LJ Newbie needing Table Saw purchasing advice

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Forum topic by ORSuthnr posted 05-01-2016 09:29 PM 569 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 902 days

05-01-2016 09:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw unisaw grizzly tablesaw small shop

I have a small workshop (200 sq. ft. – 16 X 12) and need a good table saw to fit in the area available. I have 2 220 volt circuits wired in. The floor is 2X6 joist on 16” centers hung on doubled 2X10 beams so saw weight should not be a problem. I am a big guy so I do not expect that moving a saw on a mobile base to be an issue. I am finishing the inside of the shop now and working slow on a pay as I go schedule. I have a picture of my shop in my profile.

I love fixing up old tools, so a refurb of a great old saw could be a fun project. However, space is limiting so I’m thinking a smaller hybrid or good contractor type saw could work. I have been watchinig CL in the Portland, OR area for months now and routinely see intriguing saws pop up now and again. Currently there is an older Grizzly (model unk.), a Rigid 4512 and a 3650, an old Woodtek, a Jet contractor saw now and then as well as the typical mixed bag of Craftsman and Delta saws listed. Back around the new year, there were even 4 or 5 Unisaws that were listed.

My projects tend to be simpler and less technical, but as I have more time now, I hope to refine my skills and do more. Therefore, a higher quality saw is my goal and I am not in a hurry to settle.

I know this should generate a lot of thoughts and advice. I welcome it all.

-- Ed, Salem, OR

2 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8129 posts in 3521 days

#1 posted 05-01-2016 09:41 PM

An older style contractor saw with the motor hanging out the back actually takes up an extra 12” or 13” of floor space compared to a hybrid, hybrid style contractor saw, or industrial cabinet saw, which all take up close to the same space. It isn’t until you get into the extended rail fences that the required floor space increases. An industrial cabinet saw is by far the most substantial of those saws. Since you’ve got 220v available there’s no harm and seeing if you can wrangle up a good deal on an old Uni, PM66 or other.

Of the saws you mentioned, I like the 3650. The Jet, Delta, Craftsman, or Grizzly could also be really good saws depending on the specific model number and the fence.

This older Grizzly in Vancouver looks to be a G1023….likely 3hp. That fence isn’t great, but the bones of the saw are a decent copy of a Unisaw. I’d seriously consider getting it, and mating to the Biese fence from this old Cman flexdrive. You can sell the wings, miter gauge, handwheels, switch, motor and flex drive, etc to offset the cost. You’d have yourself a very stout saw with a great fence for around $500.

Here’s an old Uni that you could add the same Biese fence to. Just be sure these old cabinet saws have single phase power.

...and another –

Here’s a Jet contractor saw with cast wings, router table, mobile base, and a nice Xacta fence for $425. It’s not as beefy as the cabinet saws but is a nice saw that looks ready to go as is.

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

View jonah's profile


1841 posts in 3444 days

#2 posted 05-02-2016 02:20 PM

What he said ^^^

I have a Ridgid 3650. It’s a solid saw, but the motor hanging off the back is a pain.

With cabinet or hybrid saws, however, you get more power, better dust collection, cast iron wings, and a smaller footprint.

I wouldn’t get near a contractor saw unless price is an issue, since you can find Craftsman/Ridgid/Delta contractor saws for as little as a couple hundred bucks. If you can swing $400-$500, get a used cabinet or hybrid saw.

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