General TS - 250 or 350?


Hi,
It's time to upgrade my contractor table saw and I'd like to get some advice and wisdow from you guys....
I'm in Canada and I want my next cabinet table saw to be from General. So please no suggestions on Grizzly or Delta. I hesite between the model 250 (from General International) and their big 350 (or 650 for left tilt) made in Canada. I can't really see the difference between the two models aside a couple of hundreds of dollars.
Any advice from owners of either models?
Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Two days ago I took delivery on a General 350 TS with Sliding table. I evaluated all kinds of saws for 11 months. It wasn't easy to choose, as I was initially attracted to the Knapp and Felder equipment from Austria. Being new, I had a lot to learn, so I asked tons of questions.
But I'm certain of this. I've spoke a half dozen times with the General people in Quebec. And to the machinery dealer here, a man who's known throughout North America for his ethics and experience in tools. The Canadian General saws are the very best quality. Sure, Martin and Altendorf (Germany) are better. But they cost $25,000.
The Chinese (General International) version of the 350 saw weighs 100 lb less than the Canadian model. The Canadian machines come with a Baldor motor. That alone is worth big $$$.
The quality control is so good in Canada that my saw has .003" of runout on the blade. My friend owns a $20,000 Felder, and he said that figure would match the tolerances on his Austrian beast of a machine.
At my dealer, they have two 10-inch models sitting side-by-side. A Canadian 650 (left-tilt) and a Taiwanese General. From 20-feet away, you can see the gleam coming off the machined top on the Canadian. Not so on the Taiwan version.
Did you know that General in Canada has their own source of high grade iron, and is the last North American tool manufacturer who can make such a claim!
Stop me before I get going. I'm even ready to order Maple leaf drapes for the living room.
Seriously, while I was boring people to death with my questions about which saw to buy, 3 people who once owned Generals responded that they sold their used machines at close to the new price. That tells you something about quality and reputation.
Soooo..... There's a sale on now until year end. The best 250 model goes for $979. The 650 or 350 sell for $1999. These Canadian versions must have something good. They aren't giving them away.
Good luck Gary Curtis
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Checking the runout of a blade mounted on the saw is meaningless. It's a very rare blade that will be that flat and it tells you nothing about either the saw or the blade. If, on the other hand, you took the blade off and measured arbor runout, that would be meaningful.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I thought of asking to have the arbor measured. The blade is new and unused, of course. But I'll ask for another check.
GC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.