I need some input on a table saw decision

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Forum topic by Larry Wilson posted 11-17-2014 02:30 AM 981 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Larry Wilson

25 posts in 1770 days

11-17-2014 02:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw unisaw question

I bought a Ridgid R4512 a couple of years ago after reading some very positive reviews online and got it at Big Orange with their 20% off sale so I think it was about $500 give or take. I soon ran into the limitations of this type of saw when I tried to tune it up. Between that and a crappy fence I have been longing for a cabinet saw for a while now. I managed to find a 35 year-old Delta/Rockwell Unisaw for $450 recently but there are some issues. Another crummy fence and absolutely no safety features at all. On the plus side it’s a 3HP model that seems to run well. I found a source for a “Ripping (aka riving) knife” (BORK) that can be added on but that’s another $200. The fence that I would like is the Vega Pro 50 and that would cost just shy of $400 to get it to Canada. That would put me in just over $1000. My question is, do you guys think I should keep the Unisaw or get something a little newer that might have a decent fence and some safety features? Cost is an issue here, unfortunately.

-- Shoot pool, not people

4 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2627 days

#1 posted 11-17-2014 02:52 AM

Can you comfortably afford a new cabinet saw?
Will you use it frequently?
Will you build projects that actually require (or greatly benefit from) a cabinet saw?

If the answer is “Yes” to all three…..then you should buy a new cabinet saw.

I recently saw a smoking deal on a 3HP Grizzly cabinet saw via craigslist. It was affordably priced, but I only use a table saw a few times per month and usually work with small, thin stock… I passed.

Of course a good case could also be made that “you only live once” so you should buy a saw that makes you 100% happy.

View TheFridge's profile


9444 posts in 1480 days

#2 posted 11-17-2014 02:54 AM

Hard to find a newer used saw with a riving knife for under 1000$. Unless it’s a grizzly maybe. If you get the old unisaw setup with a new fence and riving knife will you ever need another saw?

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

View David_H's profile


90 posts in 1312 days

#3 posted 11-17-2014 03:40 AM

What do you mean by limitations when you tried to tune it up? Why can you not add a better fence?

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2599 days

#4 posted 11-17-2014 03:40 AM

I have the BORK on my old unisaw. It is definitely not worth the price. A splitter is a better option and definitely more durable.

There are good fences that are cheaper. A shopfox classic fence runs around 250 dollars and is a bessy clone. Its a pretty great fence. In reality you can get that unisaw up and running for around 750 dollars which is cheaper then any cabinet saw you can get.

Next cheapest saw will probably be a grizzly. Around 1300 dollars to get one of those.

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