Table Saw info Overload

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Forum topic by Enal posted 09-19-2013 07:40 AM 2175 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2099 days

09-19-2013 07:40 AM

Guys… Head Hurts now and I think I’m developing a complex and haven’t really gotten started good yet!

I’ve read so many reviews/comments about every table saw made since the first table saw; European Made; USA Made; Asian-USA Made and am just as lost and perplexed as when I started. Actually I think I’m worse off now!(grin)

It just seems that there is No “Good Start Beginner Saw”, No “Good Investment Starter Saw”’s just straight to a minimum budget of $1500 for a much older Powermatic or New bottom model Name Brand saw.

The Ridgid has the best warranty being Life Time, but who really wants to use the warranty that often? The Craftsman seem to be the same as the Ridgid with a lesser warranty.

The only way to buy a good old saw is to know all the secret code number/model numbers and it needs to have been owned by a rich woodworker that used it only for cutting 1/2 foam along with a bunch of high end modifications and now the woodworker decided to sell everything and get into scrapbooking.

Yes…I’m being very cinical/smartass, but am just trying to filter through all the reviews and info I’ve found on the site.

To me there is a huge difference between going with a $500 Ridgid and a $1500 Grizzley or $2000 SawStop. What the heck am I missing here? I’m a big proponent for buying quality but what kind of projects are you producing that requires the level of precision in these higher end saws that the $500 Ridgid can’t without a little extra work every now and then.

I really am genuinely interested in getting a saw soon and want to buy something that will get the job of a table saw done but not be a regret in another year. Hopefully everyone takes my initial joking the right way, but also see’s the point and questions I’m asking.

Thanks for the time!

-- -Lane

33 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3823 days

#1 posted 09-19-2013 07:47 AM

Just post the local used prospects in a thread here and
people will chime in what the good deals are.

Used is the best bang for the buck. I could build
everything I’ve ever made with a used $200 Sears
contractor saw as a table saw. I’ve upgrade many
times over the years but mostly to gain speed in
getting work done… getting precision was never
really a problem once I got my first contractor saw.

View Loco's profile


210 posts in 1925 days

#2 posted 09-19-2013 09:10 AM

Everybody asks for tool advice without elaborating on the kind of work they intend to perform.
90% of table saw work depends on the meathead operating it. A good cabinet man can take a useless piece of camel excrement, choose the proper blade, level here, shim there, mark a line and make a better cut than some office boy with his new $2500 toy and his lazer ! AND—- do it without using a fence ! I can take my old crusty Skil worm drive, my trusty 3/4×2” alum straight edge, throw on a new Diablo and slice a piece of ply as good as that 90% group.
The odds are that any 10” 3450, 1 1/2 + HP saw, new and adjusted, will do what that 90% want to do.Pick a color. The other 10% don’t need to ask what to buy. They already have it !

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

View knotscott's profile


8140 posts in 3551 days

#3 posted 09-19-2013 10:23 AM

Table Saw Info

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

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3098 days

#4 posted 09-19-2013 11:30 AM

I understand your “rant” and appreciate what you are saying.
I had a 3650 Ridgid that did everything I asked of it but I just had to upgrade to a better(?) more expensive saw. Frankly the Ridgid was fine for what I do and wish I had it back sometimes.
If you think it’s bad trying to figure out what saw you want, just wait til you start choosing blades.
I would suggest you read Knotscotts’ blogs about the saws and the blades if you haven’t already done so. They are very informative. I have to warn you though, they will make your eyes cross (G)
Good luck.

-- Life is good.

View bigblockyeti's profile (online now)


5256 posts in 1896 days

#5 posted 09-19-2013 11:35 AM

I’ve seen several good deals on old Craftsman contractor style saws that would serve well as a beginner saw and would allow you to sell for close if not the same as what you had into it when it came time to upgrade. I second what you had to say about the warranty, I’d rather not have a warranty and not need it, than have a great warranty of a piece of junk that was constantly broken. When you are ready to upgrade, make sure you have the necessary electrical hookups for everything you’ll want in the future too!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View toolie's profile


2147 posts in 2804 days

#6 posted 09-19-2013 01:15 PM

i owned two 113 series (10” CI) type c-man saws that i was very content with. got a 10” “old arn” unisaw for $40 in gas money and refurbed it. i wanted to see what all the old unisaw/cabinet saw hoopla was all about while not investing a whole lot in the process. while it was ego gratifying to own a 3 hp cabinet saw, i found that my lesser saws performed as well in a hobbyist shop as the unisaw, which was built to operate under much more strenuous conditions than i will ever encounter and do it for hours on end. after investing >$600 in the refurb, i sold it (with it’s original jet lock fence) for a small profit. i still keep in touch with the buyer and the saw is performing well.

the point of all this is that buying a TS should, IMHO, be like buying a computer. focus on the application (what you want to do) first, then find the least expensvie hardware that will accommodate that activity. i’d start with the 4512. with a 90 day satisfaction guaranty, if i doesn’t measure up, return it. if it does, it’ll likely be the last saw you ever buy, unless that “more power” feeling overtakes you!

BTW, ridgid doesn’t offer a lifetime guaranty on power tools. they offer a lifetime service agreement with proper tool registration. it’s all here:

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

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3146 days

#7 posted 09-19-2013 01:32 PM

That link provided by knotscott is about the best, most definitive piece of work on this site. Read it, if you haven’t already.

I have the Craftsman 21833, same saw as the Ridgid 4512. Mine has the infamous alignment defect, but would have been a fine saw otherwise for the price.

The warranty on the Ridgid 4512 is not a lifetime warranty. It is a life time service agreement. That means they will provide parts and labor to fix your broken saw but you have to bring it to them at their service center. Some people on this site have said that Home Depot, where they bought their saw, would arrange to get the saw to the service center if you bring it in. My HD is not one of those.

I personally wish I had gotten a $300 to $400 jobsite portable type saw. There are a few out there in this price range that have standard miter slots and can spin a dado blade. Then I would be saving my money to get a real cabinet saw later. Something like a Grizzly 690 or 1023 series.

View Enal's profile


8 posts in 2099 days

#8 posted 09-19-2013 10:49 PM

Thanks Guys for putting up with my bent brain approach to asking the question you get to answer so often and especially thanks for clarifying that Ridgid Warranty as I did not read it that way! Kinda pisses me off now(grin) No wonder the lady at the register looked at me weird when I said it had a lifetime warranty after turning down the extended warranty she offered.

So in that video…I see lateral movement of that assembly and I’m assuming that is what everyone is talking about..?

I’m seriously amazed at some of what I’ve read on people that keep buying the same saws that so many others have returned. The Grizzly model that I actually came close to buying and the Ridgid that was also pointed out. I would hate to have gotten either home and assembled and then discover this.

I often tend to OverResearch & OverThink things so I’m glad to be able to cut this a little shorter.

Crank…so what problems show up in your projects that you often have to fix and what do you have to go through to correct and is it worth it?

I’m definitely going to read up on Knottscots post…

-- -Lane

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3146 days

#9 posted 09-20-2013 02:06 AM

If I dink with the thing long enough I can usually get the blade aligned with the miter slot and I just have to try to work at that one constant blade height as long as I can.
The first time I do have to change the height, like to cut a rabbet or a dado, then the alignment will be off.

That lateral movement you saw in the video is a little more insidious than just a lateral movement. The back end of the blade twists toward the fence while the front does not. Also, the riving knife may not be in alignment with the blade after the hula shift so when you next try to feed a board through the saw it sometimes runs into the riving knife and gets jammed. You can try to push harder, very dangerous, or back out, not much better, or try to hold every thing static and bump the off switch with your knee.

Sometimes the riving knife will be in alignment but the whole blade/knife assembly will be slightly angled toward the fence, a condition that makes it hard to feed work through the saw and causes a lot of burning in the kerf. It’s possible to realign the fence to relieve the pressure and stop the burning for a while, but as soon as you need to use the miter gauge, or a sled which rides in the miter slot, you get kerf burning again.

I have hand planes and a belt sander to remove the burn marks, but it makes it difficult to do quality work when your equipment is constantly trying to defeat you. I can screw up enough all by myself thank you, I don’t need any help.

I understand the people who defend this saw. When it’s working good, it’s very nice, quiet, smooth, and I didn’t break the bank to get. The problem for me is that it won’t stay aligned. And, a table saw that wont stay aligned is not making my projects easier, it’s adding extra steps and creating extra waste. I have 500 BF of cherry in storage because I can’t count on this machine to cut it the way I need it. I paid more for that wood than I did for this saw and I’m not going to ruin it trying to use this saw.

You know, that’s the bottom line. We buy tools to make our work easier or better or more efficient. For me, this saw does none of those things. I’m looking forward to the day I can chain this POS behind my truck and drag it to the scrap yard.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2110 days

#10 posted 09-20-2013 02:53 AM

I got a mid 90’s made in USA Delta Unisaw for 950 on CL. It is a great saw. You can get a good used heavy duty 220 v 3 hp saw on CL for between 800 and 1000. That is between your 500 and 1500. Great starter and will be good enough to use until I die.

Buy your first saw last. You’ll be less frustrated.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2680 days

#11 posted 09-20-2013 02:57 AM

Enal, if you are a hobbyist you don’t need much. Watch Wood Working for Mere Mortals on YouTube. He can build anything and does not have the best tools. You just do not need high price stuff.

Better yet work your way through the projects section of this site, find the type and style of woodworking you want to do and then look at that persons shop. Find a couple so you can compare. I think you’ll be surprised by the projects that can be created from nonpricey tools. Put your money into wood.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3261 days

#12 posted 09-20-2013 03:50 AM

After fighting table saws and watching Craigslist for many years, I bought a 1949 Delta Cabinet saw for $100,
took my time working on it and a couple months later for an investment of about $250, I have the saw I
want. Now I am building a Frankensaw for small work. No two people want exactly the same saw or
the same performance. I hope you find your saw.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3116 days

#13 posted 09-20-2013 04:18 AM

My first saw was like Cranks except the blade also tilted during the cut. I don’t miss that saw at all. Follow your heart and buy the best quality saw you can afford. It will likely outlast you.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Woodknack's profile


12401 posts in 2556 days

#14 posted 09-20-2013 04:24 AM

what kind of projects are you producing that requires the level of precision in these higher end saws

They aren’t high end so much as engineered to work correctly and have better quality control, maybe some bells and whistles; that costs money. A good saw will make woodworking easier, a lousy saw will make it frustrating. New $500 saws are engineering cobble with poor quality control, you might get a good one and you are just as likely to get a bad one. If you like gambling then go with a cheap saw.

-- Rick M,

View Enal's profile


8 posts in 2099 days

#15 posted 09-20-2013 04:26 AM

TheWoodenOyster…That’s where I’m heading. The Table Saw seems to be the heart of a wood shop and I don’t want to buy something that I will have to spend big bucks on to get up to the quality of a new saw in a better class. I wouldn’t mind finding a nice old saw that I can do some light work on and have something good.

DKV….I’ll have to check that out on youtube. I should have said initially how long I’ve been in the hobby. Since I was at least 3 or 4 years old in my dads shop. Everything you could think of for tools.

I’m getting closer to something but waiting for some deal to popup.

-- -Lane

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