Craftsman tablesaw...that bad?

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They say the first rule of journalism is to never ask a question unless you already know the answer, but I will plead ignorance. The local Sears scratch-'n-dent warehouse has a Craftsman tablesaw just sittin' there in the front entrance. It lists for $999 CAN (that's about 40 bucks US - actually about $800) and they're unloading it for $599 (roughly $480 US)
It looks like this....
http://tinyurl.com/79426
Align-a-rip fence (very solid), nice table, etc. Obviously a floor model, never used, but kicked around a bit.
So, how bad can it be? I know it's like a religion or a badge of honour to diss Craftsman - hell, even I do, and I've never owned a Craftsman tool in my life - but is it always true? If I went out and bought a Delta for $599 list, would I still be better off? Is it just de rigeur to knock Craftsman, or are their tools really that poor? I'm just asking cuz I don't know. I've found a gazillion posts of how everything they've made for the past 20 years is a POS, but what about their more pricey items like this one?
No, I don't have my heart set on it, but it "seems" like a good deal.
Fire away!
Bob
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bob wrote:

A table saw is too much of an important tool to let go several hundred dollars to something you're not 100% sure about. Crapsman tools have a bad resell value so do you want to find it the hard way and get stuck with it?
We're not talking of a 50$ cordless drill or a small sander that you can easily throw in the garbage if it's not good... It's a table saw, the main central power tool of a woodworking shop... Get a General Inter at least and shell out the 900$ for it. You will never regret it.
Cyberben
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Clever.
/sarcasm
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ok...here goes. I had a saw just like that...I even paid to ship it overseas...why, because it was better than what I could get there. But after doing all that, I found that the saw part, the top and trunions were fine...but the case..the sheet metal that supported the top was too light. The engineers knew this because they back engineered a stiffener where the tilt adjust is. I ended up taking the top off and adding steel el brackets and angle iron to the sides and top edge to give it more strength. Then I sold it off...
Now I own a Delta unisaw.... lot more money...but a LOT more saw.
Cheers John

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Why would you spend $480 US on a saw with a questionable fence ?
Is the motor direct drive ?
For $475 US you could get the grizzly contractor saw with a real fence and a belt driven blade. I bet in CDN $ its even cheaper.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G0444&
My first table saw was a craftsman, it was impossible to keep the fence in alignment. The internals were all aluminum and plastic.
rob
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Except Grizzly won't ship to Canada.
Clint

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Maybe Shop Fox? Same company and factory.
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Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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On 19/07/2005 2:31 PM, Clint wrote:

According to their Web site they do. It's just a bit convoluted.
From http://www.grizzly.com/foreign_orders.cfm?
"To purchase an item weighing over 70lbs., contact a US based freight forwarder and include their contact information when requesting a quote. (A Freight Forwarder is a shipping company that provides export services for shipping large items overseas.) A small list of Freight Forwarders can be found here: www.freightnet.com/c153-U.S.A./. Upon our receipt of payment we will send the shipment to the freight forwarder, who will then arrange for international shipping. Our flat rate shipping charges cover domestic shipping to the US freight forwarder; customers and the freight forwarder make arrangements for shipping the order to the final destination. All taxes, fees and duties are the customers responsibility."
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Well, bite my tongue, and slap my hiney... Looks like they do. Of course, for whatever reason, the paragraph right above the one you quoted (for shipments less than 70 pounds), they specifically exclude Canada. Don't know if that's what I saw before, or if their policies have changed, or if I e-mailed them and got a different reply... Anywhoo, it would be interesting to see how much a saw would end up costing, landed in someone's garage up here.
Clint

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On 20/07/2005 9:02 AM, Clint wrote:

Yeah, I dunno what's up with that. It makes little sense.
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Doug Payne wrote:

The guy who owns Grizzly is the brother of the guy who owns BusyBee. Seems they've made a deal not to sell to each other's customers.
BusyBee doesn't carry as much as Grizzly, but what they do carry likely comes out of the same factories in Asia.
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70 lbs is the weight limit for UPS.
Shipping cross-border via UPS is a *real* pain. Customs/brokerage fees are absolutely RIDICULOUS
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On 20/07/2005 8:10 PM, Robert Bonomi wrote:

Yes, that's why most people in Canada who know avoid UPS like the plague. There's lots of other options; I buy things from the US all the time. I have no problems having it delivered in Canada.
But another poster has already pointed out the relationship between Grizzly and Busy Bee. Still annoying, but it makes sense from their point of view.
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Oh, tell me about it. I once ordered a telescope adapter from a place in NY that cost about $50, and UPS charged something like $30 to clear it. I refused the shipment, and the store was kind enough to reship by USPS/Canada Post...5 bucks border fee, thank-you very much.
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On 21/07/2005 1:57 PM, bob wrote:

Yes, the Post Offices are often the butt of jokes, but I've had perfect results with them, including shipping some items that were upwards of $3,000. UPS, on the other hand...
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bob wrote:

I don't know for sure on the particular model but I'll make a few comments to look at in deciding...
Have you looked at the motor mount/trunnions, etc., to get an idea how solid it is actually made underneath? What I know of for sure that scares me w/ Craftsman promo is the "developed hp" label...what is the <real> rating on the motor and is it a known item or some no-name Chinese POS? How much does it weigh in comparison w/ the others you're interested in? Weight is good and usually a reasonable indicator of solidity. Can you test drive it by any chance? Is it returnable if you can't and you get it home and it isn't satisfactory?
I the answers to the above are satisfactory, it could be ok....it seems that there has been some attempt towards recovery by Sears recently. Whether this model is a success or not, I have no solid data on.
Nothing solid, but maybe it'll help point out a problem if there is one...
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a buddy of mine bought either that saw or one close to it in the lineup. it was fine. it's a middle of the road contractor saw. the two piece rail is a pain. the openwork wings are finger pinchers. belt flutter was an issue. fence action os fine and it locks tight enough.
he sold it at the end of the job, so my impressions are based on the saw being new. I have no data on what breaks/wears out first/worst.
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Don't know about the newer models, but older sears saws would not accept 'standard' miter gauges. In other words all of the accessories had to be bought from sears also.
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bob wrote:

IMHO, it's only a good deal compared to the list price, which is way out of line. Think about it, would you even consider that saw for $800 US? That's getting into the range of a Grizzly cabinet saw which seems to be quite popular here on the rec. That tells you that it's overpriced to begin with. Personally I don't think it would even be a good deal brand new for $480, when you can get a Grizzly G0444 for $475 plus shipping, and I promise it's a LOT more saw (I own a G0444Z). Also look at the current draw, that's a 1 HP motor no matter what they advertize, while the G0444 is a REAL 1.5 HP. Kick in another $80 and you get the G0444Z with a REAL 2HP. Both models have the Bies clone fence which is excellent, BTW!
Maybe used gear is tougher to find in Canada, but I regularly see Delta or Jet contractor saws in the classifieds listed around $500.
I'm not saying that the Craftsman is not a decent saw that could work for you, but I think $480 is WAY too high by comparison to more highly regarded saws. If it was $300, I'd say go for it, but I'd hate to see you spend almost $500 much on a questionable machine.
I know what you're feeling, it's right there, APPEARS to be a good deal, and you could have it in your garage TODAY! Don't let your emotions lead you astray. Be patient. If you must have immediate gratification (and believe me, I understand this) order the Griz G0444 ($475 US) and skip a dinner out to cover the shipping. Better yet, skip 2 or 3 dinners out and get the G0444z with the cast iron wings and 2HP. That'll make you feel better and I promise you you'll be happier with it!!
Okay now, deep breath, count to ten and go to www.grizzly.com.
Best of luck to you, Tom
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I guess the Americans don't realize that Grizzly doesn't ship to Canada. Now on to the question.
I have the same saw. I got it for Christmas and I am very happy with it. The top is sturdy, 1.5" thick, 27" deep and I don't know how wide. The mitre gauge is a standard 3/4" x 3/8", so you can use any after market parts. The Fence leaves something to be desired but you can upgrade when convenient, I have not yet done so but I am thinking about it. I removed the base from the saw and mounted it on a cabinet (for storage space) and I also replaced the standard belt with a link belt. The splitter/blade guard is awful and has yet to see use on the saw, I use an MJ splitter from Lee Valley. I rewired the plug to 220V, no problems, and the actual "cabinet" that the top is mounted to is very sturdy (unlike the other reply says, might be redisigned). Dust collection like all contractors saws is leass than pleasant but is possible with a little brain work.
If I had to do it all again, I would probably buy a King Cabinet saw. The Delta 36-650C from HD, and the King contractors saw would get close consideration, along with the Jet from www.allinonewood.com. This Craftsman would also be considered.
I am happy with it but for the money spend another $100 or $200 and get something better.
Lars

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