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Great Saw for the Money

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Review by bean_o posted 10-01-2020 01:54 PM 1489 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great Saw for the Money No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So this is my first review of any product and also my first major woodworking tool investment. I have been a DIYer for a number of years and have always made do with standard power tools, i.e. circular saw, jigsaw, drill, etc. and small Skill tablesaw. I recently completed building cabinets for my garage and became so frustrated with the quality of the work due to the lack of precision I decided to investigate purchasing a more capable table saw since I am now doing more woodworking and have a couple of cabinet jobs planned that I know I won’t be able to complete without a precision table saw.

I invested a significant amount of time researching table saws and what you can and cannot do with a quality table saw. I have read literally hundreds of reviews and considered used as well as new model purchases. After all of my research I realized that unless i was going to go into full production work there was literally no reason to invest in a full cabinet saw so I set my sights on a hybrid reasoning that a 2HP hybrid would provide the power and quality I need at a reasonable price.

At that time what I considered reasonable was in the $1000-$1200 range. I decided to purchase a Grizzly originally but fortunately for me neither the Grizzly or any comparably priced Hybrid from any of the competitors seemed to be available until October of this year at a minimum. I then scoured the used market and just couldn’t find anything available. Continuing to scour the web for table saw reviews to find an alternative I came across the reviews for the Delta 36-725 on this site. Given the price and the positive reviews (not including several complaints about the motors) I decided to investigate further.

After reviewing reviews from several sources including many youtube reviews I decided that this saw provided the best balance between, price, features, and quality for me. I decided to go ahead and make the investment so I could finally get serious about my woodworking. Unfortunately when I attempted to purchase the saw from Lowes there were none available!

I searched every store I could in the 5 state region around me to no avail. I finally called Lowes to ask about availability and was advised the the 36-725 had been discounted and replaced with a new model 36-725T2. I was advised to call a customer service number and they would assist me in finding one. I did call with no success, the rep was unable to locate a saw for me. I again started searching state by state (I live in the Atlanta area) and finally found one available in Bedford, VA! Since my wife is frorm VA and I have family there I immediately ordered for delivery to a family member and decided to drive up and pick it up.

I will tell you now this saw is heavy, I should have had it held for pickup so the store could have helped me load it. I did get it loaded with the help pf a relative and proceeded to bring it home and assemble it.

Assembly: Assembly was straight forward and presented no problems whatsoever. I watched an unboxing and assembly video Delta on line and my experience was pretty much the same as that of the video. It took about an hour and a half to 2 hours to assemble the saw.

Power: I will advise here that based on the amperage rating of the saw to do as I did and provided a dedicated 20 amp circuit for the SAW. Since this is an induction motor and that amperage is so high I did not want to risk having any issues and immediately added a circuit dedicated to the saw to avoid any potential issues.

SAW Pros and CONS:

PROS – from my perspective this is a high quality saw. I only have one complaint with respect to quality. The plastic stick on rule on the left fence guide was damaged during packing. It does not impact the use and I intend to contact Delta to request a replacement. Other than that all of the essentials for me are first rate. The cast iron table is flat, level and solid, the blade alignment was spot on out of the box. The fence is absolutely solid and took very little effort to adjust properly. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the miter gauge. It is accurate, solid, and provides for micro adjustments to get rid of any slop in the miter slot.

Another pleasant surprise with this saw is that they moved the position of the blade forward to allow more material on the table to accommodate rip cuts for wider boards more easily!

The integrated mobility feature is great and works well. I was able to easily adjust and level the saw and can easily move it when required with no issues.

The blade height and angle cranks are solid and operate smoothly.

The blade guard is of great quality is easy to install and use and I actually enjoy using it.

It comes with a push stick and the saw has very intelligent storage on the frame for all of the accessories (kick back pawls, blade guard, fence, and miter) including additional blades.

The saw is QUIET and cuts like butter! After I replaced the junk Delta blade of course. With the original blade the saw was very loud and not as smooth as I expected. I replaced and treated with both Diablo and Irwin combo based and could not be happier with performance and noise level.

CONS: There aren’t many CON’s but there are a couple from my perspective. While the SAW does have a dust collection port on the back it works okay but not well. The metal shroud around the blade does funnel the majority of the blade dust to my collection system but I still get a reasonable amount of dust and debris that escape due to the imperfection of design/fit of the dust collection system. I am still happy with the saw and will improve the dust collection over time.

The stamped steel extensions just do not meet the quality level of the rest of the saw. They are OK but I decided I could not live with them bringing down the overall quality of such a nice saw and replaced them with two older craftsman cast iron extensions I bought on eBay. These cost me about $100 with shipping. For context this same saw (different model # but same saw) with Cast Iron extension is over $1000! Thats a $400 dollar difference.

I have had the saw for about 4 weeks now and just completed my first couple of projects (under cabinet pullouts, and custom millwork to frame some mirror in my master bath.

I could not be happier with the ease of use and quality of finished product I was able to achieve with this table saw. IT IS POWERFUL, ACCURATE, AND A JOY TO USE!

I have included a picture for reference. Notice in addition to the cast iron extensions I also mounted my Cobalt router table. I have also repurposed the original stamped steel extension as a feed table extension should I need it.

I hope this review is helpful for anyone else considering this type of investment. I can honestly say this is the best $800 investment (includes saw, extensions, and router table) I could have made to help me create better quality work and enjoy doing so.




View bean_o's profile

bean_o

9 posts in 54 days



17 comments so far

View DannyW's profile

DannyW

290 posts in 682 days


#1 posted 10-01-2020 06:31 PM

I had the previous version of this saw as my first tablesaw and I agree with your comments. I felt like it was a very good saw for the money, with the only downsides for me being the relatively poor dust collection as you mentioned and the stamped steel wings. However I am somewhat confused by your statement that “they moved the position of the blade forward to allow more material on the table”. Do you mean that the T2 has less space in front of the blade than the original? I don’t see how that can be a good thing, but the end of that comment sounds like the opposite (more space in front of the blade).

Thanks for the review and enjoy your new saw!

-- DannyW

View bean_o's profile

bean_o

9 posts in 54 days


#2 posted 10-01-2020 07:59 PM

You are correct. They moved the blade more toward the back of the table giving more space in front of the blade to accommodate rip cuts on wider boards. Sorry for any confusion.

As for the dust collection a can of flex seal and some tape as well as a few pieces of upholstery foam have solved all my dust collection problems. I now have “zero” dust coming from the bottom of the saw!

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1178 posts in 539 days


#3 posted 10-01-2020 08:21 PM

Good review on this fine saw. I have the same model and am enjoying it quite a bit. My only real complaint is the removal of the metal side panels the previous model had. Those panels opened up a world of dust collection mods that could be made quite easily. The most common being sealing up all the gaps, putting in a bottom with a 4” port, and removing the dust shroud around the motor entirely.

It never used to bother me until I got a real dust collector and now I want 4” ports on every tool.

On a side not Im not sure how the AK is used in a wood shop but I approve its inclusion.

View bean_o's profile

bean_o

9 posts in 54 days


#4 posted 10-01-2020 08:58 PM

You can never go wrong with on hand protection! Don’t know if you saw my last comment but I solved the dust collection problem. I noticed that the shroud and the fabric wrap around had a lot of gaps and essentially there was not dust collection. I solved this by taping up all the gaps and spraying over the tape with “flex seal” to completely seal them. I then cut some pieces of upholstery foam and inserted those between the shroud and the motor on the left hand side to close the gaps but still allow up and down movement and I now have a completely “dust free” saw with the exception of what you expect from the top of the blade. It has made a “tremendous difference! I now have no complaints…

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8598 posts in 4533 days


#5 posted 10-01-2020 10:33 PM


On a side not Im not sure how the AK is used in a wood shop but I approve its inclusion.

- sansoo22

that is the only way to deal with those dust bunnies. :)

To the OP – what is it about the steal wings you are having issues with? are they not flat? something else?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View bean_o's profile

bean_o

9 posts in 54 days


#6 posted 10-02-2020 03:56 AM

I didnt really have a problem with the steel wongs in general. They were ok but I wanted the extra stability and finish of the cast iron extensions…

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5805 posts in 1705 days


#7 posted 10-02-2020 06:06 AM

Good thorough review… we need more ”reviews” here at LJ…


... steel wongs in general…
- bean o

I guess the Delta was made in China.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Dom63's profile

Dom63

10 posts in 42 days


#8 posted 10-02-2020 10:54 AM

I recently purchased the same saw. I agree with all you said, the saw is definitely very close to accurate right out of the box, I had minuscule adjustments when going through the adjustment procedure. I couldn’t believe the quietness of the motor as well. like you, I discarded the delta blade, bought a zero clearance insert, and could not believe the performance. I will definitely look into your solution for dust collection, sounds klike a great idea.

Thanks for the great review

-- Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die tomorro

View ChipByrd's profile

ChipByrd

160 posts in 2812 days


#9 posted 10-02-2020 01:14 PM

Great review!

View pottz's profile

pottz

11722 posts in 1869 days


#10 posted 10-02-2020 01:59 PM

i have the same saw earlier version and agree totally with your review,it’s a great saw for the money,one of the few tools delta has made in recent years that was done right.the steel wings dont bother me though ill leave them as is.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View KC57's profile

KC57

8 posts in 61 days


#11 posted 10-02-2020 07:55 PM

Great Review! I just purchased mine on Sept.30th, put it together and am using it! I know you mentioned the dedicated 20amp circuit and I’ve read similar reviews. Do you know is this a serious matter as to “starving” the motor since it’s an induction type motor or what? I’ve used it on a 15 amp circuit using 14 gauge wire with an air-conditioner and fan running in the shop and it didn’t seem to mind. At least it didn’t get warm or trip any breakers or the motors own breaker. I don’t have a problem re-running a 12 ga circuit to my very little shop (shed) but don’t want to if I don’t have to…lol Thanks!

View bean_o's profile

bean_o

9 posts in 54 days


#12 posted 10-02-2020 08:30 PM

I really don’t know if it was necessary to install a dedicated circuit or not. However given the investment I decided to err on the side of caution. Also it was easy for me. My panel is in my shop so I only had to buy an extra breaker some 12 gauge wire and an outlet. Only took me about 20 minutes to add to my shop. One other thing I did was buy a 12 gauge extension cord so I could move the saw around the shop if necessary. I decided to buy a cord reel with a 16AMP rating and a built in circuit breaker. I’ve attached this to the base of the saw to provide easy storage for the cord and also an outlet on the saw for my router table. I actually tripped the breaker on the cord reel when ripping a 2×6 without tripping my breaker. I guess I am over paranoid but better safe than sorry.

View bean_o's profile

bean_o

9 posts in 54 days


#13 posted 10-02-2020 08:40 PM

Also my understanding is that if the current is too low for the motor due to the loading of the circuit with other devices this could create an “under voltage condition” which over time may burn out the motor. It won’t result in the breaker tripping but rather damage to the motor over time. This is the primary reason for a dedicated circuit.

View KC57's profile

KC57

8 posts in 61 days


#14 posted 10-02-2020 08:58 PM

Thank you! Heading to buy the 12 gauge wire and 20 breaker!

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8598 posts in 4533 days


#15 posted 10-05-2020 04:04 AM



Good thorough review… we need more ”reviews” here at LJ…

... steel wongs in general…
- bean o

I guess the Delta was made in China.

- LittleBlackDuck

There is nothing wong with that

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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