Router Forums banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are tons of forums asking this same question, and I feel like I've read them all, and still can't come to a decision. I probably do 1 or 2 woodworking projects a year, so it won't get a ton of use. So far I haven't been limited by not having a table saw, but it sure would have made a few things a lot easier. I really don't want to spend more than $200, but I don't have a clue how to determine which one to get.

I've been reading this forum for a long time, and I know there are a lot of woodworking geniuses on here. And I know you're going to want to tell me to save up and buy a better one. I really don't want to put more than $200 into this.

Thanks,
Kevin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,921 Posts
Are you limited on space Kevin? If not I would suggest watching craigslist for a used full size saw table. You are going to have to go through and perform all the steps for alignment anyways so it really does not matter if the saw is used or not. You can get a lot more machine this way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,369 Posts
I have a lot of space for it. I'll keep checking craigslist.
Too bad you're in IL... I still have my old one for sale and ready to drop the price for the room.
.
 

·
Registered
Theo
Joined
·
7,160 Posts
By the way, these are the kinds of table saws I've been looking at:
Delta Shopmaster 10 inch Table Saw
:laugh: I've got one almost identical to that one. Except mine is a Harbor Freight model, and I paid about $80 around 15 years ago. I checked at the time and some of the big name saws were identical, except for color, and some just very close, and going for $300+. From what I could learn, it's quite possible they were all made by the same company - Chinese company that is. But, mine has served me well, and still serves me well, and it was all I could afford at the time. If I had the space I'd get a big used American made one tho, but the space is there for this one only. Alas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What brands do you think would be reliable to purchase as a used table saw? I'm not going to be able to tell if it's still good from looking at it.
 

·
Official Greeter
Joined
·
18,847 Posts
Vote for the smaller saw.....

By the way, these are the kinds of table saws I've been looking at:
Delta Shopmaster 10 inch Table Saw
I am with you on this one, Kevin.

If you only do a couple of projects a year, this will suffice.

I had a smaller GMC saw for many years, and only upgraded after I cut the power cord.

Then I went BIG, ( well not as big as Mike....) (Not Mike in Detroit, Mike in WA.)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,535 Posts
Besides the table being flat and the arbor spins the blade parallel to the table (both very important), then an accurate rip fence and miter gauge really help to make a "mediocre" saw very nice to run. Indianapolis CL tends to turn up some good bargains in the class of that second Delta saw you posted. That one is a pretty nice looking specimen, either very well cared for or rarely used and properly stored. An older Ryobi BT3000 or BT3100 in top condition should go for under $200 any time with a few nice attachments thrown in. Worth a consideration if you're committed to your budget.

Also--Kokomo CL doesn't get a lot of listings but not much activity either so I've been able to pick up a few items from their CL, and not too far of a drive for a deal (plus, midway between Westfield and Kokomo on US 31 you'll find Lisa's Pie Shop. If you get there early in the day before she sells out--you'll be able to pick up one of the finest pies made anywhere. Multi-time state fair champion who also competes nationally--worth the drive!!)

A good table saw is a pleasure to use, and a screwed up table saw will make you wonder why anyone would want one. If you pick up a decent one, you may find yourself doing a few more projects each year. Or...able to quickly and easily put together a lot of little ones.

Good luck!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Does Delta not make any smaller table saws anymore? Whenever I try to search these Craigslist saws, I can't find any info on them.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,802 Posts
I used my dad's 1977 craftsman for several years after he passed away. I added a Vega fence system to it and it worked great.

However, my projects got bigger and bigger until the saw couldn't handle the 8/4 maple I was ripping. I finally sold it and bought a Grizzly 1023RLW. LUVVV it! More than $200 though...much more.

1) Old Craftsman w/ Vega fence.
2) New Griz w/router table extension wing.
 

Attachments

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
I had a Sears TS just like Mike's. It worked for me for at least 20 years although the fence is not great which is probably why he changed his and definitely why I changed mine. Then a few years ago I bought a much larger saw and kept the Sears for a 2nd saw. Recently I gave it to my in-laws to keep them away from my big one. A buddy was selling his old Rockwell saw for $100 when he upgraded. Very good saw with a decent fence. If you can find one of them go for it. It will do what you need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
All I can tell you is I went cheap on my first table, I was only goin' to use it once in a great while. I use it all the time now. Anyway I found out the brand really don't matter so much it's the set up. Check the mitre gauge slot look for a track with out the tabs or wings. Another thing to look for is how the throat plate goes in. My first table was a craftsman and you couldn't make a 0 clearance plate nor could I find one to purchase. At the time I didn't realize how big of a pain these two things were going to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I learned to use a table saw by borrowing my neighbor's for a weekend to cut laminate flooring for my home office reno. It was a Skil that still goes for $200 new in Canada. I thought about getting one just like it (price was hard to beat) but I had previously learned that you really do get what you pay for. When I started doing more woodworking (maybe one big project a month) I ponied up for a Ridgid portable with stand ($350 on sale at the Big Organge place). It cut clean and true out of the box, the fence is actually quite good, and the miter gauge just OK. I'm never going to be a great woodworker but that saw has helped me become a good one. Consider adding a few more $$$ and getting something a notch better than the bottom-end stuff. My $0.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,747 Posts
I would pick up a used cast iron Craftsman with a separate motor not a direct drive. Even if you have to go to $250 it would be worth it. The table saw is the heart of any workshop and well wort the investment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Forget the tabletop saws

If your are going to build furniture and such buy a used band saw. It has many more interesting uses when combined with hand tools. Don't take me wrong I love my table saw but if I only could have one it would be a good band saw. You can cut joints, resaw boards, cut curves, rip boards, crosscut, and just about anything else you need to do.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,075 Posts
Used is likely your best bet. Take a straight edge with you to check table flatness. Run it and make sure there isn't much runout, an indicator in cheaper saws that the bearings are worn or shaft is bent. The bearings or shaft may not be replaceable in an old saw (check parts availability). If the table is only a bit off it might be acceptable, or just need some machining (or even do it yourself flattening). Rust pitting would make me nervous if it was extensive or deep. Cheap is cheap unless you buy a rarely used machine in an estate sale where no one knows the true value. Bring cash for that kind of deal. Buying used means no return or warranty. I have a Delta TS 350 I'm about to replace that cost more than you said new because it was on clearance. I recently visited an old friend who'd set up a special table for a Bosch portable saw. Very fine tuned saw on which he did remarkable work (building a sailboat). Small top, but with melamine/MDF top surrounding it to support his work. I suspect most of these used will be pretty beat up from construction site work and constant moving. Personally, I like to buy my big power tools new, I'm not skilled or confident enough to repair old gear, particularly when I really don't know for sure what's wrong with it when buying it blind. I'm 70 now and I have more money than time, so I just want to get to it. Good luck with your search.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top