Under $1K TS: Craftsman vs the Green Monster

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Yes. As I recall, when I ordered the saw they let you click a box on the web order forms giving them permission to use your name and phone#. I did allow it. I used the service prior to my purchase, but have never personally had a call.
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Someone else already covered the topic but I never rely on a floor sample to be representative of the product...especially in places like Sears. Even Home Depot and Lowes don't always (almost never?) have their machines properly assembled and adjusted.

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Chuck Hoffman wrote:

Ain't that the truth. One reason I wound up with a Crapsman TS is because I could at least check out the fence. The similarly priced Delta at Lowe's had no fence whatsoever on display.
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Lessee...the Delta that is priced similar to the Craftsman (around $450) is probably the 36-650. It has a reasonable fence but, IMO, not as good as the one on the higher end Sears machines.

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The Bies fence I saw on the Sears looked like the one I saw at Rockler's on one of the saws they were selling.

The fence didn't "jump" on the sample I looked at.

It looked & felt large enough to me.

There is a second wheel on the left-hand side of the saw. But it is set further back than the ones on other saws I've looked at.

You might want to take a closer look or find another Sears to see what their's looks like.
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I just went through 2 to 3 months of comparing, bought a Grizzly 3 hp 1023SL and got it set up.
I must say that I am impressed with it. It is rock solid, high powered and was fairly easy to get set up. The fence is extremely sturdy and set up quick. It does not move at all once locked down.
I am upgrading from an old Sears contractor saw that I bought new 20 years ago and have fought many battles with over the years. If you can afford it I would recommend the Grizzly. Both will probably work for you but I can tell you the Grizz has enough power and iron to last forever.
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Never even looked at the Craftsman saw...so my comments are only on the Biesmeyer Fence...
I have used a Biesmeyer Fence on my saw for almost 15 years.. and it has NO Aluminum parts that I know of.... STEEL only
The sides are faced with a laminate...and after all these years they still look like new...
JUMP... ???? If you have the fence... sitting on the table... loose .. and nowhere close to being parallel to the blade or the miter slots ..
IT SURE WILL JUMP and it will jump into perfect alignment when you push the locking lever down . which btw you only have to lower you do not need to exert hardly any force to lock it down... .
I stopped looking at Fences the day I installed my Bies....just absolutely no need to ...its been a joy to use all these years can't remember how many years ago that I even had to think about adjusting it never ...and I mean never has it locked down in anything but dead on parallel to the blade...
That Said... mine was made long before Delta purchased Biesmeyer and the patient expired long ago so there are plenty of clones on the market
Bob Griffiths
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loutent wrote: ...

Personally, I'd run as fast as I could away from any power Craftsman-branded stuff I could these days...
There was a review of contractor saws in Fine Woodworking just a few issues ago that seemed pretty good...I'm not interested (I've a 20 yr old Model 66) so I don't recall the "best buy" or "favorite" but I'll see if I can find it although you can probably find it following links at www.taunton.com.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

The review was a year ago...let's I recall Jet, Powermatic, Delta, General, Grizzly, ...man! I slept since then...any way there were 9 total. General was the favorite of the mid-priced, Grizzly was about the bottom (out of square base, table least flat, near highest runout). Delta rated best quality value overall w/ the Powermatic (as usually the case) also good quality but at the expensive end.
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Might have something to do with the fact that Griz does not advertise in Fine Woodworking. Don't know whose choice it is but the Griz 1023 does well in magazines in which the advertise.
Imagine that!
The 1023 also does well with independently submitted reviews by owners. (WWA, e-opinion, amazon, various magazine forums, etc.) Owners like them and some of them are seasoned woodworkers.
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RonB wrote:

Doubt seriously that had anything to do with this <particular> review...data is data.
As for not advertising in FW, I know they have in the past although I couldn't say as to which issue they have/have not or how recently (I tend to remember specific topics, etc., although my time association tends to get <quite> compressed). Such a decision (if they no longer do) although <might> say something about their target market... :)
I suspect there's sufficient quality control issues with most of the inexpensive imports that from one review to another there could easily be sufficient variation to change <precise> order of results...there have been some review where the "high-priced spread" has arrived at the shop sadly out of adjustment or something as well--this has been reported in reviews as well so I have no basis to think the FW reviews as published are significantly influenced by advertising/advertisers.
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On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 15:19:40 -0600, Duane Bozarth

Grizzly buys a bunch of space in "Woodshop News", which is an entirely different target than "'Murican Wooddorker" and "Family Handyman".
Maybe Taunton's prices are high?
Barry
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When Grizzly buys ads, boy do they buy a lot of space, and on the very expensive pages.
I wonder why they pass on FWW?
Barry
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Ba r r y wrote:

Dunno...cost (as you noted elsewhere) could be a logical conclusion but perhaps it is simply trying to target more closely their perceived market...
I picked up an old copy that I had laying on the table that I had an article I was referring to and it did have a sizable spread...it turns out to have been an early '99 issue. I haven't done any searching in between although the 2003 issues that were handy didn't seem to have any. Another thought...perhaps the economic slowdown caused them to rein in and use scarce advertising dollars where the think to get more return????
(All pure speculation, of course, I have no inside knowledge...)
I've never actually had my hands on any Grizzly altho I do know some have reported happiness...from what I have seen, it appears that the Yorkcraft appear to be good value if one is really looking for the inexpensive or really constrained on initial purchase price. Everytime I've bought anything except what I actually wanted, though, I've ended up being so dissatisfied I've sold the cheaper and gotten the "real thing" so it cost me even more because you can never sell it for what you paid... :( I simply do w/o now until I can justify it (of course, it's easier once one does have the basics, granted)...
No more than $0.01, omo, ymmv, ... :)
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On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 18:48:32 -0600, Duane Bozarth

What do you perceive Grizz's market to be?
(I'll make my point after you answer. <G>)
Barry
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If I can interrupt, I think part of their market would be folks like me. I grew up with the Unisaw having used them in high school shop and a college level cabinet class. These were 60's and 70's vintage machines. When I started shopping to update my old contractor's saw I was pretty well slanted toward the Unisaw.
However, after looking at a couple of new unisaws (2-3 years ago) to say I was disappointed would be understatement. Not the same machines I remembered. Machining, handwheel locks, motor covers, etc, just not the same. While I consider myself a pretty serious amateur, the $2,100 PM66 was too much money. Jet provides a nice saw but it has some shortcomings, particularly in the fences of some of their machines.
Enter, by accident, the 1023S. I was initially exposed by a cabinet shop owner who owns one as a backup to his PM66's. Said he took a chance and now finds it gets as much use as his Powermatics. Then a trip to Springfield to get a first class demo on a 1023S. In many ways, this is the machine I remember as a Unisaw, probably because it is reverse engineered. I will listen to all of the stories about off shore engineering, castings, motors, bearings etc. But after two years of ownership I need for someone to convince me that the Unisaw is worth $500 to $600 more than the 1023s. Grizzly, like any other tool-merchant, has great tools and some doggies. But considering my experience with the 1023s, Grizzlies top-rate support and the fact that several of the so called domestics are going the other direction with quality, I will always consider them in my research for any tool. It is no accident that they have a large industrial market for both wood and metal tools.
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Sorry - you got me goin'
I personally don't think there is that large of a price range between a saw like the Griz 1023s and two of it's rivals - Unisaw and the Jet cabinet saws.
When I started shopping, again, 2-3 years ago the 1023s was about $875 and this bought the saw. Metal motor cover added about $30, taking the price to a little over $900 (the machine is a little cheaper now, since they have a left-tilter out).
At that time the only way I could find and price a Unisaw was with extended rails and side table that frankly is too large for a lot of smaller shops. At that time this package sold for about $1,499 and the Jet was in a slightly lower price range.
When you hang extended rails and a table on the 1023s the price came up to about $1,160 - $1,200 (with the motor cover too). About $250 - $300 less than the Unisaw. Grzzly sells direct from three locations in the US. No Wholesaler - tool shop - then customer distrubution that adds $$$. Grizzly does advertise heavily in some of the wood magazines but not on national media and they don't own guys like Norm. All things considered the price difference at the warehouse probably isn't that different among the brands.
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RonB wrote:

I agree that Delta has slipped drastically (as has PM to a somewhat lesser degree, too, I think). It, unfortunately, is a "sign of the times" that the large number of consumers look at $$ only and Delta has moved towards the "consumer" market rather than remaining targetted towards commercial customers primarily in order to grow their volume.
I waited until I could afford a PM66 (and was living in TN just down the road from McMinnvilee so I saved shipping by picking it up) but that was over 20 years ago now...even they aren't <exactly> like they used to be although newer fences are actually nicer than my old style one that I've not (yet) upgraded---can't bring myself to spend the $$$ they ask for Biesmeyer, etc....
There is good value to be had w/ some of the imports I'm sure. I've seen some Yorkcraft that I know are the identical as the current Chinese-built Delta. In general their fit/finish has looked every bit as good. In particular, I've been looking at the shapers to replace/upgrade my old light-duty Delta--it's limited to 1/2" spindle. If I can find a deal on an old PM Model 27 sometime, I'll jump, but so far nothing has shown up close enough to be practical...
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That's why I bought a General. <G>
Barry
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Ba r r y wrote:

Can't actually say what they <actually> think their market is...it apparently isn't cost-effective to advertise in FW any longer...whether that is target audience or simply absolute $$ I have no way of knowing for sure. I'm sure it's a business decision based on what they see as best for them...
I'm not denigrating Grizzly, I've never actually seen one--I just reported what was in the particular review.
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