Delta Bandsaw 28-206 and 28-400 Features, Specs & Reviews
There have been many different Delta bandsaw models over the years, from small bench top units to large industrial band saws. A few years ago, they pared their offerings down to a single model, the 14” Delta 28-206. However, their current model is the Delta 28-400, introduced in 2012.
The company began business in 1919 and introduced the first Delta band saw in 1930. Since then there have been several acquisitions and mergers, and as of 2011 they have become a subsidiary of Chang Type Industrial Co. Their manufacturing facility is currently located in Anderson, South Carolina. Delta has enjoyed a great reputation through the years as a provider of quality woodworking tools, for both the hobbyist/homeowner and the professional user.
The newest Delta bandsaw model 28-400 is a 14" model with a steel frame and a 1 HP TEFC motor that runs on either 115V or 230V. The cast iron table measures 15-3/4" x 18-7/8", and it has a 13-5/8" width capacity. It will cut stock up to 6" thick. The two speed pulleys provide blade speeds of 1620 FPM and 3340 FPM, and it has ball bearing upper and lower blade guides and a 4" dust port.
The Delta 28-400 band saw is missing a few of the features that the 28-206 had. For one, it does not have a quick-release blade tensioner like its predecessor. It has a stamped steel stand instead of the enclosed cabinet of the 28-206, and aluminum trunnions instead of cast iron. It also will not accept a height riser like the previous model.
The following information is for Delta's previous model, the 28-206:
The Delta 28-206 bandsaw is a 14 inch, cabinet mounted saw with a 1 HP, 120/240V motor. It has a large 16" x 16" cast iron table that tilts 45 degrees to the right and 3 degrees to the left. It has a 13-3/4" width capacity, and will cut stock up to 6-1/4" thick. You can also get a 6" height attachment that increases that capacity to 12-1/4". The Delta bandsaw will accept up to a 3/4" wide blade.
The Delta 28-206 has several features that you don't find on some 14" band saws in its price range. It has two-speed pulleys, offering either a 2500 or a 3300 SFPM blade speed. It also has a quick-release blade tension lever that allows quick and easy blade changes. There is a 4" dust port, and cast iron trunnions for the table support. The lower blade guides are also positioned to support the blade within 3/4" of the table surface to increase cut accuracy.
Overall, the Delta bandsaw reviews are good. The 16" table is a big improvement over the 14" table that is common on this size of saw. Several owners said the quick-release blade tensioner is a great feature, and they won't ever go back to a bandsaw that doesn't have one. Most owners found it to have at least adequate power, if not more than enough.
Amazon currently lists 31 Delta bandsaw reviews, dating back as far as 2002. It gets an average of 3.6 out of 5 stars (click to read the reviews). This isn't stellar, but you have to keep in mind that the few bad reviews are out of thousands sold. People that are unhappy are more likely to "vent" online and write a poor review, whereas most people that are satisfied with their purchase don't take the time to write a review.
Outside of Amazon, there is a 5-star review with a bunch of up-close pics on the Lumberjocks forum, and another owner chimed in that he has had one for several years and it has never let him down. There is also a 5-star review at Rockler.com, and two 5-star reviews on the Delta website. Tidewater Woodworker's Guild has a detailed review where the owner says he is pleased with the saw.
While most owners are satisfied overall with the Delta 28-206, there are a few complaints that popped up more than once. The most common complaint on the Delta band saw is a vibration issue. Several owners found the fix was as simple as replacing the belt, and installing a link type belt seems to be a popular upgrade. Other owners found that the vibration was caused by a pulley or wheel that was out of balance or had excessive runout. Replacement parts were covered under the 5-year warranty.
A number of owners found that the Delta 28-206 required some fine-tuning to get everything straight and true, and it takes a little patience to get everything adjusted right. Adjustments are sometimes necessary after changing the blade, also. Most owners were able to get everything running smoothly with a little effort, and were satisfied with the saw afterwards.
A few owners were not happy with the stability or sturdiness of the cabinet, and at least one owner beefed up his cabinet with some internal braces. Some owners wish that the Delta bandsaw came with a built-in work light and a fence, although these are items that are easily added as accessories. They do offer an optional 12" fence that is designed for this saw.
The Delta bandsaw is reportedly a solid machine, and currently is priced close to the Jet 14" band saw and several others. However, if you add the cost of the height extension and a fence, you end up in the same price range as some other highly-rated saws that already come equipped with a fence and the extra height capacity.
I would recommend taking a look at Grizzly before you buy. A 14" Grizzly band saw that is comparable to the Delta 28-206 costs considerably less and gets great reviews. For the money that you would spend on the 14" Delta without any extras, you could almost get a 17" Grizzly band saw that also gets good reviews and already has the 12" resaw capacity. The Delta with the extras would actually cost more than the 17" Grizzly that has more power and more capacity.
However, if you are a loyal Delta fan, the 28-206 isn't a bad choice. It's hard to beat the five-year warranty, and the 16" table is larger than most 14" band saws. It's just that there are other options out there that may be a better value than the 14" Delta bandsaw. You can get more detailed specifications on the Delta band saw at DeltaMachinery.com.
Note: If you are thinking about getting your first band saw and need help choosing the right one, I recommend getting a copy of either (or both!) Lonnie Bird's The Bandsaw Book or Mark Duginske's The New Complete Guide to the Band Saw. Either of these books will help you understand the features and capabilities of band saws in general, and guide you through choosing the right types of blades, adjusting and maintaining your saw, and what to do when things don't work right. Both have great ratings on Amazon, and are recommended by lots of folks in the woodworking forums.