I sent this post yesterday but it seems to have been lost in
cyberspace. Apologies in advance for any repetition !
I bought an old (50 years ! ) Craftsman table saw last year,it was
only 10 bucks and I thought it would give me a chance to learn how to
use the tool before investing any more. It can only handle rips up to
8" or so, so Ive now decided to upgrade.
Does anyone have any advice as to a good medium-price-range saw to
invest in ? I have around $400 to spend but would like to get
something that will last me several years. I've been looking at a
Black and Decker Firestorm, some Deltas and Pro-Tech models. The Black
and Decker seems to have the best fence, but I've been less than
impressed with a couple of their other tools that I've bought.
Any Ideas anyone ? Thanks in advance
IMO, you'd be better off suffering with what you have until you have more to
spend. When you hit the $800 range, you get a superior fence, more power,
cast iron tables, etc.
If you buy the $400 model, you may be wanting better in another year or so
while the better contractor saws will last you the rest of your life. There
is no comparison is use. It will be worth the wait to get a saw with a
Biesemeyer or Unifence.
Ed's right. The only other option seems to be to find one that someone is
selling, in order to trade up to a cabinet saw. Or finding an estate sale.
The $800 new contractor saw Ed describes may be able to be found for $400-
$500 used, and well cared for. You don't want one which has been abused.
Give the Ryobi BT-3100 a _hard_ look. There's nothing in its price
range that can touch it, and you have to spend about twice the bucks
to get something 'materially better'.
For 'casual' work, treat it with kindness, and it'll do wonders.
For 'serious' amounts of work -- as in you'll be doing it something
approaching full-time -- something 'better' is required. e.g. a
good 'contractor' saw at a minimum, maybe a 'cabinet' saw. You're
in the circa $800 (and up!) price range for that kind of a tool; the
lower-price ones are *not* worth the money, given the requirements.
I don't believe there's anything out there that I'd want that costs $400 new.
If you're willing to go up to the $600 + range there are several saws that are
On the assumption that that's a bit too stiff for you, I'd watch the ads for a
used saw. In my area, I see table saws fairly often for sale that would be
quite acceptable. There's a for-sale newsgroup that I follow that's very active
up in Raleigh (even though I live 3 hours away). I picked up a Porter Cable
round head framing gun from it a week or two ago.
Don't think of these things as "used". Consider them "field tested".
I will add that I have gotten some great deals at pawn shops. I have
found a few shops that have good deals on tools. I stop in when I
cannot control myself. I have gotten just smaller hand tools so far
but I have a Bosch hammer drill, a Bosch router, a Paslode framing
nail gun, a Milwakee 3/8" drill, some smaller nailers, a Makita 7 1/4
saw with brake and other stuff. Evverything under retail by a lot and
all have worked well.In my basement I have a bunch of 20 year old
Delta and Rockwell tools that I got for free or 1/4 of the equivilant
new prices. A few of the Delta tools were virgin, others a few hours
of use, and one that has a few thousand hours of use. they all work
firstname.lastname@example.org (Roonaldo) wrote in message
I don't understand why you can only cut 8" rips--is the table size
limiting you, or the fence, or something else? The reason I ask is
that I have an old (40-50 yrs) Craftsman contractor's saw--to which
I've added extensions, off-feed table, a Craftsman "Align-A-Rip"
fence, etc.--and with which I can cut full 4x8 sheet goods. It's a
pretty damn good saw; a little underpowered, but nothing a bigger
motor wouldn't fix.
Ten bucks is pretty cheap, even for a Craftsman saw, which from that
vintage is probably worth putting some of that $400 into making into a
pretty decent user. I agree with the other posts--if you can only put
up that kind of $ don't buy new. Instead, consider putting it into
the saw you have.
I sit back in my asbestos suit, waiting the fires to come...
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.