Tool Reviews (+Hot New Tools): Rikon 10-3061 Bandsaw

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This article is from issue 115 of Woodcraft Magazine.

A solid performer for a small shop

Rikon 10-3061 Bandsaw 

PRICE: $599.99, #168278


  • 77 1⁄2" long blade
  •  1⁄2 HP motor
  • 5" cutting depth capacity
  • 95⁄8" cutting width capacity
  • 2 speeds to match material
  • 21⁄2" dust port
  • Tool-less guide system
  • Table tilt: 5° left, 45° right

I wanted to get a small bandsaw for my basement turning studio. I was looking for a machine that would fit well on a benchtop and would serve to help prep materials including knife scales, pen, and bowl blanks. After looking over several comparable models, I decided to buy Rikon’s 10" unit because it seemed to offer the best combination of build quality, power, and performance. 

When I got the machine home, I was impressed with how well the saw was packaged. Not the box so much, but with how little assembly needed to be done, and how all the parts and tools provided were attached to a clearly labeled card rather than loose in multiple bags. The assembly instructions were well-written and clearly illustrated. Assembly consisted of mounting the cast iron table, installing the fence, and attaching the fence storage bracket. Kudos to Rikon for including this bracket so the fence has a place to live when not in use. 

The fit and finish of all pieces was very good. The only difficult part of the assembly was getting the screws started on the underside of the table; it was very hard to locate the mounting holes. I found adding a spot of white paint around the holes on the table made them easier to see. The saw came with a 1/4" wide × 77 1/2" long × 14 TPI blade; I was impressed that it arrived centered on the wheels and tracking correctly. Depending on your needs, you can also equip the saw with blades from 1/8" to 1/2" wide. 

Blade changes are straightforward and simple: pop out the throat plate, release the blade tensioning lever, and slide the blade out through the slot in the front of the table. Blade tensioning and tracking are easily adjusted with large comfortable knobs. The blade guides are spring-loaded and very easy to adjust; loosen the knob and press the guide in towards the blade then tighten the knob. That’s it! No fiddly Allen wrenches or set screws. 

Some other nice features include a two-position (horizontal or vertical) rip fence and a step pulley for setting the speed at 3280 fpm for wood or 1515 fpm for cutting non-ferrous metals. And, while you don’t need them for day-to-day adjustments, Rikon also supplies the necessary tools for assembly along with a handy rack to store them in. Also of note, the bolt that keeps the two sides of the table casting in alignment is a huge improvement over the older saw in my garage shop. The Rikon’s is flush with the front edge of the table and doesn’t protrude from the side as the old one does. 

So far I’ve roughed out some handle parts and pen blanks as well as crosscut some 3" thick hardwoods for lidded boxes. The saw has done a great job, cutting cleanly with very little vibration. What’s more, all the guide adjustments you should tweak are so easy to make, you’ll never not make them, even for a quick cut. While I don’t anticipate needing to resaw with my saw, its 1/2 horsepower motor should be plenty powerful enough for anything that will fit within the saw’s 5" height capacity. A couple little complaints; for the price they could have added a work light and included a miter gauge to fit in the table’s 5/8" × 1/4" slot. But overall, I’m pleased with my purchase and am looking forward to getting a lot of use out of this fine piece of equipment. 

—Tester, Bob Berner


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