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Forum topic by JonC123 posted 05-23-2018 12:50 PM 564 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JonC123

10 posts in 117 days


05-23-2018 12:50 PM

Hi all,

I’m looking to buy a new table saw that’s good for finer woodworking in the $400 range. From what I’ve researched, having an iron top and ability to accept dado blades are the top 2 things to look for.

I’ve been looking at reviews on amazon, HD, Lowes, etc but they all contradict each other so coming here to the pros for some help!

DeWalt seems to get good reviews but they don’t accept Dado blades… Rigid also seems good but their table saws have bad reviews even on their own website lol


15 replies so far

View Steve's profile

Steve

553 posts in 665 days


#1 posted 05-23-2018 12:54 PM

At that price, you’re going to be referred to CL for a used Craftsman or another older used machine.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8099 posts in 3458 days


#2 posted 05-23-2018 01:38 PM

$400 should buy a pretty nice used saw, but not much of a new saw. If you don’t need to move the saw from site to site routinely, skip the portables. A full size cast iron contractor saw or hybrid with a belt drive induction motor is a good starting point, and has potential for upgrades. Most of these should be dado capable. A good fence is important too, and solid cast wings are nice to have, but can be added down the road. (the DW is a portable, and doesn’t have a cast iron top). I see you’re in NC…if you list the nearest metropolitan area, someone here might have a lead on a good saw for you.

The ABCs of Table Saws

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

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JonC123

10 posts in 117 days


#3 posted 05-23-2018 02:07 PM



$400 should buy a pretty nice used saw, but not much of a new saw. If you don t need to move the saw from site to site routinely, skip the portables. A full size cast iron contractor saw or hybrid with a belt drive induction motor is a good starting point, and has potential for upgrades. Most of these should be dado capable. A good fence is important too, and solid cast wings are nice to have, but can be added down the road. (the DW is a portable, and doesn t have a cast iron top). I see you re in NC…if you list the nearest metropolitan area, someone here might have a lead on a good saw for you.

The ABCs of Table Saws

- knotscott

Thanks for that link, it was a great read.

I’m in the Raleigh area. I didn’t see a classifieds area on the site anywhere?

I’m still really really new to woodworking, I just don’t want something that’s going to make it difficult to learn and enjoy it. Like a saw that won’t square up :)

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5488 posts in 2492 days


#4 posted 05-23-2018 02:23 PM

If you are not using this on jobsites, as in you have a shop area and stay working in it. A Contractors saw is a good suggestion. New at the price you are looking for as someone else stated is probably not a option. BUT a used saw is well within that range. In getting a used saw you would need to go over it and clean, make adjustments and such. That would help in getting to know how your saw works. Lots of improvements can be added the sky is the limit.

Here is a single contractors saw set-up I used for years:

How far can you go? This is current build with two Delta Contractors saws bolted together on a base cabinet.

These are older Delta’s but still solid machines and in good shape. Let your creative juices flow on how to set yours up. Best of luck!!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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TheFridge

9856 posts in 1569 days


#5 posted 05-23-2018 02:37 PM

Try craigslist.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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jerkylips

429 posts in 2653 days


#6 posted 05-23-2018 02:50 PM

kind of repeating what everyone else has said, but your best bet is going to be looking for a used contractor saw on craigslist. I got a used Ridgid 3650 years ago for, I think, 275. It had been used a handful of times (the paint hadn’t even worn off the blade yet). Definitely deals out there, but you need to check every day – the stuff that IS a good deal goes fast.

Job site saws have a different type of motor than a contractor or cabinet saw – underpowered and LOUD. I would stay away.

Also, don’t be afraid of a used table saw – they’re pretty simple machines, not a whole lot that can go wrong. Most issues you see are related to poor designs, which means the new ones had those issues too.

View smitdog's profile

smitdog

386 posts in 2188 days


#7 posted 05-23-2018 02:52 PM

Here’s a Delta contractor saw with one of the best fence systems available right at your budget.
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/tls/d/delta-table-saw-incra-fence/6584422347.html
The nice thing would be you could reuse that fence setup if and when you upgrade to a full cabinet saw. Better jump quick unless it’s gone already, says posted 2 weeks ago so probably is gone already.

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3034 posts in 1563 days


#8 posted 05-23-2018 02:55 PM


$400 should buy a pretty nice used saw, but not much of a new saw. If you don t need to move the saw from site to site routinely, skip the portables. A full size cast iron contractor saw or hybrid with a belt drive induction motor is a good starting point, and has potential for upgrades. Most of these should be dado capable. A good fence is important too, and solid cast wings are nice to have, but can be added down the road. (the DW is a portable, and doesn t have a cast iron top). I see you re in NC…if you list the nearest metropolitan area, someone here might have a lead on a good saw for you.

The ABCs of Table Saws

- knotscott

THIS ^^

There’s a bit more to it than dado blades and “iron” top.

The fence, motor and trunnions are the 3 most important parts and it where the better saw separate themselves.

Stay away from the homeowner and jobsite saws.

$400 is maybe going to get you into an older model contractor saw. I would definitely look at the saw smitdog links to.

IMO stay away from the “vintage” Craftsman most of it is junk.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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smitdog

386 posts in 2188 days


#9 posted 05-23-2018 03:13 PM

Here’s another one where the fence is worth the price of the saw and you could definitely move it to a better saw down the road.
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/tls/d/delta-table-saws/6589316412.html
Saw #1 for $350 is the winner with the unifence. Saw #2 doesn’t look terrible but it may be a direct drive style which isn’t as desirable and the fence isn’t as good as Saw #1

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View JonC123's profile

JonC123

10 posts in 117 days


#10 posted 05-23-2018 03:41 PM

Wow. This is great help!!

I looked on CL before but all I saw was rusty old stuff, but honestly, I don’t know what I’m looking at. I’ll check out these CL ads asap.

I’m a complete noob and don’t know any better.. other than to ask here of course :)

So all the saws look the same to me right now. I tried to research but all get is the marketing-hype side of what these saws do, not their real-world use.

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

429 posts in 2653 days


#11 posted 05-23-2018 04:28 PM



Wow. This is great help!!

I looked on CL before but all I saw was rusty old stuff, but honestly, I don t know what I m looking at. I ll check out these CL ads asap.

I m a complete noob and don t know any better.. other than to ask here of course :)

So all the saws look the same to me right now. I tried to research but all get is the marketing-hype side of what these saws do, not their real-world use.

- JonC123

Rust cleans off pretty easily, then you have a bargain.. ;)

Getting something that requires some initial clean up/set up isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It gets you more familiar with the machine, how it works, etc

View JonfromCa's profile

JonfromCa

2 posts in 135 days


#12 posted 05-23-2018 05:24 PM

When you go look at a saw take your straight edge and or square with you. Make sure the table is flat and the blade can be squared up. I have a table that is bowed in the middle. Looks like the person that owned it may have dropped it out of the back of a pickup or something.

View JonC123's profile

JonC123

10 posts in 117 days


#13 posted 06-30-2018 03:49 AM

I know it’s been a while but wanted to update this thread. I ended up getting a delta 36-725 and so far it’s great.

I’ve spent a bunch of time learning how to adjust everything and made a dial indicator jig to help.

I’ve read the rear fence should be out a bit to prevent pinching the workpiece but by how much? I’m still not sure what tolerences are “good enough” for woodworking. It’s currently off by around 5 thousands, should I make it around 10?

View GoldenCoastWoodworks's profile

GoldenCoastWoodworks

5 posts in 49 days


#14 posted 07-01-2018 05:22 AM

I actually have the next step up from the Delta saw that you purchased, I believe the 5000 series. Make sure that there isn’t a wobble in the arbor of the saw. You can do this by watching the blade as the saw comes to a stop. If the blade seems to sway side to side you have a bad arbor. Based on the research I did for my own saw there really isn’t much you can do about it either, and trust me I tried to fix it. If you notice the wobble and your warranty hasn’t lapsed yet I would try and return it and buy a better saw. Delta used to be a good brand but as of late they have been absolutely horrible and online reviews will back this up.

-- Kyle Cameron - Golden Coast Woodworks - https://www.goldencoastwoodworks.com/

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4895 posts in 2434 days


#15 posted 07-01-2018 03:39 PM

I’m looking to buy a new table saw that’s good for finer woodworking in the $400 range.

Good luck with that, you can get a good saw for that money, but it will be a used saw.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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