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The Steel City 50130 bandsaw comes loaded with the following features:
• 12” resaw capacity
• Granite table & lower wheel/cast iron upper wheel
• Mobile Base
• Roller bearing guides
• 1.5 HP motor
There’s no doubt the features are great, but does it measure up? That’s what we’re here to tell you. We’ll start out with what works, what doesn’t and conclude with a performance review.
The components come in nicely packaged; the paint job is great and the screws are pre sorted; the fit and finish are also, mostly, great. Granite components work well we weren’t worried about table warping or rusting; the bottom part of the table is super convenient for clamping and granite wheel possesses some great momentum. Furthermore, because the mobile base has been included it saves from the hassle of purchasing a new one. That said, we did have issues with its swivel system which requires quite a bit of manoeuvrings to set it in the right position.
The fixed work light is far better than the magnetic based one that was included in the 50100 version, which didn’t have a significant enough of holding to keep it in position which was problematic. Other great aspects of the Steel City bandsaw are the 4” as opposed to the regular 2.5” dust collection ports; variable speed operation at 1500sfpm and 3000sfpm; it’s got a great trunnion and the table supports aren’t soft or easily movable like some other saws on the market. The saw also provides a quick release level for de-tensioning the blade which even de-tensioned, still has a good deal of tension on the blade.
Since it’s based on the Delta 14” bandsaw design, it inevitably suffers from the same problems: poor ergonomic structure and a poor implementation of the blade structure.
It is very surprising that despite the intervening decades in between, the ergonomic structure of this tool has not been updated although we do remain hopeful for Steel City’s subsequent versions, if only because the company is young and seems interested in wanting to improve on previous models.
Moving onto the issue of the blade guard: Steel City seems to have elected for a guard that instead of folding around the assembly guide shielding you from the blade, goes all the way the down to the bottom of the guide bearings. So what results is you being unable to see enough of the blade to guide your way through cuts, which obviously is problematic.
So over all, while it reads great on paper the Steel City 50130 14” Deluxe Granite Bandsaw fails to deliver in key performance areas and while we’ve been mostly optimistic concerning their customer support, we are disappointed that they haven’t been able to capitalize on fixing previous issues with older models. This is troubling, especially if they want to increase their market share which if they continue in this status-quo perspective, they’re not going to get very far.