Wait until a tool show comes to town.
A local retailer in KC, for example, has it's own tool show a couple of
times a year.
I bought a limited edition Unisaw with Unifence one year ago for$1349. A
Similar deals can probably be found in your part of the country if you are
Search the internet and ask here for the best deal. The lowest price
is not necessarily the "best deal." Cabinet saws are generally better
than contractor saws (accuracy, dust collection, heavier parts, less
vibration), but contractor saws are more portable.
Yes, they are better. Depending on your needs, it can be well worth the
extra money, or a waste of it. Making fine furniture and cutting thick
woods? Best way to go. Making bird houses and whirligigs? A decent
contractors saw will be just super for your needs and you have hundreds of
dollars left over to buy a few pine boards from Hope Depot.
Best deal? Most often it is a local dealer that gives good service and backs
up the products he sells. You know the guy, he's the one that takes an hour
to explain the saw, the setup, and checks that you have everything you need.
As Ed says, a dealer can also provide a human to help and fight for
you should something me missing or defective.
Too often, people are more than willing to spend an hour or two in a
retail store asking questions, trying stuff out, etc... Then they
mail order the item to save some money.
I see this all the time in the local bicycle shop. We've actually had
people come in a try on several pairs of shoes, or bend our ear for
over an hour about fitting an aftermarket part, only to mail order the
There is nothing wrong at all with saving money or mail ordering
stuff, as long as the entire transaction is done with the mail order
house. Do your own homework. Retail shops are not showrooms for
find a used Unisaur in a heap somewhere collecting rust, and give it a
its not the most cost effective and fast way, but. . .
this will do two things for you.
first, it will give you GREAT satisfaction reviving an old machine.
second, you have a perfect gloat, neener and drivebye,,, a vintage Uni
Regarding best deal, you already have suggestions to purchased used.
If you wanted to purchase new, then, like all else, it depends on your
needs. The PM66, Unisaw, or Jet are all highly regarded.
You aren't going to find any sales that knock the price down a whole
bunch. You can get some bundles that add value, such as a decent
router included in the package price.
You can go low end, such as I did, with a Grizzly or similar. You can
save a few hundred $$$, but it is somewhat apples and oranges.
In my case, with little shop space, I get a smaller than average table
with no wide extension, so it is a good fit for me. Purchasing the
optional extension tables and rails sure gets you close, but still
under, the cost of the big boys.
With a cabinet saw you get a saw that is actually easier to set up and
use (in my opinion) than a contractors, and I believe it stays setup
and accurate longer. You get the extra power that can be very useful
and the greater mass means less vibration.
If you are planning to use the thing occasionally, and don't need the
extra power, then a contractor's saw could make sense. It will make
the same basic cuts, but will bog down much more easily on thicker
wood or hardwood.
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