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Forum topic by Woodcanuck posted 04-12-2010 06:15 PM 1458 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Woodcanuck's profile


128 posts in 2994 days

04-12-2010 06:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw purchase

Is it wrong that I should be secretly happy that my 15 year old Skil benchtop table saw finally bought the farm? With its plastic casing, whiny motor, floppy fence, non-standard miter slots, non-standard blade inserts, too-short arbor, bouncy aluminum table/extensions…..I’ll stop.

It was a good saw to get me started…it has cut through a ton of wood, but ripping a pile of 6/4 hard maple seems to have been too much. The coupling for the motor to the arbor has burned out. I know…I could probably find some replacement part somewhere….but I expect to mill more thick hardwood in the future and enjoy buying tools much more than taking them apart and trying to repair them.

I’m now trying to figure out what to get.

I don’t have capacity for a big cabinet saw, need more than your $150 benchtop saw….which seems to land me somewhere in the land of contractor/hybrid saws.

I’ve looked at a few…and while I’d love to get the Sawstop contractor saw…it’s a bit out of the budget.

I pretty much have to keep it under $1000.
I would prefer a cast iron table, but could be convinced to go granite (despite the recently cracked Ridgid one on the forums).
I want a good fence (Beisemeyer style would be nice)
I don’t care about portability….it’s not going anywhere.
Must be available in Canada. (I just read about a nice Craftsman one on the forum…don’t seem to be able to get it here)

So far I’ve looked at and am considering:
- The Ridgid granite top saw
- General tools ‘builders’ saw

I’m looking for other options…and best places to get them in Canada (Toronto ideally) if anyone has any suggestions.

-- Ian - Life's a game, if you don't play, you can't win.

7 replies so far

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3004 days

#1 posted 04-12-2010 06:36 PM

By having no capacity for a cabinet saw do you mean space-wise or 220V?

Cabinet saws don’t necessarily take up any more room than a contractor saw.

If you can do 220V, I’d just suggest looking at the Grizzly 0690 or 1023RLW. Possibly more saw than you’re looking for, and possibly slightly over your budget with freight, but a darn darn good value. I assure you the footprint is not going to be vastly different from a contractor, but you’ll get smoother performance and better dust collection.

Otherwise their 0661 contractor with riving knife is pretty compelling.

That being said, if you can score one of the deals on the Ridgid R4511, you just cannot beat the value.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Woodcanuck's profile


128 posts in 2994 days

#2 posted 04-12-2010 06:46 PM

Thanks, should’ve clarified that….money capacity and electrical capacity. Getting 220v out to the garage would be challenging and require a variety of upgrades I’m not yet ready/willing to do.

Space is ok, I can change things around to fit a bigger saw if I have to.

-- Ian - Life's a game, if you don't play, you can't win.

View bob101's profile


321 posts in 3444 days

#3 posted 04-12-2010 06:52 PM

king makes a nice 1.5 hp hybrid saw for around a grand out the door.

-- rob, ont,canada

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3264 days

#4 posted 04-12-2010 07:03 PM

I really think the SS is your best bet…..I wish they were available when I bought my last table saw. I consider my fingers priceless….and the SS saws are well made and very accurate.

I was using, and still have, the Bosch 4000 table saw….it is great for a jobsite saw…and for places with small space – I got very accurate cuts from it but you really can’t expect it to replace a 3 hp cabinet TS. When I got more space I opted for the Grizzly G6091 and really love that saw (it tuned up to almost perfect and with a Forest WWII it cuts through everything I can throw at it…and the cut is finish quality).

As for 220v – I used the quick 220 to get 220 until I was able to wire up the circuits in my shop….my neighbor is now using it and has no plans for wiring a permanent 220 circuit. It uses 2 110v circuits and I never had an issue with it running my TS my lathe and my planer (one at a time).

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

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3656 days

#5 posted 04-12-2010 09:00 PM

Could shop craigslist for a used contractor saw. Or even better, a used Unisaw. I’ve ran across quite a few people trying to sell their Unisaw, claiming it’s a 3HP 1ph, but really hoping you wouldn’t check the motor and it’s really a 1.5 HP saw which can be wired 110V (need 20 Amp breaker though). A 1.5HP unisaw is not as desirable and you can negotiate to much less than $1000 easily. Best of both worlds and you can get cab saw stability with 110V.

-- Ed

View kennyd's profile


103 posts in 2994 days

#6 posted 04-12-2010 09:19 PM

Hi Wood,

I just lucked into a Unisaw, 3hp single phase 220v, with outfeed table, sliding miter table, and unifence for the unbelievable price of $700.00. I found it on craigslist. You can’t beat the unisaw for that kind of money.

Good luck with your saw purchase.


-- Kenny... The man who needs a tool he doesn't have is already paying for it.

View jcees's profile


1058 posts in 3793 days

#7 posted 04-12-2010 09:49 PM

I was in the same predicament a few years back. My old Crapsman contractor saw was driving me nuts trying to keep it in tune and the fence… I ended up making my own after taking the original P.O.S. and bashiing it against the concrete floor of my shop repeatedly. It had to be done. Anyway, I kept watching the classifieds [Craigslist wasn’t even on the net yet] and finally found a model 66 Powermatic for less than a $1k. Oh frabjous day!

But the 220v was only serving the dryer, what to do? I went down to the super mega big box home central store and gathered up 50’ of SO cord and the proper outlet/plug combo and made a 220v extension to run out to my new baby. And boy does she make a difference. I fear no wood now. All cleave via the spinning teeth on my 600+ lb beauty. Ooo yeah. So don’t short yourself, there might be a great old saw out there waiting for you to go bring it home.

Good luck.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

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