View Full Version : My Table Saw Search - HELP!
01-03-2001, 07:58 AM
Alright, all you knowledgable carpentry people:
After 32 years of my dad having a workshop in our basement and never learning a thing (dumb) and now being newly married with my own house, I have gotten the woodworking bug. I am brand new to all of this, and have over-saturated my brain reading about table saws on sites and forums. This forum seems to be one of the best, so I'm asking it here: next month I'll have $650 to spend on a table saw (or a high-end portable like the DeWalt or the Bosch). If that was what you had to spend as a beginner and wanted to buy locally so service was nearby (both Home Depot and Woodworkers Warehouse are 20 minutes away), what would you purchase and why? What should I be looking at when I go to the stores? This will be going in my basement, I can run a dedicated line to it, but may have to move it to one spot for wide cuts and another spot for long cuts due to a really annoying support beam in the middle of the basement floor. Any and all suggestions, opinions, warnings and well-wishes will be greatly appreciated!
Hope your New Year was great,
For MY money I went with the Jet (cabinet saw) I think Jet offers more quality for the $.
This question is a reoccuring one and will bring you many opinions. If your a New Englander check out Brentwood Machine in tax free N.H., my neck of the woods. They often have very good used, quality machinery for a square price. Your T.S. is theheart of your shop, get the best you can afford. Jet, Powermatic,Delta are all good choices. I've heard some horror stories regarding Grizzly but don't rule them out.
01-03-2001, 12:46 PM
Glen's advice is very good. There a lots of threads on this topic on this board already and most of us have put long descriptions on Table Saws.
By the Way. I have had a table saw for 31 years and never needed service. It should not be your big deciding factor, unless you buy a cheep tool then you might have to have it service and replaced to get poor work.
I have not heard bad things about Grizzly and have made one purchase from them. But, check them out for yourself.
I would recomend a used professiona saw or no table saw before I would recomend any bench saw. The money you spend on these toys will be a waste. You will never be able to do the things you want in woodworking with them. They are design to take to a job site to do rough carpentry work or just to the beginners money.
01-03-2001, 02:56 PM
I agree with Lou that a bench saw is mostly a toy. Too small, poor fence, underpowered. Not worth the $$$ you'ld spend.
A contractors saw is a nice entry point, but realize that most all saws will benefit from a fence upgrade and don't even bother installing the "factory" blade.
A good cabinet saw is worth it's weight in gold for doing good work, however if you're just getting started the price tag can be a significan't obstical. If you start with a middle of the pack contractors saw you can get into the game for under $500. Then in a year when you've outgrown the fence, you drop another $400 or so to upgrade it. While this will ultimately cost you about as much as a good cabinet saw, at least you'll be able to spread the costs out. And if after a year you decide that WWing was a passing fad, you're not out a whole bunch of $$$.
01-03-2001, 03:59 PM
If in a year you find it was a passing fad, you can sell a used cabinet saw for what you paid for it and not have spent any money.
Marks approach will work fine. It is the approach he and I both have taken. He and I both have Craftsman Saws that don't look or act anything like the orginal saws, but I have spent much more that I would have if I know then what I know now. In the end the Craftsman contactor saw I have is ok. I have spent about 1000 on upgrades over the years a little at a time. The saw is 31 years old now and only the cast iron top and arbor are orginal. The top is not as flat as I would like. The left miter slot is not as true as I would like and the tilt mechanics on the arbor are a joke. Sawdust removal is hard.....
Maybe you won't find woodworking to be your thing. I am not telling you to go out and buy a new Powermatic 66 the best of the table saws at about $2000. But, a cabinet saw is a piece of equipment that if it is taken care of at all will last a few lifetimes. You can get a used one for 600 to 900 dollars and if it is not your thing in a year or two sell it for what you paid and maybe a little more.
Every time I bougtht a tool based on what it cost unstead of what its quality and features were I have ended up regretting the decision. A poor saw can cause you to assume that it is not your thing, because your projects don't work. The joints don't fit. Things look not ok. If you have years of experience and can use hand tools then you could take a bench top saw and get out of it all it could possible have. One of the guys that has posted here a lot in the past produced some great work with a toy saw. But I think he could have done it will a pocket knife and a little time as well.
when you go about starting to do something that requires the development of skills to be successful using a poor tool will delay or destory the intent.
I am done on this subject. Good luck on whatevery you decide.
I have a couple unisaws and a Dewalt Portable. The Dewalt portable is adequate for job site use but does not have the quality desired for in shop use. The Cabinet Saws ( Unisaws, Powermatic 66, Grizzley 1023, etc.) are great for experienced wood workers but I consider them to be to dangerous for a new person. If you cross up a board or mis-feed it in a contractor style saw, the saw will stall. Worst case is a burned-up motor or belt. With a cabinet saw, all three belts are under constant tension and something will move. I consider it to be kind of like riding a Harley - Davidson without ever having learned to ride a bicycle. The Grizzley 1022 series would be an excellent choice to learn on.
danny in atlanta
01-04-2001, 06:25 PM
400 bucks got me a ryobi bt3000. this saw has it's share of critics but i think it is because the design is very different from most saws. i have owned it for about 3 years, made several large pieces of furniture, finished a 4 room basement, built a 15x20 foot deck and done lots of small stuff. i cannot tell you that it's the best one out there simply because i haven't used a lot of others. i can tell you that it is very accurate, that there is a lot of accessories, etc. and it is low maintainence. if you have a costco nearby they have a deal that includes the saw, a base, a router (with a kit that enables you to convert part of the table of your saw into a router table) and a bunch of other accessories for $500. for an extra $1000 you get about $300-400 worth of extras. again, it's not a $800 JET, but it serves my purposes great. it's atleast worth checking out. they have them at home depot, and sears sells a craftsman version built by ryobi.
danny in atlanta
01-04-2001, 08:42 PM
Scince you mentioned that you are close to a Home Depot, I'll give my opinion. I purchased the Ridgid ts2424 and love it! It is not the quality of a cabinet saw I admit, but i think it is a great deal for the money. As far as Grizzley, My father is into metalworking and he has quite a few friends that are as well. They have all told me that they have owned Grizzley machinery and all of them have had to send their products in for warranty. Mostly motor failure among other things. I don't know if this carries over to their woodworking stuff, but I am a bit leary of them myself.
Just my opinion,
01-05-2001, 01:47 AM
Grizzly has two options when you buy a tool from them. The US made motor is the option to go for. I have had a 2 hp grizzly sawdust system with the Taiwan motor for 15 years and it has never given me trouble. But, If you look at the router motor they put on the ridgid toys I can't even estimate the Taiwan motor should outlast it for many many years.
I was shocked when I look at that saw. It is not a stationary tool. It is a toy that could be dangerous based on the one I have looked at. Don't waste your money on it.
01-05-2001, 10:50 AM
Two commenters in other forums said the Ryobi had "too many plastic parts"
what parts are involved and is this a factor if the saw is not moved around?
danny in atlanta
01-05-2001, 12:40 PM
the only two plastic parts i can thing of are at the ends of the miter gauge. the gauge itself is a good 14 inches or so plus two plastic caps on the ends. these can be removed without any affect, though. i'm not sure about other plastic parts. it's served me well for three years.