Table saw woes

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Impulse posted 03-09-2010 08:45 AM 9370 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Impulse's profile


5 posts in 3180 days

03-09-2010 08:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw portable table saw table saw station contractor vs portable

I’m looking for some advise. This is my first post. Thank you all that welcomed me to Lumber Jocks. I have never received that kind of reception for joining a forum. That encouraged me to post.

I have a craftsman contractor saw model# 113.298240. I’m not happy with it for a number of reasons I would like to list. 1) The fence sucks. No matter how many times I align it, it always seems to be pinching the workpiece at the end of the feed. It only has a 24” capacity. When you get off the cast iron part of the table it is never parallel. 2) It vibrates pretty bad. 3) No dust collection to speak of. 4) There is a good chance the previous owner dropped it. There is a dent in the corner of the sheet metal and I can not align the motor pulley to the arbor pulley because the motor is twisted (not horribly but you can see it). 5) Seems to be built cheaply. When you adjust the bevel to 45 you can see the sheet metal flexing annoyingly where it connects to the adjustment handle. 6) It’s kind of a bear to move around the shop. 7) Stamped steal extensions are concave and workpieces stick to indents.

To fix these problems I would need: 1) New fence $150 Delta T2 2) Link belt and pulleys $100? 3) 4) 5) and 6) not fixable. 7) Shop built extensions $50. Total $300.

I know I’m going to get crucified for saying this but I want to get a portable table saw to replace it, like the the Bosch 4100 or the Craftsman 21829. I would make them more stable and accurate with a saw station and a better fence. This would fix a lot of the shortcomings mentioned previously. I would have potability (I have a small shop), dust collection, accurate fence and even though these saws are lighter weight they seem better built then my contractor saw in a lot of respects.

Will I be sacrificing too much? Can’t you get good cuts on a portable mounted to a saw station? When I look at my table saw I see a design that while functional is long over do for many changes. When I look at some of these portables they make sense to me. I guess I live in the age of aluminum and plastic.

Your advice is appreciated.

24 replies so far

View Rick S...'s profile

Rick S...

10790 posts in 3211 days

#1 posted 03-09-2010 10:45 AM

Hi Impulse:

I’m sort of in the same “Work Environment” as you are and am trying to keep everything as compact as possibble.

I researched ALL of the Table saws in the Portable Category “HARD”!! I even went to ALL of their www sites and downloaded all of the Manuals and Parts Lists. Saw as many as I could in the stores. I agree with Skarp about the Bosch 4100 it’s a good looking saw about $650 in Canada. The Ridgid 4510 at Apprx. $500 is good also but I’d still go for the Bosch in that category. Dewalt (2 Sizes)....I was NOT impressed with at all!

However..LOL.. I went even Smaller and bought the Ridgid 4516 at Home Depot for $369, ( One Month Ago) which Ridgid claims is now discontinued??? There seems to be lots of them around and I registered mine for their Lifetime Warranty. As you mentioned, even though it has wheels I set it up on a saw stand, (Metal Legs and I put a 3/4” Ply Base on them)

I have NO complaints with this saw other than the “Optional Outfeed Supports” don’t seem to be available anywhere, including Ridgid Parts. That’s not a problem, because I can use a portable Outfeed Support that I have. The Mitre Gauge (as always) was a tad sloppy which I remedied by “Dimpling” the sides of the slider rod. Right out of the box everything was True (Blade Set, Fence). Have to give it a little time though and see if everything stays where it’s suppose to.

On ALL Saws, I compared thing like Amps, RPM, Rip Capacity, Cut Depth at 90 Degrees, Mitre Trueness, Fence Trueness & My Pet Peeve …SAW DUST HANDLING!! The R4516’s blade is encased in a shroud that terminates out the back in a 2-1/2” Dust Port and SWOOSH….right into my 15 Year Old, 60 Litre, 165 CFM Craftsmen Shop Vac.

I might not do as heavy type of work that you do, but a Neighbour had 4 pieces of 1/2”, 4×8 G1S Fir Plywood that we ripped long ways for 2, 2×8 pieces. This saw has a 24” Right Rip Capacity when the Table is fully extended and the Fence is Spot On when locked down. Job done in 10 minutes. No strain at all for the motor with the “Stock Blade” on. I’m in the process of making a 45 degree Sled for it which will also help a lot.

Bottom Line: I’m VERY happy with this “Little Portable 10” Plastic ..LOL..Table Saw”.

Hope this helps with your decision Impulse.


-- It is not necessary for Some People to turn OFF the LIGHT to be IN the DARK! (Ontario, CANADA)

View ba_titan's profile


6 posts in 3332 days

#2 posted 03-09-2010 10:54 AM

Just FYI the Craftsman 218280 is the same saw as the Ridgid. I bought one last month (329.00) and also love it! Yes, it’s not a Unisaw but does what I expect from a small portable saw.

View studie's profile


618 posts in 3325 days

#3 posted 03-09-2010 11:28 AM

Yes the Bosch is a fine saw that I have used for many years but had to replace or rebuild 3 times now. It (they) has been used on job sites but mostly for smaller ripping, not much heavy stuff. If you want a portable it is a great saw. Remember to blow out the motor with compressed air weekly! The small bearing on the end of the motor gets hot & can melt the plastic case! This happened twice to me, they don’t tell you that in the book. You could find a less portable but more heavy duty saw used for about the same price tho, good luck & saw safe!

-- $tudie

View knotscott's profile


8141 posts in 3553 days

#4 posted 03-09-2010 02:18 PM

It sounds like your saw has more issues than are worth dealing with.

All of the better portables can make good cuts….with any saw, the end performance is largely dictated by good setup and blade selection.

There are always pros and cons to consider. Realistically, with any of the portables you give up the quiet torque of the belt drive induction motor and replace it with a loud universal direct drive motor….though the Cman 21829 uses a short belt with a universal motor. You also give up ~ 5” of operating space in front of the blade regardless of the rip capacity and outfeed extensions. The loss of mass can be compensated for with a mobile station for it. The materials of construction of a portable tend to make long term reliability considerably shorter with a portable too, and they’re often cost prohibitive to fix. Unless you need the portability, I do think you’ll be giving up several favorable characteristics with a portable vs a stationary saw. I also don’t think the value of what you get for what you spend is as good with the portables.

Food for thought on an alternative…any of these could also be put on a mobile TS station:

Grizzly currently has the older style Shop Fox W1725 contractor saw on sale for $425/$519 shipped (Grizzly item T21853). No riving knife, outboard motor, but has an excellent fence, belt drive 15 amp 1.5hp induction motor, and is left tilt.

Sears has the 21833 full size “contractor saw/hybrid” with an inboard belt drive induction motor for $550 (often on sale for $450).

Lowe’s has the Hitachi C10FL full size “contractor saw/hybrid” with an inboard belt drive induction motor for $600.

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

View Impulse's profile


5 posts in 3180 days

#5 posted 03-09-2010 10:45 PM

Thank you for the responses.
Rick I saw the saw that you have last year at home depot then gone! Neither of the home depots in my town carry it anymore. The only place I see it is on This is a bummer because after thinking about what Knotscott said about reliability I would want a ridgid saw for the lifetime warranty and I don’t want to waste my money on the one with the stand I wouldn’t use. I would never argue that a portable is as reliable as a contractor saw. I don’t like replacing tools for the money that is spent on them.

I think I will see if there is any way to get home depot to order it.

Is there anyone out there that can send or direct me to some pics of a good portable table saw station. The only one I’ve really seen is Norms on NYW.

Can someone comment on the belt drive on the craftsman 21829, this is why I am looking at this saw and it is the famous Ryobi bt3100. How much better is a belt on a universal motor? Will there be a big difference in 1) noise 2) smoothness 3) reliability?

View knotscott's profile


8141 posts in 3553 days

#6 posted 03-10-2010 12:12 AM

”....How much better is a belt on a universal motor? Will there be a big difference in 1) noise 2) smoothness 3) reliability?”

1) Noise – The belt doesn’t make a ton of difference in noise, but induction motors can barely be heard running by themselves…not true of a universal motor. The wind noise and cutting noise from the blade contribute a lot of the overall noise. Think cutting with a circular saw vs your TS.

2) The belt smooths out vibration a bit, but vibration isn’t usually a big issue for the better portables.

3) Tough call on reliability between the two types of motors…it depends on a lot of things. The belts can reduce motor burnout by slipping under heavy load vs transferring all of the load to the motor. Induction motors tend to have more torque and don’t work quite as hard, plus handle longer sessions without overheating as much, but both types can and do have motor failures…not sure of any actual failure rate numbers, but someone else might. There are exceptions galore, but in the event of a universal motor failure, it’s usually cost prohibitive to replace, whereas most induction motors are a reasonably priced off the shelf item.

The folks at might offer more insights on the virtues of the 21829 and BT3 format.

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

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3931 days

#7 posted 03-10-2010 12:28 AM

I had the Bosch 4000 before getting my jet cab saw. Great fence for a portable saw, and even ripped 12/4 maple with out a problem. Never had any issues with the motor or bearings, and I sold the saw on craigslist for about 350.00.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 3181 days

#8 posted 03-10-2010 12:42 AM

I almost pulled the trigger on a bosch, second choice would have been the ridgid contractor. Last was the Delta hybrid with free wheels and nice discount. whatever you choose just get the best blade you can afford.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3352 days

#9 posted 03-10-2010 12:55 AM

Love my 4100.

I upgraded the miter gauge to an Incra 1000SE. Great addition.

I also bought Bosch’s infeed and outfeed extensions. $$ well spent.

Today, my Forrest WWII blade arrived. I expect even better performance from that.

Rousseau, allegedly, makes great TS stands. Pretty sure they’re 4100 compatible.

Good luck!

-- -- Neil

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3246 days

#10 posted 03-10-2010 01:05 AM

I used one of those Craftsmans’ for almost 30 years, but it wasn’t very good until I did a major tear-down and rebuild on it. I got a Craftsman XR2424 fence, link belt, machined pulleys, decent blades, and built a nice stand that gave me storage as well as decent dust collection. That was 20 years ago, and I used it until last summer when I finally broke down and got a “real” saw. – lol

They can be pretty good, but not stock, out of the box. It takes some “tweaking” and somewhat frequent adjustment to keep them dialed in. Unless you’re really into trying to salvage “old iron” sit it at the curb with a “Free” sign and get a new saw. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3448 days

#11 posted 03-10-2010 01:06 AM

I have a Bosch 4100 I use for portability. I use it for cutting dimensional lumber (it is 5 or 6 years old – has seen alot of use and has given me no porblems)....I also have a cabinet table saw that I use for woodworking. If I were going to purchase another saw, I would look at the sawstop…they have a contractor type….and some great cabinet models (someday you might want to consider a cabinet). They are a bit more expensive then some other saws….but the quality is good and they have the skin sensor blade stop…which to me is a major selling point….I have used saws all my life…without the loss of a digit (knock on wood here)....but that extra amount of safety is worth every dime in my opinion. Either way you go though…the Bosch is a fine saw…it is just not as precise as a good cabinet saw – and the arbor is short so you cannot mount a very wide dado blade.

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

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3346 days

#12 posted 03-10-2010 02:14 PM

This is what I think of when I hear table saw work station but you are probably thinking of a smaller set up
saw station
These are pictures I saved of shop built table saw work benches.
saw and routing station
Just think if you could up grade the parts and get your old saw running right and build a bench around it. This is the direction I would go.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View Impulse's profile


5 posts in 3180 days

#13 posted 03-10-2010 03:42 PM

I was thinking something more like this, only nicer.

benchtop table saw station

Does anyone have a saw station like this?

View Bobby's profile


108 posts in 3230 days

#14 posted 03-10-2010 06:44 PM

I had a Bosch 4100 that I used for a lot of years… mainly to rip hardwood for steps. It worked like a champ… until I had the before mentioned bearing problem… and I had it bad. I gave up on it and decided to buy a new saw. However, for some reason unknown to me now, I kept the fold up stand that was made for this saw… it is very sturdy. It has been sitting in my basement for the past 6 years. If you (or anyone else) has the 4100 and want the exclusive stand for it, it’s yours… just pay the shipping from here (Montreal, Canada) to there. Interested? PM me.


View rance's profile


4264 posts in 3338 days

#15 posted 03-10-2010 07:09 PM


Well, a belated welcome aboard.

A little more information would help us to help you:
What country are you in, ie. is equipment availability an issue?
What do you build (small knick knacks vs cabinets & large furniture)?
What’s your price range?
What feature is the most important to you for your next saw, portability, price, accuracy, durability? And don’t pick them all. :)

Understand that fences are the weak point of most stock saws as they come out of the box. Most of the small $100-$200 ‘toy’ saws I’ve seen have the worst fence in the world. On a good fence, when you lock it down, if it is not parallel to the blade, then the clamping mechanism should correct that (like on a Biesemeyer or other good ‘T’ fence). One exception to the ‘Toy’ saw’s fences is the Dewalt. It has a rack in front & rear to aleviate that problem.

Nothing wrong with used or most refurbished tools. I bought a Dewalt portable 6mo ago on CL for $300. You can get them for less. That might be a good place to start if a small saw fits your needs. I use that one in a spare bedroom/shop. Think ‘heated space’. In my unheated shop I’ve used a Ridgid contractor’s saw with the herculift wheels. It is portable, has an ok fence, and has served me well for 5-7 years. I use a Saw Stop cabinet saw at my 2nd job one day a week and truely love it. It comes out of the box with a great fence and no tweeking. Of course the price reflects it. I bought a Ridgid R4511 granite top 2 months ago at the HD $299 deal. It is still in the box. I got it for the price, not for the holy grail ‘granite top’. I think the granite top is all hype. My buddy has a Grizzly with a Shop Fox ‘T’ fence and is very happy. He does a lot of NICE woodworking. I’ve used his and it works well.

You’ve been told about the Ryobi (bt3central). Search there for saw station designs. If you need portability, get one with built-in casters or a rolling base. For accuracy, I recently added an Incra 1000SE miter gauge. I love it. Someone mentioned “get the best blade you can afford”. Get the best SAW you can afford. You did that a long time ago, now do it again. Hope this helps. Give us some more information if you could.


-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics