Ok, I am know various permutations of this question have been asked before
(I've done google searchs and read reviews), but I still need some more
specific and up-to-date input.
I am building a wood working shop,. Over the course of a year or so I have
read books on woodworking, watched NYW on TV, and I have built chess boards,
boxes, and a workbench, mostly simple stuff with relatively cheap tools. I
have decided I like the hobby and want to invest in some quality tools.
Currently I have a $200 portable craftsman table saw. Usually in a hobby I
go as cheap as possible until I decide if I like it or not, then I try to go
quality so I don't re-buy. So I am going to buy either a cabinet saw
(unisaw, powermatic, grizzly, shop fox, etc.) or a contractor saw. If I go
with a good contractor saw like deltaX 36-507x I'll have plenty of money
for other things but I don't want to do that if I am putting myself in a
situation where I need to upgrade in the future. It boils down to the
question: will I be able to tell the difference between a contractor or
cabinet saw at a hobbyist level of use? Are cabinet saws mostly just for
production type work in a cabinet shop or are they more precise and better
suited for a hobbyist who wants to only make a few fine pieces? Is a
grizzly cabinet saw better buy than a deltaX contractor saw (they cost the
same)? Right now I am leaning toward just putting about $2000 into a good
cabinet saw, dado set, portable base, and tenon jig. I have the room and a
220 outlet. If you think there is a better way to go please give me your
advice before I make an expensive mistake. I plan to use the saw for a
lifetime and make everything from furniture to a doghouse with it, but it
will only be in my spare time and weekends. I don't know if it makes a
difference but I am very big on precision, I like things to fit perfect.
Any advice would be appreciated.