Reviewed by Damion Fauser
Review photos: Linda Nathan
Last year Carbatec released their new range of bandsaws and I visited their in-store workshop to test their 14" machines. There are two, identical except for motor power. The first has a perfectly acceptable 1.5kw (2hp) motor, which runs off a standard 10 amp general power outlet. The other has a 2.2kw (3hp) motor but for this one you’ll need a 15 amp circuit. It’s good to see domestic and professional users with differing power requirements and access being catered for.
Safety has been at the forefront of development, with automatic electronic brakes, micro-switched doors and magnetic NVR master switches positioned in convenient locations.
Cutting capacities are generous. The table size of 550 x 410mm is ample without being cumbersome, and the maximum resaw of 360mm is superb for this size class. With the motor power available coupled with a quality blade, resaws at this height will be achievable for all.
There are tool-free adjustments on the double-roller bearing guides top and bottom, and quick-release blade tension via a lever, making blade changes quick and intuitive. Grooved roller thrust bearings allow the blade to run cooler. Blade width is acceptable and ranges from 3.2mm (1/8") to 19mm (3/4") so users can make a wide variety of cuts with quality blades. Overall blade length is 3080mm, for which you’ll be able to choose off-the-shelf blades or order custom blades cut and welded to suit.
Dust collection is via two 100mm ports, one just below the lower guide set and another at the base of the rear cabinet. When I ran some test cuts in the machine the collection was first class with very little residual waste in the bottom of the cabinet. The cast iron wheels are factory balanced and provide for smooth and vibration free operation.
The blade guard/post adjustment was easy and smooth with a lockable rack and pinion mechanism, which did not appear to require resetting of the guides at high and low ranges. The table tilts through an acceptable 10 to 45°. The fence is an aluminium extrusion that can be set either high or low, offering maximum flexibility and safety. It also has a small range of adjustment for drift, if this is how you choose to account for this phenomenon.
At my request, I was provided with a very high quality carbide blade and used it to make a number of test cuts to evaluate the performance of the machine. I made rip cuts, and resaw cuts smaller than 200mm in some Tasmanian blackwood and Australian red cedar. The machine/blade combination performed admirably and I was suitably impressed with the results from a machine in this size class, and I was using the lower-powered option.
Well priced for the features offered, these machines are definitely worth considering.
Damion Fauser is a Brisbane based designer maker who also teaches woodworking. See damionfauser.com