I'm trying to decide which saw to purchase and since I have a choice of
right or left hand tilting and Beismeyer or Unifence I am confused. Which
fence is better..........the Beismeyer or the Unifence? Also..........what
are the pros and cons of left hand tilting vs. right hand tilting arbors?
Also............is the Delta Unisaw better than the General 350 (please,
only serious answers to this question)? Any info would be appreciated.
Put simply, right vs. left tilt and Biesemeyer vs. Unifence comes down to
personal preference. There is no overwhelming reason to choose any of them.
In short, right tilt is better if you do a lot of work with a stacked dado
cutter and want to use the tape to index your fence accurately. The left
tilt is better if you do a lot of bevel rips - having the blade tilt away
from the fence is necessary to do these cuts safely. Both types of tilt can
do all types of cuts, just with differences in the way you approach it. For
example, you can still bevel rip safely on a right-tilt, you just move the
fence to the left of the blade. Clearly, your capacity will be limited
compared to a left-tilt, so if you want to do a bevel rip on a 4 foot wide
sheet of plywood and wanted to do it with the blade tilted away from the
fence you'd need a left-tilt and a 50" fence. The fence issue is similar -
pros and cons to each type. I have a 50" Biesemeyer (on a right-tilt
Unisaw, by the way). It just seemed more solid when I compared the two, and
it's a bit more straightforward, IMO, to build jigs for the fence. Of
course, the Unifence has extrusions for mounting things like featherboards,
etc. etc., and many people really like that. You can also move the height
of the Unifence, as well as slide it forward, so it acts as a cut-off fence.
So, the only real way to answer this question is to "test drive" each one
for yourself and decide what you like best.
I have no experience witha General 350, so I can't help you there.
Well, at the risk of having a bunch of DAGS posts, left or right tilt seems
to be get left tilt if you're right handed. A left tilt saw, as I
understand it, lete waste from bevel cuts fall away from the underside of
the blade with the fence on the right side of the cut. If the waste is on
top, you risk throwback of the offcut. Also, narrow bevel cuts are supposed
to be safer. I am sure others will add their remarks.
Fence seems to be a matter of personal preference. Do you like green or
blue or yellow? - pick one - there is no "wrong" answer. Some folks say
that the face of the Bies units isn't flat, but two saws that I use have
them and they work fine. As for UNI vs General, I think that general gets a
nod for quality at a slightly higher cost. I asked for feedback on the
General 350 a few days ago and the feedback was that the General was a
better saw, but parts may or may not be a problem as it is mfg in Canada.
My understanding is that the internals of the saw are heavier and that the
arbor pulleys have an extra bearing for support - so the saw is more in the
league of the PM66. General also has a left tilt cabinet saw.
The "old" uni's and the "new" X5s are the same saw, both US made. The Delta
dealer near me said that in 2004 production of the X5 saws was going to
Chiwan, so if you want an American made saw, today, Delta and Powermatic are
it. If I can find a General for a good price, I'll be on it like white on
rice. Not to clutter things, but the Jet cabinet saw on amazon comes with a
router, lift, long table and a hell of a good price with favorable reviews
and is also a strong contender.
I think I have this information right and I hope this helps - I'm looking
for a saw too... If'n I made any mcsnakes, I'm sure someone will set me
I am dating myself a bit, but back when I purchased my Unisaw you could only
get right tilt. If I were buying a new saw today I would get a left tilt.
As others have posted, the big difference is in doing bevel cuts, and in my
opinion, the left tilts saws are much better in this area. In the past few
years my projects have had quite a few bevel cuts.
I have used the General saw at a friends shop and liked it the same as my
Unisaw. I think that they are both great saws and you will not go wrong
with either. I would make the purchase decision on the quality of store
that sells each saw. If the same dealer sells both, then I would go on
emotions or price.
I own the Beismeyer fence, and have used the Unifence on a bunch of saws,
and would purchase the Beismeyer again without any hesitation. It is rock
solid, and I find it much easier to attach accessories to. That said, I
know a few people who love the Unifence. Again, you will not make a bad
decision with either fence.
Search this group for the URL to the FAQ. Your two questions are two of the
most commonly asked questions and are covered there thorougly IIRC.
With regards to the General vs. the Unisaw, that's a pretty close race. I
own a Unisaw, but the General has a great reputation as well. They're both
in the top 3 or 4 of the more popular brands (Powermatic, General, Delta
Neither. It comes down to personal preference like Coke or
Pepsi, Ford or Chevy.
One thing to keep in mind, a lot of hobbyist are book smart
and don't have much practicle application experience. This
shows up best when a Left-Tilter tells everyone how
dangerous the Right-Tilt machine is. The trouble is, this
Left-Tilter has (usually) never run a Right-Tilt machine.
With that in mind, I have a Right-Tilt and I like it just
fine. I have never owned a Left-Tilt. (end of full
No, the Unisaw isn't better than the 350. In fact, from my
own arm chair comparison I'd pick the 350 if money were no
object. I answered this without smiling to show how serious
In my opinion, half the fun of buying tools is researching which ones to
buy. You will get lots of good answers here. Also, you will want to look
at Groups.Google.Com where you can spend 12-15 hours reading about left vs
BTW, I have a Grizz cabinet saw that is left tilt. The dado blade issue is
more significant than you may think.
;~) The single most asked question in this group that I paste this rubber
stamp answer to.
Both saws will make all the same cuts. Some easier on the left tilt, some
easier on the right tilt. Strictly personal preference. But if you need to
be steered one way or the other,
Are you right handed?
Get the left tilt.
1. Left tilt has the bevel wheel on the right side and is easily turned with
your Right hand.
2. Left tilt can rip a narrow bevel with out having to move the fence to the
left side of the blade.
3. Left tilt allows the blade arbor nut to be removed with your right hand.
4. Left tilt allows your to remove the arbor nut and turn it in the
direction that you would expect.
5. With a Left tilt, when both edges of a board are beveled, the sharp
point of the
bevel is up on the fence when cutting the second bevel as opposed to the
bottom of the fence where it might slip under.
6. RIGHT tilt if you are left handed. The bevel wheel is on the left side of
7. RIGHT tilt if you "must" use the fence distance indicator when using a
stacked dado blade set. The blades stack left, away from the fence. The
indicator remains accurate. On the left tilt, the blades stack towards the
fence and makes the indicator inaccurate. In this case use a tape measure to
set the fence distance.
8. RIGHT tilt allows you to remove the arbor nut with your left hand but the
nut must be turned clockwise to loosen. Bassackwards to normalcy.
If considering a cabinet saw, with wide 50" rip capacity.
The Left tilt will most often afford you the most storage room under the
right table extension. The RIGHT tilt has an access door in that location
that will demand room to open. The left tilt allows you to have access to
the motor and or the insides of the cabinet from the more open left side of
the saw with out having to crawl under the right extension table. Very nice
if you ever happen to drop the arbor nut inside the cabinet.
============================Without reading any of the replies (Yet) I wanted to add mine.
Hey either is fine... I love my Biesmeyer but
would have no problem with the Uni
Left vs Right:.
Personal choice ..Honestly! The Saftey issue is
all crap... I own both a left and Right Tilt saw
Left Tilt Contractors, Right Tilt Cabinet saw.
NO difference that can not be overcome
General vs Delta:
Hell mine is a Jet...
Buy what you like..
The major difference between them is how
long they may last...Most likely your grandson
will be the guy who needs to replace the saw
or it could be your GREAT Grandson who
finally wore the damn thing out.... anyway
it should not be your problem...
Just my opinions... I would be happy with "almost" any
good fence...(I admit to a strong love affair with my Bies) either Right or
Left...depends on what they have in stock ... maybe a 50.1 percent chance I
would go LEFT...
its that close... And as for brand... ??? My opinion is that they are all
good..and like I said they all will outlast YOU...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.