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  • TS: All at once or upgrade...

    I'm currently in the market for a new table saw. I haven't worked with fine woodworking since high school shop (fine! right!).

    I'm stuck on 4 choices:
    Powermatic 64A w/52" rails $800
    Ridgid TS3650 $600
    Jet 701301RK $550
    Jet Supersaw (hybrid) $850

    My main use for the saw will be cabinets for the shop, then cabinets for the kitchen and then dressers, crib, etc.

    Would buying a lesser saw like the Jet 701301RK or Ridgid, then upgrading later be a mistake? Would I even appreciate the features of the 64A or Supersaw?

    Thanks ahead of time,
    Joe

  • #2
    Since you'd be willing to spens $800 on a saw, may I recommend you saving a few more pennies up and getting a cabinet saw like a Grizzly. For the money, You get a lot of stuff that contractors saws don't have, and in fact, they actually take up less space and can be just as mobile as a contractors saw. (provided you don't need to put it in your pickup truck.)

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    • #3
      Buy the best saw you can afford. It's more expensive and a pain to buy it twice. Good quality tools tend to hold their value remarkably well.

      Only you can decide which features you'll like. Of the saws you listed, the PM is the best machine IMO. As Mike3206 suggested, $900 will get a Griz 1023S 3HP cabinet saw delivered to your door. Great value, may be more than you want to tackle right now.

      Another choice is the General Intl 50-185M1 that has similar features and quality to the PM for $650. Grizzly has a new saw out that is also comparably equipped for $525 plus $75 s/h. It's very new, but looks promising. Delta also has some nice upper end contractor saws.

      IMO the fences on the other saws are not on par with the Biese types that come on other saws I've mentioned...especially the standard Jet Fence (JF). A good fence is pretty critical for precision work.

      Take your time, look at alot of saws and decide what you like best. All should do a good job for you.

      p.s. Leave money for a really good blade ($40-$100)

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      • #4
        I agree on the PM 64. But I'm biased, I just bought one for myself to replace old craftsman. You'll love the no brainer on the Bies fence. Once you set it, you can forget it forever. It'll line up accurate and square every time.

        I think whatever you buy, I'd pick a saw that I was gonna grow into rather than buying cheaper one and replacing it.

        I try to stay with companies with proven reputations. Jet / Delta / Powermatic b/c if you're spending a couple hundred bucks, they have history of making tools that last generations and that's what I wanted.

        As for Grizzly & General - I have a hard time recommending a saw that I can't visit and play with. Personally, I needed service of a local dealer with one issue on my saw setup. Grizzly / General would not have been able to help with this. Although I konw the general is made on the same carcass (frame / body ) as the powermatic.

        Jake

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        • #5
          Cabinet saw. Since you're wiling to go $800 on the PM, I'd also suggest the Grizz cabinet saw. Good fence, 3hp motor etc. I started out on a benchtop, went to a cabinet saw, and now have a Unisaw. Shoulda woulda coulda. Wish I had bought the Cabinet saw 10 yearsa ago. Should you go that route you won't be sorry later on.
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          • #6
            Cabinet saw. Since you're wiling to go $800 on the PM, I'd also suggest the Grizz cabinet saw. Good fence, 3hp motor etc. I started out on a benchtop, went to a cabinet saw, and now have a Unisaw. Shoulda woulda coulda. Wish I had bought the Cabinet saw 10 yearsa ago. Should you go that route you won't be sorry later on.
            Support Our Troops!
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            • #7
              Pretty much agree with Hewood. Couple of other points----

              First, it's much better to get the best you can afford----second, if you're thinking you might like a good fence, with long rails, get it now----it cost a lot to upgrade the length of rails later or to upgrade from a poor fence.

              The Griz' 1023 always get rave reports---however, be sure to compare apples and apples----to get long rails and extension table will raise the price to about $1100.

              Don't even consider the Jet Supersaw----it has had nothing but bad magazine reviews. It's really a cheap copy of the DeWalt 746----but, IMO, the 746 is overpriced for what you get---add some extensions to it and you're way over the Griz' price.

              Of course, don't forget to include shipping costs for anything you can't pick up locally.

              Good luck and have fun.
              Dave

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              • #8
                Thanks for the quick help guys. I'm going to stop looking at the "hybrid" saws. I forgot to mention that I don't have 220 hooked up in my garage (how hard/$$ is it to hook up?) so I'll have to avoid the grizzly saws. I'd love a cabinet saw, but I've already upped my budget from $400 to $800 (ouch!) LOML is giving my a pretty stern look!!

                I'm also going to rule out the General stuff, the only local supplier in my area says that there is a 4 month wait to order the 50-185. Also that if something breaks, I'm looking at a 2 month turnaround for a new part.

                Are there any T-style fence's out there other than the beismeyer (or clones) that come standard on a contractor type saw?

                So I can narrow down my search to:
                Powermatic 64a (Accu-Fence, cast-iron wings)
                Jet 708304K (Xacta Fence II, cast-iron wings)
                Delta 36505X (Uni-fence)or 36507X (beismeyer)

                I just wish I could get my hands on a General 50-185 locally to play around with, if I liked it I'd buy it and the heck with the shipping delays.

                Joe

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                • #9
                  Joe----adding 220 depends entirely on where your service box is and how much routing it would take to reach your shop.

                  Good shopping list. I'd look at the differences between the Biese' and other fences---check out the Delta---if you like the set up/feel, you'd know better if you want to wait for the General, which would save a few bucks.

                  BTW----if you have a good contractor's saw, with a good fence----it will last many, many years and do most everything a cabinet saw can--with just a little effort and care.
                  Dave

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                  • #10
                    My electric panel is about 30 feet from my detached shop/garage. The panel is on the wall closest to the shop. Could I just tie into the same circuit as my clothes dryer, and run a new line out to the shop (without killing myself If I can do the 220 myself, I can then look in to getting a grizz cabinet saw.

                    The only other T-style fence I've seen (besides the beismeyer/clones) is the jet-fence. What others are out there and are they any good for doing fine woodcraft?
                    Joe

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