Well, after many weeks (actually more than 2 months) of research and
discussion and angst, I finally decided on the General International
table saw. The model 50-185 has recently received favorable reviews
and as such, is in short supply. The entire state of Michigan is
without this swaw. I had to finally drive to Hartville Tool in
Hartville OH to get it. That was a 200 mile drive from where I am. Am
I disappointed that I put so much time and resources into it? Read on!
My research showed that one of the biggest gripes about this saw was
the poorly written "instructions". Since I am ever the opptomist, I
figured that it was just the other's having dificulty with so-so
instructions. I was wrong. They are crappy, incomplete, and hard to
follow. However, if this is the worst I can say about this saw, I'm
You know what? That is the worst I can say. Once I got past the
instructions part and dealt with the fact there are no, nada, ain't
got any hints to set up the saw accutratly, I was completely
impressed. Good thing I researched setting up a table saw too!
The adjustments I needed were all minor. The blade was square to the
miter slots right out of the box. The arbor runout was 0.001". Even
with a $35 blade, runout was only about 0.003" total.
The splitter gave me a bit of trouble in it's alignment. I got it
taken care of though. Now the question is how long will I keep it
The belt is aweful. It will likely improve with time, but planned to
replace it with a link belt anyways. Can't tell you yet if it will
pass the nickel-test.
I remember reading about people taking anywhere from 3 hours to as
high as 23hours to put this saw together so that it would cut
accurately. All total, including the couple hours I spent removing the
packing grease(?) from the table and the wings, I think I spent about
10 hours. I did have some help with the major assembly portions of it
(great way to make friends!). The tweaking and the de-greasing I did
myself. I guess that portion was about 4 hours or more by itself.
Nothing was rushed, I wanted this to be accurate and safe. Besides, it
was actually fun! I've been looking forward to doing it for a long
By the way, after the "packing grease" was removed using a citrus
cleaner, the most amazing thing happened. I found a well ground, shiny
cast iron surface on my new saw. Wish I could say the same for the
Dewalt scroll saw I bought for LOML. Sorry, slight tangent!
General International customer service? Well, I emailed Quebec asking
if they could direct me to a distributor with inventory. After several
days of not hearing anything, I called them. They promtly had a
Michigan rep call me back. No luck, but he tried at least. Later, I
called Quebec again and left a voice mail asking for instructions to
be faxed to me for "the saw I am buying next weekend". No response. I
called back. Actually talked to a human this time. I received the
faxed instructions quickly thereafter. Later, I called back asking
about switching from 110volt to 220volt for "the saw I am buying next
weekend". I still have not heard a thing from that request. As far as
I'm concerned, the customer service is Neutral .
So, the bottom line? If I could pass on some information to the next
group of people who post the "what table saw would you buy?" crowd,
I'd say, take your time, determine what you expect from your saw.
Research it until you are sick and tired of researching it. Spend a
little more money than you intended to spend originally. Take your
time. Be patient. Oh, did I say, take your time? I know, easier said
Oh yes, Hartville Tool. Great people to work with. They come with two
thumbs up from me. Nope, I'm not affiliated with them either.
The saw? If I had more thumbs to offer, I surely would. But since God
did not make me "all thumbs", I give it 2 straight up!