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Table saw buying guide?

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Forum topic by Vrtigo1 posted 03-18-2010 05:19 PM 3931 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Vrtigo1

432 posts in 1709 days


03-18-2010 05:19 PM

Hi All,

First post here, been reading the forums for a few days and decided to join. I’m looking for some help with buying a table saw. I’ve read over some of the reviews and other posts, but I was wondering if someone can point me in the direction of a good buying guide?

I’m not sure exactly what I need. I’m a novice woodworker, but I want a saw that I can use to try my hand at making some cabinets now and maybe some furniture down the road. I don’t have a shop – this will go in my garage. I don’t have 220v, but installing it wouldn’t be a problem. I’m looking for a decent saw that will last me at least 5-10 years. My budget is about $700 but I’m hoping I can find a used saw in the $400-500 range so I can use the remainder to buy a good blade and a dado set.

I think I want either a hybrid or cabinet saw. I read a review of a Ridgid R4511 and went to HD to try and find one, but it looks like my local Lowe’s and HD only carry portable saws these days.

I’ve been watching craigslist, but was hoping to get some more info before I start going out and looking at saws. What questions should I be asking, and what’s the best way to determine the features I’ll need?

Thanks!


22 replies so far

View Chuck Shellem's profile

Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 1711 days


#1 posted 03-18-2010 06:21 PM

Hi,

I found some good information on ConsumerSearch.com. They have collections of reviews from various sites, some comparisons and “what to look for” info.

http://www.consumersearch.com/table-saw-reviews

Also ToolCritic.com has some good info and tons of user reviews about tons of saw and other tools. (Maybe too many, you might want to look at these once you have narrowed your choices down.)

http://www.toolcritic.com/table-saws.html

Good luck.

-- -- Chuck S.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5553 posts in 2093 days


#2 posted 03-18-2010 06:26 PM

It sounds like you’re definitely on the right track with a hybrid or cabinet saw, and your intent to buy a good blade and a dado set. Most full size brand name saws with belt drive induction motors have a good chance of being very serviceable once setup properly and equipped with a good blade. A good fence is important too, and I do think the hybrids and cabinet saws have some inherent advantages in their basic design. A good used saw is often where the most for the least will be, but sale prices on new saws can be really attractive too. I think your price point is realistic with enough time, especially given the possibility of adding 220v if needed.

I can’t point you to a good buying guide, but I will warn against putting too much emphasis on any published guides or comparisons because most really boil down to someone’s opinion, and what’s important to them may or may not match your preferences. Reviews are useful and interesting..just keep them in perspective. Get out and see as many saws as you can, and get a feel for what you like best…type of fence, wing material, how it feels, type of the throat inserts, hand wheels, etc.

I also don’t know of any current “killer deals”, but patience will pay off. Please keep us posted.

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

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Vrtigo1

432 posts in 1709 days


#3 posted 03-18-2010 09:32 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve found a few Unisaws on Craigslist for around $850…but I’m trying to be patient and wait for something in my price range to come along.

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knotscott

5553 posts in 2093 days


#4 posted 03-18-2010 09:52 PM

If one of those Uni’s is a keeper, it never hurts to make an honest offer. Most won’t be offended if $700 is what you’ve got to spend.

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

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Vrtigo1

432 posts in 1709 days


#5 posted 03-18-2010 10:12 PM

That’s true. I’m also not sure if I want to commit a good portion of my garage to a Uni. I kind of like the idea of being able to roll a contractor saw out of the way when not using it.

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knotscott

5553 posts in 2093 days


#6 posted 03-18-2010 10:54 PM

A Uni will roll too, and with a stock 30” fence actually has a smaller footprint than a contractor saw.

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

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Vrtigo1

432 posts in 1709 days


#7 posted 03-18-2010 11:16 PM

That’s good to know, I assumed they were designed to be stationary. The two that I was looking at have 52” fences and extender tables, but as long as those are relatively easy to remove, I guess they’d be fine.

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Vrtigo1

432 posts in 1709 days


#8 posted 03-18-2010 11:43 PM

Well, I called one of the guys from CL and asked some questions about his saw. He said he wasn’t sure of the model number (couldn’t find it anywhere on the saw). He said it’s a 220v saw, right-tilt, cast iron top, has a “besser” fence (any good?) and he added a router plate to the extension table.

Here’s a pic from the ad:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/2221/unisawtablesaw005.jpg

EDIT: Higher-res pic linked

Any idea as to what model this saw is or if his $850 asking price is appropriate?

View Routerisstillmyname's profile

Routerisstillmyname

713 posts in 2227 days


#9 posted 03-18-2010 11:55 PM

Be careful with so called hybrid. Too many manufacturers claim hybrid just because the motor in enclosed which is bunch of BS.
A true hybrid will have cabinet saw type trunnions. Ridgid R4511 which is discontinued is a true hybrid. I think sears also has a true hybrid.
Majority feel that Left tilt is safer saw if you’re doing angle- bevel cuts but it’s matter of preference.

-- Router รจ ancora il mio nome.

View BreakingBoardom's profile

BreakingBoardom

615 posts in 1799 days


#10 posted 03-19-2010 12:00 AM

Where in Florida do you live if you don’t mind? It may help in finding you options. Do you live near a major city?

-- Matt - http://breakingboardom.wordpress.com/

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Vrtigo1

432 posts in 1709 days


#11 posted 03-19-2010 12:02 AM

Hi Matt, I live in Daytona Beach which is about an hour south of Jacksonville and an hour Northeast or Orlando.

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BreakingBoardom

615 posts in 1799 days


#12 posted 03-19-2010 12:32 AM

There’s a few options in the Orlando area within your price range which seems to be where you found the Delta saw. There’s also waht appears to be a Ridgid TS3650 or TS3660 for $400 which is a great saw as well. And it says it’s never been used. It may not be a hybrid, but I have a TS3650 and love it. It’s got pretty good power and is mobile. Got good reviews on here too by lots of LJ’s. Also there is a Shop Fox W1725 for $400. Don’t know much about this one, but may be worth looking into. Hope some of this helps.

-- Matt - http://breakingboardom.wordpress.com/

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BreakingBoardom

615 posts in 1799 days


#13 posted 03-19-2010 12:34 AM

Oh, and there’s a Crafstman Model 152.221140 saw too for $500. Looks to be in pretty good shape.

-- Matt - http://breakingboardom.wordpress.com/

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knotscott

5553 posts in 2093 days


#14 posted 03-19-2010 02:08 AM

The Uni with Biesemeyer fence is a very nice full industrial cabinet saw….the last saw you’ll ever need….parts still available. No riving knife but it’s a heck of a saw. See what’s under the hood of a Uni

Craftsman model 152.2211400 equals the more commonly known 22114 “zipcode” hybrid saw…predecessor to the Ridgid R4511 by Steel City’s Orion division. Cabinet mounted trunnions, no riving knife, 1-1/2hp, cast iron wings, 3/4” enclosure, aluminum fence, serpentine belt drive. Similar to the 22124 but has a lesser fence. $500 seems a little steep for used unless it’s mint and includes some goodies.



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

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Vrtigo1

432 posts in 1709 days


#15 posted 03-19-2010 05:44 AM

Thanks guys! I contacted the guy with the Ridgid TS3650 thinking it was a R4511, but haven’t been able to get him to return my calls. I saw the Craftsman saw as well, but I also thought $500 was somewhat pricey considering I could buy it brand new for slightly more, and the ad said the price is non-negotiable.

As much as I’d rather not spend that much right now, I think the best option is the Uni at $850. I just don’t want to end up in a situation where I buy something because of a good price, and then end up not being happy with it and back in the same boat I’m in now in 6 months.

Couple question …as I mentioned, the guy said it had a “Besser” fence (he spelled it for me, so I could be sure I was hearing him correctly). I’ve compared the fence in the picture he sent to pictures of Biesemeyer fences on Google and as far as I can tell they look identical. Other than that, judging by the picture and assuming it’s in good working condition is the price right at $850?

Any good plans for outfeed tables here on LJ? Am I going to have problems with no dust collection system, or can I get by with a shopvac?

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