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Buying a Used Table Saw

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Forum topic by Aleha posted 06-22-2015 09:15 AM 1869 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Aleha

2 posts in 534 days


06-22-2015 09:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

My husband and I are in the market for a table saw. We’d like to buy used, but are unfamiliar with what to look for. We have found this one on Craigslist, but I haven’t been able to find out much about it online: http://cosprings.craigslist.org/tls/5074330194.html. Does anyone have any advice on the Timberline table saw (from ad) or any table saw buying advice in general? Anything would be appreciated.


31 replies so far

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knotscott

7211 posts in 2839 days


#1 posted 06-22-2015 09:29 AM

The ABCs of Table Saws

It’s better than most plastic saws with universal motors. My concerns are that it’s a compact saw that’s not quite full size, but for $75 is hard to go wrong. Check to be sure it accepts 10” blades. 8” to 9” blades are harder to find, but most can accept a standard 7-1/4” circular saw blade, with the caveat that most smaller blades are thinner than a stock splitter and can cause binding.

Full size saws tend to be about 27” deep, which adds space to the “landing zone” in front of the blade, and should accept aftermarket fences.

This is ups the budget, but the ad says “or best offer”. If the fence is included, this one should do just about anything you ask of it. http://cosprings.craigslist.org/tls/5066265498.html

This one is rough, but should clean up nicely if you’re willing to put in the elbow grease. http://cosprings.craigslist.org/tls/5067454311.html

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

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johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1636 days


#2 posted 06-22-2015 03:41 PM

I would pass on all those saws. The Timberline and Delta are both compact saws as a second saw for a specific purpose they might be something but it sounds like you are looking sor a general purpose saw. The crafstman looks like an OK saw but doesn’t have the table extensions or fence. Table extensions are no longer available for those saws. It would require and aftermarket fence. Actually if the factory fence came with it you would want to replace it.
There are better saw out there just keep looking.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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knotscott

7211 posts in 2839 days


#3 posted 06-22-2015 03:51 PM


I would pass on all those saws. The Timberline and Delta are both compact saws as a second saw for a specific purpose they might be something but it sounds like you are looking sor a general purpose saw. The crafstman looks like an OK saw but doesn t have the table extensions or fence. Table extensions are no longer available for those saws. It would require and aftermarket fence. Actually if the factory fence came with it you would want to replace it.
There are better saw out there just keep looking.

- johnstoneb

The Delta that’s linked is a full size contractor saw. The stock fence on that particular Cman is the equivalent of the Ridgid fence, which is pretty well respected.

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

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2193 posts in 944 days


#4 posted 06-22-2015 08:59 PM

+3 on passing by the compact saws. Too much plastic + low power + icky fences = ww’ing frustration.

You haven’t mentioned a budget, but I’m assuming since you’re looking at a $75 saw you’re budget is limited, right?

A good choice for entry level are the better quality 1 1/2HP contractor saws such as Delta. To get any kind of decent saw, even used, I think you need to be able to spend something like $300 +. The Delta in the post on CL is a good choice. Personally I would stay away from older Craftsman saws.

I would do some research by checking some reviews before I got started and decide on what kind of saw you need within your budget.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Richard's profile

Richard

1898 posts in 2153 days


#5 posted 06-22-2015 09:23 PM

*This one is rough, but should clean up nicely if you’re willing to put in the elbow grease. http://cosprings.craigslist.org/tls/5067454311.html*

I have a Rockwell almost the same as this one and the only real issue I have is the Blade Guard and Splitter didn’t come with it and I don’t seem to be able to find replacements for them. Also the stock fence is a bit of a Pain but I grew up using this basic saw and knew going in to it about that and also pretty much know how to deal with it by Measuring on both ends of the fence before locking it down and cutting. It takes a little extra time but the saw works just fine and I get great cuts with it.
Just clean up the top and insides and check for square and you should be good with this one. Or wait for something better.

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BurlyBob

3675 posts in 1729 days


#6 posted 06-22-2015 11:56 PM

check out govt auction sites. Many schools are getting rid of their cabinet table saws and buying Sawstop for the safety aspect. You can find really decent cabinet saw for a song.

View RobinDobbie's profile

RobinDobbie

133 posts in 1198 days


#7 posted 06-23-2015 01:12 AM

I think the craftsman knotscott linked to is a fine saw, if the fence is included. You’re not going to get a significantly better saw for less than $750. It is a 1.5HP saw, it does have a full 27” deep table, and the factory fence on those isn’t terrible. You’d probably have to get a 220 outlet put in for a saw with significantly more power. And, it’s very likely that the craftsman can be rewired to take advantage of 220 for faster recovery from bogging down.

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runswithscissors

2187 posts in 1488 days


#8 posted 06-23-2015 07:12 AM

“They don’t make them like this any more”? My response usually is “thank god.” Okay, some old iron is really great stuff, but a lot of cheap junk was made in olden times, because non-professionals couldm’t afford anything better.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View emart's profile

emart

422 posts in 2091 days


#9 posted 06-23-2015 08:17 AM

I would go for the craftsman because vintage craftsman are very common so parts are readily available. I would avoid just about any saw made between 1970-1990 because of how poor the manufacturing is on the home saws. You definitely want a standard sized table with extension wings. if the saw is 27 inches long you can easily find even modern extension wings to fit the table you just have to drill some more holes in the cast iron. Keep in mind that not all used/vintage saws use standard sized blades so make sure the arbor (the shaft that holds the blade) is 5/8” otherwise you would have to special order the blades. Nice thing about the old contractor saws is they use universal motor mounts so if the motor goes kaput it can be replaced easily. The downside is that the saws are open in the back so dust collection is difficult.

I would look for a saw that has as many accessories as possible. Be prepared to pay a bit more for a saw in decent shape I paid $125 for my craftsman but it was in very good shape for it’s age the only thing I replaced was the stand and the blade.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2193 posts in 944 days


#10 posted 06-23-2015 09:53 AM

I disagree with the poster that CM saw doesn’t look like it has have any wings.
Can’t get a much better saw for less than $750???

I know you’re getting conflicting info but you’re better off staying away from the older CM saws.
I agree with what runwithscissors said, especially because they didn’t design fences very well at all.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7211 posts in 2839 days


#11 posted 06-23-2015 02:07 PM

To clarify a point…..the Craftsman contractor saw in question is not one of the older Emerson made saws with the lame steel fence. It’s a 315.###### made between 1997 and roughly 2004, and had the early version of the fence that the Ridgid contractor saws offered. It was made in the same TTI factory as the Ridgid 3650/3660 contractor saws, and has pretty much the same guts. It may not be the greatest saw on earth, but it has all the makings of a very serviceable full size saw with a belt drive induction motor, and a decent fence….nice deal for the asking price IMO, if the fence is included.

It would be pretty similar to these:

Still with us Aleha?

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

View RobinDobbie's profile

RobinDobbie

133 posts in 1198 days


#12 posted 06-23-2015 04:42 PM



I disagree with the poster that CM saw doesn t look like it has have any wings.
Can t get a much better saw for less than $750???

I know you re getting conflicting info but you re better off staying away from the older CM saws.
I agree with what runwithscissors said, especially because they didn t design fences very well at all.

- rwe2156

It looks as if that craftsman is disassembled. If the OP can confirm all parts are there, it’s not that bad. How is it much worse than the Ridgid being sold right now? My personal opinion is that there’s not going to be anything better for less than the cost of this, which is $725 to your door.

View emart's profile

emart

422 posts in 2091 days


#13 posted 06-23-2015 06:50 PM



To clarify a point…..the Craftsman contractor saw in question is not one of the older Emerson made saws with the lame steel fence. It s a 315.###### made between 1997 and roughly 2004, and had the early version of the fence that the Ridgid contractor saws offered. It was made in the same TTI factory as the Ridgid 3650/3660 contractor saws, and has pretty much the same guts. It may not be the greatest saw on earth, but it has all the makings of a very serviceable full size saw with a belt drive induction motor, and a decent fence….nice deal for the asking price IMO, if the fence is included.

It would be pretty similar to these:

Still with us Aleha?

- knotscott


Okay yeah I would not touch that saw or any new craftsman machine for that matter. When buying used stationary machines i prefer to buy vintage if it is a home model since they tend to be made of thicker metal and much more robust machining. A good tablesaw from the 50s-60s will last you a lifetime if it is properly maintained. I have my machine’s “restoration” in my blog.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1833 days


#14 posted 06-23-2015 07:17 PM

The OP hasn’t said what they need the saw for. She has one post, and that’s the one that started this thread. I think we know whether she’s looking to make a fine furniture piece, or to replace some deck boards, before giving advice. My dad is pretty handy with his budget Ryobi 10” table saw, but he doesn’t do what we do here.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Aleha's profile

Aleha

2 posts in 534 days


#15 posted 06-23-2015 07:28 PM

I’m still here. Thank you for all of the advice and the input. We really appreciate it! It has been insightful. We are looking for the table saw for building cabinets and other various precise cuts. We are doing home renovations ourselves and this is the next tool on the list to help us with that.

We don’t have a set budget. I posted the original example because I could not find information on that brand or saw. Most of the others had fairly adequate reviews, mirroring mostly what y’all have said. We haven’t looked at any of them yet. We wanted to know what we should be looking for.

Thanks again!

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