Delta 34-445 vs 36-979?

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Forum topic by jcox posted 06-15-2012 01:10 PM 5661 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 2251 days

06-15-2012 01:10 PM

I am looking at a couple of used table saws and was interested in a Delta 36-979 with the biesemeyer fence that looks to be in good shape and has good reviews on this site and others…listed for $350, though I don’t know if the seller will move on the price. Based on past reviews and discussions, this price does not look to be unreasonable, though I would probably be more willing to pay $300 if possible.

However, a Delta 34-445 popped up for $100 more ($450) that includes the Model # 34-914 accessory table and some built in shelving beneath the table. I similarly do not know whether the seller will move on the price.

Both come with a mobile base, but it looks like the 979 has cast iron tables, whereas the 445 appears to have a left extension made of aluminum or something similar. The 445 also has the unifence system instead of the biesemeyer.

Is there any reason to prefer one of these saws over the other? I’ve done some research but cannot determine whether one has a better motor (both are 1.5 HP) or what other qualitative differences might exist between the two other than the fences and tables. Any opinions on whether one of these is a “better” saw for the money or what either is worth? I think the 445 is an older model than the 979 but I am having a hard time finding much on the 445 other than parts lists and discussions about building dust collection systems on it. I like the accessory table and shelving on the 445, but my main priority is determining which is the better saw. And I understand that these kinds of posts seem to receive a lot of suggestions to wait for a cabinet saw to pop up for the same amount of money, but right now I’m mainly interested in input on these two saws…wouldn’t be posting if a PM66 or Unisaw was available at my pricepoint on CL, I’d be in my car driving to the seller’s address with cash in hand! :)

I’d appreciate any input, thanks!


4 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8017 posts in 3376 days

#1 posted 06-15-2012 02:39 PM

The older Delta was likely made in the USA and may have slightly better build quality, but has steel wings, and likely the old jet lock fence. With that said, I’ve read very few complaints about the 36-979…that saw also offers a Biese fence, solid cast iron wings, and mobile base for $100 less. Guess it really depends on what’s most important to you, but I’ve be very interested in the Biese fence and solid wings for my saw….

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

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2843 days

#2 posted 06-15-2012 05:39 PM

I have a 36-979 with the cast iron extensions and an Incra fence. I really like it. The saw is quiet and operates smoothly. The built in wheels aren’t especially sturdy but they work okay on my rough floor. -Jack

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3648 days

#3 posted 06-15-2012 05:54 PM

I’d prefer the Unifence myself because the extrusion can
be retracted back and used as a cut-off stop to the right
of the blade.

It’s hard to go too far wrong buying used, especially if
the saw has a premium fence at the price points you
are looking at.

View jcox's profile


17 posts in 2251 days

#4 posted 06-15-2012 07:42 PM

Thanks for your feedback…I’m now leaning toward the 979 if only because of the cast iron table and the cheaper price…sounds like either one would be serviceable though, which is really what matters (it’s amazing how sick you get of looking for table saws on CL and ebay after months and months…the point is to be able to build things, not be on the internet constantly!). I’m going to try and schedule a time tonight or tomorrow morning to look over the 979, as it might be a moot point if the pictures and promise that it “runs great” are leaving something out like dips in the tables or motor problems.

I’ll check back in in case anyone else has any thoughts, thanks again for your thoughts!

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