Home Wood Plans Nautical Decor Gardening Ideas Forum

Hitachi_CB6Y.jpgMy Review of the Hitachi CB6Y 10" Bandsaw 

I recently converted my garage into a wood shop, and was in the market for my first bandsaw. I knew eventually I would get a larger saw, but wanted to practice on a smaller saw first. I was browsing the aisles at Lowe's one day and the Hitachi CB6Y 10" bandsaw caught my eye. The price was right and I was able to take the saw home that day. I've grown to like it's compact size. It's a tabletop model, but I ended up mounting it on a stand with wheels so I could roll it around to where I needed it. It's not a high-end saw by any means, the doors are plastic. It's for the weekend hobbyist and small scale woodworker. If you're going to be cutting tree logs and 4" blocks of lumber, this is not the bandsaw you want. I’ve cut some treated 2 x 4 material, I just had to go slow.

The main framework is cast steel and it does have some weight. The saw has pre-drilled holes in the base so it can be bolted down to a table or stand without too much trouble. The door and latches are plastic, and seem to be OK as long as you don't abuse them. It does not use ball bearings for the blade guides, but has small friction blocks. As long as you set everything up properly, they seem to work well. Pay particular attention to adjusting the bearing behind the blade. Let it spin with the blade, and it will eventually make an annoying squeal. It's just there to back up the blade.

The Hitachi CB6Y comes with a dust bag which can be removed if you want to attach a dust collector hose. As far as the saw noise, it’s not too bad. It has a small 110V motor, so it doesn't dim the lights when you start it either. There is a handy LED light over the work area which can be turned on and off with a little switch. One of the handiest features is the saw tilting mechanism. Rather than tilting the table like on most bandsaws, there is a handwheel that actually tilts the entire saw while the table stays level. Very cool. It comes with a crosscut fence, but it's small and plastic - don't expect too much from it.

A little bit about the blade. Hitachi probably doesn't make as much money on this saw as they do on the blades. Typical marketing ploy. It takes a special, oddball size blade and you have to buy that size. I wish I had read more reviews on that aspect. The blades do break - they won't last forever. Pay attention to the sound of the running blade, as you can tell when it's getting ready to snap. Don't stress the blade too much and it'll last longer.  I encourage you to have an extra blade or two. They're about 14 or 15 dollars, but you should be able to get them cheaper on EBay. I was disappointment when I went over to Lowe's one day to get a new blade and was told they no longer stock or sell that saw or blade. Like I said, there are plenty of blades available online for this saw. You can't make too sharp of turns with it - it's not a scroll saw. Just be aware of its capabilities and this saw can be a useful little tool.