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Forum topic by Andrew93 posted 06-22-2017 03:25 AM 1174 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1117 days

06-22-2017 03:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cabinet saw advise tablesaw

Hello, I’m a first time poster but have been scrolling through some of the topics and posts made here for a couple of weeks. I decided to join because I have a decision to make on a big piece of machinery and would like some experienced input. I’m looking to upgrade my table saw from a jobsite craftsman saw, which has served me well, to a long term saw that won’t have to leave the shop. I’ve read loads of posts that say cabinet saws are the way to go, but I’m not concerned about dust flying about in the shop and good quality, used cabinet saws seem hard to come by in my area. I’m stuck between toughing it out and waiting for one to come along or buying a contractor’s style saw. Whatever I end up with has to be moveable so I can get my cars in the garage but sturdy enough I won’t flip it over running large portions of plywood through it. So the question comes down to this: if I can find a good quality contractors saw with a comparable motor to a cabinet saw, will it do just as good of a job or should I wait it out? Thanks in advance for any and all input and help!

21 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2264 days

#1 posted 06-22-2017 03:50 AM

A cabinet saw has the same overall footprint as a contractor saw.

Sometimes it takes awhile. It took me a year. Where are you located?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4426 days

#2 posted 06-22-2017 04:07 AM

Contractor saws tend to “heel” slightly when
tilted due to the motor pulling on the
saw carriage. In straight 90 degree cuts
a cabinet saw gets you more power generally,
but in terms of accuracy a contractor saw
performs well enough for furniture making.

3hp cabinet saws can spin wider blades with
more oomph than a contractor saw can.
Wider blades vibrate a bit less so in that
respect cut quality may be a little better
but on the other hand there are some very
good thin kerf blades available for lower
powered saws.

Lots of professional woodworkers over the
years have never seen a reason to upgrade
from a contractor saw. In the greater
scheme of woodworking operations I don’t
think a cabinet saw saves much time unless
you cut an awful lot of wood on a table

If you want a cabinet saw however that’s
another matter and I think it’s a good idea
to get it out of your system. I have certainly
bought certain tools just to satisfy my
curiosity about what they could really do.

View Madmark2's profile


1382 posts in 1366 days

#3 posted 06-22-2017 04:34 AM

Grizzly G0715P is a hybrid cabinet saw and a good value for the $$$.


-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Andre's profile


3568 posts in 2584 days

#4 posted 06-22-2017 05:11 AM

I went through a few contractor saws until I built my shop and had a dedicated spot for the saw, got lucky and found an old Delta Hybrid 1.75 hp. couple of good blades and an after market fence and miter and have all the saw I need! Did switch it to 220v which seemed to improve performance?
Major advantage to cabinet models is the Dust control/collection which should be a big factor in an work shop!
+1 to the blade really makes a huge difference in the saw’s performance and quality of cut!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View MrUnix's profile


8097 posts in 2977 days

#5 posted 06-22-2017 06:32 AM

You have a working saw now, so use that to your advantage. The right machine will find you if you are patient.
(OWWM Rule #3)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Woodknack's profile


13399 posts in 3158 days

#6 posted 06-22-2017 07:39 AM

... I m not concerned about dust flying about in the shop …
- Andrew93

You will someday, probably sooner than later. Plan for the future.

-- Rick M,

View ClammyBallz's profile


449 posts in 1914 days

#7 posted 06-22-2017 09:50 AM

Whatever I end up with has to be moveable so I can get my cars in the garage but sturdy enough I won t flip it over running large portions of plywood through it.

Sounds like a track saw might be a better option for you.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1659 posts in 3627 days

#8 posted 06-22-2017 11:08 AM

A belt driven contractors saw is a great improvement over a CS jobsite saw. You don’t say what your expected level of use is or what you’re thinking on budget. I run a contractor’s saw that I bought as a floor model for $300. I’ve likely spent another couple of $100’s on blades and some accessories. For my hobby uses it does a very good job and after alot of fiddling I’ve got it very accurate. Recently a used Unisaw came up on CL for $900 less than a few miles away and I went and cut a board and it was VERY nice, but with 2 in college and the 3rd a couple of years out, I couldn’t pull the trigger because I have yet to really find something that I could not do with my saw + losing more space i my 2 car garage. Likely, when I get the chance to build my dream shop where the tools are always set up and ready to use, rather than taking an hour of moving tools, I’ll go to a bigger saw and likely it’ll make more sense since I’ll have my time to make sawdust.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View tomsteve's profile


1039 posts in 1997 days

#9 posted 06-22-2017 12:20 PM

i have owned a delta 36-441 contractors saw with a T2 fence for 10 years now. i purchased it on clearance for $400 (was almost $4, but i couldnt let the error the saleman was about to make slide)i put it on a mobile base and its been a workhorse. there isnt anything i havent been able to do with it that a cabinet saw can other than rip more than 30”.
built my own mobile base for it using some heavy duty casters i found at TSC on sale.
an upgrade to an incra miter gage and the purchase of a wixey gage have been good things.

View waho6o9's profile


8909 posts in 3355 days

#10 posted 06-22-2017 12:25 PM

Track saw will serve you well.

View Pete_LJ's profile


115 posts in 1524 days

#11 posted 06-22-2017 02:12 PM

I don’t know where you are located but a nice cabinet saw (Grizzly 0690) is up for sale for $1000 on CL here in the NY area. See

According to Grizzly website: brand new Grizzly 0690 cabinet saw is $1650 with S&H. So Seller is asking about 60% of new for this cabinet saw. See

I think you need to set a budget and then keep looking on CL and Ebay (I would limit a used ebay purchase to someone who is comfortably close – for me this about 150 miles). Make sure you thoroughly test the new saw before purchasing so that you hopefully do not buy someone else’s problems.

Best of luck.

View rodneywt1180b's profile


185 posts in 1164 days

#12 posted 06-22-2017 05:06 PM

You can build nice stuff with a contractors saw. The actual space needed for use is pretty much the same with any table saw so style doesn’t have much impact that way. A good mobile base will help a lot with any saw too since you have to move it around. That said, I like cabinet saws. A Delta Unisaw is pretty much the standard other 10” saws are judged by and for good reasons. Powermatic is right there too but don’t ignore other lesser known brands either. Keep your eyes open and a used one at a decent price will come your way. Watch for things like public surplus auctions, local general auctions, watch Craig’s List, etc. Local to me is about a 100 mile radius. Patience and persistence will pay off.

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA

View Andrew93's profile


5 posts in 1117 days

#13 posted 06-22-2017 05:28 PM

In response to a couple of the questions: I’m in the Iowa City Iowa area and I have $600 to spend. In my price range and withing driving distance, there are a few possible options. A Delta X5 contractor’s saw with beismeyer fence and a 2hp motor that looks brand new, a Delta unisaw with a beismeyer fence that looks well used but not abused (hp unknown), and a Delta “tilting arbor saw” that looks like a first gen hybrid table saw that is in the middle for appearances, with a 3 HP motor, and a fence system that looks like it may need updated in the future for accuracy. I would like input on which one of these saws would be best for a long term investment and especially why. I’ve heard/read that unisaws are tanks but the only hands on experience I’ve had with one is from shop class on a saw that had been beat to hell and back. I recently test ran a hybrid saw that had a 1.75hp motor and it bogged to a stop on a 3/4” oak board even though it was equiped with a middle of the road or better blade. This makes me lean towards the 3hp motor but i don’t know whether it is attached to a decent saw or not. Any hands on knowledge of these saws or reasons to avoid them would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

View MrUnix's profile


8097 posts in 2977 days

#14 posted 06-22-2017 05:43 PM

I would be all over that Unisaw... should have a 3hp motor. Doesn’t specify if it’s single or three phase, but if it’s three phase, figure on another $150-$200 for a VFD and winding up with a bullet proof machine that would probably be the last saw you ever buy (and far more capable than a single phase machine would be). Also, if you are interested and in need of a planer and jointer, there is a Makita 2030 for sale that is a very sweet deal. If it were closer, I’d snag it – even though I already have two :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View ChefHDAN's profile


1659 posts in 3627 days

#15 posted 06-22-2017 06:35 PM

YEAH! Go & get that Uni!!! The one I looked at was $900, but $500 would have done it for me.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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