can be outfitted.
That being said, for those hobbyist woodworkers who are looking for an upgrade to their scroll saw and jigsaw, this is a fine choice.
What We Liked
- Very quiet 15-amp 3/4HP motor
- Nice blade guide adjustment & tensioning options
What We Didn't Like
- Vibrations appear to be due to lightweight base
- Tricky blade change procedure
- Dust collection could use improvement
- The BS1400 comes with a 15-amp, 3/4HP 110-volt motor, but a more powerful 110/220-volt option would be an improvement.
- Changing the blade on the Ridgid band saw is a bit of a challenge. You'll need to refer to the manual for the first few times.
- 13-5/8" throat plus a 6" cutting depth are standard, but an optional riser can lift the cutting depth to 12".
- The tire brush on the bottom wheel is a nice touch, but a similar brush on the top wheel would be a useful enhancement.
- There is a dust collection port beneath the table, but it isn't particularly effective.
- The Ridgid BS1400 comes with a limited three-year warranty.
The Ridgid BS1400 band saw comes in a single box, and requires about two hours to assemble. The manual covers the assembly step-by-step, but the packaging for the hardware is quite confusing and small bolts, nuts, washers, etc. can be lost easily. In this case, the packaging containing the hardware had come open, and you would have had to dig through the box to find all of the loose parts.
The base for the bandsaw is relatively lightweight, although the bandsaw was not unstable after completing the assembly of the top-heavy unit. However, some of the vibrations when using the band saw could be addressed with a much more sturdy stand, which is something you may want to take into account.
The BS1400 can accommodate blades from 1/8" to 3/4" in width, although the motor will be severely taxed when resawing with a thicker blade. Changing the blades can be a bit tricky, but the blade guides and adjustment options are well thought out and easy to tune. Additionally, the blade tensioning mechanism is simple and easy to operate.
The price of the band saw is quite affordable when compared to similar units, but the model does not come with a fence, riser block (to extend the cutting depth from 6-inches to 12) or miter gauge. Adding these accessories will raise the price to the same relative price range as other units which may have a bit more stout of a motor or more solid base. Keep this in mind when considering this saw.