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Don't waste your time or money with this saw

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Review by JoeMcGlynn posted 289 days ago 3879 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Don't waste your time or money with this saw Don't waste your time or money with this saw Don't waste your time or money with this saw Click the pictures to enlarge them

The MSRP on this saw is $7,500, most online retailers sell it for somewhere around $5,000. I bought mine new through a auction at a local store where this was a floor model for about what you would spend on a standard Grizzly cabinet saw – which I wish I’d done instead. This saw is poorly engineered and dangerous.

You can overcome many of the problems with the saw by adding your own work-arounds and aftermarket accessories, but it seems absurd that you should have to. I’d recommend avoiding this saw. Buy a SawStop instead (heck, you could buy TWO SawStops for the pice of this)

1. The sliding rip fence deflects easily, causing the blade to bind. Light finger pressure on the rip fence will deflect it visibly, moderate finger pressure (one finger) will easily deflect it .030”. This is more than enough to stall the motor when ripping 8/4 stock, not to mention getting uneven and burned rip cuts.

2. Dust collection is poor

3. Adjustment of the sliding table and rip fence is very fussy and it tends to go out of alignment over time.

4. The miter bar on the sliding table will not hold it’s setting at all. Adding a larger clamping washer helps, but a slight bump while using will easily knock it out of alignment

5. To use a dado stack you have to install a spacer bar in the table, and move the sliding table 1” to the left. The problem is that the regular table insert for the normal blade no longer is safe, and General doesn’t provide a proper table insert for the standard rip/crosscut and scoring blade… so you now have a big gap next to the blade which causes small part to drop into the table, rip cuts to hang and kick back, etc.

6. The scoring blade can be adjusted so that it is aligned with the main blade, but it isn’t the same thickness as any aftermarket blade I’ve found. So you’ll get a clean cut on one edge, and the opposite edge will have a step. Plan on buying a new scoring blade to match whatever blade you use for sheet goods. Oh, and your new $6,000 saw doesn’t include a main blade by the way.

7. When mine arrived it was missing a load of parts. The parts guy at General was very nice and sent me the missing parts, but it took months to get them all. I’d be willing to write this off to mine being a showroom floor model, but I was told by General that this is a common complaint.

8. It’s a small point, but worth mentioning. The right side extension table is sheetmetal, and it’s not flat. It’s bowed, and there is absolutely no way to get it truly flat to the surface of the saw. In practice it’s not usually a big deal, but it’s frustrating. If you need to cross cut a sheet of plywood it will keep your cut from being perpendicular. Of course, if you are using the scoring blade you probably already have that problem as it leaves a stepped cut with most blades.

9. Overall, the build quality of the machine is average, but there were several obvious problems. The adjusters for the sliding table don’t clear the sides so you have to grind them to be able to adjust the table when installing the dado extension kit. The screws provided for several parts were the wrong length and had to be replaced. Pretty much what you would expect with a cheap imported tool, except this is an EXPENSIVE imported tool.

Save yourself a lot of money and grief, get pretty much any other table saw on the market. I sent my complaints to General via email, I called several times. I didn’t get ANY response from General.

-- Blog: http://mcglynnonmaking.wordpress.com/




View JoeMcGlynn's profile

JoeMcGlynn

99 posts in 951 days



23 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2246 days


#1 posted 289 days ago

thats a shame

looks similar to the griz. sliding TS. and seeing that this is GI they are probably the same unit. thanks for the headsup. for a slider it seems safe to stick to european machines.

did you contact TS to resolve these issues (some less critical, but others like the fence binding is more important)?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ken_c's profile

ken_c

260 posts in 1760 days


#2 posted 289 days ago

i once owned a GI 50-260 table saw and was not happy with it or the support from them. I will not by anything General International ever again – for that matter – I will stay away from the parent company of General too, I believe the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…

View JoeMcGlynn's profile

JoeMcGlynn

99 posts in 951 days


#3 posted 289 days ago

I did contact General several times. I never heard back from General about my concerns directly. I did have an email from a guy that claimed to be a contractor to them, who owned the same model saw. He said he never noticed the rip fence deflection, and just resorted to putting an extra clamping washed on the miter bar and being gentle with it. After I sent him pictures of the one finger deflection being measured with the dial indicator he didn’t respond. Even after several additional emails.

On the rip fence, the fence bar that it rides on is 1” round steel bar and it flexes quite easily. The steel bar is supported by 3 threaded stand off, one attached to the cast iron saw table and the other two are attached to the sheet metal extension table. I noticed while adjusting this part that even with the two outermost bolts adjusted and tightened it was trivial to throw the rip fence out of alignment with just a small change of the center bolt. It’s just too flexible.

If I replace the rip fence ($$), make my own inserts (kind of a pain as they have a weird, irregular shape and need the spring-loaded detents to stay in place) and make a better clamp mechanism for the miter bar it will be an OK saw. It just annoys the heck out of me that it has these problems.

-- Blog: http://mcglynnonmaking.wordpress.com/

View rrww's profile

rrww

250 posts in 711 days


#4 posted 289 days ago

Man that sucks, maybe you can sell it and at least break even.

It’s amazing to me that a $7K saw has a sheet meal wing. Its good it didn’t come with a blade, can you imagine what that would be like?

You should send General a link to this review, along with posting your review on other sites. The fence situation is an extreme danger for anyone that may come in contact with this saw.

View NormG's profile

NormG

3987 posts in 1602 days


#5 posted 289 days ago

Ouch, wish you could get a response from General

-- Norman

View RibsBrisket4me's profile

RibsBrisket4me

1376 posts in 1103 days


#6 posted 289 days ago

Wow, that is some very useful information about that saw. Many folks who dropped 5k would hesitiate to write a criticlal review. Thanks for sharing this info.

-- http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid6255915

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3777 posts in 978 days


#7 posted 289 days ago

Wow. You’d think at some $$$ point the manufacturer would put more effort into a quality product. I won’t be shopping for a slider any day soon but I appreciate the review.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View BryanatWoodstock's profile

BryanatWoodstock

97 posts in 632 days


#8 posted 289 days ago

I bought a similar table saw, a used 12” Lagunna TSS, it’s been a great saw. Sorry to hear about your problems with the GI!

View Julian's profile

Julian

488 posts in 1288 days


#9 posted 288 days ago

If I spent that much money and had such a poor response from the manufacturer, I would file a compliant with the Better Business Bureau.

-- Julian

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3040 posts in 771 days


#10 posted 288 days ago

Too much headache. You didn’t get what you’ve paid for. I have no plans on looking to their tools.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Ottacat's profile

Ottacat

316 posts in 449 days


#11 posted 288 days ago

Nothing is worse for public relations than not responding to emails – even if they are complaints. There is a certain “busy” Canadian retailer that has lost several thousand dollars of my business that way. Sounds like General International is heading downhill.

View 9FINGERTIM's profile

9FINGERTIM

54 posts in 538 days


#12 posted 288 days ago

man what a rip off, I went to the site and noticed that they dont list any price there and dont show any reviews of the product. Im getting to the point where I wont buy anything expensive unless I can read what other people think of the product.its not that I always trust the supplier to post the bad reviews but I need to know what other people think. I really like this review section and always check it before considering any purchase, but of course not every brand of every tool is mentioned. ilove the suppliers that post a large number of reviews saying a product is junk, but they keep trying to sell it. I operate at a somewhat different financial level than and am able to utilize a different return policy when I take a tool home I test it immediately and if it doesent work correctly I take it right back to the garage sale.

-- TIM, FLORIDA

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

774 posts in 691 days


#13 posted 287 days ago

Thanks for the review. I think I’ll steer clear of General tools. If this is what they do with a high end, $5,000 tool who knows what their less expensive tools would be like.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2257 posts in 1481 days


#14 posted 286 days ago

That’s really too bad. For such an expensive tool I’d expect it to be perfect. Most of the machinery in my shop has been the Gen. Int brand and I’ve been very pleased with how well they’ve worked. That said, I’ve never had to deal with General’s CS which is the true test of a company. I posted a link to this review on General’s Facebook page, here’s their reply:
“Thanks for the heads up Rob. We’ll have to run an internal investigation to find out some of the details regarding this customer’s experience. There’s no question that in this case we can and need to do better.”

Hopefully they’ll get their act together for you.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View JoeMcGlynn's profile

JoeMcGlynn

99 posts in 951 days


#15 posted 286 days ago

Manitario, thanks for that. I really tried to get some attention from them—many calls to all of the phone numbers I could find, emails to customer service, orders and all of the other email addresses. I googled for other contact information and couldn’t find anything.

-- Blog: http://mcglynnonmaking.wordpress.com/

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