CL table saw advice needed

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Forum topic by BusterBrown posted 07-31-2013 03:57 PM 1836 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 1814 days

07-31-2013 03:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

I’ve been doing all my cutting with a circular saw (with occasional trip’s to friend’s house to use his table top saw) and am shopping for a table saw. I have a small indoor/outdoor shop (paying the ‘sunshine tax’ in San Diego has it’s perks) and like to do most of my cutting outside so mobility is a must. I’ve done some reading around here and determined that a ‘contractor’ or ‘hybrid’ type saw is right for my budget, shop, skill level and near term ambitions.

These two local CL ads caught my eye:

If I’m understanding things correctly, both of these have cast iron tops, belt driven induction motors and can be used with common after market accessories (e.g. they have 3/4” mitre slots). I’m leaning towards the Craftsman as it comes with everything I need and the router slot is a nice expansion option. The Delta will obviously need a fence and looks like it might need some other work and/or accessories.

Any thoughts, advice, opinions, etc. are much appreciated. Thank you!

22 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#1 posted 07-31-2013 04:07 PM

I’m not a Craftsman fan but the price seems decent.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View rfusca's profile


155 posts in 1843 days

#2 posted 07-31-2013 04:32 PM

Considering the Delta doesn’t come with a fence – you’d have to be prepared to drop a bit of money for a decent fence. The craftsman looks like a steal with all the extras if its in good shape.

-- Chris S., North Atlanta, GA - woodworker,DBA, cook, photographer

View Loren's profile (online now)


10396 posts in 3647 days

#3 posted 07-31-2013 04:42 PM

The Delta has a rail for a Unifence. You can buy Unifences
on ebay sometimes. It’s a good fence. The mobile base
is nicer on that one too, a benefit if you’ll be wheeling
the tool outside to use it.

I do not think the mobile base and wheel setup
on the Craftsman machine is going to roll around
nicely or go over bumps and thresholds well.

Contractor saws a hassle to enclose for dust collection.

If you haven’t heard of them, granite top saws may be
worth looking into for you if you want the option of
leaving the saw outside.

People sometimes badmouth Craftsman stuff, but my
experience is the basic machines are pretty good,
work correctly but the accessories and attachments
(like fences) tend to be a bit dodgy.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5862 posts in 3193 days

#4 posted 07-31-2013 04:57 PM

Actually I have both…..a 1985 Craftsman contractor saw that I bought brand new, re-built the saw years later, and built a mobil cabinet for it…..Never had a minutes trouble with it, and I now use it to cut dados and rabbits mainly…..The other is a 2009 Delta X5 Unisaw that is a cabinet model, and not mobil…..It’s used for all the rest of my t.s. operations…..In my opinion, for what you’re needing now, I’d prolly go with the Craftsman, being pretty well set up with all the features it has….Then maybe later on when you’re ready to advance to another saw, I’d consider the Delta cabinet, or even a Grizzly (I’m not a fan of Grizzly, but they make a good saw).......But the choice is yours on the saw you’re looking at on CL…..Just a matter of preference…....You can see both saws, and how they are set up in my woodshop page…..

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2970 days

#5 posted 07-31-2013 05:07 PM

The lack of a fence on the Delta and the fact that the Craftsman comes with a Biesemeyer fence would shift the preference to the Craftsman very heavily for me.

That said, $350 is a lot for a used contractor saw, even if it does appear to be in tip top shape with nice add-ons.

Since you plan to work outside I suppose the lack of an enclosure for dust collection might not be as big of an issue for you as it would for others.

The only other point I would have to make is that I would rather have a riving knife on what ever I settled on.

View Craftsman70's profile


244 posts in 2124 days

#6 posted 07-31-2013 05:16 PM

I’d offer $300 for the Craftsman but be willing to pay $350. The basic saw is worth $150 on its own. I’ll add another $50 for the router table, but the fence is worth over $200 used.

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

189 posts in 3168 days

#7 posted 07-31-2013 05:34 PM

I would go for the craftsman, I have owned a version of both of those saws and I was happy with both. The delta is clearly missing parts and if you are not very familiar with table saws you may not notice something important is missing until it is too late. Good luck.

I would also recommend the the PALS alignment fixture to assist in blade alignment.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

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Rick Dennington

5862 posts in 3193 days

#8 posted 07-31-2013 06:03 PM

Crank49 makes a very intersting point, especially about working out side where dust is not an issue right now…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View BusterBrown's profile


24 posts in 1814 days

#9 posted 07-31-2013 06:08 PM

Thanks – I really appreciate all the feedback! I’m going to check the Craftsman out tonight. I’ve got enough projects in the shop and the Delta may be more hassle than it’s worth to me at this point. Regarding the outdoor use, the saw will be stored indoors and wheeled out for cutting. I let most of my sawdust blow and hook up a shop vac when needed.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2486 days

#10 posted 07-31-2013 06:20 PM

The Delta was a $600 saw on it’s best days, no matter what the MSRP was.
No fence, no decent miter gauge, run from it.

I own a Craftsman like that one, I’m not proud of it, the one you show is better set up than mine.
Mine has the alignarip fence, extension wings of pressed steel and each leg is set up on a 3 wheel dolly type thing to move it around.

I would go for the Craftsman.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View JayT's profile


5632 posts in 2210 days

#11 posted 07-31-2013 06:29 PM

The Craftsman is a good contractor saw and with the Bise fence and router wing, $350 is a fair price.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View toolie's profile


2123 posts in 2628 days

#12 posted 07-31-2013 07:51 PM

+1 on the c-man comments. best of all, it’s a left tilt where the delta is a right tilt. and the c-man will take a herc-u-lift, should you ever come across onr on CL or Ebay. best mobile base for a contractor saw on a four legged stand ever made. IMHO, 350 might be a bit rich by $50-75, but with that nice fence, i wouldn’t let that mount deter me.

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

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2576 days

#13 posted 07-31-2013 08:03 PM

+1 more for the craftsman, mainly for the fence.
That delta would require a lot of refurb and I wouldn’t pay more than $50 for it.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Holt's profile


250 posts in 2628 days

#14 posted 07-31-2013 08:21 PM

I’ve got that same Craftsman model, but with the factory fence. I paid about that for mine. Looks like yours has a much better fence. The built in router table is nice, but you either have to have a particular Craftsman router (I never found one) to fit it, or find the adapter kit (I managed to order one) and loose a little bit height because of the adapter’s thickness. I’m happy with my saw and I use the router table all the time to cut round-overs

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

View knotscott's profile (online now)


8015 posts in 3375 days

#15 posted 07-31-2013 08:34 PM

The Cman with the Biese is a nice setup. For those who don’t like the Craftsman name, think of it as a dark gray Ridgid contractor saw with a Biese fence….it was made by TTI/Ryobi who also made the very similar Ridgid contractor saws from 1997 to ~ 2007.

The Delta Platinum has potential, but someone’s neglected it pretty badly, and it’ll need some attention, plus a fence. IIRC, it was the last of the US made Delta contractor saws, and it sold new for around $900 in that configuration, plus the mobile base (maybe ~ $1k, but $1500 is pipe dream). $300 is too much in that condition without a fence IMHO.

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

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