Tax time... A very brief couple of days during which my bank account
balance gets higher than three digits...
The last three tax times in a row, I had to take a pass on the new table saw
I wanted due to reality intervening. This year, reality intervened again,
to the tune of a $1300 bill to get my wisdom teeth cut out, but if I
juggled this, that and the other and held my mouth right, I could *just*
afford $400 for a new saw.
I've been shopping for a long time, looking at every saw I could get my
hands on and kicking the tires. I had settled on a Crapsman for a variety
of reasons that mostly boil down to a price vs. quality compromise. I
visited the saw many times, and couldn't talk myself out of loving it. (I
love my Crapsman drill press too. So what?)
I had been watching the price fluctuate, and was hoping to catch it on sale
when the refund came in. That worked out as I hoped, but when I went to
Sears to pick up my new toy, they were sold out. My heart sank when I saw
the empty spot where the display had been.
They were back ordered until May. I had the option of buying it at the sale
price, plus an extra 10% off, and waiting until May, but I didn't want to
do that. I sighed in resignation and prepared to leave. As I was walking
away, the sales guy told me to wait, and said he thought I could get the
one saw they did have 30% off, putting the price right in line with the one
that got away.
So I got the $579.99 saw for $405. Instead of stamped sheet metal, I got
cast iron (waffle, yes, but still cast iron), a wider overall table, and
all the trivial little minor upgrades, and I only went $5 over budget.
I spent a long time putting it together, taking my time and making sure
everything fit just oh so. I was very impressed with how well-packaged it
was, how clear the instructions were, and how well it all fit together.
I've read about people having problems with the rails, but mine went on
perfectly with no trouble. All the hardware was well-packaged, with
nothing missing, and only one extra washer. All in all it beat the crap
out of the last Grizzly product I bought in all these areas. The only
bitchy part was getting rid of all that blasted cosmoline. (And getting it
out of the trunk of my Oldsmobile...)
Why am I gloating about a Crapsman contractor's saw with waffle wings and a
wimpy motor that has been considered by all reviewers to be little better
than a solidly mediocre saw with a better than average fence?
Well, I saved $175 for one thing. That's a big enough chunk of change for
anybody to notice, I should think.
Mostly, however, I'm gloating because I have finally gotten to operate a
real saw. My first and only TS was that Skil 3400 I picked up on
clearance, and I've never had the opportunity to use anything else. Warped
table, sloppy fence, undersized/sloppy miter slots, crappy miter gauge,
gigantic non-standard throat, banshee-like universal motor with a ton of
arbor flop, no angle adjustment wheel, a startling kaWHANG at motor start,
vibration... It was a saw many of you told me to
turn into a boat anchor long ago.
I haven't even adjusted this Crapsman yet, and I haven't replaced the stock
24T blade, yet it cuts better than my Skil did with my decent quality 50T
Freud. I think once I line it up it's going to do an outstanding job for
Most of all, I can't get over how eriely quiet the thing is. A click, a
little purr, the sound of spinning carbide. If I didn't feed a piece of
wood through it, it wouldn't make enough noise to require hearing
protection. By comparison, that Skil made enough noise to scare people two
I'll know more as I come to know the machine, but so far, I'm VERY happy
with it. My only problem is that it's even bigger than the one I planned
to buy, and it's farkin' HUGE in a 10' x 12' shop that already has a mini
lathe, drill press, big workbench, sander/grinder stand, router stand,
scrollsaw stand, and a tool cabinet. I'm going to have to completely
rearrange my shop to get the best possible use out of this thing, but it's
all going to be worth it.
I'm going to make some beyootiful stuff with this thing.
Too bad I'm all out of money for lumber, and it's still way too cold for
Thanks for listening to me babble. I know a lot of you out there would
never buy a Crapsman anything in a thousand years, and that this is a sorry
excuse for a gloat, but I'm still grinning from ear to ear. This is a NICE
saw to me!
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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