First Table Saw?

Page 2 of 2  

[top posted cuz I'm lazy]
I always recommend that your first table saw be used and cheap, so you can make mistakes on it and not beat up/abuse a new saw..
Having said that and done that, I have to say that I bought the Ridgid TS3650 at Home Depot about 6 months ago and I'm very impressed with it.. I'm certainly not a saw expert, but I really like the large table/wings, the solid fence with the magnified rule, and how quiet it is. (compared to my Shopsmith, anyway) A big plus for me was that it comes with their "Herculift" mobile base.. An option on most saws.. All-in-all, I think it's a lot of saw for $550...

mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Check out the Sears (Orion) hybrid saws.
Orion is made up of ex-Delta employees as I understand it.
These hybrids are an exceptionally good value and can be had at large discounts, figuring in "Craftsman Club", coupons, etc.
The following link is for the saw I own, a 22114. It's a beauty.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00922114000P?keyword"114
And no, I have no vested interest in Sears.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This is also the saw that I use and am very happy with it. I have replaced the standard fence with an INCRA - best thing I ever did for reproducing cuts. My first saw was very cheap -- one of those $200 specials at Sears. Taught me a bit more than ecpected and lasted about 6 months before I spent the exra cash for what I use now.
Moral of the story --- $200 got me started and made me feel that a nicer saw would allow me to continue in a hobby that I find very enjoyable. When I spent the first $200 I wasn's sure what I wanted to do so it was a minimal investment that ended up selling on Craigs list for $120. Not bad return for the crap it was.
Thom
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Adam,
Selecting the best saw for your needs is going to be tough or maybe easy depending on your attitude. There is no perfect saw, everyone's needs are a little different, etc. In fact if you do some research you'll find that knowledgeable experts can come to opposite conclusions - compare some of those magazine tool tests.
I am not a knowledgeable expert, but here's what I did. After many years of using various saws in other shops, I set up shop at home. I went through about the same questions that you are dealing with. I wound up with a Jet contractor saw, and it has done a really good job for me. But I wouldn't consider more expensive saws at the time because I didn't understand how I could justify all that money. I soon realized that my Jet could use some improvements to make it easier to do accurate work.
I now have the Jet contractor's saw with a much better fence (General, Canada), a Biesemeyer splitter, a link belt, some balanced pulleys, mobile base, outfeed and right side extensions (with router table), an Excaliber blade guard for dust control, Forrest blade, good miter gauge(s), TS Aligner to keep things straight, and I can't remember what else. It's a very good basic saw and now does beautiful work as long as I'm careful so everything stays in-alignment. But if I add up the money I've spent improving it I'm sure I have more than paid for a top quality cabinet saw - but I still don't really have cabinet saw precision.
If I were to replace my saw right now, I'd buy either a SawStop, or a Powermatic. I've already paid the equivalent of the Powermatic, and if I add up all the time I've spent overcoming the shortcomings of my Jet I bet it would equal the cost of the SawStop.
You can cut wood with a straight edge and a sharp rock but you'll eventually want things to be a bit easier. And beginners need precise tools more than experts do. Whether that precision turns out to be overkill is unknowable now but interesting to think about.
Good luck, and enjoy your set-up whatever it turns out to be.
PDX David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RE: Subject
It is not the saw, it's the fence that deserves attention.
Start with a good fence, I like Unifence, but there are others, jack it up then drive anything under it that wants to call itself a table saw, and you will probably be happy with the results.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Adam,
Buy a contractors style table saw. Jet, Delta, Rigid are all good brands. I bought my Jet for less than $500.00 5 years ago and love it. We bought it for our restoration business and it has served us well.
www.vintagetrailersforsale.com
cm

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree with Mac, go used. You can find decent saws on Craigslist almost every day for $200 or less.
You can easily get by for years, maybe even forever, with a contractor saw unless you are regularly cutting 8/4 Maple.
Save the money for other tools and more importantly wood, dead trees are very expensive.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here's a good starting point on buying used
http://sawdustmaking.com/Table%20Saws/table_saws.htm#Buying%20a%20Used%20Table%20Saw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

<SNIP>
My first (and current) table saw set me back $400.00 (home depot). I am still using it today. Here are the short comings of my (and possibly other low end saws):
1) Under powered. When cutting thick stock of hard wood (maple, cherry, etc.) my saw will frequently throw a breaker unless I feed SLOW. 2) Poor fence. 3) Table saw surface not perfectly flat.
My primary goal at the time was to insure I was purchasing a TS with a cast iron top. DO NOT GET AN ALUMINUM top saw.
It is possible to make beautiful furniture with a cheapo $400.00 saw (have a look at a some of my work and see my saw: www.garagewoodworks.com).
I plan on upgrading to a more powerful saw (PM 2000).
So if I could give a little advice, sure, you can stick with your $500 budget and buy an adequate saw that will allow you to try out the hobby and potentially make some beautiful furniture along the way!!
I would definitely still stick with my original criteria: CAST IRON TOP. Try to get one with the beefiest fence within your budget. IMHO, I wouldn't be overly concerned with power at this point--Sturdy cast iron top, and beefy fence.
Read all you can about Table Saw Safety!!! The first thing you should make (or buy) are some push sticks/blocks. Read about SPLITTERS and the dreaded KICK BACK!
--
www.garagewoodworks.com



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Depending on where you live, you can often find good used saws at the $500 range. Do some shopping to get a feel for price so you don't end up paying $500 for a beat saw that originally cost $525. If you can get equivalent to the $1000 model you looked at for $500 in good condition, grab it. Tablesaw technology has not changed much in 50 years so you may get a real gem with a few years on it.
Don't buy a cheap direct drive benchtop model.
I'll second the cast iron top.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And I'll third the cast iron top if there is something like thirding. There's two other things the OP might consider which was the route I followed with my first saw.
My first saw was a 1 HP contractor's saw with really heavy cast iron top and wings. I used it happily and built some relatively nice looking stuff for years using this stock beast. At some point I found out that a carbide tipped blade was a good idea. That made a big difference in my projects, however my projects jumped a quantum level when I added a third party fence to the mix. The replacement fence cost me $400 CA at the time which was more than twice what I paid for the saw originally. Of course, 20 years elapsed between those two purchases, but with the new fence and the carbide tipped blade, I could build really nice stuff. My only wish is that I'd found out about them many years earlier.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Two suggestions, based on my past experiences with my Jet contractor's saw:
- Don't use an extension cord - Use a GOOD 20-24T rip blade on thick stock.
If you're already doing that, consider the lurkers. <G>
With a 40T WWII or 50T Freud combo, I can slow down my 220V, 3 HP (North American HP, not Far Eastern) General cabinet saw with thick wood. It'll take 8/4 white oak or maple as fast as I can humanly feed it with a 24T full-kerf Freud rip blade. I could trip breakers with the Jet ripping thick stock with a combo blade.
I totally agree about the aluminum top. Leave those for the jobsite saws.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Watch the smaller one's for length of the arbor if you want to use a dado blade.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.