LumberJocks

General International 50-200R M1 Table Saw

  • Advertise with us
Review by jmacz posted 12-14-2012 03:26 AM 10077 views 1 time favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch
General International 50-200R M1 Table Saw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

March 5, 2014

FYI: I have had several different batches of the 50-203 inserts from GI and none have the correct screw location for the table top. The GI provided solution is to drill new holes. GI cannot even tell me which is wrong according to THEIR manufacturing specifications; table top/original insert or the 50-203. I want a resin insert for the good blade. I have made 5 inserts for other uses and currently use one for the good blade cuts.

This could be an issue with the 50-275R model as it uses the same table top.

—-

I have had the 50-200R M1 saw for four months now. It replaced a contractor style unit with an “align-a-rip” fence; not too bad of a saw if you could get the fence to lock straight all the time. I was attracted to the 50-200 as it was a cabinet style which did not weight over 500 lbs and has an integrated riving knife. The weight was important as it will be maneuvered around the garage. The purchase price ($999) was also very attractive.

Setup and Configuration

Setup was easy but shims were needed when mounting the wings to create a flat top. I am sure the fence would have been satisfactory for long term use but I decided to upgraded to the General Canadian made T-fence along with the micro adjustment (micro adjust should be included with every fence!). Dust collection is good through the rear port as it is split between a dedicated collector directly below the blade and the cabinet enclosure. An Excalibur Osborne 50-EB3 will be purchased once the local retailer has stock available. Everything resides on a General mobile base.

On my unit, the main table is beveled on the front only. The wings were beveled on both ends. I contacted General and they stated that this avoids “confusion” as to which side the wing should be mounted. If one is confused about this, you shouldn’t be assembling or using a power tool. I softened the rear main table corners to gradually meet the wing bevel.

I use Freud Premier Fusion and Industrial Heavy Duty Rip blades for projects as well as a CMT dado blade. The included bonus blade will be used for questionable material or rough cutting sheet material. I purchased a General zero clearance insert but have not installed it as it requires modifications to seat on the far side rests! I will make a batch of zero clearance inserts for use with specific dado widths.

Operation

I find the 2hp motor @220 to be robust and did not have any issues cutting 8/4 material. I was able to adjust the saw to very tight tolerances which have persisted for these past months of use. The blade height and tilt mechanisms are smooth and better than I expected at this price point. I like the built-in arbor locking mechanism for changing blades. Just ensure the blade is fully raised when using the mechanism.

With the current configuration, I no longer “hold my breath” hoping the fence clamped parallel to the blade as I did with my prior saw. This has been a huge relief when making the “final” cut. I find the included miter gauge to be stable/accurate once adjusted.

I no longer need to persuade or adjust pieces to mate during assembly.

Precision

There is virtually no arbor runout. The blade stays in the same plane relative to the table (does not wobble) with blade height adjustments. The 90 degree limit stop is slightly off as there is a 0.005 tilt relative the table top at full height. One day I will adjust the limit to correct this. The miter slots measure well and run parallel referenced to each other at the random spots measured. I cannot comment on the table flatness as I do not have a calibrated straight edge yet but the table was flat enough referenced to a 4’ ruler (checked on my jointer bed) to accept the unit.

arbor runout: < 0.0005; actually the dial never really moved
left miter: +- 0.001
right miter: +- 0.001
L + R miter: +- 0.0015

Future Plans

I considered purchasing a King/Grizzly/Busybee sliding table. This might be a future purchase if any project would benefit having one. For now, I will construct a sled for larger pieces and use the Osborne miter for smaller pieces. As this appears to be a “keeper”, I will be making an attached runout table which will fold down when not in use.

Conclusion

Overall, I am pleased with the performance of the saw as this has exceeded expectations. I no longer look to upgrade to a “better” unit when visiting local retailers. A “better” model number or brand name might not provide any additional benefits over this particular implementation as configured.

Even with the wing issue and standard fence, I will still give this saw five stars as the performance/price ratio warrants the rating. I would recommend having a look if this is close to or within budget at the current (sale or regular) price.

Update – Dec 17, 2012

The zero clearance insert does not fit the table top. General knows of this issue but did not recall stock. A new batch is being made but unsure of the delivery date.

I will be looking for pieces of 3/8” thick phenolic resin to make my own insert.

Update – Dec 29, 2012

Received and adjusted the Osborne miter gauge. Also decided to upgrade the router table to the General 40-070 with the Kreg insert plate. Spent the better part of a day ensuring the table top is as flat as possible and mounting the router. Updated the photo to reflect the changes. I no longer can blame the tools when something does not assemble as expected.

The wife also mentioned the K (kitchen) upgrade for the first time. Looks like I will be adding a sliding table when I start this project.

Update – Jan 17, 2013

We will be proceeding with the kitchen upgrade so I purchased a Excalibur 50-SLT40P sliding table. This will allow me to also complete other projects I have always wanted. It will be nice to finally have square pieces to work with.




View jmacz's profile

jmacz

15 posts in 869 days



31 comments so far

View William's profile

William

9149 posts in 1530 days


#1 posted 12-14-2012 03:48 AM

I know nothing about this saw in particular. However, I own a Ridgid saw. It has the exact issue you talked about with the wings being bevel on front and back, but the main table only on the front. I always wondered why they do this and had never heard any kind of explanation until now. Now I know. It’s because they think table saw users are confused easily. Now that makes a lot of sense.

I hope the sarcasm in that last statement comes across like it should.
Thank you for such a thorough review.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View JimDaddyO's profile

JimDaddyO

288 posts in 1767 days


#2 posted 12-14-2012 11:28 AM

Glad to see a review of this saw. I decided months ago that it will be my next (and last) one. How do you have yours wired? 110 or 220 volts? One of the reasons I choose this saw is that it can be wired 110V (that, and that it is a Canadian company).

-- I still have all my fingers

View lj61673's profile

lj61673

231 posts in 1087 days


#3 posted 12-14-2012 12:14 PM

One of the reasons I choose this saw is that it can be wired 110V (that, and that it is a Canadian company).

Ummm…this saw is made “overseas”.

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1611 days


#4 posted 12-14-2012 01:45 PM

I bought this same saw a few months back and am well pleased with it(caught it on sale at Woodcrafters) only problem I encountered in set was a slight burr on the right side where the extention and table mounted. A little 400 and WD40 took care of it. I replaced the stock fence (which was ok) with an Incra fence (mainly because my son bought it for me) and use an Incra 1000SE.
I concur with everything you say and it’s a good review.
As a side note,my old saw was a 3650 Ridgid that served me well and sometimes I miss it. It took me less than a day to sell it on CL.

-- Life is good.

View JimDaddyO's profile

JimDaddyO

288 posts in 1767 days


#5 posted 12-14-2012 02:58 PM

yes made overseas, I said Canadian “company”, not Canadian “made”

-- I still have all my fingers

View lj61673's profile

lj61673

231 posts in 1087 days


#6 posted 12-14-2012 05:08 PM

yes made overseas, I said Canadian “company”, not Canadian “made

Then why mention it?
Why would it matter where the “company” is based?
Made in China/Taiwan etc., means that’s where the saw is fabricated and ultimately where the jobs and money goes.
Is there something we’re missing?

View Dwinkel5's profile

Dwinkel5

35 posts in 1064 days


#7 posted 12-14-2012 07:15 PM

I don’t want to open a can of worms… and I’m not an economics professor… but where the company is based does matter.

Labor and material cost only make up a percentage of the cost of the good. The iPhone is a great example.

It costs Apple (based in CA) around $20 in labor and material to make the iPhone. (This money goes to other countries) When someone spends $200 on an iPhone anywhere in the world, $20 goes to the countries of manufacture; a percentage goes to the country of sale (markup), the largest percentage goes to Apple in CA.

It’s not as good as made here by a company located here…. but it does help.

View lj61673's profile

lj61673

231 posts in 1087 days


#8 posted 12-14-2012 08:35 PM

JimDaddyO mentioned Canadian as if that carried some kind of weight or placed this saw on a level above all the imports. It doesn’t. It’s just another off shore tool no better or worse than the Jets or Grizzlies of the world.

View JimDaddyO's profile

JimDaddyO

288 posts in 1767 days


#9 posted 12-14-2012 09:00 PM

I’m Canadian, it matters to me. Supporting this company means that people keep their job. Sure, it may be manufactured elsewhere, but everything else is local. From CEO to engineering, to the guy mopping the floor, there are a bunch of jobs there.

-- I still have all my fingers

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

501 posts in 2005 days


#10 posted 12-14-2012 09:26 PM

General International is a privately-held company based in Montreal. It is reported to be in the 51-200 employee category, and I’m sure most of those are professional positions and are compensated accordingly. So both profits and compensation stay in Canada.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Dwinkel5's profile

Dwinkel5

35 posts in 1064 days


#11 posted 12-14-2012 09:31 PM

JimDaddyO – I agree with your statement. It should matter to you.

There is more that goes into the equation than just who gets paid to physically build the tool. At the end of the day, more money goes to the the country where the brand (headquarter) is based than the country where the tool is assembled.

View lj61673's profile

lj61673

231 posts in 1087 days


#12 posted 12-14-2012 09:43 PM

How do you know what the division of monies are? This thread is about the quality of the tool not about where the CEO parks his butt or how many floor sweepers are employed. It’s a Chinese tablesaw. If it makes you feel better that a guy sitting in an office in Toronto is benefitting than fine. I just don’t see how its relative to this thread.

View Dwinkel5's profile

Dwinkel5

35 posts in 1064 days


#13 posted 12-14-2012 09:51 PM

Made in China/Taiwan etc., means that’s where the saw is fabricated and ultimately where the jobs and money goes.

I know because I work in manufacturing. That’s not where all the money goes. It does matter. That’s the point I was trying to make.

View JimDaddyO's profile

JimDaddyO

288 posts in 1767 days


#14 posted 12-15-2012 02:12 AM

Back on track, I am still wondering if it is wired 110 or 220?

-- I still have all my fingers

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1611 days


#15 posted 12-15-2012 11:50 AM

Mine came from the factory wired 220. You can tell by the end plug. If it has two flat blades horizontal and it came factory wired it’s 220.

-- Life is good.

showing 1 through 15 of 31 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase