I'm looking for a cabinet saw to replace a 25year old Craftsman table
saw (but with a decent after market fence) in my soon to be new
First choice is a Delta X5 Unisaw with Biesemeyer fence at about $1850
online, (woodcraft Honolulu) but here in Hawaii it may be more, plus
shipping (which will undoubtedly be steep).
What about the Delta 36-732 10 Cabinet Saw with Biesemeyer fence (which
looked good in a google search, if I can get decent shipping...) How
much difference between these two Delta models?
or going the cheaper route, the Grizzly G1023SL, 10" left tilt cabinet
saw, 3hp 220v single phase. How does it compare (fit and finish) with
the Delta models? With a list of $995, it is beginning to look
interesting... and much closer to my current budget, given what is going
on with building a new home...
I can only get single phase in my area, and don't want to have a
converter for three phase... I already run my 3 phase wood lathes on
individual single phase 240v VFDs but don't really want to go there for
a fixed speed table saw...
Background info: I'm primarily a woodturner, but am in the process of
building a new house, so may be convinced by SWMBO to build our own
cabinets (we want features that get "spendy" at best, and some of the
existing kitchen design would be nearly impossible to purchase "off the
shelf". We may also want to use woods that aren't typically available
in most commercial cabinetry. As mentioned above, we live in Hawaii,
so shipping costs get rather high, and it would probably be better to
build my own cabinets, so I can get what I really want, instead of
modifying something I can buy that's commercially produced. I don't
trust any of the local contractors because they have the "island
attitude" and I want this to get done within a reasonable amount of
time, not when they need money. Having made cabinets before, this isn't
a big deal for me, but I really do need a decent saw if I'm even going
to consider it.
Looking for reasonably priced alternatives to the unisaw (no used
unisaws available here... I've been looking for months)...
If you really want a cabinet saw, don't be cheap and be prepared to pay the
price for a one time purchase. The Canadian made General 650 is probably the
best buy with regard to price/quality these days.
Since you're a woodturner you may already know Eric Bello. He used to
have a good sized turning/molding business in Wahiawa, but it doesnt
show in a yellow pages search anymore. At any rate, Eric had at one
time a West Coast source for used machinery, from which he bought a
lot. All was top notch, big name, older machinery (Oliver, Tannewitz,
Delta) and he seemed to be quite happy with pricing.
According to the phone book Eric is located at
1963 Eames St
Wahiawa, HI 96786-2789
Regarding the Grizzly: I've had a G1023SL now for about a year and
couldnt be more happy. The Delta and General saws are nice but I just
couldnt justify the higher prices. The 3HP 1PH grizz runs very quiet
and smooth as silk. The top is dead flat, and the handwheels have
that beefy, smooth quality feel as you crank them around. The zero
and forty-five stops were dead on as it came from the factory. I
replaced the mitre gauge and fence with JDS and Excalibur,
respectively, but I'm sure the stock parts would have performed as
well as the rest of the saw. Some assembly is required, of course,
but it goes fast and Grizz even includes a few tools.
New but related: Since you're contemplating doing your own cabinets
get the video called "Cabinetmaking Made Easy" from Sommerfeld Tools
and give some serious thought to using his method of prep & assembly.
I just recently discovered this myself and wish I'd found it years ago
since it makes the whole process so much easier and faster. Usual
disclaimers here, I'm just one very satisfied customer.
Do a Google search in this newsgroup on the Grizzley 1023. It has
received many rave reviews here and would appear to be a very good
purchase for the price. Yeah, if you spend more than twice as much you
can get a General which will look prettier, have a shinier top and
maybe a bit better fit in the corners and under the table, but I am
not convinced it will cut any better, any more powerfully or any
straighter. Nor am I convinced that with normal care it will be any
more likely to outlast your grandchildren than the Griz (either will
way outlast you).
I've been very happy with my Grizzly 1023SL. I've heard of magnetic switch
failures in the past on it but perhaps they've fixed that as I've not had a
problem yet (got the saw in Jan of this year). Fit and finish are great
and it cuts like there's no tomorrow. Of course, I'm coming off a Jet CS
for comparisons and have never used a General or Unisaw. When I was
shopping, price was a big factor for me. For the features and the
reputation regarding this saw, I didn't think I could go wrong. And
Grizzly's Customer Service is outstanding. I did have one cast iron wing
that had some very minor pitting which wouldn't cause an issue. They
insisted on replacing the wing even though I didn't ask them too.
Otherwise, it's a great saw. I'm sure the General is a killer saw as well,
but if I remember correctly, it was several hundred more which I just
couldn't justify. Do a search on the group and you'll find a whole lot of
info. This question seems to get asked about every week or two.
I've heard of the Sawstop product, and looked at the link.
Frankly, I can't see the value of the product for me, particularly when it is
so dammed expensive.
First, from the perspective of a mechanical engineer, I can't see how stopping
a blade (and the motor mass) in so short of a period of time to prevent a cut
wouldn't damage the arbor or other components, and I can't really see the long
term costs worth the proposed benefit. When the original concept was being
given a lot of press, I tried to get actual pricing of the "replaceable
module" (now called a brake cartridge, at $69 or $89 a pop) that would
inevitably be damaged by (repeated) stops due to this "safety" feature, and
never got a straight answer. At least they now advertise the cost of the
part. Also take note of several telling items on their web site: 1) On the
warranty page there is a nice little paragraph titled "No Warranty of Safety"
that disclaims that it is a safe product, and mentions a "Bypass mode". The
Bypass mode also makes me wonder about the utility of the prime feature of the
product. If it is necessary to put the saw in bypass mode, the detection
circuit may trip unnecessarily, causing enough frustration that the user will
eventually just leave the saw in bypass mode. Thus making me wonder why it
would be worth the extra cost to have a feature that isn't all that reliable
in the first place. Also, the manual indicates the brake cartridge must be
replaced after it has been tripped. (one trip destroys the brake, or at least
the fuse in it). You can't even make the saw run without the brake cartridge,
so every time it trips you have down time waiting for a new unit to arrive...
By the way, you'll probably need to replace the blade too.
Second, I'm a believer in working safely and not relying on equipment to "make
me safe". I think it is insane to rely on a mechanical device to "make you
safe" by stopping the device anytime it feels you are doing something unsafe.
I guess part of the problem is that I really don't think much of the
litigation in our current society is the result of people refusing to accept
the consequences of their own actions.
Anti-kickback chains are a pain in the a** as far as I'm concerned. If you
can't learn to properly learn to use a chainsaw to prevent kickbacks, you
really shouldn't be using one at all. Same for a table saw. The typical
table saw is one of the safest tools I have in my workshop. The blade is
mostly covered below the table, only the minimum blade exposure to properly
make the cut is exposed, and between "good working practices" and reasonable
use of various guards and jigs, the cuts I do can be made safely and
efficiently. Adding additional complexity and cost to a stationary tool is
false economy in my book. I learned how NOT to do many things around power
tools from watching others make significant mistakes back in the mid 60's,
when schools still had decent wood shops. Some of my best friends lost
fingers on various tools (table saws included), but every injury was directly
attributed to over-estimating personal capabilities, abusing the tool, or
other unsafe practices for the particular tool.
Now in my mid fifties, having grown up in the pacific northwest of
Washington, using power tools since high school and and chain saws
significantly before that, and still possessing all of my fingers and toes, I
feel much of my "luck" has been from learning how to use a tool properly,
within it's limits and mine, never working beyond my capabilities, and always
quitting before I got tired or inattentive. Call me a bit too careful about
some things, (and perhaps foolhardy in your opinion because I won't pay huge
amounts of money for what I feel is false security), but you can bet I'd never
stick my finger directly into the path of the blade and expect the tool to
stop me from getting hurt....
Just wait until someone manages (somehow) to injure himself using one of the
Sawstop, and just watch what some "enterprising" lawyer does to the company...
It really won't be pretty, especially if there's even the slightest
possibility that the product failed to meet the advertising claims....
Given the initial post I made, with the cost of the Unisaw too high for my
budget, I can't imagine why I would be willing to spend 50% more.
Thanks for your concern, but I'm looking for a less expensive alternative to
the Unisaw, not a more expensive one (especially with features that I
particularly feel will be more of a liability than a help).
You have stated something that many folks just don't understand. That safety
and craftmanship are often linked. So many people think that they can do
anything without training or some kind of intelligent approach. Hospitals
get a lot of business from these folks. I always read the manual and use
tools safely. It never occured to me to do it differently.
And a safety oriented approach is often good for many other things as well.
I agree with your assesment of the sawstop saw. It is just too inviting of
a target for some tool retard. Add in a hungry lawyer, you got a
Who was it who stated that if you can't understand infinity, just consider
human stupidity? I too possess all my fingers and toes. And have used
tools since childhood. I respect tools. I take good care of them and use
them safely. The ultimate safety device is the human brain (when used
Thanks to all for suggestions and feedback, both on and off the group.
I can see I've still got some homework to do, and appreciate the time all
took to respond.
At this point, I'll be looking into previous posts about the Grizzly, and
also trying to see what a General 650 would cost here.
Being that you're Hawaii, You have a bit of a unique circumstance. The
shipping cost is going to be much higher than what anyone in the contiguous
48 has to pay. It may be that a good "value" is completely determined by
What has not been said, but perhaps implied by other posters is that
Contractor to Cabinet saw is a really big leap. The differences between
cabinet saws is pretty subtle. I won't argue that a Grizz is better then a
General. It's pretty much a religious argument.
You will be hard pressed, however, to find someone who says "Damn, I should
not have bought that POS Unisaw (or insert whatever cabinet saw here), I
really should have paid the extra 59 cents for a Powermatic model 66(or
My point is that choosing to buy a cabinet saw is the important part , from
there, you should seriously consider the feng shui implications of saw
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