|Forum topic by LucasinBC||posted 928 days ago||4542 views||0 times favorited||21 replies|
928 days ago
Warning: I’m sure that this is a topic that will raise much discussion, so rest assured that I realize there is no correct answer to this question. I’m mostly looking for experienced opinions on this topic. Also, I should point out that I am a beginning woodworker, not a pro, not working in a big shop.
I’ve recently decided that I would like to invest in a table saw. I don’t have one yet and it’s driving me crazy. I have every other woodworking tool you can think of, and I have kept the table saw for last for a few reasons which I won’t go into right now (mostly it was a healthy respect / fear of doing something stupid on a table saw that could get me hurt as a beginner.)
As well, I have recently decided that I am tired of buying sub-par tools because they wind up costing me more in the long run. I don’t want to start a major debate on that, I realize everyone has a budget and in the end it’s the user, not the tool, which determines the quality of the work. That being said, I have had a negative experience buying a budget Chinese made bandsaw which leaves a lot to be desired.
I know most like the idea of buying a portable or contractor saw, upgrading to a hybrid saw, then a cabinet saw, or whatever, but I think I just want to cut to the chase, invest in something decent and have it last me the better part of my life, if not my whole life. That’s the idea anyway. I would rather pay now than later, in either having to buy another tool, or, have unhappy results with the tool.
However, I cannot afford a brand new $4K cabinet saw. That is just out of my budget. My budget is up to about $1500. Where I live in the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area there are a good number of used cabinet saws that go for about that amount. The most common are used Rockwell/Delta Unisaws, which appear to be 15 years old or more. There are also a few General table saws in that price range, also aged about 10 years.
By contrast, $1500 could fetch me a new Grizzly G1023 type cabinet saw, with riving knife, blah blah blah. I realize that Grizzly is more on the affordable range of cabinet saws, by contract to say Powermatic, Sawstop, Jet, etc, but as I mentioned, such new saws are normally out of my budget.
So my question is – which is better? Is neither a good option? Has anyone had experience buying a used 1980’s unisaw? bad? good? Has anyone tried a used cabinet saw from the 1980’s compared to a Grizzly type saw? More trouble than it is worth? Hard to obtain good parts if they break down?
Your thoughts are much appreciated!
-- Making mistakes is essential in learning woodworking.