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Best table saw under $650

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Forum topic by Rayman24 posted 01-10-2012 07:33 AM 6362 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rayman24

18 posts in 994 days


01-10-2012 07:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

What are the best tables saws for less than $650.00? Please include make/model, and brief description why? What should I look for in a table saw? My projects will include small boxes, picture frames to bookshelves.

Your input is appreciated…thanks in advance!

-- Rayman24


40 replies so far

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ShaneA

5310 posts in 1263 days


#1 posted 01-10-2012 07:40 AM

Welcome to LJs. I think in the new market you will find Ridgid contractor/hybrid saws are pretty well recieved. You may be able to use a Harbor Freight 20% off coupon at HD. Now matter what saw, a quality blade will make a huge difference. Happy hunting.

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BilltheDiver

231 posts in 1551 days


#2 posted 01-10-2012 08:19 AM

When I was in a similar position I kept my eyes open and found a deal on an older Delta Unisaw with a Beismeyer fence. I have never regretted it since.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

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crank49

3442 posts in 1636 days


#3 posted 01-10-2012 12:07 PM

Don’t waste your money. I have the Craftsman 21833, which is the same as the Ridgid 4512. I paid ~$450, including tax, and have regretted the purchase since.

I wish I had saved a little more and gotten something like the Steel city 35900.
Cast iron top, cast iron extensions, cabinet mounted trunion, 1.75 hp belt drive induction motor, riving knife.
It’s just south of $1000 which I know is more than you wanted, but it would be a lifetime tool that you won’t need to replace in a few years.

If I just had to have a saw and absolutely could not spend more than $650 I guess I’d go to Craigs list and get something older, but still well built like a Powermatic or Delta Unisaw.

OR, if mobility was an issue the Bosch jobsite portable sells for around $600 I think. It’s aluminum and has a noisy universal (with brushes) motor, but has standard miter slots and can run a dado blade. Gets good reviews. I just hate the thought of spending that kind of money on a portable saw myself.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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knotscott

5482 posts in 2041 days


#4 posted 01-10-2012 08:20 PM

I’d definitely look to a full size saw with belt drive induction motor. Used is usually the best value if the right deal comes along, but if not, there are only a handful of new full size stationary saws available for < $650…Ridgid R4512 (~ $550), Craftsman 21833 (~ $550), Porter Cable PCB270TS (~ $599), and the Steel City 35900CS (Lowes – $619). At that price point, there’s usually at least one desirable feature that’s not included, like cast iron wings, upgraded fence, full enclosure, etc. While none are fantastic saws, all are capable of good service if set up well and fitted with a good blade, and all have their fair share of happy campers (as well as detractors). Most of these are fairly new models, released within the last 18 monthgs or so…I suspect the majority of issues you’ll read about are early manufacturing defects that eventually get worked out.

The PCB270TS has a plastic elevation gear that would be cause for me to look more closely at the others, plus the fence is nothing special.

The Steel City 35990 that was mentioned has cabinet mounted trunnions, and comes in a few variations 35990CS (stamped steel wings – $619), 35990C (cast iron wings – $727 online), 35990G (all granite top).

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

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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1716 days


#5 posted 01-10-2012 08:32 PM

The first table saw I purchased was a Powermatic 64a. I purchased it off a guy on Craigslist. It was in really good shape, came with the Powermatic mobile base, a plastic dust enclosure to seal the bottom, and a nice dado set. I think I used the saw more than he did during the short time I had it.

I sold the saw about 10-months ago and got a little more than I paid for it, plus I kept the dado set. I did have to drive quite a ways to get it and spent probably $50 on gas. It was totally worth it though. I paid the guy $450 for everything. Nice heavy setup for the price.

I’d second the comment above that no matter what saw you buy, make sure to put a good blade on it. I’d go with a good Freud blade at the minimum, a Tenryu (preferably Gold) or Forrest Woodworker. If you get a lower-powered saw, consider getting different blades for different uses (crosscutting vs. ripping), as a ripping blade will have fewer teeth and clear the shavings faster, or you could also consider a thin kerf blade as well.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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jeknow

7 posts in 1039 days


#6 posted 01-10-2012 08:45 PM

I have a Craftsman 21833 and it’s been a good saw for the money. Nice and heavy no vibrations fence is good and average for the price. Where this saw is really good is its mobility I work in my garage and have to move the tools so the wife can park her car. But the bad thing is adjusting this saw to line up with the miter slots and in my opinion the down side to all hybred and contractor saws. You have to move the cast iron trunnuions in these type saws to line them up and this is not an easy or quick task. But in this price range it’s what you’ll end up with. I suggest moving up in price and getting a belt driven saw that you can alighn the tabe up on easier and buy a nice heavy duty mobile base, that’s my plan. Now that being said anyone got advise and or opinions on these type saws. Trying to keep around the $1400.00 to $1600.00 range. Oh and I got a Sears Craftsman 21833 for sale.

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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1716 days


#7 posted 01-10-2012 08:51 PM

jeknow, that is a good point regarding making adjustments. Adjusting most contractor-style table saws can be a bit time-consuming. An inexpensive addition is the PALS setup from In-Line Industries. For $20, it’s well worth it from everybody I’ve heard from. If I would’ve kept my PM64a, I would’ve gotten the PALS setup for it.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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knotscott

5482 posts in 2041 days


#8 posted 01-10-2012 08:57 PM

Now that being said anyone got advise and or opinions on these type saws. Trying to keep around the $1400.00 to $1600.00 range.

Grizzly G1023RL – $1349 shipped:

Grizzly G0690 – $1475 shipped:

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

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jeknow

7 posts in 1039 days


#9 posted 01-10-2012 09:02 PM

Yes regarding the PALS I thought of those too but they don’t make them to fit the Craftsman saw, so that’s out on that model. And thanks for the Grizz. pics I’ve been looking at that one and a Jet model that Woodcraft sells. Do you own this saw? and what do you think? Sorry Rayman24 didn’t mean to hijak your forum maybe this will help both of us.

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jeknow

7 posts in 1039 days


#10 posted 01-10-2012 09:08 PM

Well reagarding looking at the Jet saws I guess you’d have to throw anther $600.00 at that one

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Rayman24

18 posts in 994 days


#11 posted 01-10-2012 09:14 PM

No hijak at all…I want to know all my options…I have recently started researching the Grizzly G0715P 10” Hybrid Table Saw, and the Steel City 35990C…similar price range but still under $800.00. As usual all options are welcome, as I will continue to do my research.

-- Rayman24

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jeknow

7 posts in 1039 days


#12 posted 01-10-2012 09:24 PM

That’s cool and those are to good companys I have a Grizzly drill press, and drum sander, and a Steelcity bandsaw and have had no problem with either one. I think Grizzly has a better customer service division then Steelcity but hopefully you won’t need it. I just wanted you to be aware of the blade to miter adjustments on these type saws. But like Jonathan says they do make add on things to make it a little easier.

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knotscott

5482 posts in 2041 days


#13 posted 01-10-2012 11:35 PM

jeknow – I own neither of those particular models, but do own a 2008 Shop Fox W1677, which is a white version of the former G1023”SL” (pre-riving knife). It was a very popular model for a decade or so….now PM66 materials, but a great bang for the buck. The G0690 has a trunnion setup that’s most like the G1023SL and W1677. It’s been a great saw for me.

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

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cabmaker

1311 posts in 1474 days


#14 posted 01-10-2012 11:46 PM

Sorry, there is not a best saw in that price range, that is new anyway. You better plan on used.

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Galt

11 posts in 1052 days


#15 posted 01-11-2012 12:56 AM

Through a curious series of events, I had to shoehorn myself into a shop that was only 5% the size of what I previously had. An unfortunate/fortunate effect of which was that I moved to a large Festool compatible workbench, along with their plunge saws, cutting guides and other tools. That was several years ago, and the more acclimated I become with their systems, the more sense it all starts to make. It is definitely not a replacement for the space and speed of a strong table saw with a nice big in-feed and out-feed, but it also gives me comparable results in less than a quarter of the space. Short of a Saw Stop, there’s also nothing as safe. Rather than trying to move the material past the blade you’re simply moving the blade past the material in a very controlled and contained fashion, and you get near total dust extraction. This last item is a real spoiler, and something I tend to take for granted, until I m reminded when visiting someone else’s shop. When clean up is juxtaposed to set up time, the two options become even more of a wash.

The space saving nature of that difference is quite huge, as well as being a lot more fat old fart friendly than humpin’ tons of melamine or MDF all day. I just slide my flat stacked sheet goods off of the back of the truck and onto my height adjusting, roll-around material cart. That rolls in and gets parked at one end of my cut table and all I’m lifting is ends and edges to slide from one to the other, not full sheets. It doesn’t take too many sheets to appreciate the difference. There is also much to be said for the difference versus trying to manipulate full sheets through a table saw blade accurately, when you haven’t really got all of the space that you need to operate safely. It’s not an especially inexpensive alternative, but with their plunge saws, guide rails, routers and HEPA dust extractors, I can build cabinets and casework anywhere.

I can stack and load enough tools to basically put a whole shop on the road in a couple three handtruck trips from shop to trailer. I’m retired now, so there’s not much call for that, but the capabilities are a wonderful trick to have in your pocket when ya need it. I used to keep a vertical panel saw, a left and a right tilt cabinet saw, plus a Bosch portable for install travel. The Festool set up is more space efficient than even the Bosch, by the time you allow for in-feed and out-feed, along with the stacking and storing of material going into and coming off of the saws. In terms of portability there’s no comparison at all. It’s not even remotely close.

All that said, they sure as heck ain’t cheap, but I’ve not regretted a penny of what I’ve spent (and I’d tell ya what that was, but my wife might stumble across this someday, and then it would all end up in my estate sale auction). There’s just something comfortable about being able to walk up to the table saw and commence any number of ingenious cuts in short order, even if it is in close proximity to the ever present danger of shortening digits. :)

-- “It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.” - Dr. Ron Paul

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