most reliable manufacturer of table saws and other large equipment?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by jsk12 posted 04-13-2018 12:49 PM 7837 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jsk12's profile


39 posts in 1159 days

04-13-2018 12:49 PM

i’ve been researching all kinds of brands of table saws, band saws, planers, and other of the key pieces of a nice shop

griz, laguna, rikon, powermatic, delta, jet, etc

they all seem to produce nice stuff, but what it’s coming down to for me is brand support, manufacturer reliability

if one of the machines arrives either broken in shipment or missing pieces (which both seem not all that uncommon), which manufacturer will stand behind their machines and shipping process and not leave me in the cold with 500 pound paperweights?

i’ve read that grizz is pretty good

who would you bet your woodshop on?


22 replies so far

View Knockonit's profile


642 posts in 811 days

#1 posted 04-13-2018 01:00 PM

i have my original unisaw from delta, 3hp, 52inch table, uni fence, it was the base of the cabinet shop in the late 80s for almost 9 years, and now adorns my home shop which it gets manhandled a couple times aweek, usually a few hours of cutting,

it still has the original side top on it, a little worse for wear, but still hanging on.

I’ve not used any other, so don’t have much info to share except, if this old workhorse takes a dive, i’d probably go with the same brand, size, ect.
I should qualify that by saying a cabinet saw, we have 10’’ table saws on all my trailers, for work, i’ve had craftsman, dewalt, ryobi, hitachi, on and on, presently we have portable contractor units, when they get beat to the point of not being accurate, i turn them over and go with new ones,
its amazing how much rough treatment they can take, but years of bouncing around in a trailer and being handled by just about any mouthbreather, they sometimes don’t make it as long as they need to. Boys never learned to let them cool down, heat is the big killer of them, and keeping them fairly clean. Anyway, craftsman, and the japanese units lasted the longest, not a fan of dewalt, had nothing but issues.
good luck

I’m a believer of if it aint broke, why try to fix it.
Rj in az

-- Living the dream

View RobHannon's profile


330 posts in 1140 days

#2 posted 04-13-2018 01:04 PM

I can’t speak for all of them, but I have had good support from Grizzly and I have heard wonderful things on Powermatic support from turners I know. Depending on your space and budget there are many manufacturers whos market is more professional shops vs hobbyist and pros. Felder, Minimax, etc. Thier customer support models may be more in line with the expectations of a business if that is your need.

View knotscott's profile


8364 posts in 3985 days

#3 posted 04-13-2018 02:01 PM

Most of us don’t have any hard data to go by, so it boils down to opinion and perception. Griz has a good reputation, but you do have to be your own middleman deal with the shipping and defect issues yourself (part of the low cost structure). Brands that use a dealer network have the benefit of the dealer sorting through shipping and defect issues so you often don’t even know about them.

Overall some of the best quality and support I read about seem to come from Minimax, Saw Stop, and Powermatic, but those tools also get a hefty premium over Grizzly. Grizzly sells a lot more tools than the others, so its logical to read about higher numbers of complaints, but that doesn’t necessarily mean higher defect rates. Grizzly’s niche tends to more oriented toward value than top level quality and reliability. You can get what you pay for if you’re careful, but you do need to decide what price and quality level you need and are willing to pay for.

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

View OSU55's profile


2508 posts in 2599 days

#4 posted 04-13-2018 03:37 PM

IMO the most important aspect of this question is you, or any other buyer. What are your expectations? Using a car metaphor, Put the the key in and drive and take it to a dealership to change wiper blades, do complete engine and transmission rebuilds yourself? Where along this line do you fall? Are you capable with troubleshooting and wrenches?

If not very capable you need dealer support. If capable, the dealer isnt important. I buy some HF stuff knowing Im going to have to fix some stuff – I enjoy the challenge and saving $. So it is purchaser dependent. All the brands you listed make capable equipment. Personally Grizzly gets my vote because of the value but Im very capable at working with their tech support to work through any issue.

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2533 days

#5 posted 04-13-2018 06:29 PM

Duplicate Deleted

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2533 days

#6 posted 04-13-2018 06:31 PM

Grizzly, Jet, Powermatic pretty much the same. But be realistic. Maybe the part isn t in stock, it happens. Maybe the machine is a lemon, it happens. Maybe the freight company hired a moron who put a fork lift into your machine, it happens. Best you can do is try to remain calm and work with them to remedy the situation.

Jet frequently offers free freight shipping, Southern Tool usually has the scoop on this. Also tends to have double the warranty vs other brands. I like Jet for a heavy duty drill press. Not the lame “woodworking” drill press, ditto for the Delta and other copy cat “woodworking” drill presses, I would never own another.

Powermatic, I like them for planers but NOT table saws. Yes it says Powermatic and is painted yellow, but its CHINA even the motor. You would think for the price premium you would at least get a Taiwan motor but no. Grizzly crushes Powermatic on table saws now.

Grizzly for table saws, and maybe band saws if you pick the right model. Grizzly has many models in each machine category, some you want to stay away from, others are the leader in that machine category. You REALLY have to do your homework on Grizzly machines, the devil is in the details. They provide all the info you need to compare model to model, manuals, specs, fire up Excel and go to work. Pay attention to Taiwan vs China. Older designs that still use V belts vs newer designs that use serpentine belts. Table saws that come with both the left and right cast iron table extensions vs ones that only have the left.

Cyclone Dust Collectors – I have been researching this category recently. Leaning Oneida 3hp or 5hp Dust Gorilla Pro. USA made Baldor motor, single phase power but the motor is 3 phase with a VFD (virtual frequency drive) hence the variable RPM on the Oneida. Laguna seems similar in design to all the Tawain/China dust collectors (Grizzly, Jet, etc.), short stubby funnel which lets too much material get to the filter and collection bag below it. Clearview I m meh on it. Leeson motor but those are made in Asia now. Similar Clearview is only $500 less than the Oneida. Laguna some of its design I like better than the Oneida, low points are the short stubby funnel and bolt together dust barrel which I feel is retarded.

- darthford

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2095 days

#7 posted 04-13-2018 06:39 PM

Better machining and deburring on the models that cost more. I had to deburr the table and file the edges of my grizzly band saws table and parts of the casting but that’s what I paid for.

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

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3676 days

#8 posted 04-13-2018 07:38 PM

Well I’ve been buying machinery for lots of years. Had some real gems and some dogs. Here’s M2CW.

Buy old American iron if you can.

I’ve had a lot of Grizzly and still do. It’s lasted me well great value. I hold that view for the large pieces, but not the small stuff. I had the 1023TS for over 10 years and it did great. Only sold to upgrade to sawstop 5hp. Great resale value as well. I also have the 17” HD BS for over 11 years and it too is still going strong. I have a 12” jointer that’s 11 years old as well. All great tools

Powermatic.- I Really like the fit-n-finish of powermatic. I now have the 209HH 20” planer, that love love love. I also have the PM2800B drill press that has all the features I like and has been rock solid for a few years now. I also have the powermatic 719T Mortice machine (floor model) and only issue was a sheared key pin, that happened in year 2, but did not even bother CS over, just put a new pin in and was back in action. Not an issue since.

Lastly can’t beat sawstop! they are great machines stand up and the company stands by it.

I know i started off with old american iron, and for that pick your brand.

I’ve got a 1934 delta 14” BS, I would not sell for anything new, nor would i buy a new delta product period.(hate that too they were my favorites

I’ve got a 50’s walker turner 16” bs as a project to rebuild and thats a beast.

Any of the old powermatic, delta, or others would be a good choice, but have pitfalls too.

Any way that’s M2CW but that and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee. Cheeers

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1113 days

#9 posted 04-13-2018 08:20 PM

Of the six names mentioned in the original post…..none of them are bad or poor or second rate. Most of my stuff is Powermatic and I like them, but I have used/owned them all and there are no bad ones on your list. It gets down to little things about the machines you may or may not like. For me having a high resale value is important and Powermatic is good for that.

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2533 days

#10 posted 04-13-2018 08:40 PM

Old iron can be a money pit. I got the bright idea to buy a 1950’s USA radial arm saw, 14 inch. Just the new track bearings cost twice what I paid for the entire saw. (face palm)

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 1833 days

#11 posted 04-13-2018 09:24 PM

I’ve been a fan of Grizzly for a long time and I have many of their tools. I have started to sell some of them but only to buy some piece of old iron that is in good condition and for a great price and I can make it into a lifetime tool.

Examples are my jointer and bandsaw. I really liked my Grizzly bandsaw but after getting a Tannewitz 36” I couldn’t justify keeping both.

I have an edge sander from Grizzly I really like but if I can get a great deal on an Oakley, then I will trade that out.

For new though, Grizzly is tough to beat. It helps if you’re mechanically inclined in case something needs fixed. My only issue I have ever had is a bad start capacitor on my sliding table saw that was bad when it first arrived. My other Grizzly tools I have are a 20” planer with spiral head, full size spindle sander, drill press, 3hp shaper, 18” bandsaw for cutting curves, and the aforementioned edge sander. I also had a baby drum sander which I loved but found a 25” wide belt sander for too good a price to pass up so sold that as well.

I have had the chance though to play with a friend’s Jet jointer/planer combo and was very impressed as well with his Powermatic bandsaw and drill press.

View unclearthur's profile


318 posts in 2397 days

#12 posted 04-13-2018 10:28 PM

... which manufacturer will stand behind their machines … and not leave me in the cold with 500 pound paperweights?

That would rule out grizzly then.

(Sorry I just have to post links to this every once in a while due to a lasting bitterness).

View coxhaus's profile


152 posts in 1504 days

#13 posted 04-13-2018 10:35 PM

How do you beat the Unisaw? There are so many still running. They were built for more years than any other table saw.

View knotscott's profile


8364 posts in 3985 days

#14 posted 04-13-2018 10:46 PM

How do you beat the Unisaw? There are so many still running. They were built for more years than any other table saw.

- coxhaus

Delta is not the same company it once was.

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

View coxhaus's profile


152 posts in 1504 days

#15 posted 04-13-2018 10:56 PM

Delta is not the same company it once was.

- knotscott

That does not change the old iron.

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics