Finding my first table saw... Guidance/opinions greatly appreciated!

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Forum topic by MT_Keg posted 06-28-2013 09:04 PM 2471 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 1913 days

06-28-2013 09:04 PM

A few months ago I posted that I was looking to buy a table saw to do some projects around my new home. There were some suggestions to look on Craigslist for an old craftsman. I have been patiently waiting for a few to post and the waiting has paid off… I am not sure what the differences between the 113.XXXXXX model numbers are or which is preferred over the other. or what a good price is (or what to offer). or what to specifically look for when I go to purchase the saw. (geeze I am a mess!)

113.298151 – $200

113.299315 – $225

Craftsman Model Unknown – $250

Craftsman Model Unknown – $250

Delta Unknown Model – $300

Delta/Rockwell Unknown Model – $250

This is a big step for me and I greatly value your opinions and past experiences (sorry for being so needy hahaha).

Thanks for you guidance!


15 replies so far

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3002 days

#1 posted 06-28-2013 09:37 PM

I would definintely be looking at that delta rockwell. Is the motor in the base or hanging out the back ? If its hanging out the back its a contractor saw, if in the base its cabinet saw. if cabinet saw I would grab it.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3398 days

#2 posted 06-28-2013 09:44 PM

The Cman 113.299315 and the Delta Rockwell have the best fences IMO, so those are the two I’d pursue first. Take a look and see what you think.

Any of the old Cman saws with that nasty stock fence aren’t worth the asking prices I see here IMO. I don’t think the $300 Delta is a full size saw (look for 27” deep), so it may also have a direct drive universal motor (look for belt driven induction motors).

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

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2655 days

#3 posted 06-28-2013 09:54 PM

I’d chase the 113.299315. $225 isnt a steal by any means, but considering the apparent condition, the price is OK. You certainly wouldn’t outgrow that saw anytime soon. And parts/accessories are abundant.
I have a 113.298762 with an upgraded Delta fence. I have no plans to upgrade.

View fredj's profile


186 posts in 1840 days

#4 posted 06-28-2013 10:18 PM

As much as I like Delta, right now is a bad time to buy anything made by Delta. Two tools stores near me have told me that Delta parts are becoming next to impossible to find anymore. That may change over time as corporate bs shakes out. There are so many Delta machines out there, somebody can make a killing on parts. Delta was bought up by another company and for some reason they are not maintaining an inventory of parts. As far as Craftsman tools, the old ones were very well made, however parts could be an issue.

Before you buy any used table saw you want to check a few things. Put what you know is a good flat blade on it, stand in line with the blade turn it on, then off. As the blade slows down look to see if it seems to wobble. If it does the arbor needs to be replaced. Are the miter slots square to the blade ? If not the table needs to be adjusted. Does the fence stay with lined up with the miter slots (as long as the slots are square to the blade) from front to back ? At the back end of the fence (the end of the table) the fence should be about 1/32 of an inch wider than at the front end. If not can it be adjusted ?

Sorry if that is an over load, but it a lot like buying a used car.

-- Fredj

View PineChopper's profile


188 posts in 2219 days

#5 posted 06-29-2013 01:15 AM

My first was a Craftsmen from 40 years ago. It was a Christmas present from the wife, $180.
My second was last year when the Craftsmen finally died.
It’s a Porter Cable at $600.
Other then making a zero gap inset for the blade, I haven’t done nothing to it and it works great.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10476 posts in 3670 days

#6 posted 06-29-2013 01:27 AM

View NormG's profile


6137 posts in 3026 days

#7 posted 06-29-2013 01:32 AM

the first craftsman or the delta rockwell if motor inside

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View MT_Keg's profile


23 posts in 1913 days

#8 posted 06-29-2013 01:53 AM

WOW… Thanks for all the input… I am thinking of looking at the 113.299315 hopefully this weekend… depending on what the seller says…

Should I buy a blade and put it on it? or trust that the blade he has on it is ok? (To test the arbor)

1. I will bring a square to check the “wobble” of the blade. what are the odds the arbor is bad?

2. A measuring tape? to test the blade to the miter slot.

3. I will pull the fence up to the edge of the miter slot and lock it down to see if it racks one way or the other. (can this be fixed?

4. is the physical width of the fence supposed to be 1/32 smaller than the front?

But in reality any of the above could be fixed.

I am up for the task… not an over load… just want to make sure i am going down the right path (I don’t want to waste money on a crappy new table saw when i can get a perfectly good well built older table saw).
I was originally looking at new table saws but they don’t seem to be the same quality they used to be.

Thank you all for your help…. if there is any more incite please don’t hesitate to lay it on!


View NGK's profile


93 posts in 1934 days

#9 posted 06-29-2013 02:10 AM

Hard to beat the Bosch table saw which has the advantage of folding up for storage and 2 wheels to move around. I think of it as a contractor saw with additional features. Typically sold by big box stores like Lowe’s for $599, but often on sale for $550. A step up from that is a cabinet saw. Grizzly has one which is modestly priced.

The fence and the blade are critical to good performance.

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2651 days

#10 posted 06-29-2013 02:35 AM

1. you’ll never know until you remove the blade and drive belt. that’ll allow for seeing if the arbor has any play in it at all. ANY knocking or metal on metal sounds as the arbor rotates or when grasped by hand and wiggled is not a good sign.

2. waste of time at this point. that’s adjustable. check the trunions for damage (cracks, metal fatigue, broken parts, etc.)

3. the fence on this saw ( is the same as the OEM fence on my 2003 ridgid 2412. actually, the c-man you’re considering is the same as my 2412, without the herc-u-lift. and that OEM fence system can be slid to the right for additional rip capacity easily. this renders the front rail tape useless, but it’s a small price to pay for the added rip capacity (could be extended from 24” to 30+”). BTW, be sure to push the head of the rip fence into (i.e., towards the rear of the saw) the the front rail before engaging the locking lever. this squares the fence head to the front rail and will keep the fence from locking is a skewed position. skip this saw ( it’s a good fence on a right tilt saw.

4. no. what’s the purpose of that question?

I was originally looking at new table saws but they don’t seem to be the same quality they used to be.

depends upon the saw. there are some perfectly good new saws out there today (grizzly, for example) that are well regarded.

if you have the time, check wood magazine’s directory. they did a little “response to a reader question” feature at the end of an issue that adressed this very “buying a used saw, what do i look for” question. good luck.

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

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2651 days

#11 posted 06-29-2013 02:37 AM

deleted. duplicate post.

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

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2651 days

#12 posted 06-29-2013 02:41 AM

Hard to beat the Bosch table saw

FWIW, woodworkers Journal tested portable TS in this month’s issue. they rated the 4510 over the 4100.

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

View runswithscissors's profile


2764 posts in 2048 days

#13 posted 06-29-2013 05:20 AM

Check out Knottscott’s blog on table saws. He knows more than anybody on this forum, and gives a very detailed, useful breakdown of what you get—or sacrifice—with each type of saw.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3398 days

#14 posted 06-29-2013 12:28 PM

For evaluation purposes, the blade on the saw should be ok, but don’t assume it’s good quality or sharp. Definitely get a good blade or two for it if you buy it. Good setup and blade selection are huge factors in the overall performance, but both are attributes you can you can easily improve on after. Decent blades tend to start in the $30 range….Freud Diablo, Irwin Marples, DeWalt Precision Trim, CMT ITK Plus, and Oshlun are a few of the better blades that aren’t overly expensive. I’d skip blades from Workforce, Avanti/Avanti Pro, Oldham Industrial or Contractor, DW Construction, Irwin Marathon, HF, Ryobi, Vermont Americam, Skil, most Sears, and other off names. A good general purpose/combo blade will do a good job in most tasks. Good quality dedicated task-specific blades will do a great job in their respective tasks, but aren’t good outside their scope, require owning more than one blade, and frequent blade changes.

I think the comment about the fence being 1/32” smaller than the front is in reference to the fence alignment to the blade….the fence should be as close to perfectly aligned with the blade as possible, but if there’s going to be any deviation from perfectly parallel, it’s better to have the fence slightly toed out at the back so the wood doesn’t pinch….some folks set it about 1/32” proud at the back to avoid the chance of pinching.

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

View GT350's profile


368 posts in 2004 days

#15 posted 06-29-2013 03:22 PM

I’d buy the $225.00 315 Craftsman. The fence looks like a good one, just make sure it locks dow tight and can be adjusted parallel to the blade. I had one with about the same for years and it worked great. If the blade is not a good one buy a good quality combination blade and just have it resharpened now and then. I think I had mine resharpened 4 or 5 times in 20 years and it has always worked great.

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