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I have been adding a little equipment to my butchering hobby every year and this year I am going to add a bandsaw to the mix. 

On the WWW there are a bunch of them in the 280-450 range that all look like rebranded clones of each other. 

 

Then, from there it looks like the next jump is the Rikon/grizzly model that has bearing guides, a better blade and it looks like a better fit and finish for 650- 800 depending on the retailer.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these types or anything similar?  I'm not going to spend the dollars to get a commercial model. 

 

 

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My dad, may he rest in peace, used an old wood cutting bandsaw that he converted by making some sort of kludgey plywood things to keep the blade on the wheels.   Worked fine.  Not sure how easy it was to clean.   Also not sure how much he worried about it.   :)

Ease of disassembly for cleaning, and blade retention in the presence of food grease would seem to be the big issues. 

He cut up a lot of deer and a few moose and nobody got sick...  for what that's worth.  

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Yeah, I forgot to include the LEM, which is basically the Rikon with a different badge. I know that style will cut better and definitely be a better unit. Just not sure if I am going to justify the price at 2x higher for a very occasional piece of equipment. 

 

A wood bandsaw could be used. The saw doesn't know whether it's cutting meat or wood. The difference is that a stainless table and blades would be preferred IMO. Cleanup probably isn't much different between all of them.

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14 hours ago, smurfy said:

I worked with stainless for 28 years, it's the way to go.

I tend to agree. Although for the first 20 years or so of butchering with the old timer in our group that had his own equipment, his meat bandsaw,which was probably from the 50's I believe had basically cast iron parts and a regular steel blade. 

After use everything was washed and wiped with a food grade mineral oil. 

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15 minutes ago, Big Dave2 said:

I would find an auction of an old meat market or grocery store. You would probably get an old but good quality stainless steel saw for a good price.

I've done that plenty in the past and find that stuff generally brings a pretty high price. Truth be told I purchased a grocery store/ butcher shop about 18 years ago when it closed. I got some of the equipment but lots of it was sold for good money and secondly the commercial stuff is usually too big and have bigger motors than I care to run as a hobby. 

The commercial bandsaws are usually 3-10 hp and some are 3 phase. 

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