Buying used tools

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Forum topic by hightower posted 01-21-2011 12:48 AM 3404 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View hightower's profile


14 posts in 2689 days

01-21-2011 12:48 AM

Hey all,
I am looking for a little advice on buying tools through craigslist. I have been searching for a table saw for some time and I think I have narrowed down the immense amount of choices to a few that I feel will best fit my needs. One of those is the Ridgid TS 3660. It gets great reviews on here but I have had a hard time finding one until today! I am hoping to go look at it tomorrow but wanted to know if anyone has basic advice on what to look for with used tools? It is listed for $400 which I think is a bit high, $300-$350 sound better? Are there easily spotted gotcha’s? I understand there is some risk involved in buying used tools but with my limited budget, it seems like my best option. The guy is also listing the Ridgid Planer and Jointer. These could all be great upgrades to shop…I mean garage.

In my area I haven’t found many other table saw’s listed used other than a few craftsman. New I would go with the G0715P but with shipping and the mobile base I am outside of what I can reasonably spend.

Anyway, any advice/reviews on any of those Ridgid products would be appreciated. On a side note, can the rails on the 3660 be moved right for more rip capacity? Can a router be mounted?


15 replies so far

View Carl Webster's profile

Carl Webster

82 posts in 2796 days

#1 posted 01-22-2011 05:58 AM

I have bought several used wood working tools off of Craig’s List – a table saw, a radial arm saw. band saw, jointer and lathe. I chose to stick with the older made in the USA craftsman saws (about $150 per) the band saw is an American made Delta . The jointer is a Grizzly. I chose the used equipment route to set up a wood working shop economically. If time proves that I need better equipment I’ll face that in the future. I was able to gather a fairly broad spectrum of equipment in a short period of time. In the past I have not been in favor of spending money on used equipment, but since most of the modern equipment is of foreign manufacture I chose the “used” equipment approach to find equipment made in the US.
This is just my experience and may not suit the majority of the people on this forum.

-- Carl in SC

View WoodLe's profile


155 posts in 2794 days

#2 posted 01-22-2011 06:19 AM

Buy new if you can afford it, unless good used is a steal. I’ve been burned to many times on ‘used’.

-- Wooster, Ohio

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3720 days

#3 posted 01-22-2011 06:33 AM

Do a good job of researching what you want to buy. Search the new paper classified and auction web-sites for something you are looking for (alos gives you an idea what tools are selling for and a starting point for what you think you should be paiying for a used tool). Also search the local auction houses: bargains are out there, you just have to look for them. You can spend 1/2 the money for the used tool you want and spend a few more bucks to fix it up the way you want it (replacing bearings is an easy fix), and you are far ahead in the end. Another benefit with buying used is that you only have to pay the full price on a “new” item. Don’t be afraid to look the tool over and subtract a couple dollars from the price for everything that you find “wrong”.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Brat700's profile


93 posts in 3356 days

#4 posted 01-22-2011 01:08 PM

I have used older tools and find they are much better than the newer tools. you may have to do some repair but you can repair the older tools. unlike the newer stuff you hae to junk.

-- Wood working will help heal your body and mind !!

View jm64's profile


36 posts in 2680 days

#5 posted 01-22-2011 02:42 PM

Used is always buyer beware. I scan craigslist frequently, some good deals, some junk. My only purchase was a Dewalt 735 planer. It was like brand new and at $385 it was a great deal. I wasn’t able to run it until I got it home and I was worried that I might have been ripped off, but it turned out OK.

I think Jonathon is right – turn it on and a make a cut with it if you can.

-- Joe, Cumming, GA

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2911 days

#6 posted 01-22-2011 02:47 PM

FYI, this saw sold NEW at $399 as little as two years ago. It is a discontinued saw and basically the guy wants FULL PRICE for the thing. Check out consumer search for more information.

Run Forrest,!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2920 days

#7 posted 01-22-2011 05:31 PM

I think buying used is a wise way to get started. I agree with NotVeryGood about looking around and listening carefully. I wouldn’t buy a power tool without making a test cut before I agreed to purchase. You can tell a lot about a tool by sticking your head inside and looking around. Most sellers will clean things up, but usually you can spot worn pulleys, belts, missing fasteners, etc.

Get a good straight edge, at least 2’ long, heavy and accurate. Take it with you to check out flatness of the table/bed/whatever. Take a good engineers square to check fences.

Don’t worry a lot about surface rust; many sellers haven’t used the tool for a long time for one reason or another.

Can’t help you much with the TS. I got a used Rigid planer with stand from CL and paid $200. It was the older model, but in really excellent condition. I’ve also gotten a used Jet jointer for $220 with mobile base.

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 2824 days

#8 posted 01-22-2011 08:11 PM

Another place to scour, is OWWM… Their BOYD section has some good deals…. and best part is that its not quite as risky as CL..since people have a reputation there to uphold… They also only deal in stuff over 40 years old… 99% of which, better than todays junk.

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View hightower's profile


14 posts in 2689 days

#9 posted 01-25-2011 01:13 AM

Thanks for all the advice, you are all pretty much confirming what I have thought. I went and looked a the tools this guy was selling and had an interesting experience. He was selling a ton of things, TS, planer, jointer, router table, band saw and many others which is why I was so interested. Turns out, this guy received all of them in a trade for rent due and didn’t have any knowledge of the equipment. That wasn’t what he was presenting though, he tried to seem like he knew what he was talking about and wanted nearly new money for each product. I think he went to HD website and basically priced everything 10% below new. He wasn’t willing to negotiate, played the whole “I don’t need to sell these things, I can store them in the corner if I need to but won’t sell them for cheap”. I almost laughed…why are you selling them then? I made a fair offer and he flat out declined. I asked how much for a belt sander, he said he had no idea what it was worth so I offered $50 and he said no way! I left after that, he clearly had no idea what was going on.

So back on the hunt for a TS. I have pretty much decided on a nice used TS 3650/3660 or new with the G0715p. I would love to save the money and go a little cheaper, but buying new and having fewer questions of history is leading me to grizzly. Since it’s back ordered, I have some time to maybe find a bargain. Can anyone with either of these saws weigh in? Likes or dislikes?

Thanks again.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2911 days

#10 posted 01-25-2011 02:35 AM

IMO, buy what Grizzly has IN-Stock. Back orders can have you waiting for months. Been there, done that and ended up buying an in-stock TS. Just saying…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3720 days

#11 posted 01-25-2011 02:47 AM

Some times you’er the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug when it comes to these deals. Good luck with future attempts.

Oops! I had to correct my spelling… My bad!

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Florida_Jim's profile


83 posts in 2875 days

#12 posted 01-25-2011 02:55 AM

I’ve bought and sold a few tools from Craigs List. Like people have said, you have to know what you want, or what you have. Research is the key.
I just bought a 1956 Dewalt MBF radial saw. I even made a new friend of the seller.
I’ve walked away from other stuff, because the seller was a jerk. I pay attention of the sellers motive for selling, as much as the condition of the tool.
I’ve looked at stuff that i’m certian was stolen. I contacted the local law, but I’m not sure what good it did. But a tleast I felt better.

View ZeroThreeQuarter's profile


120 posts in 3055 days

#13 posted 01-25-2011 03:10 AM

craigslist CAN be a gold mine given the economic situation these days. A lot of people go through their garage and sell off stuff they don’t use in an effort to make a few bucks. as others have mentioned, TEST IT FIRST, i can’t stress that enough. I got pinched in my first deal when a guy said he wanted me to meet him somewhere to buy his drill press (he claimed so that people don’t know where he lives) sounded fine at the time, we met some place where i could plug in the drill press and see that it ran. Only when I got home that i found out it had a wobble to it. Guy wouldn’t answer his calls and obviously i couldn’t go to his place about it either. Now i know!

I resold it on CL with a notice about the wobble, some guy bought it for half what i paid and said he could fix it. It wasn’t too bad a loss for me in the end.

As for finding deals, I found a New Dewalt 735 Planer, in box, $300! Ridgid Jointer, near new, extra set of blades , $300. New Dewalt Sander and Biscuit jointer with boxes, $40 each (the guy had won them at a raffle). You can find great deals if you dig and are patient.

Don’t forget, you can also sell them back after some time, a lot of tools maintain value quite nicely, so pinching a few dollars now isn’t so bad if you can remake that money later.

-- Your mind, much like a parachute, works best when open.

View ZeroThreeQuarter's profile


120 posts in 3055 days

#14 posted 01-26-2011 08:00 PM

look, lets call a spade a spade already “american made” sounds nice and all, it’s the PC thing to say these days, it’s all honky dory pretty, but it’s not always the best option. I’m not advocating against it, i’m not advocating for stuff made overseas or internationally (not every country is “over seas”) but saying “buy made in America” sadly doesn’t always mean you’re buying the best. In the same breath, the “buy american” push doesn’t have NEARLY the same weight it does when talking about buying used tools. When it comes to buying new, then yes, you’re making a small, yet important, financial statement to the companies.

Here’s what will get you more credit, when you see a tool(s) and you’re surprised it’s made in the US, then write that company a letter thanking them for not shipping off their manufacturing base. Case in point, i bought a set of 3 chisels at one of the big-box companies (I packed my good ones in preparation for a move and needed something quick and dirty in a rush) was surprised to see they were “Made in the USA”. I wrote them saying “thanks for not off-shoring your manufacturing and keeping these jobs here. Much to my surprise, they sent me a set of 3 different sizes for free as a thank you for being a customer. Good luck finding that kind of service from a company that manufacturers over seas.

-- Your mind, much like a parachute, works best when open.

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3725 days

#15 posted 01-26-2011 08:09 PM

I have a few experienced tools (used) and they have all been good buys, if your careful you can pick up some real jems. My RAS, jointer and metal lathe were all experienced tools (used). I would not have been able to afford them new. Just be careful know what your looking for, know what they are priced new, and if it looks to good to be true it probably is. There are diamonds out there don’t overlook the dusty rusty ones. My used RAS was covered in dust. Come to find out the fellow purchased it set it up and then died. It had never been turned on. Got it for 125.00$

-- Ray

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