Well, I just replaced the Rockwell 9" table saw that I've been using.
The final straw was cutting some 5/4 oak with a freshly sharpened blade
and it was stalling on almost every cut.
I'm now the owner of a General International 50-260. That's the
imported 3HP left-tilt, for those who don't follow GI. 50" rails,
extension table, mobile base with extra castors for the extension table.
Got it off the truck with the help of a neighbor and a 1-ton hoist over
No gaping holes in the crate, and from a quick glance the saw appears to
be in good shape. I'll be unpacking completely on the weekend.
Some people make a huge deal over whether it titls left or right, to
the point where it becomes a major part of the purchasing decision.
Therefore, some of the manufacturers are offering both options.
Personally, I don't think left or right cut makes a difference.
Mine tilts right, but if I really wanted to do an angle cut on a rip,
and thought Left tilt was safer, I could just move the fence to the
other side of the blade.
Some of my reasons:
1) Angle crank is on the right side. I'm right-handed, so this is
2) Motor cover is on the left side. This allows me to build storage
under the extension table.
3) Arbor nut has "normal" threads, and is on the right side of the
blade. (Slightly easier than threading backwards with my left hand.)
The bevel rip isn't a huge deal for me, but consider that if you want to
rip wide beveled panels you generally only have about 12" of rip to the
left of the blade.
;~) The single most asked question in this group that I paste this rubber
stamp answer to.
Both saws will make all the same cuts. Some easier on the left tilt, some
easier on the right tilt. Strictly personal preference. But if you need to
be steered one way or the other,
Are you right handed?
Get the left tilt.
1. Commonly the Left tilt has the bevel wheel on the right side and is
easily turned with your Right hand.
2. Left tilt can rip a narrow bevel with out having to move the fence to the
left side of the blade.
3. Left tilt allows the blade arbor nut to be removed with your right hand.
4. Left tilt allows your to remove the arbor nut and turn it in the
direction that you would expect.
5. With a Left tilt, when both edges of a board are beveled, the sharp point
bevel is up on the fence when cutting the second bevel as opposed to the
bottom of the fence where it might slip under.
6. RIGHT tilt if you are left handed. The bevel wheel is commonly on the
left side of the saw.
7. RIGHT tilt if you "must" use the fence distance indicator when using a
stacked dado blade set. The blades stack left, away from the fence. The
indicator remains accurate. On the left tilt, the blades stack towards the
fence and makes the indicator inaccurate. In this case use a tape measure to
set the fence distance.
8. RIGHT tilt allows you to remove the arbor nut with your left hand but the
nut must be turned clockwise to loosen. Bassackwards to normalcy.
If considering a cabinet saw, with wide 50" rip capacity.
The Left tilt will most often afford you the most storage room under the
right table extension. The RIGHT tilt has an access door in that location
that will demand room to open. The left tilt allows you to have access to
the motor and or the insides of the cabinet from the more open left side of
the saw with out having to crawl under the right extension table. Very nice
if you ever happen to drop the arbor nut inside the cabinet. If you are
considering getting a replacement saw and considering going to the opposite
tilt this time consider that the miter slots may not be the same distance
from the blade when comparing a left to right tilt saw. This may or may not
be of concern but something to consider.
My opinion, based upon speculation and observation of marketing weanies
Used to be that only Powermatic (IIRC) made the left tilt saw. When the
"left tilt is safer" idea came along, other saw manufacturers realized they
were losing sales to Powermatic so they decided to offer left tilt saws. At
the same time, they didn't want to lose the "right tilt is more practical"
sales either, so they continued to make right-tilting arbor saws as well.
There was little to be lost by continueing to offer right tilt since these
other manufacturers already had those designs in hand and produceable.
Over the years, they will probably monitor to determine whether one or the
other becomes a "niche" item and discontinue offering that choice if the
volume becomes so low as to be unprofitable.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
================================Sears I believe had left tilt saws on the market years ago...My dad
had one.. I beileve others did too... My 1st was a Rockwell but it was
right tilt...took me all of 30 seconds to make the switch.
When I set my own shop up in the mid 60's I honestly could not afford
a Powermatic so there was no way Powermatic lost me as a
customer...LOL...I was just another the poor guy...
When I purchase my Cabinet saw 15 years ago IF one was 20 bucks
cheaper then the other I would have purchased the cheaper of the
two...as it was I change blades much more then I make Bevel rips or
have to clean out the base so I went with the right tilt...Never
looked back... and am still happy... To me the most practical reason
for the left tilt is the clean out box is under the short left wing
on the outside of the saw allowing cabinets to be built under the saws
wide open extenension table...
=========================Unless he has his rails offset...like I do....Mine can handle 20
inches to the left of the blade ......but that does limit me me to
about a 43 inch rip or the normal side (ight)
I set mine up this way to make better use of my shop space in my
overcrowded 24x24 foot shop... and it works for the work I do...
I have a Delta contractor saw right tilt. If I were to have a choice I
would buy Left tilt., but the used saw price was good.In reference to
"6. RIGHT tilt if you are left handed. The bevel wheel is commonly on
left side of the saw." My saw has bevel tilt on the right side. The
height wheel is confortable for a righty being on the front right side.
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