After some significant soul searching, I ordered the General 650 Table
Saw. Here's my experience.
1. "Should be in next week." No - no that didn't happen. A month
later Thomas Tool, MN gets two of the 650s they ordered. "They used
to be packaged better." They are now very poorly crated, exposing all
sides to the elements of the delivery ilk. One was damaged so bad it
twisted the cabinet - dropped or hit hard. Mine appeared fine.
2. Big saw, heavy. Built a ramp for my truck and rolled it into my
shop over PVC tubes. My friends said it couldn't be done alone. I
said anything could.
3. Unpackaged. The left wing surface was gouged badly, the motor
cover gouged a bit too. Dealer swapped wings with the damaged saw -
another long trip for the exchange. Checked it for runout - no
4. Assembly. What a bitch. Oct. '03 Wood Magazine noted the poor
documentation General has. Holy shit - what a f@*@ing understatement.
Why they bother including anything is beyond me. What was there was
either incorrect or inapplicable.
a. The fence rails necessitated drilling the holes larger to fit the
bolts that hold it to the table. The holes themselves appeared to be
misdrilled as the hole overlapped another one, making redrilling
b. The rails for taper-head screws had no taper, necessitating a trip
to get a 3/4" taper bit so they didn't stick out and interfere with
c. Directions state: Mount fence tube to rail using 1/4x1/2" screws.
Only the F*#ing holes in the tube aren't threaded. Another trip back
to Home Depot for a tap.
d. Back rail is missing the screws that hold it in place to the
table. Another f%$&ing trip to Home Depot.
e. No cord is included, wired cord and plug.
All in all I had to buy a tap, taper bit, cord and plug, make an extra
trip to swap out wings, and make three trips to the hardware store to
assemble and I now have a gouged motor cover. That said, I now have
an absolutely beautiful saw (sans cover), but the hassle, expense and
time make me livid. What a joke. This was a spendy saw. I might
expect this from the Taiwan stuff, but not at the price point. This
thing had better be the greatest tool I ever bought from here out.
Perhaps the Delta or Powermatic would have been the better choice.
I'll keep you posted.