Been looking, reading, evaluating and rationalizing for months. I bet I have read every entry in every woodworking blog I could find that had anything to do with table saws. I have known all along what I wanted was a cabinet saw because the only table saw I ever had access to was a 5 HP, 3 phase, 12” Powermatic back in the 1980s. A high standard indeed. Likewise I have known what I could afford would probably be between a starter saw and a jobsite saw (or a lucky find for a used saw). I had gathered from a recent blog that Sears was having a sale on their version of the Ryobi BT3000 or BT21. Those get pretty good reviews so I went to my local Sears today at lunch to see what I could find out. I really wanted a saw that could handle at least a 1/2” dado stack and I wanted either a standard miter slot or a slide like the BT21. I knew I would really be thrilled to find something with a belt drive and induction motor, but that just doesn’t exist for under $500; right? I walked by, as I often do, the big cast iron table, contractor’s saw and admired its 57” fence rail and was trying to keep my envy in check and looked at the price tag and DANG; that sucker was on sale for $409.00. I pulled out the manual and yes, it can spin a full 13/16” dado with its belt drive, 1 3/4 HP induction motor, and 288 lbs of mass. Bingo! I got the receipt in my pocket and next week, as soon as I can get the time, I’m going back with my truck and bringing that sucker home. I’ll try to post pictures and a review after I have it set up and use it for a while.
-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.