Sears Contractor Saw 21833

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Review by GeorgeK posted 01-14-2011 06:19 AM 11286 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Sears Contractor Saw 21833 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I think I’ve read most of the postings on the 21833. Picked mine up today. Based on what I’d read I expected a big forklift or crane to appear but there was just this little guy pushing a hand truck. He and a buddy pushed it up on the trailer and away we went. Off loading it was a breeze. Backed it up to my shop door and a couple of us carefully lowered it to my hand truck and wheeled it into the shop.

Getting all the parts out of the box was a pain because you have to break up the Styrofoam to get to the table. Noticed the motor was at a strange angle and concluded the master trunnion was broken in half. The box did not seem damaged, but it apparently was dropped in handling. The sales guy I talked to had assembled the floor display and he did not seem surprised the cast iron trunnion was broken. He offered to order a new trunnion but not install it. No way! Sears agreed to replace the saw but I have to haul it back to the store first.

This Sears model 21833 appears to be the same as the Rigid 4512 and the Porter Cable PCB270TS. So unless I want to pay more I’ll have to make this deal work. At this point, my attitude is “Stuff Happens”. Until I receive the replacement I’ll just keep using my old reliable Craftsman 10” saw that cost $100 8 years ago.

More on the alignment stuff later. Thanks for all the info on the alignment of this saw. Forewarned is forearmed. Any tips to make the assembly easier will be appreciated…

View GeorgeK's profile


4 posts in 3498 days

14 comments so far

View Marc's profile


101 posts in 3817 days

#1 posted 01-14-2011 03:06 PM

I have this same saw and I am happy with it. It’s too bad you got a busted one to start with but I like your “stuff happens” attitude about it. You’ve probably already seen it, but check out my comment and Jei’son’s on his post here for some assembly tips. I hope when the replacement comes you’ll be happier with your purchase.

-- Marc,

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 4043 days

#2 posted 01-14-2011 03:27 PM

Sorry you got a DoA, but I would have liked to see a review after you got the replacement, as you’re really reviewing Sears shipping quality instead of the saw. At least their service was good and they’re giving you a replacement with no arguments – so it’s more of an annoyance than anything.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View knotscott's profile


8382 posts in 4183 days

#3 posted 01-14-2011 10:50 PM

Yeah, that’s a bummer about the damage. This situation probably would have made for a better post than a review, because you still don’t really know how the saw works yet.

For clarification, the 21833 and R4512 are both made by Dayton AFAIK, and are about identical from what I can tell. I don’t believe the PCB270TS is the same saw though, as it has a different trunnion system, different fence, different handwheel mechanisms, and different body, etc….basically a different saw. Not sure who makes it, but it sure has a lot in common with the former Hitachi C10FL that Lowe’s replaced with the PCB270.

If Sears doesn’t resolve things to your satisfaction, you might give some thought to the Steel City 35990C ($600 shipped from Amazon). That’s essentially the same saw as the former R4511 made by Steel City, but has a cast iron top and wings instead of granite. It’s also available as the 35990”G” with granite top for $80 more.

Good luck and please follow up when the dust settles!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View GabrielX's profile


231 posts in 3639 days

#4 posted 01-14-2011 11:02 PM

Yeah, that company doesn’t have the quality it used to claim. Too bad, it’s been sinking for the past 10 years, and I doubt it will continue the warranty coverages it had in the past. I figure, if you can buy that junk at kmart, it can’t be that exceptional. Not to dog them too much, but their power tools never seem to last… I went thru 3 corldess drills with them in a year and a half, decided to just buy a regular corded version for more torque and screwing power… sloved that problem, and I am never buying craftsman again. I have plenty of the mechanical tool sets, and they have been great, but other than the wrenches, craftsman will never see another dime from our family.

-- GX

View GabrielX's profile


231 posts in 3639 days

#5 posted 01-14-2011 11:07 PM

Another interesting thing, their Craftsman cordless drills are produced in the same factory as Makita’s. Same motor, just slapped a different color cover on it! Not my cup of tea. I want quality not because I am just looking for good brand name stuff, but because I can’t waste time returning products every couple of months…then to have to answer questions to some tool salesman about how it broke… it’s junk, that is why their stuff breaks, consistently. My black and decker circular saw, never had a problem with it. My dewalt sliding dual bevel compound miter saw, no issues, even with dull blades. but craftsman always fails me… no thanks. Recently, I pick up a lot of decent quality stuff at harbor freight now and again… even though they have off-brand products, i know that i am not in for a surprise, i can count on it breaking if I abuse it, but if it is not being used for exact, precise work, their stuff works great, and it is so inexpensive.

-- GX

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 4097 days

#6 posted 01-16-2011 09:31 AM

I agree 100 % with your Craftsman evaluation, the last several(or more) tools I got there were just junk. And forget Sears old “take them all back” policy. I got no customer service. They no longer get my money either. It is a shame they once had a good product and great service, but no longer the case. Only the wrenches are worth the money but those too I will find elsewhere. Tried of their take it or leave it attitude. Just my 2 cents worth.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View cornflake's profile


36 posts in 3498 days

#7 posted 01-17-2011 04:51 PM

you guys are right i work with a guy who only buys craftman tools and they seem to be hit or miss its a shame really…

View woodgnome's profile


2 posts in 3493 days

#8 posted 01-19-2011 05:50 AM

I agree that Craftsman powertools are crap and should be avoided like the plague. Also Sears customer service seems to be in the toilet too.

On a somewhat separate note, I did have a question/observation. It seems that everyone (here and on other forums) says the Craftsman 21833 and the Ridgid R4512 are identical and made by Dayton. I completely agree that they look near identical, however, if you go to Rigid's website at the bottom-left hand side of the page it has the Emerson logo and a link to their webpage. I would assume that Emerson wouldn’t want their logo being associated with their competition’s product and vice-versa from Dayton’s perspective.

So, does anyone know for sure that the 21833 is made by Dayton. If not, is it possible that it’s made by Emerson?

I’m looking to buy a tablesaw in the $500-$600 range and have been leaning towards the R4512 over the competition. It seems that everyone is fond of the older Ridgid saws made by Emerson. I know that it’s not as nice as the older ones but it would be nice to know that the R4512 is made by a different company than the 21833 after hearing the horror stories related to that saw.

View GeorgeK's profile


4 posts in 3498 days

#9 posted 01-19-2011 07:36 AM

For more information on the Craftsman 81233/Rigid 4512 go to this link:

I’d say a large majority of posters are happy with the C81233. Sears sells a lot of these saws. Couple of tips I picked up: (1) The saw used to be in a metal reinforced crate, no longer. (2) Since the box weighs over 300lbs they should never be stacked more than two high. (3) Local store has admitted to at least two cracked master trunnions. Postings in other forums indicate other instances of trunnion damage.

I can’t imagine someone in the Sears organization has not noted this problem and tried to address the issue. My local Sears tool dept manager went way out of his way to handle the return. I got a significant discount off the listed price. Threw in free delivery. I never buy extended warranties, but I talked him into significantly discounting the 5 year maintenance contract which includes yearly checks/alignments and free in-shop warranty/maintenance service. I guess they could also throw in a couple of free tools, but since they were trying so hard to make it right, I just said, Keep trying – stuff happens.

View GeorgeK's profile


4 posts in 3498 days

#10 posted 01-27-2011 07:13 AM

This is a follow-up to my original comments on this saw:

OK, the ordering process was kind of rough. Talked to two people in New Delhi and the script they were working off did not seem to be sufficient. Had some confusion regarding the price, and when the saw was delivered, the Master Trunnion was cracked in half. Try to load a 300lb saw on a trailer and haul it to store by yourself !

Reviews in other forums indicate cracked Trunnions are not unusual. Apparently, the guys handling the saws did not get the memo that you should not stack more than two of these saws on top of each other, Apparently, I got the one on the bottom.

That’s the bad news: The good news is that once I hauled the saw back to the store, the tool section manager did back flips trying to make it right. No hassle and no questions, all he wanted to do was make me happy.

The delivery of the new saw was on time and the delivery guys were very professional. I’d read some negative things about the assembly instructions, but I found them very easy to follow. Part A fits into part B and part B fits into part C etc.. take your time and follow the manual. Clear pictures and the instructions were in English.

No missing parts and the alignment process was easy. I used a meter to align the fence and the miter gage. All were within .010” or less. The fence seemed to have a small bow (about .005”) in the middle, that that did not seem to have a significant effect on cutting accuracy. Run out on the blade was also less than .010. The splitter and guard are really nice. I really love the way the casters allow this 300lb saw to be easily moved around the shop. Once it’s down, it’s like it is glued to the floor. Test cuts resulted in perfectly square results.

All, in all I’m pretty pleased with the purchase and the product. For $450 this is a great bargain. I admit I’d probably like to have a $3000 saw, but I think I can do whatever I want with this tool. I don’t make fine furniture, so the extra investment seems unnecessary. All I need to do now is to invest in a quality blade and I’ll be set.

Although the included fence and miter gage are adequate, I’ve already invested in a Incra Miter V27. I’d like to upgrade the fence to a Biesemeyer, but I just can’t justify an additional $325 at this time.

This is a quantum improvement over my 7 year old $100 craftsman table saw. I’m a happy camper.

I just wish this saw was made in the USA rather than China. But if it was, it would probably cost a lot more

View Ritty's profile


63 posts in 3604 days

#11 posted 02-01-2011 04:54 AM

sears makes a good saw i got a 1980s saw that i inherited from a passing grandfather and it works great took me a bit to get the saw blade square but once i did i didnt move over great saw, being the fact that mine is so old i bought the incra tbale saw fence still waiting for to come in the mail cant wait to assemble thx for sharen a great saw

View cdhilburn's profile


102 posts in 3492 days

#12 posted 02-04-2011 12:36 AM

I have been looking at saws for a month or so and everyting on CL was too far to drive. I was in Sears today and started measuring….blade up, down, angles, etc. The display was out of line but was the same no matter how the blade was positioned so I at least that one should be adjustable by moving the top. It was marked down 10% plus another 15% to purchase online, which I did at the store and promptly walked to the back for pickup. At around $400 we will see. I am a hobbyist at best so I really don’t need a $1,000 saw. I really liked the mobility as I have a really small shop. I will do a review after I have used it for a few weeks.

View knotscott's profile


8382 posts in 4183 days

#13 posted 02-25-2011 01:37 PM

Thanks for posting an update….glad it’s worked out for you.

One a side note, I think the blanket comments about all things Sears (or any brand) are silly and ignorant unless you’ve tried every single product that’s being recommended to avoid. Being cautious is definitely recommended, but assuming to be able to assess all Craftsman tools based on other tools of the same name just doesn’t result in an accurate evaluation….you end up passing up some great tools like the Bosch clone router, the Steel City/Orion 22124 hybrids that were very popular and were exceptionally good saws, the well regarded Rikon clone bandsaws, and many other capable tools….you just need to take each one on it’s own merits, just like with any other brand.

Woodgnome – Emerson owns the Ridgid name so it makes sense that their logo would be found on the website. I’m fairly sure that both saws are manufacturered by Dayton, but I can’t be positive. To complicate things, Sears uses a holding company called Colovos to import the 21833.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View V1king's profile


7 posts in 3447 days

#14 posted 03-05-2011 01:22 PM

I’m also looking at the R4512, comparing to the Craftsman 21833. I see that Graingers sells a Dayton saw with the exact same specs as the Craftsman, so I assume these are all Daytons.
Just from reading specs, looks like Ridgid has a smaller motor. Ridgid motor is 13 amps at 120V only, the others are 15 amps at 120V and can be converted to at 240V.
I haven’t looked inside to read the motor rating plates, do you know if the motors are different?

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