Nice Saw

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Review by SPalm posted 09-09-2008 04:23 PM 14865 views 2 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Nice Saw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I bought a Steel City 35670 tablesaw a couple of weeks ago and have been able to play with it some. Here are a few of my thoughts.

I picked up the saw at Woodcraft in a small pickup truck. They loaded with a forklift as it is over 400 pounds. There were also a couple of other boxes that contained the fence. When I got it home, four people where able to slide it back and lower it to the ground. I then took off the cardboard and the found a square channel welded steel frame inside for protection. This unbolted from the bottom and lifted off. I had to hacksaw this frame to get it in the trash, but it was worth it. I then strapped it to a two wheeler and got it down the basement.

The only things to assemble were the wings, the hand wheels, and the fence rail. I removed all of the shipping goo and cleaned it up. The paint job is excellent and the fit and finish is first rate. First thing was to bolt on the wings and adjust for them for level. There is a very nice feature here with leveling set screws under each bolt. By using an Allen wrench to adjust and a socket wrench to tighten, this usually frustrating job was actually fun (no shimming). There are solid cast wings for each side and a wooden table board with laminate for the far right wing. This wing will get a router plate soon. Then I bolted on the fence runners. This also was quite easy and adjustable. One caution here is to get the fence runners absolutely level with the top. I used a Wixey digital angle indicator that made this a breeze. Then added the fence rail and measuring tape. The fence itself came preassembled.

All in all, it arrived very well adjusted. The ‘blade parallel to the miter slot’ adjustment was dead on. This is an easy adjustment if needed because the trunion is mounted inside the cabinet, so just loosen four bolts and swivel the table. Again, I did not have to do this. Backlash was undetectable. The blade tilt stops for 90 and 45 degrees are really, really nice. There is a hole for each in the top of the saw that accepts an Allen wrench. The fence was also easily adjustable with Allen screws for perpendicular, parallel to the miter slots, and height off of the table.

Splitter, Anti Kick Back Pawls, and Blade Guard
I am old school so these are new to me, but I promise to try to use them. It is all one assembly. It snaps into a slot behind the blade and then is tightened in place with a lock knob from behind the saw. It is very adjustable and also very easy to remove and install. So far I have been using it. I am used to Board Buddies and really like them but have not installed them on this fence yet.

Two Things I Don’t Like
But they are very minor. The clear plastic lens with the red line on the fence is way too high off of the ruler. Moving your head from left to right will yield different readings. I’ll add a spacer to this soon. Also the fence rides on the rear rail with a plastic foot. I guess this can also be a nice feature, as it slides quite easily. But it also holds the fence off of the table, and would make adding an out-feed table a bit more of a chore. It can easily be removed if I end up not liking it.

Nice saw. Highly recommend. 5 year warranty. It is really nice to have an actual cabinet saw. I bought the 1.75 horse, 30 inch model as it fits the best in my shop and I can run it off of 110 volts for the time being. They put some thought into adjustments and I like that. Dust collection is very good. The combo blade that comes with it seems to be as nice as any I have bought before. The Off switch is easy to find, but I always had it on the right hand side, so there is just a learning curve here. The T-slot miter gauge is as good as expected for standard issue. The fence is very nice, adjustable and solid. There are hooks on the cabinet for fence storage when it is not needed. The saw has plenty of power for me. I have cut some 2 inch beech and maple and it never resisted. It is quickly becoming one of my new best friends.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5373 days

27 comments so far

View EEngineer's profile


1151 posts in 5105 days

#1 posted 09-09-2008 04:54 PM

Nice review. It definitely does look like a nice saw! I have been hearing good things about Steel City for a while now.

The Off switch is easy to find, but I always had it on the right hand side, so there is just a learning curve here. I just recently rewired my saw and, after much deliberation, ended up with the power switch mounted very similarly. My reasoning was that I usually support and feed stock with my right hand and the left hand is free to turn on the saw. Also, if something panicky happens, my right hand is usually holding or supporting the stock so the left hand would be free to shut things down. After a coupla weeks like this, I won’t ever go back!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View jm82435's profile


1286 posts in 5234 days

#2 posted 09-09-2008 05:01 PM

Congratulations on the new addition. Sounds like a very nice replacement for your old Craftsman. Getting 400lbs of saw downstairs safely sounds like an impressive feat in itself. We will be looking forward to seeing your finished stained glass tray now…

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 5189 days

#3 posted 09-09-2008 05:33 PM

Looks like a very good investment , looks like a very well build table saw. Craftsman tools I dont even look at them

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 5270 days

#4 posted 09-09-2008 06:58 PM

Great review! I personally believe that the power switch belongs right where they put it. You should not have to reach over the work piece you are machining to hit the power switch.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5373 days

#5 posted 09-09-2008 07:13 PM

Yes, I agree the switch should be on the left. I am just not used to it there. I hope it to be a short learning curve.

(I was also hoping everyone forgot about that tray. Now I need to finish it.)

Actually from what I have heard, the new top of the line Craftsman was designed by the same guys that designed this saw. (?)

It is a left tilt saw.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View SteveV's profile


78 posts in 5591 days

#6 posted 09-09-2008 07:18 PM

I’ve got almost the same saw. I love it. I just don’t see why other saws are so expensive.

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5892 days

#7 posted 09-10-2008 12:54 AM

Congratulations on the saw and the review.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5313 days

#8 posted 09-10-2008 01:20 AM

Thanks for the review. I have been looking at the Steel City line since I need to upgrade my saw. I appreciate the info.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View PurpLev's profile


8654 posts in 5140 days

#9 posted 09-10-2008 01:49 AM

thanks for the review! that is a nice saw indeed. one of the few hybrids thats the trunion actually is connected to the cabinet which is a really nice thing. now if it had a riving knife – I’d get 2 of these tomorrow :)

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6883 posts in 5471 days

#10 posted 09-10-2008 02:19 AM

Hi Steve;

For not being a rocket surgeon, that was a great review!

May you have many great years and projects with your new toy / tool!

I don’t know if you considered this before buying the saw, but you will no longer be able to “blame the saw”.

I guess it’s worth it though.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 5260 days

#11 posted 09-10-2008 03:10 AM

looks nice! i really like Steel City’s product (can’t say the same about them) but i think they have a great product out there and it is definitely one of the best!

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5373 days

#12 posted 09-10-2008 02:17 PM

Hey Purp, you can get this saw with a riving knife for about $200 more. Also you can get it with a granite top. This model costs $1050. The granite top sounded really cool, but I did not want to layout the extra money for it and I was worried that I would spend too much time worrying about scratching something so beautiful. I believe all saws will have to use a riving knife if the future as U.L. certification will require it.

I don’t know whether to call this a hybrid or cabinet saw. Steel City calls it a cabinet saw, FWW calls it a hybrid. I guess the motor size is a consideration, but you can also get it with a 3hp motor. Either way, it fits my needs.

Lee, thanks for the reverse motivation. I already feel the pressure to get time in the shop, but life keeps getting in the way. Maybe winter will bring some opportunity.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View PurpLev's profile


8654 posts in 5140 days

#13 posted 09-10-2008 03:21 PM

Crap SPalm – now I don’t have any excuses left – I gotta have me one of those.

It’s true – it is now a requirement of all new saws to be equipped with a riving knife! not sure why it took them so long, but I’m glad to see that they’ve finally put that on paper!

Enjoy your new toy, This one is definitely on the list as I don’t think I’ll ever need more than 1.75-2HP, and I like the fact that you can use it on ‘regular’ 110v circuits! that being said – do you run it on a 20Amp breaker? or 30amp?

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

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5373 days

#14 posted 09-10-2008 03:36 PM

I am embarrased to say, but I have it on a 20 amp circuit with an extention cord. No problem. It starts up nice and smooth. I also have my 1.5hp bandsaw and 2hp sander on the same e-cord with good results (not at the same time), so maybe I just got lucky. But I know the circuit will trip because it did a lot when my old saw’s motor died. I am in the basement right near the circuit panel and I guess this can only help. I planning on a new wiring scheme soon. So much to do, so little time.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View JimJ's profile


16 posts in 5090 days

#15 posted 09-10-2008 03:58 PM

Hey SPalm,
Glad to read your favorable review—reinforces my decision to buy the SC 35670 saw. Yesterday I received the same model saw, also from Woodcraft. Have just gotten it unpacked and out of the crate and onto its mobile base and ready for assembly.

I had mine delivered with tailgate service and my first impression was, “Wow, nice protective packaging!!” I have never seen an item packaged in a steel cage like that. Most of the time you see wooden skids, lots of foam, and heavy cardboard. There were no signs of shipping damage, although one of the steel “feet” was bent slightly.

My wife and I were able to get the saw off the steel platform and onto the mobile base by ourselves using some 2×6 and 2×4 scraps. Pretty good feat for a couple of smallish, well over 60, grandparents.

I will finish assembling the saw today or tomorrow. Hopefully I will have the same luck as you with the alignment, and should be able to make a couple of test cuts by tomorrow or Friday.

-- JimJ - Oakton, VA

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