Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw Review
Editor Rating: 4.9/5
Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw Review
Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson
Published on: February 18, 2018
Contrary to popular belief, a high-quality benchtop bandsaw doesn’t necessarily have to come from a well-known brand. In fact, there are several brands on the market that aren’t as popular but still produce useful and quality machines. Rikon is one of those brands, and even though they aren’t as established as some other ones, they have a couple of models that are worth looking into. Needless to say, this particular unit is one of those.
If you’re on a limited budget and in need of a decent machine, the 10-305 model might be an acceptable solution. It’s a versatile machine with a few well-designed features that come in handy both for avid professionals and occasional users. It certainly isn’t the best thing on the market, but it can be a worthy purchase for users that seek consistency and smooth performance.
- Power – 1/3HP motor
- Blade speed – 2780 FPM
- Cutting capacity – 4-5/8 x 9-5/8 inches
- Blade length – 70-1/2 inches
- Blade width – From 1/8 to 1/2-inches
- Weight – 68 pounds
Rikon 10-305 – The Basics
Even though the cutting capacity and power aren’t as good as in some other models, they do offer enough room for hobbyists to tackle a small to mid-sized project without too many issues. The 10-305 model is essentially a scaled-down version of the vastly popular 10-345 and 10-325 models. However, it does offer less power and versatility in comparison to those, but it’s also significantly cheaper.
The main advantage of this unit is its size. It’s significantly smaller than other units in this category meaning it’s a great solution for people who have limited space. On top of that, it’s also quite easy to store it when not in use. The frame is okay, but it does struggle with bigger projects.
As we already mentioned, the biggest advantage regarding the design is the small size and light weight. Because this model weighs only around 68 pounds, one doesn’t have to worry about transport or storage. The unit also comes with a rip fence included which is not a rarity per se, but it’s certainly worth mentioning. The cast iron table is surprisingly big and it offers more than enough room for smooth operation.
As far as the motor power goes, it’s sufficient for some applications, but it doesn’t hold well when it comes to large pieces. However, the unit is not foreseen for massive projects; therefore, the underpowered motor doesn’t come as a surprise. The adjustable guidepost is a neat addition, especially because it allows you to adjust and fine-tune the height within seconds thanks to the conveniently positioned handle.
The frame is sturdy and reliable, but it does lack stability due to the lack of weight. However, the base can be screwed into some kind of a support piece which does mitigate the stability problems significantly. The table can tilt from 0 up to 45 degrees which allows you to cut at a certain angle without having to hassle with wrenches.
This model is designed for woodworkers and it doesn’t do well with other materials. Therefore, if you’re looking for something that’s particularly versatile in terms of material choice, this isn’t the thing for you. In fact, even if you’re looking to tackle a big project, we wouldn’t recommend getting this particular model as it tends to struggle with demanding tasks.
Things we liked about it
Its simplicity and ease of use are definitely two main selling points. It doesn’t offer too much power nor features, but it’s still a decent saw for most DIYers. The rip fence is also a neat addition and it’s somewhat rare in this price category. Most other brands sell these additional components separately.
The size of the worktable is one of the most pleasant surprises. A unit that is a scaled down version of its predecessor isn’t expected to have such a large work surface.
The controls are also easily accessible and all knobs and levers are positioned conveniently and within reach. In other words, you don’t have to worry about downtime if the machine suddenly requires additional adjustments.
Things we didn’t like
This bandsaw lacks power. While it is pointed out by the manufacturer that it’s not foreseen for demanding projects, we still feel it could use a bit more power regardless. It will do its job well, but it’s certainly not the fastest or most efficient unit out there.
Also, the included blade is of questionable quality, to say the least. Therefore, you should probably buy a few additional ones to make sure you don’t end up without a blade in the middle of a project.
While the frame can be screwed in and secured, it feels quite unstable. When the machine reaches high FPM values, it tends to wobble. It is a bearable downside, but it’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s worth the hassle.
While the opinions are mixed, we aren’t impressed with the overall impression it left on us. It is a neat tool to have in your workspace for occasional small projects, but don’t expect it to perform miracles because it won’t. In fact, more often than not it will struggle to fulfill your expectations. On the other hand, if you’re a DIYer on a limited budget, this machine is perfectly capable of meeting your requirements.
Take a good look at the capabilities of this model and if you find them attractive enough, don’t hesitate to consider a purchase. On the other hand, if you’re seeking for something that will yield consistent results and won’t struggle with bigger projects, then this model isn’t the thing you’re looking for.
This unit is quite specific and it’s designed for a special group of users that don’t expect too much from a regular bandsaw. That doesn’t mean this product is not worth your time because we wouldn’t choose to review it in that case, but we strongly recommend that you get familiar with its capabilities before investing.