It's time for me to buy a new saw. I have a small floorspace available and
the type of work I do requires a 30" fence system max for 99.9% of the time.
This is purely a home workshop for enjoyment and not a production shop. I
can't seem to take my eyes off of DeWalt's big yellow 746 saw with its
sliding table...I have been using a sliding table saw for the last 13 years
(Ryobi BT3000) Its a great little saw but underpowered. Im doing more
hardwood these days and I think I would like a little more ooooomph! THE
QUESTION IS....Are there any DW746 owners out there who would care to give
me their opinion about owning one of these...or am I
just being taken in by marketing and should really be looking at a cabinet
type saw with 30"rails (e.g. General or Delta) and forget about the
sliding table. I also have 220 power available but would prefer to leave it
dedicated to my heater as my shop is in an insulated garage in Canada (eh!).
Any response is appreciated since this is quite an investment...thanx in
On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 18:12:42 -0500, "Ken in Canada"
cabinet saws are a class of machinery above the jet or dewalt hybrids.
if you have need of that much saw and can afford it don't bother with
the hybrid. personally I think I'd rather have an older contractor's
style saw in any case, if just for the option of upgrading the fence.
if you're feeling the need for more oomph consider running another
220V line for the saw and getting one with 3 or 5 HP.
I have a 746 with the 68" extensions and the sliding mitre table and
love it. that being said. I have to think I would have spent a bit more
and bought the PM66 or one of the others if I had to do it again. The
motor will bog down at times while doing big cuts in oak and such and
the actual open parts of the saw are real dust catchers even with the
DC running. All in all I'm sure you'd be happy with the Dewalt but if
you have the money and space I think I'd trade up.
I've got the DW746 w/52" extension and sliding table. I like the saw itself:
table surface is very flat (though it could be ground smoother), the fence
is nice - no racking, locks square, and is very accurate. I've replaced the
standard aluminum fence face with one I made so I could attach jigs and
I've never had a problem with cuts. It's smooth and has very little
vibration. Has enough power for every thing I've tried so far - including
resawing Hard Maple.
Fit and finish are very nice. Blade was parralel to the slots out of the box
as was the fence.
It is a bit of a bugger to put together.
Dust colelction suffers somewhat from the 2" outlet but it is tolerable.
Thoughts on the extension and sliding table:
Sliding table is difficult to get aligned to the saw table. My first table
had a whooping 1/16" dish n the middle. Dewalt replaced it no questions
asked. SLiding table slides had a little mush in them so if you press down
on the work piece the table can be pushed below parralell with the saw.
Mitre that comes with the slider is next to worthless. Has about 2 degrees
of play in it. I replaced with an Incra.
52" extension: nice smooth surface. Mounts to the table saw with a big angle
bracket that screws into the top from underneath and bolts to the side of
the saw. The lenght of the bracket is about 1/3 the depth of the table. This
results in the front and back of the extension table dropping below the saw
table when the middle is flush. Since the rails also depend on the for
support it is a problem. You'll need to fabricate a longer bracket. I
mounted a router in the extension table and the weight cause the extension
to sag in the middle. If you do this you will have to brace the table
beneath to support the router.
I like the saw a lot better than my old contractor. I'd druther a cabinet
If you're going to consider the Dewalt, then you also need to look at the
Jet Supersaw. I think they compete with each other pricewise. I believe
the Jet is more saw. Its total cast surface, with the sliding table is
actually bigger than their cabinet saw.
To be fair, some people say the Jet Supersaw has a problem with breaking the
timing belt. Its a Poly V-belt (8 tracks) and helps make it run so smooth.
Most of these reports occured in early 2003 and may be early model defects.
I bought mine in September 2003 and I'm still waiting for it to break,
having used the saw almost every day since then. I checked with Jet - a
replacement belt is $41. Anyway, the saw passes the proverbial nickel test,
where you set a nickel on its edge on the table and it doesn't vibrate with
the saw running - and that's sitting on a rolling mobile stand.
I understand why you like a sliding table. Its definitely addicting.
Funny thing about that saw: my local Dewalt dealer/service center told
me last week that he won't be stocking it because the quality isn't
there for the price. This store is loaded with everything Dewalt
sells, except that saw. They also sell Delta, and that is his
preference for bigger equipment (it's also what he personally owns).
I bought my new 735 planer at this store this week (only place in town
that has been getting shipments of the 735), and these guys seem to
know what's going on. Woodcraft has the saw on display, and I must
admit the Jet Super Saw for $50 less "looks" better. Well, $50 less,
but then add about $300 for the Jet slider!
Let us know what you find out . . . I'm still shopping for something
myself (leaning to the Jet SS at the moment: cast tables, good fence,
dust collection, left tilt, don;t cae about the slider right now).
After my recent shopping experience, I've come to the conclusion that if a
dealer owns brand X, his preference is going to lean towards that brand.
That's usually not a problem except when you've seen brand Y and know the
dealer is blowing smoke about the competition...makes me wonder how much of
the other stuff is true.
The local Woodcraft here has both on display. After being on display and
having customers beat them about, tear them apart, having staff members use
them for demos, etc... The Dewalt seems to be holding up a bit better than
the Jet. I don't know if this is common among all Jet & Delta saws, but
looking at them today and having to pick from only those two saws, I would
actually lean towards the Dewalt. That said, I'm not impressed by certain
things on the saw and when all is said and done, it's simply the 744 on
steroids. It has much better features than the 744, but it also shares some
of the same problems areas as the 744 (dust collection and spliter
Good luck on your search and decision. Having just gone through that myself I
can tell you the hardest thing is cracking open the wallet and buying
something this big for the shop.
Boy, ain't THAT the truth! Funny how most of us will buy a new car @
$20,000+ or so, and have it lose $5,000 in value the minute we drive
off the lot, and thnk little of it. Yet we agonize over +/- $200 cost
of different table saws. Maybe it's because we want the saw to last
us forever, whereas the car will be gone in 10 years of so? Or maybe
we (SWMBO?) think the nicer saw is a mere luxury, whereas the car ....
hmmm.....is a luxury too!
I own a supersaw and really like it. I also have a 2 hp dust collector.
I've been sorely disappointed in the dust collection ability. After reading
a lot and exchanging ideas with others, I've come to the conclusion that
table saw dust collection is a real challenge for every manufacturer. The
enclosed cabinet with dust port provides "automatic vacuuming" for the dust
that makes it below the table. This is good thing and saves some hassle.
The cabinet forces the dust to collect in one place. However, it does not
force any more dust to go below the table. You still need some kind of
enhancement above the table, especially if you use a zero tolerance throat
I still like the supersaw a lot, but I wanted to set your expectations about
Ditto that. I have a jet Cab saw connected to an Oneida cyclone and have
observed the same. If the saw dust goes down, then it get sucked up. But
certain cuts, specifically ripping off < 1 kerf-width, tends to send nearly
all of the dust forward. This is a function of table saw geometry, not a
Keep that broom handy.
I keep stairing at the dirt simple setup in the Workshop book by Taunton
Press. One shop owner mounted a 4" PVC pipe attached to a 4" dust collector
hose. He set it up so the mouth of the pipe swings down to a spot about 6"
in front of the blade on the infeed side. It looks crazy, but I tried it.
It sucks up every spec of dust in sight. You just have to get used to a 4"
pipe resting on your wood as you cut it! The book said his employees had to
"get used it". I'm not ready to go that route - YET, but it doesn't seem
as crazy today as it did a month ago.
Thanks for the insights. I usually put my Ridgid portable dust
collector next to my dusty operations anyways, to catch to ambient
stuff the 5hp shop vac misses. But if it collects the bulk of it
below, the I'm happy. I WAS looking at a $600 Delta that has NO
collection whatsoever . . .
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