Beginner's table saw recommendation

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Forum topic by Millo posted 02-17-2010 05:47 PM 14494 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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543 posts in 3051 days

02-17-2010 05:47 PM

Does anyone have a recommendation for a beginner’s table saw?

Is a used Delta 36-650 in good condition at $200 a decent investment? I will not buy anything w/o a manual, though.

I was thinking I will wait a bit longer to buy one, as I’m new at this, and have had waaaaayyyyy less time to experiment with making sawdust than I previously anticipated. However, I might jump on this if you think it’s a decent investment.

Do you have any recommendations for decently accurate table saws on a budget?

Problem is: storage space!!! I barely have space in the garage with the two cars in there, and I actually DO want to keep the cars in the garage overnight. I think there is about a 32” area of floor space in the slightly higher-level space on the front wall, where the saw would be stored.

This would be my first one.


37 replies so far

View Blair Helgason's profile

Blair Helgason

169 posts in 3415 days

#1 posted 02-17-2010 06:10 PM

You might want to consider a good quality bench top saw if space is such an issue. I hear they’re getting pretty good now. I don’t have any experience with them but I think the dewalts are supposed to be good. I have a Ridgid TS3650 that I got one sale at Home Depot for $499. I really like it. Hope that helps, good luck with the search.

-- Blair

View knotscott's profile


8018 posts in 3376 days

#2 posted 02-17-2010 06:36 PM

The 36-650 is a full size basic cast iron contractor saw with the tradtional 1.5hp belt drive induction motor hanging off the back. It’s essentially a Delta predecessor to the current 36-980. It has steel wings and a functional aluminum Delta t-square fence. That’s a very serviceable saw, and is similar to what many of us use or have used for many years before hybrids and affordable cabinet saws were widely available. IIRC they sold new in the $500-$600 range. $200 is a pretty nice buy if it’s in good condition….not much financial risk there. Good alignment and good blade selection are the key factors that dictate the end performance. A full size contractor saw will take up a little more space than a hybrid saw, but the table saw and motor power will offer much better function than any benchtop I can think of. You can maximize the space by adding a router table and/or a mobile base/storage cabinet under it.

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

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3051 days

#3 posted 02-17-2010 06:57 PM

I will be in contact with the seller ad ask about alignment, etc. If the dimensions he sent me are correct, then it means I actually can store it, stationed width-wise, on the raised front-wall garage space (you know, the step leading up to the garage/house door).

Any more caveats? Thanks a million for your replies, guys!

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3175 days

#4 posted 02-17-2010 07:06 PM

By the by ….

I have, and might recommend that you evaluate, the Bosch 4100.

I just noticed that Costco sells it … with its stand … pretty reasonably.

-- -- Neil

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3051 days

#5 posted 02-17-2010 09:19 PM

Neil: that looks great, I looked it up on and couldn’t find it, to see their price. I’m REALLY trying to control the spending, though—to be quite honest. Thanks.

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3051 days

#6 posted 02-17-2010 09:34 PM

If you are storing it on the ledge at the front of the garage, also think about where you’re going to use it in the garage. Are you going to have to get it off the lip, more towards the center of the garage to run wood through it? Sounds like it’ll be stored against a wall, which is fine, but you won’t be able to push wood through it there. Contractor’s saws (such as the Delta above) weigh several hundred pounds, so take that into consideration.

I just went through purchasing my first table saw as well. I picked up a used PM64a off Craigslist for a good price.

Originally, I was looking for something a bit more compact and portable. If I would’ve gone that route, I would’ve gone with the Bosch 4100 like Neil recommended above. I did a fair amount of research, and that seemed to be the best portable TS out there, with the Rigid also being a good choice.

Neil, is it your local Costco selling it? I don’t see it on the website?

Millo, not sure how familiar you are with TS operations, but you really want to spend some time setting the thing up correctly in order to be able to use it safely. If you don’t set it up correctly, kickback can more easily happen. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of a board flying at me at 110-MPH!

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the setup and safe use of the saw before you using it. It only takes once for a mishap.

Good luck with your acquisition and welcome to LJ!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3175 days

#7 posted 02-17-2010 09:38 PM

Millo: I checked the website, too and didn’t see it, but DID see it in the store SE of Denver, so ….

Note that it’s a chunk cheaper without the stand. I bought it without and paid just over $400.

Just a thought…..

Jonathan: it was your local Costco (Parker) that was selling it. I saw it this past Saturday … in stock.

We po’ folk, in Fort Collins … apparently don’t deserve a Costco of our own ;-)

-- -- Neil

View knotscott's profile


8018 posts in 3376 days

#8 posted 02-17-2010 09:44 PM

Neil – I’ve been to Fort Collins….you “po’ folk” live pretty well out there!

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

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3051 days

#9 posted 02-17-2010 10:26 PM

Jonathan: THANKS for the heads-up on the weight—b/c of my ignorance I thought 70lbs or so. Oops. OK, I’ll take into heavy consideration…

View deeznutz's profile


33 posts in 3021 days

#10 posted 02-17-2010 10:50 PM

If size and weight are not too much of a consideration for you, keep an eye out for a used Ridged TS3650. I bought one used about a year ago (also my first table saw) on craigslist for $200 with a decent Freud blade and a Freud dado blade set. The manual is very good to have around but I’m sure Ridgid can send you one you find for a good deal happens to not come with one. It’s heavy at around 275lb or so fully assembled but it’s very easy to take apart (both cast iron wings and the motor come off with a total of about 10 bolts) for transportation, etc.

Once you get it tuned up and properly aligned, which you’ll probably have to do with any saw you buy, you’ll be very happy with it’s performance i think. Save some money for a good after market miter gauge and you’ll be set for some time.

View dbhost's profile


5712 posts in 3233 days

#11 posted 02-17-2010 10:51 PM

If you can find one used, or on sale, the Craftsman 21829 is virtually the same saw as my Ryobi BT3100, but fitted onto a jobsite, folding stand. This saw can be folded up and rolled against a wall when not used, has a reputation for accuracy, and works great in a hobby shop. There are very active sites / forums dedicated to the BT3×00 and its Craftsman cousins with a treasure trove of ideas, advice, and plans for jigs, and improvements etc…

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View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3051 days

#12 posted 02-17-2010 11:02 PM

Wow, guys thanks for the help. 275lbs is a bit much for e but will consider it—especially if disassembling is easy.

dbhost: thanks for the heads-up on the Craftsman, as I have read they’re usually not very accurate—this is what I’m looking for, one of those affordable-yet-well-made products.

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3051 days

#13 posted 02-17-2010 11:09 PM

Just checked the weight of the Delta: 234 lbs. Ouch, my back.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3271 days

#14 posted 02-17-2010 11:23 PM

I have the Bosch 4100 I used for a jobsite tablesaw. It is light and has a nice gravity lowering utility cart. This Bosch works pretty nice and can be adjusted to cut pretty accurately. The only problem here is that arbor is not long enough to use much of a dado stack. If you plan on making alot of dado’s you might want to look into a saw with a longer arbor. Contractor saws typically have short ones. I am not sure on the Hybrids though. I think if I was in the market for a Contractors or Hybrid, I would still take a serious look at the Saw Stop. The price is not the best….but saving a finger or other appendage is worth the extra price in my book.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3057 days

#15 posted 02-18-2010 04:15 AM

Hi Millo,
I think you would get much more saw for the money if you bought a used saw. They are readily available. In my area I saw 10 different saws on CL from $75-$250.

-- Glen

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