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Bottom of the line portable saw

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Review by Goodsh posted 182 days ago 2638 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bottom of the line portable saw Bottom of the line portable saw No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Craftsman 10” Table Saw with Laser Trac® (21807) (In Canada – CRAFTSMAN®/MD Limited Edition 10’’ Table Saw with Stand – item 097 827 835 10)

I’ve been meaning to type this up for a while but haven’t gotten around to it. After seeing another forum inquiring about a problem with the tablesaw I decided to stop slacking and get this done.

The saw itself has decent power and will cut through 2 inches of hard maple without too much trouble as long as you go slow. It comes with a stand which was nice for what I needed. It has a blade guard that is big and clunky and I removed it because it mostly just got in the way, as well as a riving knife and anti-kickback pawls (I removed the pawls because they got in the way and were so stiff they frequently scratched or gouged wood being cut). It was a birthday present and was relatively cheap. For rough carpentry work or outdoor rough work it is probably good enough but for finer woodworking or furniture making I would not recommend it for a bunch of reasons – basically though, all of the primary features woodworkers use are substandard.

The mitre slots are non-standard 5/8” rather than ¾” which makes it pretty much impossible to buy any after-market jigs or mitre runners. The worst part is the mitre slots have four tabs that stick out into the slot. There’s several forum topics on this problem (http://lumberjocks.com/topics/14991; http://lumberjocks.com/projects/26395; http://lumberjocks.com/topics/57136). I’ve seen tablesaws with mitre slots that were a “T” shape and that works because you could still make your own runners for sleds. This one is not a “T” shape. It’s a normal rectangle 5/8 wide by 3/8 deep with four little tabs sticking into it. Each tab is only a half inch wide and juts into the slot by a little less than an 1/8. The tabs made it very hard to make runners and serve no purpose. I used an angle grinder to remove mine.

The mitre gauge is just terrible. It’s so loose in the slot it probably has 5-10 degrees of error in it with the movement back and forth. I’ve never bothered using it. It’s utterly useless. On top of that Sears sells no after-market accessories for it so you can’t upgrade.

The design pretty much makes it impossible to make a zero clearance insert for it. I have not found any after-market ones that will work on this saw and I have not been able to make one although I’ve heard some people say they did. I just use an auxiliary top instead.

The extension wings are really flimsy and sag. The table (excluding side extensions) is pretty flat though. The fence is mediocre, finicky to set parallel to the blade and pretty much never 90 degrees to the table. Dust goes everywhere, which is not unexpected for a portable saw. I built a box and enclosed the entire thing other than a few small holes for air to flow through and the dust collection is great now. It was very easy to do.

I’ve been using it for two years now and would not recommend this saw. It cuts well enough and was cheap, especially on sale. That’s all it has going for it. I get by with it but it causes frequent annoyances. Every “feature” you look for in a saw (mitre gauge, fence, extension tables, safety add-ons, accessories, etc.) are all below par. The blade it comes with is cheap and needed to be replaced pretty fast. I noticed a definite improvement once I got a high quality thin kerf blade. I’d recommend that if you have this saw. Now that I have bit more experience and know what to look for I can say that there are definitely better portable saws out there in the same price range.




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Goodsh

47 posts in 547 days



11 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

646 posts in 800 days


#1 posted 182 days ago

for a miter guage look at Incra

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Goodsh's profile

Goodsh

47 posts in 547 days


#2 posted 182 days ago

Thanks for the suggestion but unfortunately Incra’s website says they don’t carry any equipment for mitre slots that are 5/8 in size. http://www.incra.com/faqs.htm#mg

View CharlesA's profile (online now)

CharlesA

1213 posts in 425 days


#3 posted 182 days ago

I started with a $99 Ryobi, and took me a while before I figured out that a lot of TS tips,didn’t apply to me. I built some nice stuff with it, though. I just had to cut most everything oversize and thing run through router to straighten out the edges. A used cast iron 113 craftsman contractor with a good fence is a major upgrade.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View NormG's profile

NormG

4094 posts in 1631 days


#4 posted 182 days ago

Wow, keep us posted, what about the laser trac feature

-- Norman

View Goodsh's profile

Goodsh

47 posts in 547 days


#5 posted 182 days ago

The laser is mounted on the blade guard which was so clunky and cumbersome that I removed it. I don’t remember if I’ve ever even used the laser. Using a rip fence or sled I don’t see any need for a laser line to show where the blade is cutting anyway. I don’t cut anything free hand so I view this as a pointless feature.

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NormG

4094 posts in 1631 days


#6 posted 181 days ago

Completely understand

-- Norman

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1196 posts in 2102 days


#7 posted 181 days ago

I have used this type of saw and currently use one… A Skill and a Ridgid, but not craftsman. I have the same issues and problems… another situation is that the arbor is not long enough for dado blade… even though i found a Ridgid dado blade insert… Cuts are fine, but you can never reset the fence parallel after you move it. Rather tedious to reset.

But they got the job done, and now I am moving up… thinking seriously about the Laguna Fusion… duh…

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View scruboak51's profile

scruboak51

34 posts in 365 days


#8 posted 180 days ago

I have the same saw and have just about all of the same complaints as you. Although, you forgot to mention how wonderful the fence is; its like it was designed specifically to go out of square the moment you clamp it in place.

View baileyst's profile

baileyst

46 posts in 400 days


#9 posted 180 days ago

I am also a not so proud owner of this saw. I originally bought it when I was doing remodeling jobs, and it worked ok for that. Then I decided to start building furniture and found out just how bad it was. I could never get the fence to stay square. So after a few frustrating projects it sits in the corner and I went out and bought a delta unisaw.

-- Bailey Indiana

View Matt's profile

Matt

60 posts in 45 days


#10 posted 19 days ago

I have this saw that I bought for home improvement jobs. It is crap for anything more than framing. Tonight, mine caught fire.

You can get past the tslot issue by grinding the tabs away and making a sled.

-- I do this for fun.

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

3778 posts in 484 days


#11 posted 19 days ago

I had that basic saw years ago and go a lot done with it, but you have to be vigilant. As you said the wings sag. You need to measure front and back of the blade to the fence to be sure. It wanted to tip over when cutting big pieces of plywood. My advice is use it for a whole and upgrade when you can.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

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