Which Craftsman table saw should I buy

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Forum topic by cto posted 08-05-2010 05:48 AM 18977 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 3904 days

08-05-2010 05:48 AM

Hi All,

I am looking to buy my first table saw. Sears is having a pretty nice sale and I am trying to decide between the Craftsman Professional 1-3/4 hp 10” Contractor Table Saw (21833) and the Craftsman 1-1/2 hp 10” Table Saw (OR35505). Anyone have any advice on which saw I should purchase?


15 replies so far

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 4805 days

#1 posted 08-05-2010 06:48 AM

None. Look some where else for a table saw. I still have a bitter taste left over from the crap that they sell.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View cto's profile


3 posts in 3904 days

#2 posted 08-05-2010 06:50 AM

Thanks. Any suggestions of what I should be looking for? Looking to spend between 350-550.

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3974 days

#3 posted 08-05-2010 07:40 AM

My dream table saw to have is below: Anybody who can give me an idea where can I buy in the cheapest shipping cost would help me out.

table saw

Pete, I suggest you keep on looking for the best table saw because that will be your most used woodworking machine in the future. Allow me to join your blog in looking for the right table saw…

-- Bert

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


20618 posts in 4728 days

#4 posted 08-05-2010 07:49 AM

Look in the reviews. There was a discussion about a Craftsman saw a week a go or maybe a little more. It should be on the first 4 or 5 pages.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 4089 days

#5 posted 08-05-2010 08:39 AM


How much do you know about setting up table saws? The irony is that a Craftsman table saw can make a fine cut, but you have to really know what you are doing and be careful to make sure the saw and cut are set up properly. The higher end saws (read more expensive) do a better job of making this easier to do, but if $$$ is you primary concern, the Craftsman saws are cheap and capable of making a good cut.

Here is my take, the 21833 is $370 now, and there is no way you will find a saw anywhere near that good for anywhere near that price. Pete_Jud is absolutely correct that the saw will not be up to the “professional” moniker, but it will make some good cuts if you take the time to line things up properly. The fence is the weakest link on this saw, but I have essentially the same fence on my saw, and it does work! It CAN make good cuts, but it is just not nearly as convenient as a solid t-square style fence. As a reference point, though, you can easily spend $370 JUST on a fence! For your budget, there is nothing wrong with this saw as long as you recognize its limitations.

If you are considering the OR35505, though, I would save my extra pennies and step up to a higher end contractor saw or cabinet saw. For $550, you only get a 24” rip capacity to the left, it is a right tilt saw (which I personally do not like) and the fence itself is not really that great.

If I were buying a serious saw (which I am actually considering in the next year, so I have started looking around), I would take a long hard look at the new Grizzly hybrid saw. This saw is outside of your stated budget, but this may well be the only table saw you will ever buy for your shop! Though the Craftsman is certainly capable of making good cuts, if you do get serious about wood working, you will definitely outgrow it. This Grizzly will meet the needs of every weekend warrior, and will even satisfy many veteran wood workers. The only drawback is the size and mobility, but there are mobile bases for it. If you can swing the extra $300, I would go with the Grizzly over the Craftsman in a heartbeat.

Again, only YOU can decide how important the money is, and how much you will use this saw. If you aren’t serious about wood working and only want to dink around building bookshelves and other simple projects, then the Grizzly is WAY overkill and the cheap Craftsman will be perfect.

Hopefully this helps and doesn’t confuse the situation more.

-- David from Indiana --

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 4089 days

#6 posted 08-05-2010 08:42 AM

Here's that review of the Craftsman contractor saw.

-- David from Indiana --

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4127 days

#7 posted 08-05-2010 02:30 PM

I’m going to be painfully honest.

If your only going to spend $350 – $550 on a new saw, it’s better to wait until you can spend a little more.

You may be able to find a good used saw in that price range.

For an acceptable new woodworking saw (hybrid) I think the minimum is probably $700 – $800. The Grizzly suggestion is a good one.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View knotscott's profile


8415 posts in 4428 days

#8 posted 08-05-2010 03:21 PM

The Craftsman OR35505 is “aka” the 22114, which is made by Steel City’s Orion, is from the same series as the well regarded 22124, has cabinet mounted trunnions, and solid cast iron wings. It has a traditional splitter vs a riving knife, and the fence is functional but nothing special. The 21833 is less proven, has steel wings, and table mounted trunnions, but has a nice mobile base and a true riving knife….it also has an unremarkable aluminum fence that’s somewhat similar to the fence on the former Ridgid contractor saws. The 21833 appears to be the same saw as the new Ridgid R4512…both supposedly made by Dayton. I had a 22124 for over 3 years that served me well….of those two saws, I’d go with the 22114 if the price is right. The 22124 was replaced by the granite top 22116, also from Orion….it goes on sale occasionally below $700….nice saw at that price but beyond your stated budget. You might even find one the few remaining 22124’s with the Biesemeyer fence on closeout.

I’d also consider a used 3hp cabinet saw if you’ve got 220v.

As dfdye points out…these saws are all capable of good work if setup well and equipped with a good blade.

Regarding reviews…they can be useful, but keep in mind that even the good ones are someone else’s opinion, and what’s important to them may or may not be important to you.

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

View woodpicker's profile


8 posts in 4113 days

#9 posted 08-05-2010 06:00 PM

Hello maybe i can chime in on this topic for the last month i to have been looking for a new saw and at first i purchased the craftsman 21833 nice powerfull saw but it had the same problem that others have experianced with the blade going out of parallel with the raising and lowering of blade returned that saw then i looked at the 22114 and decided that it is ten year old technology being phased out soon, never mind the horrible fence so i decided on the 22116 let me say first of all because of the discounts and craftsman club and bing cash back i got this saw for under 600.00 and i could not be any happier with my purchase this saw is a beast take a look at some of the pictures the trunions are massive and powerfull enough to rip 2 1/2 oak with ease if you can get this saw in the 600.00 to 700.00 range don’t hesitate

View cto's profile


3 posts in 3904 days

#10 posted 08-06-2010 03:08 AM

Thank You everyone for you input. I will keep looking for my first table saw.

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 3909 days

#11 posted 08-06-2010 05:20 PM

OK here is my 2 cents worth on this one. I did a lot of research on new table saws and was limited due to the fact that shipping was a pain if you are not near woodcraft or any other supplier. For the money the OR35505 is a nice saw for the money. The other comments were correct in that setup and assembly is more of a pain. I ordered the thing on sale off the website, had it delivered to my local Sears, they loaded it into my pickup. You can assemble yourself but I would get some help.

If you want a good fairly accurate saw for a good price the OR35505 is not bad. I would recommend it for a nice affordable saw. I have found that if you put the money you would have spent on the more expensive table saw into a nice 12” sliding compound miter saw you’ll find it your primary go-to saw.

I used a One Way multi gauge to align the table. From the factory the primary top is within .01 from end to end. The fence is nice and accurate to within .05 altho there is some deflection. The stock blade was absolute crap. I put in a nice freud combo blade which cuts oak like butter with no lag.

Dust collection is adequate for a saw of this type using a 4” port. I put it on casters to move it if needed. The splitter is a joke and I just removed it for most of the cuts I do but it works if needed. Again for the money the saw is solid, power is good, runs smooth and quiet and if tuned well is quite accurate and gives repeatable cuts. For the money, I like it.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3999 days

#12 posted 08-07-2010 03:58 AM

Lots of good advice above, and I’ll chime in with a big thumbs-down on the 21833, my review is here: This saw looks good on paper, priced right, but the problem with a significant number of these is caused by machining errors in the trunion and arbor assemblies that cannot be corrected with any kind of alignment.

Best of luck with your selection in any case. One of the best pieces of advice is to look for a good used upscale cabinet saw. Craig’s List in this area is full of them.

-- Smitty

View pirate's profile


19 posts in 4239 days

#13 posted 08-11-2010 04:31 PM

Lots of times woodworkers are looking to upgrade, or sell of their machines. With the economy, I have seen a lot of saws for sale.

A few years ago I bought another old unisaur for $250, tuned it up, painted it, and sold it for $450.

“Most” cabinet saws need 220 volt power. The older “bullet motor” Unisaw’s can be run on 110 volt power. Mine has been for the 5? years, I’ve owned it. A plus with these saws are they run smoother than the newer ones.
I paid $300 for mine, and it was plug/play. An upgrade to a Biesemeyer style fence (Jet Exacta) was like a miracle worker for the saw!

Check Craigs List, and post a wanted to buy ad, on the ww’ing web sites.

View JohnGreco's profile


284 posts in 4107 days

#14 posted 08-11-2010 06:08 PM

Heya cto – I recently replaced a Craftsman table saw with a Porter Cable contractor’s saw from Lowes which sells for $300. So far I couldn’t be happier.

My Craftsman was an entry level saw, bought it 2 years ago and recently a plastic washer snapped in half and fell out from the bottom when I was tilting the blade. I called them up and they told me I needed to go out to the hardware store and buy a new washer to replace it- otherwise the gears on the crank would wear down and become useless.

I’m a handy guy, but I have no intention on taking apart a table saw and trusting myself to put everything back in place with the necessary torque. I started to look into other Craftsman table saws and saw the Same Exact Problem being reported on brand new models that people owned for 2 weeks.

Since I wasn’t quite in the market for a new saw I had to start looking at what would get me the most bang for my buck. It was down to this Porter Cable 220TS and the DeWalt 744x. Specs are fairly in-line with one another with the exception that the DeWalt has a no-load RPM of 3500 vs. 5000 on the Porter Cable. I also read too many stories of people having the DeWalt fence come out of square with the blade frequently. The DeWalt sells for $429 and imho the Porter Cale is the better choice.

I hope to get a full review written soon, but if you need a table saw and money is a factor, you can’t go wrong for $300. Best of luck with whatever you choose.

-- John

View Mark Colan's profile

Mark Colan

211 posts in 3898 days

#15 posted 08-12-2010 03:33 AM

I have seen decent Delta saws for sale as little as $300, used of course. To do it over again, I’d be looking for a used saw, and buy more of a saw (like a Delta Cabinet saw) than I did.

Watch Craigslist for your area.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

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