Looking to purchase a table saw

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Forum topic by Kathy posted 06-25-2010 02:04 PM 6285 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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210 posts in 3162 days

06-25-2010 02:04 PM

Hubby and I were looking at table saws at Menards. This is what they had. Has anyone had experience with any of them?

Bosch 4100-09

Delta 36-979/36T30

Master Force 240-0034

I have looked them up online to see the reviews but would appreciate any personal experience you might have with any of them.


-- curious woodworker

27 replies so far

View miserybob's profile


88 posts in 3285 days

#1 posted 06-25-2010 02:13 PM

I haven’t had any experience with those saws. But if there isn’t a reason (other than price) you’re going small, you should take some time to shop around woodworking forums and craiglist. The market is flooded with high-quality, CHEAP, used tablesaws.

Just something to consider.

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3384 days

#2 posted 06-25-2010 02:18 PM

I’ve got to agree with Bob, I just bought a used (hardly) Hitachi C10fl on CL and am still in New Owner’s Heaven. I just don’t know why Bob’s so miserable LOL.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View birdguy's profile


73 posts in 3148 days

#3 posted 06-25-2010 03:17 PM

Try craigslist too
I got a unasaw with uni fence and moble base and 3 phase converter and a new blade for 700$
I think it was a good deal

View Kathy's profile


210 posts in 3162 days

#4 posted 06-25-2010 03:27 PM

Since I am a newbie and a hobbyist woodworker is there a reason that I should think about a bigger saw? Price is an issue, or course, but I also thought I really didn’t need a huge saw for my purposes.

-- curious woodworker

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3703 days

#5 posted 06-25-2010 03:43 PM

It depends on what your needs are and the type of wood working you will be doing. Are you going to be building cabinets and using a lot of sheet goods or are you building furniture and needing to cut a lot of thick hardwoods? I wouls shy away from the cheaper portable job site saws unless you really need portability. A good contractors or small cabinet saw would be a personal preference. There are a lot of good used saws out there if ya know where to look. Check craigslist as well as your local classifieds. I thnk you will be able to find a saw for a reasonable price and will perform well. The saw needs to be matched to the type of work you want to do, so keep that in mind when shopping.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3315 days

#6 posted 06-25-2010 03:49 PM

I’m pretty certain these are all contractor saws (i.e. they are designed to be set up at a work site). To make them adequately portable, they compromise a lot on precision. You will be much happier with a cabinet saw or a hybrid saw for woodworking. As other’s have pointed out, there are lots of good used saws available. If you can’t locate an acceptable used saw, you can still step up to a reasonable woodworkers saw for under $850.


-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View patron's profile


13641 posts in 3582 days

#7 posted 06-25-2010 03:55 PM

i have bought and trashed many job site saws in my career ,
you get what you pay for , cheap !

i would look at a saw that is better than you might think you need right now ,
as your work developeds and your skills increase ,
you will be pushing your tools and your self to more technical and frustrating places .
nothing frustrates faster than being under powered ,
or under capable to do the new things you will want to do next .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4002 days

#8 posted 06-25-2010 04:07 PM

It’s my opinion that table saws powered by universal motors are a poor choice. You definitely won’t like the 90+ DbA noise level.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3527 days

#9 posted 06-25-2010 05:30 PM

In all my years of woodworking, I’ve never talked to anyone who was satisfied with a small, underpowered saw. If finaces are the only force behind the decision, we all have to do whatever works for our situation, and maybe upgrade later. As others have pointed out, a used quality saw is almost always better than a new cheap saw. With a 30” fence rail, an old Unisaw or comparable saw won’t take up any more room than the ones you are looking at. Unless you truly need a portable job-site saw, I would consider used, if you can find one. Later, you can usually sell it for close to what you paid if you want to upgrade. That won’t be true with the ones you are looking out. With today’s economy, now is a pretty good time to buy used equipment.


View knotscott's profile (online now)


8183 posts in 3616 days

#10 posted 06-25-2010 05:44 PM

You’re basically comparing a good portable jobsite saw made of plastic, nylon, and aluminum that’s approximately 20” deep and weighs ~ 60# to a good full size stationary contractor saw made of cast iron and steel that’s 27” deep and weighs closer to 300#. The portable has a direct drive universal motor, the stationary saw has a belt drive induction motor. It’s like comparing a small 4 cylinder pickup truck with a big diesel 1 ton duelie, both are trucks but… The biggest advantage of the portable is portability for moving from jobsite to jobsite. The stationary saw has a much larger work surface, is more stable, smoother, quieter, has more torque, a better fence, should last longer, and is less likely to be outgrown. The Bosch is one of the best portables available and does include a riving knife vs a traditional splitter, but if you don’t need the portability, there’s no reason to give up all the benefits of the bigger saw.

Good alignment and good blade selection are critical with any saw.
Don’t even consider the Master Force saw.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3889 days

#11 posted 06-25-2010 05:53 PM

I’ve had the Bosch 4100. it’s a FANTASTIC saw if you need a PORTABLE JOBSITE saw. or if you are SERIOUSLY tight on space and don’t have any other options. otherwise it’s lightweight, very noisy, and not as high in tolerance for precision. for those purposes I replaced it with the Ridgid 4511 saw which is a great bang for the buck, high performer, and does everything I need it to.

of your choices, I’d go with the Delta. however, I’d look at Craigslist for other alternatives that might be better (money and quality wise).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 3879 days

#12 posted 06-25-2010 07:30 PM

My job site saw is $250 craftsman, its purpose was portability for framing type work. Does a great job for that but it isn’t a cabinet saw, and I wouldn’t want to have to do a lot of higher end work. The saw is probably capable of better work, but for what I need on site, it works well.

I expect to burn this one out in a couple of more years and replace it with a similiar unit.

I have two older Delta cabinet saws in my shop at home that I prefer in the shop, better stability, smoother performance, etc, but they simply aren’t practical to take to a job site. On one hand they handle the larger work with ease, but they also take up a lot more dedicated room.

I’ve used my cousins job site Bosch with no complaints. I have found it’s important to match the blade to what you are trying to accomplish, a higher quality blade for higher quality work. As smooth as his Bosch runs, I’d be tempted to double duty it until your needs require something different.

-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View knotscott's profile (online now)


8183 posts in 3616 days

#13 posted 06-25-2010 09:32 PM

Kathy said: Since I am a newbie and a hobbyist woodworker is there a reason that I should think about a bigger saw? Price is an issue, or course, but I also thought I really didn’t need a huge saw for my purposes.”

Kathy – It’s worth noting that the few extra inches of room in front of the blade of a larger saw are significant, and make using the saw a bit safer. The added mass and stability also adds an element of safety….there’s nothing more unnerving than having the saw move on me!

The price between the Bosch and the Delta are close, but the construction differences alone make the larger Delta a better bang for the buck in this price range IMHO…it essentially has the same size table and is made out of the same materials as a full size cabinet saw.

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

View BOB67CAM's profile


269 posts in 3313 days

#14 posted 06-25-2010 09:56 PM

and besides if u do decide u want to stick with the cheapy saws, which i would advise against, getting it for 1/3 the price or better on craigslist wont make u feel so bad if it doesnt do what u need it too, or u could pay the same price from CL and get 3 times the saw…just a thought

-- if you dont have it, build it, especially when its a stupid idea

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3192 days

#15 posted 06-25-2010 10:14 PM

I’d just like to confirm all the great advice so far since I’m currently trying to get by with a portable saw. It’s loud, not very accurate, underpowered, and it’s very hard to cut big stuff on it. Trust me, unless you need the portability, you’ll want to have a bigger saw.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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