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  • New Craftsman Table Saws Now In Stores

    Awhile back, when I was still shopping around for a saw, I was interested in at least having a look at the new models of Craftsman saws .... listed in their catalog as available on May 1st. I wouldn't buy any Craftsman saw normally (absolute junk) but these looked interesting because they seemed more like enclosed cabinet style saws and the top of the trio had a Biesemeyer (sp?) fence. I wondered if possibly Craftsman was taking a new direction in the quality of its equipment. Well Yesterday I finally saw the the lower and midrange models just after they'd finsished assembling and putting them on the sales floor (maybe today the Biesemeyer-equipped model might be there as well.) Just letting all of you know in case you wish to have a look. I didn't have time for a detailed inspection, but after one quick look I was very grateful for the overal quality of my TS3650. The fence on both models were all over the place and were just so cheesy looking... big, clunky and basically non-functioning... pure Craftsman garbage... nothing new. I can't imagine spending $649 and ending up with such a pile of garbage to use. Craftsman is just unreal. I wouldn't buy anything less than Craftsman hand tools, but their power tools can really blow... if their power tools had the same reputation as thier hand tools life would be so much easier... but instead the folks at Craftsmen are just targeting the naive masses and producing nothing of any lasting value... not any more at least. What an insult to my wallet! My neighbor has an old Craftman table saw from the early '60's and it still performs admirably... but it's a whole 'nother animal compared with what they sell today. Anyway, they might be in your stores now or soon in case you wish to inspect the next time you're in Sears.

  • #2
    I'm not a big Craftsman fan either but you have to remember the many of the floor models are piss poorly assembled to begin with.

    What happened to Craftsman? The tools used to be great or at least decent. Now, I don't even consider their hand tools or socket sets to be that good.

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    • #3
      I'm not real sure that anything happened to Sears. They made a decision to sell power tools that appeal to the masses and not the professional. Whatever most of us think of Craftsman, that decision has made Craftsman power tools the #1 seller in power tools. They may not make the highest quality tools around but they sure do sell a ton of tools and that after all is what Sears and any other retailer is trying to do. FWIW, I own a POS Craftsman miter saw and because of my experiences with it, I'll never buy another Craftsman tool, ever.
      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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      • #4
        I'm not eager to sell my current saw for one of the new Sears models, but they looked alot better than their recent offerings....especially the one with the Biesemeyer fence. (You spelled that correctly BTW!)

        The fences on the two lower models are average, but the DC and trunnion mount looks interesting. Time will tell how good the arbors and motors are....don't count on me to be the first in the water though!

        Badger Dave - My C-Man miter saw flexes so much that I use it as a dust collector in my shop....it does a great job keeping dust from getting on the shelf underneath it!

        [ 07-01-2004, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: Knot Me ]

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        • #5
          Why would anyone buy a craftsman anything now days? Anything they make has competition that is better for the same price or less.
          My friend has a craftsman corded recip saw that is actually weaker than my milwaukee battery powered recip saw. Craftsman at half the price might make sense in some cases, but at regular price you can do better.
          www.TheWoodCellar.com

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          • #6
            Most of the Craftsman power tools I own now, I bought before I knew about the better quality and value of other names. There's very few of them I satisfied with. I typically steer people away from most of the C-man wwing tools, especially when there's alot of money on the line. I suppose people buy them because they recognize the name that their dad's used, and there's a zillion stores. And of course there's the ever-persuasive Bob Vila too!

            Not all of their stuff is a bad deal though. Some of the sales and promotions are tough to beat, especially on the non Craftsman stuff....like a $20 Freud LU84. I picked up a 14.4V drill/vac/saw combo for a grand total of $53 after club discounts and other offerings. That's pretty hard to pass up considering I was looking for just the drill at that price.....which I'm pleased with BTW. It'll suit my needs just fine, but I sure wouldn't spend $600-$900 on a TS there.

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            • #7
              Greg,
              You missed out by not seeing the top model. I agree that the fence on the lower models is a joke. I can't believe they put that out. My store has the top model with a genuine Beisemeyer fence and it's pretty nice. I was disappointed though that the price is $950 - not $850 as in the catalog. That puts it in the $770 range during Craftsman club days and with 10% coupon - 50% more than I paid for the Ridgid.
              As for other observations, the paint job on the cabinet is not so special, but the sheet metal is probably 3 times the thickness of Ridgid. Also, the trunnions on the Ridgid are a joke compared to the Craftsman. The Craftsman runs a micro-V belt like the Ridgid and the motor looks to be as good. Of course the dust collection will be far superior and the lack of a shroud around the blade will eliminate thin strips from collecting around the blade. Overall, I would not dismiss the Craftsman and would easily chose it over some unknown Grizzly or Powermatic I can only see in a catalog. If it weren't for the added valued of the Herculift to me, I would consider trading up.

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              • #8
                Sounds interesting... I want to get up to Sears this weekend to see if they have the top model assembled yet. I admit I have a grudge against Craftsman... and I firmly expect that there will be something cheesy somewhere on that saw... it's like the folks at Craftman can't help themselves! I'll keep an open mind however.

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                • #9
                  Sears,Ridgid,Dewalt,Delta, and Makita are just some of the tool brands I own. The Craftsman tools are the oldest(20 plus yrs)and they are the ones which I have the most success in getting replacement parts. Ridgid was pretty good for a while but Sears has maintained its reliabilty for years. If the parts were not available locally then the shipment time has always been reasonable in weeks not months. My recent purchases have been from Ridgid so I can not give opinions for warranty reliability only long term parts availabiltiy.

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                  • #10
                    I saw the new tablesaw yesterday at Sears. It is definitely a nice saw. It was setup incorrectly and somehow they had the fence stuck to the table so it couldn't move. It seemed to be a clone of the low end Jet and Powermatic cabinet saws. The powermatic does have a more substantial fence, that is the only difference I saw that matters.
                    At $900 it is not a big deal, if you can get it for $770 then go for it, that would be a great deal.
                    BTW, the salesman said that for $50 they deliver, unbox and place it. That is well worth $50
                    www.TheWoodCellar.com

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                    • #11
                      A lot of people have liked the look of these saws but it does not sound like anyone is going to buy one. This would have not been the case ten years ago. It looks like Sears is at least trying to put out a better product. I hope it really is.

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                      • #12
                        Hi Rafael - Re:
                        It seemed to be a clone of the low end Jet and Powermatic cabinet saws. The powermatic does have a more substantial fence, that is the only difference I saw that matters.
                        Jet and PM don't make an entry level cabinet saw. Their basic 10" 3HP cabinet saws are just stripped down versions of their most expensive saws. There are some pretty significant difference under the hood of any full cabinet saw vs the Sear's version. Primarily the trunnions, motor size, and drive system. In addition to the horsepower differences, the trunnions on a full cab saw are REALLY massive, as in 3-4 times the size of what's in the new Craftsman. And they have 2 and 3 belt drive systems that transfer power more effeciently. All this translates to more power, lower vibration, better alignment holding, faster feed rates, less bogging, and the ability to cut anything all day 'til the cows come home every day for decades.

                        The new Sears has a nice fence, what should be good dust collection, and what appear to be superior trunnions to most contractor and hybrid saws, but it won't compete head to head with a true cabinet saw in absolute terms. It's a stock VW vs stock Porshe comparison.

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                        • #13
                          Hello Heywood,
                          I know Sears has a history of copying nice equipment but going cheap on the internals. Maybe this is the case with their new TS. From what I saw it looked like a nice saw, I wouldn't be surprised if the trunnions and motor were inferior.
                          www.TheWoodCellar.com

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                          • #14
                            Hi Rafael - Only time will tell whether or not those saws are up to speed. I did just read about a guy who picked one of for ~ $750. That doesn't seem like a bad deal to me. It's less than either the Jet or DeWalt hybrids, less than a PM, Jet, or Delta top of the contractor saw, and only about $100 more than the General Intl contractor saw, with the benefit of the cabinet "style" trunnions and good dust collection.

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