Reply by Loren

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Posted on Needed advice on a 5 Function Combination machine

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10243 posts in 3610 days

#1 posted 09-09-2011 11:00 PM

I’d say it depends on how attracted you are to mechanical side of
machine woodworking. I’ve had combo jointer-planers by Robland,
Makita, Belsaw, and INCA. The Robland was the older XSD310
and while I really liked the mortiser on it, the jointer tables were
a bit fussy and the planer lacked refinement. It was very powerful though.

In terms of table saws, the tablesaw-shaper combos don’t make much
compromise in the saw function and the shapers are powerful and there
when you need them; and the slider is there for tenoning and whatnot.

It’s easy to buy more machine than you need. If you’re doing full-scale
furniture making and building entry doors, those combo machines are
made for that kind of work. For sheet goods, only the higher-end
5-way combos are equal to a small dedicated slider.

I still have the INCA and only use it for the jointer. All my other machines,
presently, are not combos.

Resale value on bought-new combo machines is about half the new price –
and there’s a lot of sellers gnashing their teeth at the losses they’ll
take on these behemoths if they price them to sell for cash on the
second-hand market. Most of the used machines were bought new on
credit by inexperienced hobbiests or naive would-be pros, so condition
of the used machines is usually pretty good as they’ve seldom been
used much.

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