Back in 1997 it could be fairly said that a person was taking a bit of a chance buying a KAMA bandsaw instead of something better known. I had first seen the KAMA EV996 in Italy the year before when I was there on a buying trip. A friend of a friend introduced me to the man who had designed the EV996 bandsaw and 1996 was the first year of production. The day he showed it to me I fell in love with it. The quality stood out like a shining star. A short discussion during our meeting followed and we placed our first order for 20 machines.

The thing about the EV 996 bandsaw was, you had to see it. If your only reference point was all the other companies who got their bandsaws made by the same 3 factories in China, it was hard to believe a small bandsaw could be worth the extra money. AND, you had to see it make the cut. It wasn’t good enough to just see a sample cut because you couldn’t believe a small bandsaw could make a cut so cleanly and accurately (nearly as good as a cold saw). So, we started going to exhibitions and the first one was EASTEC in May, 1997. We mailed out a postcard before the show and we did pretty well considering that the only motor available back then was 3 phase. We sold several bandsaws and we also met Ritchie & Sons from Wilmington MA and they have been our main dealer in New England ever since. The U. S. Navy bought 4 of the EV 996 bandsaws for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard because it was (and still is) the largest capacity bandsaw that would fit through a water tight door. 23 years later in 2020 they are still ordering parts for those machines through the dealer that sold them, N.H. Bragg in Bangor Maine.

The following November we took a small booth at Fabtech in Chicago and got another great response. By then we had the first small benchtop bandsaw, the 4” capacity Model AD105S and people loved the portability of it. They also loved that they could use it instead of a chop saw and not have the sparks, the dust, the noise and the gigantic burr on the end after the cut.

After Fabtech 1997 we took a chance, bought a box truck and converted it into a demo vehicle. We barnstormed the country from “sea to shining sea” and back for about 3 years showing hundreds of people the KAMA bandsaws and how they would improve productivity.

In 2004, after many messages from EV 996 bandsaw users who said, “Bob, I love everything about the bandsaw, but sometimes I’m cutting big bar stock and I just have to be able to pull the trigger and be able to walk away and do something else, we introduced the EV 97 with it’s semi-automatic power down feed. Not just a simple gravity feed oil feed valve like you see on the Chinese saws, this is a state-of-the-art, air-over-hydraulic system that allows the user to set not only the rate of descent but also the cutting pressure, thereby allowing the user to maximize the blade life and the productivity.

Around 2004, in response to customer requests, we introduced the EV 88 to provide 6” cutting capacity in a portable saw that mitered 45 right. 6 months later came the EV90DM, a double miter saw to cut 45 degrees left or right. And six months after that came the EV91DMVH which allowed the user to perform vertical scroll saw functions.

I remember a guy who came to our booth at Fabtech in 2005 and said “I laughed at my friend when he paid that money to buy your bandsaw at EASTEC in 1997. I’m now on my 3rd J** since then and I’m done. I’m going to buy an EV 996 bandsaw right now from you”. That was in 2005. In April of 2020, he placed is first order for spare parts.

Hundreds of dealer open houses, NOMMA shows, Fabtechs, and onsite demonstrations later, in 2020 the KAMA name is synonymous with quality and productivity. There is no longer a “risk” in buying a KAMA bandsaw. If you need parts to fit together and go straight to welding, without having to touch up on a belt grinder, the only risk you face is NOT buying a KAMA bandsaw. You can buy with confidence the machine will perform, the spare parts are always in stock and the blades are the lowest price. KAMA has become the “KULT” bandsaw. Why? Because Nothing Kuts Like a Kama!

Thanks for your business and for appreciating the fact that, if you buy the best, you only have to buy it once. Generally speaking, KAMA bandsaw are the most expensive small bandsaws to buy, and the LEAST expensive to own.

Bob Hall

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