Grizzly 1023 SL vs Z series

Sold my Craftsman contractor saw and am ready to order the Grizzly. Trying to decide what the difference is between the 1023SL and the 1023Z. They are priced almost the same. The only differences seem to be the fence, the table width and the cut capacity. Based on the two spec sheets, I believe the SL gets the nod. Am I missing something?
Matt
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Matt: You are doing the same comparison I did about five years ago before I bought my 1023S. I was intrigued with the "Precision" Shop Fox Fence. We had a chance to visit the Springfield store and were lucky enough to spend about an hour with one of their salesmen who worked in the demo shop.
We looked at the 1023S, the 1023SL and the "Z" version. The Z fence was absolutely as smooth as glass - effortless. HOWEVER, this gentleman gently steered me toward the "S" or the "SL" which have the older Shop Fox Classic Fence - a Biesemeyer look-alike. He explained that the Classic was a tried-and-true fence that caused very few problems during long use. The Precision fence, while very smooth, contains several moving parts and requires adjustment.
I finally asked "If you were buying a saw would you buy one with the Classic or the Precision fence?" He said his 1023S had the Classic and he wouldn't trade for anything. I got the message and ended up buying the 1023S - never regretted it. It is heavy and has only required tweaking a couple of times. The Classic has compared well with the Biesemeyer in some magazine reviews.
BTW - I would probably consider the SL to be equal to the S today. When I bought my saw the SL was brand new on the market; and while the trunnions were just as heavy, they were different. I didn't want to be among the first in line on a brand new machine. Today I probably wouldn't hesitate. With that said, the coversion from my old left-tilt Craftsman to the right-tilt "S" was easier than I thought. Within a week or two I forgot about the difference.
Hope this helps. RonB

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Matt, I carefully saved my money and read many comparisons on this site and others. I did buy the Grizzly 1023SL. It has treated far better than I expected any tool to do so. My difficult task was getting it down the basement. Well not too bad. Since I believe you are going to spend the time to align this tool with the care it and you deserve. Keeping that in mind, I removed the top and motor. Carried it down in pieces and reassembled it in the basement. If you are going to do this, call the Grizzly service desk. They have some key pointers on how to keep the motor pulleys and the arbor pulleys aligned. The manual that came with the saw had detailed instructions on how to properly align the saw. First time you do this, expect to chew up about four to five hours. DO NOT RUSH. The penalty of rushing is alignment issues like KICKBACK, Burning up blades etc.. I also bought the best blade I could for the saw and for what I was doing ( now own about five blades to match material and cuts) . I can cut wood so thin you can just about see through it. :) :) I also spent the effort and money to wire the saw for 208 VAC with a dedicated circuit with 12 gauge wire. I just wanted the saw to deliver the best performance it could. I have never been let down. One grip though, and I have this grip with many table saws.. The stop button is too small for my liking. Grizzly on their new 12 inch saw has a really large OFF button. I am tempted to see if I can buy the switch and upgrade my 1023SL. Why the fuss, not every cut goes as planned and sometimes you need to stop things NOW before the ugly stuff occurs. Last but not least I did also buy the Shop Fox mobile base for the saw. This base is okay. Would be better if you could adjust it snug against the saw. Had to use wood spacers to take up the small, but annoying gap between the saw and the base. Good excuse to cut more wood. :) Good Luck Paul

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I didn't care for the on/off switch that came with my 1023SL either. I took a 3"x5"x1/4" piece of plexiglass and attached it to a hinge that is secured to the under side of the saw directly in front of the ON/OFF switch. I drilled a 7/8" hole directly in front of the ON button, so I could start the machine. Since the OFF button sticks out further than the ON button, all you have to do is hit, touch, knee, slap the plexiglass to shut off the machine.
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Great advice from all. I am going to keep the saw in the garage on a mobile base. I did have the Shop Fox base under the Craftsman and it really made life easier. Have you fellas built a filler piece off the right table extension, filling the length of the fence ? I would also like to hang an outfeed table off the rear. Any tips? Thanks fellas!
Matt
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I bought the 1023 SL, then added the longer arms, built a table extension, so it looks like the 1023SLX. Installed a router lift in the extension. I wasn't thrilled with the shop fox base, particularly with the added extension. I built a base out of 2" angle iron (with six swivel casters and 4 set/leveling screws) that carries the entire saw, extension, and storage cabinet (under the right side extension). I added a 4' x 4' out feed table to the saw. It is attached to the saw with 2 bolts. It takes approx. 5 mins to remove the outfeed table and retract the 4 set/leveling screws, to be ready to move the entire saw, router center, and storage cabinet. Works great!

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Asx for the small off switch, I think that is a common complaint. Take a look at this drawing, not a great drawing but usable of David Marks Table Saw Kick Switch.
http://www.diynetwork.com/DIY/mmo/WWK-413/wwk413_kickswitch.pdf
It is on my list of items to make for my Delta.

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Matt, I am probably the only person who ever purchased the 1023Z. But I wanted the fence that came with that model. I grew up with, and still have, an old Delta Rockwell with a fence that clamps on both ends. Old habits die hard.
As for the "Z", I was able to set it up without any assistance and it did not need any tweaking, even after being unloaded upside down from the truck.
It is on a Shop Fox base and gets moved around the shop whenever I need its space for larger assembly work. It has held true, but the floor is even and smooth.
The only time I ever have a problem, and I think this would hold true for any table type saw is when I rip warped two-by stock, especially if it is a little wet.
One note about the Shop Fox fence: being that it is double ended, and the back clamp/wheel housing is rather large, I have not figured out an easy way to built an outfeed table. No big deal, I use an adjustable roller stand that I picked up on sale at Sears.
The only material that I do not cut with this saw is metal. Sparks in the cabinet make me nervous. That is one of the reasons I keep the old Delta Rockwell around...the sparks shoot out the back not into a bin of sawdust. :-)
I really like my "Z".
__________________ Bill Waller New Eagle, PA
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net
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I don't own a Grizzly table saw, but have a similar issue with trying to figure out how to add an outfeed table to my saw. Like you, I've been making do with an adjustable roller stand. While browsing the web recently I came across a way to make an outfeed table out of a portable workbench[1]. I haven't had a chance to build this yet myself, but it looks like it could be useful and should be a bit more sturdy than a roller stand.
[1]: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/hi_tools/article/0,2037,DIY_13936_3897468,00.html
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I have the z and a friend has the sl. Same basic saw except the sl has the dust collector port under the motor cabinet and tilts the wrong way. Otherwise I can't see any difference in them. The fences are both good I have never had a problem with mine and like it better then the ls fence, my friend feels that his fence is better by a little. only major problem is the off switch and that is minor. I think you would be happy with either, I recommend the z my self, but it is really a toss of the coin if you don't have a specific need for a right or left tilt.
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