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Old 03-23-2008, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default Who owns a Hawk Saw? Good vs. Bad

I am considering getting a Hawk and would like to know the good and bad about them.
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:08 PM   #2
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I have had my 226 for over a year and have done a lot of intarsia with it. I had a Dewalt before the Hawk and i believe if i was doing fret work i would prefer the Dewalt because you can top feed with it. however, i would never give up my hawk, , , well maybe for a new G4 i would!!
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:38 PM   #3
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I have a Hawk G4. The saw has some very nice features: Low vibration and very quiet running; Top feeding is very easy; Stoke of the blade is adjustable from nearly perfect vertical up and down for better control and tighter cornering in thin materials,to a more aggressive stroke for thicker woods; 26" throat allows large work pieces; smooth hefty table tilt mechanism;easy blade tensioning system where you tool free adjust once for a particular group of blade sizes then each time you reinstall the blade tension is automatic.
Some minor negatives I've found are: Near verticle blade stroke will dull blades quicker than my Dewalt's stroke. This is due to sawdust not being cleared as effectively. When set to the more aggressive setting the blade is actually more forward at the top versus bottom. This will cut more aggressively but not as aggressive as the Dewalt. If set to the extreme for aggressive cut, the bottom cut may actually be about 1/32 short of the top most cut in a stack cut of say 3 pieces of 1/4" material. This can actually leave small inside cut pieces "hanging on". (Hope this make sense).
Bottom line is I much prefer to use my Hawk for 90% of what I do. But occasionally I still use my Dewalt for thicker material where the need for percision is outweighed by the need for cutting tough thick material. Both are very good saws and I've seen and have made some delicate fretwork with the Dewalt. I just think the Hawk makes it easier to be precise. The Dewalt makes cutting thicker materials and 3/4" + stack cutting easier and blades last longer.
I forgot to mention, the Hawk G4 blade holders are a little finicky and will allow the blade to slip out occasionally if not REALLY tightened.
Good Luck,
Ralph

Last edited by R.Edwards; 03-23-2008 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:14 AM   #4
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there have been many posts requesting info and opinions on the hawk. the majority have been very much in favor of the saw. i got mine and there were problems, they were fantastic with their customer support. all the issues were addressed, and they never stopped trying to make me happy. they eventually rebuilt my saw with all the new components. the new clamps are machined to closer tolerances than the the first generation. i have the saw sitting next to a hegner vs18. i prefer the hawk to cut thick wood over the hegner. i like the pegas skip tooth blades for cutting thick wood doug
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:00 AM   #5
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I agree with everything that Ralph and eendreno said. I am also not very impressed by the blade holders. I think that the set screws could have a larger diameter and therefore have a better shot at holding onto the blade the first time. They work fairly well for the smaller blades #3 down to 2/0 puzzle blades but not for the #5's and up. I guess I am spoiled by the Delta quick clamp blade holders on my Delta Q3; a very aggressive saw but great for thick and/or dense materials where absolute accuracy and great detail is not required. I recommend the G4 which is what I have and also the company itself.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:40 AM   #6
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I have had my G4 for several years. I have had a few minor(to me) issues.
Some with the clamps like Jeff (I modified mine with helicoil inserts to make them bullet proof) I tend to over tighten things. I now use the single piece Aluminum ones and very rarely does a blade slip out. I still have the original spring? I wonder why it would fail.
I am not sure I agree with Ralph about cutting thick material. I have my blade set as vertical as possible (never change it) and have cut pretty much to the maximum capacity of the saw without any issues. But for the thick stuff no reverse teeth, cut slower, back up frequently to clear the sawdust.
RBI has been very supportive when I did have a problem.
I would buy another in a flash. I now top feed exclusivly.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:09 PM   #7
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I have the Hawk 226 VS and I absolutely love it. I do a lot of fret work, and have recently started compound cutting. Thick or thin it cuts wonderfully. I like the deeper throat as some projects get a bit large. I do not use that feature all the time but it is nice to have when needed. Being a bottom feeder does present its challenges when cutting intense fretwork but I am used to it and it is not a problem to me. The only real time is when using very small blade holes since my eyes are getting older. Bottom line is I love my saw and have had it for a bit over 4 years. I bought it used off of Ebay for just over $700 and it came with the accessory shelf, magnifying lamp and foot switch.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:40 PM   #8
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I purchased the G4 in December and have been pleased with it. There was a bit of a learning curve for me in the tensioning but Rolf and Trout were very helpful. I have not been able to use it of late because of physical problems but come the start of April will be going full blast with it. I can't wait! You won't be sorry with the G4.
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:42 PM   #9
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I can't tighten a blade into the bottom holder while holding on to it by hand. It's just too small to get a good grip. I hold on to the holder using pliers while turning the knob by hand. Been doing this method for years now. I never have problems with blade popping out since I started doing this. My blade holder does look rather mangled from the pliers, but it always continues to work. I did recently have the little clip piece break off that holds the blade holder up against the lower fingers. This morning I was sanding some wood and heard a pop...the blade flew across the shop. One of the fingers finally gave up. Fortunately I had a back up set in the drawer and have more on the way due to warranty. The new ones that are coming are supposedly stronger than the ones I have. That's about the 5th time it broke over owning the saw for about 3 yrs now. I do use the saw harder than the average scroller I'm sure. Cutting thick hard woods with tight turns all the time, really stresses the saw to the max. I've learned to have back up parts on hand all the time, just in case. I make RBI send extra's when I run low, all on warranty of course. Although now they make me pay shipping, which I don't agree with.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:09 PM   #10
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Guys, don't get me wrong, I love my G-4 and have no desire to exchange it for any other saw on the market! But just like automobiles, no saw is perfect for every application. I which my Avalanche got 30 miles per gallon and was as easy to park as some small sedans but that ain't happening.
I was merely pointing out the characteristics of the saw in comparison to my Dewalt. I'm sure that with more aggressive blades the G4 will cut thicker woods better. I've already ordered some Pegas modified geometry to try out. But the fact remains that the cutting action on the Dewalt is far more aggressive. The highly agressive cut on the Dewalt, is indeed, the main reason that I sought out the G4.
I'm now using the solid aluminum blade holders I bought from RBI. (mine not under warranty as I bought used) I clean the holders with lacquer thinner,wipe the ends of every new blade with degreaser, scratched an X on the end of the set screw, adjusted the opposing set screw to different depths within the holder block,and I've even cut and installed a round wooden knob to fit over the plastic screw knob to give me a more comfortable knob which I can tighten easier, and I still get the occasional blade slip out. This annoys the dickens out of me! The slamming noise of the upper arm going up shocks me WIDE AWAKE every time. I'm afraid using pliers on the block as Jeff is doing would cause me to have other problems. Without having my fingers there to "feel" what I'm doing, I'd probably put too much pressure on the little finger clip gizmo or something. I just wish we could install a clamp on the lower holder that has a "pressure clamp" type mechanism like I've heard some Delta's have. I've even contacted Frank Pozsgai who does the retrofit clamps, but he tells me his is only designed for the top blade holder. The people at RBI told me that Wildwood designs has such a clamp but I have not found any for the lower blade holder. Rolf I'd love to know more about your "helicoil" refit. I googled this and all I found was some sort of thread insert. How does this apply to the holders we're using?
Thanks,
Ralph
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