What to do about my Saws

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Forum topic by Jonathan Pena posted 04-07-2016 01:47 PM 2664 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jonathan Pena

4 posts in 1345 days

04-07-2016 01:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question

I’m looking for advice as to what to do about my table saw. I’m setting up my garage as a shop and have a table saw that I purchased several years ago. It’s a Kobalt contractor saw model KT1015. In addition to that saw I have inherited a Delta Model 10 Contractor Saw. The only model number i can find is on the motor and it reads 62-042. My main issue with the Kobalt saw is the fence and issues getting perfectly square cuts. Additionally it has a fairly unstable base which causes me some concern. The Delta is a much heavier and more solid piece of equipment. However, it’s fence isn’t the greatest either from what I’ve read. It has an old Jet Lock fence which at the moment seems to be fairly square to the blade. Also, it has very little in the way of safety features. No riving knife or splitter, no anit-kickback pawls(I don’t use those anyway), a switch that is hard to reach and currently it runs a little rough. So my question is whether it’s worth fixing either of these two saws up a little by replacing the fence with something better and any additional accessories. My budget is limited so any options are going to be hard to come by. I could try selling both saws and getting something different. My problem though is that in my area, deep South Texas, there are very few options on craigslist and the ones I do find are wanting a small fortune for mediocre options. Any advice is welcome.

-- How did I get into this mess?

10 replies so far

View Kelly's profile


2531 posts in 3507 days

#1 posted 04-07-2016 02:34 PM

I’ve had about five saws. A few years back, I switched from a right to a left tilt Unisaw. It all started from a Delta contractors saw.

You’re right, the fence isn’t great, but I got by with mine for years. It’s a good enough saw I’d have put a four hundred dollar fence on it, had I not gone for broke with a Unisaw. As to worth rebuilding and the Kobollt – not so much.

My first rule would be – if it’s direct drive, it’s cheap (Bosch’s and such are marginal in that, but they really aren’t built for sheet and constant duty work.

There really isn’t that much to go wrong on on a good contractor’s saw. Bearings, while not fun to change, are cheap, and seldom need changing. My money would be on the belt, which is probably old.

The ONLY problem I ever had with my contractor saw fence was, set up. Come up with a quick way to do that accurately and you are off and running. When I designed, built and started using this, my little saw became much more accurate and set ups took much less time:

View OrvsR4me's profile


27 posts in 1399 days

#2 posted 04-07-2016 02:39 PM

After a brief search, it looks like you may have a delta 34-410.

My main advise would be that the blade and saw setup is absolutely the key. Make sure the blade, the table and the fence are all parallel. If this can’t be done, then the saw is of no use. Without this accuracy you will always be fighting it and getting poor results.

Look at a combination blade that is of better quality (I love my Freud combination blades) instead of cheaper ones with tiny carbide inserts. They stay sharp longer and can be resharpened. In the end you will have better results and will cost less in the long run.

If the delta has a good fence and can be cleaned up and put into alignment, go that route. If any of those can’t be done, move on to the Kobalt. If it can do everything you want it to do, you are done. If not, see what the 2 saw proceeds can buy. Grizzly is an easy start in the research process.

-- Small minds talk about people. Average minds talk about events. Great minds talk about ideas.

View knotscott's profile


8346 posts in 3938 days

#3 posted 04-07-2016 03:51 PM

It sounds like your Kobalt is a portable jobsite or benchtop saw, not a true contractor saw…the name is a really misnomer so gets confused frequently. That said, the portables tend to be lightweight, small, loud, and can struggle with accuracy, ease of use, reliability, feasibility to fix or upgrade, and are generally just more cumbersome to use than a good stationary full size saw.

If the Delta is a true full size cast iron contractor saw (27” deep table) with a belt drive induction motor hanging off the back, it has far more upside potential, and it’s easy to expand and/or upgrade as you want down the road…fence, miter gauge, jigs, wing upgrade, router table, etc. As is, I suspect the jetlock fence is still better than the Kobalt’s…it may need to some lube and adjustment. The Delta T3 t-square fence is $183 from HD right now, and is one of the best bangs for the buck going….to help cover the cost, you could sell your Kobalt and the jetlock fence.

It’d be pretty easy to relocate or replace the switch. The first place I’d look to get it running smoother is the belt. It should also be pretty easy and fairly cheap to replace the belt and/or the pulleys if necessary…HF has a link belt for ~ $25, or you can buy a good quality rubber cogged v-belt from a supplier for < $10.

The motors are pretty rugged and have a lot more torque than the universal motor on the Kobalt…blow the dust out of it, check the condition of the bearings and shaft, and hopefully you’re set. The most common problems with induction motors are blown capacitors, or stuck centrifugal switch, which are cheap and easy to fix.

The sheer added operating space in front of the blade, and the stability of a larger saw make them inherently safer to use.There are also some good aftermarket splitters available, and even a riving knife-life device called the BORK. Some pics (or even video of your Delta running) would help answer some questions about what you’ve got.

The ABCs of Table Saws

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

View Jonathan Pena's profile

Jonathan Pena

4 posts in 1345 days

#4 posted 04-07-2016 04:03 PM

Thanks guys for your input. I was basically leaning in the direction you suggested. I’ve looked at the T3 fence and i’m thinking I could probably get the money to buy it just from selling the Kobalt. Tools seem to go for quite a bit in this area for some reason. I think I could probably get about $200 for it. I’ll look into the BORK and getting a link belt. The other issue with the Delta is the complete lack of any dust collection. Is there something I should look into in this regard. I was thinking of putting some sort of bottom on the saw and a somehow covering up the back and adding a port for my shop vac. I don’t yet have a proper dust collection system. Knotscott, I don’t have a picture of the saw with me but it looks basically like the pictures you posted. Another reason I’d like to replace the fence is that it only has a 25” rip capacity to the right of the blade. I’d also like a little more support for adding a router wing.

-- How did I get into this mess?

View Woodknack's profile


12945 posts in 2943 days

#5 posted 04-07-2016 04:19 PM

It sounds like you want to buy a new saw and are looking for an excuse. Save your pennies and go shopping.

-- Rick M,

View Jonathan Pena's profile

Jonathan Pena

4 posts in 1345 days

#6 posted 04-07-2016 04:25 PM

A new saw would be Ideal but that isn’t going to happen any time soon. What I want to do for the short term is leverage my existing resources and get the best possible setup so that I can work on some of my projects. The only option for a new saw right now would be to get either one of the Delta or Ridgid saws that are currently available at Lowes and Home Depot if I can get enough money by selling my existing equipment. However, I don’t know that either of those two saws would be much better than what I have currently. Actually I just looked this up and it might actually be an option.

-- How did I get into this mess?

View Kelly's profile


2531 posts in 3507 days

#7 posted 04-07-2016 05:03 PM

Reading my post, I didn’t make it clear, but look to the belt first, to solve vibration problems. As suggested, consider a link, if it’ll work. They run smoother.

As to spliters, running one on my Unisaw cut back kick backs to, almost, non-existant.

I don’t know if the Bork will work for your saw. If it does, wonderful. It’s as close as you’re going to get to a riving knife.

Borks had mixed reviews, years ago, when I bought my splitter, so I went with the Merlin. I’d go there again in a heartbeat, for the reason noted above. If the Bork won’t work for yours, look into it too.

Meanwhile, make a bunch of push shoes with varying depths at the heel.

P.S. Here is the Merlin Splitter:

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2016 days

#8 posted 04-07-2016 08:40 PM

A good fence will help a bad saw more than a good saw will help a bad fence.

If the Delta sounds good & holds the blade right during cuts, then upgrade the fence. If you upgrade the saw later you can keep the good fence and move it to the new saw.

Look at Incra LS-III precision rip fence & M1000 miter gauge, they’ll completely eliminate fence issues.


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View Kelly's profile


2531 posts in 3507 days

#9 posted 04-08-2016 12:32 AM

Well put, Mad guy.

View bob101's profile


335 posts in 4013 days

#10 posted 04-08-2016 01:45 AM

Nothing wrong with a good used contractor saw. Spend some money on a fence, I prefer a long rail set , and a good blade, make sure pulleys for belt are square and have fun.

-- rob, ont,canada

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