Benchtop Table Saw? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Default Benchtop Table Saw?

I'm very limited on space, but I would like to get a table saw. Are there any decent benchtop table saws?
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 01:43 PM
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Kevin; the question really is what do you want to accomplish with it? All the flooring and cab. installers I know use "benchtop" tablesaws on the jobsites. A finish carpenter who's doing the interior and exterior trim and will be on the site for perhaps a couple of weeks or more will usually haul a 10" contractor saw onto the site. It'll be set up in the garage or other fixed location for the duration. The 10" with a bigger table, and likely plywood extensions, obviously is more practical. The 8" benchtops aren't great for casework, or ripping long lengths of 2" lumber, never mind crosscutting heavier stuff.
As for brand choices, I always check out Bosch, Porter Cable, and Delta as my baseline when I'm buying new tools; I may buy something else but at least I know what's being offered to the trades.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 12:26 PM
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Personally, I would see if I could rework my shop space to see if I could fit a contractor style (cast iron top, belt drive motor) table saw, even if it is for a used craigslist saw.

The issue is most benchtop/jobsite saws are not built to the same tight standards as a saw with a cast iron top and steal body would have. I have read that these saws are built to last about 3-5 years (which my own experience has shown to be true), where things just start to break down on them.

That said, if I had to buy a jobsite/benchtop saw today, I would either get the Bosch or the Dewalt, as I have found their benchtop products to be better than most others. One thing to be aware of is that price of these saws are approaching the cost of a good contractor or hybrid table saw (Grizzly has one under $1000). So I say again, evaluate your space and see if you can find away to get a bigger saw into you shop space, even if it means putting stuff on wheels to be moved around.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 12:34 PM
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I fully agree with Mike. If it's at all possible get a Contractors saw, even if it's a used one. You will have a much more accurate, longer life saw than any benchtop saw on the market.

Charley
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 01:07 PM
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Kevin,

I was in the same position you are in. I too didn't have much shop space and since I may be moving across the country soon, I didn't want to get a stationary saw. I only had expirience with a Delta shopmaster. It was very cheaply made and was not acurate enough for the woodworking I wanted to do. The arbor was also undersized and would except a dado set. Based on my experience with the shopmaster, I thought that if I wanted a good saw I would need a contractor or cabinet saw.

But I ended up getting a Bosch 4000 (same as the new 4100 except for the riving knife and gravity rise stand) with a folding stand used on craigslist. It has 4 hp, will make a 25" cut left of the fence and is accurate and smooth enough for my needs. I can't imagine a contractors saw being much better.

I would encourage you to look at the Bosch or the Makita. Both are the best bench top saws out there. If you don't need a stand, I would take a look at the Bosch GTS1031. It is just under $370 new.

http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-GTS1031-.../dp/B004O7FX20
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 01:29 PM
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I had a BT3000 Ryobi saw, halfway between a benchtop and a contractor's saw. It was light enough that I could take it off the stand and put in on a shelf when I wasn't using it, but had a great sliding table.

BT3central.com is a forum devoted to that saw, and can provide you more information.

They pop up on Craigslist Ryobi BT3000 BenchTop Saw from time to time.

the only reason I graduated to a bigger saw was that when I used sheet goods, I could push the saw while feeding the stock. It was incredible for small/medium projects.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 01:40 PM
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Timberline; was that "4HP" a typo?!
In theory at least, if it's a portable it's probably wired for 120V /15 AMP. The largest motor possible would be 1 1/2HP for that power supply.
http://www.kevinsbrady.net/motors.pdf

That's really the big advantage of the contractor saws; they usually have dual voltage, or 220V, motors and at that voltage can handle up to a 3HP motor.
Cheers,
-Dan
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 02:42 PM
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I have the Rigid R4510 (without the stand). I like it a fair bit, and would probably buy it again, but it definitely has its pros and cons.

Pros
Lots of power for what I do (rip 1" thick hard woods, cut small sheet goods, rip thicker pine.)
Seems to be fairly tough
Decent dust port

Cons
The blade plate doesn't fit 100% precisely flat on the table, and I don't think it's adjustable - this caused me a little headache on my last project.
The mitre gauge seems to have a lot of play in it, I've yet to adjust this out
Riving knife setup is weird in the lower position, it either needs adjustment or is slightly bent. Not a big fan of it.
Table is a bit short, you need outfeed support - in a small shop (like mine) I find you're always moving junk around to set up the saw. Sigh, no way around it, there's hardly the space for the little saw.

Overall I like the saw, it was a toss up between it and the dewalt. I think I maybe wish I bought the dewalt, but I think I would have come up with the same issues with the throat plate, and definitely would have with the short table.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 02:58 PM
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You may want to take a look at the Craftsman 21829, for $399 currently if you're a Craftsman Club member. Folds up and rolls when you don't need it.

Sears: Online department store featuring appliances, tools, fitness equipment and more

It's the spiritual successor to the Ryobi BT series, and I can cut 8/4 hard maple with the right blade and speed. It comes with a decent enough guard and riving knife.

The 144 Workshop - Ambitious but rubbish woodworking
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 04:13 PM
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May I put in a 'plug' for Jim Tolpin's 'Tablesaw Magic' ?
Amazon.ca: table saw magic

Really thorough, well illustrated and full of jigs etc. that I wouldn't otherwise have known about.
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