Looking to get my first TS (used), need input.

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Forum topic by tazboy posted 07-23-2013 07:18 AM 1137 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 1965 days

07-23-2013 07:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw tablesaw question

This is my first post here and I don’t really have much of an idea of what to look for when buying a TS. I’m looking to buy a used one off of craigslist. I’m guessing I’ll only have a few projects a year that will use it.

I see a lot of Craftsman 3HP but I don’t know if their asking price is “fair”. There is this one that looks really nice to me but it may be overkill for what I need. Which makes me want it more.

$250 seems steep from what I’ve seen but it looks big, it comes with a good blade and he states that it has an upgrade link belt (Not sure if that’s a big deal).

Or is this $100 Craftsman TS sufficient?

When I look at Table Saws what should I be looking for online? and what should I be looking for when I get to see it in person?

Thanks for any help. I’m trying to be patient with this purchase but I really would like to get started on my projects.

4 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8144 posts in 3572 days

#1 posted 07-23-2013 09:44 AM

The ABC's of Table Saws

The first one looks to be in nice shape. It’s a US made Emerson contractor saw and has much in common with the Emerson made Ridgid saws. It has a good fence, and a linkbelt has been added. Those upgrades show that the owner took care of the saw. $250 is on the high side IMO. If it had cast iron wings vs steel it might be worth it. ... I’d ask what they’ll take and/or offer ~ $200 and see how it goes. The goes ones don’t tend to stick around long.

The 2nd saw is the type of saw I’d suggest avoiding like the plague if possible. They’re too small, too loud, too unreliable, too sloppy, too light, can’t be easily upgraded, etc. Many of us started with exactly that type of saw because we didn’t have the internet information you’re getting.

As far as what to look for in a used saw. Overall condition can tell you a lot, but even dirt and mild rust don’t effect performance. Many things that don’t feel right, can be adjusted, and even things like grinding bearings can be changed out inexpensively. Look for gross damage like cracks and breaks, and run the saw….it should be fairly quiet and smooth, especially with a link belt on it. The saws are worth more if they’re fully equipped….blade guard, miter, inserts, mobile base, both wings, etc….if missing, they’re good bartering points. Good luck and please keep us updatd!

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

View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2825 days

#2 posted 07-23-2013 10:15 AM

this is a pretty good write up on what to look for, mechanically, in a used TS:

nice as the first linked saw is, $250 is pushing it. stamped steel extension wings and no mobile base should cost no more than $150 -200. they are very capable, made in america, units. i have two of them (one a c-man, the other a ridgid 2412) that i opted to keep over a delta rockwell unisaw that i got for $40, refurbished and subsequently sold. good hunting.

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

View tazboy's profile


30 posts in 1965 days

#3 posted 08-05-2013 06:55 PM

Wow. The people on this site are very informative. Thanks for the awesome resources.

I ended up offering the guy $150 for the saw. I haven’t heard back from him. We’ll see. Like I’ve heard people say, and I’ve seen it to be true to some degree, there’s always table saws for sale on craigslist and rummage sales. You just have to be patient and find the right one.

View Woodknack's profile


12425 posts in 2576 days

#4 posted 08-05-2013 07:20 PM

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