Thoughts on Delta 36-979

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Forum topic by Hesed posted 06-24-2008 08:44 PM 2552 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 3857 days

06-24-2008 08:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

Hi, I’m hoping to get some opinions on the Delta 36-979 contractor table saw ( I’m thinking about getting this as my first table saw as I begin to build my own shop. It seems like the reviews are generally very good and it’s inexpensive enough that the wife gave me the thumbs up on it. However, I saw one at Lowes last night and, to be honest, it looked a little cheap as far as the build goes. It had plastic covers over the motor that look like they’ll tear off right away, and I was able to lift up one side of the table without much effort (i.e., it’s not very heavy).

So, I’d love to hear some thoughts and experiences with this saw. I’m not looking to buy the top of the line saw right now (obviously), but I do want something that will last me a long time, that I’m not going to grow out of in a year or so.

Also, what accessories are a must have from the beginning. Obviously a fence, I’m looking at getting the Delta T2 to go with it, and a zero clearance insert. What else?

Thanks for your help!

7 replies so far

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3865 days

#1 posted 06-24-2008 10:22 PM

I don’t know anything about the delta but I just got done doing a lot of research on table saws less than $600 and the ridgid saw seemed to be the best buy locally. I can tell you that so far I love this saw, it is heavy, runs great and seems to have enough power to cut through harwoods without any trouble. The only thing I wuold like is a heavy duty fense but the one that comes with it is decent.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 4008 days

#2 posted 06-24-2008 11:26 PM

Hi Hesed,

I actually reviewed this on LJ along with a few other people. I personally have been using this saw for over a year now and I love it. Although there is some plastic parts on it I assure you I have had no issues. Budget and wanting to stick to 110 power made this my choice as opposed to a cabinet saw. At 234 lbs (without a fence system) and having cast iron wings on this saw doesn’t quite make it light for a contractor style saw but it is by design much lighter then a cabinet saw and still stable. It is also a very quite saw. I opted to spend a little more money and get the beisemeyer fence as I think it to be one of the nicer fences on the market. Other accessories to consider are a nice blade (Freud 10” 50 teeth thin kerf combination blade), zero clearance insert and a tenoning jig. I crosscut almost exclusively on a TS vs. a miter saw or RAS so for me one of the best accessories to add is a cross cut sled. I made a simple but accurate one out of mdf and some maple ply. I think that if you end up going with this saw you will not be disappointed. Hope this helps.

View edh's profile


7 posts in 3825 days

#3 posted 06-25-2008 05:10 AM

There are some excellent USED saws available from time to time. I bought my Unisaw 15yrs ago from a professional cabinet maker. The original sale sticker was still on the cabinet and I bought it for less than half what the sticker said. These saws are very well built,,IN THE USA,, and once set up they require little adjustment. This one humms when you switch it on, no whine and has never stalled in a cut.
I recommend you look around and see whats available in used machines built in North America.


View jstewart's profile


141 posts in 4292 days

#4 posted 06-25-2008 05:20 AM

I have this saw with cast iron wings and a T2 fence. I’ve been very happy with my purchase. I wouldn’t spend money on a Delta brand zero-clearance insert. I would just buy one from Woodcraft. They run around $25. I would highly recommend this saw as a good starter for someone getting into woodworking or starting up a moderate budget shop. Check out my review for more info. If you have any specific questions about this saw, just let me know. I’m more than happy to share my experience.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

View deck99's profile


9 posts in 3824 days

#5 posted 06-25-2008 08:10 PM

I had that saw before I bought my cabinet saw. It’s a great saw. I would buy again if I ever needed a contractor’s saw.


-- deck99

View Hesed's profile


36 posts in 3857 days

#6 posted 06-26-2008 07:32 AM

Thanks for the responses, guys. You’ve definitely put my mind at ease about this saw. I’ve done a ton of research and this looks like the best saw given my shop and budget constraints, but I think I’m just a bit hesitant to go ahead and take the plunge. I guess I’d better go for it before my wife changes her mind about letting me get it!

View deck99's profile


9 posts in 3824 days

#7 posted 06-27-2008 03:40 PM

You’ll then need to get a dust collector if you don’t have one. This saw now has a nice dust collector pan below the blade. It really works pretty good.


-- deck99

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