Table Saw's whats your choice and why

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Forum topic by mprumsey posted 09-24-2012 06:47 AM 2845 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 2247 days

09-24-2012 06:47 AM

I am looking into buying a new table saw, I’ve seen quite a few and have read many reviews. I am considering a Porter Cable Bench, 10 inch, but after reading a few reviews I’m not as sure as i was. What are you choices of a table saw and why? Keep in mind I don’t have much space so any large cuts I will have to move it outside and also the price is a concern.
Thank You

-- Woodworking the Ultimate way of Life

18 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3090 days

#1 posted 09-24-2012 11:33 AM

Hi Mike,
Welcome to LJs. I am sure that this site can answer your questions and more. Might I suggest first, that you do an LJs search on “tablesaws” and also on “xxxx brand tablesaws”. This topic comes up quite a bit and there is a tremendous amount of information already posted on the various newer, and older, tablesaws.

As far as myself, ~3 1/2 years ago I bought the Grizzly GO690 and my reasoning for doing so was that it had the latest iteration of a permanent (toolless)removable riving knife, and that it was a full “Cabinet” tablesaw and not a contractor type. I had spent a lifetime “getting by” with lesser tools and I wanted something better. To bad I had waited until my late 50s (at the time) to figure this one out.



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

View knotscott's profile


8140 posts in 3551 days

#2 posted 09-24-2012 11:51 AM

Do you NEED a portable saw to transport for location to location, or will this mainly stay in your shop? Most full size stationary saws have the lion’s share of advantages over a smaller portable, and any of them can be placed on a mobile base and moved around the shop pretty easily. It’d help to be more specific with your price range.

It really doesn’t matter much what saws we have….our circumstances are likely different. Give consideration to what type of saw offers the best performance for your situation, then buy the best one you can afford.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

18990 posts in 2743 days

#3 posted 09-24-2012 12:04 PM

I agree with Mike if a saw like that will be portable enough. Most portable saws will not get the great ratings you’ll expect. First because of the price and second because of the portability. I used a portable saw for years. I had a special bench in my shop that they slid into, so I could use it like a bench saw, or take it to the job site.

I don’t have to worry about portability anymore. I bought a Grizzley 1023L because I found it used for $200. I love the thing.

Despite what a lot of woodworkers will tell you, you can make a portable saw work for you, it just takes some extra care, and being a little realistic. Of course its not going to be the same, so learn to work with what you have. Even professionals do this all the time. Most don’t have every tool that was ever made. I still found woodworking enjoyable, even with a portable saw.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3334 days

#4 posted 09-24-2012 01:33 PM

I bought my 1992 3hp Unisaw for $500 4 years ago on Craigslist. I have since outfitted it with both an Incra fence and miter system. I also have a router extension wing with 3.5hp router and enclosure.

The great thing about larger cabinet saws, like mine and Mikes and Dons above, is that they are wonderfully stable and have lots of power to spare. You can’t put a router into a portable saw. It’s something to consider, especially if your shop is small to begin with.

If you can only go with 110v current in your shop, then “hybrid” saws like the Porter Cable, Ridgid, and Hitachi (the biggest saws that the big box stores will sell) will be sufficient. Likewise a “contractor saw” off of Craigslist. Otherwise, it doesn’t take much more money to get more powerful 220v motors. Lots of people suggest that you don’t need 3hp, and I would concur with that if you only work with plywood and softwoods. But if you are serious about hardwoods, particularly with some thickness to them, then you’ll be wishing for something more powerful than 110v motors.

Mobile bases, like on Mike’s above, make it easy to wheel big saws around the shop. Keep in mind also that if your shop is something like a garage then you can put the saw next to the door and utilize some of that outdoor space for your bigger cuts.

But really, it depends on what you hope to accomplish with it. A portable saw might be all you need. I just don’t recommend them unless you have a lot of on-site jobs. For a dedicated shop tool, there are much better and safer choices.

-- jay,

View toolie's profile


2147 posts in 2804 days

#5 posted 09-24-2012 01:37 PM

for portability and value, i’d look to the ridgid 4510:

full features, registerable for ridgid’s LSA (liffetime service agrement. free parts and labor for life) and, if you can find a HD that will honor harbor freight’s “20% off any single item”, you could be out the door for $400 plus tax. rated a top value by wood magazine when they last tested portable saws.

if mobility isn’t an issue, the ridgid 4512 (now that the alignment issue appears to be resolved) is always rated a best buy:

many will also probably recommend the bosch 4100. i had one (CL buy) and it is a good saw. i just don’t think it’s worth what it costs new. just my $.02.

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

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3147 days

#6 posted 09-24-2012 02:16 PM

What ever you buy, portable, contractor, hybrid, or cabinet saw, do not accept anything with less than standard full size 3/8” x 3/4” miter slots. That’s the biggest limitation, IMHO, to some portable saws. The PC saw that I think you are reffering to has standard slots so it’s ok from that perspective.

When I say portable I mean saws with universal motors, usually direct drive, aluminum or stamped steel tables, and usually weigh less than 60#.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2545 days

#7 posted 09-24-2012 02:30 PM

I will only comment on the Bosch 4100, as mentioned by toolie. I don’t have much space, so a larger saw is out of the question right now. I used the 10% mover’s coupon and got it at Lowes. Yeah, it’s pricey, but I use it all the time, and never once regret spending that money. The fence works great, my cuts are dead-on, I can run a 8” dado set on it no problem, I can do box joints and miters with great results with my Incra V120 miter gauge, and when I’m done it gets folded up and stored in the corner. Someday I will get a nicer cabinet saw, but I have to wait until we move. In my opinion, the 4100 is great for someone who has limited space. If you go that route, you will most definitely want to purchase the left-side and out-feed extensions on Amazon.

Is it comparable to a larger, more powerful saw? Nope. Is it capable of doing everything I need it to, with accuracy? Yep. I needed to compromise, and I am extremely happy.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2808 days

#8 posted 09-24-2012 03:52 PM

I bought a used craftsman 113. TS.
I wanted an affordable TS with a reasonable amount of power, that still had a reasonably small footprint. I bought the 113 for $75 and installed a $150 Delta fence. For $225 I have a TS that meets all my needed criteria, and then some.

View MrRon's profile


5141 posts in 3419 days

#9 posted 09-24-2012 04:15 PM

Based on your limitations, I would suggest a benchtop type saw, maybe a Bosch. The reason is you can build a cabinet base for it add casters and be able to wheel it outside for cutting large pieces. You would have the light weight for portability. Even contractor type saws are not all that easy to move around. The legs tend to be flimsey and hard to move over rough terrain. The cabinet saw is the ultimate, but you don’t have the room for it.
If you intend to cut hard woods, a bench top may not be the best choice for lack of power and a contractor type may be better.

View Stephenw's profile


273 posts in 2561 days

#10 posted 09-24-2012 04:32 PM

I don’t have a dedicated wood shop. A Craftsman 21829 works well for me. It can be stored away when not in use, but still has big features. A nice rip fence, sliding miter table, and built in router table are some of the things I like about the saw.

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2361 days

#11 posted 09-24-2012 07:33 PM

Dont go for a job site saw. They are not very accurate, they are crazy loud and you will quickly outgrow it. Look on craigslist for a used contractor saw. A used contractor saw will be about the same price as a new job site saw and will last you alot longer. It will also be alot more accurate and you wont need to wear hearing protection.

View mprumsey's profile


17 posts in 2247 days

#12 posted 09-24-2012 07:51 PM

I want to say thank you all for all the responses. I will be buying something in about 2 weeks. I am currently doing my 15 days of active training and I have been doing a lot of 12 hour shifts. 6pm to 6 am, so I don’t have much time. I am looking forward to getting one. I probably will go out and do a lot of shopping around, to see which one works best for me. I will keep you all posted on what I get.
thank you so much

-- Woodworking the Ultimate way of Life

View Woodmaster1's profile


1060 posts in 2763 days

#13 posted 09-24-2012 07:55 PM

Mike I am like you, waited until my late fifties to get the ultimate table saw. Should have done years ago. I got a 5hp unisaw an upgrade from a craftsman contractor table saw.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3849 days

#14 posted 10-16-2012 12:39 PM

I have a about a 30 year old Unisaw that was given to me. Its the last table saw I would ever need.

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3828 days

#15 posted 10-16-2012 01:51 PM

I have a Ridgid 3650 and I am very happy with it. Its all cast iron unlike the newer ones, has a good fence and stays accurate. I got it used for $200.00 and it was a huge step up from a portable (jobsite ) craftsman saw I had before. I would have gone for a cabinet saw but my shop is too small for a big saw. I did look at the porter cable as well and went to have a look at the local lowes. I was not impressed. the wing are stamped steel and the blade raising mechanism is made out of plastic parts.

-- Yves

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