I am preparing for my retirement, and have decided to set up a hobbyist wood
working shop. I have decided my first major purchase will be a Delta
Unisaw. I like the Delta 36-R31X-BC50 X5 3 HP Right Unisaw w/50" Biesemeyer
Fence. I would also like to add in-shop mobility by adding a mobile base.
I would very much appreciate any advice on the best place to buy this
machine and places I should stay away from. I'm certain most of you have
been around long enough to know where the really good bargains are.
Also, please excuse my ignorance, but what is the difference between the
right hand and left hand model?
Gary in Virginia
I would suggest going local. A nearby dealer can help you out in a lot
of ways, IMHO that's worth more than the few bucks saved by ordering
online. I was ready to buy my Uni through Amazon, but then they ran out
of the pre-X5 saws. The next weekind the WWing show came to my area and
I made a deal with a local retailer. Just a few $ more than Amazon, but
they threw in a small Delta compressor and mobile base. Needless to say
I am very happy the way it turned out. Enjoy Mark L.
OK, I understand that a good local dealer might provide extra acessories and
personal service. According to the Delta Machines webpage, locally I have a
choice of a reputable local building supplier and Lowes. I can't see any
benefit of buying from Lowes, other than perhaps a 30 retrurn policy? I
expect they will ask near retail plus 5% sales tax and personal service
limited to using their forklift to load it on my truck at their store.
Conversely, I see Toolking has the saw for around $1,750 with free shipping,
delivered to my shop door.
I do have somewhat of a personal aquaintance with the store manager of the
local building supply, so perhaps I should at least allow them to make a
proposal. I think I'll give him a call tomorrow.
I'd give the local guy an opportunity... He probably can't compete but one never knows. He might and may match the price feeling a small percent profit is better than none at all... He knows he might make it up down the road selling you select materials that S-Lowes don't stock... Just my .02 cents worth...
I am preparing for my retirement, and have decided to set up a
hobbyist<BR>wood<BR>> working shop. I have decided my first major
purchase will be a Delta<BR>> Unisaw. I like the Delta 36-R31X-BC50
X5 3 HP Right Unisaw w/50"<BR>Biesemeyer<BR>> Fence. I would
also like to add in-shop mobility by adding a mobile<BR>base.<BR>><BR>>
I would very much appreciate any advice on the best place to buy this<BR>>
machine and places I should stay away from. I'm certain most of you
have<BR>> been around long enough to know where the really good bargains
are.<BR>><BR>> Also, please excuse my ignorance, but what is the
difference between the<BR>> right hand and left hand model?<BR>><BR>>
Gary in Virginia<BR>><BR>><BR><BR></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
I'll de-lurk here on the local vs. national chain: I recently bought a
Delta contractor's tablesaw (X5 w/ 30" Bies.) from a local dealer. Paid a few
more $$ than a couple of other places, BUT, the local dealer assembled and
delivered it no extra charge. Everything was square and aligned when it was
delivered. Delivery guy showed up on schedule, asked where I wanted it and
spent about 25 minutes going over operation and features and answering all my
questions. As he was leaving he gave me his name and said "if you have any
more questions or problems, give us a call." That's worth a few bucks to me.
Credit where due: Circle Saw Bldrs. Supply in Houston. No connection, other
than as a satisfied customer.
I took exactly the opposite approach.
Bought basically the same saw, had it shipped 2,500 miles, then had to
assemble it which took 3-4 hours over a couple of days.
If I had to do it again, would probably use a good local distributor.
S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
Well, I've been shopping and have found some interesting things. I decided
on a Delta Unisaw X5, right hand, 3 horsepower, 50" Biesmeyer. Delta Model
36-R31X-BC50 3 HP Unisaw.
Having made numerous electronics purchases online, I thought there's where
I'd get the best price. What I found was: Amazon.com =$1,1799 free shipping,
and no sales tax. Toolking =$1,799, free shipping and no sales tax. About
3 other online sellers, I can't remember who, $1,799 free shipping, no sales
tax. (see the pattern here?)
Listening to you folks, I thought, yeah, personal service, possible assembly
and setup, and a face to yell at if things go wrong, maybe it would be worth
a few extra bucks. My first stop was the local building materials company
which the store manager is an aquaintance . Delta's website says they are a
Delta dealer. Well I was told that they quit carrying Delta tools years
ago. Maybe someone should tell Delta?
Next stop was Lowes. It seems that every Lowes store in the world is listed
on Delta's website as a Delta dealer. There I found out, special order
only, catalog was years out of date,never heard of the X5 series, and no way
to cross the part number to Lowes' price list.
Ok, back to the computer. I found a regional hardware store and local wood
worker's specialty store in Richmond, Virginia, about a 100 miles from my
home. Both said they have 2 of the saws in stock; one assembled on display
and one in the box. I'm starting to think, great, maybe I can get personal
service after all. I asked how much. The reply was surprisingly, $1,799
plus sales tax. Neither said they would deliver nor discount the display
model. Back to the computer.
I discovered that I had overlooked a distributor in Harrisonburg, Virginia,
only abount 35 miles away, sweet!! So I give them a call. Yep, they have
two in stock, one assembled on display.
So I ask, "Howmuch?"
"$1,799 plus sales tax."
"Do you deliver?"
I asked him what's up with every dealer I talked to charged exactly the same
$1,799? He said that Delta has some sort of marketing requirement that they
can only sell for the MSRT. I'm no lawyer, but isn't that price fixing, and
Anyway, I am now pondering just how ethical is Delta, but will likely go
pick up the saw from my local dealer sometime next week. At least its not
made in China.
I don't think it's an issue of whether Delta is ethical; I think it's an
issue of whether Delta wants so keep its network of local storefront
Last year I closed a stereo storefront and went to a home based business
after 22 years, and part of the reason was the shoppers who used my
storefront and salespeople's time to decide what they wanted, then bought on
the internet. The companies who make better things that inherently cost more
want to have dealers because they realize that if customers continue to
increasingly use this tactic the brand will eventually die from lack of
public exposure. So they set a price for all and enforce it.
In the short term Delta could have retail dealers show their gear and let
the customer buy internet at a discount, as Delta gets the same wholesale
price way, and sales would be greater. For a while. Then as retail stores
drop their brand (or go out of business) they would inevitably see a serious
decline in business. Makers of hgher end products can't successfully turn
to discounters like Walmart because there is not a sales staff with the
knowledge to sell the higher priced quality product over the cheaper ones.
The Speaker and Stereo Store
Unfortunately, my state requires us to submit "use tax" on out of
state purchases voluntarily on our state income tax return, so the tax
issue is moot.
But then again, two of my local dealers are Tools Plus and Coastal,
who are big web vendors. So I can get the web price AND have it
Do you have a local Woodcraft, or similar store? At least twice a year,
the Rockler and Woodcraft stores in my area (SF Bay Area) each have factory
sponsored 10% off events, which they advertise heavily. I've found that
talking to one of the store management team will often get me the
information regarding the next expected occurance of such an event, and I
can plan my purchase(s) for then, if I choose. I bought my saw,
essentially the one you describe, about 15 months ago at Woodcraft. Paid
$1700, including the CA sales tax, forklifted into the back of the pickup
BTW, at the last of the season Woodworking show in Sacramento, CA this
weekend, the local-to-Sacramento big iron dealer had the not-X5, but
essentially the same saw at a better price than you quoted. And a DJ-20
jointer (demo) at less than $900. Had I not promised my wife that I would
wait on the jointer, it may well have followed me home.
Clamps, handplanes, wierd stuff, I buy on the web. Otherwise, if the local
dealer has it, they earn my business.
=================I think Delta has made the decision to keep a large base of dealers
and one method is setting a floor price for which their products can
be sold for... as far as Delta being unethical I do not see why your
would think of them this way...to me it is smart business...
Sure amazon has the bucks to buyt 100 unisaws from Delta, and turn
around and shave 100 bucks off their reail price and Delta most likely
would be just as happy loading up 2-3 tractor trailer loads and shiop
them to amazon... HOWEVER within a year or two most Delta dealers
in the country would see the "movement" of Delta machines slow to a
point that they will stop investing their inventory dollars with
Delta ... as a result Delta would sell a lot less machines ...
All I can say is (as a long time Jet Cabinet saw owner ...10-15 years
now) that the Unisaw will outlast you .. 10 years from now you will
discover that your saw cost you 15 bucks a month to own and most
likely will discover that the cost of Walnut or Cherry lumber to feed
thru that CHEAP SAW would have increased in price to about that same
15 bucks a board foot...
Sorry Bob, I don't understand? Are you saying the Delta is a cheap saw and
will increase the cost of materials (I see you're partial to Jet)? Or are
you saying I would be better off buying a quality saw such as the Delta
Unisaw because CHEAP SAW's increase the cost of material?
You did bring up an interesting point. Unisaws were manufactured long
before I was born and are still in service (I'm now 55 years old). And so,
they will likely still be of significant value after I have expired,
bringing a substantial return at my estate sale, thus reducing the cost of
I don't see how Delta will sell a lot less machines? My micro economics
class in college taught me that lower price results in an increased demand
for a given product, not less. Not living in a mega-metropolis, I do not
have a wood workers boutique that offers additional personal services,
therefore my local dealers, the internet, and Amazon esentially offer the
same service/product, a Deleta Unisaw in the box, no delivery, no set up.
Free enterprise says whomever can deliver a product at equal or better
service at a better price survives, and the inefficent and low sevice
merchants fail. Go Walmart! (kidding of course). Actually, its really sad
how big business is "killing the little man" as Allen Jackson calls it.
Its also sad how we tend to buy at the cheapest price, not thinking where
the money is going. As I understand it, Delta is the last of the American
made brands. If I were a professional woodworker, which I am not, and
everyone were buying nothing but foriegn products, eventually all of my
customers would be out of work or be flipping hamburgers somewhere and could
not afford my products. Then we'd all be out of work. And so, I am willing
to pay a little more for American made products, (I own 5 American-made
Chevrolet trucks), knowing someone somewhere is working, paying taxes, not
recieving public assistance, and has a few bucks to buy whatever I am
Gary, I see you've had the same experience as many of us - there is no
"local dealer" to speak of in many locations and tool companies kid
themselves (and YOU) by listing "dealers" who carry maybe two paper
clips in their brand.
Over the last five years, I've begun to deal more with Amazon.com.
Believe it or not, I consider them the high-touch seller for many
items, including most tools. (They purchased Tool Crib, an old mail
order house.) In your shoes, I'd prefer to have that super heavy item
delivered to the house and wave a couple of steaks in front of the
driver to wait while I made SURE all the parts and pieces had arrived
If there's a woodworking club or school nearby, wave a few steaks/gift
certificates in front of one of their local mavens if you want
personal help setting things up. Many guys enjoy playing with new
models they don't see up close any other way. It pays off a whole lot
more than putting that money into sales tax, IMHO.
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