Why I Don't Recomend Old Used RBI Hawk Saws

Name Plate From My Old RBI Hawk 220 Serial Number 1384
Name Plate From My Old RBI Hawk 220 Serial Number 1384

I have no experience with the modern RBI Hawk scrollsaws. This post is about those that have round blade holders. Once you have had to crawl around on the floor looking for one of the round holders that popped out and rolled across the floor to some hiding place, you will understand why this is the main reason I do not like the old RBI Hawk.

As a woodworker, having the right tools for the job is essential to producing quality work. One of the tools that I use frequently is my scroll saw. I have two models: my old two-speed 226 Hawk and my Excalibur EX-21. In this post, I will compare the two saws and explain why I prefer the Excalibur EX-21.

First, let's examine what I don't like about my old 226 Hawk. To start, the round blade holder is a nuisance. Additionally, reaching the back of the saw to release the blade tension is difficult. The blade mounting system is also a pain to use. I need a tool to hold the top clamp in place, which can be frustrating if I don't remember to use it. The aluminum table top is a personal preference, but I prefer steel or cast iron. Finally, if I change blade sizes, I must adjust the tension. You need to do so to prevent the blade from breaking shortly after starting the saw.

Now, let's talk about why I prefer the Excalibur EX-21. First, it is easy to tension once you have it set up correctly. Just flip the front lever, and you're done. Changing blades is simple and fast, and the steel table allows me to position lights or any other magnetic thing anywhere. The blade holders don't come off; internal cuts are quick and easy. I never have to crawl around the floor looking for dropped parts, and I can change blades to a different size without adjustment.

One thing to note is that I did change the clip on the Hawk 226 to the newer style, which is plastic with ears on the side. If the blade breaks, the bottom blade clamp will drop almost every time. Usually, the clamp remains on the saw under the table. The older metal clamp drops the clamp a lot less, but when it does, it is on the floor somewhere and rarely on the saw.

RBI Hawk Clamp Holders Old Steel vs New Plastic
RBI Hawk Clamp Holders Old Steel vs New Plastic

Lastly, I have three different clamps for the hawk. Two will not work with the plastic holder because they are too small. The larger one works with the plastic and the steel holder. The brass part is a removable adapter.

RBI Hawk 3 Diffrent Lower Blade Clamps For the Same Saw
RBI Hawk 3 Diffrent Lower Blade Clamps For the Same Saw

RBI Hawk New Style New Style Lower Clamp and Retainer Holder
RBI Hawk New Style New Style Lower Clamp and Retainer Holder


In conclusion, while my old two-speed 226 Hawk served me well for a long time, I prefer my Excalibur EX-21. Its ease of use, quick blade changes, and steel table top make it a superior tool in my workshop. If you're looking for a scroll, I highly recommend the Excalibur EX-21, but only if you get one made in Taiwan. If you buy a new saw, the Pegas is a good choice as it is an updated version of the EX-21.


 

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