How much to invest in a Craftsman 113 table saw?

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Forum topic by nogeel posted 10-28-2015 02:10 PM 1815 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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77 posts in 1674 days

10-28-2015 02:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw craftsman money small shop

A while back I bought a late 70’s/early 80’s craftsman 113 table saw that is in great condition for $120 that had everything with it down to the original blades and manual. I know these saws have a great reputation and honestly, I don’t have a interest in having the biggest and the best. I have a small shop. I plan on keep my first saw until I decide to get a sawstop for the safety features years one day.

But as I look at putting a vega fence on it, new pulleys, v-link belt, possibly Pals, and probably one day a larger motor, I am wondering where is the line of I would have been better off buying another saw or a new one? Thoughts?

-- Jeff, Tennessee

9 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5242 posts in 4566 days

#1 posted 10-28-2015 02:55 PM

That’s a big investment for the saw.
Run the numbers to see if you would ever recoup what ya spent when it comes time to resell. I doubt it, but it is your saw and your money.

-- [email protected]

View johnstoneb's profile


3131 posts in 2778 days

#2 posted 10-28-2015 02:58 PM

The fence will give you the best bang for your buck. If the belt needs replaced then go with the link belt. I don’t see any need for the PALS. Once I got my blade square with the table it never moved after that. The motor that is on there has plenty of power for that saw. Save the motor money for a new Sawstop.

I now have the Sawstop and my SIL has the 113.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Robert's profile


3600 posts in 2086 days

#3 posted 10-28-2015 03:04 PM

I started out on one of those old C’man saws.

Didn’t know how bad they were until I got a good one ;-)

Its not worth the investment when you can find old Unisaws for $500.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View toolie's profile


2178 posts in 3234 days

#4 posted 10-29-2015 02:14 PM

I kept both my 113 type saws over a unisaw that I refurbished. PALS are a waste of money. Re: new pulleys and belt, there is an eBay seller with a good deal (~$30). Skip the larger motor. One of my saws has a 1 hp. With proper blade, alignment and modest feed rate, there’s not much it won’t handle in my hobbyist shop. Trade out the OEM fence when you can. It’s probably the saw’s weakest link.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Redoak49's profile


4351 posts in 2594 days

#5 posted 10-29-2015 02:25 PM

Good advice….you can align it without the PALS. A better fence and miter gauge are good upgrades. If the pulleys and belt are running good…do not spend money on them. Instead of a new motor, a couple of good thin kerf blades.

I used one for a long time and it was great.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3238 days

#6 posted 10-29-2015 02:57 PM

I bought a 113 5-6 years ago for $80. I installed a Delta T2 fence, new belt, and a rolling base.
I have no plans to upgrade from the 113 until I can afford a full-fledged cabinet saw and/or find myself using a table saw enough to justify an upgrade.
The 113 does everything I currently need it to do, and does it pretty well.
Of course, the original fence SUCKED!!! So my satisfaction with the 113 is predicated on an upgraded fence.

All said I have about $300 invested in my saw. But its light years better than anything new in that price range, and “as good” as the modern models in the $500 range.
Yeah, I could probably haunt craigslist and score something better. But a solid 113 was easy to find, and the upgrades were easy and affordable enough.
I’d skip the upgraded motor. Unless you’re cutting very thick material, the 1.5hp motor is probably enough. If you are commonly cutting thick material, you probably DO need a beefier saw and should skip the 113.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3238 days

#7 posted 10-30-2015 01:45 AM

Oh….and in case you’re interested- I just listed a Craftsman Align A Rip fence in the swap shop. It should be a direct bolt on to your 113. Not as nice as the Vega, but still WAY better than the stock fence. Might be a happy medium.

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3120 days

#8 posted 10-30-2015 11:49 AM

I think you never spend more on accessories than the original tool is worth, since people discount the add-ons. People base the “bones” of the tool to be the bulk of the worth.

In other words, a Ryobi BT3000 table saw with every accessory you can think of is still a cheap Ryobi BT3000 table saw…

I see it in the motorcycle community all the time. They call add-ons “farkles”. (Over the years, they combined the words function and sparkle.)
The owner adds on hundreds if not thousands of dollars of items, only to see all that money disappear when they try to sell it or trade it, since the base bike is what people consider themselves to really be buying.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1836 days

#9 posted 10-30-2015 12:34 PM

And the church said “amen”.
After (what I thought was) “biting the bullet” for an old uni when my POC (piece of Craftsman) died it went this way:
Hummm, its a 1948 uni. I ll just repaint it.
Hummm, I ll rebuild it.
Hummm, this if fun.
I only buy pre 1965 equipment now and I have a ton of it. With trades, supplies etc I am only out 1K. I am up a uni, a delta shaper, a boice crane shaper, a delta DP, a belsaw planer and I am looking at a delta jointer.

I know I pontificate about the fun you can have rebuilding this old iron and the quality you get but you will only know when you do it.

(Who doesnt even cut wood any more but rebuilds equipment)

I started out on one of those old C man saws.

Didn t know how bad they were until I got a good one ;-)

Its not worth the investment when you can find old Unisaws for $500.

- rwe2156

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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