Direct-Drive Versus Belt-Drive Ripsaws

      A brief discussion of the pros and cons of ripsaw drive systems. October 19, 2014

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
Direct drive vs. belt drive ripsaws - everyone says their method is better. What are the pros/cons from real-world experience?

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From Contributor M

Click to View Member Profile Member Photo Member Contact Info Forum Posts Categories

Have you ever treid to replace a motor on a direct drive machine? Even worse yet try to find on for that nice big1945 Yates jointer you just bought at auction? Iíll take a belt drive any day. I can replace the motor, change pulley sizes and even change the machine over to a modern grooved belt setup with no problem!

From Contributor E

Click to View Member Profile Member Contact Info Shop Gallery Categories

Not to argue with Contributor C, but Mereen-Johnson isn't going away any time soon, so parts, should they be needed, would be easy to come by. I know that's one of their selling points that the direct drive motor delivers a better edge. I don't buy it for one second. Once the power from the motor is transmitted through the bearings to the arbor, the arbor doesn't know if it's direct drive or belt driven. The more important question to ask is the cost of a chain rebuild.

I'm within a few months of adding a shifting blade gang rip to my operation so I too have been doing the research and asking questions from not only Mereen Johnson but Raimann also. If and when a Mereen Johnson needs to have the chain rebuilt it costs around $3000. A Raimann is going to cost around $20,000, and my guess is that the import saws are also going to cost more the MJ. Just some food for thought as you consider which saw is best for your operation.

From Contributor W:
We sell Riamann over in the UK and have the same questions asked from our customers. My experience is that both methods work well, but for sure belt driven is easier to work with when you have motor problems or spindle issues. The one thing I can suggest is the most important thing to consider is timber recovery and the Riamann sure as good measuring systems in Ripassist and TimberMax. If itís the same as the UK wood is getting more expensive and the more you can make from it the better.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining: Setup and Maintenance

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2018 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article