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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    I'm hoping to buy my first table saw early in the new year, and would love recommendations.

    It will be used for general purpose work, both plywood and hardwoods, and preferably handle a stacked Dado set. The first project will probably be a new workbench.

    I have a slightly small 2 car garage, and would ideally roll out of the way when not in use.

    My hope is to stay in the $400-600 range
    and any suggestions and comments are appreciated.

    thanks,
    and Happy New Year to all,

    FCD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    71

    Default Re: My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    If you have the room look at one of the new Hybrid saws.

    Grizzly has one a bit higher than your upper limit but it gets good reviews. Ridgid,Craftsman,Jet and some others also make them.

    I'm looking for one myself but mine will be in a basement shop with limited headroom.Good for you having a garage to put it in.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    If you're serious about woodworking, then I'd recommend you consider serious machines. Cheap, low quality machines are both dangerous and take the fun out of woodworking in a hurry. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on equipment, but you do need to step away from the likes of Craftsman and Rigid.

    I'd recommend a cabinet saw such as the Delta or Jet models, but you could go with an upper end contractors saw and build a cabinet base for it. Dewalt and Delta both make good contractor level saws.

    Grizzly makes quite good machines for their price points.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
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    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    A. Spruce,
    You always give good advice but both the Craftsman and Ridgid
    Hybrid saws have gotten good reviews.
    They are not true cabinet saws but definitely a step up from the portable and contractor saws.

    For someone who wants an entry level saw for working with hardwoods,the new hybrid saws deserve consideration.

    I've had contractor saws and they are good to a point.

    A true cabinet saw is beyond the reach of most hobbyists
    and in fact most require 220v and in some cases 3 phase ***** to operate. That could be a deal breaker for most home shops.

    That's why manufacturers are marketing these in between saws.

    In any case, a table saw purchase should never be an impulse buy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    nova scotia, canada
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    Default Re: My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    sprucey's comment on low quality saws being unsafe and non precise are very true, im a finish carpenter and i bought a cheap craftsman saw the first time i bought a table saw, it was terrible oddly enough actually made by ryobi. it had good *****ful but the fence was brutal..

    as for saftey case in point last year a guy in boston cut off his thumb using a ryobi table saw.... he then sued ryobi for millions of dollars and won but the question still remained was the user trained on the task and was he using a unsafe tool. someone who knows their way around a table saw knows what to do and what not to do especially on a tool which is low quality..

    anyhow i updated to a bosch contractor saw and i love it. super *****ful, precise and it can be stored away easily. it excepts dado blades and such just needs a different plate put on. ive logged many hours on this saw and no complaints other than the 70lbs it weighs, its started to age so its in need of some minor service. when it does die i will replace it with teh newer model the TS4100
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,480

    Default Re: My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmithny View Post
    A. Spruce,
    You always give good advice but both the Craftsman and Ridgid
    Hybrid saws have gotten good reviews.
    They are not true cabinet saws but definitely a step up from the portable and contractor saws.

    For someone who wants an entry level saw for working with hardwoods,the new hybrid saws deserve consideration.
    I agree and disagree. I've used my share of Craftsman tablesaws and they are not worth the money, IMHO. Rigid does not make quality stuff either, way too many complaints on most of their electric tools to be worth consideration, again, IMHO. You are right, anyone in the market for a saw should consider all options before making a decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmithny View Post
    I've had contractor saws and they are good to a point.

    A true cabinet saw is beyond the reach of most hobbyists
    and in fact most require 220v and in some cases 3 phase ***** to operate. That could be a deal breaker for most home shops.
    Being in the trades for 20 years, I've used my share of contractor saws as well, all are NOT created equal. The Bosch saw that jkirk describes is one of the good ones. You build a cabinet and table under and around this saw and you'll have a heck of a workhorse that's going to out perform anything you can buy from Craftsman or Rigid.

    The cost of a cabinet saw is exactly why I recommended a contractor grade saw, you can get precision and ***** in a small package that isn't going to break your bank. As for needing 220, you're correct, any cabinet saw worth it's salt is going to be 220. ALL 220 equipment is readily available in single phase which is what *****s residential homes, or 3 phase, which is what *****s most commercial facilities. You cannot beat the ***** or smooth operation of a 220v saw over 110v *****. You will get cleaner, smoother cuts with less burning, binding, and other detrimental attributes. Far more important than the voltage requirement of the saw is the saw blade being used. A good quality blade in a bad saw will make the bad saw tolerable. A bad blade in any saw is extremely dangerous! As for having to install 220 to the shop area, that is generally not that expensive or that big a deal. Every garage or workspace I've seen has had to have extensive electrical upgrades for all the shop equipment anyway, the addition of a 220 line is small potatoes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmithny View Post
    In any case, a table saw purchase should never be an impulse buy.
    You are absolutely and unequivocally correct on this point.

    IMHO no tool purchase should be made lightly or influenced by budget. That is not to say you have to break the bank to have a nice shop, but you also don't want to buy cheap, off brand, inferior products that are not going to last and are not going to be safe to use. Case in point, if you're thinking about shopping at Harbor Freight for tools, DON'T!
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    spruceys last comment is so true, you should only buy a tool once unless your a junky like me and have to have 3 of everything.

    although id say the only time you can justify buying a really cheap tool is if its for something your only going to need once and you know it will sit in teh garage and only get touched when you need to move it to get at something else.

    i dont totally agree about the rigid comment, their table saw is accurate however has a long history of bad switches on them , as for other rigid tools i have several and find some of their gear better to use than dewalt. keep in mind though every tool comapany has certain pieces of equipment which is their bread and butter and other pieces which arent worth dirt, i love bosch table saws, mitre saws and routers, but their nail guns are junk. hitachi makes great air gear . dewalt makes junk period, milwaukeee is good for drills. and makita is pretty well rounded
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default Re: My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    I could be totally wrong about this...

    Ridgid p0wer tools are not made by Ridgid. I'm not sure who they are made by, but I've heard they are the same manufacturer that makes Craftsman. It's my understanding that Home Depot purchased a license from Ridgid (a maker of excellent plumbing tools) to use the name on their own line of p0wer tools.

    Even "name-brand" p0wer tools like Milwaukee, Porter-Cable, Delta, and DeWalt have sold out to Home Depot and Lowes: many of the tools sold in the big-box stores are of lower quality than seemingly identical models found in specialty tool stores.

    If you are looking for a new table saw, go to the tool stores, not the big-box stores. If you are OK with used, you can find some excellent deals on Craigslist. If you are patient, you may find a saw in your price range that is better than you could otherwise afford.

    Probably the most important part of a good table saw is the fence. Don't skimp on the fence. There should also be a means of properly aligning the blade and the fence; they should be parallel to the miter gauge grooves. (Though some woodworkers align the fence so the gap between the fence and the blade is ever-so-slightly larger at the rear than the front in order to reduce kickback.)

    Also, ensure that the p0wer requirements can be met by your electrical service. You want to avoid anything with a "3-phase" motor -- look for a 240V single-phase motor. Wire in a dedicated circuit appropriate for whatever the requirements are.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    I could be totally wrong about this...

    Ridgid p0wer tools are not made by Ridgid. I'm not sure who they are made by, but I've heard they are the same manufacturer that makes Craftsman. It's my understanding that Home Depot purchased a license from Ridgid (a maker of excellent plumbing tools) to use the name on their own line of p0wer tools.

    Even "name-brand" p0wer tools like Milwaukee, Porter-Cable, Delta, and DeWalt have sold out to Home Depot and Lowes: many of the tools sold in the big-box stores are of lower quality than seemingly identical models found in specialty tool stores.

    If you are looking for a new table saw, go to the tool stores, not the big-box stores. If you are OK with used, you can find some excellent deals on Craigslist. If you are patient, you may find a saw in your price range that is better than you could otherwise afford.


    Probably the most important part of a good table saw is the fence. Don't skimp on the fence. There should also be a means of properly aligning the blade and the fence; they should be parallel to the miter gauge grooves. (Though some woodworkers align the fence so the gap between the fence and the blade is ever-so-slightly larger at the rear than the front in order to reduce kickback.)

    Also, ensure that the p0wer requirements can be met by your electrical service. You want to avoid anything with a "3-phase" motor -- look for a 240V single-phase motor. Wire in a dedicated circuit appropriate for whatever the requirements are.
    this info isnt true, # ridgid is its own company however owned by TTI Technology which also owns milwaukee and ryobi. craftsman tools are made by ryobi simply the color scheme and labelling is changed, next time your in sears take a look at the packaging for a craftsman mitre saw, router, or table saw you will see it marked "made by ryobi ***** tools for craftsma". my old table saw was available both at sears and home depot only difference one was blue grey and yellow, the other was black ,red, and grey


    in regards to the big box stores selling cheaper versions of their tools to the big box stores, this is a myth. yes the big box stores do by them in larger volumes and get a better price on them, this is why home depot and lowes always has them for a lesser price (buying *****). these stores do get special versions of the tools such as drills packaged with bit sets, or saws with a pack of blades. as for getting lower quality this can sometimes be the case but this happens after a period of time once a model has been out for a while. bosch for example has been taking some of their tools which come with special options and taking these extras off the tool, mainly because they have come out with a brand new design on a mitre saw and are using some of the extra's on the new saw and no longer on the older version. as for the motors and such they still put the same motor on it
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    612

    Default Re: My First Table Saw - looking for recommendations

    You mention cutting hardwoods so I would recommend at least a 2hp saw and would recommend a 220V.

    I have a Grizzly G0660 series and it has been great for my projects. The downside is that it is too heavy to be portable so you would have to come up with a wheeled base to make it so. I was able to find mine on Craigslist for about half price from someone that was moving. I looked for about 3 months before finding one that was worth buying.

    Besides the ***** of the saw to cut hardwoods you should check the accuracy of the fence(although you could probably upgrade to an aftermarket fence like Vega). Also I would try to get one with a riving knife.
    Last edited by bp21901; 01-01-2011 at 07:02 PM.

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