Tablesaw comparison/buying guide

Page 2 of 3  
wrote:

I'm sure there are deals to be had (the recent gloats as evidence) but I didn't see any real deals when I was looking. There were a lot of questionable deals too (e.g. $1000 for a delta hybrid that was advertised as a Unisaw).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My opinion is to get as much saw for the money you are willing to spend. For instance, I would prefer a Grizzly cabinet saw to a Jet or Dewalt hybrid (4x4 legs) for the same price. I would prefer a hybrid to a Saw Stop contractor style.
Cabinet saws have the solidity (is that a word) that just brings a level of non-vibrating quality to the cut that can't be beat. A good fence is a must but you can put a great fence on any saw nowdays.
Here is one for comments. Here is the heirarchy as I see it in terms of cost and value.
Top to bottom:
Saw Stop Cabinet saw Unisaw Grizzly cabinet Hybrid's (Jet or Dewalt or maybe Craftsman) Sorry, I still love Craftsman.
FYI: I think the biggest way that Grizzly keeps their prices lower is because they don't sell through a dealer\distributro so they have a 20-30% advantage, although less availability but with the internet they are doing just fine. So they might be one step below Delta in quality but that is a pretty small step these days with the gap closing in both directions.

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

Especially if you are a beginner and price is not as important as staying safe, consider no other than SawStop. They come in Contractor, Cabinet, and Comercial versions. The price difference between any of those and the cheapest comparable style saw is way way less that the cost to go to the emergency room.
If I wear out my Jet cabinet saw the SawStop will probably be my next.
With proper dust collection a cabinet type saw will be the best bet.
And now,
;~) The single most asked question in this group that I paste this rubber stamp answer to. Both saws will make all the same cuts. Some easier on the left tilt, some easier on the right tilt. Strictly personal preference. But if you need to be steered one way or the other, Advantages: Are you right handed? Get the left tilt. 1. Commonly the Left tilt has the bevel wheel on the right side and is easily turned with your Right hand. 2. Left tilt can rip a narrow bevel with out having to move the fence to the left side of the blade. 3. Left tilt allows the blade arbor nut to be removed with your right hand. 4. Left tilt allows your to remove the arbor nut and turn it in the direction that you would expect. 5. With a Left tilt, when both edges of a board are beveled, the sharp point of the bevel is up on the fence when cutting the second bevel as opposed to the bottom of the fence where it might slip under. 6. RIGHT tilt if you are left handed. The bevel wheel is commonly on the left side of the saw. 7. RIGHT tilt if you "must" use the fence distance indicator when using a stacked dado blade set. The blades stack left, away from the fence. The indicator remains accurate. On the left tilt, the blades stack towards the fence and makes the indicator inaccurate. In this case use a tape measure to set the fence distance. 8. RIGHT tilt allows you to remove the arbor nut with your left hand but the nut must be turned clockwise to loosen. Bassackwards to normalcy. If considering a cabinet saw, with wide 50" rip capacity. The Left tilt will most often afford you the most storage room under the right table extension. The RIGHT tilt has an access door in that location that will demand room to open. The left tilt allows you to have access to the motor and or the insides of the cabinet from the more open left side of the saw with out having to crawl under the right extension table. Very nice if you ever happen to drop the arbor nut inside the cabinet. If you are considering getting a replacement saw and considering going to the opposite tilt this time consider that the miter slots may not be the same distance from the blade when comparing a left to right tilt saw. This may or may not be of concern but something to consider.
With this all in mind, more and more manufacturers are building only in right tilt versions as they tend to be more user friendly and safer in some operations.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

some
Aside from the bevelled edge you did mention, you've centred most of your argument around the arbour nut. There's much more practical reasons for left tilt other than that which I'd consider a minor concern. After all, how often does the blade get changed by the average woodworker?
1) The most important reason for left tilt (which alluded to) with a bevelled edge on a left tilt and that is that it wouldn't bind under the bottom edge of the fence where there's space to get caught, minimal as it is.
2) The second thing is that when cutting a bevelled edge, it's leaning over the blade cutting it not and not prone to getting trapped under an angled blade leaning over it causing increased potential for kickback.
3) A third reason is when cutting a bevelled edge, possible tear-out is consigned to the inner edge and not the sharp edge, making for sharper tear-out free bevel cuts.
4) Another minor consideration is that a tilted motor takes up space and a left tilt would take up cabinet space under extension wing area where space is often wasted anyway. A few inches floor space makes a big difference to many space limited woodworkers.
All of these things are considerations to avoid when using a right tilt table saw with the fence on the right side of the blade.
IMHO.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 08 Sep 2009 16:42:50 +0000, John Wood wrote:

Everybody's got their own opinion on this one. I'd rank them Sawstop, Powermatic, General, Jet, Delta, Grizzly. That's just cabinet saws.
If you don't count the safety features, Powermatic is just as good as Sawstop.
I haven't checked out the "new" Unisaw. That might change my rankings.
Steel City has/had a small cabinet saw that has a downsized motor so it will run on 110. I liked the looks of it pretty well, but both the saw and the company are new so there's no history. Check:
<http://www.steelcitytoolworks.com/products_tools.cfm section=2&category&tool5900>
If a contractors saw will do you, Home Depot has a pretty good bang for the buck.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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

And then, there's other considerations for some people. My main consideration is that I use a wheelchair and to date, General is the *only* manufacturer that I know of that builds a lowered line of big hardware. (without increased prices I might add). I closely examined a Sawstop at one point and it contains too much hardware to lower the table to anything approaching comfortable working height from a sitting position. Couple my need with people who may need to or like to sit at their machinery or who might be of lowered stature and that consideration is amplified.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 08 Sep 2009 18:40:15 -0500, Larry Blanchard

I have the Grizzly 1023S and I am very happy with it, and yet I believe your rankings are about right.
The OP's main criteria is durability, and all these saws are going to last a long time.
I suggest the OP should put safety on the criteria list. Get a saw with a riving knife, which all models released in the last year or so have. Older models like my Grizz 1023 don't have one.
And if you can afford the Sawstop, get that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 09 Sep 2009 00:00:24 -0700, Jim Weisgram

There is one other thing. A cabinet saw is going to give you the durability you are looking for; more so than a hybrid or contractors saw.
The latest versions of the Delta Unisaw, Powermatic PM2000, Sawstop cabinet saws are going in the range of $2500-$3300.
Right now, the Griz G0691 is selling for $1300 mail order with free shipping. I've seen some very favorable user reviews online. Good riving knife system, good fence, smooth running, etc.
Apparently the Shop Fox mobile base isn't solid enough for the weight of this saw. If you want a mobile base, don't get the Shop Fox.
But still, that leaves you with about $1200 or more for wood or more tools.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Amazon has the older X5 Unisaw for $2100.

At the prices today, I would have bought the Griz G0691 and indeed was just about to when Amazon had a sale on the Unisaw. I got the Unisaw with Biesemeyer 50" fence for $1600 vs. just shy of $1500 for the equivalent G0690.

Yes, that's sure a good argument for the Griz. ...one that would have swayed me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 09 Sep 2009 10:11:10 -0700, Jim Weisgram wrote:

I think that's about the same price as the Steel City.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 09 Sep 2009 18:01:58 -0500, Larry Blanchard

Yeah, I forgot about Steel City. $1299 for a granite top 3 HP, 50" rails, riving knife, at Highland Woodworking. Shipping is extra. Sounds like a good deal to me.
I like having a cast iron top, myself, so I can stick magnets to it. I don't know if the flatter granite surface is that much better or not. At least it won't rust.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 10 Sep 2009 19:00:50 -0700, Jim Weisgram

It will chip though. I don't know about the Steel City, but at least one of the granite top saws has a 'T' miter slot; not a good idea, IMO.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 10 Sep 2009 22:21:34 -0500, krw wrote:

Unless things have changed, the Steel City came with either granite or cast iron.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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

I had been considering the Grizzly G1023SLW, now I see this G0691. From what I see, the first one has a routing table built into the extension table while the latter saw has a riving knife. What is it that I don't see? Should I assume the G0691 is better because it's a newer model? I have 220 service so that's not an issue. I'd sort of like the routing table, and a riving knife and a mobile base! :) Does another cabinet saw come to mind meeting this criteria?
Bill
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Bill" wrote:

IMHO, the LAST thing you want to do is ask a table saw surface to do dual duty by mounting a router in it.
It's tough enough trying to keep table saw surfaces free and clear to do their designed task.
No point in making the job any tougher than it already is.
The G0691 with 50" capacity and what appears to be a standard 3HP Leeson motor, looks pretty good, especially at the current price.
The next step up IMHO, would be a 5 HP motor.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Especially when you leave a raised router bit in the router and then slide the saw fence into the damned thing. Broke the carbide off the router bit and dented my nice new add-on fence. I cursed for days. Fortunately, it was a cheap 1/4" router bit and the router shaft didn't get bent.
Aside from that, flatness is your key concern. If it's a cast iron wing like I have, then you could probably hang ten routers off it and it will stay flat. If it's a wood or laminate construction, then most any router is going to warp it eventually.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 09 Sep 2009 22:44:40 -0400, Upscale wrote:

That's a good point for those who use their tablesaw on a daily basis. But for the occasional hobbyist who's cutting stock one day, surfacing it another, routing another, finishing another, etc. it works fine. Especially if said hobbyist is cramped for space. DAMHIKT.

I never leave my router in the table. It stresses the table, the router plate, and the bolts.

Mine was built as a torsion box and replaces the left wing on the table saw. Didn't warp in about 15 years. Maybe because I didn't leave the router in it.
But that's all in the past. I have a new (old) tablesaw and my router table is now on folding brackets on the end of a flip top tool cart that holds my planer and thickness sander. Like I said - cramped for space :-).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 10 Sep 2009 10:55:59 -0500, Larry Blanchard

A router lift helps a lot too.

Mine's bolted to the lift. It's the lifts job to make everything right. I can't believe there is any significant stress or deflection of the bolts, or the lift itself. A crappy MDF table, perhaps, but my router table is reinforced pretty well.

I'm not exactly cramped (two car garage) but the router table always seems to be in the way. The saw gets priority on space, over everything. ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RE: Subject
Just another data point.
Looks like Delta is still offering the 10" Contractor's Saw.
36-981 is listed for under $1K retail.
30" rails, 1-3/4 HP, 115/230, Unifence with cast wings and MDF table on right.
Throw in a mobile base and you are good to go.
Mine was a better saw than I deserved.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I "knew" someone was going to say something like that--and your point is well taken. It just looks so, so, so... convenient. I have read at least half of Bill Hylton's book, "Woodworking With The Router"--which I thought was enough for someone who didn't own a router, and he went through the design of a nice router table in excruciating detail. It was a good read. Since then I inherited two Craftsman routers from the mid 70's (1/2 and 1 HP I think, are they worth messing with?). I'm tempted to buy, someday, the likes of the DeWalt 1 3/4 HP Plunge and Fixed Router (Combo Kit).
I think every day about the other projects (benches) you've got me started on . I grew up with a "general purpose" bench, and I'll make one of those--with drawers and shelves, a machinists vise, and a place to sit (I sketched a detailed picture), and also a "minimal" woodworkers bench. Don't laugh about the "sitting down" part--there are alot of things in luthiery that I can't imagine trying to do standing up--I need or want the added support/stability of the elbows I guess, and I can't imagine trying to "draw" standing up.
Bill

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

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.