Another "What TS should I buy?" thread

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Forum topic by ChuckS1 posted 08-17-2012 06:49 PM 2265 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2132 days

08-17-2012 06:49 PM

So I’ve been lurking here for quite a while, researching table saws. I’ve realized there’s a lot more to this than just running down to Sears, like my dad used to tell me back in the 60’s. Anyway, here’s my situation. I’m a beginner at this, but have realized that a good table saw is where I want to start. Don’t want a portable saw. I’ve got a 3 car garage, so space isn’t as big a problem. I don’t want to spend more than $500, but maybe as high as $600. I’ve looked at the new Ridgid R4512, but have been scared away by the alignment issues I’ve read about. My local CL has four saws I’m seriously considering that fit in my budget and I would really appreciate some opinions.

Here are the four I’m considering from CL:

1. General International 50-220. Looks very well maintained. The owner has a woodworking shop that he says he’s downsizing due to age/health issues. Comes with a Shopfox fence system and an Incra miter gauge. He’s asking $500.

2. Craftsman hybrid model 22104. Like new, according to the owner. Asking $375.

3. Older Craftsman 113.298762 contractor saw. Has the perforated cast iron wings. Owner says “excellent condition”. Looking at the pictures, I see no rust. Comes with the OEM fence, miter gauge, manual. Also comes with a dado blade. He’s asking $300.

4. Jet table saw. Don’t know the model, but it looks like a contractor saw and includes blade, multiple throat plates, a Shopfox base, crosscutting sled for plywood and a 55” extended side table. Asking $500.

Again, I was just about to buy the Ridgid R4512, but am concerned about all the posts I’ve read about alignment issues. Is that something I should worry about now or has Ridgid fixed the problem?

Anyway, advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

13 replies so far

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2309 days

#1 posted 08-17-2012 07:06 PM

I like option #1 if it’s in good shape. The Incra miter gauge is a nice upgrade that you wouldn’t need to spend extra money on down the road.

-- John, BC, Canada

View JayT's profile (online now)


5673 posts in 2234 days

#2 posted 08-17-2012 07:25 PM

#1 looks like a decent option, especially with the add-ons.

#2—might be OK, but I’d rather have the General.

#3—The Craftsman 113 is overpriced, they routinely pop up on CL for ~$150 in my part of the country.

#4—It would be good to know more about the Jet. Any way you can get a model # or post a picture? A 55in side table is unusual for a contactor saw, so is there a chance it is a hybrid?

With a $500 budget and no space issues, I would definitely be looking for a hybrid or cabinet saw. With a little patience and hunting, a 3hp cabinet saw might even be a possibility.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2975 days

#3 posted 08-17-2012 07:25 PM

I concur with John. Option 1 sounds like the best deal to me. I wouldn’t sit on it too long, either.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2266 days

#4 posted 08-17-2012 07:25 PM

Of your choices, the General seems the best bet since it’s the only cabinet saw in the line up. The enclosed motor/cabinet keeps things a bit quieter and cleaner around the shop. Make sure you are wired for 220. The Incra is a nice bonus too.

I’m a beginning woodworker/hobbyist myself and love my cabinet saw. Having a super heavy/steady/flat steel surface and 3hp makes a world of difference over my little Ryobi portable TS. Once you get it, you’ll want to build an extension table and since you have lots of room, throw in a large outfeed/assembly table and working in the shop will be a real joy. Have fun!

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3399 days

#5 posted 08-17-2012 08:44 PM

I’d go with the GI…..220v shouldn’t be required for that one. IIRC, the motor has a relatively low amp rating. Solid cast wings, full enclosure, good fence, aftermarket gauge, well rated saw….could be a nice setup if it’s in good shape.

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

View 47phord's profile


182 posts in 2260 days

#6 posted 08-17-2012 09:51 PM

I would go for the General. The Jet is a possibility too depending on what it actually is. I own the Craftsman 21883, which is the Ridgid’s cousin and I would stay away. I know alot of folks have had good luck with the Ridgid, but I haven’t seen anything concrete saying the alignment issue has been solved and believe me, there is nothing worse than a TS that you can’t square up. If only I knew two years ago what I know now…

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2994 days

#7 posted 08-17-2012 10:13 PM

General gets my vote, hands down.

View ChuckS1's profile


2 posts in 2132 days

#8 posted 08-17-2012 10:22 PM

Well, missed the General. Just talked to the owner and he sold it. Here’s a picture of the Jet.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2656 days

#9 posted 08-17-2012 10:26 PM

I’m in the General camp too. Tough to go wrong there.
The Jet is also interesting. Seems to come with a lot of extras.
The Craftsman hybrid looks like a nice machine. Insist on making a test cut to see if its square.
I have a Crafty 113.298762. I paid less than $100. I’ve recently upgraded the fence with a Delta T2 and a new belt. Honestly, I hated the saw when it had the old fence. With the new fence, its fantastic. However, $300 is a ridiculous asking price. Actually, its a laughable price. Keeping in-mind that you’ll need to immediately upgrade the fence.

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2309 days

#10 posted 08-17-2012 10:29 PM

I know some folks have had problems with their R4512s, while others (like me) have not had any problems. If you need a saw now and can’t play the CL scavenger hunt game, you could always pick up the Ridgid and if it does turn out to have problems, just return it for an exchange or a refund. None of the other saws at the prices listed gets me excited. My two cents. Good luck!

-- John, BC, Canada

View JayT's profile (online now)


5673 posts in 2234 days

#11 posted 08-17-2012 10:33 PM

Well, you were correct, the Jet is definitely the contractor saw (JWTS-10, I think). It’s a decent saw and appears to have cast iron wings and a good fence, but I don’t think that setup is worth $500.

If it was me, I’d hold off on the purchase and keep looking. A decent hybrid or cabinet saw will come up in your price range again.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2652 days

#12 posted 08-18-2012 02:29 AM

chuck…...i’d skip the jet. overpriced for what you are getting. ithe ridgid, i believe, it still comes with a 90 satisfaction guaranty. if you don’t like it, you can return it (can’t do that with a CL purchase). and the ridgid is eligible for registration in ridgid’s LSA (lifetime service agreement). free parts and labor for the life of the saw. lastly, if you can find a HD that honors harbor freight’s “20% off any single item” coupon, the cost would drop to $400.

as an owner of a c-man 10” contractor TS, i like the saw. but $300!!!! twice what it should be. $100 is more like it, if it’s in good shape. then add a delta t-2 fence (~$160 from tool plus) and, with a little tweaking, you have a kick a$$ saw.

that c-man 22104 appears to have cabinet mounted trunions, so it’s aligned like a cabinet saw, by moving the table instead of moving the trunions attached to the underside of the table like on the c-man contractor saw. if you can swing the 22014 for between $300 and $350, and it’s in good condition, it’s a good deal. it doesn’t have a riving knife, but if it has it’s OEM splitter and blade guard, it will provide sufficient protection from kickback.

good luck. just stay away form the jet. the brand isn’t, IMHO, what it was 25 years ago.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3399 days

#13 posted 08-18-2012 11:43 AM

The Jet at $500 is a tad steep, but it’s got solid cast iron wings, and a good Biese clone fence. The new Jet tools do carry a premium that’s just bit excessive IMHO (toolie’s view is much more over the top than mine) ...much if it is profit and dealer margins, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Jet saw that’s not wrong with others in it’s class…it’s very much like other decent import contractor saws….GI 50-185, PM64a, Grizzly G0576, Bridgewood, etc.

The 22104 has good basic “bones” with those cabinet mounted trunnions (same guts as the 22114 and 22124), but it has steel wings, may or may not have a dust collection pan at the bottom (it was optional), and has a marginal fence, which IMHO makes it expensive at $350….$250 would leave wiggle room for a better fence like a Delta T2.

Here’s a peak at the guts of a 22124 under the hood (pretty much the same as the 22104):

Here’s a peak at the guts of a contractor saw like the Jet:

The alignment issues with the R4512 also pertained to the Cman 21833, and apparently the Grizzly G0715P, and have supposedly been fixed. You still get steel wings, and a mid-level fence, but has largely been received as a good saw in this price range. It has a true riving knife, which none of the used saws have, and has a built in mobile base.

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

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