|Review by Cole Tallerman||posted 04-18-2013 01:21 AM||8006 views||0 times favorited||41 comments|
So let me start off by saying this review is based on 6 months of hobbyist work and comparing to other saws on the market. Last summer, I had an accident with an old .113 table saw. My parents would not let me use another table saw unless I got a SawStop. So being 16 (not much of a budget) i went with the cheapest one; the contractor saw with 30” rails. (I ended up upgrading to cast iron wings).
The saw came perfectly aligned and packed beautifully with great directions. The saw easily went together and was running in no time. It will grudgingly cut through 10/4 hard maple but it regularly does great with anything 8/4 and less. I love the riving knife which is what I feel the real safety feature of any table saw. The brake design seems to be good and well thought through and I like having the added security because lets face it, accidents happen. Also, customer service is outstanding.
So my biggest complaint is that it is not enough saw for the price. The two piece locking fence is horrible. It is the generic fence that comes on most base model contractor saws (grizzly, baleigh, craftex, etc) The fence stays mostly square, and slides okay but there is no way to adjust the angle of the face to the table. It is 1-2 degrees off which makes a huge difference when cutting small pieces that need to be pushed hard against the fence. I have made 3 lengthy phone calles to the tech department with pictures showing them the out-of-squareness and the very slight bow in the front rail, and so far all they have done is send me the plastic sliders because maybe one was worn. There is no angle adjustment on the fence. At this price, I would expect the base model to come with a t-square fence. (Im amazed to see that the base model cabinet saw doesn’t even have one!)
Another problem that I have with the saw, Is that the motor mount seems less then adequate. It is on a self tention system (the motor is tensioned by its own weight) which although it seems smart, it makes it basically impossible to get the two pulleys lined up with each other. That, along with the plastic blade guard make a quick jolty rattling noise as it starts up. That noise only happens half the time. The other half it starts up flawlessly. I recently used a grizzly contractor saw and I felt no difference in quality. although the insides are completely different, the grizz starts up smoothly every time, and for +-$750 it comes with a beis clone fence; something I would expect from Saw Stop. I thought I had defiantly assembled the saw incorrectly because of the jolting problem but after a two hour phone call, the tech decided it had all been assembled correctly.
It is a great saw, but for the money, the basic model can almost be laughed at. The only reason that I kept it was because my parents wouldn’t let me work on any other saw, and at the time I didn’t have any extra money to spare but now I am so mad that I didn’t go with the 110 volt cabinet saw or at least the upgraded fence. I home to soon upgrade to a delta T2 as sawstop wont give me the t-square fence for the difference in the basic saw vs the next model up. Which makes it over $300. (if i had gotten it from the get-go it would have only been a +- $180 upgrade.
I forgot to add that the basic grizz came with cast iron adjustment wheels which felt so much better then the ones on my Saw Stop.