Table saw question.

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Forum topic by Button43 posted 04-17-2013 09:41 AM 6405 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 1834 days

04-17-2013 09:41 AM

Hey guys I am looking to get a table saw with out a huge investment and I wanted your opinion on which way to go? Should I get a mid level stock contractor saw, or a an older saw and buy a new aftermarket fence?

I can get a craftsman contractor saw from my buddy for free. (model 315.228410 it has the cast iron wings and the “Align A Rip 24/24 fence). If i get this I was thinking of replacing the fence with the Vega Pro 40 fence.

Or should I take the $250 that I would spend on a fence and get something like the Rigid 2424 table saw?

Where is my money better spent with a $250 – $300 budget?



-- - Chris

14 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3339 days

#1 posted 04-17-2013 09:58 AM

Take the free saw. It’s remarkably similar to the TS2424, with many parts being interchangeable (it was actually made in the same factory as the later Ridgid 3650). The Align-a-rip fence isn’t bad…very similar to the Ridgid fence, but the Vega is better IMO. Try it first and see. Align it, and put a good blade on it.

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

View toolie's profile


2120 posts in 2592 days

#2 posted 04-17-2013 03:01 PM

the biggest drawback to the 315 model saw is the splitter/blade guard. not as easy to mount and dismount as the 2424. otherwise, almost clones of each other. the align-a-rip fence should perform quite well. i still have the OEM fence on my 2412 and it’s as dead on accurate as the delta t2 on my 113 series c-man.

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

View Craftsman70's profile


244 posts in 2088 days

#3 posted 04-17-2013 03:40 PM

I’d take the 314 and not spend money on a fence (at least not yet). The 315 is going to be almost identical to the ts2424 except for the splitter as already mentioned and the base is going to be made with thinner sheet metal. They’ll both have pretty much the same fence. If you were paying for either one, I’d choose the ts2424, but its not $250 better than the craftsman.

View Darren's profile


52 posts in 2290 days

#4 posted 04-17-2013 04:39 PM

As mentioned, I’d go with the freebee, tune it up and see how it works out. Might just have money for a good aftermarket miter (Like Incra or Jessem) and left over for an HF 2hp Dust Collector.

-- Darren, KCMO,

View Button43's profile


20 posts in 1834 days

#5 posted 04-17-2013 06:17 PM

Thank you for the feedback guys. If I was going to buy, say a newer rigid like 3650 or the 4512, would you guys still have the same advice? Will that craftsman be able to comfortably cut through 8/4 lumber?

In my ignorance it seems like a spinning blade is a spinning blade and its all about getting accurate cuts with an adjusted blade and a good fence.

Thanks a lot Darren, now you have me looking at dust collectors. When my wife gets mad that I am spending more money I am blaming you. : )

-- - Chris

View Adam Baird's profile

Adam Baird

67 posts in 2083 days

#6 posted 04-17-2013 06:25 PM

The craftsman will cut 8/4, but if you’re going to cut a lot of it I’d wait until you can afford something with a bit more juice. If you’re just cutting it occasionally and you have time to take it slow you won’t have problems.

-- Adam from Indiana -

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2740 days

#7 posted 04-17-2013 06:43 PM

I have the rigid. It is the best I could get and carry it into my basement – steps are a bitch. It will be replaced with a cabinet saw when I retire (move).

The rigid saw has served me well – much better and safer than a baby craftsman that I bought for $100.00 – dam~ thing would tip over if I tried to cut anything over 4’ long – still spinning. Burned out the motor twice.

As a minimum – the craftsman that you are looking at will get you through a lot of use – before you take it – make sure there is no sloppiness in the blade and it is square to the fence. If the trunion is worn out – it will cost as much to fix and repair as buying a new one.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View toolie's profile


2120 posts in 2592 days

#8 posted 04-17-2013 07:47 PM

+1 on adam’s comment. 113 and 315 series TSs are good, basic TSs, but are not designed for commercial/industrial operation. i have two of the 113 series saws (which i fully expect are the last TSs i’ll ever need) and a friend has a 315 exactly like the one under consideration. my casual observation is that the 315 is a little less substantial than the construction of the 113 series saws, but still very serviceable. i can’t imagine encountering any single operation in a hobby work shop that it won’t be able to handle.

as far as a free 315 or a purchased 3650 or 4512 are concerned, i’d still opt for the free saw. put the funds that would be other wise dedicated to it’s purchase towards a good 40T combination blade and a dust collector. the HF unit offers a good deal of value, but i’d scour CL first for a used 1 1/2 – 2 hp DC, like a delta or a grizzly. those units are usually dual voltage/220v units which will help make whatever shop power you have go further.

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

View Button43's profile


20 posts in 1834 days

#9 posted 04-17-2013 08:04 PM

Thanks for all the feedback guys. You have some sound advice and I will take the free saw. My buddy said I can take the saw and use it and if I don’t want it to bring it back. So, with that, I don’t have much to lose by trying it out. It sounds like it will suit my needs well. I have a festool ts55 track saw which I will continue to use for breaking down sheet goods.

I was going to start a separate thread on what blade to buy but since Toolie mentioned the 40T combination blade I guess I will ask here. I was going to ask are there separate blades for ripping and crosscutting? If so so I, or should I, buy the separate blades? I am assuming the combination blade that Toolie mentioned is a universal blade that is good for all cuts?

-- - Chris

View ScottStewart's profile


119 posts in 2095 days

#10 posted 04-17-2013 09:46 PM

I had that saw and I like it except for the fence. If you are getting started its a great saw, especially for free.

View toolie's profile


2120 posts in 2592 days

#11 posted 04-17-2013 10:01 PM

I was going to ask are there separate blades for ripping and crosscutting?

yes and i believe KS has a pretty good recap of blades and considerations for what to choose here:

based on a former recommendation of his, this is on my “to buy” list when i get around to it:

these blades are good for materials that don’t require a great deal of power, like softwoods and sheet goods. for ripping hard woods (HW) and finer crosscutting of HWs, ripping (~ 24T) and CC (~50T and up) blades are recommended, respectively.

i generally keep a 40T combo (presently a c-man 32808) on one of my saws and use either a ripping or CC blade for specific tasks on the other saw.

hope this helps.

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

View Loren's profile (online now)


10250 posts in 3611 days

#12 posted 04-17-2013 10:57 PM

Those basic Craftsman contractor saws don’t have a lot
of fancy features, but they work just fine and parts
are usually a breeze to get (Sears is good that way).

Sears has probably sold well over a million contractor saws
in the 60 years or so they’ve been selling them, so
you can be sure they know how to spec them so
they don’t suck.

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2148 days

#13 posted 04-17-2013 11:12 PM

With a thin kerf blade that saw will be fine in 8/4. Remember, half the blade width means half the effort.

View Button43's profile


20 posts in 1834 days

#14 posted 04-18-2013 12:05 AM

Thanks again fellas. Looks like I have a lot of reading to do on blades. I am going to by some wood soon to build a variation of the new fangled workbench.

-- - Chris

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