Table Saws - what to do?

Ok, here's my problem. I have an el cheapo delta benchtop table saw. I want to upgrade to a very precise, heavy duty contractors saw. I cannot afford a cabinet saw and probably couldn't justify it for my hobby. I keep researching saws and finding good deals either online or locally. No matter how sweet the deal, I always find a negative review or comment about said saw. So, someone PLEASE tell me the absolute perfect contractor table saw, that I can run and buy before I hear anything negative about it. My budget keeps lowering because now I HAVE to have a new jointer (new post later on that topic). I can see spending $400-$450.
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HomeBrewer

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I just bought a new table saw. I read the reviews here and at:
http://www.rd.com/americanwoodworker/article.do?siteId "22&categoryIdp02&contentId$4
Then I decided what features were important for me. Used my price range and picked a saw. I think the important thing is focus on what features are important and get the best fit you can. I don't think you can get perfection.
Dave

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HomeBrewer wrote:

I upgraded from a Delta bench saw to a Grizzly G1022 contractor saw. It's great! Having had the bench saw, I *really* appreciated the features of the contractor saw -- large table top, accurate fence, standard miter slot width, and the power to cut 3/4" plywood without bogging down.
Some of the first cuts I made with the G1022 was slicing thin crosscuts from the end of a pine 2"x4" using the miter gauge. They weren't quite thin enough to read through, but almost. <g> I was pretty excited. The Delta bench saw couldn't get half that thin with the same carbide blade. Vibrations would have the thin slice come off in chunks.
I thnk you'll be happy with whatever you get that's reasonable. It's a lot like buying a pickup truck. Don't wait until everyone has agreed that GMC is the only right one. <g>
-- Mark
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HomeBrewer wrote:

I've read numerous bad comments about my Ridgid TS2424 here. I've also noted that they were never posted by people that actually owned the saw. Personally, I've had no complaints myself and would buy it again.
Am I trying to suggest that it's perfect? Hardly. No doubt someone with far greater skills than mine could find something wrong with it, but it serves my needs well.
Decide what you want in a saw, and then look for one that provides it. You aren't going to find perfection.
I recall recently reading a bunch of reviews of miter saw stands: I was attracted to a Trojan 2000. Visiting a local store, I became unattracted when I got to see a Delta stand already put together. I bought the Delta on the spot. I already knew what aspects of the Delta made people bitch when I bought it, but I am absolutely delighted with the thing. PITA to set up, but I'm past that, so it's all good now.
Use those reviews judiciously.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@XXXXcarolina.rr.com
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Maybe, but they would probably find a lot more strengths in it also. In all of out searches for the perfect tool that will cut the perfect edge we forget that the skill of the operator is the final strength that determines how well the job is done. A man with the right skill and knowledge can turn out a board as square and straight with a hand saw and plane as any machine or group of machines ever made can make. find a good tool learn how to use it and it will do the job needed for you. (as long as it's not yellow IMHO ;-) )

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Mortimer Schnerd writes:

I've run a Ridgid TS2424 for way over 18 months now, and find it a very useful saw, with a decent fence. Is the fence a Biese or HTC? No. But it's accurate, easy to set, easy to adjust. Power transmission with the 5 groove pulley and flexible belt is very smooth and efficient. It went together fairly quickly--I'm not at all sorry to see the passing of the days when you had to wire the motor and the switch yourself from a set of instructions that might please Genghis Khan but no one else. Motor is a 13 amp, IIRC (haven't looked for about a year) and works for most woods up to 6/4. It's a bit weak on 8/4 hardwoods like oak, but that's a characteristic of contractor's saws in general, not the TS2424 in particular. Currently running a 24 tooth Freud glue line rip blade, but also use the Freud F410 a lot. Could use a T miter slot, but that's not a critical item for me.
Andexpecting to get a Ridgid TS3630 soon. I'm curious to see what changes have been made (I see solid wings in the photos) other than fence width.
Charlie Self "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way." Mark Twain http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Even if I could afford a cabinet saw, I don't have the room! I'm strongly considering the Delta 36-650. Lowes sells it for $499. It's not left-tilt, and it doesn't have built-in dust collection, two things I thought I wanted. But it seems pretty solid for the price. See the below review for more info:
http://www.woodnet.net/toolreviews/tablesaws/tablesaws_delta.html
Cheers,
Scott
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I have the 36-650, and I'm happy with it. Hell, I'd be happy with anything after that old monkey wards 9" TS I will have waiting to be scrapped.
But seriously, It is a good saw. I did quite a bit of research, and wound up buying it locally at the farm supply store on sale. Take the time to tune it up. I'm not sure of the blade that comes with it, haven't done any heavy duty, long term cutting on it yet, just small stuff. But hey, maybe I'll find a good deal at the woodworking show in a couple of weeks.
John
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Yep! That's life. Remember that 90% of the happy owners never log onto Usenet and say "I'm so happy with my Acme Fribbitz Model 104!"
90% of the unhappy owners will logon and say "My Acme Fribbitz 104 is a piece of dung!"

Let $$ be your guide. Go for "bang for buck" - pick the new Griz contractor saw and be done with it.
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anything built before 1970.
okay, that's a bit of an oversimplification. get under the hood and look for cracked castings and excessive wear. assume you will have to replace the fence, some belts and bearings, maybe make a mobile base for it.
what I did for the fence was get a biesemeyer from their scratch-n-dent website and make the rails from locally purchased steel.
    Bridger
On Thu, 5 Feb 2004 05:29:28 -0600, "HomeBrewer"

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So, someone PLEASE tell me the absolute perfect contractor table saw,

The problem is there's no such thing. They all have strengths and weaknesses, and no matter how popular any particular model is, each one is sure to have a critic regarding certain specific issues, or someone who had a bad customer service experience, etc. So forget about a perfect saw.
Fortunately, you don't need a perfect saw. You just need a good one that will accomplish what you want it to do, be of reasonably good quality, with reasonable accuracy, ease of use and features, at a reasonable price. The good news is that saws of this type are plentiful, and you have several to choose from. Take a look at a mid-level Jet, Delta, Powermatic contractor saw, and, perhaps, Grizzly. You are unlikely to go too far wrong with any of the first three, and, to a lesser extent, the fourth. Choose one that is within your budget. You can always upgrade individual aspects (such as the fence, a critical component) as your requirements change. Alternatively, you can always sell one of these saws and upgrade to a better one without taking too much of a beating on depreciation if you maintain it well.
In short, don't obsess over it (this is not a criticism; I've done it too). Just go choose a saw from a reputable manufacturer within your budget. Buy the best one of these you can afford. Within these parameters, it doesn't really matter that much which one you choose. It's more important that you just get one and start cutting wood with it.
Also, try not to look back too much and second-guess yourself. Just enjoy your new saw. Good luck with your choice. You're about to purchase a tool which will bring you many hours of joy.
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HomeBrewer wrote:

I bought my used Unisaw (1985, three phase, mint condition, only drawback being the Jetlock fence) for $400. Found it on ebay and it was 20 miles from my house and on my way home from work. You can find one if you're patient.
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Ok, I did it - I searched and searched - and I bought a saw. The Ridgid TS3650 Table Saw from HD. I got it out of the door for $530, with a coupon I had. I just got it put together and adjusted late last night and can't wait to rip a board today. Now, let 's hear the negative stuff about this saw...Let me have it!
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HomeBrewer

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On Fri, 6 Feb 2004 05:22:29 -0600, "HomeBrewer"

you have been assimilated.....
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