thoughts on assessing a used cabinet saw

any thoughts on:
how to size up a used saw? take along a straight edge and measure flatness? a dial indicator and check flange runout? run and listen? what are some major wear signs?
which make to consider? jet, delta, powermatic
how much off retail to pay? I was thinking 40 to 60% off internet prices.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You'll be amazed at the prices used cabinet saws command. They often come within spitting distance of the price of a new saw. I'd stick with Powermatic, General, Delta or Jet. The others may be fine saws, but I'd worry about parts availability. For 40 to 60%, expect to do some refurbishing. I'd say leave the fancy measuring tools at home and rely on your general impressions.
You'll be cranking those handwheels a lot. Do they turn free and smooth, or are there rough spots? Any play in the trunnion?
Grab the arbor and try to shake it. Bearings can be replaced, but you want to know up front and figure that into the price. I can't imagine how one would bend an arbor or flange, so I wouldn't worry too much about runout. Runout is probably still as manufactured.
Are the fence and rails in good shape? Does the fence lock down securely and consistently? If it's just misaligned, you can adjust it, but if it's sloppy, forget it. The difference between a good fence and a bad one is the difference between ecstacy and agony.
Does the motor start and run without unusual noises? A clunk on startup is not unusual.
I can't for the life of me understand the obsession with table flatness. Until the boards I'm cutting are flatter than my tabletop, I don't see how it matters very much. Not saying it isn't important at all, but I never saw a cabinet saw where the top was warped enough to hurt. Unless the saw came from the factory warped, I'm not sure how one would warp a cast-iron top if he wanted to without application of large quantities of heat. If the wings aren't straight with the top, you can adjust them.
Before you buy a used saw, check out the factory reconditioned units. I bought one five years ago, and couldn't tell it wasn't new. I could sell it today for what I paid. Not sure about where to get other brands, but the only place to get factory conditioned Delta Unisaws is Redmond Machinery in Atlanta. www.redmond-machinery.com They treated me good.
DonkeyHody "I'd rather expect the best from people and be wrong than expect the worst and be right."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
sounds like good news if ya own one, not if ya don't
I saw a Jet 3hp cabinet saw for 750; according to owner it was missing the fence mounting rail. My guess is it sold for 100 less. No idea what condition it was in though. I'm seeing used unisaw's for around 1300.. thinking maybe they would take 1000 cash.
I have the older Delte contractor saw -- made in the US -- with a 40" Bies. I'd sell that to offset the cabinet saw acquisition. Sounds like $1000 for the cabinet saw and maybe I get 5-600 for mine..
for now it's fun looking.. and thanks for the comments..
wrote:

You'll be amazed at the prices used cabinet saws command. They often come within spitting distance of the price of a new saw. I'd stick with Powermatic, General, Delta or Jet. The others may be fine saws, but I'd worry about parts availability. For 40 to 60%, expect to do some refurbishing. I'd say leave the fancy measuring tools at home and rely on your general impressions.
You'll be cranking those handwheels a lot. Do they turn free and smooth, or are there rough spots? Any play in the trunnion?
Grab the arbor and try to shake it. Bearings can be replaced, but you want to know up front and figure that into the price. I can't imagine how one would bend an arbor or flange, so I wouldn't worry too much about runout. Runout is probably still as manufactured.
Are the fence and rails in good shape? Does the fence lock down securely and consistently? If it's just misaligned, you can adjust it, but if it's sloppy, forget it. The difference between a good fence and a bad one is the difference between ecstacy and agony.
Does the motor start and run without unusual noises? A clunk on startup is not unusual.
I can't for the life of me understand the obsession with table flatness. Until the boards I'm cutting are flatter than my tabletop, I don't see how it matters very much. Not saying it isn't important at all, but I never saw a cabinet saw where the top was warped enough to hurt. Unless the saw came from the factory warped, I'm not sure how one would warp a cast-iron top if he wanted to without application of large quantities of heat. If the wings aren't straight with the top, you can adjust them.
Before you buy a used saw, check out the factory reconditioned units. I bought one five years ago, and couldn't tell it wasn't new. I could sell it today for what I paid. Not sure about where to get other brands, but the only place to get factory conditioned Delta Unisaws is Redmond Machinery in Atlanta. www.redmond-machinery.com They treated me good.
DonkeyHody "I'd rather expect the best from people and be wrong than expect the worst and be right."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

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.