There are 20 or so Grizzly bandsaw models for woodworking available at the moment, more than any other manufacturer out there. They actually have more than that if you count the big horizontal band saws, plus the metalworking bandsaws that also have a high speed setting for wood. We will only be looking at the dedicated woodworking bandsaws here. On this page I will be covering their 14" vertical band saws only. For a look at their larger models, visit our other Grizzly Band Saw page.
Grizzly has garnered a ton of rave reviews for their woodworking bandsaws over the past few years. They have become known for producing great quality machinery that is budget-priced. Over and over again, owners comment that a Grizzly bandsaw is the best you can get for the money. There are lots of rave reviews for their customer service also, which unfortunately seems to be a rare thing among manufacturers of woodworking tools.
Part of their exceptional value comes with what is included in your purchase. All of the Grizzly bandsaws below come with a fence and a miter gauge included at no extra charge. Many other brands charge $100 or more for an optional fence that you have to install yourself, and some brands sell the miter gauge separately too. Also, if you get one of the smaller models and want to add a riser block for bigger resaw capacity, the Grizzly riser block is considerably less expensive than a riser block for some other brands.
One more note before we get into the specific models: The most common complaint I have seen so far on almost all of the woodworking bandsaws and table saws that I have reviewed, no matter what brand or model, is that the supplied blade is junk. Manufacturers generally supply the least expensive blade they can get, period.
It is best to plan on ordering a couple of good quality blades for the different types of jobs you will be tackling, and use the blade that comes with the saw for the initial setup only. Then replace it with a good quality blade and keep the original as a spare for emergency use only!
First up is the least expensive Grizzly band saw, the Grizzly G0580. This one comes with an open stand, a cast iron frame and a 3/4 HP, 110V motor that can be rewired for 220V. Like all the Grizzly 14" band saw models, it has a 13.5" rip capacity and comes with a 4" dust port. Resaw capacity is 6" (or 12" with the optional riser block), and the cast iron table measures 14" x 14". The table will tilt from 15 degrees left to 45 degrees right. It will accept up to a 3/4" blade, and has a single blade speed of 3000 FPM.
There aren't a ton of G0580 Grizzly bandsaw reviews online, and I expect this is partly because the next model up the food chain (the Grizzly G0555) offers more power and a bunch more features for just a little more money. There are only 3 reviews of the G0580 on Amazon, and it gets 4.0 out of 5 stars. The only real complaint (besides the blade!) is that the dust collection isn't very effective. If you are looking for the least expensive, good quality 14" woodworking band saw out there, the Grizzly G0580 fits the bill.
Next up is the Grizzly G0555, which Grizzly claims is the best selling 14" band saw in the USA. It has won awards from Popular Woodworking, American Woodworker, and WOOD magazines. Some of the specs are similar the G0580 above: 13.5" rip capacity, 6" resaw capacity (or 12" with the optional riser block), cast iron frame, 14" x 14" cast iron table that tilts from 10 degrees left to 45 degrees right, and a 4" dust port.
However, the G0555 Grizzly bandsaw adds a more powerful 1 HP 110V/220V motor, a heavier-duty open stand, a nicer fence, and two blade speeds (1500-3200 FPM). It also has a quick-release blade tension lever to save time, and utilizes ball bearing upper and lower blade guides. The Grizzly G0555P "Polar Bear" series is the same exact saw with a different paint scheme.
The G0555 Grizzly bandsaw reviews are really good overall, and there are a bunch of them out there. Amazon reviewers give it 4.4 out of 5 stars, with over a hundred reviews posted. Several of the negative reviewers on Amazon had shipping issues that had nothing to do with the saw itself, lowering the rating a little bit from what it really should be. The LumberJocks forum has 6 reviews that average 4.7 out of 5 stars, and a number of other owners chimed in and said that they loved theirs.
Several owners said the saw has plenty of power, and it runs quiet and smooth. Besides the aforementioned blade quality issue, a few owners of this Grizzly bandsaw said the dust collection was barely adequate, and several people found that the rubber tires were not uniform. Replacing the rubber tires with aftermarket urethane tires solved a few vibration issues.
A number of owners found that the saw required some tweaking to get the wheels coplanar, stop vibrations, etc., but that seems to be common with most woodworking bandsaws. One thing to note is that the very popular 6" riser block addition reduces the rip capacity by about an inch.
All in all, the Grizzly G0555 seems to be just about the best value you can get in a 14" woodworking band saw, and the woodworking magazines seem to think so too. Similar models from Jet or Delta would cost hundreds more by the time you spend extra for the fence and miter gauge that come with this saw. The Grizzly also has better reviews than the Jet or the Delta. When it's time for me to step up from my small table top band saw to a "real" one, the Grizzly G0555 or G0555P will be at the top of my list.
The third 14" band saw in the lineup is the Grizzly G0555X. This Grizzly bandsaw is based on the same basic unit as the G0555 and G0555P, but with even more features. It still has the same 13.5" rip capacity and 6" resaw capacity (12" with the riser block), but it stands on a closed cabinet and adds a 1-1/2 HP motor, a larger 20-1/2" X 14" table, a built in worklight, and cast iron wheels.
The fence on the Grizzly G0555X is cast iron, and an aluminum resaw fence attachment comes with it. Curiously, it does not have the two-speed pulleys like the Grizzly G0555 and G0555P, so you are limited to the single 3000 FPM blade speed. It does still come with the quick-release blade tension lever.
This Grizzly band saw won the Top Value Award from WOOD Magazine in 2011. Fine WoodWorking Magazine said, "This bear is a sound performer at a bargain price. Fit and finish overall are good, blade changes are easy, and the fence is high quality. The saw did fine in all of the cutting tests." There are also some happy owners on the Sawmill Creek and LumberJocks forums, with no negative reviews that I could find.
On Amazon, the G0555X Grizzly bandsaw reviews average 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 25 reviews. Only one person gave this saw less than 4 stars. That is a phenomenal rating compared to other woodworking bandsaws. Several reviews commented that it is very smooth and quiet. Really, the only common complaint that I found (besides the low quality blade, again!) is that the dust collection isn't that great.
At the time of this writing, the G0555X Grizzly bandsaw is about $250 more than the G0555 model, so it isn't quite the "steal" that the G0555 bandsaw is. However, if you were to add the cost of a resaw fence (roughly $100) to the price of the less expensive G0555, that brings the total price much closer to that of the G0555X. Also, the added power and bigger table on the G0555X can really come in handy. If you are planning on adding a riser block and you will be resawing near the 12" capacity very frequently, the Grizzly G0555X is a better choice than the G0555.
Finally, we have the "Big Daddy" of the 14" Grizzly bandsaw line, the Grizzly G0457. This model is made specifically for resawing, with a 2 HP 220V/110V motor and a 10" resaw capacity. It is more rigid than one of the smaller saws with the riser block added, because this one has a one-piece reinforced steel frame instead of the three piece frame you get with the riser block installed in the smaller saws.
The Grizzly G0457 has a 19-3/4" x 14-3/16" cast iron table that tilts from 8 degrees left to 45 degrees right, with a cast iron fence and the 6" tall aluminum resaw attachment. Blade speed on the G0457 is 3000 FPM, and it does have the quick-release blade tension lever also. Like all the 14" Grizzly bandsaws, it will accept up to a 3/4" wide blade. Cast iron wheels, ball bearing blade guides, and a blade guide height scale all add to the value of this machine.
In fact, Fine WoodWorking Magazine gave the G0457 Grizzly bandsaw their Best Value Award in 2007. They said, "The Grizzly G0457 saw has plenty of resaw power and capacity. The fit and finish are great... Dust collection works well, though installing a blade is tough. The tension is easy to set and adjust, with an intuitive quick release mechanism. The tracking knobs are a good size. The tall fence included with the saw slides smoothly, locks surely, and is great for resawing. Curve cuts were no problem, and resaw cuts were of fine quality."
On Amazon, the G0457 Grizzly bandsaw reviews average 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 6 reviews available. Owners say it is smooth and has plenty of power. One owner noted that the upper blade guide would not back out far enough for a narrow 1/8" blade, but this issue was cured by installing a Carter Band Saw Blade Stabilizer. And, at the risk of sounding redundant, the supplied blade is not up to snuff!
A G0457 Grizzly bandsaw owner on the Sawmill Creek forum said that, "I have had this saw for several years now and its excellent. I have resawn walnut to capacity (10") and purpleheart and bloodwood (difficult and gummy) with power to spare. I have been very happy with this machine... It has a great fence for resawing and a 2 hp motor, which I feel is plenty." A second owner agreed.
Comparing the G0457 to the G0555 or G0555X Grizzly bandsaw with a riser block, the G0457 gives up 2" of resaw capacity, but has more power and will be more rigid, giving more accurate cuts. It currently runs about $200 more than the G0555X, but adding the riser block to the price of the G0555X reduces this difference to less than $130. If you frequently resaw hardwood up to 10" thick, the G0457 is an even better choice than the G0555X with the riser block, due to the added rigidity and more powerful motor.
Note: If you are thinking about getting your first bandsaw, or need help tuning up one you already have, 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 to understand the features and capabilities of a band saw, and guide you through choosing the right types of blades, adjusting and maintaining your saw, and what to do when things go wrong. Both have excellent ratings on Amazon, and are recommended by lots of folks in the woodworking forums.
Wow, that turned out to be longer than I though it would! Bottom line, if you are in the market for a 14" saw, you really can't go wrong with a Grizzly bandsaw. The reviews overall are excellent, much better than most other 14" band saw brands out there, and they have a model to suit almost any budget. To get detailed specs on all of the Grizzly bandsaw models, visit their website at Grizzly.com. Do your "due diligence" though, and take a look at the 14" saws from Jet and Delta. If a 14" band saw isn't quite big enough for you, then take a look at our other Grizzly Bandsaw page for information on their 17" machines.