Need opinions of tables saw comparing a cabinet maker or a contractors tables saw which is better?

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Forum topic by Jim Reeves posted 06-17-2010 09:59 AM 4374 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Reeves

209 posts in 3053 days

06-17-2010 09:59 AM

Hi, just seeking information on tables saw which is better to buy?
I have put up for sale, my mastercraft Radial Arm Saw, my 10 ’’ Mitersaw with stand, my craftsman 10’’ table saw not suyre what it is called was mounted to a steel stand when made, it is 23’’ deep x 48’’ long.
And also put my first 6 inch jointer l bought in the spring, also put up my mastercraft router table with my 3 1/2 hp Mikitia plunge router.

I have 2 radial arm saws, 2 jointers, l have a guy coming in a few days, he is a cabinet maker wanting to set up his own home shop to cut down travel time in his cabinet business.
My thought is if he takes all of the 5 above machines sept was asking $ 900.00 to him he can have all 5 for
$ 675.00. I am thinking if l buy a half desent table saw and a 12 inch sliding miter saw be better for me.
I am selling the jointer and radial arm saw as l bought cheap newer replacements, and a 12 sliding miter saw between tghe 12 inch and RAS can do most of my cross cutting.

And when l buy new or good used table saw newer and better one than l have now, will either build a router table or buy attachment to fit on end of new table saw.
I have a mastercraft router l bought last summer it is a 2 hp plunge router should be good enough to use in a router table.
My question is what type of table saw should l look for a contractors table saw or a cabinet makers table saw?

I don’t have allot of money to spend on a table saw, am thinking if l put the $ 675.00 down on a table saw.
Then maybe can leave it at the store then every 2 weeks pay the store an additional $ 325.00 over 4 weeks.
With the money l get from selling the 5 above tools ( $ 675.00 ) + $ 325.00 0ver 4 – 6 weeks would give me
$ 1,000.00 to spend on ma saw.
Should l buy what l can new for $ 1,000.00 or should l look around for a used table saw and maybe get a better table saw for my money used?

I want, need your opinions as to what l should do, l have about 1 week before guy coming tto buy the 5 machines.
Or should l sell just the 4 items and keep present craftsman not sure what do?

thanks all

-- jim

4 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3405 days

#1 posted 06-17-2010 11:08 AM

Used saws usually offer the most bang for the buck, but it depends on what’s available at the time. A cabinet saw has several advantages over a contractor saw…more mass, more power, easier to align, better build quality, etc, but the end performance of both is largely determined by the alignment and blade choice.

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

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3138 days

#2 posted 06-17-2010 02:14 PM

Jim, there is better and what is better for you. A cabinet style saw would be “better” than a contractor saw but it will depend on how much space you need, how much power you have in the shop, and the total cost. For a grand, you should be able to pick up a very good saw no matter what direction you go in. I bought my Ridgid contractor saw for under 600 a couple of years ago. The movable base, cast iron table, and other features appealed to me and worked out best for my situation. I have seen a few jocks here get some great deals on used equipment. I, myself, have not been as fortunate looking through the Craigs list ads here. Personally, I feel better having a tool with a warranty and knowing the true history of the tool. Many people here, however, have had no issues with the used tools they purchased.

Good luck on your search,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View bunkie's profile


412 posts in 3176 days

#3 posted 06-17-2010 03:12 PM

As a recent purchaser of a cabinet saw and the former owner of two different contractor saws, I can say the following:

A good contractor saw will certainly meet the needs of most hobbyist woodworkers. However, there’s the question of want as oppposed to need. That’s where the cabinet saw excels. My new saw takes up the same amount of space as my last contractor saw, so that’s not an issue. It is considerably heavier and getting it out of the bed of a pickup and into my shop single-handed was something of a challenge which is a real consideration if you ever plan to move. It also required 220V which, for me, was no problem as I have an Electric dryer and I just use its outlet.

Now for the real benefits: First, there is power. With a sharp blade it powers through whatever I throw at at. Second, there is adjustment and setup. Nothing beats a cabinet saw (or one of the hybrids) that mounts the trunion to the cabinet. Alignment is a snap. On a contractor saw, it’s an “on-your-back-tools-overhead-sawdust-in-your-face” process that has to be repeated time and again until you get it right. Finally, there’s dust collection. With a big 4” port and that lovely cabinet to trap all the below-the-table dust, it’s far cleaner than a contractor saw.

Again, each of of had different needs. I needed to be free of contractor saw hassles. My saw is a joy to use and wasn’t all that expensive (it’s a Grizzley that I bought on closeout), just $200 more than the Ridgid at the time I bought it. Of course I had to borrow a friend’s pickup and drive 100 miles each way to the Grizzley store, but I actualy enjoyed that.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 3449 days

#4 posted 12-12-2010 12:58 PM

I am also looking for a cabinet maker’s table saw. When I started my shop…I unfortunately….did not do my homework about dust control. However, I did rectify some of my issues. The table saw I first bought was a General Intn’l 10” saw. It’s a fine saw, good fence, 2 HP, (just about meets my needs)...but I’m moving up to buying stock that is 5 6 & 7 quarter stock and do resawing.
A new neighbor of mine recommends the Grizzly 5 HP 220V saw, so I’m going to pull the trigger on that HP & motor requirements. I might also look at the Gen. Intn’l 5 HP saws and kick the tires so to speak.
The Grizzly tools are very good. My 17” band saw is a Grizz…and has 2 ports for dust control.
I would also recommend a very good dust collection system…and scientific research has proven to be cancerous.
I bought an Oneida V3000 Cyclone system….with Norfab ducting. The total price was almost 6 grand…but in my opinion…worth every cent. Now the only conflict is the opening on the back of the contractors’ saw. Hopefully, this will be solved with a cabinet makers’ saw.

-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

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