Thoughts on this Craftsman Table saw? good deal?

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Forum topic by brantley posted 07-31-2010 08:56 PM 17065 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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185 posts in 2680 days

07-31-2010 08:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question table saw craftsman

Im in the market for a table saw. I went to our local sears and found this 10” 3 hp Table saw thats regularly $299. Its on sale right now for $249 and next week it will be on an additional sale of $199. Here are the specs for it.

- 3 hp
-24” right rip capacity
-5000 rpm
-19 5/8” x 36” dimension with extensions


28 replies so far

View BobLoblaw's profile


13 posts in 2335 days

#1 posted 07-31-2010 10:15 PM

Looks like a bench-top saw mounted to a contractor-style base. The HP ratings on those saws (direct drive, universal motor type) can be misleading. Just know that its rating of “3hp” refers to “peak” HP developed (usually at start-up) and, in actual practice, is much less. You may be better off, IMO, picking up a used “true” (belt-driven, induction motor) contractor’s saw, for about the same $$$.

View brantley's profile


185 posts in 2680 days

#2 posted 07-31-2010 10:36 PM

I make mainly outdoor furniture ie;adirondack chairs. 90percent of my cuts would be with deck wood cutting seat slats probably. I’ve also been burned time and time again with buying used power tools. So I’m gonna steer away from that this time. So I guess technically I don’t need a big heavy duty saw just something for small projects. I know craftsmans tools in general are not held to a high standard like in previous years but I have heard some good things about this particular saw mmmi just wanted to get some input from fellow LJ members and maybe hear from somebody who has the saw or has used it …thanks!

View D1st's profile


290 posts in 2463 days

#3 posted 07-31-2010 11:37 PM

I bought my Delta table saw on craigslist and am very satisfied. That is one way to go. The other way I would reccomend would be to buy a Rigid contractors saw. They have a warranty and lots of people use them with little or no complaints for the money.


View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 2487 days

#4 posted 08-01-2010 12:30 AM

Well to tell you. I had that same saw. The miter guage is loose in the track. You can’t put any others on it. The fence isn’t the greatest. Don’t to be so negative about it. If you are not going to use it all that often it will probably do you ok for a while..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View knotscott's profile


7147 posts in 2798 days

#5 posted 08-01-2010 12:55 AM

That saw is a waste of money even at $150…don’t do it. It’s too small, too light, too sloppy, too loud, too unreliable, has little resale value, and isn’t cost effective to upgrade. You’ll outgrow it in short order too. It’s exactly the type of saw that many of us fall prey to when we didn’t know any better. You’re far better off buying a decent used full size cast iron contractor saw with a belt drive induction motor, or saving your pennies and buying a new one of similar construction. You’re a step ahead of most of because you asked first!

Contractor saws like this show up on Craigslist in the $50-$200 range several times a week near me. It’s not a true 3hp as stated on the front, but a good 13-14 amp 1-1.5hp induction motor is sufficient (a true 3hp motor would require 220v operation).

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

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 2581 days

#6 posted 08-01-2010 01:37 AM

I agree, it’s a waste of money, though at $200 I guess it doesn’t hurt to find out for yourself. I own (in storage) an older model to the one you show. Miter gauge is small, sloppy, unusable. I like the extended wings on that one, which mine didn’t have, but I wouldn’t think they’d be all that stable. Rip fence is meh, but it’ll do for what you are likely wanting it to do.

For softwoods, the table saw cuts fine…but anything approaching the hardness of oak and you’ll be needing more power.

It’s hard to get burnt by a used saw on Craigslist unless you just don’t know want you are looking for. Table saws aren’t complex machines, and used ones are quite servicable for decades. I’d get a contractor saw in this fashion.

-- jay,

View patcollins's profile


1419 posts in 2288 days

#7 posted 08-01-2010 01:59 AM

I was thinking about buying that saw too. My dad made some beautiful stuff using the $120 craftsman saw. Of course the more $$ will bet you something better but the question is do you really need it? I appreciate great tools but I find people often fall into the trap of suggestion more expensive things to justify their own purchase of them at times. I use to do this with another hobby I use to have and still find myself doing it with photography.

I take peoples opinions on the internet with a grain of salt. My dad once told me if he was handing out $10 bills someone would bitch that he didn’t give them 2 $5 bills instead.

View MyFathersSon's profile


180 posts in 2736 days

#8 posted 08-01-2010 03:03 AM

I can’t address that specific saw—but I will say—
My first ‘table saw’ was a $99 Delta benchtop model that I used for almost 20 years—was very satisfied with – it cut everything I needed it to – straight and true.
It finally died—and in the last two years—I have bought two ‘bargain’ saws of another brand that I have been VERY unhappy with—I was so frustrated with the first one I resold it after about 3 months.
Moral – you can get a good workable tool at a low price—but you can also get burned.
For me—next saw I buy—will still not be a $1000 cabinet model—I have neither the money nor the space—nor the need. But it will also NOT BE —a bargain basement model of any brand.
I’m too old and tired to deal with the frustration.

Side Comment to patcollins—
Not sure how old you are—but if you are over 30 and you are talking about a saw your dad bought when you were a kid—- I can assure you—the Craftsman saw you might buy today—wont hold a candle to the one he had. Sad but true.

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View patcollins's profile


1419 posts in 2288 days

#9 posted 08-01-2010 04:07 PM

Branley, where did you get the inside info that it is going to be on sale for $199?

MyFathersSon, Im 36 but my dad didn’t buy it when I was a kid was probably from 1995 time frame. I think its actually this saw

I have also noticed some of the Craftsman stuff isn’t what I would expect from Craftsman in recent years.

View knotscott's profile


7147 posts in 2798 days

#10 posted 08-01-2010 05:02 PM

Quality and brand names aside for a moment, consider the physics of using a saw of this size. 19-5/8” deep….that leaves very little operating room in front of the blade….literally just a few inches. In contrast, a standard contractor saw, hybrid, or cabinet saw is 27” deep, which leaves about a foot to maneuver in front of the blade. It weighs in at 72-1/ contrast to 250-300# for a contractor saw, 300-450# for a hybrid, and 500-600# for a cabinet saw. It’s very unnerving to have a saw move or tip on you when you trying to make a cut…it’s also dangerous. Unless the need for portability is critical, there are lots of advantages in favor of a heavier machine.

Give the materials of construction some consideration too….aluminum, pot metal, and plastics in contrast with steel and cast iron. These all contribute to accuracy, longevity, mass, low vibration, ease of use, resale value, and the cost effectiveness/logic of repair if necessary.

I’m not trying to knock anyone’s saw. I’ve been there, and am hoping to prevent the OP from making what I feel is a similar mistake. Any $99 saw can make cuts in wood, but I envision frustration, discouragement, poor fitting joints, increased danger, and higher probability of repair/replacement with any saw near this class of tool, whether from Craftsman, Tradesman, Ryobi, B&D, Skil, etc. It’s not really an issue of brand, but of saw design and type. It’s true that there’s risk of being burned with a used saw, but there’s a lot of upside potential to score a really good used saw in the same price range, whereas buying a new saw in this price and class pretty much ensures mediocrity. There have been some great clearance deal on a more substantial saws like Ridgid TS3650, R4511, Cman 22124, Delta 36-980, etc, all falling < $400, and is some cases < $250.

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

View mikedddd's profile


146 posts in 2653 days

#11 posted 08-01-2010 05:04 PM

I have to agree with the others here, I think you would out grow that saw pretty quick. I owned a Ridgid 3650 contractor saw for a few years then sold it to a friend. I would look for something like that or a Delta, by the way I think the 3660 is basically the same saw.

-- Mike

View brantley's profile


185 posts in 2680 days

#12 posted 08-01-2010 05:18 PM

Patcollins….when I went to sears yesterday I asked about this saw and the salesman told me they did not carry it in the store but they could order it for me…ia sked him when the sale for 249 ended so I would know about hoiw long I had to think about it…he told me he would go check well he came back and said actually aug 6th it will go on another sale for 199 and he gave me a “rain check” type print out that will guarantee me one for that price of 199

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3000 days

#13 posted 08-01-2010 05:24 PM

I don’t recommend any sears saws take your money and buy a real saw sears sells junk. find yourself a used Ridgid, or Powermatic or Delta . Saws that size are under powered and their tops are too small..

-- Custom furniture

View brantley's profile


185 posts in 2680 days

#14 posted 08-01-2010 05:31 PM

I don’t have the money for these expensive hybrid. Contactorsm or cabinet saw. Don’t get me wrong I would love to have one …if I had the money…- have also looked on craigslist in my area and found nothing

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3000 days

#15 posted 08-01-2010 05:44 PM

I’ve seen a number of Ridgids on Craigslist from $150 -$500 . Ridrids coming out with their new saw in September. If you do a search on Ljs you will see person on top of person that were not happy with the ow end saws and aways trade up. It doesn’t have to be a cabinet saw to get the job done. If you have to buy a sears buy a bigger contractors version. almost any saw is better than the small low end saws. You might try running a table saw wanted ad on craigslist

-- Custom furniture

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