Money distribution for new shop

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Forum topic by Quarter1991 posted 04-23-2019 09:09 PM 1267 views 0 times favorited 48 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 778 days

04-23-2019 09:09 PM

I started with this hobby a few months back. I currently own the following tools:

10” Miter Saw
7.25” Circular Saw
Power Drill(Handheld)
Impact Driver
Palm Sander

I purchased and put in about 20 hours restoring a Craftsman 113, which I subsequently sold because I couldn’t get a riving knife for it.

After reading all of the statistics, I’m convinced that if I get a table saw it has to be a SawStop. I also know that if I spend thousands on a tool, it must very likely be the last tool of that type that I buy. My wife agreed with me and signed off on me buying a $3150 Professionals saw Stop!

Is this the best allocation of this money, though?

Is there a better combination of tools I could purchase that would result in equal safety/more capability? Could I use a bandsaw/tracksaw for ripping, a router for joining and a better miter saw for crosscuts?

Can I have a decent shop with no tablesaw?

For upcoming projects, I’m rebuilding my deck, building a king sized bed and building an entertainment center.

I appreciate any input you all can give.

48 replies so far

View Jackryan's profile


21 posts in 2962 days

#1 posted 04-23-2019 09:23 PM

You buy the tools for the projects you want to make or you make projects for the tools you have.

You can’t put a price on fingers, at least not when they are yours.

You do need a Router you can use handheld and in a table.

A Planer, even a small one opens up a whole new world.

-- Dave, Wi.

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3994 posts in 991 days

#2 posted 04-23-2019 09:27 PM

Well, its something only you can really decide. And what you feel comfortable spending on your hobby. A table saw isn’t required for anything you mention, I’ve built several decks with a $30 skil saw, but if you are thinking of opening a cabinet shop someday then its a no brainer. Then again if $3k isn’t much to you then why not, especially since you have the boss’s approval. It will certainly make any projects down the road easier.

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5987 posts in 3437 days

#3 posted 04-23-2019 09:29 PM

You can get a lot cheaper tablesaw if all you want is a riving knife.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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16941 posts in 2070 days

#4 posted 04-23-2019 09:55 PM

you can do anything a tablesaw does many other ways but do you really wanna build furniture with hand power tools? a tablesaw in my opinion is the heart of any well equipped can get much cheaper tablesaws though but in most opinions the sawstop is about as safe as it gets.hey the wife said go for it so dont wait for her to change her ya gotta look at the money saved building your own furniture and the quality,the saw will pay for itself very quickly.and a quality saw should last your lifetime.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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1301 posts in 997 days

#5 posted 04-23-2019 10:33 PM

I agree that the Saw Stop table saw is one of the best. One thing to keep in mind is the electrical power for your tools. Do you have the 230v, 240v, or do you need to have it wired in. Saw Stop does have 230v & 120v options. When I started woodworking as a hobby, I upgraded my DeWalt table saw to a Grizzly G0771Z, $900 included shipping, and got a Grizzly G1531 6”x80” edge sander (I also use the edge sander as a jointer), $750 including shipping. The switch in both have the option of being rewired to 110v or 220v. Happy with both and saved some cash to get other tools. You may consider a benchtop router table, a worth while option. Being realistic, what type of woodworking are you planning on, then buy accordingly. You can get free tool catalogues from Grizzly, Rockler, Woodcraft and others. Thumb through them, make a wish list of what you could use with the cost (include power, hand tools and the clamps), then put a number to each in priority. It takes time to get what you need and set-up shop. Planning ahead will save you money… My son-in-law uses a 7 1/2” miter saw and he’s happy with it. In my shop I have a 12” miter saw off brand paid $99 on sale. Do take time and compare each of the tools you get.

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4663 days

#6 posted 04-23-2019 11:14 PM

I agree that a good table saw is a must have for most woodshops, even though a Saw Stop is expensive it’s a good insurance policy against hand injuries and it could be bargain compared to hand surgery or loss of fingers. If you really compare the cost with other better saws there’s not that big of a difference.


View CWWoodworking's profile


1769 posts in 1265 days

#7 posted 04-24-2019 12:11 AM

I wouldn’t over think it. Get the SS.

If you would rather split the money up, get a grizzly TS(or equivalent)and something else-drum sander, vertical PS, shaper, jointer, etc.

I would not try to replace a TS with a track saw/bandsaw.

View DannyW's profile


357 posts in 883 days

#8 posted 04-24-2019 12:24 AM

I am relatively new to woodworking so take what I say with a very big grain of salt, but I agree with the others, if you are going to get a cabinet table saw and can afford it the then a Saw Stop might give you that extra peace of mind that will make using it more enjoyable. I debated for quite a while if I wanted a table saw at all for the same reasons, and finally decided to get a small DeWalt job site saw because I thought that was all I had room for. Although I liked some things about that saw (the rack and pinion adjustment for the fence mostly) it was just too scary for me to use and I ended up returning it for a Delta contractor type saw with a much bigger table that makes things so much safer feeling for me and so much easier as well. But you should also think hard about the other things that you will need to make a well rounded shop, and what you will be doing. In my case that is a miter saw, router w/table, jointer, planer, band saw, and clamps (lots of clamps). That last item can really add up fast!

-- DannyW

View OSU55's profile


2794 posts in 3075 days

#9 posted 04-24-2019 12:33 AM

Sounds like your projects will move from carpentry toward furniture. I would consider a TS a must have for furniture type work. A TS capable for furniture – many far below $3k. Equal safety to a SS – no not really. Whether the SS safety is needed can only be determined by the person. If you gotta have one, do you have to have the $3k one? How much room do you have? Will you use/cut a lot of sheet goods? Use rough cut or expensive s4s lumber? Will you do more furniture vs carpentry type work? Answering these questions helps determine what your shop needs will be and other necessary tools. While a miter is useful for carpentry, I dont own one or need it for furniture, x-cut sled on TS is far better. Many other examples exist. Put more thought into what you believe future needs will be.

View avsmusic1's profile


682 posts in 1771 days

#10 posted 04-24-2019 02:14 AM

I own a SS and it’s a great saw, but I had a unisaw and pm66 previously and both were great as well. If i was getting going and I had 3k to spend on tools this yr I would buy old iron and use the difference on additional equipment. If I wasn’t on that fixed budget, I’d buy a sawstop.

I think about it like my car – I don’t have brake assist or lane departure or any of that in my car. If I was buying new(er) I’d get it, but that wasn’t in the cards so I got a used car w/out it and get from point a to b just fine- albeit less safe at any given moment.

View CWWoodworking's profile


1769 posts in 1265 days

#11 posted 04-24-2019 02:26 AM

Let me preface by saying I’m in favor of the SS.

But you may want to consider how you will use it. For instance, I do nothing but rip solids on mine. No angle cuts, sled, dados, etc. all rips. So I consider the risk fairly low.

View avsmusic1's profile


682 posts in 1771 days

#12 posted 04-24-2019 02:35 AM

Respectfully, may I ask for some additional detail on why you sold the craftsman that you fixed up? I don’t have any personal experience w/ them but I know they’re well regarded. Did you have kickback issues or something that spurred interest in the sawstop to begin with? I’d have been inclined to get a splitter and call it good for now

View BurlyBob's profile


8868 posts in 3351 days

#13 posted 04-24-2019 02:37 AM

Your wife must be exceptional. She’s letting you drop 3K on a Saw Stop and now your questioning the idea. Don’t!! The better your tools the better your work will be. Your wife will see that and agree to other tools you might want/need.

Piece of advice I received a few years ago. You buy the best tool, it lasts you a lifetime. You buy a cheap tool, you buy it many times.

View MikeDilday's profile


287 posts in 1545 days

#14 posted 04-24-2019 03:04 AM

Get the SawStop. Great saw all way around.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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63 posts in 754 days

#15 posted 04-24-2019 03:31 AM

I know a lot of guys who go out and buy brand new snowmobiles after one fun weekend trip. After the first season they look back and decide they really don’t enjoy it that much, then take a big hit selling the things. Since you’re new to the hobby, maybe pick up a good (not TOL) TS to learn on. if you find you keep at it for awhile, you’ll then know what you like and don’t and how you use the tool. You can always upgrade.

Use the money you save on a variable speed router, drill press, good band saw, joiner and planer.

Unless you have a large dedicated shop, a cabinet saw may be problematic space-wise

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