Miter Saw or Upgrade Table Saw

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Forum topic by Basiliv posted 06-15-2011 01:42 PM 2419 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2531 days

06-15-2011 01:42 PM

I’m currently considering either an upgrade to my Miter saw or else an upgrade to my Table Saw.

Currently, I have a 10” Hitachi compound miter saw (retail around $130) and a 10” Jet contractor table saw (bought used for $400). I have the opportunity to purchase a 12” sliding miter saw (also Hitachi) for around $300 (retails for $419), but was wondering if that $300 would be better spend upgrading the table saw.

A new Grizzly Polar hybrid runs around $800 and a Powermatic contractor is about a $1,000. Either would be an option if I forgo the sliding miter saw and sell my existing table saw.

My main interests are in making household items, furniture, frames, shelves, and so on. The only rough work I do is garage/basement shelving with plywood/studs.

Any advice/opinions? Thanks.

11 replies so far

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2683 days

#1 posted 06-15-2011 09:51 PM

I would go for the table saw and keep the current mitersaw unless it has developed problems. If you really need the 12” slider look at the HF 12” , I have it and it works just fine for me (the laser is junk though).

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3578 days

#2 posted 06-15-2011 10:29 PM

I agree wholly with Richard . Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View knotscott's profile


8005 posts in 3368 days

#3 posted 06-15-2011 11:07 PM

Since I rarely use my miter saw except for molding and very long boards, I would also go for a better TS, but I honestly don’t think you’ll be gaining a lot by spending $1K on a yellow version of the same saw that you already have….you’d basically be upgrading the nameplate. Without knowing more details about the your Jet, the PM64a might have a better fence (unless your Jet has an Exacta or Exacta II fence) and will have cast iron wings (which your Jet could have too), but will suffer from exactly the same drawbacks that the Jet contractor saw does….they’re both based on the same 60 year old design and could very possibly come from the same plant in Taiwan. If you’re going to upgrade, make it at least a higher end hybrid or better yet a cabinet saw.

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

View Loren's profile


10371 posts in 3641 days

#4 posted 06-15-2011 11:17 PM

Sliders are carpentry tools.

If you want to make joinery and furniture, you’ll be better served
by a table saw with an excellent cross-cutting system. They all
have adequate fences, but saws like the Dewalt Hybrid and
Jet Super saw have available sliding table uprades that make them
good choices for furniture makers, if a bit underpowered.

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3082 days

#5 posted 06-15-2011 11:28 PM

Table saw! a good one makes woodworking a lot more enjoyable, and it can do everything a miter saw does anyway. I have two miter saws, that only get used when I need to bring them with me to do trim so I’m not running back and forth to the shop.

The only reason to get the bigger miter saw is if you do a lot of big trim ( usually exterior stuff) outside the shop. Think about how often you do that, unless you are residing your house, I ‘d definitely go with a table saw.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2683 days

#6 posted 06-16-2011 05:39 AM

Buy the Grizzly hybrid and then build a “super sled”. Eagle Lake Woodworking has a video to build the best sled I have ever used. I rarely use my chop saw since building this sled. The chop saw is relegated to rough cutting long boards to workable lengths.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Basiliv's profile


5 posts in 2531 days

#7 posted 06-16-2011 05:48 AM

My table saw is a Jet JWTS-10, but rather old, as it’s blue. I was led to believe that the blue ones date back to pre-1990. It is in fairly good shape.

So if I’m upgrading, aren’t the obvious upgrades the cabinet mounted trunnions as well as getting cast iron wings (my Jet has stamped steel). While a hybrid would get the former, I figured I may as well go the distance and actually get a cabinet for dust control. A fence upgrade is required as well, so even if I kept the Jet, I’d be looking at $150+ for a new fence (which certain upgrade saws would already have).

Any thoughts on these saws:
Steel City 35990C $750
Steel City 35925 $850
Jet JPS-10CW $1,000
Craftsman 22116 $800
Grizzly G0715P $800

Are there any General International machines that fit in this range (50-200R for $1,100)? Any other brands I missed?

The local Woodcraft manager was giving Grizzly a hard time, but swore by Sawstop. The latter gets a bit pricey, however. I may be able to go as high as $1,600 on this investment. I know there are plenty of threads like this (help me pick a saw), but any thoughts are appreciated. I don’t have dedicated workshop space, so a wheeled base is required.

But it looks like the Sliding Miter saw will not be purchased. Thanks for help with that decision.

View StephenO's profile


44 posts in 2539 days

#8 posted 06-16-2011 05:51 AM

I have a Delta 10” miter saw, and only used it once in a great while as it was really only well suited for long, narrow stock. Recently, though, I bought a DeWalt 12” sliding MS, and it can handle quite a bit more than the little Delta could (sixteen inch cut capacity, baby!), so it gets used far more often for things that would be awkward or flat out unsafe on the TS.

I guess the bottom line is what you tend to do the most of in your shop, and which tool will best help you with your projects.

-- -Steve, Seattle

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2876 days

#9 posted 06-16-2011 06:05 AM

My preference would be for the Gen. International; it is as well built and solid as any more pricey machine, and certainly a notch above the others you listed.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View knotscott's profile


8005 posts in 3368 days

#10 posted 06-16-2011 01:25 PM

Ironic that someone who doesn’t sell Grizzly and doesn’t profit from Grizzly would give the brand a hard time. Grizzly’s price advantage comes from direct sales that bypass the dealer network. There’s nothing wrong with dealer support, but it does come at a premium. If you’re willing to be your own middle man, there are viable savings in many of the Grizzly machines. It’s always important to investigate each tool though, and compare the delivered price.

Note that not all hybrids have cabinet mounted trunnions. The Jet Proshop and Grizzly that you listed are well regarded saws but still have table mounted trunnions, which make them harder to reach for alignment….not a show stopper IMO, but makes the hopefully one time task more difficult. The upgrade compared to your current saw is that they feature a one piece cast blade shroud compared to connecting rods so they’ll be less prone to twisting when tilted. The Grizzly has a riving knife, while I don’t think that particular Jet does. Note that the hybrids also move the motor inside the enclosure which is a significant advantage too.

The Cman 22116 is made by Steel City/Oiron and is essentially the same saw as the Steel City 35925 but adds a fence upgrade. Both have the big yoke style cabinet mounted trunnions, one piece cast arbor carriage/blade shroud, rivining knives, and granite top. The SC 35990C does have cab mounted trunnions but still uses connecting rods as an arbor carriage, and has a cast iron top. The hybrids with connecting rods seem to be less prone to twisting than the older style contractor saws because the location of the motor puts less leverage on them.

General International is also a very reputable company. The GI 50-240GT features cabinet mounted trunnions and a granite top, and AFAIK is also made by Steel City/Orion. The 50-200 and 50-220 are also well regarded but feature table mounted trunnions…there are folks here with those models who can give specifics.

A true 3hp industrial cabinet saw trumps them all in terms of construction of the massive underpinnings and raw power, but the 3hp motor requires 220v operation.

The guts of a Grizzly G0690 3hp cabinet saw:

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

View Bill White's profile (online now)

Bill White

4928 posts in 3953 days

#11 posted 06-16-2011 04:49 PM

Go with the Grizz ‘cause you’ll always have the service support that you will need. Remember the term “price-value relationship”.


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