This may sound like flame bait at first, but it is a serious question.
Exactly what is everyone's problem with Craftsman table saws???
I started saving for a table say with a $500 limit in mind. After
reading back posts from this group, I looked at a Delta 36-650 at
Lowes for $498 and thought it was a pretty good option. Just for
comparison, I went to Sears and looked at their saws. One of their
saws (forget the model number) was $499 and appeared to be very solid.
Based on what I have read, I paid particular attention to the fence,
and it seemed much more solid and easier to adjust than the Delta.
Now, since I have exactly zero experience with either saw, what
exactly is the problem with Craftsman??? I have read enough of the
"they're all crap!" posts; but I would like to hear exactly why people
feel this way.
I plan to buy one of these saws (or something else in this price
range) in the next few weeks, so I would really appreciate the advice.
The nameplate? The quality of Craftsman tools can vary. Some are good
value, many are overpriced. All are made by someone else. If a particular
model is made by a reputable company and the nameplate is the only
difference, on sale, it may be a good buy. Sears has also had a reputation
for putting money into glitzy but of questionable use features.
Typically, you can get more bang for your buck at other tool shops. I've
had some Craftsman power tools. They were low end and while they were not
bad for the money, they did not compare to what I replaced them with (at a
I have alot of Craftsman with no complaints. Other tools I bought (to
include Ryobi) wore out within a year of pretty light use, or was never
quite right to begin with. I replaced those items, including my table saw,
with Craftsman. It's a good saw, is accurate and does everything I want.
The fence locks in where I need it and is never at a diagonal or not square.
Right now I'm in the middle of having to buy a new router to replace my 14
month old Ryobi. I think the only thing on it that still works is the
motor. The lock won't lock the shaft to insert/remove bits, and the depth
adjustment engages nothing. Keeping in mind I take very good care of my
tools since I can't afford to keep replacing them, I picked the darn thing
up last night and a piece of plastic just fell out of it. Who the hell puts
plastic parts in any kind of serious tool? Guess the little Malaysian kid
who built that one was having an off day.
So, I say again, if any folks have craftsman that they really hate that
much, send it to me and I'll give 'em a good home. :)
Until yesterday I was in exactly the same position as you. So I have three
pieces of advice.
1) I found another store that had the Delta for $449. I got Lowes to agree
to sell it to me for 10% less then the other place, so I was all set to buy
it for $405, until...
2) Craftsman never puts the $495 saw on sale, but they frequently package it
with a dust catcher and router table insert for $495, and the package is
advertised (at least it was in Oct and Nov) during the week that members of
the Craftsman club can get 10% off. So, with the extras it is only $450;
though the router table is pretty crappy. So, I thought I would buy that,
3) I saw a 20 years old Craftsman saw advertised. It was recently upgraded
to have a 2hp motor, pulleys, belt, fence, magnetic switch, huge on-off
switch, motor dust housing, and casters. I bought it for $250 yesterday.
The motor alone cost more than I paid. It doesn't have cast iron extensions
(thank God, because if it did, I doubt I could have gotten it into my
basement without taking it all apart), but otherwise it is worth about $900.
There is hardly a scratch on it.
You would have to be very lucky to find a buy that good, but if your budget
is tight, you ought to look around; you can probably find something used for
$150 that is almost as good as the Delta or Craftsman; some day when you
have more funds you can put a new fence and belt on it and be better than
Oh, around here decent used saws sell within a day of the ad coming out, so
act fast. The first few I called on had already been sold.
On 12 Nov 2003 13:27:33 -0800, email@example.com (KirkH) wrote:
That's because it's plan and simple, don't waste your $500 on a
Craftsman table saw! The table saw is THE most important power tool
in the shop. If you still want to spend the the $500, get a quality
circular saw or save at least a few hundred bucks more for a Grizzly
cabinet saw. Delta, Jet, General or PM are brands to shop. Craftsman
makes a few decent mechanic hand tools, but Craftsman clamps are
On 12 Nov 2003 13:27:33 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (KirkH) wrote:
I had a pretty decent Craftsman saw many many years ago. I tried
another saw that was practically the same, but had a flexible shaft
drive instead of belts and pulleys. It really sucked. I don't know if
they still make them that way, or not. Take a close look at the Delta
and the Craftsman, and go by what you see "under the hood," rather
than what's on the nameplate.
I don't think that many companies manufacture their own tools any
You are asking the right question!!
The name on any product means nothing, it's whats under the name that
counts. I bought a Craftsman some time ago ago and it has served me
well. I do a lot of woodworking, so this has not been a "hanager queen"
if you are familiar with the term. I bought it because it was
inexpensive. It had a cast iron table that was very flat and cast iron
wings that, once installed level, have stayed that way. I spent a lot
of time setting the saw up accurately and it has held that setup for
many years. I have made two upgrades, that have been transformational.
The original fence was a disaster, but I only paid $300 for the saw,
so did not expect much. Threw the original fence away and replaced it
with a Beissmeir (sp) that bolted right up to the saw. It made a world
of difference. Then bought a Forrestt blade and that made almost as
much difference as the fence.
Don't have alot of money, and have to make do with the best quality I
can manage within my budget. The purpose of the Craftsman part of my
saw is to turn the blade well and keep it parallel to the miter slot and
fence. This it does well. Controls are not as smooth as they could be,
but for the price, they have worked well.
Bought an Acculine dial indicator system for adjusting my jointer knives
and it came with a video on how to modify Craftsmen saws to add grease
fittings to the adjustment pivot points and same adjustment screws to
make alignment easier. Not a bad idea, but as I said, I was very
careful when I first adjusted mine, and the alignment hasn't moved in
many years. I would love to own a big Powermatic 220v cabinet saw, but
would rather have the other tools I can afford with the price
difference. For me, woodworking is just a hobby. I always try to keep
that in perspective.
You will read a lot of posts here expressing dissatisfaction with many
companies and products. Some have merit, and others are childish
tantrums. The art is in knowing the difference. I am also not very
concerned about the ego factor. I do not wear Tommy Hilfiger clothes,
because I do not know him and see no reason to advertise for him. I
drive a Dodge pickup and on the day I drove it home, I peeled the Dodge
decal off the tailgate. It looks better without it, and I don't care if
the guy behind me knows what make of truck it is or not. I have worked
for the Air Force for 34 years. When I make a flag box or shadow box
for someone in the office, that has perfectly mitered corners, no one
knows what I used to make the cut with, so it is just between me and the
saw in my garage.
Good luck, and I hope you enjoy woodworking as much as I have.
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