A Review of Craftsman's Professional cabinet saw (22124).
I received my Craftsman table saw a few days ago. These are my
preliminary thoughts on the saw.
First, let me explain my perspective and why I bought the Craftsman
22124. I am a woodworking enthusiast, taking courses on furniture
making, etc., in my spare time and learning all that I can about the
craft. (At the school where I am taking classes, I routinely use the
delta unisaws and an ulmia cross-cut saw, but I have not had experience
with other cabinet saws.) I wanted to purchase a high-end, used 50"
cabinet saw (e.g., unisaw or P66) and was prepared to pay much more
for it than the craftsman, but in my current shop situation I am forced
to work in small quarters (so 30" is preferred) and with only 110v.
This last requirement left me looking at contractor saws, hybrid sawa,
Grizzly's 1023S110 and the craftsman 22124. A review on the Griz
(24amp motor) indicated that a 2" piece of oak will trip a 20amp
breaker, so I ruled that option out. Looking at the contractor
saws, hybrids, and the Craftsman Professional cabinet saw left me with
the strong impression that the Craftsman+Biesemeyer fence was the best
value. In addition, I timed the purchase during the overlap of the
Sears credit card sale and Craftsman days to get the saw for $690!.
I figured that I could get a large fraction of that back when I sell
the saw in year and upgrade to a 3HP uinsaw and, in the meantime, I
would have a reasonable saw for weekend furniture making.
Here are my first impressions:
(1) Paying $49 to Sears for home delivery was worth every penny. These
guys got the boxes off the truck and positioned exactly where I wanted
them in my voltage-deficient garage.
(2) The packaging was very well done -- angle-iron framing with an
ample supply of plastic wrap and styrofoam.
(3) The fit and finish was OK, but not good. Surprisingly, given the
effort in packaging, the underlying parts were scratched and marred in
(4) The table saw was not aligned properly. The cast-iron table was
shifted forward almost 3/8" too far and was out of parallel by almost
a 1/16". One call to customer service, however, and I immediately
spoke to someone (Scott) who was very knowledgeable about the saw who
explained where the 4 table bolts were located. He also agreed that
the manual had a few errors and was busy writing version 2.0.
(5) The instructions for installing the Biesemeyer fence had a few
inaccuracies that were annoying. Customer service knew about the
errors and apologized.
(6) The rear splitter assembly is made of aluminum and the bolt in the
block was improperly threaded. After tightening it to the splitter
rod, I discovered a small spiral of aluminum that the bolt had cut
away. The splitter assembly will not securely attach at this point.
Customer service is sending me a replacement part.
(7) I have not yet obtained a feeler gauge to check the flatness of the
table. It is not perfect, however, but reasonably flat. The cast iron
table on my grizzly jointer (which I like very much) is in the same
category of flatness -- reasonable, but not perfect.
(8) The cast iron wings needed to be shimmed (I used masking tape) to
obtain a flat surface. This was relatively easy to do and is a problem
common to many saw manufacturers, so I don't hold that against
(9) There is a small yellow circle of plastic in the middle of the
table with the writing "align-a-cut" that seems to serve no purpose
whatsoever. The instruction manual says nothing about it. Any ideas
how to use this?
(10) The craftsman 22124 is a true cabinet saw with motor mounted to
the cabinet with cast iron trunions. The Biesemeyer fence performs
(11) Comparison to Delta unisaw. I grew up with Craftsman tools when
they were considered something great. Recently, craftsman products
(e.g., their previous line of cabinet table saws) have not performed
very well. I was encouraged by the news that the new Craftsman 22124
saw was designed and produced by Orion (run by some of the people who
left Delta in 1999 following the P-C merger). That said, even if this
is made by ex-Delta-folks, this is not a unisaw or of that caliber.
Most notably, it is a bit lighter and vibrates very slightly. The
trunions underneath the Craftsman do not seem as massive as the Delta
unisaw's. On the other hand, it costs less than half as much as the
(12) Cutting power is surprisingly good. I cut through some 6/4 oak
without any problems. More surprisingly, I have a 18amp (2HP) Penn
State dust collector on the same circuit (that's 33amps in total) and
the 20-amp circuit breaker did not trip. Thus, either the table saw
or the dust collector were running far below their potential. My next
project calls for some 8/4 oak, so that will be the real test, I
(13) The Lietz blade that is included seems fairly good. I have a WWII
and a set of Freud blades, but I will probably continue to use the
Lietz blade until it looses its sharpness (or I need something more
IMHO, a table saw needs to be flat, heavy/low-vibration, powerful and
have a great fence. For what I want to do, 1.75HP is all that I need
most of the time, and the Biesemeyer fence is great. There is some
very slight vibration relative to the unisaws I know, but I suspect the
vibration is insignificant compared to the vibration in contractor and
I am very pleased with my purchase.