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Looking for recomendations on a $300 entry level table saw

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Forum topic by ssbothwell posted 12-08-2009 10:01 PM 9792 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ssbothwell

13 posts in 2553 days


12-08-2009 10:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw joining

Hi,
I’m starting to get into some minor woodworking. Just basic joinery. I want to start building my own custom stretcher bars and frames for paintings. I would like a table saw that can make good crosscuts. I would like to be able to make bridal joints, half laps, and mitered half laps. Ripping is important but I don’t think I would be dealing with huge planks of wood. Mostly just splitting 1×4s and 1×6s into smaller sizes.

I’m having a hard time finding a good saw in my price range. I went to home depot and was pretty dissapointed. The Ryobis looked like they were gonna fall a part. Anything that looked like it would cut square was over $400.

Now I’m looking around on craigslist and amazon.com. Heres the saws I have been considering:

DELTA 36-545
http://www.amazon.com/DELTA-36-545-10-Inch-Bench-Stand/dp/B000022355
Theres a used one on amazon for $125 plus $31 shipping

JET 708315BTC JBTS-10BT-3
http://www.amazon.com/JET-708315BTC-JBTS-10BT-3-Benchtop-Table/dp/B000CFH3A8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1260302187&sr=1-1

I really hate to make a purchase online. I haven’t seen either of these tools in person so I have no feel for how they were built. Does anyone have experience with these? Are there are other saws in this price range I should consider? I’ve been looking on craigslist but all the good deals are sold before I get to them. Any tips for other places to shop for used tools?


20 replies so far

View beatlefan's profile

beatlefan

56 posts in 2560 days


#1 posted 12-08-2009 10:22 PM

I was in the same situation as you a while back-bought a Craftsman cheapie-I am thinking around 190 bucks-sold it at a yard sale for 75 bucks after 3 years—I think most folks here will tell you to wait until you can afford a good table saw-If you are planning to do any kind of miters-these little saws are really not all that great-a friend told me to start in the 400+ range and move up from there—good luck to you—

-- Tony --

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3559 days


#2 posted 12-08-2009 10:30 PM

I would be patient and keep your eye open on Craigslist. I would also recommend saving a bit more. If you do some searching on the site there are quite a few posts on this topic.

Sounds like you should also ensure your saw will take a dado set. That may be an issue with some of the cheap table saws.

Another option might be a used radial arm saw…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3111 days


#3 posted 12-08-2009 10:35 PM

say NO to entry level saws… they are NOT entry levels… they are frustration in disguide.

as mentioned – save your money and buy a better saw, keep your eye on craigslist for an older delta cast iron saw, or similar, or for a little more ($450-500) you could get something new like the Ridgid 4511.

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17664 posts in 3138 days


#4 posted 12-08-2009 10:36 PM

I would watch Craigslist. I’m perfectly happy with my old Craftsman contractor model. It is true, vibration free and parrallel to the miter slots, I just have to measure the fence very carefully on critical cuts.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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SEE

119 posts in 2629 days


#5 posted 12-08-2009 10:40 PM

If you have the space for it I’d recommend at least a decent contractor’s style saw. I’m not sure about your area, but around these parts there are lots of them on CL now near your price range.

Advantages: you can make a simple cross cut sled to get perfectly accurate 90 degree cuts. They will accept dados, as someone mentioned. The overall performance will be much better than a bench top saw.

For 200-300 bucks you should be able to find a very nice used contractor saw that will serve your needs, and them some, very well.

I have one of those cheapie bench top saws for job site work. About all it’s good for is ripping up sheet goods and doing “rough work”.

-- Build for the joy of it!

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ssbothwell

13 posts in 2553 days


#6 posted 12-08-2009 11:26 PM

Thanks for the info. One problem for is me is that I have very limited space. I only have a bout an 6’ square are of my garage available. I was hoping get a portable so that I could roll it out into my backyard when in use.

Although if I got an amazing deal on a contractor saw I could try to make room for it. :)
What do you guys think of the craftsman model 100?
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/tls/1500411861.html

View Jesse's profile

Jesse

66 posts in 2681 days


#7 posted 12-08-2009 11:36 PM

While that saw may work fine, the price is not realistic at all. Like others have said, keep watching craigslist. Properly setup and adjusted (with a good table) a radial arm saw is another option. These are reaily available on craigslist and usually quite cheap, just look for a DeWalt or Delta/Rockwell.

-- Jesse, Hopewell Jct., NY

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TopamaxSurvivor

17664 posts in 3138 days


#8 posted 12-08-2009 11:46 PM

That saw must be form the 50 or early 60s. I’d be offering 100 or so after it doesn’t sell near the end of the listing. Still better than a Ryobi table top!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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SNSpencer

133 posts in 2575 days


#9 posted 12-08-2009 11:53 PM

I too have a space issue in my shop but I opted for a contractors saw, Delta. (Full cast iron top with two iron wings) I just wheel it out into the driveway if I will be doing longer cuts without issue using a standard 4 wheel furniture dolly. I also mounted my router between the rails on one side. Saved me the space of having a seperate router table. I started with a tabletop, home depot type cheapie. It worked but I wish I would have just started with the contractors saw.

-- Jef Spencer - Refined Pallet - http://www.etsy.com/shop/RefinedPallet

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rickf16

387 posts in 3043 days


#10 posted 12-08-2009 11:54 PM

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dbhost

5604 posts in 2694 days


#11 posted 12-08-2009 11:56 PM

In disagreement with some folks here, the Ryobi saws aren’t that bad, at least certain models. Some of them however are pure junk, as are the Delta and Jet models you showed…

IF you can find one used, a Ryobi BTS-20 is a nice saw. Good strong motor, decent fence, folding stand so it doesn’t take up much room, built in dust port… You can build a router insert to go into the open space when the table is extended as well…

6’ square really isn’t much area for a workshop though. Depending on what you want to do / build, you may be better off with a circular saw, cutting guide setup, and a good router and bit selection…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3559 days


#12 posted 12-08-2009 11:56 PM

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3559 days


#13 posted 12-09-2009 12:28 AM

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knotscott

7210 posts in 2838 days


#14 posted 12-09-2009 01:40 AM

I didn’t read thru all the replies, so sorry if this is a duplicate. You might consider spending just a bit more if you can find a deal on the Ridgid R4511 top hybrid. It was launched as good value at $600, but is being clearanced at $499, and even $399 at some stores. You may even locate a 10% coupon, and/or the Friends & Family rebate could drop the price some….maybe even get close to budget. Call around at a few HDs. That’s considerably more saw than anything intended to sell at $300. With proper setup and a good blade, it should do very nicely for you. It’s also eligible for their lifetime service agreement.

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

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12642 posts in 3559 days


#15 posted 12-09-2009 01:44 AM

I think Home Depot still has the 10% Military Discount running if that applies to anyone.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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