Reply by Bill_Steele

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Posted on Table Saw question

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541 posts in 2187 days

#1 posted 08-23-2018 03:25 PM

I think Jet is a decent brand. I have a Jet contractor saw that is over 20 years old and it still works great. Other good brands are Powermatic, Delta, Grizzly, General, etc.

I would suggest getting something with at least a 30” rip capacity. Check the fence to ensure that it slides easily and locks securely. How much does it deflect when locked?

More weight is a good thing with a table saw. A cast iron table helps here and cast iron wings are a plus but stamped steel is also fine. Check the table top with a straight edge to see if it is concave/convex. I would steer clear of the wings that are a lattice of steel—I would think it would be easy to get pinched.

The “nickel” test is good for a saw that is completely sorted out—but the price may be a little higher. Perhaps you can get a deal on something that needs a little TLC and won’t pass the nickel test right now. It’s not difficult to tune up the saw. Here’s an article that talks about applying a new link-belt and machined pulleys. I would also suggest looking into getting a set of PALS. Another useful tool is a micrometer and jig that you can use to check blade to slot parallelism and blade to fence parallelism. Many of these jigs can also be used to check bearing run-out on the arbor. If you get this tool bring it with you when you check out a saw and see if there is bearing run-out.

Hope this helps.

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