|Review by BeachedBones||posted 07-22-2009 03:49 AM||16701 views||1 time favorited||9 comments|
I was noticing that there were no Mastercraft saws reviewed, so I though I’d jot one down for those Canuks out there. Mastercraft is a store brand of Canadian Tire if you don’t know.
I bought this saw because I’m working on a flooring install away from home, I was using a small old Craftsman saw that I’ve had for 14 or so years. The old Craftsman cooked it’s bearings and toasted the motor. Anyways, I needed a portable saw to replace that one and finish the job. I bought this saw just for this, and still have full intent to buy a proper shop saw sometime soon.
This Mastercraft Hawkeye Laser 10” jobsite table saw with sliding mitre table and laser line 55-6811-4, I bought on sale for 259$ plus tax. which was a little more than I wanted to pay for a cheap secondary saw but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay money for the crappy 150-200$ entry range saws available here.
Here’s the box open
The saw was fairly complete, and went together easily in 20 minutes. The assembly instructions were very strait forward, you don’t really need to read them. One odd thing about assembly is that the saw comes with 1 foot not attached. I guess this made it easier to pack somehow.
You can see in this photo the folding stand has one adjustable foot to help you level it for a secure feel. Even with this the saw is a little tippy for my tastes. Beaing a portable saw it is light weight with aluminum top etc, and that adjustable foot is too far towards the middle of the already narrow legs on the side that folds within the other. It’s better when you push the saw than pull it. I’ll have to be careful when cutting oddly balanced items.
The saw comes with a slide out outfeed support and telescopic side table extension as well as the sliding miter table which all combine to make the table feel bigger and more useful when dealing with larger materials. The rip capacity is 30”. An odd thing for me is not being able to use the rip fence on the left side of the table, due to the mitre sled. I’m sure that this would really bug me if this were to be my only table saw.
The way the outfeed support is supposed to attach uses plastic clips that keep the support from sliding down the tubes instead of tucking into the table. The stock configuration keeps the outfeed support extended about 2” even when fully collapsed. This annoyed me right away for I saw it wasteful in trying to keep the size down for transport. I pulled off the clips and ran some tape around the tubes, I cut down the wasted 2” to just about 1/4 inch, just enough to clear the rip fence along the back of the table. I’d recommend doing this if you buy this saw.
The saw has nice locking/ clamping holders for spare blades, the rip fence and the mitre guage. Oddly enough it doesn’t seem to have any place for the blade wrenches or dato insert. The DO however fit nicely under the miter sled. I’m going to find something to block them from sliding out from the ends of the sled. Hopefully that will keep them secure. The sled locks in place.
The rip fence locks square, and is pretty standard for a low end table. no surprises here. The blade raising and lowering control works quicker and easier than my old craftsman. I do find it odd however that the angle adjust is done by unlocking the blade, and pushing on the blade raising/lowering control to change the angle. I’ve always had a separate control for this. The raising/lowering wheel can be pushed in and twisted to relocate the handle if it’s in your way without changing the blade height. Nice feature but not really necessary.
Setting the blade parallel to the fence was necessary as it was out a couple degrees from strait. The saw has a useful but awkward to reach adjustment under the front of the table. So that went pretty strait forward. I didn’t use and dial guage to test accuracy… it IS a lower end saw after all. The mitre sled runs true, but as with most stick on angle guages, the sticker is not aligned perfectly square the the table. Not detrimental but I’ll have to remember that it’s off by a degree. I do like how the taller fence and sliding table make it much easier to hold pieces secure than the standard low end guage could.
Another thing that annoys me is that the saw has a light up logo to tell you when the saw has power. I don’t really like this because I have a tendency to leave my saw plugged in. I know, not the safest, but there is little risk of anybody inadvertently tripping the saw on in my house. I usually drop the blade below the table when I’m done with the saw anyways.
The dust collection bag is not as useless as some because the base of the saw has less dust openings than some other cheap saws.
All in all, I think this will work for me as a descent, lower cost, secondary saw, mostly for rough work. I wouldn’t want to do any real detailed woodworking on it…. Now I just need to find a nice shop saw. Hope this review helps.
I don’t care for lasers on table saws, and believe that blade guards are only good for the inexperienced users. For users comfortable with saws, they cause much more problems and safety hazards than they are worth. I don’t use them, so won’t review them. Don’t really care if you agree with this, sorry.
-- You know.... I think that old wood needs to be furniture.