Buying First Table Saw

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Forum topic by Pdash posted 01-21-2013 11:06 AM 2983 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1922 days

01-21-2013 11:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

OK. I’m looking at buying my first table saw, but I’m a little overwhelmed and would like some help. I’m also pretty new to woodworking and I’m just starting to collect tools to start with and would like some help on that as well. I plan on building a few cages for my reptiles as well as a bookcase, dresser, cabinets, and a few small end tables as well just to give you guys some ideas at the projects I will be tackling.

As far as table saws go I’m looking really hard at the Grizzly G1023rlx. I like the extra length on the table, but I noticed that the G1023rlwx has a built in router table. I guess my question would be is how important is a built in router table? Would I be better off just having a dedicated router table? What should I really be looking at in a table saw as far as accessories go?

My other questions for table saws are there any other brands that I should be considering? I kinda looked at SS, but they are expensive, as well as Delta and Jet. Does twice the price really equal quality or are those made more for commercial use as oppose to hobby use?

As far as building my tool collection. I figured I would go ahead and buy some nice chisels, measurement equipment, and clamps, but what should I purchase next for big tools. A router? I was thinking a planer, but I might be able to get my hands on one for free. Band saw? I’m just not sure what I would use or need the most for future projects.

Thanks for any help in advance and I look forward to being part of this community.

15 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2648 posts in 2891 days

#1 posted 01-21-2013 02:14 PM

I work in my woodworking shop about 6 hours a day 7 days a week (Life is good). I have a Ridgid contractor table saw that I like a lot. I got it at home depot in 2006. I put a router on it that I use for making raised panels mostly. If you plan to use hard wood you will want a thickness planer to prepare rough wood for use. Buying finished wood at Home depot is expensive and limiting. I have a grizzly GO555 band saw that I use for resawing only.

-- Website is

View DIYaholic's profile


19597 posts in 2644 days

#2 posted 01-21-2013 02:20 PM

I would not want a router insert for my TS. Having to “un-set” and then accurately reset, the router or TS each time the other is needed would be a PITA, IMHO. If your budget is limited, and who’s isn’t, I suggest buying tool/machines as you need them.

Good luck with your tool/machine aquisitions and shop setup!!!

Oh yeah, Welcome to LJs, a great place to feed your wood working insanity!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4187 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 04:03 PM

Looking at those two saws, I can’t really figure out why the 3 HP saw with the long table is $100 more than the 5 HP saw with the router table built-in.

I don’t think you will find too many situations when you really need that much extra table. However, if you have the room for it, it’s always nice to have. As far as the built-in router table, again, I think it boils down to how much room you have. If space is no issue, a dedicated router table will be more convenient. But for a small shop like mine, I’d pick the saw with the router table.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Gary's profile


9327 posts in 3402 days

#4 posted 01-21-2013 04:25 PM

In a previous saw, I had the router table in the wing. I wasn’t fond of it. I like having the stand alone router table that I can leave set up. Space may dictate what you do. I have a Rigid. Couldn’t ask for a better saw….

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#5 posted 01-21-2013 04:31 PM

Welcome to Ljs
Grizzly saws are generally well thought of here LJs To answer your question I do feel Saw Stops are worth more money and that they are quality tools with the extra feature of possibly saving you from serious injury. If you do a search here on Ljs you will find dozens of threads covering the subject of what table saw to buy.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2157 days

#6 posted 01-21-2013 07:49 PM

A good fence on a TS is critical to doing good work. The best fences are those that only clamp at the front. This criteria alone will rule out many a TS.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View MT_Stringer's profile


3160 posts in 3200 days

#7 posted 01-21-2013 09:10 PM

I have the 1023RLW. Space is limited. I installed a Bosch 1617 fixed base under the router table, carefully measured and drilled a hole through the cast iron top so the router bit depth can be adjusted from above the table.

I think with the long rails, it would be cumbersome to use the router as intended. Mine is working just fine so far. I modified an existing router table fence so I can temporarily clamp it to the table saw fence if needed.

Note: Nobody said you have to use the router but the table extension adds 8 additional inches of table space (working area) which is nice. The saw top is now 48 inches wide x 27 inches deep. However, the rip capacity is still 26 inches.

I added a start/stop switch for the router. It is a Rockler model. I mounted it facing forward to the front router table support leg.
The saw is working just fine.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View HoosierDude's profile


48 posts in 2984 days

#8 posted 01-21-2013 09:23 PM

While I can’t speak directly to the 1023 xxx Grizzly saws, I can tell you that I own their G0691 saw. It is a great saw for the money! I also own a Grizzly bandsaw, and drill press so I may be a bit biased. If I had to do any of them over again… I wouldn’t.

I’ve always had a stand along router table/cabinet because I like that it helps to limit the noise and dust. I’ve never seen the need to add on to the saw.

-- Paul Lyons

View knotscott's profile


7983 posts in 3344 days

#9 posted 01-21-2013 09:57 PM

IMO it’s hard to beat either of those Grizzly 3hp cabinet saws for value. A built in router table is great if you’re hard up for space, but if there’s ample room it’s better to have a stand alone.

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

View Pdash's profile


7 posts in 1922 days

#10 posted 01-22-2013 01:31 AM

Thanks for all the input. I think I am going to buy the G1023rlx. I think I want the extra ripping space for cages. My garage is a little small right now, but will be much bigger in the future for extra equipment. I will let you all know how it is when I order it in the coming week.

View History's profile


399 posts in 1950 days

#11 posted 01-22-2013 02:53 AM

I think that you should buy a 5 ton lumber truck also.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2833 days

#12 posted 01-22-2013 03:42 AM

As to what other large tools you should buy, it will depend on your needs and what you are planning on doing.

Purchasing a tool before a need is evident is like putting the cart before the horse.

Ok. Now thats out of the way.

Common useful tools for the shop.

Drill Press
Router w/table and lift

View Pdash's profile


7 posts in 1922 days

#13 posted 01-22-2013 04:17 AM

Sawsucker, I will put that on the list right behind a frozen food truck full of rats for my water monitor.

To Ron, I only ask about other big tool selections because I’m not sure what I would get the most out of. I’m thinking a router after the table saw, since I can get my hands on a planer and a jointer. I don’t see a huge use for a drill press right now, but things may change once I really start building things. A band saw would be great and probably very useful, but I will have to weigh that against the router… Or just buy them both.. LoL!

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2833 days

#14 posted 01-22-2013 04:38 AM

There are a few things the drill press can do that is difficult to do any other way. But i cannot think of many. Useful for mortising and spindle sanding.

Have often heard people recommend a band saw over a table saw as the first purchase. You can’t do resawing
any other way that isn’t time consuming or next to impossible. And cutting curves are much easier on a band saw than a jig saw.

Personally I got a router , table and a lift as my second tool. Of course, my table saw is going to need replaced soon. Its just not a quality table saw.

Clamps , hand planes, layout tools. The list goes on and on. I could also recommend getting a dado set with your saw. As well as a pocket-hole jig like the Kreg.

View Woodbum's profile


808 posts in 3034 days

#15 posted 01-23-2013 01:07 PM

Can’t go wrong with the Griz. 3hp should be more than enough. Router tables are more personal choice than a standard rule of thumb. I have one mounted left of the blade , but also have a dedicated table too. I use them both regularly, but use the dedicated table the most. Good luck, work safely and have fun.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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