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  • Need advice on a new table saw

    Hi all!

    First off, this is my first post on the forums, so please, be gentle! My name is Greg, i'm a 20 year old student in sunny San Jose, California, and over the last year carpentry as a hobby has taken up practically all of my free time. Nothing wrong with that! Anyway, i'm looking to buy a quality table saw this coming summer, and feel that I could use a little...ok, a LOT of advice in choosing a good saw. So far i've looked at saws from Ridgid, Delta, General International, and Craftsman. I need it to be able to make clean cuts through plywood, hard and soft woods, hardwood veneers, veneer over ply, and just about everything else. It also needs to be mobile so that I can move it around our garage. I'm looking to spend around $1000 for saw, blade and anything else that I might need. What do you guys suggest?

  • #2
    if you are looking at a contractor saw i would say ridgid, hitachi, grizzly, and general inter are good ones, and with the table/bench style saws i would saw you get what you pay for but you need to be careful there to sinces some of them can get close to the 4-600 dollar mark in a hurry. i have a very old oilver table saw that i got from an aution though the school system here that i got for a song and for less then 500 i have a cabnet shop quity saw.good luck with your serch and welcome to this forum.
    9/11/01, never forget.

    Comment


    • #3
      All the saws you mentioned are capable of making accurate cuts, as are most saws costing $500 or greater. The name of the game really becomes getting the features you like and the saw you really like best.

      I'd seriously consider getting into one of the hybred saws. They have the motor mounted inside the cabinet so you don't have to deal with the motor out the back. They're more like a cabinet saw. Grizzly, GI, Steel City, Sunhill, Craftmsan, Dewalt, Jet, and Delta all have decent saws in your price range, and all can be set on a mobile base. The better ones have a Biesemier fence, while some have a lighterweight aluminum fence. Most have cast iron wings.

      Grizzly makes a 3hp cabinet saw for very close to $1000. It's a more industrial type saw than the others, it needs 240v, and it'll take up you're whole budget plus a little, but may be well worth it....it's likely to be the last saw you ever own.

      Comment


      • #4
        With the possible exception of Craftsman, any of the manufacturers you listed will not disappoint you. Most contractor style table saws in the $500-$700 price range are pretty equal with only some subtle differences.

        As far as making clean cuts in the materials you listed, proper setup of any saw will be an essential part of that equation. Another big part of the equation is choosing the proper blade for the job at hand. All blades are not equal!

        The best advice I can give you is to take your time and do a lot of research before you decide which saw is best for you. Just as every woodworker is a little different than the next one so are saws and their individual features. Find a saw that fits your budget but most of all find one that fits your needs.

        Although considering that you posted on the RIDGID site, of course you should choose the 3650.
        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

        Comment


        • #5
          Whatever saw you choose budget at least $50 to $100 for a blade or two. Some saws come with mobile bases, some dont, so you'll want to budget some money for that as well.
          www.TheWoodCellar.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Any of the saws mentioned in the $500 range and up will do well. I pushed the $100 saw out of the garage and went to buy a saw with little research.
            I purchased a Hitachi Model # C10FL for $499 from Lowes before I found this place with the push of Orange. I have no regrets with the saw and it comes with casters so no additional cost for mobility.
            From what I have read here there is few complaints with the Ridgid saw so it would be a good choice for the same price range.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
              With the possible exception of Craftsman, any of the manufacturers you listed will not disappoint you. Most contractor style table saws in the $500-$700 price range are pretty equal with only some subtle differences....
              I've always thought the Craftsman contractor saws were a very similar design to the Ridgid. They were made by Emerson for ~ 20 years until 1997, then by Ryobi (a TTI company) before they dropped the contractor saw all together in 2004. Both companies are now associated with the Ridgid saw. (They even had some similar arbor aberrations. )

              The new Craftsman hybrid 22124 is considered by many to be a leading saw for < $1K without jumping into the cabinet saw class. It's made by Orion who was formed by former Delta employees and is now launching the Steel City Toolworks line. It's one of the better tools with a Craftsman logo I've seen in years. It has cabinet mounted trunnions, a steel Biesemeyer fence, full enclosure, 12" wings, great DC, a foldup outfeed, laminate extensions, and a really good stock blade. It's getting alot of good press in mags and raves from owners, including some former Sears bashers.

              http://www.epinions.com/content_184778395268
              Last edited by hewood; 01-06-2007, 07:41 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                wow...didn't even know there was a difference between table saws and cabinet saws! So I took what you all said and did a little more digging and came up with...more questions!

                Is a zero-clearance insert necessary for splinter-free cutting?
                I see alot of talk about the Forrest WWII saw blade. Would you guys recommend it?
                What are the advantages of a magnetic style switch as opposed to a traditional mechanical push-button style?
                What are the advantages/disadvantages of right/left tilt arbors?
                Why choose a Biesemier fence?

                Just when you thought it was safe to come out...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wearinsawdust View Post
                  wow...didn't even know there was a difference between table saws and cabinet saws!
                  There are 3 basic categories in stationary saws around your price range - contractor, hybrid, cabinet saw. The contractor saw design is well over 50 years old. The basic concept with the outboard motor is relatively unchanged. The hybrid offers similar power, capability, and duty ratings in a similar price range, but addresses most of the issues with the contractor saw design and has some of hte advantages of a cabinet saw (smaller footprint, better DC, shorter drive belt, more mass, etc.). The cabinet saw offers advantages over both. More power, and more robust contruction, but they also require a 220v line and usually cost more.

                  So I took what you all said and did a little more digging and came up with...more questions!

                  wow good questions. Lots of good questions!

                  Is a zero-clearance insert necessary for splinter-free cutting?
                  A ZCI is helpful on any saw with just about any blade

                  I see alot of talk about the Forrest WWII saw blade. Would you guys recommend it?
                  This could be the subject of a new post! It's a matter of opinion, but IMO it's worth it...lots of others like it too. Forrest is the marquis name in blades. A great blade IMO but not the only great blade. Infinity, Tenryu, Ridge Carbide, Freud, DeWalt and others have some great blades too, but not all blades from all these companies are great. Forrest is a safe (and usually expensive) bet in all cases...no clunkers, no bargain lines. Blade selection, type, and quality is very important to performance. I've tried over 30 different blades and think quite highly of the Forrest, but there are definitely others I like too. That new Fusion blade from Freud looks like a winner

                  What are the advantages of a magnetic style switch as opposed to a traditional mechanical push-button style?
                  a magnetic switch would default to an off position if unplugged or during a power outage. A push button switch would still be in the on position if power is restored

                  What are the advantages/disadvantages of right/left tilt arbors? another matter of preference, but definitely different pros and cons. The arbor thread orientation is normal on left and done with the right hand, reversed on right tilt and applied with the left hand. The bevel on a LT goes away from the fence on a standard ripping setup, toward the fence on a RT, but you can always move the fence to the other side of the blade. Blade thickness effects the zero reference on the tape measure with a LT, but not with the RT. I've had both, prefer left, but wouldn't let it kill a great deal on a good saw either way.

                  Why choose a Biesemier fence?
                  Biesemeyer is another marquis name in the industry and an industry icon. There also some great copies, but they're essentially a set and forget fence. Very sturdy, reliable, accurate, very easy to use, constructed of steel. Once setup it'll align where you set it and perpendicular to the blade without fail and doesn't need rechecking.
                  http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthr...apsed&sb=5&o=7


                  Just when you thought it was safe to come out...
                  You're asking the right questions. You might find previous discussions on some of the more critical and debatable questions (ie: blade, fence) here or an other boards.

                  http://www.epinions.com/content_145552674436
                  Last edited by hewood; 01-06-2007, 08:00 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hewood View Post
                    I've always thought the Craftsman contractor saws were a very similar design to the Ridgid. They were made by Emerson for ~ 20 years until 1997, then by Ryobi (a TTI company) before they dropped the contractor saw all together in 2004. Both companies are now associated with the Ridgid saw. (They even had some similar arbor aberrations. )
                    You're correct in what you say however although the Craftsman contractor saws may be similar in design to the Ridgid's and share the same manufacturing parent they are still made to Sears specifications. They may look similar but they aren't the same.

                    To be honest, my remark was made more from personal experience with Craftsman than anything else. The Craftsman power tools that I've purchased were both duds. Because of that, I find it very hard to recommend Craftsman to anyone.
                    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've had the Rigid TS 2424-1 for some time and it has never let me down. Good saw at a good price. I suspect that the 3650 runs in the same vein. Think about it this way, every dollar you don't drop on the saw is wood to use it with.
                      Only a surfer knows the feeling. Billabong ca. 1985 or so

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm with you to a point Dave. I wouldn't have recommended a new Sears contractor to anyone either! But their Orion made hybrids are definitely a different animal that has surprised more than one skeptic. They put their name on alot of stuff and market to a wide audience, so there tool quality is all over the map, but there are definitely some good machines in the current lineup.
                        Last edited by hewood; 01-06-2007, 01:07 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Craftsman

                          I have the 10'' ridgid. Just got it a few weeks ago. So far, so good...real good actually. Its got some nice features, and the fence is real nice.

                          I'm with you, Badger Dave. Craftsman power tools tend to spook me. I've had some real bummers (cordless drills, sanders, etc..). I love craftsman hand tools, though, and just bought a pretty kick-*** set of chisles.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hewood View Post
                            I'm with you to a point Dave. I wouldn't have recommended a new Sears contractor to anyone either! But their Orion made hybrids are definitely a different animal that has surprised more than one skeptic. They put their name on alot of stuff and market to a wide audience, so there tool quality is all over the map, but there are definitely some good machines in the current lineup.
                            I don't doubt the quality of the Sears hybrids what I doubt is dealing with Sears, value and long term customer service.

                            First Sears was a premier company to deal with then in the late 70's early 80's it started listing to those that said take what you can get and run. Their quality, customer service and I believe their integrity went to pot.

                            Second I find it hard to buy anything that may be heavily discounted as much as 50% one day and full price the next. Sales are sales but Sear's "regular price" on these saws is almost a joke. I think they need to set a "fair" price and sell their saws at that price. This idea of putting it on sale is nothing more than marketing hype and I feel for the poor slob that buys at the "regular price".
                            I guess this all ties in with integrity.

                            Third right now the excellent service we hear about on these saws seems to be coming from Orion, what happens when Sears stops buying from Orion and Orion no longer has to kiss Sear's fanny to keep them happy. The Orion name does not appear anywhere on the saw and they can with total impunity wash their hands of it at any time. And since their name doesn't appear they can claim Sears screwed them and no one but those stuck with the junk will blame them.
                            Rev Ed

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm not too skeered off by Sears,,,been reading alot of good things 'bout them treating people well lately. That 22124 kicks tushy IMO. You can always get the Steel City TW 35601 with the $100 rebate. its about $800 I think and is darn near the same saw.

                              My General International 50-220 with the Beiz fence is a real nice saw too. Woodcraft has 'em.

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