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(update) opinions on used Unisaw

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Forum topic by mzimmers posted 07-28-2014 03:34 PM 1147 views 0 times favorited 49 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mzimmers

131 posts in 2668 days


07-28-2014 03:34 PM

http://boise.en.craigslist.org/tls/4590495861.html

The seller says it’s in good shape; my primary concern is the lack of a riving blade (evidently this unit pre-dates that addition).

Anyway, I’m curious as to what people think of this deal…thanks.

UPDATE: based on feedback, I passed on the one above. Found a newer (2007) Unisaw X5 that and bought it. Now just discussing some cleaning and maintenance details.

-- M. Zimmers


49 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7826 posts in 2401 days


#1 posted 07-28-2014 03:40 PM

Well, considering it’s Idaho, maybe that’s a good price.

Worth $500 or a little more in Los Angeles due to the
decent fence… to me anyway. I like that sort of fence.

If you’re really in central California, keep an eye on
Machinerymax.com, which is an auction site that
a machinery liquidator based in Tracy, CA
uses a lot… I’m in LA so it’s a 6 hour drive each way
for me which puts the cost up, but I’ve seen some
screaming bargains selling through that location.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

1031 posts in 239 days


#2 posted 07-28-2014 03:49 PM

If you’re in Idaho you will have to pay more just to get a decent saw I think. If the saw runs like it looks 1000$ isn’t a deal but it’s a starting point I guess. 7-800$ would look a lot better but the saw looks to be worth 1000$.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View mzimmers's profile

mzimmers

131 posts in 2668 days


#3 posted 07-28-2014 03:50 PM

Thanks, guys…any opinions on the lack of a riving blade?

-- M. Zimmers

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

680 posts in 1884 days


#4 posted 07-28-2014 04:36 PM

That looks like a very old say, although it appears to be in very good condition. If I had to guess, I would guess 30-40 years old?? My Unisaw is about 20 years old, and is a different style than that one. I would also think that ~$750 is a more reasonable price.

Personally, I don’t need a riving knife (or guards) on my saw, but if you’re more comfortable with one, than you should get a saw that has one.

I’ve spent the last 20 years working in commercial cabinet shops, with several table saws with no guards or riving knives. I’ve seen one injury, and it was from kickback. It was a young kid with no experience using a table saw.
On this forum, you can read about hundreds of table saw injuries. Imo, the most important factor in table saw safety is the users experience and skill level with that tool.

-- Gerry, http://g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2047 posts in 1246 days


#5 posted 07-28-2014 05:55 PM

I agree that your area plays a large part of what prices tools will sell for, but in my slice of the nation (rural Ohio) that would be overpriced. I place closer to $600-$700. Only the latest Uni’s have the Riving knife, and that one pre dates those by quite a bit. If you can get the serial number you can probably establish when it was made. Look here for some info.. If you page down a little, you’‘ll see that starting around the early 80’s the manufacture date was built into the serial number (first 3 digits).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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JayT

2634 posts in 964 days


#6 posted 07-28-2014 06:04 PM

Seems high to me, too. Another question—is that a 3HP saw or one of the 1HP or 1-1/2HP saws? None of the pics really shows the motor well, but in the one that gives a glimpse the motor looks small. If it is the smaller motor, that reduces the value quite a bit more.

-- "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." Abraham Lincoln

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5594 posts in 2338 days


#7 posted 07-28-2014 06:21 PM

I have become very well used to using a riving knife over the years and see no good reason to work without it myself.
I suspect as I don’t have the figures in front of me that it must be very comforting to know that you could buy that saw say forty years ago ,then use it for forty years, and then sell it for a lot more than you paid for it in the first place.
In other words imho he is asking a lot for an old machine a very old machine.
It has perhaps, though we cannot be sure,seen a fair amount of wear and tear through extensive use and possibly even ocassional abuse during that period especially if it has been used by others during it’’s life .
I personally would steer clear of it and buy something much nearer to this century Sorry that’s probably not what you wanted to hear but that’s my thoughts on this one,however please remember I am no expert with these saws but have seen much newer ones for that kind of poppy.
Have fun buying.
Buying a new saw if it is a quality piece of equipment, is a cool experience as we only do it like buying a house, a few times in our lifetime, and it is IMHO for me something to be studied and reflected over before moving on down and boogie-ing on up.I wish you well brother. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

3052 posts in 883 days


#8 posted 07-28-2014 06:35 PM

This saw looks like an early to mid 70’s to me. The motor is likely a 2 or 3hp. Too old? Nope. Old enough to still be made of good solid materials that will last forever if not abused. I have one exactly like it. ‘72. I put new bearings on the arbor and the motor, and it runs awesome. Likely with the upgrades on this saw those have already been replaced or are running fine. Price? $1000 is high to me. $500 is closer to fair IMO. But that’s what my wallet says. If you want a great saw, and you’ve got that cash, this will fit the bill.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Blackbear's profile

Blackbear

109 posts in 972 days


#9 posted 07-28-2014 07:45 PM

I bought a used 3 hp 240 V Delta Unisaw, circa ‘86 or so, two years ago and I love it. Mine cost $450 on the Northern East Coast. The unifence is pretty cool, the saw has tons of power and is really sturdy. Because of the lack of riving knife I purchased the MJ Splitter and put that into a zero clearance insert I made. I have had no issues with kickback with the MJ Splitter installed, and if I need to make a cut that is shallower than the MJ Splitter I simply swap out inserts. They are a great saw if you don’t want to drop $2,000+ on a new cabinet saw.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7826 posts in 2401 days


#10 posted 07-28-2014 08:42 PM

You can get a new Grizzly hybrid with a riving knife for about
that price.

I am not saying it’s the same class of saw, but neither
is more than a light industrial tool anyway and whatever
wear and tear the Delta may be suffering from could
be a factor. It does look like it’s been used a lot.

An important thing to understand about old machines
is that sometimes they have been run hard in production
shops by poorly trained employees and with little
maintenance for years on end. Some machines
are (or were) built to withstand this sort of abuse
but the Unisaw is not one of them, even though
it is sturdy machine.

I’m a used machine guy all the way, but if a riving
knife is important to you there are other options,
including considering most any used saw made in
Europe in the last 40 years.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5594 posts in 2338 days


#11 posted 07-28-2014 09:31 PM

Well said Loren. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View mzimmers's profile

mzimmers

131 posts in 2668 days


#12 posted 07-28-2014 09:32 PM


You can get a new Grizzly hybrid with a riving knife for about
that price.

This is probably the crux of the matter. I didn’t mention it in the original post, but I don’t need 3 HP. Heck, my Bosch 4100 is powerful enough for most of what I do; the purpose of my upgrade is more about the table space and fence.

And, based on comments from the seller, I’d agree that this saw has a lot of miles on it—I think he said it was owned by a professional. I might have to pass on this one. Good discussion, though; as usual, LJ has given me things to think about.

-- M. Zimmers

View mzimmers's profile

mzimmers

131 posts in 2668 days


#13 posted 08-08-2014 01:59 PM

So, how about this one?

http://boise.craigslist.org/tls/4608199251.html

-- M. Zimmers

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1813 posts in 473 days


#14 posted 08-08-2014 02:09 PM

The newer saw will certainly be less likely to have been over worked, neither has a riving knife per se, though both will take a splitter offering close to the same level of safety while being less convenient. I’ve seen gems and garbage at both ends of the age spectrum, a thorough inspection of any machine you plan on buying in that price range is a must. As well as running a board to two through it. I think either would represent about the same deal with the obvious benefit of the newer one having less wear and potential abuse.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2047 posts in 1246 days


#15 posted 08-08-2014 03:38 PM

Personally, the second one deserves a good look, the mobile base adds about $150 to the (new) cost. If it’s important to you, the second one is left tilt, which most folks consider more desirable.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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