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Not bad, until you use something better

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Review by funchuck posted 01-20-2010 03:15 AM 3211 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Not bad, until you use something better No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This was my first major tool purchase about 5 or 6 years ago. It was a whopping $100 from Lowes. At the time, I thought that was a lot of money!

This saw has some limitations:

  • The miter gauge slot is not standard, so you can’t upgrade to a better one.
  • The table is very small
  • The insert is just a thin piece of metal, which will make it hard to create an insert.

I found the fence to be surprisingly good. When I lock it down, it doesn’t slip, and it locks down at 90 degrees. Don’t know if I got lucky on that or not.

I always got a lot of chip-out when cutting certain woods, especially plywood. As mentioned above, I also felt very limited by the small table.

This led me to a decision: New blade, or new table saw?

I posed this question in the LJ forums and _bp pointed me to a HD sale. $299 for a Ridgid granite top saw! I went to HD the next day and scheduled for a delivery!

After assembly, I put the 2 saws next to each other. It was a night and day difference! The Ridgid’s table was huge! Everything about this saw was so much better! It felt more like a precision instrument. I am also going to buy a blade (probably a freud), make some ZCIs, and add fence faces.

I decided to put the old Delta away. I disassembled the stand and to my amazement, I found that 3 of the 4 bolts holding the saw to the stand were completely loose! I am sure glad I didn’t hurt myself. This thing could have toppled over while I was using it! I guess all the vibration caused the bolts to loosen. But, the stand did not come with any lock washers, so that is probably a reason for the loose bolts. Most of the bolts holding the stand together were loose too.

With that said, I will still miss my old Delta. Crappy as it was, it served me well for ~5 years.

-- Charles from California




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funchuck

119 posts in 1805 days



10 comments so far

View thekingofspain's profile

thekingofspain

20 posts in 1802 days


#1 posted 01-20-2010 05:47 AM

Got the $299 saw as well. Going to retire the craftsman limited edition soon which included a stand for $140 like 5 years ago.

-- tkos

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1797 posts in 1939 days


#2 posted 01-20-2010 04:34 PM

Glad you got a good saw. I think those little deltas are extremly——-not safe——

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View PeteMoss's profile

PeteMoss

207 posts in 2218 days


#3 posted 01-20-2010 05:41 PM

I agree, I had the $100 Delta myself as a first tablesaw. I guess you probably can’t get any better for $100 though. I put a decent thin kerf blad on mine and it made a huge difference in relative power and cut quality. You’re right, the fence wasn’t bad, except for a max rip width of something like 11 inches (if I remember right) and the miter gauge did stink. The worst part for me was the noise and lack of dust containment. Anyway it sounds like you got a great upgrade, enjoy yourself.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1980 days


#4 posted 01-20-2010 10:15 PM

Glad you got the Ridgid saw on that screaming deal of a price… Good saw, not a lot of money… I have had friends with that particular Delta table saw, and they burnt them up in less than a year. Some folks wonder why I don’t have any Delta in my shop… That saw is a good reason… Delta should know better than to slap their name on something like that.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View woody57's profile

woody57

646 posts in 2175 days


#5 posted 01-24-2010 11:53 PM

I used a delta contractors saw for many years and it did a good job. It was about $700. A few years ago I got a powermatic 66 for about $2000. Its great and will probably be my last saw.

In short. You get what you pay for. Especially with table saws. I always tell people to buy the best saw you can afford. It is the foundation of most shops. Skimp on clamps or something.

Anyway, sounds like to got a huge upgrade. Happy sawing and don’t cut yourself.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112883 posts in 2325 days


#6 posted 01-24-2010 11:55 PM

A $100 saw is better than no saw.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View jp93274's profile

jp93274

17 posts in 1801 days


#7 posted 01-26-2010 11:08 AM

I also Bought the $299 Ridgid Granite TS at the Home depot! This is a Definite Upgrade to my $69 Clearance price Firestorm Table saw (all Plastic) and i am sure i will either Donate the B&D TS or find a good use for it!

P.S any ideas for the B&D Firestorm Saw?

-- I Now Bleed Orange! Thank You HD For the Clearance Sale!

View funchuck's profile

funchuck

119 posts in 1805 days


#8 posted 01-26-2010 11:26 AM

jp93274: I’ve been thinking about what to do with my old saw too.

One idea would be to install a sanding disk and use it as a sander. This would be very easy to do.

You can also take the motor out to build a tool such as a sander or sharpener. There was a post on the forums about building a nice looking stationary belt sander.

BTW, I used the Ridgid saw for the first time tonight, to cut some plywood sheets. It is just a wonderful saw. It cut through the plywood like nothing else! That 30” rip capacity is something else too! I still need to make some ZCIs for it though.

-- Charles from California

View ladiesman217's profile

ladiesman217

74 posts in 1963 days


#9 posted 03-21-2011 07:35 AM

Hahaha…I bought the same saw when I became interested in woodworking in 2003-it’s a total piece of junk. The miter slot gauge is off, the slots have too much play, the fence is awful…yet I spent so many hours with that saw that I still keep it as a memento….and to use for outdoor projects that require no accuracy. I’m thinking that it could be turned into a dedicated sander with one of those kits Grizzly or Rockler sell.

-- Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

262 posts in 1525 days


#10 posted 07-10-2011 03:20 AM

I have to second ladiesman217 on all counts. I bought the same saw from Lowes to finish a trim job in my house and while it worked for what I bought it for, it was junk right out of the box. The miter gage would catch in the slot as I moved it, the fence didn’t move when locked down but it would move from it’s position when I locked it down. Then I had to unlock it, re-measure both ends to the blade while leaving enough error in anticipation of it moving and then try locking again. What a pain in the ass. The list goes on. . . it was too small, underpowered, too light, too noisy, too much runout, too much vibrtation, too ugly . . . . .

I used it for only a couple of small things after that, and then I rebuilt an old Unisaw. I put the P.O.S on craigslist before the Unisaw was up and running. I couldn’t get rid of it fast enough.

Ok, it was a $100 table saw. It was cheap and I got what I paid for. Lesson learned.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

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