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I'm thinking of buying this saw soon, and was wondering if anyone has one or has used one:

http://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardware/power-tools/saws/masterforce-10-in-contractor-table-saw-with-mobile-base/p-2087053-c-9082.htm

From the display model they have at the store, it seems pretty solid (and being that it's a display model, I think that says something. Big Box employees are not exactly known to put something together very well.)

The fence moves easily and smoothly, yet you lock it down it doesn't move one bit. The miter gauge is a good fit in the slots, no slop like you see on other saws (they had a very cheap model next to it, and I could wiggle the hell out of the miter gauge on that one). The cranks turn easily and adjusts the blade height/angle without any effort, and locks into place without any problem.

I've read some limited reviews of it, that it supposedly is the same saw as Craftsman/Rigid makes, etc., but I'm not convinced it is the same saw (VERY similar, yes…but that doesn't make it the same saw).

I've never owned a table saw before, so I want a good one but without spending a ton of money, and this one is just within what I can afford right now. If it's a lemon I would like to find out BEFORE buying it and struggling with it, or worse, losing a finger or twelve on the darn thing, lol. But from what I can tell (again, just the display model) it seems like a decent saw for the money. Thoughts would be very helpful!
 

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When I saw the saw my first reaction was it was the same as the ridgid and craftsman saws, if that is the case you are rolling the dice, All reviews I have seen of the delta at lowes have been positive and it has a pretty nice fence aside from the split front rail.
 

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I have no direct knowledge of this saw, although it looks to be serviceable,. Two things jump out at me though, it doesn't have cast iron wings and the fence rail is split. I also can't see from the pics or description whether it has a dust collection port.
 

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I also noticed this saw after buying a R4512 and I'd bet they are the same saw. Yes, different panels and colors, but the guts are the same. The price on the Masterforce was higher than you can get the R4512 for (maybe the Craftsman too, not sure).

As David pointed out, the Delta at Lowe's is a good looking saw. I thought the overall fit and finish were better than my R4512 and the fence looked better.
 

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from what I've read run, run fast away from the R4512.
I'm not much for the master craft brand,seems really nice then a couple months later something breaks on every master craft product I have bought. For the price you can by a nice used delta uni-saw if you watch CL and flea bay. 1 3/4 hp isn't that much.
 

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from what I've read run, run fast away from the R4512.
I'm not much for the master force brand,seems really nice then a couple months later something breaks on every master force product I have bought. For the price you can by a nice used delta uni-saw if you watch CL and flea bay. 1 3/4 hp isn't that much.
 

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I like my saw just fine. Only been woodworking for less than a year and it has served me well so far. There were alignment issues with this model early on, but I guess it was fixed by the time mine was made because I was able to align it without a problem.

It is not a high end saw, but this saw is a capable saw in this price range. If you're just starting out and have a budget then this is a good option among the new market if you don't want to wait for a deal on a used machine. Some things I've done to enhance the saw's performance is add a thin-kerf 50T Freud blade, Jessem feather boards, push pads, digital angle gauge, digital protractor, and built a crosscut sled. Upgrades like that will help to get better results from any saw though.

You'd want to consider thin kerf blades for any saw running this power range. I also have a Freud 24T ripping blade and have ripped 2" thick hardwood without a problem.
 

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Don't chance it. Or be prepared to return it. Wish I had returned mine.

The main problem was raising and lowering the blade caused the rear of the blade to move toward or away from the fence, so you could adjust the trunnions to be ok, then if you changed the height it went out. I liked the saw, it was just too much of a pain to make a cut.

Edit: I had to file where the 2 parts of the front rail met to get the fence to slide over the joint. Ridgid sent me replacements, but none worked right.
 

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Thanks, guys, this helps more than you know. =)

Just as an aside, can anyone recommend a good portable saw? Like a contractors saw or the like? I'd prefer to have something that, during the winter months, I can move inside to my basement "shop" and then move it back outside to the garage/shop during the summer months. It's way too cold to be out there in the winter and until I get it insulated and heated, it's really not an option (we had it built just two years ago, before I even thought of doing a hobby like this, so I didn't get it done when I had the chance). Obviously, if I went with a saw like we're talking about above, mobility (from one building to another) isn't an option.

I've been keeping an eye on eBay for the past year, but every saw I see on there for sale scares the living hell out of me, lol. "Used" isn't quite the word I'd describe them as, haha. You just know someone is getting rid of it because they lost a finger and their wives told them to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I see table saws every now and then on Craigslist, but they are almost always the cheap ones (the ones around $75-100). I've looked at those at the various stores, and they are just flimsy as heck, so no thanks. I saw one a few months ago that had so much rust on it you couldn't even tell it was a table saw, it had missing parts everywhere, and so on.

My basement is pretty big, the issue is lugging it up and down the stairs. There is no way I alone could do that with a 300lb saw. I'd prefer to have the bigger saw (as linked above), but I know that when winter sets in, I probably am not going to go out to the garage to use it, no matter what I'm working on.
 

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The last I knew the Menards was the same, or very similar to the R4512 and 21833, and all have had many complaints about the dreaded alignment issue. It seems that every time I read that its fixed, someone buys a new saw with a recent build date that still has the issue. Since the Delta and Steel City saws are viable options, I wouldn't chance it with the Ridgid clones.

The ABCs of Table Saws

A saw like that Emerson contractor saw (the portables are "jobsite saws") can be moved by a hefty guy if you remove the motor, wings, fence, and base and get it down to the main body that weighs ~ 100#. It's about an hour's work….really not a horrible job to do. (you can leave the insert in! )
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think I've decided on this one:

http://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardware/power-tools/saws/10-portable-jobsite-table-saw/p-1685113.htm

It's small, but not too small, and it's portable, meaning I can use it in my garage shop during the nicer months, or bring it to the basement during the winter (at least, until I get the garage insulated and heated). I don't think I'll use the stand, I think I'll build a dedicated station/table for it. Based on the reviews I've read and seen, it seems like a good saw to start off with and won't break my budget.
 

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I actually went with this one, instead. When I got it out of the box, I immediately checked everything, the alignment, the fence, miter slots parallel to the blade, etc., and I was surprised that it was pretty much dead on from the factory (I think I lucked out). The fence was what I was concerned about the most, as I've read some of these saws have really crappy ones. This one locks down really well, no deflection whatsoever, and it slides easily in the track.

I did a couple of cuts and even though I will be replacing the blade with a better one, I have to say, the one they include isn't that bad. The table is bigger than what it appears in the photo (or even on any website where a picture of it is shown). Plenty of room for just about anything I'd ever do.

My only complaint with it is the on/off switch. It's small and, in an emergency situation, I think I'd be hard-pressed to hit it to turn the saw off, so I have to figure out something there (a knee-paddle or something).

I got the saw for $599, but Menards is doing their 11% off sale, so I get a rebate on that, plus I used my Menards card, and I'll get another 2% back there, so I got a pretty decent deal.

I also ordered the Rikon 14" bandsaw (321 model, I think) and it should be coming soon. Just need to organize my basement and get the dust collection stuff in place, and I think I'm good to go for a hobbyist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, and even though the stand it is sitting on is very sturdy and handy to have, I will eventually replace it by building a dedicated table/bench for the saw and mounting it there.
 
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