Help me! Going in circles on next table saw.

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Forum topic by WorksInTheory posted 01-30-2014 02:53 PM 4229 views 0 times favorited 93 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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157 posts in 1841 days

01-30-2014 02:53 PM

Hi everyone – this is my first post here though I must say I have really learned alot from this forum and the experience and guidance of it’s members.

I am trying to get into woodworking and decided to get a good table saw. Now, don’t get me wrong – sort of joking, sot of not – but I know the drill. Eventually all conversation leads to 1) get a cabinet saw, no one complains about too much saw, and 2) you can find plenty of good ones used. Heh sorry I am probably paraphrasing and oversimplifying but you get my drift.

Here’s the background – has to work on 110 V (not interested in installing 220V at this time) so pretty much that restricts me to 1.5 to 2hp contractor and hybrid saws. Was looking at the Craftsman 21833, Ridgid R4512 and the G0715P since they all seem to be spoken in the same breath. Read all other posts on these and the advice. Scared off a little by all the alignment issues (both squaring to miter and the blade height movement issue). Some say it’s been fixed others claim not so. Not really sure what other 110V saws are good options. Jet and PM are too expensive. Not interested in Granite. Need to move it around in garage but can add mobile base but have to factor that in cost. Want riving knive so that knocks out a few used saws. Looked at Steel City and others, though if you want you can find posting on alignment issues for just about any saw posted. On the fence, I am going to do the TS-LS Incra package.

1) If I decide to take a chance on the 21833/R4512/G0715P trio… -Is there much difference between 1.75hp 15A, 1.5hp 13A and 2HP in performance.

2)The 21833 is on sale $459, R512 can be had for $411 if I can pull of HF 25% off coupon and G0715P will be about $755 but needs a mobile base… -Would you take the Craftsman for the extra 1/4 hp over the R4512 esp if they are within $50 in price? -Is the G0715_ worth about $400 more for another 1/4 hp over CM, 1/2hp over Ridgid esp if it has the same guts but just cabinet clothes?

3) If none of these, is there another 110V saw that doesn’t break the $1000 mark you’d recommend

I almost tempted to go with the CM or Ridgid, save and redirect the savings into the upgrades like Incra system and blade but concerend about alignment issues and underpowering. And heard it’s just easier w/ cab mounted but that’s rare in this price point too.

Thanks in advance for all the help!

93 replies so far

View jonah's profile


1972 posts in 3537 days

#1 posted 01-30-2014 03:39 PM

I would look for a good used contractor saw. You could find a decent Craftsman, Ridgid, Delta, Grizzly, or Jet saw that is in good shape for ~$250-300. That way you avoid any issues with the new saws (which still exist but not on every saw), save some money, and get something that you know works well. Be patient, keep on top of your local craigslist, and you’ll find something.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2872 days

#2 posted 01-30-2014 06:41 PM

1- No. For a hobbyist, the difference between a 15a and 13a is negligible.
2- personally, I’d stay away from the 21833/4512. The possibility of getting a machine with an alignment issue is a deal breaker. I wouldn’t buy a dishwasher or any other appliance if there was a seemingly 20-30% chance that it’d be a lemon. Heck, I can’t think of any item I’d buy under those circumstances. But I’d especially be weary of an item that would be a royal pain in the ass to return… a table saw. Just me.
3- The new Delta saw at Lowes looks interesting. Its $599, but 10% off coupons are easy to find. The fence looks much like the highly regarded ‘T2’, making the Incra fence unecessary or something to be put off for a while. Dust collection is reportedly decent too.
4- Of course, it must be said, you can hold out for a Craigslist gem. Thats what I did.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2487 days

#3 posted 01-30-2014 06:51 PM

1. YES. The G0715P will not run on a standard 110V outlet. It is really a 220v saw. It requires a 20amp breaker minimum – which requires 10-3 wiring. It really makes no sense to run a 20amp 10-3 110v outlet when you could just run it 220v at half the voltage.

2 – YES. I have owned an R4512 for about 2 years. It’s good for light, occasional use. It has it’s limitations which cannot be easily overcome. Mainly the fence. We (my wife and I) use a table saw a few hours daily – so a cheap contractor hybrid – no matter who makes it – isn’t really going to hold up for long.

3. Nothing. In the under 1k price range and 15amp 110v power, the only new saw you should be looking at is the R4512. Cheaper than the c-man, lifetime service agreement (yes it’s a pain, but still better than the 90 day sears warranty).

Also people are going to tell you to look at used stuff on Craigslist. A riving knife is a deal breaker for me and should be for everyone. You are not going to find a saw with a riving knife used for less than an R4512. A splitter is not the same thing.

Also to Ted’s comment, the Delta saw has a nicer fence, but it still has a 2 piece rail design. This is what makes the fence on the ridgid suck. I will never purchase another saw with a 2 piece fence rail design.


View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2313 days

#4 posted 01-30-2014 07:24 PM

You say you want a good table saw. Well, good , is a relative term, but I’ll bet you already know that ;o)

You get what you pay for (if/when you’re lucky) That said you may want to raise your sights a bit. If you go for a good table saw, chances are you will get a decent/good fence, and won’t need to purchase an Incra. A good TS is going to run you a few bucks but you can probably find one for $1,000 or close to it. Sounds like you want to go new, well I don’t know much about the new table saws. If you look around you could likely find a used Delta Unisaw or similar in decent condition for under $1,000. I paid $500 for mine. Might need some clean up and tweaking (wanna know how I know that?? LOL) but you probably wouldn’t need another/new saw for a long long time. btw…. a 220 line is not difficult to run.

Best of luck in your search and decision!!

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View retfr8flyr's profile


386 posts in 1908 days

#5 posted 01-30-2014 07:51 PM

This saw meets all you needs and is a big step up form the Ridgid and Crafstman saw. This saw, while more expensive, gives you the quality’s of a cabinet saw while still running on 110v.

-- Earl

View WorksInTheory's profile


157 posts in 1841 days

#6 posted 01-30-2014 07:59 PM

Thanks for all the great response so far.

I don’t mind stepping up the budget as well as don’t mind used but again it has to be 110V and have a riving knife. So that’s the issue w/ stepping up the budget or getting used.

I looked at that Steel City as well but just like the others also came across quite a few negative posts on them from quality to alignment etc.

As far as Incra – I am going to go that route b/c of the router table as well so no matter what don’t need a good fence b/c I will replace it.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3470 days

#7 posted 01-30-2014 08:06 PM

I had an old (1977) Craftsman table saw handed down to me when my dad passed away. I used it for several years but it was a pain because the fence was terrible. Then one day, I bought the Vega Pro 40 fence and it was like I had a new saw! That fence is a good one.

I finally sold the saw and upgraded to the Griz 1023RLW. The main reason for the upgrade was the need to rip 8/4 hard maple. My Craftsman couldn’t do it, even with a good rip blade.

So, ask yourself if you will have the need to rip the thick stuff. If not then maybe an older saw with a good fence would be good enough.

Note: I bought the Vega Pro 40 because it was in stock, and cost less than the Pro26 model. It kinda dwarfed my saw but the size of the fence really made it nice when ripping.

Good luck in your search.

Here is my old saw.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View BigAL4160's profile


8 posts in 1902 days

#8 posted 01-30-2014 08:10 PM

Hello WorksInTheory,

I have the Ridgid in question as my first table saw and would highly recommend it. For the price it is a good machine. Haven’t had any issues at all with the fence as mentioned previously; I actually consider the fence selling point of the saw. My saw was aligned right out of the box, but after about a year of use I had to realign the blade to the miter slots. Doing it is tricky, you must tip it on its side and loosen bolts with an allen wrench. Really wasn’t too bad.

The only problem I’ve ever ran into is performing cuts higher than about 2.5 inches as in a resaw situation. There is just not enough power to do this easily and it requires making 2 cuts to get to that height. But how often are you making these kinds of cuts? I hardly ever do.

98% of the time this is a great saw, especially for the money.

I’d be happy to answer any other questions regarding my experience with the saw. Hope this helps!

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2174 days

#9 posted 01-30-2014 08:11 PM

You already said everything I would have said.

Don’t agonize over it for too long. Take the comments above and below into account and take a few days to decide. Here comes the important part… THEN JUST BUY IT. You will like your new saw no matter which one you pick and you will be able to start on projects.

I say this because I agonized forever over a saw and lost months of valuable woodworking time deliberating. Don’t make that mistake. And don’t worry about saving a few bucks here or there. Odds are your time is more valuable than the discounts you would find anyway.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View WorksInTheory's profile


157 posts in 1841 days

#10 posted 01-30-2014 08:52 PM

TheWoodenOyster – totally agree and I am usually pretty decisive. One moment I say I am going to get into woodworking, next thing you know I am buying everything for a shop… much to my wife’s shock. (heh I think she’s thinking, yes I want some furniture but not from you!)

My problem is w/ 110V and riving knife requirement, looks like I can count the options on one hand and 3 of those are really pretty much the same saw that has a problem! Yes I know I can put in 220v and maybe I will bring in an electrician to take a look but there are reasons I don’t want to be making that change right now due to future decisions.

There were a few craigslist gems I found but when I checked into riving knife aftermarket options they all fell flat.

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2816 days

#11 posted 01-30-2014 09:43 PM

The steel city 25950 linked to by Earl is a very nice hybrid with cabinet mounted trunnions. This makes it closer to a real cabinet saw than a hybrid.

The 4512 has the alignment issue and should be recalled. Ridgid doesn’t even make it anymore, so any found are NOS. Too much of a gamble.

Utterguys has the 35950 for $999 +shipping ($149 to commercial or $225 to residential).

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

View knotscott's profile


8178 posts in 3614 days

#12 posted 01-30-2014 09:57 PM

Since you’re admittedly new to this, I’m curious what prompts you to go with the ultra-precision of the Incra fence system, as opposed to one of the many very good Biese clone systems found stock on some darn good saws? It’s arguably the most accurate system on the market, but is overkill for a lot of us, and isn’t without some downside, which includes a high enough price tag that it limits your choice of saws, some of which have some potential alignment issues that would far and away offset any precision gains from the Incra. I’m basically saying that if you were to apply the cost of the Incra to other aspects of the whole equation, you might get better overall precision and reliability in the long run.

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

View TravisH's profile


641 posts in 2174 days

#13 posted 01-30-2014 10:24 PM

Been in the same boat and always the same answers.

I looked for used… after months of not having a table saw it was time to forget about finding that pie in the sky deal and move on. I have found a few since but to be honest not many. If the shop was bigger and I had something besides 110 then a lot more doors opened.

I looked at the Craftsman but never been happy with a lot of their tools, but own a lot just because they were readily available and at the time affordable for someone “toying” with stuff. Also any of the Craftsman offerings I felt better about the similar make from other sources as far as service. My local Sears is also the death of purchasing anything as they keep all the tool set up in the worst shape possible. It doesn’t instill confidence in a product when they take the time to set everything up in a manner you can’t raise or lower or adjust anything.

Ridgid.. I hate Home Depot…but felt it was about the best deal for the dollar at the time and went with it. I use thin kerf blades and have had no issues to date with the saw. It does have the alignment issue but always back to position upon lowering (really don’t have to lower blade as soon as it starts to engage it squares). I didn’t even notice it as I have always set height by cranking up then lowering to depth. Is it the saw I will have for ever.. not at all but until my shop doubles in size and I get more juice no need.

I looked at Steel City but have to say was very disappointed with their lack of product. None of the places I contacted that “carried” Steel City had any or even tried to say they would order me one. Not for sure if they don’t really do business with them or they all seamed to convey this feeling of supply issue. I chalked it up to they would rather sell something $$$ expensive and contacted Steel City. Well that ended my desire to get one. Steel City essentially pointed me on a search mission and thought I should be able to get one 3 or more hours away. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t tell me where I could go to get a table saw as the places they direct one to on their site didn’t seam to actually carry the product or care to. So I was stuck essentially ordering from Utter Guys.

Looked at Grizzly but the hybrid was’t going to make sense in my situation (as mentioned above). The next offerings down seamed way overpriced and not much different from what I would be getting with the Ridgid. I looked at Menards version also and it seamed ok. The display model seamed fine raising and lowering but just not much info on the Masterforce stuff.

View sawdustjunkie's profile


399 posts in 1956 days

#14 posted 01-30-2014 11:07 PM

I would also like to get a new saw. I currently have a Craftsman 1.5 hp with the cast iron wings.
I have a good fence on it, and use the thin kerf blades to compensate for the lack of power and have to say, I have had no problem cutting 4/4 or 6/4 stock with it. I had a project that required hard maple and it was fine. The pieces I cut were 8’ long and it cut great. You just need a sharp blade. I haven’t tried it with 8/4, but that being said, there is no substitute for more hp.
My next saw will probably be the Grizzly 1023RWL. I have no problem with 220, since it’s already installed. I just need to flip the circuit breaker.
My saw is probably 30 years old, I don’t use it everyday, which is why it has lasted as long as it has.
As others have said, with only 110 you will be limited to 1.75 hp, but if that is all you have, you should have no problems unless you are trying to constantly cut 4×4’s or bigger.
I wouldn’t buy the Ridgid, because they are no longer making them along with their joiners and planers. I actually caller the Ridgid tech line and they actually said they didn’t know if they were going to offer the larger shop tools anymore.
Grizzly has lots of great reviews in this site and others. Check them out.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3337 days

#15 posted 01-31-2014 12:15 AM

Unless I missed something there was no mention of the Ridgid 3650.
Cast iron table, fence beyond belief for accuracy, and rugged. (Weighs 500 lbs.+)
Yes their not available any more but I’m sure a good used one could be found in the $200-$300 range.

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