"I own a Ferm (this was the SF house brand a few years back) entry level bandsaw. Model FLZ-275. It's a remarkably well-made and chunky little thing but its performance has never been impressive. It's been _OK_ in the "you get what you pay for" stakes but it's not in the Elu league.
Last time I used it, the cut veered toward the fence by about 10°, no matter what I did. The cut was perfectly straight but wouldn't run parallel to the fence. I sulked and put it under the bench and I ignored it until it had become obscured by sawdust and cobwebs. Previously I suffered inaccurate cuts after a blade had hit a hidden nail, immediately requiring new blade to avoid the _curved_ cuts that had resulted but I wasn't aware of anything traumatic this time - it had apparently just gone wrong. It may have been a set-up problem, but more likely it required another new blade, I suspected.
I hadn't bothered because I really wanted something wider than the 1/4" which was the ONLY thing mentioned in the product manual. Apparently there is _a_ "replacement blade" and part number for it. Not encouraging or helpful. Several protracted web search sessions had turned up NO other information. (The Ferm site was absolutely useless) I trawled forums, usenet and asked over the counter but no-one had any information...
Any way, I eventually took a gamble and picked up the Starrett 56½ x 3/8 x .014, 6 Skip blade. It was around twice the price of the competitor no-brand blades I'd seen, which was a little off-putting to my Super bitten-by-a-radioactive-Scrooge senses, but hey, I bit the bullet and took it like a man. A crying, sulking man, but sometimes you gotta do it.
Unpacking was easy. The vac-moulded blister card meant I could neatly replace it or use it to dispose of the old one safely. Much netter than poly bags and neater to store for those with loads of them. One twist tie and the blade, as usual, leaps all around the workshop killing everything in sight. Hyperbole, sorry. With BIG blades one normally throws it on grass or some such like a grenade and hopes not to lose an eye or a leg as it transforms into a vicious man-hating toothy raptor, but the 56" blades are quite docile in comparison. Even so, if you've never handled a bandsaw blade before, watch your face. It might be best to learn the big-blade technique and take the tie off and keep a firm hold until you hurl it on the lawn. Fetch, Rover!
I didn't - I just opened it up at arms length and suffered no more than a couple of bloodless nicks.
It fitted fine in the power-off turn everything by hand stage. It bit me a couple of times but I can't work in gloves and cobwebs staunch blood, don't you know... I realigned all the guides (yes I know I should have done it before) and filed the face of the outside top side guide flat, 'cos it had got a slight groove in it. Stuff I learned NOT from the useless product manual.
Power on, at arm's length. There was no screaming of tortured metal and the blade wasn't juddering so I tried a fine sliver off some mdf, similar on some good pine, cut some very thin ply and any bits and pieces of wood in the firewood bin. I made a couple of useful items, re-sawed a small plank to make thin sides for a small box, shortened a few pieces to see how it cross-cut. I was relieved and surprised to find a ruler-straight cut on everything. I'll not be using it for making jigsaws or anything with a radius of less than a foot or so, Having finally got the inappropriate language thing to cut straight, it's going to stay cutting that way.
SO - after all the trepidation and waffle I've discovered the Ferm is a much - MUCH - better saw than I thought it was and I can say with confidence that the 3/8" Starrett blade DOES fit and has transformed it into he useful member of society it is today.
I still want to know if it'll take a 1/2" blade, which would probably make it even better for my requirements but I suspect that that too will be a trial and error project WITH gloves.
I can't be the only one out here with this model saw (identical to the blue-painted re-badged one sold by the red-painted supplier of stoves and jet washers - sorry SF, but they'll need blades too) and it's a great shame that basic information about what fits what is simply not available, either to end-users or retailers.
OK, would I recommend? inappropriate languagely right I would. I still have apoplexy about the price, but If I need another 1/4" blade for curlier cuts, I'd go for another Starrett. I can't comment on durability, but I'm surmising it'll be better that the previous blades I've used. If it falls over suddenly or refuses to perform in an unreasonably close future, then I'll append this or add a codicil but so far, I'm rait chuffed wi' t' blade.
SF- please amend your listing to say it'll fit your old Ferm. It might save some other poor soul hours of surfing and hair-tearing.
The stupid review submissions robot is insisting I have to give star ratings for reliability and features This is completely inappropriate and can only lead to misleading and inaccurate information diluting the worth of reviews. Please, reader, ignore both my ratings for these categories. I am unable to assess how reliable this product is so why make me lie? It's a saw blade, it has teeth. How do I rate these features?
Main thing is, I would recommend the product for the reasons I gave. I have no opinion on its colour, odour or ability to deter meercat infestation... and by the way, your spellchecker seems set for USA English. :-)
Buy Starrett! Shop at Screwfix!"
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Review 2 for Starrett Bandsaw 56½ x 3/8 x .014, 6 Skip