More than 500$ for "decent" TS? Really? was: Re: which Table saw for $500 or less?

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One thing you can always count on when you ask for tool advice here is that whatever your declared budget, at least half the responders will recommend something in excess of it. I suppose this post is no exception. I have one of the relatively new Craftsman hybrid saws (part cabinet saw, part contractors saw). It's the lowest-end model of the 3 available and retails for $550. From time to time Sears has a major sale in the tool department, so if your timing is right you may be able to get this saw at your price. The other thing you can count on around here is a fair number of posters telling you in no uncertain terms that anything with a Craftsman label is crap. This may, in fact, be true for a number of the tools they have sold in the past decade, but it definitely does not apply to their new line of hybrid saws (manufactured in China by a relatively new company formed by some former Delta personnel). The only bad things I can recall reading about this particular saw have been posted by people who hadn't actually used one but were basing their opinions on previous "Crapsman" experience. Like you, I use my workshop for only the occasional project, not daily production and the Sears saw is perfectly adequate for my needs.
Lee
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To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"

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Thanks, Lee. My dad had a craftsman table saw (still has the same one) back when I was a wee tot back in the early 70's. This saw went through 4 different home remodels as the primary wood cutter and the only thing that ever went wrong with it was the switch. I almost want to buy it from him, but the logistics would be too hard.
I guess you could say I would get a craftsman for sentimental reasons in addition to finding one for 30% off.
Right now, I'm leaving it up to the gods. If the 679$ Craftsman up the street is still on the shelf when the going-out-of-business-sale reaches the 30% off mark, it's mine. If someone else gets it, then I will get the Delta 36-675 from Amazon for 499$ plus 9.99$ shipping.

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<<Right now, I'm leaving it up to the gods. If the 679$ Craftsman up the street is still on the shelf when the going-out-of-business-sale reaches the 30% off mark, it's mine. >>
You will be happy with it. I believe it is basically the same saw that I have but with a fancier fence and miter gauge.
Lee
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This is often done with good reasoning behind it. The OP want to upgrade. If he buys a $500 saw, he will be looking at the $750 ones in a few months and covet the fence. If he had no saw at all, he may be very happy for a few years with the $500 model. If you want to step up, make it a reasonable large and long term happiness one. We've all done the former and that is why we suggest waiting to get the "right" tool for long term use.
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On Sun, 04 Sep 2005 22:56:17 +0000, Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Otherwise known on the wReck as the "Cry once principle". A point of view to which I subscribe.
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wrote:

I got the Ridgid TS3650 for $569 earlier this year, it's listed at $597 now on the website. You may be able to catch a 10% sale if you are lucky. You need to plan on getting a medium quality blade as well no matter what saw you get, the included blade is always marginal for finish work but fine for rough work. The Ridgid includes a built in mobile base, which depending on how much room you have may be important, this would add about $50 on another saw. The fence is not as good as the aftermarket ones, but you won't need to upgrade it. It is however a total PITA to assemble and set up the first time. Not hard, but time consuming. Plan on 6-8 hours.
I have no experience with the Ryobi BT3100, my own experience with other Ryobi tools would probably steer me away from getting something like a table saw from them though. Enough people are happy with them though that if you can't swing the Ridgid it's your next best bet. While not having a mobile base, it'd be light enough to move around without one.
-Leuf
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I hadn't thought about it before, but I guess I am already cheating on the 500$ budget constraint with my shopping. I'm not counting blades (three or four plus a dado set), the mobile base (need one) or any jigs I might buy instead of make. If I had to include all that in the 500$, I'd be starting out with a 99$ Skil or something.
Thanks for the advice.

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My first saw (which I still have) was about $1300. I had more money than experience. I was dumbfounded when I got it assembled, lined up and came to the step "mounting the blade" and there was none. What was even more surprising - the dealer who sold it to me in person did not ask if I needed any blades with it. Yep, the little "extras" to support a tablesaw sure can get ya.
Bob
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On Sun, 04 Sep 2005 07:40:53 -0500, Hedley wrote:

Hi, this was good advice.
A GOOD table saw lasts a very long time and is user-maintainable / repairable (assuming that the user has a couple noodles in his bowl).
At a garage sale, I bought a $150 Craftsman contractors saw with the original fence. I trued up the trunion so that the blade runs parallel to the miter slots (okay, it's out of parellel by about .001") and I added a sub-face to the fence. I also got a few zero-clearance inserts and decent blades (the DeWalt 40 tooth carbide is <$50 from Woodcraft, prolly less elsewhere and is a good blade). That's it.
It isn't a production saw by any means. But I can run stock through it and get smooth parallel cuts at the desired dimension, make finger joints, slots, grooves, tenons and miters that are as good as they need to be. I use it in the evenings to knock out odds & ends for our home.
Maybe someday I'll drop a wad of cash on a dream saw. Maybe not ... this 20 year old Craftsman 10" is still running fine. In fact, I'm posting to the list today about making an accessory for it.
Bill
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My neighbor has a older Craftsman cast iron topped table saw that was given to him by his father in law. He tuned it up, bought a Biesmeyer fence for it and uses it regularly. They are a good saw in general. The stock fences are poor compared to what is available so that upgrade is a must. It is a better saw than the $500 saws available today. Greg
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wrote:

There's no doubt in my mind you can find a saw at this price point that meets the needs you have expressed, and I believe knowing the constraints you have, you will be happy with it. For that money and with some care a new saw will get a contractor's type saw with a motor in the 1.5 HP range, and enough accuracy to do quality work assuming the saw has a respectable fence.
I believe others who advise to spend a few hundred more for a higher end saw are saying that, among other things, you might find the motor a little weak for certain kinds of woodworking, a little flimsy in the construction. You might also find that you do better with a thin-kerf blade married to a blade stabilizer, when working with hardwoods.
For what it is worth, the advantages a cabinet saw has over a contractor's saw are significant if you see yourself using the thing a lot.
I myself was faced with the same question you are, decided on a Grizzly cabinet saw which was in fact about $400 more than you budgeted. It suits my needs and I appreciate the power to cut through thicker/harder materials, smoothness of operation, accuracy, dust collection, that you get.
In my opinion it is another notch below a Delta/Jet/Powermatic cabinet, and if I thought I was going to use the saw day in / day out, I would go with the best I could get.
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I don't think you're missing anything at all. Some people here are just like the ones who scoff if you don't have the top of the line computer for simple word processing.
I recently bought a Jet JWTS-10JF "contractor's table saw" on sale for $ 499. It was better built than the comparable Delta available, and has all the features I'll need for a long time. The table is sufficiently large and the fence is decent. It has plenty of power.
If I need a commercial grade saw in a few years, what's the risk? Why spend $ 1200 extra now for features I don't need, when I could spend the same money down the road IF NECESSARY and maybe take as much as a $ 250 loss on my old saw if I sell it? It's not a very economical tradeoff.
The $ 500 table saws from Jet, Delta, DeWalt, etc. may not be cabinet-maker grade, but they're more than sufficient for people who don't make fine furniture in production quantities.
Hedley wrote:

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