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Lessor known tablesaws—options out of the mainstream

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Forum topic by Sark posted 06-29-2019 02:23 PM 1340 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sark

135 posts in 779 days


06-29-2019 02:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw table saw

I’ve been shopping tablesaws possibly to replace my old Unisaw. I’m interested in compiling a list of the lessor known to unknown (in the US) cabinet saws. Of course any comments on the saws are welcomed. Here’s the starter list:

1. Baileigh: This is being advertised on Amazon when you search for tablesaw, never heard of it before
2. Dayton: Who makes this for Dayton?
3. Harvey: I think European pretty much exclusively
4. ShopFox: Familar with the name, but their tablesaw?
5. Rikon: Have a contractor saw, but not a cabinet saw
6. Laguna Tools: I owned their 4’ slider, had a lot of problems with it

Any more names?


18 replies so far

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knotscott

8296 posts in 3794 days


#1 posted 06-29-2019 05:10 PM

Shop Fox is owned by the same folks who own Grizzly. It’s aimed more at retail than mail order, has a longer warranty, and is typically a bit more money than a comparable Griz model. Some of the models are very similar, or even nearly identical to some grizzly models, but it varies with each model, and can vary from year to year. Generally pretty well regarded stuff. I’ve had a Shop Fox W1677 3hp cabinet saw since 2008, that’s essentially identical to a Griz G1023SL. It’s been a great saw with zero issues.

You may find that many of these saws come from the same plant. Laguna and Baileigh are fairly well known names, but Rikon has a very limited TS selection. Harvey I’ve heard of, but rarely hear of anyone buying in the US.

Are you avoiding the bigger names like Jet, PM, Delta, and Saw Stop?

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

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MrRon

5567 posts in 3662 days


#2 posted 06-29-2019 05:16 PM

Powermatic, General, Northland, Oliver. You would probably be happy with any of the cabinet saws. It would boil down to price, the Grizzly being the most affordable.

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CaptainKlutz

1493 posts in 1913 days


#3 posted 06-29-2019 07:28 PM

LOL

1) Harvey is Chinese company. They make tools for Laguna, Powermatic, Steel City, plus the own Bridge City Tools. The reason you might think Harvey is only available in EU, is like everyone else they have non-compete clauses with OEM and not allowed to sell same tools in any country the OEM has presence.

2) Dayton brand tools have a long story. Originally were ‘produced’ by a specialty company in Taiwan in 50’s (forget the name). They were export specialist that helped overseas companies source tools locally, acting as middle man to reduce the translation burden; and arrange overseas transport. They created several private label brands like Dayton. They were not a mfg. Dayton label began to have following and eventually Dayton Industrial Tool was created. The OEM didn’t like their tools being sold privately for less, and forced Dayton to separate the OEM division from the retail division. [www.dayton.com.tw] Today you will only find the retail hand tools on the company site, and zero public information on Dayton power tools (unless you visit the factory in Taiwan). Last I checked 6 years ago, Dayton was exclusive brand to Grainger. But looking at Amazon it appears there are import warehouses in US now offering the Dayton saws, even using the Grainger product codes? Strange how more things change, more they stay same in overseas sourcing!

3) Be sure what ever Laguna tool you are looking at, is in stock.
Laguna recently introduced TS made in Taiwan, instead of their primary source in China (Sanhe / Huibang Machinery). The cabinet styles have changed, and many of the previous ‘smallish box’ cabinets have been replaced with more typical shape cabinet. My local Laguna dealers tell me they are closing out the old models, and will be carrying only the newer Taiwan made tools. They have not received any of the new configuration TS yet.

4) Tool brand names often have no connection to who makes them. Outside of Original Saw company in Iowa and NorthField in Minnesota, can not think of any one else making table saws in US – or where brand name is actually the mfg. You can find some European made commercial sliding table saws, but most have bases made overseas with final assembly done locally.
Tools available at retail outlets are primarily made in Taiwan or China, regardless of brand name. If you want dig onto the connections between mfg and OEM brand names, I posted a list of mfg sources in another thread you might find interesting: https://www.lumberjocks.com/replies/5218889

If you search through the list overseas mfg web sites, look closely at all the facility pictures. You will see machines in the classic colors of all the major OEM in the background. Harvey used to have Powermatic and Laguna tools shown in pictures of their demo room. Will find many pictures of white/grey/green (Jet, Grizzly, ShopFox/Steel City) tools at all the sites if you dig deep.

Guessing you are chasing a cheap table saw?
Why not try being really adventurous and import directly from mfg?
Can get $300 TS, but then you spend another $600+ getting it imported and delivered, plus spare parts are total PIA. Joking, it’s not that easy.

Best Luck.

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

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ruger

112 posts in 513 days


#4 posted 06-29-2019 08:17 PM

whats wrong with your old unisaw?

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1298 posts in 2132 days


#5 posted 06-29-2019 09:41 PM

Here a few European producers (and yes, they are made in Eorope), primarily slider type saws:

- Felder. Think these are sold in the US
- Paolini
- Magic
- Griggio
- SCM
- MiniMax
- Robland
- Bäuerle
- Martin
- Altendorf
- Lazzari

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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waho6o9

8673 posts in 2995 days


#6 posted 06-29-2019 09:49 PM

Martin and Robland are offered on the same website.

https://www.martin-usa.com/products/?type=sawing

View Sark's profile

Sark

135 posts in 779 days


#7 posted 06-29-2019 09:50 PM

The only thing wrong with my old Delta Unisaw is the lack of a true riving knife. I bought the made-by-Delta splitter, part #34-868. It works but not like a riving knife that goes up and down with the blade. In my shop, I got accustomed to a saw with a riving knife, and I much prefer working with a saw that has that feature, both for safety reasons and for better cuts.

Is it worth $2-3,000 for this one feature? Maybe but probably not. I’m not looking for cheap TS. Meanwhile I’ll continue to use the poorly designed Delta splitter, till I figure out something better or buy a new saw. I have used the micro-jig splitters, and that might be a better short-term solution.

I looked closely at the ShopFox pictures, and best I can tell is just has a typical splitter that does not go up and down with the blade..,.though the saw gets good reviews but there is no riving knife in any of the pictures.

As to why I’m interested in the off-brand models? Partly its just curiosity. And then there’s always the thought that someone has come up with a better mouse trap for a better price and I just haven’t seen it for sale. If I spring for a new piece of iron, I will definitely consider the major brands. Without knowing better, I’d go for the newest Unisaw, because I like the Unifence..but wait, it appears that Delta no longer sells the Unifence.

CKlutz, thanks for the link to the manufactures list. Very interesting.

PS, very hard for any table saw at any price to get above 4 stars on Amazon.

PPS, not interested in a sliding table saw, like the Europeans sell. I’m no longer commerical, just working out of my garage. But wasn’t there a Swiss made cabinet maker saw that had no slider? Thinking back 30 years…

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CarlosInTheSticks

382 posts in 790 days


#8 posted 06-30-2019 12:19 AM

Did you mean the Inca 2100 and 2200 cabinet saws. They were very highly rated. The company is now owned by a French company and they do not make the full line of former Inca Equipment. The cabinet saws may have been chopped in the face of Asian competition.

-- "There are no utopias, chaos theory reigns, anyone who says different is selling you something"

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

1600 posts in 1826 days


#9 posted 06-30-2019 01:10 AM

You can get a true riving knife for your unisaw assuming it’s a right tilt model. I’m not sure if it’ll work on a left tilt. LJ member runswithscissors has a great setup seen here . I’ve got one. Send him a message. Don’t “upgrade” to one of these other saws. If you do want a 3-phase cabinet saw though let me know I’ve got a couple to sell.

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avsmusic1

442 posts in 1103 days


#10 posted 06-30-2019 01:40 AM

I can’t see replacing a unisaw w/ any of the options listed in the OP. They all seem list lessor quality machines w/ the exception of the riving knife and, if that safety is worth ditching the unisaw for, go for a sawstop and be done with it. I had a 50s unisaw and can’t imagine being happy w/ something like a shopfox after using that for yrs

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farmfromkansas

44 posts in 32 days


#11 posted 06-30-2019 02:58 AM

I bought a Hammer brand sliding saw, it’s parent company is Felder, but I kept my unisaw.

View Sark's profile

Sark

135 posts in 779 days


#12 posted 06-30-2019 03:09 AM

Carlos, yes Inca. Thanks. I remembered that they were highly rated and quite expensive.

Also I note the Canadian firm General went out of business, and they were in the same league as Delta or Powermatic. Oliver is really heavy metal, too much for me…but I’ve admired their saws from a distance.

GrantA read the setup that runswithscissors put together, that’s exactly what I want. I’ll try messaging him. Glad someone figured out how to do it. I don’t have 3 phase in my shop.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1932 posts in 1022 days


#13 posted 06-30-2019 03:12 AM


Is it worth $2-3,000 for this one feature? Maybe but probably not. I’m not looking for cheap TS.
- Sark

In that case, and since safety is also an issue why not just use the extra $ for a really nice Sawstop cabinet saw. They make nice saws that cut straight, have plenty of power and won’t cut off your digits. Plus not even God knows what kind of turnaround time & customer service you get from Italy if you have an issue. You can have any Sawstop part next day. That’s huge, at least for me it would be.

But people seem to be willing to grab their Unisaw before their wives in a house fire. I’d look into GrantA’s suggestion about a riving knife for it first.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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therealSteveN

3085 posts in 992 days


#14 posted 06-30-2019 05:37 AM

Dayton, you need to nail down which “Dayton” tools you are talking about. The ones I am most familiar with, and have seen in auctions around SW Ohio were all made in Dayton, Oho

There are however a number of other companies with a Dayton designation. Many are branches of Dayton Reliable Tool, located all across America now. Different places, different tools. Still there are companies called Dayton, that have nothing to do with Dayton Reliable. I had 1957 Dayton TS, that my Uncle had purchased new from Ernie back when. They simply made everything, yet he is mostly remembered as the guy who invented the zip top can. I imagine they probably have or will have something in Asia, but internationally Germany is the only place not US bound I have heard about.

-- Think safe, be safe

View DrTebi's profile

DrTebi

305 posts in 3685 days


#15 posted 06-30-2019 08:19 AM

Why not consider a used table saw? You will get a lot more cast iron for your money, especially if you look for a Northfield or an older Oliver table saw. And there are other great vintage ones out there. The rolling table models are really neat.

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