As usual, A.M. Wood wrote:
"For 1/2 the price you can get a used unisaw that's much more sturdy
has a 110/220 volt motor. But if you have the extra bucks to spend on
a lesser piece of equipment go for it. Plus the new saw will bions e
pretty and shiney and the wood does care."
If you will use the advanced search at the top of the page and enter
"hybrid" you will find endless opinions and discussions of these saws.
My advice is find out where A.M.Woods resides and go there immediately!
They have a large supply of people begging to get rid of their unisaws
Who peed in your cheerios this morning? The man asked for
opinions/advice and I provided mine. My advice is that the current
stuff coming out of chaiwan with a Delta label isn't worth buying.
Older used equipment, even at 75% of the retail price of a new machine,
is a much better value because the manufacturer's have been cuting
quality to keep costs down.
As you suggest I waited 8 months early this year diligently searching
the Atlanta, Jacksonville,Savannah, and Charleston SC Craig's lists,
tool auctions, and newspapers for used Unisaws. I found one 3 phase
unit and one in several baskets covered with four coats of paint
applied with a brush. I finally purchased a new Steel City hybrid with
3HP 220V motor and am so glad I did. It's quality is why the current
Fine Woodworking Tools and Shop issue recommends the Sears/Steel City
Orion table saws for their under 5K workshop. Better yet, it's
available right now. Now you could save some poor guy from having to
settle for a crappy quality "chaiwan" saw by putting your old Unisaw on
the market right now. How about it? Let us know when it's listed at a
good price...one we can gloat about. Too many seekers chasing too few
Unisaws is poor advice.
FWIW, I bought a General 50-220C M1 during Woodcraft's 10% (or more)
off sale last September. I did compare with the Delta 36-717. The
Woodcraft guys said they sold more of that model than any other.
However, in my opinion, the General is better.
Yes, it's a hybrid. About $850 on sale. With a Biesemeyer clone
fence. So far it's great. It replaced a 10" Craftsman contractors
saw with all the usual mods - fence, belt, pulleys, insert.
Smaller footprint - yes. But the top takes up just as much room. In
fact, I built an extension wing to hang on the right side. In my
studio, I use the tablesaws top for work other than sawing. My studio
Considering that I got along o.k. with the power of the Craftsman
(nothing to write home about) the 2hp motor the General comes with is
marvelous! But more power was something I'd wanted for a long time,
but I couldn't justify a new saw to wifey solely on that. This fall
it became apparent that dust collection was going to be necessary and
that provided the final reason to buy a new saw.
There isn't a darn thing to complain about with this saw. It's
powerful enough, it's pretty good on dust collection, 'cept dust still
comes off the blade on the top. I gotta buy a shark guard yet to pull
dust from the topside. But that'll be true for any tablesaw.
BTW, I had no trouble selling my old Craftsman saw. It appears that
if the saw is at all any good, there's buyers lined up out the door
and around the block to get one. In light of that, good luck holding
out for a used cabinet saw.
Still looking but, like you, dust collection is my big concern. The
Craftsman saw runs just fine, is accurate enough for me and fine for the
ripping I do (I break out the bandsaw for the thicker material). I already
have a buyer lined up for the contractor saw I have.
Ha! Just how it went for me, 'cept I was doing *all* my ripping on
the TS, even 3" thick hard maple. Yes, it was tough. I didn't have a
bandsaw when that had to be done.
Now you're nearing decision time. Good luck.
If I may throw two cents worth in, may I suggest you rethink your
situation. You said you're considering a hybrid just because of
footprint. It sounds to me like your real issue is not so much the saw
base as the table top. Table tops are usually larger than the base and
most are pretty close to the same before extensions unless you
downgrade to a benchtop.
If you haven't already, consider the average lengths of the wood(s)
you're working with. If it's plywood sheets perhaps you can get by
with some kind of vertical sheet-cutting rig. If you're cutting long
stretches for cabinets then I'm not sure how you will work around
extension tables without maneuvering your existing (if you have them)
work tables. Some people utilize the table saw itself as a workbench
in crowded spaces by placing a top over it when not in use. You can
make a creative use of tables in conjuntion with your saw so that you
are not dependent on permanent extension wings but you'll run into
issues when you want to use your fence on them if they're not exactly
the same depth as your table saw and you can't get them aligned
properly. Again, the size of the wood you commonly work with will
dictate a lot of what you can and can't get away with.
As for dust collection, a cabinet without any suction on it is going to
shoot dust in your face and soon will cloud up your basement. At some
point you have to address that and a cabinet isn't much better than a
nylon bag with a string tied around the dust chute.
As for table saws, I don't think there's anyone here who doesn't think
their brand is the best. I used to own a Craftsman and I believe that
what they market as 'contractor saws' are nothing more than benchtops
in a contractor saw coat. I've got the Delta 36-982 contractor saw
(comes w/ Biesemeyer fence and side extension table). I don't think
anything Craftsman sells holds a candle to it, but, as you see, I have
my preference too. Delta considers it their 'contractor saw'. If you
get a chance drop in at Lowe's and have a look. One particular problem
I have with Craftsman is their rampant use of plastics throughout their
tools, their poor knockoff features and their non-standard designs
(e.g. miter slots, clearance plates, etc.). I just think for the same
money you get more from Delta and Jet. I'm sure there are hordes ready
to pull their teeth out that I didn't mention Steel City, Powermatic
and General. Well, when I get the money to just go hog wild, perhaps-
meanwhile I'm big on Delta (non-shopmaster) and Jet. I think they both
offer great all around value (quality, durability, features, customer
service) for the money. But, again, I have a hard time seeing the saw
as much the main issue as table space and the size of wood you work
with. If you're limited with space and moving from a Sears contractor
to a hybrid I think you'll either have the same issue or it will be
worse since the hybrid is likely to be as large or larger than a Sears
contractor. If anything I would consider finding a quality benchtop
(likely Bosch or Dewalt) and using benches in some configuration as
make shift extension tables if space were the issue.
If anyone doesn't like my Delta/Jet suggestion please feel free to ship
me the best Table Saw of your choice and I'll be happy to give it a
If anything I would consider finding a quality benchtop
May I suggest Grizzly deserves a look? I am very pleased with my G1023
cabinet and it was a smokin deal a few years ago, and a buddy got the
contractor model with the aluminum fence w/T slot in it and he is super
pleased, he built an entire kitchen cabinet set with it, he's
unbeliveably anal and had no complaints at all. It seems that many of
these units look about the same (General, Jet, Grizzly, etc) and I
wouldn't doubt they have some common relationship back China or
thereabouts where nearly all of this stuff comes from. Good luck. I
like having a 220 3 horse saw, although its overkill 90% of the time.
On Thu, 14 Dec 2006 01:20:14 -0800, Chrisgiraffe wrote:
Personally I'm in the market for a table saw myself and for various
reasons a Unisaw is out of the question. Took a look at that Delta and
the best price I find on it is higher than the top end of the Craftsman
line, which is a cabinet saw, not a contractor saw, and also has a
Biesemeyer fence, and very little plastic in evidence. Their next step
down is the same mechanism on legs instead of an enclosed base, and with
their fence--it's a lot cheaper than the Delta but the two examples I've
looked at so far both have some flex in the fence which may be indicative
of a design problem or may be just the store's half-assed job of assembly.
I wasn't aware that there was any established standard for clearance
plates, but the miter slot appears to be completely standard give or take
I just finished assembling a Grizzly G0478 Hybrid as a surprise
birthday gift for my brother-in-law. His wife left it up to me to do
the research on saws. I looked at Delta, Jet, General and the Craftsman
Professional. There was a price limit ($1000) and a time factor. The
Grizzly was $695 + $89 shipping to Boise,Id.It arrived in three days.
It's a very good saw for the money. He was surprised too. Jim
Interesting. Cheap toolmakers using non-standard parts in their
machines. Some of the trolls who frequent this newsgroup assert this
is absolutely not true. Why those fools even make fun of people who
would even think this. Of course, maybe they'd care to explain how to
get a standard miter gauge into a crapsman miter slot.
I surely don't want to make fun of you (you might not sell me your
Unisaw for a good price in the near future) but this foolish troll uses
his Steel City/Crapsman miter gauge in Lee Valley tracks
which I added to my newly built outfeed table. My miter gauge is 3/4" x
3/8"...same size as the Lee Valley, Woodcraft. etc. miter tracks. Is
the Delta miter gauge not also 3/4 x 3/8? My old Craftsman contractor
saw also had a 3/4 x 3/8 miter. Well, if I'm a non-standard fool I must
be in good company ... might ask Robin Lee why his miter tracks allow
non-standard junk to slide in them.
Glad your miter gauge is 3/4 x 3/8. The chap who wrote the message I
quoted however didn't seem to be as lucky with the slot on his crapsman
saw. He's also neither the first nor the only person to have had this
"issue" with crapsman products. I sure as hell know I had similar
issues with non-standard components on the garbage i purchased from
No need to worry that offending me would in any way influence my
willingness to sell you anything I may have on the market. While I
don't plan on selling the saw any time soon, if I do my only concern is
going to be the color of your money.
Picked up a Delta Heavy Duty shaper last week. Paid $320. Wonder how
much the shiney new stuff comming out of chaiwan is running these days.
Was a tough haul though. Unfortunately there weren't any plastic
parts to lighten the load, just plain old-fashioned steel and cast
iron. Oh well.
On Thu, 14 Dec 2006 18:55:15 -0800, rmeyer1 wrote:
I find it interesting that Incra makes their miter gage in the same
nonstandard dimension as the miter slot in my Craftsman band saw. If
Craftsman is the only tool made that Incra accessories will fit, well then
hot damn ah'm gittin' a lot o' Craftsman in the future <grin>.
One of the points I often make about choosing a tool is the availability of
generic accessories - a lesson learned the hard way with the purchase of a
Craftsman Tilt-table Band Saw (actually a gift from my wife) with a
(non-standard) 80" blade (yes, I know one can order blades to fit (at a
premium over stock units, of course))
Now, I tend to shop the accessories for a tool before deciding on the range
of tools to compare and contrast prior to purchase.
But, I will say that the old "Satisfaction guarantee" came in handy on a
number of occasions when a quick jaunt to the store had me back home in an
hour with a new tool or a credit on my Sears card.
Yet another person with absolutely NO knowledge of the Craftsman
They are wonderful saws that compete favorably with anything out there.
They are built by Orion, which is composed of former Delta folks.
I believe the only plastic bits on mine are the handwheels and the
Check out the 22104,22114 and 22124.
You'll be pleasantly surprised.
I tried about six months ago to order a 22124. They said it would be
delivered within seven days. On day eight, I called to find out what
the problem was. The order had been cancelled. They didn't know who
cancelled it or why. About a week later, I got a bill for it anyway.
They cancelled the saw but not the bill. Bit of a hassle getting that
straitened out. I tried ordering the same saw again last week. Again,
they cancelled my order but this time they at least sent me an email
saying so. They said something about getting more orders than they
anticipated. If they actually do sell these saws, I don't know where.
BTW, they still advertise this saw on their website as being available
in my area.
Hi Gus. I think you're correct in assuming (though it is an
assumption) that I don't know everything about the Craftsman hybrids.
To be honest, I've been burned too many times by Sears to really
consider their hybrids. When I started woodworking I purchased nearly
everything in their mid-price range and every single tool I bought
turned out to be either poorly made or low on features compared to
other makes for the same price. You mention that Orion makes their
hybrids. I understand Sears tools are made by different manufacturers,
even their current line of table saws have differing manufacturers.
I've read many arguements that some manufacturers stink and others
simply get bad specs/high tolerances from buyers. Again, my feeling is
that if I'm burned once by a company I'm hesitant to go back for
seconds. Perhaps the Sears hybrids deserve a second look but by the
same token perhaps Sears should strive for better quality along every
tool line or not post such silly things as horsepower ratings in huge
lettering on their saws, shop vacs and other power equipment. Perhaps
they should also try to get people who've actually used woodworking
tools to sell them. In fact, perhaps they should get woodworkers to
consult with the purchasers before they market their tools- call that a
crazy idea but it's certainly helped build other woodworking tool
Now, contrast Sears with my experience at a place I just went to
yesterday in Atlanta- Redmond and Sons Machinery (a sister store of
Rockler). They carried a range of machinery that would make you wet
your pants if all you've ever been exposed to is Sears, Lowes and Home
Depot. Strangely, however, the prices were still reasonable, and the
staff knew exactly what they were selling. What's more is you could
tell that every tool they sold was rock solid. They didn't carry
anything that looked like it might break down in a year or two. No
Ryobi, no Black and Decker, no Craftsman. I had that feeling I once
had as a kid when, after years of my parents bringing me to
Sears/Target/Wal-Mart/Penney's for BMX bikes then they finally bring me
to a reputable bike store and I saw the GT's, Diamon Backs and
Mongooses. It was a whole new world.
Now I've always read the suggestion that people should 'pick up a
unisaw locally on the cheap' and recognize whole heartedly that many
towns simply do not have such a great secondary tool market. My own
that I currently live in (Columbus, GA) surely doesn't. But odds are
every town in the US is probably a few hours drive at most to a larger
city that does have the great deals and great stores. If you've
settled on Sears you'd kick yourself in the butt later if you ever
walked into a dedicated machinery/woodworking store and saw some of the
things you can get. That's the experience I had with Sear's mid-range
tools just compared with my local Lowes and Home Depot. After visiting
Redmonds in Atlanta I can confidently say anyone would regret buying
even the larger power tools from Sears if they took the time to visit a
real dedicated machinery/woodworking store in a larger city.
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