The Great Table Saw Debate Continues...

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Forum topic by DannyBoy posted 09-11-2009 03:40 PM 5056 views 1 time favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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521 posts in 4101 days

09-11-2009 03:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw grizzly ridgid delta

I, like many, have arrived at the moment in my journey where the collapsible, portable table saw that I bought to start will no longer meet my needs. (Not to mention that screws have started randomly falling out of the bottom.) So, within a couple of months I will be making what will possibly be my most expensive tool purchase so far.

I have a few requirements, and I’m trying to keep in mind that I am a hobbyist that doesn’t make any note-able income off of woodworking (as far as the IRS is concerned).

  • Price:
    – $500 to $900
    – I will be saving to buy (I will not borrow money no matter how “good” the discount for doing so).
    – Again, I’m a small shop and I know I can get good quality in that price range.
  • Power:
    – My shop is residentially wired for 110 right now.
    – It would kill me to run a 220 to the shop, but I’d rather not if I could get away with it.
    – Motor power I will accept nothing less than 1 1/2 hp.
    – Anything more than 3 hp I don’t think I could afford.
  • Cabinet v. Contractor
    – I’d much rather go with the smaller contractor saw.
    – Most cabinet saws are out of my price range.
  • Capacities:
    – My shop is in a basement with no exterior door so cutting 4×8 plywood won’t be necessary.
    – I don’t tend to need anything ripped wider than 30”
    – Obviously, a 10” blade with at least 3” of cutting depth at 90*
    – I’d like fence rails to be long and open enough on one side to build a router table into the top.
    – My dust collection is confined to shop vac, so 2 1/2” ports is as big as I can get.
  • Extras:
    – Fence: Not to specific other than the included fence must be a good quality. I can always upgrade.
    – Mobility: Small shop so this is a plus, but I can always buy a mobile base.
    – Only all cast iron tops (no granite, period).
    – Left or Right Tilt, I don’t really see the pros/cons there.
    – Lasers: If I want retinal surgery I’ll get lasik from a qualified doctor.
    – No gas powered engines.

About a year ago, I started looking around to buy a replacement for my Ryobi and I looked long and hard and saved a little up for the Ridgid TS3650, but then they stopped selling that model. I then focused on the nice Delta they had at Lowes (sorry, can’t remember the model #) and now it has been discontinued as well. As I said in the extras, I don’t want a granite top so the new Ridgid model is not an option. And I don’t want a cabinet saw so the Grizzly hybrid won’t due either.

I have done quite a bit of searching of the tool-porn catalogues (that’s what the wife calls ‘em). So far, I’ve come up with two that I would actually seriously consider, however if anyone has any ideas on other values out there, I’ll be more than happy to research them.

Here are my picks (both Grizzly):

10in Left-Tilt Contractor Style Table Saw with Riving Knife
The Ultimate 10in contractor Style Table Saw with Cast Iron Wings and Table

Any help our learned readers could offer would be great. Thanks for your input!


-- He said wood...

34 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4454 days

#1 posted 09-11-2009 03:54 PM

I really like the idea of the riving knife, plus that saw has a slightly larger rip capacity. Right off the bat, I don’t see any advantage to the other saw. Maybe I’m missing something.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4227 days

#2 posted 09-11-2009 03:59 PM

Get the one with the riving knife.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4227 days

#3 posted 09-11-2009 04:03 PM

Couple of things though.

A cabinet saw isn’t any bigger than a contractor saw (assuming it’s on any kind of stand) so I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just get a nice used unisaw for the same price.

For dust collection you can always get a 4 – 2.5” adapter.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 3762 days

#4 posted 09-11-2009 04:05 PM

This is just a thought… Buy a good used saw, save again, then buy the saw that will meet your future needs as a master craftsman that will last the rest of your life.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4101 days

#5 posted 09-11-2009 04:07 PM

Charlie, I’m in the same boat. I don’t see the real difference between the two saws.

Does anyone know of a good used tool store in the Kansas City area?


-- He said wood...

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4227 days

#6 posted 09-11-2009 04:09 PM

craigslist is your friend

Nice Grizzly

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3527 days

#7 posted 09-11-2009 05:19 PM

Look into a hybrid saw. It has the enclosed cabinet, which means smaller footprint and better dust collection than a contractor’s, and it’s 110v and not as expensive as a full-bore cabinet saw.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View DaneJ's profile


56 posts in 3444 days

#8 posted 09-11-2009 05:20 PM

I went through the same situation about five years ago, so here are my 2c…

Sounds like you are describing a Hybrid or “crossover” saw.

I had but did not like the contractor saw for a number of reasons, mostly because I also have a small shop(1 car garage)and the motor kept getting in the way. It was a case of a false space saving. A full cabinet saw was just too big and not really portable.

Cabinet and Hybrid saws work best with dust collection otherwise the ‘box’ gets filled with sawdust. But because you are in a basement shop you may already have DC. Dc in the contractor saw was not effective, seems like it only got half of the dust.

I bought the Jet “Super-saw”, suits all of my needs, 110v, DC, enough power (I very seldom rip larger than 6/4), put it on a mobile base to move it around. I am very happy with my saw, any complaints are really nit’-picks…

-- Dane, Fairview Pk, OH. The large print giveth and the small print taketh away... Tom Waits

View knotscott's profile


8174 posts in 3611 days

#9 posted 09-11-2009 05:29 PM

Of the two saws you linked to, the G0661 has several clear advantages…or at least what I’d consider advantages. The G0661 is listed as a “contractor saw”, but is really a hybrid by my definition of it, which means it has the motor enclosed inside the cabinet vs hanging out the back. An enclosed motor takes up less space, has a shorter drive belt (lower vibration, better power transfer), better dust collection, and in this particular case has a more elegant trunnion setup. The G0661 also has a riving knife.

The G0576 is a traditional contractor saw that includes all the disadvantages of an outboard motor. It also uses the older style connecting rods as an arbor carriage, which are more prone to twisting out of alignment when the motor is tilted. The G0661 uses a single cast blade shroud as an arbor carriage.

It’s true than a standard cabinet saw actually has a smaller footprint than a traditional contractor saw with an outboard motor. A saw with a true 2hp or larger motor typically requires 220v (aka 240v).

G0661 guts and motor location:
G0661 trunnion and motor G0661 motor location

The G0576 trunnions and motor will look very much like these:

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View WibblyPig's profile


172 posts in 3510 days

#10 posted 09-11-2009 06:02 PM

Fool is a strong word, but you’d be a fool not to jump on that 50’s Unisaw (single phase one with picture) in Damian’s post.

500 bucks so you could buy a new fence and blade and have a saw that will last you for a lifetime.

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

View Scott 's profile


103 posts in 3595 days

#11 posted 09-11-2009 07:10 PM

I would highly recomend going with a good used saw and with the money you save, get yourself a dust collector. I wouldnt even consider a 2.5 port and a shopvac for a large saw.

-- Scott, South Carolina

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3468 days

#12 posted 09-11-2009 08:27 PM

Have you considered the Ridgid R4511? Although they have had a few glitches getting production up and going, they are really an exceptional saw for the money, and can be had if shopping right using sales and rebates sort of stuff in the area of $450.00

If you are interested in the used market check your local Craigslist…

Some of my personal favorites are the Emmerson built Craftsman and Ridgid contractor saws, as well as the TTI / Ryobi built Ridgid TS3650 / TS3660 contractor saws. I see those on a nearly daily basis, needing some clean up, and most likely a belt and possibly a fence going for under $200.00

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3700 days

#13 posted 09-12-2009 04:08 AM

America grinding and sales,LLC is at 29th and Jarbo just behind signal hill in KC. Rusty Lloyd is the owner / operator. Here’s the details, 1020 W 29th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108. 816-561-1776, fax 816-561-1778 and toll free 800-304-6844.
They sell from virtually all manufactures of cutting goods. He has stacks of tablesaws in the shop. Some are powermatic, delta unisaw, etc. I went to pick up my cabinet saw and saw all those. I commented I wished I had known about all the used ones and he said they are mostly three phase. Motors can be changed and both wings don’t have to be left on if you want to reduce footprint. Just a thought
Rusty and his son run the place and if they don’t know where to find something they probably know someone who does.
I personally cannot say enough good about them. They treated me, a first time customer, like a regular high dollar client. Everything I priced or had a comparison price for, they beat on their first price, not a negotiated price. Short version of this story. Had a mismatched part on a bandsaw I bought through them, they brought the display saw with the correct trunion out to my place, almost two hours, and exchanged saws. This was from people who already had every penny I owed them. They will get repeat business from me.
Hope this helps. Any further questions you can PM me. Best of luck, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View DTWoodknot's profile


150 posts in 3422 days

#14 posted 09-12-2009 05:13 AM

I had the same problem 5 years ago and purchased a Delta contractor saw w the unifence. = to the delta 36-981 for under a G (Rockler has the 36-981 for $850.00 + $80.00 S&H). it’s a great saw with a 30” fence and has the side table Casiron extention wing, I added an out feed table later. I too have a small basement shop and it was a good fit when I got mine it came with the mobil base although I never used it on my TS (used it on the jointer instead) this Delta is a good option if you want NEW. I agree with Damian if you don’t mide buying a used machine there are some great deals on Craig’s list, the Key is to be patiant and check it often then when you see somthing you like act on it or it will be gone if it is any kind of a deal. Good luck I hope this helps

-- Dave, I wood if I could but I can't so I woodknot

View JasonIndy's profile


187 posts in 3671 days

#15 posted 09-12-2009 05:20 AM

I’d throw a vote in for the Unisaw/Craig’s List. Especially if you’re starting out, the less you have to spend on tools is the more you can spend on wood (or more tools.)

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