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Those older Emerson or Ryobi made full size cast iron belt drive contractor saws go in that price range routinely in my area, and offer a lot of potential for the price. Some might need some TLC, some not….

 

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Make sure it's sturdy enough to stay put and hold its settings, has a good fence, and has a riving knife. If you find one for $100, be sure to post it because I'm sure a lot of people here will be jealous.
 

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Let us know where you live and we can help you shop. You can post any saws you find here and get opinions of them. I commonly see those Craftsman saws like knotscott suggested anywhere from $75 to $250.
 

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You're likely to limiting yourself to a table top, jobsite type saw. Makita and Hitachi are two of the best I've dealt with. DeWalt and some Ryobi models represent the bulk of table saws I've had brought to me for repair. If you're open to a belt drive saw, the several models of Craftsman saws are seemingly everywhere and good deals can be had if you're patient and check everything thoroughly to ensure everything is working correctly.
 

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Where are you located, how much patience do you have, and how much work are you willing to do to get one in shape?

There is no one single answer, as prices are all over the board from dirt cheap to priced as if they were made out of gold, and every situation is different and unique. But with patience, the deals will come… you just need to be alert and ready to pounce when they do. For $100 or less, you can find the cheap plastic benchtop screamers all over the place - which might be suitable for you, but generally not a good idea unless you really don't plan on using it more than once or twice year. Belt-driven induction machines can be found in that price range, but you will probably have to invest a little time and effort into getting them in shape. The more patience you have, the better chance you have for finding the great deals… and the more work you are willing to do, the better the deals you will be able to find.

And then, sometimes, you can just get plain lucky and have something like a Unisaw with a Biesemeyer fence fall into your lap for free, like this one :)

Cheers,
Brad
 

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IMHO, I would stay away from jobsite saws.

I have a dewalt jobsite saw that I spent around $300 on and to be honest the fence and platform is what makes the saw, at least for me.

I ended up finding out a aftermarket fence costs more then the saw and I should have just gone with a craftsman or some other brand with a good cast iron deck and full size fence. Full size fence to me is more than a 20" rip capacity.

I have researched building out-feed tables and workbenches to compensate but in the end it would have been cheaper to just save my money for a fullsize saw. In the meantime I am doing almost every cut with a right angle straight edge and a circular saw and it works just fine.
 

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IMHO, I would stay away from contractor saws.

I have a dewalt contractor saw that I spent around $300 on and to be honest the fence and platform is what makes the saw, at least for me.

- Aculous
Are you sure you don't have a portable jobsite saw? Many people erroneously call them contractor saws, because that's what most contractors actually use these days. A true contractor saw is full size with a belt drive induction motor, and most are cast iron.

Jobsite Saw:


Contractor Saw:
 

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IMHO, I would stay away from contractor saws.

I have a dewalt contractor saw that I spent around $300 on and to be honest the fence and platform is what makes the saw, at least for me.

- Aculous

Are you sure you don t have a portable jobsite saw? Many people erroneously call them contractor saws, because that s what most contractors actually use these days. A true contractor saw is full size with a belt drive induction motor, and most are cast iron.

Jobsite Saw:


Contractor Saw:


- knotscott
Sorry I got the nomenclature mixed up.

Yes I have a jobsite saw, like you said, sometimes I had seen that people were calling them contractor saws but a jobsite saw is more accurate.

And yes I do, the DW745
http://www.dewalt.com/tools/machinery-portable-table-saws-dw745.aspx
 

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I think that most people here are telling you pretty much the same thing , a New Saw in that price range is not likely to happen, but on the Used Saw market there are normally a lot to pick from. You just have to be willing to take the time to find one and make sure it is in good shape. I recently got a 1977 Rockwell contractor saw for $150 and could not be Happier with it , but I was looking for it for almost a year and a half before I found it on Craigslist. http://lumberjocks.com/Racer2007/blog

Good Luck on the Hunt.
 

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I had a similar 3 HP craftsman to the picture. Paid $75 and good saw for the money.
Except for the fence, had no major problems. As long as you know you don't get
much for 100, you'll be ok. The problem is when someone spends $100, but wants
$500 worth of saw.
 

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The problem is when someone spends $100, but wants $500 worth of saw.

That isn't the problem, and it is entirely possible to get a $500 (or even significantly more expensive) saw for $100, and it happens all the time. Somewhere out there right now, there are deals of a lifetime just waiting to be snatched up. The problem is finding them :)

Cheers,
Brad
 

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The problem is when someone spends $100, but wants $500 worth of saw.

I think I got pretty close to that on my CL TS find. Might take another couple of years to find a Jointer and Planer at that kind of price though.
 

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I got a 1949 Delta Cabinet saw for $100 after years of looking, but I have a bit of experience rebuilding
machines and electric motors, so it only took about $75 worth of parts and a few weeks of having fun
in the shop to get it in good shape. The good old saws are getting harder to find, but keep looking.
 

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Speaking of Craigslist…maybe it is just where I live (OKC, OK) or I am not patient enough, or I'm not smart enough to know my way around the site, but I have never-ever been able to find SQUAT on Craigslist that was even remotely close to something that I would want or need to buy. I read all of these cool posts about people finding these great buys on CL and then everyone goes ga-ga over it, and I think "are there two Craigslist sites, and I am on the one for dumb-s**ts. Is this true for anyone else?
 

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Speaking of Craigslist…maybe it is just where I live (OKC, OK) or I am not patient enough, or I m not smart enough to know my way around the site, but I have never-ever been able to find SQUAT on Craigslist that was even remotely close to something that I would want or need to buy. I read all of these cool posts about people finding these great buys on CL and then everyone goes ga-ga over it, and I think "are there two Craigslist sites, and I am on the one for dumb-s**ts. Is this true for anyone else?

- Woodbum
There's a Grizzly G5959 12" cabinet saw in OKC for $800.http://oklahomacity.craigslist.org/tls/4968326565.html
 

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There's a Grizzly G5959 12" cabinet saw in OKC for $800

And a Unisaw for $650… and a way cool retro metal desk for free…

The desk is a good deal and they make really great garage workstations and tool stands for lathes and other machinery… but if you wait long enough, you will find better deals on the TS. You can't just look for one or two days and jump on the first thing you see.

Cheers,
Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the info. Looking through what was said, I rather spend a bit more and get something better. It would be nice to get something safe and with a decent fence. 200-300 dollars is the most I can spend right now but am in no rush to get one. I've been a circ saw, miter saw, and hand tools and can continue on until something nice pops up. What table saws should I be looking for in the 200-300 dollar range? And if not a specific brand, what feaures?
 
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