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Buy 8-10 year old delta unisaw with Biesemeyer fence, or new grizzly?

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Forum topic by steffen707 posted 02-16-2012 03:14 PM 5201 views 1 time favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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steffen707

98 posts in 1010 days


02-16-2012 03:14 PM

Local to me is a guy selling a 8-10 year old delta unisaw 5hp single phase with a Biesemeyer fence for $800. I was also thinking maybe a brand new grizzly g0715p which is like $900 shipped.

I’ve always been kinda leary of spending big bucks on a used item, especially 8-10 years old. It doesn’t scare me too much though because i’ve read a lot of reviews and most people agree a “unisaw” is an awesome machine. I’m just wondering if a 10 year old unisaw is still that much better than a brand new grizzly with warranty.

Or for a third option should I wait and find something used or new in the $1300 range and be that much better off?

I’m sure you guys can point me in the right direction.

-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.


50 replies so far

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51450 posts in 2197 days


#1 posted 02-16-2012 03:21 PM

I think $800 for a Unisaw 10 years old is a good deal providing it is in good shape. You will have to take a look at it and see that it works OK. If it’s in good shape, IMO I would get the Unisaw. I bought my Powermatic 66 for $1650 (3 hp) and it was 15 years old at the time and it works like a dream.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6960 posts in 1630 days


#2 posted 02-16-2012 03:55 PM

Just my personal opinion but if buying a new Grizzly (or newer anything), they have a new design quick-release riving knife that is hard to beat. And it does not take $100 to replace it (aka the SawStop unit subscription).

;-)

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

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steffen707

98 posts in 1010 days


#3 posted 02-16-2012 05:16 PM

I’m not sure if the unisaw I’m looking at has a riving knife or not.

-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4145 posts in 1668 days


#4 posted 02-16-2012 05:28 PM

I’d go with the Delta provided that there’s a riving knife.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View BUBBATAY's profile

BUBBATAY

26 posts in 1031 days


#5 posted 02-16-2012 05:30 PM

In my opinion the age of the saw doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, it’s how much it has been used. I feel Delta is the better saw and for that price you won’t be sorry.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3480 posts in 1687 days


#6 posted 02-16-2012 05:33 PM

There is not likely to be a riving knife on a 10 year old saw.
They were only mandated for new saws a couple years ago.
A splitter is likely to be all that you get, even if that.

But, I’d still rather have a $3000 saw for $800 than a $500 saw for $900. I would go for the Unisaw in a heartbeat.

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

View rkober's profile

rkober

129 posts in 1009 days


#7 posted 02-16-2012 05:34 PM

I just bought a 10 yr unisaw and love it. IMO the unisaw is just a little better quality all the way around. Also the unisaw seems to be the standard of the industry so you always have parts and accessories. BTW I put a dial indicator on to check and everything was pretty close. When I have time I may tweak it a little but it’s not that far off to worry about for now.

-- Ray - Spokane, WA - “Most people don’t recognize opportunity because it’s usually disguised as hard work.” - Unknown

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Binn

86 posts in 1670 days


#8 posted 02-16-2012 05:35 PM

I would buy a new Grizzly because of all the new features. I bought an old rockwell that was built in the 60’s for $500.00 plus I had to go get it in Colorado (fun vacation though). It was in good condition with a rebuilt motor but now I wish I had a new Grizzly or any saw with the riving knife, dust collecting etc. All I have is a old saw that may go out anytime. As soon as I can buy a new one I will, because without the riving knife I have been hurt already when a large plywood board came back on me. Did a stupid thing I can’t believe I would do, been careful all these years but all it takes is one mistake. I had a Grizzly 1023Z for 11 years and it still runs , sold it and bought a sliding table saw. But I wouldn’t buy a cheap saw either.

-- Barry, Louisiana

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steffen707

98 posts in 1010 days


#9 posted 02-16-2012 06:09 PM

I guess i’m not as up to date on this stuff as I thought. I thought a riving knife was a splitter. Can somebody explain the differences?

-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7806 posts in 2364 days


#10 posted 02-16-2012 06:28 PM

8-10 years is nothing for a machine that has not been used in a
real factory setting. Honestly, 10” cabinet saws usually are not
used in a way that wears them out in anything less than 50 years.

Abuse and neglect of maintenance, dropping saws off forklifts
and weather damage are another story.

That said, lots of saws getting dumped onto the market as pro
shops move over the OSHA approved models with riving knives.

If you can hold out, I recommend looking for a small used slider
like a Mini-max SC3.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View steffen707's profile

steffen707

98 posts in 1010 days


#11 posted 02-16-2012 06:37 PM

Read up on wikipedia, so a riving knife moves up and down with the saw blade, and a splitter is just stationary behind the saw blade.

I know some guys would claim that wood workers didn’t have these devices for years and they aren’t needed; however, I like being safe. I should probably get a saw with at least a splitter.

-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3480 posts in 1687 days


#12 posted 02-16-2012 06:56 PM

I can say from first hand experience that my riving knife kept me from getting injured at least once; probably much more.

A splitter, at least in my case, would have worked as well, but splitters often get removed from a saw because they can’t stay on there during a “non-through” type cut. Then folks just forget to put them back on. Or someone making a lot of dado or rabbit type cuts for case work or shelves just gets tired of putting it on and taking it off and just consciously leaves it off, thinking I’ll be extra carefull and put it back when I get through.

So, I would rather have a riving knife; but, I would rather have a good heavy duty industrial saw instead of a whimpy hybrid that won’t stay in adjustment, given they were close to the same price. To me, $800 vs $900 is very close to the same price.

If I knew I was making a long rip in a stressed board with a non-riving knife saw I would go very carefully and put a wedge in the kerf and use push blocks and a feather board if possible, for instance.

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

7806 posts in 2364 days


#13 posted 02-16-2012 06:59 PM

Safest practice is to not rip solid wood on the table saw. It is
better done on the band saw for several reasons. In commercial
setting solid wood boards are ripped on a table with a power
feeder which prevents kickback and puts the worker far away
from the blade.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Binn's profile

Binn

86 posts in 1670 days


#14 posted 02-16-2012 07:11 PM

It depends on how much you want to spend and how often you use the saw. A riving knife is very important to keep you from getting hurt. I made one work on my old rockwell but it does not go up and down with the blade . Plus it is thicker than my blades so I am constantly taking it off and on, I ‘ll have to grind it thinner. I bought a used Grizzly commercial sliding table saw G0501 a year ago but still haven’t hook it up, So I can use the riving knife and dust collecting features. When you have a piece of plywood that the blade catches and comes back into your gut, you will want a riving knife. This was the first time I had this problem while working with table saws in 35 years. I have had jobs in the past where I had to cross cut narrow pieces of melamine sliding between the blade and fence and being very careful not to catch the blade (very dangerous). So I would always recommend a safer saw.

-- Barry, Louisiana

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51450 posts in 2197 days


#15 posted 02-16-2012 07:12 PM

A riving knife mounts right behind the blade. It is often shaped like a shark fin and it comes up over the back of the blade. Although it serves as a splitter too, its primary purpose is to keep the wood from crossing over the back of the blade which will cause a kick-back. The riving knife will tilt with the blade, and in some cases it will move up and down also. The riving knife that I have tilts but doesnt go up and down. I have several different sizes should I want to change the height of the knife. A splitter doesnt move with the blade and often is mounted some distance back from the blade. In some cases it mounts at the rear of the saw cabinet. Its purpose is to keep the wood from pinching the blade. Since it sits back from the blade, it sometimes will still allow the leading edge of wood to cross over the back of the blade. The riving knife is a better choice if it fits on your saw and just about eliminates wood from crossing over the back of the blade and eliminates this type of kickback.

You can tell if your saw will handle a riving knife by taking the throat plate off the blade and looking for a horizontal stud right behind the blade. Otherwise you can fabricate one to work using a zero clearance throat plate.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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