What's acceptable for a new saw that looks alittle used?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by GettingDusty posted 09-16-2018 12:32 AM 492 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View GettingDusty's profile


5 posts in 515 days

09-16-2018 12:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dewalt 717 home depot refurbished used manufacturing manufacturing process looks used big box store used sold as new trust

First, an apology for the length. Just want to be thorough enough.

I just bought a Dewalt 717 from Home Depot. This is my first Big tool purchase. I’m building my own shop. I don’t know what’s acceptable in this circumstance. I’m trying to determine if my Newly priced & received saw is actually used/refurbished/returned/etc. I wasn’t able to see it before buying. I had to pay for it online, then have it shipped to my nearby store. The box was taped closed like new. One of the holes is where the box was hit & the plastic handle is poking through, but it seems ok (apparently this is somewhat common with this saw). When I removed the saw from the box I immediately saw that it was covered in quite a bit of dust all over. How’d this happen when it was manufactured & put in a box? I looked closer & see scratches here & there. This makes me further nervous about what it’s been through (Returned for some reason? Refurbished now sold as new? Abused?). Then I read online these are supposed to arrive with a protective plastic covering, mine didn’t. After inspecting closer I see where there’s a small bit of plastic trapped under a screw. So someone did manufacture it, put it together, then put protective plastic on the deck, then screws over that part of the plastic, then someone ripped the plastic off for some reason, and then it collected dust & smudges here/there & somewhat ground into the grooved deck, which sounds a lot to me like it was worked on after being manufactured. But I don’t know how the process goes. The blade is new. So far the parts around the saw look mostly new, but there are scuffs around like on the power cord and such. Dust bag looks new.

I suppose some allowance of dust & scratches should be made for the manufacturing process. Someone(s) had to put this together, probably in a hurry. But during that process you usually finish your work, put protective plastic on it, box it, sell it. And Not remove the plastic afterward unless you have to tinker with it more.

Reading more reviews around the net I’m reading that several people have experienced Home Depot putting used, tinkered with, &/or refurbished saws in nice taped up boxes & sold to them as new, only to find out there are problems. Even before this I’ve had ethical problems with Home Depot (btw read around online…many people have had their lower-star’d reviews rejected, hence you see a lot of 4 1/2 out of 5 star reviews on almost all the faucets, etc). I’m an ethically & detail-minded guy so these things concern me some. I could keep it, but I want to avoid problems popping up later if I can. Think I’m done with Home Depot on bigger purchases.

My questions:

- How does a saw get so dusty if it’s manufactured somewhere, then put in a new box to be sold? Looks like it has sat around somewhere for a good length of time. Am I missing something in the process?

- Whatever brand your miter saw is, but particularly with Dewalt, did it come new with protective plastic on it?
Did your saw arrive New with scratches and smudges and lots of dust on it?

- Do you have any ideas regarding what I should look for to rule out if it’s refurbished or used? I’ll look at more screws to see if they’ve been removed & reinstalled, etc.

- You folks trust Home Depot much? Experienced anything like this there?

Thanks a lot for your insight.

4 replies so far

View Rich's profile


5132 posts in 1191 days

#1 posted 09-16-2018 12:56 AM

This comes up from time-to-time. Basically, I trust Home Depot, I don’t trust the scumbags that rip them off (and we’ve had LJs admit to doing just that in other threads).

The common scenario is using their generous return policy as a free tool loaner service. Someone buys a tool, uses it, wipes it clean and puts it back in the box and returns it for a full refund. It happens all the time.

I bought a brad nailer there many years ago. When I got it home, the item in the box wasn’t just lightly used, it looked like it had been abused on a job site for a couple of years. Again, some a-hole bought a new one, put that one in the box and returned it counting on the fact that no one would bother looking.

Regarding your situation. You just spent a lot of money. It’s likely that the saw is in perfect working condition, but if you’re not satisfied with it, return it for a new one.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Lazyman's profile


4474 posts in 1989 days

#2 posted 09-16-2018 01:26 AM

By dust, I assume you mean saw dust? That means it was used, which could mean that it was returned because there is a problem with it. I would box it up and return it. If I buy new, it ought to be new. I certainly don’t want to have to figure out if there is some sort of problem with it.

BTW, there are a few high end tool makers that actually do test their tools before shipping them to customers. Dewalt is not one of them.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View GettingDusty's profile


5 posts in 515 days

#3 posted 09-16-2018 10:01 PM

I appreciate the info. This dust looks more like general shelf dust…grayish, mostly fine but some larger, layered on every part. It seems like after it was built & protected for the customer, the protective plastic was then taken off (this was done for some reason), something happened (used? returned? refurbished?), it sat unboxed to collect a lot of dust, then someone put gobs of different lubricants or other on the sliding rails, deck and elsewhere, wiped some of that up but left a lot on the rails (good), put the whole dusty gooey saw in a box & sold it to me. I wish it was saw dust, then I’d know for sure. Good point about it might have been used then returned. That’s one of the reasons why I’m trying to figure out how I can tell if it’s slightly used or refurbished. I could buy another, but who knows what that shows up like. This is type 2, so it doesn’t work with the laser guide, but I guess an above light does fit. What a hassle I shouldn’t have to deal with.

View Lazyman's profile


4474 posts in 1989 days

#4 posted 09-17-2018 11:35 AM

It is possible that it was a display model which may be worse in my book than someone just “borrowing” the saw and returning it. Display models often get abused pretty badly sitting out at a Home Depot and they are often missing small parts and knobs. If you decide the condition looks ok enough on the surface to not want to hassle with return and reorder, test the heck out of it and make sure that every adjustment works and you can set it square and tight. You might want to read some of the negative (1, 2 and 3 star) reviews on Amazon and other online stores and make sure that none of the things that they commonly complain about are a problem on this one.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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