I have run into three recent PM66 buyers who have been unhappy with
their saws. Excessive runout and warped tables. One sold, one
returned and one still dealing with customer service. I have nothing
against them; I have one - 25 years old that works fine. Whatever you
look at, learn how to check the runout and table flatness - new or
I own the 650 - have for 2 years. Went through the same research and
comparisons your likely dealing with. Looked at them all in person and
chose the General - love it. Drop me an email at
email@example.com and I'll forward you an article from Wood
magazine, October 2003 that did a shootout. General came out on top.
That said, I think the 66 is pretty solid. The plastic motor cover
turned me off.
I also just went through the General vs everything else selection and turned
to General (made in Canada). I had a Powermatic Artisan. It was such a
piece of junk that Powermatic never seriously entered the equation. My
uhderstanding is that all their saws are made in the far east. The General
has met my expectations completely. It is a very serious machine that
should long outlast me.
PM66s are still made in the USA. Personally, I would get the General
350/650 if the price was the same. I like my General drill press except
for the initial cost.
I only have a Unisaw, but it is plenty good for me. It is a refurb I got
for a decent price.
I'm glad you are asking about the "best" price. Many ask about the lowest
price and later find that was not the best. Check out your local dealers.
When buying a $2000 tool, the dealer service is much more important that
saving 20 bucks up front.
Since no one else stepped in, I'd have to say if I had it all to do over
again, I'd still buy a 1950ish unisaw. I've had the opportunity to try
almost all newer table saws and I still haven't found any reason to upgrade
(other than the newer ones being prettier). You can pick up older unisaurs
for around $500-600 bucks. Save the rest of the dough for some other tool.
Just my 2 cents.
Maybe you can pick up an older Unisaw for 5 to 600 bucks...but I can
not even remember when I saw a used one for sale...PERIOD !
That said IF I found a used one I would buy it in a heart
beat...Pretty rare around this neck of the woods to see any tablesaws
(except Craftsman) for sale...
It's Murphy's Law of Used Tool Acquisition. When I was looking for a used
lathe, three really nice, very reasonably priced cabinet saws became
available, over a period of two weeks, through the club email lists. (SF
When I gave up on the used lathe, and bought a new one, a 50+ year old 8"
long bed Delta jointer, fully rebuilt, showed up on the list. The lathe
lesson fresh in my mind, I bought the jointer, too.
One thing I'll say: My wife recognizes a new tool in the shop, all bright
and shiny. A used tool is a stealth tool.
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