3hp unisaw for $900?

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Forum topic by jerkylips posted 10-02-2018 09:46 PM 625 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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495 posts in 3179 days

10-02-2018 09:46 PM

Found a saw on CL that looks pretty good – 2001 unisaw with 52” Biesemeyer fence – 3hp/220. $900.

It’s coming out of a cabinet shop, the guy made a point to say “we took good care of it because we relied on it every day” but ended up getting a sawstop because they got a break on insurance.

No other blades/accessories included, and he doesn’t think they have the blade guard because they never used it.

I would be all in on this one, but it’s from more than 2 hours away – added cost/hassle of the drive makes me wonder if it’s worth it or if I should keep looking…

11 replies so far

View BroncoBrian's profile


875 posts in 2568 days

#1 posted 10-02-2018 09:54 PM

If you are in the market for a 3 HP Unisaw with a 52” fence, I’d say two hours is a short day trip.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5929 posts in 3102 days

#2 posted 10-03-2018 10:45 AM

I’d say it’s worth considering. The only hesitation I would have is the commercial use part. Tools get mistreated in those services sometimes, but it would be hard to kill a Unisaw. Mine was about the same model (same age, with a Unifence), and that’s what I sold it for…but I had quite a few extras to go with it. As for the missing blade guard, I had given mine away to another Unisaw owner who needed it, but i replaced it with a Shark Guard and it was on it when I sold it (one of the extras).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View mikewalt's profile


7 posts in 486 days

#3 posted 10-03-2018 11:09 AM

I have driven farther for tools before, if you have been watching and waiting and are ready to buy, you will be very familiar the pricing. I would figure in the cost of buying the accessories before you get it, as lots of times, the tool is a very small part of the cost once you factor in any additional parts, accessories, upgrades, ect.. but then again, its an arbor saw, so as long as there is no play on the arbor you should be good, and no one has cut into the fence. I would also ask for close up pictures of any casting mount points and make sure there are no cracks. That could be a deal killer. Cheers!

-- Mike , Myrtle Beach SC

View Carl10's profile


115 posts in 1066 days

#4 posted 10-03-2018 12:59 PM

It depends on your market. Last year when I was looking for a new TS, the Unisaws in my area were $900-1000 at the top end of the range from personal use and many extras. A couple I was watching had price drops because they didn’t sell at the higher price and went in the $700-800 range. Interestingly at the same time there was an auction for a cabinet shop that had 6 Unisaws for sale that were in OK to poor shape and they all went for over $1000 with no extras. Others have said good tools go for far over reasonable prices because they are scarce.

Have you been watching your market? Do you need one right now?

Hope that helps. Let us know what you do.


View Kazooman's profile


1411 posts in 2562 days

#5 posted 10-03-2018 01:10 PM

Single phase?

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 1099 days

#6 posted 10-03-2018 01:13 PM

Single phase?

- Kazooman

That would be my question. A lot of the professional shops use three-phase.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


2260 posts in 2104 days

#7 posted 10-03-2018 04:55 PM

+1 commercial use saws need careful inspection. They can be in ‘good shape’, but still need failing arbor bearings replaced, as they don’t notice noisy bearings in busy shop. Watch out for 3 phase motors too.

Phoenix ALWAYS has a couple Unisaw listed around $1000-1200. $900 is not a ‘bargain’ price. It can be fair price if includes accessories like blades, miter guage(s), router table, mobile base, etc; and is in good working condition. But a naked unisaw with fence for $900 would not be considered a good deal in my area.

Little secret when used tool shopping on CL:
Use email alerts to your phone.
Most bargain priced woodworking tools are sold in hours, some sell in a few minutes.
Without alerts, your odds of being 1st caller who gets to buy the cheap $300-500 cabinet saw are zero. Conversely, If tool is listed more than 3-4 days, than either seller is very hard to reach, or price .vs. value does not define a bargain.
Locally the biggest challenge with used woodworking tools is folks that have a tool refurbishing/re-sell fetish. They buy cheap tools fast, fix them up (if needed), and re-list short time later to make a profit. When I was looking for cabinet saw, i was 2nd or 3rd caller dozens of times on the sub-$600 saws, and I called seller in less 1 hour. Another time was watching for industrial 15-20 inch planers; I called one seller 5 minutes after getting the email alert on a DC-380 and was caller #2. Remember, good deals sell very fast.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View jerkylips's profile


495 posts in 3179 days

#8 posted 10-03-2018 05:08 PM

didn’t include the details in the first post, but it is single phase, and arbor/nut has been replaced.

View RobinDobbie's profile


147 posts in 2344 days

#9 posted 10-03-2018 08:48 PM

I notice a 3 hp VFD can be easily had for about $90 on ebay. I wonder if anyone here has tried one? Theoretically single-phase 220v goes in, three-phase 220v comes out to a 3-phase motor. If what I’ve heard is correct, you end up with 2 hp. Might not be a bad way to go if you’re ok with 2 hp.

View MrRon's profile


5812 posts in 3853 days

#10 posted 10-03-2018 09:19 PM

$900 may sound like a lot to pay for a 17 year old saw, but with a Biesemeyer fence, that makes all the difference between a $500 saw and a $900 one. It is a little steep for a 17 year old saw, but maybe you can whittle it down to $700. That is a commercial fence that I also have on my saw. At any rate, I wouldn’t let it go. As far as I can tell, Biesemeyer fences don’t wear out.

View MrUnix's profile


7599 posts in 2808 days

#11 posted 10-03-2018 09:29 PM

If what I’ve heard is correct, you end up with 2 hp. Might not be a bad way to go if you re ok with 2 hp.
- RobinDobbie

What you have heard is not correct. You do not lose any HP with a VFD – a 3hp motor will remain a 3hp motor.
What you heard IS correct for a static phase converter (SPC), which basically just runs your three phase motor on 2 legs of the three – hence the ~1/3rd loss in power (along with other problems).


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

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