I want to thank everyone who posts and opines on their table saw
choices. So many sources to reference - gotta love the internet.
Somebody posted and stated they felt more research, time and thought
went into buying their cabinet saw then their car. I'm in the same
I'm buying the General 650. Took the last 3 months and put my hands
on the Grizzly 1023SL, Powermatic 66 and Delta's Unisaw left tilt X5.
The General just spoke to me. Below is my little recap.
Grizzly: First saw I looked at. Made the pilgrimage to Muncy, PA
when I was on business in Phili. Drove away thinking - huh. Just
wasn't impressed - questioning whether any saw would 'wow' me and
maybe it was just the nature of the purchase. Fit and finish seemed
sketchy, even for a floor model. A common thread of all saws I looked
at and something you have to look past - likely these are assembled by
some kid without a lot of pride in workmanship. Almost every saw I
viewed had something assembled wrong, poorly or missing something.
Anyway - I actually had my heart set on the Grizzly until I looked at
it. I think like everyone else, I thought - man this thing is sure
priced right. I think it was at this point the made in Taiwan issue
began weighing in. It was a long fricking ride to view this saw -
kind of a disappointment.
Delta Unisaw: I saw this and the Powermatic next to each other and
was fortunate enough to have both the factory reps on hand at
7-Corners Hardware in St. Paul to ask stupid and loaded questions.
Delta is unquestionably a great saw. The Beisemeyer fence is solid,
has a Marathon motor, nice table top and the X5 gives you a choice of
free stuff - I imagine the mobile base would be the obvious choice.
And yes, it is the full size mobile base with support for the table
legs. After relenting to spend enough to get something that 'wowwed'
me, it initially boiled down to the Powermatic and the Delta. One
thing that sucks on the Delta is their "new age" motor cover. It took
the factory rep 5 minutes, yes 5, to get the cover off and when he did
I was certain something had broken. Horrible design. Perhaps a minor
issue in the big scheme of things. Overall nice saw at a reasonable
price. This became my new choice.
Powermatic: This thing left an impression. Pull the motor cover off
- which is also plastic and just a notch below Delta in design. Two
screws hold it in place. If the screws are loosened it can be lifted
up, twisted around and pulled off. Otherwise the screws need to be
removed completely. Where was I? Oh yeah - under the motor cover is
one monster trunnion and carriage assembly. This saw wowwed me. The
Baldar motor is monster - hell, everything is monster. Table top is
beautiful. Bottom line is this is a gorgous saw, albiet at a premium
price. Roughly $400 more than the Delta without the mobile base, saw
blade or a five year warranty. Tough sell to the Mrs.. You can buy a
new splitter and Dado King with money left over to buy some wood going
the Delta route.
General: Dealer network is limited. I live in Mpls. and would have
to drive to Des Moise to actually see one. All the Mpls. stores 'can
order one' but don't stock the 650. However, being the road warrior I
am, sitting in Salt Lake City I tracked down a local dealer and took a
look. This saw was originally kind of an afterthought - something to
eliminate to justify the Delta or Powermatic. I had called Canada and
spoke with the friendly French folk about the saw. Just the right
touch of arrogant pride. Baldar TEFC motor, available in a variety of
power configurations. The table - beautiful. The fence super solid.
The motor cover!!! Someone took the extra time and $5 to actually put
a usable cover on the saw. It has a nice latch and hinges back out of
the way. The trunnion/carriage assembly in on par with Powermatic -
monster. I've since spoke with several dealers who sell the General,
Powermatic and Delta. Most preferred the General - some thought the
saw was simply better than the Powermatic, some thought you got more
for your money. One thing was constant - they thought it was a better
saw than the Delta and about the same price. Granted you don't get
the X5 package - but I'm looking at the saw, not the marketing
package. This saw wowwed me in the way the Powermatic did and I
almost instantly knew - I've found my saw! This was a fun trip. Fit
and finish are beautiful - even if the assembly kid mounted the power
The October issue of Wood Magazine, #151, also had a shootout of the
these and other saws. I discovered this after-the-fact and it only
served to comfort my choice. It came out on top in their opinion. I
have this article in .pdf format if anyone would like. Email me at
email@example.com. Figure it's the least I can do after all of
your help. Thanks to everyone.
Now... what to build?