Table saw Purchase...Help!

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Forum topic by blyther posted 03-16-2010 06:23 AM 2471 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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66 posts in 3344 days

03-16-2010 06:23 AM

I need to upgrade from my 26 year old Craftman contractors saw.
Here’s my delema: I have about $500 to spend could stretch it to $600 max. I have opportunities (on Craigs List) locally for two saws. The first being a 3 year old delta contractor’s saw with out feed roller table for $350. The second is a 1992 Delta Unisaw with 1 1/2 motor and stand and table extension 110 or 220 single phase. This Unisaw is going for $600.
I’ll be honest with you I have not seen either, but plan to.
My question (as a newbee in woodworking) What do I look for in these saws? and could the 1992 cabinet Unisaw be worth almost twice that of a 3 year old Delta contractors saw?
Any help would be appreciated…Thanks

-- Paul, Winterset Iowa,

8 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8172 posts in 3610 days

#1 posted 03-16-2010 08:39 AM

Even though it’s got a smaller motor than some, the Uni’s got better bones that just about anything else you’re likely to find in the $600 range. However, the fence and overall condition weigh in heavily on the overall value. If it’s got a nice Biese or a Unifence, and is good shape, I’d grab it….see if it includes a mobile base, blades, insert, etc., and haggle from there. If it needs much else, you’re beyond budget.

The same applies for the 3 YO contractor saw too…good fence, good condition, cast iron wings, mobile base, blade can make it well worth $350….if has the cheaper aluminum fence and steel wings, it’s worth closer to $200-$250 IMO. If it’s truly 3 years old, it’s probably a 36-675/36-679/36-680/36-682 era saw and will have a T2, Biese, or Unifence depending on actual model #. If it’s a 36-650, it’ll have older style aluminum Delta T-fence and is more than 3 YO, and probably not worth the asking price unless it’s like new.

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

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3715 days

#2 posted 03-16-2010 03:11 PM

I vote for the Unisaw too.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Branum's profile


54 posts in 3402 days

#3 posted 03-16-2010 09:48 PM

I would have to vote for the Unisaw too. Have you ever heard of Its an online auction site. You may be able to find a good saw there. I just saw this video about a saw that has been around for a while. I always new what it could do but since I have seen it with my own eyes I am a true believer.

Good luck on your search!!

-- Branum

View blyther's profile


66 posts in 3344 days

#4 posted 03-16-2010 09:52 PM

Thanks guys for your all of your advice. I had another call wanting to sell his 20 yr old unisaw with a biese fence. I told him my $500.00 price point and he said thats in the ball park and to come over to see it. Will check out both Unisaws. Oh, the first saw had a unifence with it. Are Biese supose to be the better of the 2?
Thanks again for your assistance!

-- Paul, Winterset Iowa,

View knotscott's profile


8172 posts in 3610 days

#5 posted 03-16-2010 10:03 PM

The Biese tends to be more popular and usually gets a premium, but both are highly regarded…really a matter of preference….

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

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3402 days

#6 posted 03-16-2010 10:33 PM

Biesemeyer fences are very popular and very accurate a lot of saws come with a Biesemeyer fence designs or a copies. The only problem is the originators always demand more money. Here is a link to Delta / Biesemeyer where there is some cool info on Biesemeyer history scroll down the writing is at the bottom I bought a table saw and added an aftermarket fence to it (Incra at This is not cheap but its an option if you found a saw that you could afford w/fence too. What is wrong with you old craftsmen? What if you put a new fence on it. A new fence could transform any machine. You could even add a biese to it. There’s tons of posts on upgrading table saws and buying saws here too. I hope this is helpful.

-- 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 blyther's profile


66 posts in 3344 days

#7 posted 03-16-2010 11:58 PM

Thanks knotscott and 559dustdesigns for both the info and suggestion. My old craftsmen struggles with the 1 hp and is very light weight (vibrates like a …) and your right the fence is terrible. I will check out the upgrading table saws posts. Thanks again!

-- Paul, Winterset Iowa,

View dmoney's profile


191 posts in 3314 days

#8 posted 03-17-2010 05:48 PM

really I think you’ll be happy with either after being used to the old craftsman. biese is considered better from what I’ve read but it’s probably gonna be easier to stay in your budget w/ a unifence. (i have a delta contractors saw w/ unifence bought it used for $250)

-- Derek, Iowa

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