Tablesaw feedback

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Forum topic by Whofan posted 01-21-2014 04:28 PM 1689 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 1609 days

01-21-2014 04:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

To seasoned experts- I am at a point where I would like to add a table saw to my shop. I am totally overwhelmed by all the choices out there. I am a true newbie. Money really isn’t a concern. So, what should I start with. I appreciate any feedback. Thanks, Kirk

-- Kirk, Upstate NY

15 replies so far

View Mike67's profile


97 posts in 3358 days

#1 posted 01-21-2014 04:52 PM

Welcome, Kirk.
Assuming you have shop space and want something stationary, you will never outgrow a good 10 inch, 3 horse cabinet saw. Sawstop, Delta, Powermatic, Jet, General, and Grizzly are all well-liked. I probably missed a few others. If I was in the market, I’d be looking at Sawstop. I have a Jet and love it (and its on a mobile base – that’s always an option even for a larger saw if you will need to move it around). Pretty much all of these are available with rip capacity of either 30 inches or 50 inches. If you have the space for it, get the larger version. It just means the fence rails are longer so you can rip wider stock – comes in handy sometimes when you’re working with sheet goods. But don’t worry if you only have room for the 30 inch version – its not that big of a deal. For any of these you’ll also need a 220 outlet and if you’re serious about woodworking, get a few installed. You’ll want them for future planers, jointers, dust collectors, etc. You should also factor in the cost of a decent blade or three. The ones that come with saws are generally junk. Keep that one for cutting wood that may have nails in it or other junk wood. Get a decent combination or general purpose blade to start, then later you can add a rip and crosscut as you need them. Also think about a dust collector. You’ll get tired of breathing the stuff pretty quickly. And before you order anything, take a few classes at your local craft school or woodworking shop so you can get up to date on table saw safety. These things are no joke – you have to take them very seriously.

If you can, put up a reply here with more info about what kind of work you imagine doing, the space you have for your shop, and anything else you can think of that will drive your decision. It’ll give others more info to go on when they make suggestions.

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3397 days

#2 posted 01-21-2014 05:16 PM

You’re already a step ahead of most us by asking before buying! A little reading for you… The ABCs of Table Saws

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

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2463 days

#3 posted 01-21-2014 05:22 PM

Welcome to LJ! You sure did manage to ask a loaded question for your first post :) You could very easily get just as many opinions as there are members of this forum.

In order to get some really useful feedback though, you should help bound the problem. You could spend $150 or all the way up to $10k and more for a large slider. If money isn’t any concern, how about space? Power requirements?

As Mike67 said, it would help out if you posted some more information about some of the other constraints you may have – what kind of woodworking you want to do, how much space do you have, etc. I also really recommend taking a class somewhere if you’ve never been exposed to this stuff before. Table saws are powerful tools that demand respect.

View jdmaher's profile


430 posts in 2601 days

#4 posted 01-21-2014 05:52 PM

I have a fairly new Delta Unisaw 3Hp on a mobile base and I love it!

That said, if it were my decision and money were not a significant issue, I’d go for the Sawstop. And I’d do a 5Hp.

Sawstop is apparently very well-engineered, overall – not just the blade-stopping technology. And (at least mostly) American. And very pretty.

5Hp is overkill, but won’t hurt to have. I’ve had to slow down a tad on some 10/4 stock with my 3Hp. I believe the 5 Hp is only about $200 more. When mine went in I had to add a 220V circuit, anyway; using thicker cable and a 30 amp breaker is a negligible increase in costs. (If you ARE doing electrical, do what Mike said and add a few more 220v outlets. You’ll only use one at a time, but its best to have them close to the stationary tools.)

There’s lots more to consider (mobility, dust collection, other circuits, blades, etc.), but I believe you are correct to consider the tablesaw brand first. Chances are you’ll use it for every project you ever do, so get the best you can afford.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Whofan's profile


11 posts in 1609 days

#5 posted 01-21-2014 07:19 PM

Thanks for the feedback so far. As far as the shop goes, I have a 8’ by 20’ area that is clear , its in the center of the shop so I also need to use for passage and an assembly table. I do not have 220. I want a solid unit , but am not certain I will have the skill to make what I see in the magazines I receive. The plans seem overwhelming. So do I want a cabinet or contractor. It would also be a real challenge to get a 600 lb unit into my basement. But I suppose were there is a will there’s a way. Dust collection is limited due to low ceiling. I hope this narrows down my needs . I don’t really know what questions to ask further than this. Again thanks to all. Kirk

-- Kirk, Upstate NY

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2526 days

#6 posted 01-21-2014 07:33 PM

Most the guys here love SawStop. BTW, unique thread. Glad you posted…welcome.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View jdmaher's profile


430 posts in 2601 days

#7 posted 01-21-2014 08:33 PM


I’m concerned that I addressed the wrong needs . . .

You said you HAVE a shop and you said money was not a concern. I took that to mean you have given this a few years consideration and definitely decided that woodworking will be a lifelong pursuit. I MISSED the “true newbie” reference.

If you’re absolutely sure, I repeat my SawStop recommendation.

BUT, if you are completely new to woodworking, you really should try a few projects over a couple of years before you go plunking $4K down on a tablesaw.

So, are you completely new and never built nothing, or experienced and ready enough to make lifelong investments?

I don’t want to lead you down the wrong path . . .

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3001 days

#8 posted 01-21-2014 08:34 PM

If you would consider used, Heres one about 30 miles from you. Might need a little work but close enough to look at.

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

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2270 days

#9 posted 01-21-2014 09:03 PM

If price is no issue, definitely go with a Felder new K 700 S plus. Should run you about $18,000 or so shipped.


View Mike67's profile


97 posts in 3358 days

#10 posted 01-21-2014 09:15 PM

A cabinet saw will allow better dust collection than a traditional contractor saw because the base is enclosed. And once in place, they don’t take any more space. But cabinet saws will all require 220 power so unless you want to get that installed, you’re looking at contractor saws or hybrids (still very capable machines) or work site saws. Think of hybrids as junior cabinet saws. They have enclosed bases like cabinet saws but with smaller motors that will run on 110.
Consider Jim’s questions above – your answers will guide responses.

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 3103 days

#11 posted 01-21-2014 09:44 PM

Kirk, Pick up a copy of “The Table Saw Book” by Mehler. It will help you with your decision about why type of saw to get, and its contains lots of essential info. You’ll find it a great investment.


View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3397 days

#12 posted 01-21-2014 10:33 PM

Kirk – You’re 25 miles from me. As mentioned, lack of 220v knocks out the upper tier of heavyweight 3hp+ saws. There’s not currently much on CL near us that looks to a good deal, but there is a Ridgid 3650 that’s overpriced at $400….an offer of $300 is reasonable IMO, and might lead to a better end price. The new 110v saws include the Saw Stop 1.75 PCS @ ~ $3k, the SS contractor saw at ~ $1800 with the better fence, the PM1000 or PM64B, Laguna Fusion, Jet Proshop, GI, Craftsman 22116, Steel City, Grizzly G0715P, Shop Fox, Rikon, and Baleigh hybrids in the $800 to $2k range, as well as the new Delta, Ridgid R4512, and Cman 21833 hybrid style contractor saws in the $500-$600 range. The blog I linked above has a lot of info about the differences between all the categories….it could help answer some questions, or guide the right questions to ask…

If 220v is possible, it does open up another category of saw. The entry level Grizzly cabinet saws (G0690 or G1023RL) and Steel City cabinet saws offer some great values in a saw IMHO.

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

View LyallAndSons's profile


66 posts in 2619 days

#13 posted 01-21-2014 10:38 PM

I make a living with my shop and I use Delta Unisaws. Love the idea of a Sawstop but can’t count the times I’ve hit a brad or staple and it would have tripped. The advice above is sound. If you go used, I’d watch CL for an older USA made saw.

-- Lyall & Sons Woodsmiths...Custom handcrafted woodwork since 1989

View Simons44's profile


93 posts in 3446 days

#14 posted 01-21-2014 10:42 PM

I would take Knotscott out to Bill Grays or for a garbage plate and pick his brain. He did a great job of recommending saw blades when I purchased my hybrid table saw.

View diverlloyd's profile


2769 posts in 1879 days

#15 posted 01-21-2014 11:00 PM

I enjoy my craftsman zipcode table saw with the besi fence. I purchased a contractor saw and a stop saw before that. I ended up giving the contractor saw to my brother ( he’s restoring a house) and gave the stop saw to my best friends dad( more of a trade for unlimited homemade cobbler and wild game). Really enjoy the crapsman saw and found it at sears for a couple of hundred bucks. You can always start with a cheaper model and then get nicer ones as you progress, then give the old ones away. It’s better to give then recieve.

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