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5 Table Saws - Need advice, which to choose (pics & prices)

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  • brysmith1
    replied
    I bought #4 the older Unisaw with a 3 hp motor 8 years ago.I completely restored it from the base to the top. New bearings, belts, paint and took off the old pipe rails and installed a 52” Biesemeyer fence. I also put it on a mobile base with a side extension. It’s nice to be able to move the whole setup around the shop as one.The saw works really amazing and was a nice restore project as well.
    Good luck in your choice

    Leave a comment:


  • rangerdave1
    replied
    OP, did you ever end up buying a table saw?

    This thread come up quite often and it is always the same advice given. At the end of day, if you're in the market for a good "real" table saw, there are a few well known saws that rarely disappoint

    -Delta/rockwell Unisaw
    -General 350
    -Powermatic 66
    -Sawstop (if budget allows)

    And the clones built by King, Craftex, etc... if bought for a good deal.

    Regarding the fences, Unifence or bies and of course their clones but sometimes with mixed reviews.

    I started with a borrowed Dewalt job site saw (their top end one) and it was ok for a job site. Then upgraded to a Ridgit R4511 (hybrid with granite top) which again was ok for a hybrid, and when had a proper shop, finally bought my "real" table saw, a Delta Unisaw X5 with Bies 52" fence. The moment I turned it on, I knew I had made a good purchase and only waited so long because I could not upgrade the wiring to 220 volt in my previous place.. There's no replacement for a true cabinet saw, well other then maybe a euro slider but that's an other discussion

    In my opinion, contractor saws and saw like the craftsman saws are fine for the once in a while builder but if you take the hobby seriously and enjoy quality tools, go with a "real" table saw.

    For the going price of good used real cabinet saws these days, there's few reasons for buying anything else and pretty much limited to power restrictions and portability/mobility

    Let us know what you decided to go with and more importantly what you are building with it!

    Leave a comment:


  • drzaius
    replied
    Originally posted by Lost in the Woods View Post
    You maybe need to understand the difference between a contractor or hybrid saw versus a real cabinet saw like a Unisaw. Two different beasts. A contractor saw is not much more than an inverted circular saw flipped upside down into a table set up.
    I think this needs to be clarified. What you are describing as a contractor saw is more generally known as a job site saw. Just about the only reason to have one of those is if you need to regularly move it from site to site.

    A contractor saw is a lot closer to a cabinet saw than it is to a job site saw. The trunions are table mounted & it belt driven with an induction motor that hangs out back.

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  • Lost in the Woods
    replied
    I'd be cautious on getting anything old Craftsman because of parts availability issues possibly. I discovered many years ago in the early 2000's that Craftsman parts are super over-priced to begin with.

    You maybe need to understand the difference between a contractor or hybrid saw versus a real cabinet saw like a Unisaw. Two different beasts. A contractor saw is not much more than an inverted circular saw flipped upside down into a table set up. A Unisaw is a multi-belt driven saw that will rip thru practically anything, offers better dust collection, can run all day and every day and serve you for many decades. For an extra $150 you say, trust me, it's not a big difference financially versus what saw you will get.

    I was like you 20 years ago or so. Do I pay 600-800 for a contractor saw or one like that Craftsman saw, or do I pony up now for what everybody else was telling me would be the saw I would want to eventually upgrade to in a cabinet saw which went for a couple of thousand dollars typically. When a woodworking retailer near me bought 50 or so Unisaws that were from a deal with another retailer order that went south and was offering them for $1850, I jumped on it and have no regrets to this day.

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  • dwoody
    replied
    I have had that model of Craftsman for years and it has performed well. Never having used any of the others I cannot do a comparison.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rusty
    replied
    Originally posted by stotto View Post

    Left tilt is better and safer. No need to argue.
    Absolutely no reason or need to argue Stan but we have been through this discussion on more than one occasion and done it very extensively. Maybe a Moderator could pull up that old thread again without having to go through it all again. I know I can't find it.

    Perhaps you have a new spin on it though and I guess I'd love to hear your reasons why a left tilt is better and safer than a right tilt. I'll bet your reasons were discussed in the old thread btw. I will also say I bet I can tell you what you are going to say and it will involve a bevel. LOL

    Respectively, Rusty.

    BTW maybe a new thread is best so as not to disrail this one.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotto
    replied
    Originally posted by Rusty View Post
    Hey Stan should we really go through that left right thing again? LOL
    Left tilt is better and safer. No need to argue.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotto
    replied
    The craftsman will do a bit of cutting and as David mentioned you can always resell. Just don't pay much cuz you won't get much back for the craftsman

    Along the line of table saws that came and went I had craftsman cabinet saw for a couple years.

    If the price is right and you really need a saw, it will work but I'd put my money towards something much better.

    Leave a comment:


  • DGB_WAT
    replied
    I will repeat my questions from my previous post -- How far away are both saws? Have you seen them running? Are you able to check the flatness of the tables, the arbour runout, the condition of the bearings, etc.

    Everyone is recommending the Unisaw, but if it has been abused and will need a lot of work such as new bearings, than it may not be your best choice. In that case, you could either continue looking or buy the Craftsman. If you do end up with the Craftsman, you don't have to look at it as the last saw you will ever own. The good thing about buying used is that you can usually sell the item again later for about the same price you paid.

    David

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  • iamtooler
    replied
    Nobody would recommend the Craftsman unless it was 100$ so you could keep the fence for use on a Unisaw or General 350.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rusty
    replied
    Here's the nudge. Did anyone tell you the craftsman was the one to buy??

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  • Doug G
    replied
    Be careful you snooze you lose, sometimes you just have to pull the trigger. Worst case scenario, you make the wrong best choice, sell it and start over.

    Leave a comment:


  • drzaius
    replied
    The Bies is 'the beis knees' I had one on my last saw & currently have a clone. But pretty much anyone who has a Unifence absolutely loves them. You can't go wrong with either. That isn't the case with a lot of Bies clones though. They can range for great to awful. Another thing that is very important to me is having a real riving knife & a good, usable guard.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kooptron
    replied
    WOW! Thanks for all the great info, advice and insight! Unfortunately #1 seems to be out of the picture . And of course, #3 and #5 are a no go!
    I have reached out to the seller multiple times and no response. After a bit of digging it seems like a classic case of sold a few weeks back and left the ad up on a platform they no longer check for new message.
    Super frustrating - Makes sense though, that it sold fast at $600 with everyone here's recommend to buy.

    So on to #4 and #2.......
    I will be honest, although I always tend to prefer "the older the better" motto,
    I was leaning towards the Craftsman:
    -Is it built in America? I heard by Orion or Steel City, seems good to me.
    -It has a larger cast iron area than the Unisaw
    -I have heard the biesemeyer fence is the cats meow?
    -It is set up and ready for dust collection
    -I have 240v 30amp service - so I can re-wire the motor for 220v (should make over 2hp??), the manual says it is hybrid.
    -Solid Trunnion design
    -Newer, very little use at all
    -$150 cheaper!!

    All things being equal as they are.....

    Is the Unisaw really worth the extra cash? I know $150 doesn't sound like much, but it all adds up.
    Is the Unifence really better than a biesemeyer fence?
    This unisaw doesn't have the 12" cast iron extension on the left side or right side.
    Of course, I am a huge fan of the upgraded start control and the mobile base.

    What am I missing that makes this such a much better saw and an obvious choice over the craftsman?
    I am almost ready to pull the trigger on the Unisaw, I just need a little nudge in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance!
    Ben

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  • woodbizard
    replied
    I would choose #1

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