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Which Saw to Buy?

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Forum topic by lab7654 posted 07-18-2012 03:16 AM 1624 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lab7654

252 posts in 935 days


07-18-2012 03:16 AM

I’m on the fence about whether I should drop the coin on either a tablesaw or a bandsaw. Budget is usually an issue for me, so I have to buy and save for tools one at a time. But with this, I get a better appreciation for them when I finally get my hands on them :). Any thoughts on which should come first? I already have both, but my bandsaw is a 9” Harbor Freight one and the tablesaw is an off-brand, cheap contractor one.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.


25 replies so far

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 873 days


#1 posted 07-18-2012 03:20 AM

Defiantly start with the table saw. Any size bandsaw is fine for basic curves. Go for a nice used contractor or hybrid saw like grizzly or ridgid off of craigslist. Then, do the same for a Larger bandsaw. I say table saw first because the table saw is one of the most used tools and needs to be 100% accurate which is hard on a cheap contractor saw.

View Denvy's profile

Denvy

49 posts in 827 days


#2 posted 07-18-2012 03:32 AM

You may get different opinions, when you figure out what you are going to focus on making, the choice should be obvious. Consider; if you are making furniture, the table saw would be best. If you were going to make Ink pens, turn them on a lathe, then I would definitely get the best band saw that I can afford at the time. I started with a 14 inch band saw, then gave that to my Son when I found a 17 inch General for 1,000.cash. A 14 inch Grizley may be a consideration. The band saw can rough out blanks for pens but for furniture the surface is too
rough for reasonable completion of most projects. Ok, it still boils down to your choice. Make it when you are ready-pull the trigger.

-- Denvy, Tualatin, Oregon USA

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lab7654

252 posts in 935 days


#3 posted 07-18-2012 03:35 AM

I’ve been leaning heavily towards the tablesaw anyway, but a bandsaw would be nice for resawing. I’m probably going with the tablesaw, unless I find an amazing deal on a bandsaw… but then again I could probably afford both in that case.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View NormG's profile

NormG

4259 posts in 1692 days


#4 posted 07-18-2012 03:46 AM

Table saw first

-- Norman

View Denvy's profile

Denvy

49 posts in 827 days


#5 posted 07-18-2012 03:47 AM

With a limited budget, or if space is a concern, give some consideration to the Ryobi with folding stand, sliding right side of table, you can slide the right side out and insert a personally built to fit router “insert”. I built one and it is easy to drop in and take out if the larger table is not desired. The Ryobi new runs between 199 and 225 depending on the promotion and sale price at the time. I bought one, had it for 3 years, gave it to my daughter who claimed to “need” one. Then I bought a new one and the fence is good but it is not a beesmeyer. The fence is accurate but care should be taken to make sure you know if it is lined up really straight. With lack of attention the fence can be locked in crooked and that will ruin your cut and spoil a nice cut. Choose wisely it is a tool that will be very useful. Oh and consider using an 8 inch blade, 1/16 inch thick, It will not obviously cut as deeply as a 10 inch blade but the motor will give you more power and if you are only cutting 3/4 inch boards, you will have plenty of blade and more strength from your motor.

-- Denvy, Tualatin, Oregon USA

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thedude50

3525 posts in 1166 days


#6 posted 07-18-2012 04:08 AM

Hold everything I think i need to know more after a good read of the Anarchist tool chest recommended by Bill I saw Chris say that if your a hand tool guy the top three are a band saw as a hand saw and you already have a table saw so don’t jump yet second was not a jointer but a lunch box planer. If you use hand planes I agree with this. As you can joint and flatten with a no 5 or larger. and third a mortising machine. this one i need to think about OK i am done i can buy it. However if you really want a saw I have to ask which one is your weakest link this also means what do you make for example if you make rocking chairs by all means forget the table saw and get the best band saw you can afford . but on the other hand if you primarily make cabinetry and box goods then go with the table saw. You see our advise we give you is secondary to what you know yourself . You know what you want you know what you build. If you are a power tool guy I would live with the lesser tools for a while and I would get a jointer but that is me I can make a cheep saw work I did it for a long time I had a 8 in direct drive saw and a melamine fence that attached to the table i made out of particle board. it got me by it was accurate enough to make the chair parts i needed to make enough money to buy a real table saw and I sold hundreds of Adirondack chairs that were cut out using a delta table top band saw. I worked hard sold lots of chairs and built a nice shop that can make anything along the way i started hoarding hand tools and i still do I like hand tool work less noise more fun but some times i need to get things done fast and machines make milling wood child’s play compared to flattening boards with a hand plane so I ask you before you buy what do you make and what is the weakest link in your production.

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View lab7654's profile

lab7654

252 posts in 935 days


#7 posted 07-18-2012 05:25 AM

Ok, definitely the tablesaw. I’ve had models in mind for each saw, so that isn’t an issue. Probably going with the Ridgid R4512. That and the Craftsman 21833, and Masterforce 2400036 are all pretty much the same saw, but the Ridgid seems to get better reviews and is $100+ cheaper where I live.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View ELCfinefurniture's profile

ELCfinefurniture

112 posts in 1008 days


#8 posted 07-18-2012 07:04 AM

I personaly would go table saw before bandsaw.
That is a VERY hard choice. I would saw I use them evenly. However the tablesaw takes the cake for me when doing fine work. I never do anything finished OFF the bandsaw. That being said if you are handtool savvy and dont feel you need the table saw for some of its features and want to try out curved work I MIGHT go the bandsaw route.
But overall I would say tablesaw.

-- {Current North Bennet street school student}

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

387 posts in 956 days


#9 posted 07-18-2012 07:23 AM

tablesaw

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5514 posts in 2064 days


#10 posted 07-18-2012 11:46 AM

It depends on what you cut most, but the majority of shops feature a good TS.

The Right Table Saw for Your Shop

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

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4524 posts in 1763 days


#11 posted 07-18-2012 01:19 PM

This decision should be based on what you want to do and what other tools you have.

For example, if you already had a miter saw and a plunge saw (like Festool’s) your need for a table saw is less.

If you already have a good jig saw or scroll saw, your need for a bandsaw is less.

A bandsaw is kind of a “special application” tool. Some people never do anything that requires a bandsaw. Other people use one all the time.

You may want a bandsaw for resawing. My advice— Don’t bother with a lightweight, lower powered bandsaw for resawing. I use a 2 hp, 18” bandsaw for resawing and it still goes pretty slow.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Heisbert's profile

Heisbert

34 posts in 868 days


#12 posted 07-20-2012 04:19 PM

If I were you, I’ll continue saving until I can afford to buy a powerful band saw. A band saw that can do all the cuts and will last long enough that you wont need to replace it. In that way you can save again if you still want to go for a table saw.

View AJswoodshop's profile

AJswoodshop

1057 posts in 965 days


#13 posted 07-20-2012 04:23 PM

Table saw would be best. You are not going to do that much resawing. I have a bandsaw and I have never resawed on it. Plus if you want a bandsaw that can do resawing the are very pricey. I would get a table saw first.

AJ

-- If I can do it.....so can you! -AJswoodshop

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4341 posts in 1736 days


#14 posted 07-20-2012 04:27 PM

I do not mean to be unpleasant, but it seems that we have a post like this one each week. (same about dust collector)
lab7654 why don’t make search on this site to see everything that has been written about table saws in the last year or “saw” ( no done on purpose).

-- Bert

View Loren's profile

Loren

7734 posts in 2336 days


#15 posted 07-20-2012 04:31 PM

An inexpensive off-brand contractor saw can be tuned and
jigged-up to do accurate work.

A cheaply made band saw will always frustrate you as you
explore its limits. A good band saw will help expand your
vision of what is possible for you in woodworking.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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