Sliding table saw drawbacks or concerns?

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Forum topic by AZWoody posted 04-15-2015 02:59 PM 2098 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1330 posts in 1222 days

04-15-2015 02:59 PM

I currently have a Steel City granite cabinet table saw. After seeing they are going out of business, I have the impetus to get a new table saw.
I have never been totally happy with my saw, I just always felt that it could be running or doing things better than it should.
It seems to be more work than it should to get things squared up and I like the flatness of the granite and it actually has become an extra assembly tables at times but now with Steel City being sold/going under, I’m not sure about the availability of parts in the future, etc.

I was contemplating a Saw Stop for the safety. I’m not a fan of their tactics, etc but it is still a very, very well built saw and as my real life job involves using my hands and my other hobby as a musician requires my finger use, Saw Stop would be something to consider.

With the Saw Stop, I would be interested in the sliding table attachment, but that does get the cost rising fast.

A dedicated sliding table saw would keep my hands away from the blade and also help me doing some straight line rips on my rough lumber as well.

What are the cons to owning one as a dedicated table saw in the shop? I hear people saying they’re better, safer, yada, yada, yada but I want to know what the limitations and drawbacks are if any.

Sorry for the long post for a simple question, but easier to answer questions if a little back story is provided ;)

9 replies so far

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1679 days

#1 posted 04-15-2015 03:14 PM

Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a discussion about the pros and cons of Saw Stop or getting rid of your existing table saw and stays focused instead on the functionality of the sliding table attachment on table saws.

A few points I can think of.

Pros – It lets you tear down full sheets of plywood without using something like a track saw very fast.

I imagine for cross cutting in general and especially for work with larger panels it’s a lot safer and has better capacity than other methods on a tablesaw.

Cons – It takes up a fair amount of room

You have to take the fence off to do large rip cuts

My feelings on these kinds of saws is if you are working with plywood building cabinets a lot it might be worth it. For smaller furniture pieces I’m not sure it’s pros would outweigh it’s cons most of the time.

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1330 posts in 1222 days

#2 posted 04-15-2015 03:19 PM

That did remind that I forgot an important detail that I do have a panel saw for breaking the panels down easy.
The sliding saw would be for squaring it up true as the panel saw isn’t the best for having perfectly square panels.
It’s close, but not perfect.

As for room, I have a 20×40 shop. It’s not huge but I do have room for a sliding table saw. I won’t need the largest ones as I can break down the sheets but something along the size of the Grizzly G0623X I am thinking.

I do have an Incra sled which I love, but the cross cut capacity is not wide enough for doing cabinet work.

I hope it doesn’t turn into another Saw Stop hate/lovefest. I am on the side of the no love for Saw Stop, but I’m also a realist and right now, it’s the only saw on the market that has that safety feature.

View Planeman40's profile


1176 posts in 2759 days

#3 posted 04-15-2015 03:31 PM

I own a Hammer K-3 12” sliding table saw and have had it now for about 2 years, long enough to truly know and understand it. I find it extremely useful over a non-sliding saw as the sliding table has T-slots that allow for any number of home-made fixtures to be attached. Anything you can dream up! It also has a fence that allows it to be quickly pulled back so the end is in FRONT of the saw blade. This allows the fence to be used as a stop for repeated cut-offs allowing the sawed piece to fall free to the right of the blade. This eliminates having the sawed piece kicked back due to the pinching of the piece between the blade and the fence. I have made up numerous jigs and fixtures to attach to the sliding table that an hold work in any position and get a clean repeatable cut. In addition, off-the-shelf work clamps can be slid into position to clamp work to the table. I have sliced many hand-split logs of firewood into nice usable sheets of lumber leaving no saw marks (and this using a 12” Harbor Freight saw blade which I love). The accuracy of the saw straight from the manufacturer was dead on. It is the most accurate saw I have ever owned. And the ability of using the slider with the work clamped down eliminates any shifting while cutting. Now that I have had the experience of a sliding table, I wouldn’t have any other. And, of course, your fingers never need to come close to the saw blade!


P.S. I’m an old codger of 74 that has had four table saws in a lifetime of 60 years of woodworking. I’ve seen and done it all. I say this as my experience with table saws goes back a long time.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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1564 posts in 3242 days

#4 posted 04-15-2015 03:45 PM

Some more food for thought. Try to get out and physically see the saw stop sliding table. While it is made of good materials and the machining is first rate, I think there are two improvements that should have been made before it went to market.
1. It needs some adjustable detent system so that once you get it dialed in, say, for that perfect 90 degree cut, you can go back later after moving the fence and make that cut again without having to get it set for that exact 90 degree cut again.
2. When the arm is fully extended, I think the table flexes a bit much when weight is put on the bae of the arm.
I’m sure there are ways to minimize these issues but you should try to see the saw stop slider in person to make sure it meets your needs. As for the saw itself, it is a well built saw and the machining and materials are top notch.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View AZWoody's profile


1330 posts in 1222 days

#5 posted 04-15-2015 03:49 PM

This weekend I’ll hopefully be able to see one up close. I’ll pay attention to the flex, that does seem like a concern as does the lack of detents which I have read about.

On a video of their’s, they listed it as a “feature” which I am a little skeptical.

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 1902 days

#6 posted 04-15-2015 04:51 PM

I will just mention this.
True sliding saws, the blade tilts to the right. Attachments on left tilt saws, the work piece is trapped under the blade when bevel cutting. I don’t like that much…..just me. From my experience with an Excalibur sliding gizmo, on both right and left tilt saws.

On large famous auction site, the are two Martin T types for perhaps less then the little puny expensive consumer hot dog saw. I know, a bit over the top…but still!

View WelshRabbet's profile


5 posts in 3113 days

#7 posted 07-01-2017 11:01 PM

I really want to buy a European slider saw, probably a Felder KF 700 S Pro with shaper. Those things, especially with a long stroke slider (c. 3+ meters) and a big outrigger for crosscuts, take up about an acre of floor space. I currently own two Delta Unisaws plus a Jet contractor’s saw. They take up a lot of space, too, so obviously something will have to go. The Felder slider can be built to include “dado tooling.” And with the “Fritz + Franz” jig, I can cut pretty small pieces even on a big slider. I’ve been using, and loved, a Delta Unisaw as my main table saw for more than 25 years, but I think it’s finally time to move up. I’m only a retiree hobbyist, but I passionately love to build cabinets, drawers, and custom casework, so efficient handling sheet goods is a major consideration. Is there ANY possible reason I should hang on to either of the Delta Unisaws or the contractor’s saw?

View Loren's profile


10394 posts in 3646 days

#8 posted 07-01-2017 11:14 PM

“European” sliders are also known as Format
saws. They have a sliding carriage to the left
of the blade, no throat plate, no miter slot,
and a big fence for crosscutting panels.

I sold my Felder slider not because I didn’t
like it but because it took up too much space
in my cramped shop. I found a Tannewitz
sliding variety saw to replace it, with considerably
less rip capacity.

If you have the room for one, a full sized format
slider is a dream saw for working sheet goods.

Models vary but the disadvantage of a format
slider is the time it takes to convert from
crosscutting mode to ripping mode. It takes
the better part of a minute to install or uninstall
the crosscut fence on a Felder. If the stroke of
the slider is really large, the crosscut fence
can be left in place and the whole table slid
out of the way. One can even use the crosscut
fence as a reference “pusher” for the rip fence.

There’s a lot to it. Sliders come in 3 basic sizes
as far as American cabinet work is concerned:
24” or larger capacity, 48” or larger capacity,
and 96” and larger capacity.

View Really's profile


4 posts in 334 days

#9 posted 07-03-2017 04:47 PM

I’ve always favored cast iron for table saw tops, mostly because they can be refinished if necessary and not as apt to break like granite tops. That was the rage back a few years ago but now they all seem to be going back to the old cast iron tops. I have a De Walt hi bred with a sliding cast iron table to the left of the blade and it works fine for me. Good for the crosscuts for base cabenets and the other stuff. However they are a pain to set up but once you get them squared away they are nice to have handy. I don’t think De Walt offers this model any more, but I think that I would buy another. the other models are nice but a little out of my price range now back then I paid around $1700.00 for the whole package.

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