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Craftex or King Canada ?

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  • Craftex or King Canada ?

    Hi I am interested in getting back into wood working. I took cabinet making in High School for a few years and enjoyed it but never had the space or money to go any further into the hobby. When school was finished I kind of just forgot about it but now as I am getting closed to retirement in the next 8 to 10 years I think I would like to get back into this. I have been looking at my options as far as table saws and jointers and planers go and my options are pretty narrow. SawStop is just out of my price range when I am looking at table saws. I want a cabinet saw and the only brands I see that I have access to in the Ottawa area are Craftex from Busy Bee Tools and King Canada from Ottawa Fasteners. I dont see any Grizley or Laguna or any other brands being sold in my area that I am aware of. So my question is which brand has better quality? They both seem to sell table saws and jointers and planers in a comparable price range. I do have another option as far as jointer / planers go and I see Busy Bee Tools sell a Rikon combination jointer planer. Not sure about quality?
    Any help or advice on the better brand would be greatly appreciated. Also if there are other brands that I have access to that I am not aware of maybe someone could point me in the right direction.

    Thanks Kevin
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  • #2

    Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

    I haven't looked at Craig's list lately, but used Generals were going quite reasonably . Guys and schools were switching to the Sawstop. Unless casting are broken, Generals are an easy fix, parts are off the shelf, so parts won't be a issue. Look used. You will need an aftermarket fence, Biesmeyer or clone .

    I have three BusyBee, they vary from excellent to a parts kit to make a machine out of. The one King, was good value ,I paid very little new, but a cabinetmaking tool, no.

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    • #3

      Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

      Without knowing what type of equipment is being discussed, to say that one is better than another is kinda' pointless. I have General International 10" table saw .... would I use it for building cabinets? Absolutely ... yes, no question. Would I be happier with a $10k Euro-slider? Maybe .... but if all I do is hobby work I'm not likely to buy one ....

      So .... how about Kevin tells us what type, style, or better yet, what model numbers he's looking at and then we could compare properly?

      I bought my G.I. brand new over twenty years ago. It was made in some Asian shop somewhere. Before I bought it I was warned about "Asian junk". It has been top notch, and most of the import equipment that I have seen "that was properly assembled and set up" has also been fine, so all this talk about the lack of quality of Asian stuff should be taken with a grain of salt. My experience has been that the person who takes the time to learn their equipment and set it up properly doesn't have any issues.

      Personally only ..... if I wanted to get a new start in woodworking I wouldn't start out by learning to be an equipment mechanic. I'd buy new if I could afford it.
      Redneck Albertan likes this.

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      • #4

        Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

        I am looking at the Craftex CX212 and the Laguna Fusion 2 and the King Canada 10KX U30. Interested in making some furniture. Have watched a few Farm House Trestle tables made on YouTube and a few dressers and would like to give that a try. Make myself an outfield/setup table and also a few speaker cabinets.
        A few people have mentioned that Craftex is the same as Grizzly when I read reviews on the Busy Bee Tools website. Was hoping some people might have some experience with these brands. Customer service feedback etc......
        Again any help or tips are greatly appreciated.

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        • #6

          Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

          When I look at the parts breakdowns, these all look similar, but I see that poly-ribbed belts are spec's for two of them and a V-belt is spec'd for the other. I wonder if the poly-rib belt drive might be smoother. less likely to develop a "set" when parked?

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          • #7

            Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

            Originally posted by John Bartley View Post
            Without knowing what type of equipment is being discussed, to say that one is better than another is kinda' pointless. I have General International 10" table saw .... would I use it for building cabinets? Absolutely ... yes, no question. Would I be happier with a $10k Euro-slider? Maybe .... but if all I do is hobby work I'm not likely to buy one ....



            Personally only ..... if I wanted to get a new start in woodworking I wouldn't start out by learning to be an equipment mechanic. I'd buy new if I could afford it.
            I seem to remember your table saw is a contractor's saw rather than a cabinet saw? I have never met anybody who did not prefer a cabinet saw in use. They all cut wood. I have some of the finest pattern makers machines ever made and I literally smile when using them. Anybody who has used them finds entry level machines less than pleasurable once spoilt. Hobbies are meant to be pleasurable! Busy Bee's unisaw clone is a fine saw but you can buy several used real unisaws for the price of a new clone. No hobbyist is ever going to wear out a cast iron machine, bearings and belts are off the shelf items and any other parts needed will be because of an accident.
            To your other point I would not trust a low wage store employee to properly assemble and calibrate a new machine. Better you learn how to set it up yourself, ...same as a used machine.
            Hopefully somebody with intimate knowledge of the currently offered models can help the OP choose between them.
            Rob

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            • #8

              Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

              Originally posted by iamtooler View Post

              I seem to remember your table saw is a contractor's saw rather than a cabinet saw? I have never met anybody who did not prefer a cabinet saw in use. They all cut wood. I have some of the finest pattern makers machines ever made and I literally smile when using them. Anybody who has used them finds entry level machines less than pleasurable once spoilt. Hobbies are meant to be pleasurable! Busy Bee's unisaw clone is a fine saw but you can buy several used real unisaws for the price of a new clone. No hobbyist is ever going to wear out a cast iron machine, bearings and belts are off the shelf items and any other parts needed will be because of an accident.
              To your other point I would not trust a low wage store employee to properly assemble and calibrate a new machine. Better you learn how to set it up yourself, ...same as a used machine.
              Hopefully somebody with intimate knowledge of the currently offered models can help the OP choose between them.
              Rob
              Not to be too argumentative, but I have used a Unisaw quite a bit .... in fact I used one in a cabinet shop for two years. I have also used a G.I. cabinet saw with a scoring blade ... in that same cabinet shop and I have cut hundreds of panels with them. I have also had my G.I. contractor saw for over twenty years and while I would prefer to use a saw with a smaller foot print, the bottom line is what you said ..... they all cut wood, they all work well when properly set up, and yes, I would always recommend the owner/operator do their own assembly and setup.

              As to used .... I have yet to see a used Unisaw that worked any better then my G.I contractor table saw. I haven't seen any that were worse either, in fact, any saw I have seen that was similar size and material (cast top etc) and properly set up seems to work exactly the same ..... no better, no worse .... none of them are miracle machines ... they all need the operator to learn their craft and apply it at the machine in use.

              All of the saws the OP has mentioned are Cabinet Saws. Any one of them should be a lifetime saw if properly assembled and set up.

              Personally I'd buy a new one if I didn't have a saw.

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              • #9

                Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

                Id bet the Craftex and the King are made in the same place.
                ThePracticalPeasant likes this.
                • “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”Winston Churchill

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                • #10

                  Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

                  Table saws are the fence . It's that important.

                  With a contractor saw you twist the table to set saw blade parallel to the miter slot. On a table saw, there is a holder under the table you adjust. It is considered easier. A good contractor saw has 1 1/2 hp, you can run it on a 15amp 120 volt plug, carefully. A cabinet are mostly 3hp, 240 volt. (4x the power) A contractor saw runs one belt, a cabinet saw 2 or 3.

                  As a carpenter I used "what ever" the employer supplied, some were pretty hairy. But when it came to buying my own, I bought a Unisaw with a Unifence. I liked the fence better than the Biesmeyer on the General. The Delta wasn't as well made as the General, but it was also $300 cheaper which I spent on blades.

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                  • #11

                    Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

                    Hello Kevin and welcome to the forums. You asked a bunch of questions about Busy Bee (Craftex) and its similarity to Grizzly and King. There are many Craftex tools that are identical (save the paint job) to the ones sold by Grizzly and many are also the same (save the paint job!) to the King ones. I own a fair number of Craftex tools that I bought from Guy and his staff at Busy Bee here in Ottawa and have had a 28 year customer relationship with them; if you ask Guy or his staff your questions; you'll get an honest answer, at least in my experience!

                    John's experience with his General International contractor's saw is an echo of my experience with my Craftsman Cabinet Maker's Series contractor saw (I bought it when LyinBrian introduced the GST) to wit, it worked well new and it still works well all these years later. I was going to replace it at one point because I WANTED a cabinet saw but after more than a year seeking a suitable used unit in the local area, I settled down, ended the frustration and used the money to expand my tool collection instead. The old Craftsman just keeps on doing its thing; unphased by the indecision! I cannot imagine that a new King/Craftex/Grizzly would not perform just as well, last nearly forever and put lots of nice product out of your hobby wood shop.

                    Some thoughts on the subject!

                    Ken

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                    • #12

                      Re: Craftex or King Canada ?

                      Thanks for all the advice and help. Greatly appreciated.

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