Delta 28-203 14-Inch Band Saw Review

Delta 28-203 14 Band Saw

The band saw is an indispensable power tool in the workshop, and this is true now, as it was many years ago. One such example of the band saw that woodworkers turned to get their cutting job done was the Delta 28-203. Back in the day, the Delta 28-203 was pretty much the standard of band saws. It was so for many appealing reasons.

You can also read other product reviews such as band saw, Skil 3386, Rikon 10-305

Features

The Delta 28-203 is a big band saw. It comes in two very heavy boxes and it is a two-man mission to mount it. Since it is heavy, this generally equates to good quality as it has a cast-iron base to limit and absorb vibrations.

Plastic – the adjustment knobs are all made from plastic. A bad move from Delta because they do not compensate the metal finish of other moving parts well. Otherwise, they are easy to use and adjust everything from the band saw skid to the wheel planes.

The Delta 28-203 band saw fits industry standard 14-3/4 inches blades. It is easy to replace or maintain. It is not key-less, and requires a provided Allen key. The bearings are easily adjusted with this Allen key and will only take you a few minutes to mount and dismount the blades.

The band saw while in operation is loud. Not deadening loud, but it’s not silent either. On-par with even modern day band saws operational loudness.

This model makes provisions for a dust collection system. However, it lacks standard holes to fit hose ducts of varying sizes as the default is only for 4-inch dust collectors. You will need to perform a custom job for the Delta 28-203 to accommodate systems of other sizes.

Out of the box, it makes provisions for a riser card for up to 12-inch. Very handy!

Pros

  • It is heavily built. The massive weight of this band saw’s weight ensures that it absorbs shock. Thus, it runs smoothly with no vibrations.
  • You can use blades of 1/2 inch instead of the advertised 3/4 inch. It provides greater stability and eats through materials with more grit.
  • The riser card is a nice addition. If your material is larger, you can extend it by another 12-inch and you can do this fairly easily by just turning on a knob.
  • The powerful 1.25 HP motor in this band saw can cut anything you throw at it. It is powerful enough to perform all cutting jobs without losing power at any time.

Cons

  • Can be a little bit pricey and while it contains a set of decent features, it has a few lacking compared with other models in the same category.
  • It lacks a light. It is totally dark when working on this unit. This is understandable since this unit was manufactured in the late 90’s and lights on power tools was not very common back then.
  • It also lacks standard drill holes for dust collection systems and the blade replacement is not the easiest for those are used with modern-day tool-less blade changing in their band saws.
  • The knobs are made almost entirely out of plastic. Bottom line is, they will break down much faster than the table saw itself and will need constant replacement.

Conclusion

All in all, for a band saw that is that old, the Delta 28-203 has a lot of features that simply worked. This is not a model that came with 101 features or gimmicks. This model has since gone through various iterations and its successors kept on getting better and better. The same can be said for the whole band saw industry in general. Today, you can grab a much superior band saw for the fraction of the asking price of the Delta 28-203.

Another opinion about Delta 28-203 with the comparison on this video.

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Tom Bradly
 

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise.