New table saw, questions on general use.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by AshburnCustomShop posted 11-26-2018 04:12 PM 650 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AshburnCustomShop's profile


9 posts in 687 days

11-26-2018 04:12 PM

Hey guys, just got a new table saw and have a couple general questions about it. A couple years ago, back when I had my old woodworking shop, I had a Craftsman 10in table saw. The 1.5hp motor did not have the power I needed and the fence was an absolute nightmare to deal with. Fast forward today and I just unboxed a Hitachi contractor table saw to help me get going again.

Hard to believe I’ve been accomplishing all my projects without a table saw… Having said that, it’s been awhile so I’ve been watching YouTube safety and instructional videos, and I have a few more questions:

1) For starters, the manual that came with the saw said that I can adjust the fence but shouldn’t have to because they trued everything up at the factory before boxing it up. My fence wasn’t parallel to the blade, or even more obvious, to the slots the miter gauge runs in. It was close but leaned away from the blade maybe a 1/8th inch. Would it move that much in-transit?

2) It says repeatedly in the manual that you lock the height adjustment with the lever that locks the bevel adjustment. It doesn’t. I cranked it down pretty hard too at one point and no dice. What’s going on? It locks the bevel but not the height. Is that even supposed to lock?

3) Regarding cross cuts, what’s the point of using the table saw when I can just bring it over to the chop saw and be done faster, safer. Just use it for wider boards?

4) I’m seeing a lot of recommendations for getting an aftermarket miter gauge… what’s wrong with the factory ones?

5) Last one for now, promise. My old saw had zero safety features. This one has a riving knife, pawls and blade guard. I get the riving and pawls, but the blade gaurd? It’s hard to see what I’m working on. I’m not saying I’ve made the decision to remove it, but what is the general opinion of it here… valuable extra security or water wings for those without common sense (like how McDonalds now has to put “coffee may be hot” on their cups)?

Lots of questions, sorry guys lol. Just want to make sure I’m starting off on the right foot here. Thanks I’m advance!

8 replies so far

View jutsFL's profile


198 posts in 650 days

#1 posted 11-26-2018 04:23 PM

1. Check to see if it skews only when locking – ive seen this many times… Just have to be careful and check when locking it down

2. I cant say for your saw, but the 3 total TS ’ s ive owned in my life… None had a height adjustment lock, only bevel.

3. I’m with you on that one. I use my sliding miter for nearly 100 percent of them.

4. Never had an aftermarket one before.. Maybe they are better, hopefully someone will chime in

5. My 1st table saw didnt have a blade guard. The 2 I have purchased since then – I have removed said bladeguards :D

-- I've quickly learned that being a woodworker isn't about making flawless work, rather it's fixing all the mistakes you made so that it appears flawless to others! Jay - FL

View MrUnix's profile


8163 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 11-26-2018 04:26 PM

1- Miter slots should be parallel to the blade, and fence should be parallel to miter slots. If not, adjust accordingly. There is no telling what may have happened to the machine in transit.

2- Not sure, but I don’t think the height lock does anything (it’s really just a bevel lock).

3- None. If you have alternative ways that are easier, use them.

4- IMO – make a good sled instead.

5- Your old saw did have safety features when it left the factory, but were most likely taken off and lost over time. Your new saw has the same safety features, although it’s a redesigned splitter, which makes it easier to leave on the machine (and less likely to go missing). As for the blade guard – that is up to you. Some people swear by them, others curse at them.


PS: If you think your 1.5hp craftsman lacked power, then you will most likely think the same about your new saw, which has a bit less. To help with the lack of power, use a thin kerf blade on it.

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

View ArtMann's profile


1480 posts in 1625 days

#3 posted 11-26-2018 04:59 PM

That looks like a “jobsite” saw to me rather than a contractor saw.

View AshburnCustomShop's profile


9 posts in 687 days

#4 posted 11-26-2018 05:16 PM

@jutsFL – Regarding movement while locking, I was actually on this like flies on you-know-what because that was what I hated about that old table saw the most. The fence always skewed on locking and it was never, not even once, straight. I almost put it in the blacksmith forge and melted the sucker down once. New one seems to work good though.

@MrUnix – I’m watching a video on making one now, thanks for the suggestion! Regarding the 1.5hp motor, I’m not sure what it was about that old saw but I feel like it just had zero power beyond cutting 2 ply plywood… it was just weak. This one went through some thick oak last night in a test run like butter.

@ArtMann – What’s the difference between the two?

@Everyone in general – Thanks!

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 3020 days

#5 posted 11-26-2018 05:21 PM

@ArtMann – What’s the difference between the two?

- AshburnCustomShop

Try this for a read on the difference in table saws. There’s no hard and fast rules, as the manufacturers can call them whatever they want, but this gives a good overview of what is out there.

As far as the fence, you might not have to adjust it—that style rarely gets out of alignment. What needs adjusted is the blade/motor/trunnion assembly to make the blade parallel to both fence and miter slots. There should be instructions in the manual for how to do that. Miter slots are fixed, so everything needs aligned to those, not to the blade.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Andybb's profile


2791 posts in 1412 days

#6 posted 11-26-2018 05:25 PM

Congrats on your new saw. This link is at Sawstop but the general differences apply. Contractors saw = heavier, more horse power, more table in front of the blade, larger table and dust port etc.

Jobsite vs Contractors saw.

The progression is usually jobsite, contractors, hybrid and cabinet.

That looks like a “jobsite” saw to me rather than a contractor saw.

- ArtMann

Could be. Can’t see the model # or what else was in the box, but a lot of jobsite saws come with a collapsible stand with wheels.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View jonah's profile


2124 posts in 4107 days

#7 posted 11-26-2018 05:27 PM

What you have there is a jobsite saw. It’s meant to be portable. A “contractor” saw is a larger, heavier saw that is not really meant to be moved – it’s closer to a stationary saw than to the jobsite one you have. Contractor saws typically have cast iron tables and may have cast iron wings as well. These days, they have much better fences than jobsite saws – typically “t-square” style fences that are easier to adjust, stay put when you lock them, and are generally a lot better.

That’s not to say you can’t do great work with jobsite saws, but they certainly aren’t as capable as larger, heavier contractor, hybrid, or cabinet saws.

View MrRon's profile


5925 posts in 4052 days

#8 posted 11-26-2018 05:40 PM

Jobsite saws usually are direct drive as opposed to belt drive on a contractors saw. I don’t think precision is one of it’s attributes. Can you imagine trying to rip a 2×10 x 12’ long board on a small jobsite saw? It may be suitable for small cutting jobs like trim work.

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