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Craftsman Professional 10 in. Contractor Saw (Sears#21833) Question

by Mike
posted 12-31-2011 10:49 PM


28 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5563 posts in 2098 days


#1 posted 12-31-2011 11:18 PM

Depends on the price….$350-$400 is a good price on a new one….$500 is typical. The Ridgid R4512 and the 21833 are essentially the same saw made by the same company (Dayton). “New” means little if it doesn’t include the manufacturer’s warranty and return privileges, but it sure trumps “run hard and put away wet”! The R4512 includes the Lifetime Service Agreement, so I’d go that route at even money. The Porter Cable has a plastic elevation gear and a fairly lame fence IMO.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Mike's profile

Mike

306 posts in 1410 days


#2 posted 12-31-2011 11:45 PM

Well Sears is willing to sell it to me for $250 + tax and free S & H. I can’t think of a reason not to get it other than some reviews of bad trunnions.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View jaydubya's profile

jaydubya

183 posts in 1535 days


#3 posted 01-01-2012 12:08 AM

I would assume you are going to check the trunnions before purchase, or get a guarantee that if it has alignment issues they will take it back. I have a 21833 that I have used very little to this point but it seems like a competent saw that will at least get me through a few years until I HAVE to have a cabinet saw. I still have yet to check for the alignment issues since i yet dont have the equipment

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3540 posts in 2683 days


#4 posted 01-01-2012 12:17 AM

Run away from any Crapsman saws. I hate to say, but the newer Craftsman stuff is not up to the fine standards that the old products held. I have not even considered Craftsman power tools in 20 years.
That’s a shame, but it is just my take on the crap Sears has foisted on the public. Oh well…......
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5563 posts in 2098 days


#5 posted 01-01-2012 12:56 AM

Bill – What say ye about the identical Ridgid saw?

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Mike's profile

Mike

306 posts in 1410 days


#6 posted 01-01-2012 12:59 AM

Bill,

Is your reply from experience with this product or just a blanket statement?

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View Lifesaver2000's profile

Lifesaver2000

524 posts in 1835 days


#7 posted 01-01-2012 04:15 AM

I have been using the 21833 for two years, and any problems have been my fault, not the saws. $250 delivered is a steal for this type saw, as long as it includes the 30 day return and 1 year warranty just in case a problem crops up. As mentioned above, the Ridgid version is a better deal if it is at the same or nearly same price, since it has the lifetime service agreement. $250 isn’t much more than some aluminum top jobsite type saws with universal motors, so that is a lot of saw for the money.

Although their have been complaints of alignment problems, there are solutions if you are willing to spend the time checking on line. I have made comments on several topics here on LJ’s about this saw over the past couple years, so just click on my homepage link and check some of the 21833 and R4512 topics I have commented on.

View Bwa's profile

Bwa

21 posts in 1562 days


#8 posted 01-01-2012 04:32 AM

I’ve been eyeing the 21833 myself. A bit scared of the damage issue but really like the Sears delivery vs. getting something off a truck and lift gate fees and grumpy truck drivers that I’ve had to deal with when receiving heavy gym or computer equipment.

For $250 I wouldn’t even think, I’d just do it.

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3105 posts in 1210 days


#9 posted 01-01-2012 04:37 AM

I wonder if it’s part of Sears way of getting out of the market since they are planning on closing 120 Sears and K-Mart’s.

I would make sure they will honor the warranty.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5563 posts in 2098 days


#10 posted 01-01-2012 04:50 AM

It’s worth noting that most of the alignment issues you’re reading about with the R4512 and 21833 were early models….not uncommon for new releases of any mechanical device to experience some manufacturing issues early on.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Mike's profile

Mike

306 posts in 1410 days


#11 posted 01-01-2012 07:23 AM

I figure that it was mostly older models. I think I need to pull the trigger and retire the old saw I currently use. I am glad it has the casters otherwise it may be too heavy for me to move by myself. How easy is it to actually assemble anyway? I have heard the horror stories.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View themitrejoint's profile

themitrejoint

18 posts in 1358 days


#12 posted 01-01-2012 08:06 AM

I have (6 mo.s) the top end Sears contractor saw (hybrid). I think its the one your talking about. I had the alignment issues. I had to remove the rear trunnion and have the holes elongated to facilitate getting enough movement to align the blade. Getting to the trunnion cap screws is a real trip. Use hex key sockets with an extension bar. The tab at the rear end of the fence snapped the first time I used the saw. Same machinist made me a new one. He said the metal they used was too brittle. The directions are totally useless. Just look at the pictures and do the best you can. I didn’t have any parts left over. The saw is very heavy, you will need help turning it right side up after assembly.
All that said- I have built $30K in cabinets with the saw. Once you get it tuned up, for the money you can’t beat it.

-- Frank, Hagerstown, Maryland

View cdhilburn's profile

cdhilburn

95 posts in 1407 days


#13 posted 01-02-2012 09:14 PM

I have the same saw and really like it. I was hesitant because of issues with alignment but after the initial assembly, it has been right on.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3481 posts in 1694 days


#14 posted 01-02-2012 09:55 PM

I bought mine about 20 months ago.
I had a bitch of a time gettig thr arbor in alignment with the miter slot.
Partially because the manual is worthless and I had to figure most of it out on my own.
Partially because the design is on the raw edge of being too weak to hold an adjustment.

It’s not a tool that will be passed down through generations.
It probably won’t last me till I get too old to use it; and I’m 62.

But, I did manage to get it aligned, added an Incra miter guide and a good blade.
It only cost me $409 plus tax. Less than $2.00/pound. Cheaper than bottled water!
It runs and cuts good. Much better than those noisy, flimsy job-site type saws.
It has a cast iron top with standard miter slots.
The saw has a fairly good fence, IMO.
The motor is plenty strong for my use; DIY’er, novice furniture maker, hobbiest.
It has good retractable casters; I don’t need to move it much, but that’s an issue for some folks.

Bottom line, if I could get another one for $250 I’d be on that like stink on $h!t.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3540 posts in 2683 days


#15 posted 01-02-2012 11:57 PM

If ya have to ask, see Crank’s post. I rest my case. I sure wish that Sears folks would frequent the WWing sites to see the comments about their stuff.
Seems a shame to have to go thru all the crap to get a working saw. Now, I’ll polish my 1952 Craftsman/KingSeeley
drill press and my 7” bench grinder.
Does this make me a cranky old fart?
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6259 posts in 1523 days


#16 posted 01-03-2012 01:31 AM

If you can get something WHITOUT those stamped steel wings, you should. BUT, price is everything sometimes. If it’s a great deal, buy it and make some MDF wings that will be flat.

I wouldn’t pay more than $300. You can get some nice old saws on CL for that price…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Mike's profile

Mike

306 posts in 1410 days


#17 posted 02-18-2012 10:35 PM

Well after 3 months of trying to get the saw do to back order and false starts (ten yard penalty IMO) I finally have the saw on its way. The incredible thing is that the saw is now on sale and the rep just wrote down the discount amount and not the final price, so because the saw is on discount for $20 off, I am getting the saw, with tax at $233 and new. Worth the wait since mid October I think. The ETA is the 28th or so. Glad I don’t have to pay for shipping or for the saw to be moved into my shop.

Since I was expected to move to Rochester and now am staying where I am, and the shop is completely disassembled into storage units. I have to get everything out of the way and unpacked to make room. I guess it is a very small price to make to get such a great deal. I’ll take photos when it arrives.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View Mike's profile

Mike

306 posts in 1410 days


#18 posted 02-29-2012 03:01 AM

Update: The tablesaw arrived today. The Sears guys got it into the shop after having to rub the box against the weather stripping (yes the box is absolutely massive). After cutting the box open, I started to assemble the saw (photos coming soon). So far the instructions for putting the saw together aren’t really that bad. Based on other reviews I was prepared for much worse.

So far, the only complaints that I really have is that some of the parts are scratched or having paint chipped off. Allot of this is minor so I am not going to worry about it, but I would have liked a new saw to well, look new and without scratches. One other minor thing I noticed, and this is more of an acceptable issue really, is that since these are stamped parts, when you put the casters and brake assembly on, almost all of the leg bolts need to be loosened to allow for the brake assembly to be mounted. The tolerances in the entire assembly so far could have been just a little better.

I am at the point were I need to flip it onto it’s feet. By no means do I think anyone should even attempt it by themselves. I think that would be just crazy since it is just under 300 lbs. Some friends and beers coming soon!

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View Lifesaver2000's profile

Lifesaver2000

524 posts in 1835 days


#19 posted 02-29-2012 04:23 AM

Mike, you may have read this elsewhere, but two things are worth repeating when it comes time to check the alignment on this saw.

First, don’t do any alignment with the blade cranked all the way up. The blade will “rack” slightly if you crank it all the way up to where the wheel won’t turn anymore. Backing it down a few rotations will prevent this problem. Despite what some people have said, this doesn’t just apply to this saw. I have read this same advice in the op’s manual for other much more expensive saws.

Second, be certain to back off the 90 and 45 degree stops prior to any attempt to move the trunnion, if such movement is needed. I believe that a lot of the complaints that there have been about not having enough adjustment available to get the blade aligned to the miter slot have been caused by this problem. When I first got my saw, I was just barely able to get it to move far enough to align it. After I read this recommendation from somewhere else, I tried it and found that I had enough movement available to actually over adjust by a substantial amount, and was able to get it dialed in just right.

Good luck with the saw. You got a great deal. As for the stamped steel wings, I took the one off of the left side of the saw, put a 16” cast iron router table in its place, then put the extra wing on the right side attached to the other one. This gives me a top that if I remember correctly is 57” wide. Pretty handy to have all that space. With infeed and outfeed support I can easily rip a full sheet of 3/4 plywood by myself.

View dennisy's profile

dennisy

1 post in 998 days


#20 posted 03-03-2012 02:47 PM

Mike, how in the world did you get that price on it? I was in my local Sears a couple of weeks ago any I could swear they mah it marked as 360 or something but didn’t have the funds available. Went back the other day and and it was 599.

View Mike's profile

Mike

306 posts in 1410 days


#21 posted 03-04-2012 05:20 AM

Dennis,

I am just a really good negotiator I guess ;) Really though it was a big screw up that caused the good deal. It started with some terrible customer service and then more and more. Finally they had saws they had stated in stock and didn’t. A few letters and some very long discussions later and I got my deal. Then the saw was out of stock again. Overall, after this entire thing is over, I refuse to buy from Sears again. To many headaches and several phone overages later I am just glad this is over and done with. I still am waiting on some help with flipping the saw, but once it is flipped, I will give a full first blush view. Also, I will post a censored copy of my recite.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View Mike's profile

Mike

306 posts in 1410 days


#22 posted 03-07-2012 01:01 AM

Table saw update: I finally got some help in flip the saw. I got to 97% of the assembly completed when I found out that the riven knife was missing. I wont have the part till the 12th. All I have to really say is this thing better turn on when I power it up…

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 1029 days


#23 posted 03-07-2012 02:11 AM

Hi Mike, I couldn’t tell you the model nu ber of my Craftsman it’s over 25 years old. I can tell you as you might have experienced it, it took me almost 9 hours to assemble and tune. In 25 years it’s seen a lot of projects, and for a brief time it served as assembly table. I have only two problems with it. (1) the stamped steel wings, which I have never replaced, but will one day maybe, (2) the top is not a flat cast iron top, it has thes egrooves that you see in most of the crafstman bench top saws. I have dealt with both and after a while got used to it. Like you the best part was the deal. It was 699. When I priced it and when it was the last model in the store, and they were getting all new in a few months the price plummeted to 399. I went back to see if they still had it 2 days later and it was 329. I struck a deal with sears for 300, than applied for a sears card when I checked out and got an additional 10% off. All said and done with tax, plus I picked it up with my truck no S&H it was 280 and change. If I waited another day I might have gotten it cheaper or it could have been gone already. My buddy was somewhat of the catalyst for this, who has a bad habit when we are tool shopping to tell me, ” you can’t afford not to buy it!”, like the fool that I am that little push wouldn’t let me hang on for another day. Since craftsman is not what it used to be I hope you get good use from it, cause you did get a good deal.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1791 days


#24 posted 03-07-2012 02:49 AM

Marty-

What’s the problem with the stamped steel table wings? I had them on my Craftsman TS for over 20 years and thought about replacing them a few times, but never did. They did what they were supposed to do. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View David Hacke's profile

David Hacke

75 posts in 1005 days


#25 posted 03-07-2012 03:58 AM

I have had my craftsman table say for over 20 years and like most of it except the fince but it will soon be replaced with a custome made fince and rails. I recently got another one in a trade and am going to hook them both together side to side with a single fince system on for the dado pack one for cutting table width will be 88”. hope you enjoy your new say I have used mine alot over the year and it is still going.

david

-- Dave, Kelso, Washington

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 1029 days


#26 posted 03-07-2012 04:38 AM

Hi Sawkerf, the wings are not horrible, but I would much rather have a perfectly flat surface, as opposed to the the lip around all the edges. Its not horrible but I would prefer cast iron or any solid surface, it doesn’t effect the performance at all but I can be picky, ;-D

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View mmcafee09's profile

mmcafee09

29 posts in 995 days


#27 posted 03-07-2012 04:41 AM

I have a old craftsman that’s still cuttin good too. A little motor noise but I can deal with it.

-- The College Woodworker

View Mike's profile

Mike

306 posts in 1410 days


#28 posted 03-08-2012 06:52 AM

So the saw is now 100% assembled. I located the riven knife where it should have been. I guess I was too tired the other night to see it. Here is my first blush review after less than 5 hours of use:

======================

the Good -

Out of the box, the blade was dead nuts on. I did not have the problem that others have had with the blade becoming off angled at full height. Assembly was actually really easy once I looked at the parts and the instructions closely on “difficult” sections. I feel that if you need this kind of table saw and have problems assembling it, you really aren’t reading the instructions and need to slow down.

The fence is well built and only needed some very minor lubrication to make it slide like butter. Additionally with the fence, I like that it does not contact the table top. This is nice since the last table saw I had scratched grooves where the fence contacted the top. The handle on the fence is nice and big. Also the handle pressure to clap the fence into place is very light so you don’t feel like you are forcing anything. The other handles on the saw are well made and easy to turn (the height adjustment is clockwise to raise which seems backwards to other saws I have used). The rails are nice too.

The anti-kick back fins are easy to slide a board through and do not hinder cutting like other saws. I did test if they gripped properly with the saw off and they worked well. The blade guard is fantastic too. It is easy to look down at the cut line. The guard is split into two pieces to allow for the non-cutting side of the blade to shield you hands. To remove the guard and anti-kick back fins is very easy. Just pull a compression tab and they pop right off.

The mobile base works well and makes a 300 lb saw easy to move around my shop which is going to be really nice.

I really love the ability to slide the power switch box left and right located under the rail system. I set it up and used the saw. I was so thrilled that I didn’t have to go hunting for the switch. This is a fantastic way to add safety and convenience at the same time.

The saw passed the nickel test with flying colors. I even did a penny test with the same results. The saw is also very quite. You still need ear protection anyway but it isn’t nearly as loud as other saws.

======================

The ok -

While this really wasn’t a big deal to me, I feel that the bolts and nuts that come in the bags should have been divided up into sections of the build. I had to go from one bag to another between steps and then back again. By going from 4 bags to a few more I would have saved maybe 15 minutes in the assembly time as well as make it easier to find the right parts.

I do like the fact that the saw has storage built on the sides of the saw for all the accessories. What isn’t great about it is that they are positioned so low and far back from the front that you have to bend under the table top and I almost banged my head getting to things (I’m 6’ tall). This really comes into place with the push stick.

======================

The what were they thinking -

When attaching the back rail for the fence, four out of the 8 bolts are located in ridiculous places. The bolt holes on the table top has very limited room to allow for you to add the washer and lock washer as well as thread the nut on. My fingers are average size and I struggled with it. The outside rail bolts are worse than the center two. They placed to bolt holes in the corners where the leg meets the top. I had to switch to a box wrench from my tool box to get the bolts tight. Additionally, I had to hold the wrench at a really odd angle to even get on the bolt. Very difficult.

I don’t think that someone did a clearance check on the riven knife nor attempted to raise and lower it at different blade heights. The section that holds the anti-kick back fins is bubbled outwards just a little. When the blade is halfway up, if you try to adjust the riven knife to raise or lower it, the dang thing bangs into the back of the saw! You can not lower or raise the riven knife all of the way without completely raising the arbor to it max height!

This isn’t terrible since the saw is somewhat mobile, but the dust port is located at the bottom of the saw. If you perform allot of cuts without DC, sawdust will pile up under it as expected. What isn’t so great is that you can’t just take a broom and sweep under it. There just isn’t any clearance to do it! Additionally, if you do want to attach a DC to the saw, the port is so low to the ground that your piping is going to be forced at an odd angle. Combining the low clearance and the odd angle, it is going to be a pain to plumb the saw.

======================

The Bad -

Out of the box I noticed that paint was scratched on several different parts. Sections of the paint looked like orange peel as if they didn’t fully clean the parts before painting. I can tell that the paint is really thinly coated overall since in sections there was flaking. These were minor on each, but it is a new saw and should look like it in my opinion. If I paid full retail price I would have been pissed, but I didn’t so I don’t mind as much.

The standard blade insert was missing 25% of the paint from the top. The insert was also pitted and scratch badly. Sears is replacing it at no charge.

Here is my big gripe about the saw at this point. The riven knife design is terrible for alignment. Here is why. There is a little lock pin that allows the pin to fit through pre-drilled holes. If you try and use the riven knife without it position on the holes, the entire knife tilts to the left causing it to create pressure and pinching when using the fence to the left of the blade. This is flat out dangerous. Also, the riven knife should be smooth, the one that I got is rough and sandpaper like. Sears is sending a replacement to see if that can resolve that issue. Out of all the tuning operations, the riven knife was just a flat out pain in the butt.

Finally, while it worked out ok for me not only are the box dimensions that the saw comes in under what they actually are (bad for getting through doorways), but the saw itself with the rails is also wider than the manually actually states. If I didn’t have the room I do have, this could be a major issue.

======================

Overall first blush review of the saw – 3.5 / 5 stars

If they fixed the paint issue I would add half a star just for that. The riven knife design lost it a star. The riven knife is a poor design and can be dangerous to someone that doesn’t know about the issue nor how to fix it. I might consider buying the saw again if it was priced at $400 – $450, but $600 + S & H of around $170 is ridiculous for the quality of the product based on the safety issues with the riven knife and the paint.

======================

Conclusion:

Based on the terrible experience that I had with the Sear customer service, both normal CS and the Executive level, I really don’t think I will work with them again for a major purchase. This issue didn’t need to take 4 months to resolve and could have been handled in a quarter of the time at most. I was expecting a 5 / 5 from the Executive office and got 1.5 / 5. After sending letters on an incident with a normal CS agent and their supervisor, and waiting 2 months for a reply and then yet another 2 months to actually get the saw, if I didn’t get the deal that I did, I would be really and truly pissed (I am just annoyed about it). I fell that Sears dropped the ball big time. This combined with the quality of the saw out of the box is just too much for me to overlook.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

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