Are you putting together a woodshop and need equipment that’s both affordable and reliable? If so, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Rikon.
Rikon is known for cranking out high-quality equipment for professional woodworkers and hobbyists. With that in mind, we decided to give the Rikon 10-305 a review to see how it stacks up against similar saws in its class.
The 10-305 may look familiar, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s essentially a pint-sized version of the 10-345 and 10-325, which are two of the company’s most popular models. It’s also our top choice for the best benchtop bandsaw in our overall best bandsaw guide, and we think you’ll wholeheartedly agree once you see what it can do.
Where to buy?
- Motor: 1/3 HP – 3.5 amps
- Blade Speed: 2,780 FTM
- Max Cutting Height: 4 5/8”
- Max Cutting Width: 9 5/8”
- Table Size: 13 3/4” x 12 1/2” (tilting)
- Height to Floor: 39 7/8”
- Height to Base: 14 1/2”
- Overall dimensions: 33 1/4” H x 21” W x 15 1/4”
- Weight: 76 pounds
Who is it for?
There are just as many benchtop bandsaws on the market as full-sized models, so choosing what is right for you depends on what you need from a saw.
Desktop bandsaws are an acquired taste for some, and a tool others cannot live without. Deciding if it’s the right type of saw for you can be difficult for beginners, so we have decided to simplify things with a few quick questions you can ask yourself.
Will you work with thick, heavy stock on a regular basis? Are you planning to use the saw on materials that require a slower speed?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, you might want to consider a full-sized model. While the Rikon 10-305 is an excellent saw, it’s still a benchtop model and won’t have the weight or durability of a larger machine. It also doesn’t have multiple speeds, so you can slow it down to work with metals or other types of materials.
If you don’t plan to turn your garage into a miniature sawmill, then it is hard to argue with what the Rikon 10-305 brings to the table. It is a dependable machine that won’t take up much space on the bench and performs admirably for a 10” bandsaw given its budget-friendly price.
Build & performance
As we mentioned, the Rikon 10-305 is not a full-sized saw, so it’s relatively light 76 pounds. While the base isn’t cast iron, steel plate is a fine substitute and helps keep the weight down. The plate is made of cast iron, however, and measures 13 3/4” x 12 1/2”.
The access doors on this machine are also made from steel while the rotors are cast aluminum. The guide post uses a rack and pinion system which allows for micro adjustments on the fly.
In a nutshell, it’s a solid machine with high-quality parts and a clean, simple design. You certainly won’t have to deal with plastic parts on this bandsaw.
One key piece of information we uncovered in our Rikon 10-305 review is the fact the machine is quiet. Yes, you will be able to hear it run, but we found it was considerably quieter than similar models of this size. That’s a bonus, and we think the motor will prove more than adequate for most.
There is a 1/3 HP motor on this saw which is powerful enough to get through most materials without bogging down. It is a little underwhelming when it comes to resawing, but does a fine job with light-duty work and curvy cuts.
Vibration is minimal on this machine once you have it set it properly and it comes with a 5-year warranty for added peace of mind.
Ease of use
While bandsaws aren’t hard tools to use, they can make newcomers a little nervous. That’s understandable considering it has a sharp, spinning blade but there’s no need to be fearful of the Rikon 10-305 as it’s safe and easy to use.
Setting up this bandsaw doesn’t require a degree, so even the most inexperienced artisans should have it up and running in no time.
The initial adjustments are easy as well and getting it tuned in after a blade change will become second nature after a few attempts. We also like the safety paddle switch which automatically locks the blade down.
This compact machine is easy to use for beginners, and it is a lightweight nature makes is fairly easy to move around if you decided to redecorate your shop.
While we dig the build quality and ease of use with the Rikon 10-305, it doesn’t have quite as many features as other models. To read more about different features, you can take a look at our guide to bandsaw features.
Its main claim to fame would be the cast iron table which can tilt 45° to the right or 15° to the left and has a miter gauge T-slot measuring 5/8” x 3/8”. It also has edge facing thrust bearings and a micro adjustable guide post to assist with cuts.
This machine can handle 70 1/2” bandsaw blades between 1/8” and 1/2” wide. It has a 2 1/2” dust port and a top speed of 2,780 FPM. The Rikon 10-305 can cut a maximum width of 9 5/8” and handle heights up to 4 5/8” which is around the average for this range.
Rikon has included a few accessories with the 10-305. You will receive the aforementioned micro adjustable guide post along with a handy fence measuring 13 1/2” x 1” x 2”. It also comes with a general purpose blade sporting six teeth per inch in a regular pattern with a width of 5/16”.
Aside from the instruction manual, that is all you will get with this particular model although we are paying for quality and performance – not accessories.
We won’t spend too much time here as there aren’t many downsides and we’ve already touched on a few of them briefly.
The Rikon 10-305 doesn’t come with many extras so there’s no work light and you won’t get a miter gauge, only the fence. That’s minor, but a downer nonetheless considering those are two features included on cheaper models as well as more powerful ones.
We weren’t sure what to make of this one at first as we love Rikon’s other tools and really liked the style and build quality on this machine. While it is lacking when it comes to horsepower and “flagship” features, it comes through where it counts.
Billed as a machine “capable of doing pen blanks,” the Rikon 10-305 can do so much more. The depth of cut is good enough to let you get through medium-sized or thicker stock, and curves are no problem for this bandsaw.
Provided you have the right blade, and the saw tuned in properly, we think you will be surprised by what it can do for a 10” bandsaw. You have to love the fact it comes with a lengthy 5-year warranty as well.
Given the price and what it can do, we feel this machine is a great buy for woodworkers just getting started or hobbyists. I would also be a handy tool if you love doing DIY projects and don’t have space or the budget for pick up a full-sized machine.