Buying an Edgebander: New Versus Used

Edgebanders are finicky, but some people have done well buying used machines. February 16, 2012

I have the following decision to make. My very old edgebander needs a new gluepot and it's not worth investing more money into the old guy. I run a small high end custom shop with three guys total. Credit is available but I purchased a CNC in the fall and I've always been adverse to debt. My decision is whether to buy a small used bander like a SCM K201 or Cehisa EP8, each for about 7K, or one of the small brand new banders from SCM, Cehisa, Homag, etc. for about 20K or even through a lease.

I have lots of work but cash flow has always been a problem. I've survived on old low-priced used equipment for years but I wonder if it might be better to buy new for reliability and better finished product.

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor S:
Banders are finicky. I would go all out and purchase new. I would buy nearly anything else used with the exception being a Bander. My experience with used banders is typically the reason they are being sold is due to an upgrade. Generally the upgrade is a result of issues with an old bander.

From contributor J:
New banders are just as finicky as old banders. I would buy one that will do 3mm edgebanding at the minimum.

From contributor W:
We just purchased a small little bander from SCMI called a K130. It is a heavy machine for an entry level price point. We ended up paying around $21,000 and have been very satisfied. It has 3mill capacity and no issues after three months. I agree with Contributor S - with new there are fewer issues and you have a piece of mind. If you do go used make sure you see it run first.

From contributor C:
I would definitely look at the cashflow aspect and finance it for as much of the cost as possible including some new cutters and buffers into the total cost. Put the 7k into the bank and into job material that can double it and use small percentages of the profits on each job to get it paid off early. One of the tricks I have used is making the payment and throwing another in the bank in the same month and know that in six months I have six months of padding built. The machine will pay for itself, and I agree that sometimes it's hard to throw good money into worn out machines. I bought a new bander in 2006 and just paid it off. Yes, it's very nice having a machine that is reliable and taken care of. I have never regretted the purchase and the payments were very easy to make.

From contributor S:
I agree with CM. If cash flow is a problem then donít blow out a wad of cash on a machine that could easily create unexpected expenses. Finance a good bander (I like Holz-Her for small shops) and keep cash in the bank to help the balance sheet.

From contributor L:
I'll go against the tide on this one. I see nothing wrong with buying a used bander in your case. You have experience with banders. There are lots of late model used banders on the market now. I bought my first bander new, a nice but expensive machine.

When I wanted to upgrade to a machine with more stations I bought used. I went and looked it over carefully and made a bit of a low ball offer. It must not have been low enough, I got it. I had the tech come in and go over it. He set everything correctly and trained the operator on the computer interface. It's been a great machine for the last few years. Even with the tech, some minor repairs, tooling, and time I ended up with a heavy duty machine at less than 1/3 the cost of new. If you are going to run it three hours a day or more I'd buy new.