table saw dilemma

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Forum topic by asmitty posted 02-02-2010 08:37 PM 2850 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View asmitty's profile


39 posts in 3236 days

02-02-2010 08:37 PM

alright so I’m new to posting on LJ, but I’ve been digging a lot into different forum discussions here and elsewhere. I have a dilemma that I keep going back and forth on…

background story: I’ve been doing woodworking as a hobby for about 7-8 years now. Up until now I’ve used my grandfathers old table saw. A Rockwell Super 10 table saw, what I would call a mighty giant. A benchtop table saw with the heart of a lion. Okay a little bit of an exageration, but it’s been well used by my grandfather and by myself the last few years. Just recently the motor to a dump. The motor is no longer made and the cost of repairing the motor is more than I’m willing to spend on the saw.

dilemma: I’ve been looking into table saw replacements, but as many of you know there are numerous options to choose from. Given the space I have in my shop (a 3rd garage bay) I am trying to find something that doesn’t take up too much space. This rooled out the gigantic 14” sliding table saws….shoot :-(. I had narrowed my options down to either a contractor saw, a hybrid table saw, or a cabinet saw with around a 36” rip capacity. I was leaning towards a hybrid saw because the price point was decent and the “foot print” of the saw was friendly to my shop space. Although, a cabinet saw for a little more money would give me more power and probably a better quality saw for a little more money. The contractor saw is a great price point, but the “foot print” isn’t ideal for my shop space.

I recently stumbled upon someone selling an older Jet Hybrid table saw, JWCS-10A. The previous owner had made some upgrades to the motor, the blade guard, and added a mobile base. The price he was selling it for seemed high. I did some digging and found old for sale adds listing the saw for about $600 less than he was asking for it. I am inclined to make an offer on it, but for that price I am second guessing myself.

the question: If I could get the used saw for say $700 am I better off than paying $300 more for a brand new 3hp Shopfox or Grizzly cabinet saw? Or would my money be better spent on the brand new saw? I don’t have $1500 to dump on a saw, so if I can stay at or below $1000 for a saw I think I will be set for a long time.

Any and all advice is welcomed. If you disagree with the my choices of saws, let me know if you can think of better options. I am always open to suggestions and would welcome more options to choose from.

Thanks in advance!

-- even a mosquito doesn't get a slap on the back until he starts to work...

14 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8147 posts in 3576 days

#1 posted 02-02-2010 08:50 PM

While a good hybrid is very capable of hobby work, there’s really no comparison in the robustness or power of an industrial style cabinet saw versus a hybrid saw. If you’ve got 220v, I doubt you’ll ever regret making the move to a cabinet saw. A cabinet saw will be easier to align, hold settings better, will struggle less cutting, is more stable, has better long term reliability, and better resale value. No comparison IMO.

typical hybrid trunnions:

typical cabinet saw trunnions:

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

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3862 days

#2 posted 02-02-2010 11:36 PM

I think Grizzley is still selling 1023 cabinet saws on clearence for ~$800

-- Ed

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3747 days

#3 posted 02-02-2010 11:55 PM

I would go with a newer saw if I was looking at a brand new cabinet saw for in the 800 range plus shipping as opposed to the hybrid used at 700. The small jump in increased price is going to be well worth it. We do not have a cabinet saw and run a small family run cabinet shop just fine, but we only gave 700 for both of our saws brand new, we have the ridgid 4511 and ridgid 3650 that serve our needs well. Actually the 4511 still needs set up. But if I were going to spend 700 on a used hybrid, I would go the extra 200 or so for the 3 hp much better built cabinet saw.

-- .

View weberthel's profile


3 posts in 3244 days

#4 posted 02-03-2010 12:00 AM

Just got back from Grizzly Muncy PA this last weekend. I live 3 hours from there and make the trip every 18 months or so. It’s like going to the HOLY LAND! This trip was very disappointing. They had almost no saws left and none available until March they told me. I wanted one too. I used to have a 3hp Griz that I liked alot but had to sell. I was looking to replace it.

I just ordered a Delta Hybrid I’m hoping will meet my expectations as a decent middle-ground saw.

-- Bill Berthel

View iamwelty's profile


259 posts in 3316 days

#5 posted 02-03-2010 12:53 AM

I’d lean really heavily on the Grizzly’s… good saw, good price, good service… should have a model that fits your space requirements and budget. I’d get the biggest saw that you can use…. think ahead for future needs… I’m sure you’ll be very happy

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View knotscott's profile


8147 posts in 3576 days

#6 posted 02-03-2010 01:23 AM

Check out the deals on Grizzly/Shop Fox cabinet saws....

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

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3791 days

#7 posted 02-03-2010 02:34 AM

Hi Knotscott for the pics.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3663 days

#8 posted 02-03-2010 02:43 AM

Dont forget you will have a warranty with a new saw. What do you get with a used saw? If you go used there are some good deals out there. just look it over really good and run it. If the seller wont allow you to use it, walk away.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View asmitty's profile


39 posts in 3236 days

#9 posted 02-06-2010 05:26 AM

okay, so i have an intriguing development in my table saw search. I have found a guy selling a 4 year old Shopfox W1711 5hp cabinet saw for $750. It comes with a Pro 50 Vega fence system with a table extension. Apparently the saw has been in storage for most of the past for years, and has not seen too much use. The reason for sale is he is closing up his small woodworking business and can’t hold on to it. I am still getting more information from the gentleman about the saw, but my question is whether or not to keep pursuing this deal. Is it really that great of a deal, or is it a deceiving offer? I guess I am mostly a skeptic until proven wrong, and I don’t want to make a poor investment here.

Any suggestions/advice?

-- even a mosquito doesn't get a slap on the back until he starts to work...

View knotscott's profile


8147 posts in 3576 days

#10 posted 02-06-2010 06:13 AM

That’s not a bad deal, and it sounds like a nice saw. It’d normally be a very nice deal, but Griz has been blowing out their inventory of saws that don’t have riving knives. They’ve got a new Shop Fox 3hp saw with the SF Original fence for $750, and a 5hp version for $795 (plus s/h on both).

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

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 3390 days

#11 posted 02-16-2010 06:24 PM

I’d go with a NEW (but then again I always go new) contractor saw and build a cabinet for it with added storage. I’d also integrate a router table onto the right side of the cabinet. I too use my garage as a shop so I definitely needed my saw to be mobile with added storage not found in a cabinet saw.

You’re basically dealing with the same issues I was not too long ago. I just built a cabinet and I’m nearly done with it (painting).

Good Luck

-- Ted

View mikedrums's profile


102 posts in 3236 days

#12 posted 02-16-2010 08:58 PM

There are some killer deals to be found on used cabinet or hybrid saws.

New, out-of-the-box tools (large shop power tools) are overrated in my opinion.
They are like a car, which I will never buy new. As soon as you take it off the lot, it loses 15-20% of its value. You can buy one with some miles on it for 1/2 to 2/3 what they cost new and there is no difference except some dirt and a few scratches.

I don’t see the warranty on a new tool as an issue, either, for a few reasons.
1. Most tool warranties cover the tool, not the owner.
B. With just about any tool in the price range we’re talking, the quality is high enough to render the warranty virtually moot. What’s going to go wrong on a power tool like this in 2-5 years? The motor? The switch? How many motors go bad that soon? And if they do, see point 1.
III. Most tools of this quality/price are very user-maintenance-friendly and have relatively cheap parts. Meaning, even if a part were to break or crack or whatever, after warranty, they are pretty easy and cheap to replace… certainly easier and cheaper than taking or shipping the saw to a service center.

A table saw in this price range is either a good saw or it’s not. It either has the qualities you look for in a good saw or it doesn’t. 2-5 (maybe even 10) years isn’t going to change that, even with “high milage.” If the thing hasn’t been abused or dropped off a truck, it’s going to operate like new… maybe with a little clean-up and set-up.

If you educate yourself on what to look for, you can weed out any problems very quickly. Like someone else wrote, you will want to turn the thing on and make some cuts. I would go a step further and say, you will want to make closer inspections.
—Take with you, a straightedge, combination square, a brush or canned air, goggles, flashlight, and a small set of wenches.
—Make some test cuts. Check the miter gauge slot for parallel travel to the blade. You can determine if it’s way off using just a combination square. A small variation can be adjusted in set-up with the trunnion mounts. A BIG variation could be evidence of a big problem/damage.
—Check the top for flatness and all the top’s corners/edges of for dents and cracks. Being dropped on an edge or corner is about the only thing that will warp a cast iron top. Regardless of how/why, and warped top is probably a deal breaker.
—If you can flip the top over, check the trunnions and all the mounts for cracks. Most saws of this size will have to be disassembled for transport, anyway. If the seller doesn’t want to disassemble for inspection, get up under the thing with a flashlight.
—Check the inside, underneath, and the motor for signs of rust. A little bit of surface rust hear and there on the metal parts is understandable. But if you see heavy rust on moving parts or on the motor, that means the saw may have sat for a loooong time in a damp environment like a storage shed. That may or may not be a big issue, but certainly a consideration.
—Check the operation of the fence. Looseness can be adjusted on most. Check for smooth travel east-west along the rails. Some paint drops or dried glue is often the culprit for impeded travel. Use your straightedge to check it along the length or the rail and the fence. Check the fence corners for big dents. Those things can be dropped, too.

In any case, I’ve already gone on too long. I honestly can’t see an argument being made for buying new over used. When you can save 4, 5, 6, 7 hundred dollars over the cost of new and have the same saw… it’s pretty obvious. Unless you’re the guy who has money to burn and insists on having that new-car-smell, used is the way to go.

View Kevin's profile


466 posts in 3406 days

#13 posted 02-16-2010 09:44 PM

I too took knotscott’s advice when looking for a TS. I decided to go with the Grizzly 1020SL, but when I bought the TS it was 1075.00 A few months later it was down to 800-900 because they were clearing out inventory for new TS with riving knifes. Before I bought the TS I emailed grizzly and asked them if they had the 1020SL in stock. Within 1 hour I received an email letting me know they had it in stock and how to order it.

As long as everything is in good shape with the TS you’re looking at is a sweet deal. If that doesn’t work out then Grizzly does have some good TS’s.

-- Williamsburg, KY

View asmitty's profile


39 posts in 3236 days

#14 posted 02-17-2010 04:33 AM

thanks everybody for the great advice. after deliberating a long time about all the variables and tidbits of info I have been searching craigslist and I found a killer deal on a saw. I will be traveling this weekend to go pick it up. Super excited to bring the saw to it’s new home.

-- even a mosquito doesn't get a slap on the back until he starts to work...

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