Need table saw advice

Page 1 of 4  
Ok, I am know various permutations of this question have been asked before (I've done google searchs and read reviews), but I still need some more specific and up-to-date input.
I am building a wood working shop,. Over the course of a year or so I have read books on woodworking, watched NYW on TV, and I have built chess boards, boxes, and a workbench, mostly simple stuff with relatively cheap tools. I have decided I like the hobby and want to invest in some quality tools. Currently I have a $200 portable craftsman table saw. Usually in a hobby I go as cheap as possible until I decide if I like it or not, then I try to go quality so I don't re-buy. So I am going to buy either a cabinet saw (unisaw, powermatic, grizzly, shop fox, etc.) or a contractor saw. If I go with a good contractor saw like deltaX 36-507x I'll have plenty of money for other things but I don't want to do that if I am putting myself in a situation where I need to upgrade in the future. It boils down to the question: will I be able to tell the difference between a contractor or cabinet saw at a hobbyist level of use? Are cabinet saws mostly just for production type work in a cabinet shop or are they more precise and better suited for a hobbyist who wants to only make a few fine pieces? Is a grizzly cabinet saw better buy than a deltaX contractor saw (they cost the same)? Right now I am leaning toward just putting about $2000 into a good cabinet saw, dado set, portable base, and tenon jig. I have the room and a 220 outlet. If you think there is a better way to go please give me your advice before I make an expensive mistake. I plan to use the saw for a lifetime and make everything from furniture to a doghouse with it, but it will only be in my spare time and weekends. I don't know if it makes a difference but I am very big on precision, I like things to fit perfect. Any advice would be appreciated.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Unquestionably, irrevocably, inarguably, IF you are serous about woodworking, go for a CABINET SAW .. hands down, NO question, NO argument otherwise accepted.
You will NOT be sorry if you buy the best CABINET SAW you can afford, you will NOT look back, you will NOT wonder whether you did the right thing, you will NOT kick yourself for doing so, there will be NO doubt in your mind that it was a smart move, because you CAN then forget about the tool and concentrate on the creation.
Guaranteed ....
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 9/21/03
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That, in a nutshell, sums up about two-zillion Google posts. But now, you'll get to read the other side of the story..
Let the games begin....
Bob S.
PS - I own a cabinet saw

you
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ditto, Go For It

you
good
a
your
it
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks, good advice I don't want to look back I'm bad about looking back and wondering what if.

you
good
a
your
it
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Between High School and the end of my college years I worked for a sign shop where I eventually got to regularly use an enormous 14" table (cabinet) saw. It was 5HP with 5 belt drive. That was my first experience using table saws.
Graduated from college, bought a house, then a table saw. I got the then Rockwell contractors saw (10" open base 1.5 HP motor) That was 20 years ago. 3 months ago I finally got a cabinet saw, a Delta Unisaw.
The difference between the two is quite noticeable. It is a pleasure to use and it was well worth the investment to me. I did quite a bit of wood working over those 20 years with the contractors saw. I expect that the quality of my work might improve a little with the new saw, but not much.
I never regretted getting the Rockwell since it was all I could afford at the time. It has served me quite well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, you have money left over. Get a rebuilt Unisaw w/Unifence, mobile base and tenon devie ($100). Mighty-T Track for the Unifernce , feather boards,and you are in business. You will have no problem at all if you will buy and pick-up instead of deliver. I load /unload everything myself which helps. A cabinet saw is : 1) More powerful 2) More steady, sturdier 3) Cleaner 4) Commands respect. You will find that you can put a teneon jig on a cabinet saw and not worry about it becoming unbalanced. It is also easier to work with and I don't know how to explain that one.
On Thu, 13 Nov 2003 17:26:40 GMT, "Marc"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Depends. If you cut mostly 1" or less, now you will see no difference.
If you are going to rip some 2" or 3" maple, yes, there will be a difference. If you are only doing that type of work once a year, the contractor saw will be suitable. If you do it often, spend the extra up front. In the couple of years I've owned a Delta contractor saw, only once did I think it would have been better to have more power. It just took me longer to make the cuts. Not enough to justify the $1000 difference. Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

once
me
My cabinet saw cost less than the difference that you state....
-Jack
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If I went with a grizzly it wouldn't be a $1000 difference, in fact it would be about the same, but more than likely if I take the plunge on a cabinet saw it would be fair to say it is about $1000 difference in my case (deltax or powermatic)

or
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Take a look at the General from Canada... I own a Unisaw, but I would give the _Canadian_ made General a hard look if I had to buy again.
http://www.kmstools.com/scripts/products/product.php?GEN-350T50M2M&2%3C-%3E172%3C-%3E166 <->175
Just to give you a look at it.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 9/21/03
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I read a comparison and general rated very high, but I can't find much information on general. Does the manufacture have a website? Is there a dealer in the dallas-ft worth area?

http://www.kmstools.com/scripts/products/product.php?GEN-350T50M2M&2%3C-%3E172%3C-%3E166 <->175
cabinet
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@pleasedonotsendany.spamtome says...

http://www.general.ca / CharlesJ -- =======================================================================Charles Jones | Works at HP, | email: snipped-for-privacy@hp.com Hewlett-Packard | doesn't speak | ICQ: 29610755 Loveland, Colorado | for HP | AIM: LovelandCharles USA | |Jabber: snipped-for-privacy@jabber.hp.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Anybody have any comments about General's T-Square fence?
Thanks, Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, I put one on my 36-650 contractor saw... the 52" model. I LOVE it... accurate repeatable cuts, and well built. Highly recommended.
No affiliation, just a happy customer.
Dave.
B a r r y B u r k e J r . wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You know, I've debated this issue myself. And I'm almost to the conclusion that I can do any heavy ripping on my bandsaw anyway. Would I really need a 3 HP+ motor on a table saw since I'd mostly be using it for finish quality cuts and joints ? My 1.5 HP Delta would take care of any rips up to 6" thick, with no risk of burning. All I'd have to do is plane it afterwards, and some have to do that to wood cut on their table saws anyway.
I still love the idea of buying myself a nice cabinet, but I'm thinking as far as a table saw goes, a beefy contractor (+two iron wings) would give me enough stability and power to do all I will need. I'm not terribly satisfied with the state of table saws and how they work right now either. Its counterintuitive to think I can actually use it without being injured or at least frightened to the point of soiling myself.
--
The software said it ran under Windows 98/NT/2000, or better.
So I installed it on Linux...
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 14 Nov 2003 04:10:14 GMT, "David Binkowski"

A bandsaw is an amazing versatile machine. If I were limited on space, a bandsaw would be my choice. But, nothing rips better than a tablesaw. Sure you can get injured, but I know a guy that lost his finger on a bandsaw. Table saws have not changed much in the last 20 years, maybe people are less safety-minded. I feel less safe in a vehicle, than when using my table saw.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

before
If you've got the room, money and 220V - then go for a cabinet saw. Pragmatically speaking, you'll never long for more (unless you're into industrial gear). If you "settle" for a contractor saw, there's a chance you'll be content and a good chance you'll wish you'd had spent the extra money.
Like you - I stick a "cheap" toe in the water when I start a new hobby. I too blew $200 on the Craftsman bench saw. After becoming convinced that I enjoyed it, I went "hybrid" (more contractor than cabinet) because I didn't have the room and didn't have 220V.
I'd start working in Excel and seeing how much you can get for your $2000 with a cabinet saw. The other decision you'll want to make early is whether you go for 52" rails or 30". That'll affect your portable base investment too.
These things seem to hold their value, fairly well. I take solace knowing that the buck I invest in quality tools means (1) my children, should they show an interest, will have them and (2) I could sell them and recoup enough of my initial outlay to take the sting away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don't contractor saws and cabinet saws take up about the same amount of space?

.................
didn't
.................
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 13 Nov 2003 19:59:43 +0000, Marc wrote:

Contractor saws take up more space than cabinet saws 'cause of the motor hanging out the back. The DeWalt and Jet hybrids are contractor type saws with the motor inside the frame which makes for a cabinet saw footprint.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    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.