Very confused about my upcoming table saw purchase

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I am shopping and found several saws, but everytime I read about them they have something that somebody doesnn't like. I am looking at several
skil saw 3400 $167 Hitach C10RA2 $299 Makita 2703 $299
I know I know. You get what you pay for. But on these last two saws I keep reading about the miter being off. The other cheaper on vibration. I also read the last two don't use
"had a non-standard miter slot. Only later did I discover that the usual featherboards, tapering jigs, etc"
I know you all get tired probably of getting asked this, but if any of you have a saw in this range please let me know.
I have a neighbor, retired, has woodworked for 30+ years and the other day I was in his shop. I could not believe that I saw him using one of those $99 Craftsman table saws. And he makes what he needs with it.
Maybe the miter stuff is off because it can't be right and they want you to purchase the compound miter saw.
Thanks for comments.
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I did some research for my father who did not want to spend more than $400 for a table saw. In my opinion, the Ryobi BT3100 is the best saw available in that price range.
You can get it at Home Depot for $299. For more info, check out http://www.bt3central.com /. There are a lot of dedicated users of this saw.
It's not a Unisaw, but it will be very hard to beat for $300.
Good luck!
Rob

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It is Delta's cabinet saw. Pretty much the 'standard' that most people refer to when comparing relative merits of various models of saws. Note I didn't necessarily say the 'best', or the 'best buy', as that is a fairly subjective (and oft debated) personal opinion that everyone has to decide for themselves. Rough price range is something like $1500-1700, give or take depending on options.
HTH,
nuk
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Never heard much bad about Hitachi; Makita is VERY WELL liked. Pass on Skil.
wrote:

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I had a real crush on the Hitachi C10RA2 recently. I have changed my mind back and forth several times on the size and type saw I want to go with. In that price range, MY money would go for the Hitachi, miter slots be damned.
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I agree with Rob. The BT3100 can't be beat for anywhere near the price. Any doubts, look at what Dave in Cairns does with the previous model, the BT3000. http://www.australianwoodart.com /
Ken

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jm, I forgot to mention that the $99 accessory kit is currently available on E-bay for $33, and that includes shipping. See http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category 705&item#42264604 See http://www.bt3central.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID573&whichpage=1 for an explanation for the great price. ken

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Does it come with the table?

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Sorry, I saw that it does. Thanks everyone. I think this is the one.

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Ditto. Ryobi BT3100. This article explains why:
http://www.bt3central.com/files/whybuybt3k.PDF
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jm wrote:

Dunno about the last two, but I have a Skil 3400. With a lot of work, it's better than nothing, but only barely. I wouldn't wish this thing on anyone.
Like I said in a recent post, the best thing about my Skil 3400 is that I only paid $50 for the thing, new.
If you're getting that close to $200, spend more and get something better.
What defines "better" at this entry level price point? Well, I'll tell you what I really don't like about mine...
The #1 thing is that it's impossible to make a zero-clearance insert for the thing without monumental effort. I still haven't come up with a workable solution that I like, and am seriously thinking of resorting to the "carve it up with a hack saw and a Dremel" approach if my next idea fails. Since it's a small saw, and I use it to work on small pieces, not having a zero-clearance insert is really quite dangerous, and I'm tired of the kickbacks. I haven't had any major, blood curdling kickbacks, but they're scary, and almost unavoidable without a zero-clearnace insert when making small cut-offs.
The #2 thing is that crosscuts are very hard to do well on the thing. The slots are non-standard, and the stock gauge I'm pretty much stuck using is very, very sloppy. I've even built a sled-like contraption for the thing, and still haven't managed better than an "almost" 90. Miters are so bad that I'm better off not even bothering, so I still use a miter box and back saw for those.
The #3 thing is that it really sucks not having a crank wheel to adjust the blade angle. Really, really, really sucks. I had to cut some compound angle things, and it took me hours to get the blade back at 90-degrees. I'm never touching it again. I'll build some kind of angle jig or something, and cut with the blade perpendicular to the table.
On the last score, I've been looking at a Hitachi at Lowe's that has a dual-function crank on the front, which might be the very saw you're asking about. That seems to be a lot better than nothing, and in general the saw looks a lot better than mine. I'm not seriously considering buying it, but if I were choosing between them, there's no way I'd buy the Skil.
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Charlie Self wrote:

Oh, c'mon, you're destroying the mythos with actual facts. :)
Though I guess 450 pounds is close enough to 1,000 for my purposes. They're utterly un-liftable.

Oh, I'm sure they do. I didn't mean to imply otherwise, really. It's just that when I think "Unisaw" I can't imagine a blade guard on the thing. Makes it look more serious and mythical.
I don't run a blade guard either, FWIW.
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Silvan responds:

Sorry. It's what I do.

But they're tiltable and movable that way. Sort of. Why would you want to lift one after it's set up?
Best to buy a portable saw if that's what you want: Bosch, Craftsman, DeWalt, Hitachi, Makita, Ridgid, Skil and some others make such saws with varying degrees of quality (and price).
I recall a few years ago a guy writing for Fine Homebuilding bitching about the 55 pound weight of one of the benchtop saws. He said it was too heavy to use as a contractor's saw. At the time, I was using a 275 pound contractor's saw, and even moved it--with help--from time to time. It was a lot easier to move than my Unisaw is, but still not a whole lot of fun.
Ah well. But the new breed of benchtop planers is up for weight gains: the one I've got pushes 100 pounds. That sucker comes off the bench on rare occasions.
Charlie Self
"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Sir Winston Churchill
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Charlie Self wrote:

:)

Oh, you wouldn't, but the setting up would require a lot of beer to get it moved into place I think, and once it's there, it's _there_, so you'd better put it where you want it the first time. :)
Actually, I'm not even sure the saw I'm picturing in my head is a Unisaw. It might be the Unisaw's big brother, if there is such a thing. I have a feeling I'm headed that way this week, so I'll look at it. It's _huge_.
(The only other saw I've ever used is a Skil 3400, so almost anything else seems huge by comparison, but that one seems especially so.)
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"Montyhp" <montyhp at yahoo.com> wrote:

I can now. See various other threads. I can do a decent rip, and a decent 90 on it now, which is major progress. I had the thing for five years before I ever managed to come significantly close to 90 degrees. Should have built that dang sled years ago, huh? :)

I paid about $1300, since I bought a new monitor, but it's three years old, and I'm not going to replace it anytime soon. I could use a faster machine to compile software more quickly, but otherwise I really don't have any need for speed. My load average is 0.01, even serving two users simultaneously. A faster computer might load applications more quickly, but that's about all, and since I just stay logged in with the same stuff running for months at a time, starting applications more quickly isn't much of an issue.
Anyway, we haven't been taking care of our needs lately, and the wants are waaay down on the list. If we make it through the needs with the next tax refund, then maybe I can get a new saw. Maybe. I *did* buy a $300 drill press this year, and maybe I can afford to blow that much on myself next year too. Except it's our 10-year and I'm sure SWMBO is going to want some really fancy bauble to commiserate.... ah... commemorate the occasion, so she will probably be wearing my new table saw on her finger.
Cheaper than divorce, I'm assured by all my divorced friends... ;)
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Charlie Self wrote:

After which being divorced gets more expensive? :)
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Montyhp writes:

Yeah. It's not that bad. I got mine off my pick-up by myself, but that's because my shop door opens at pick-up bed height.
Silvan may have been looking at a Delta 36-RT40. That's a 14-16" saw that weighs over 1400 pounds with fence installed.
Charlie Self
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jm wrote:

Me too, FWIW. Probably not for a bit yet, but that looks like a good fit for my shop, and volumes have been written about getting the most out of the thing.
I plan to build a bigger shop eventually, but I'm also a gardener, and I have dozens of trees, shrubs, bushes and various other things I'm not keen on upsetting, so the maximum dimensions of my future shop aren't going to be much more than 15x20, if I can manage that much. The BT3100 will probably still be about the best fit for a shop that size.
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if the shop of your dreams is only 15 x 20, it's no wonder you refer to a Unisaw as huge! For the record, it weighs less than half what you think... Why not clear a few trees for a larger shop--you can use them for future projects!
dave
Silvan wrote:

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I missed the OP; so I am replying here. You can get a lot of stuff (including unisaw) in a 15x20 shop. Check my shop at
http://www.calanb.com/shop.html
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