Table Saw - Out with the old, In with the new

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Hermando posted 03-07-2012 05:03 PM 4550 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Hermando's profile


75 posts in 2822 days

03-07-2012 05:03 PM

As I read the reviews and topics on many of the craftsmen and craftswomen here in Lumberjocks, it seems one of the biggest topics is Table Saws and which one is right for the craft and enjoyment we all have in working with wood. I know there are all levels of experience, as I would put myself somewhere in the middle.

For me I have taken alot of the advice here before making any purchases. I presently have two table saws (down from four). I have a new Dewalt DW745 portable that I bought to install 3000 sq/ft of walnut hardwood floor in my home. The Dewalt is truly a great saw for a portable. During that time I found an older Craftsman Contractor Saw (Model 113.299315) with a cast iron top, steel extension wings and Exacti-rip Fence 24” and 3hp (?) Belt drive motor

The Craftsman is a nice enough table saw for my purposes, strong and durable but still has some shortcomings. After I tuned it up completely, new link belt, blade and blade it cuts everything I have put through it. I bought this TS off Craigs List for 40$, its probably 20 years old, made by Emerson (USA). The fence has it quirks and the steel wings do not lie flat no matter how much I have adjusted, it also is missing the blade guard and splitter.

I am sure many wood workers have a similar situation with owning an older Table Saw that works fine, but is it worth the investment of upgrading the fence, miter gauge, possibly cast iron wings, possible motor replacement or look at purchasing a new table saw (Contractor, Hybrid, Cabinet saw with the latest and greatest features)

My Upgrades would be a new Vega Fence ($300), Incra Miter Gauge V27 ($70), Used extension wings ($100) or wait to invest in the newer TS like the Steel City 35990C (Which has everything I’d want without upgrades)

8 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3985 days

#1 posted 03-07-2012 05:18 PM

I have a Grizz 0444Z, cast iron wings, Incra 1000SE miter, Shop Fox Aluma Classic fence, Onsrud and Freud blades, and Shop Fox mobile base. HF dust collector works pretty darned well too.
The 0444Z is no longer avail., but is a great saw. Yeah, its a contractor, but sure is a sweet saw. If I were to buy today, I’d get a left tilt and still use the same accessories.


View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3673 days

#2 posted 03-07-2012 06:28 PM

If you’re looking at investing $500 in upgrades I would recommend
looking at newer (and used) saws that meet your criteria.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2996 days

#3 posted 03-07-2012 06:29 PM

Ever notice when folks talk of upgrading an old saw they rarely mention the blade guard/splitter.

To me, a functional riving knife and a decent blade guard is just as important as the wings; maybe even the miter gauge. I would certainly not spend $400-$500 on an old contractor’s saw with no safety features. I could see paying that to upgrade a good cabinet saw if I got it at a good price.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2939 days

#4 posted 03-07-2012 06:32 PM

I have a Grizzly G0690 w/route extension. The best part about buying a “newer” TS is that it will have a built-in riving knife and/or a better splitter for safety. For me, I am more concerned about the safety than the “heritage” factor of owning and using older equipment. The riving knife can be installed or removed in seconds.

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

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2311 days

#5 posted 03-07-2012 06:58 PM

If you go for the 35990, I can give you some tips for assembly and lining things up that might make the job easier and faster. I have the 35990G model and really like it. (Although I can’t use magnetic featherboards… hehehe)

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8088 posts in 2353 days

#6 posted 03-07-2012 07:07 PM

I have pretty much the same Craftsman table saw as you do, only it sounds like mine is newer and has a pretty decent aluminum factory fence with aluminum rails.

The 3 HP rating is “peak developed” which is marketing schpeel for 1.5 HP.

I bought it NIB on sale at Sears for $400 some 13 years ago and so far it’s meeting my needs.

Personally, I wouldn’t put that kind of money into upgrading it.

I’d save up for a true cabinent saw and Grizzly would be on my short list.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View Hermando's profile


75 posts in 2822 days

#7 posted 03-07-2012 08:52 PM

The entire idea of upgrading an old saw has been a love hate relationship – As Safety is really my number one reason for being interested in new. The Dewalt I bought for my floor project has the new blade guard and riving knife and it makes a real difference in focusing on your work and not have to be distracted about seriously injuring yourself. Its not to say you can get into bad habits with safety. After an incident with kickback I had recently I truly feel its most important with any table saw. Most older (used) saws don’t have decent blade guards, if any at all, mine in particular. It just adds alot more caution and extreme concentration while working.

Saw Stop has the right idea, but I think its all selfish reasons and money that drives that whole debate.

So I was on the fence (so to speak) to upgrade the fence on my craftsman contractor saw, Although its a great working saw and will serve me well for now, I would agree not to spend much more on upgrades, when a newer saw with updated safety guards and mechanical components are better suited for the long term.

View Hermando's profile


75 posts in 2822 days

#8 posted 03-07-2012 09:08 PM

Craftsman Contractor Saw (Model 113.299315)

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics