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5 Table Saws - Need advice, which to choose (pics & prices)

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Forum topic by Kooptron posted 09-26-2019 06:00 PM 1232 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kooptron

2 posts in 321 days


09-26-2019 06:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw unisaw delta 10 inch cabinet saw unifence biesemeyer fence mobile base

This is a tough decision for me, balancing budget, desire and need.
Below are the ads and specs on the saws I am looking at. I really want to stay as far under $500 CAD as possible and get the best, truest, well built saw I can for the best price – I think that is where I am at…....

With that in mind, I think I may have already narrowed down my decision to between #4 – Unisaw Series 34-450 for $550 CAD and #2 – Craftsman “Zipcode” 221240 for $400 CAD.

I would like to know everyone’s thoughts on the following criteria for the items below:

-Best Saw – power, durability, usability etc.?
-Best Fence – What is your preference/what just works great? Specifically is a unifence or biesemeyer fence better?
-Best Deal – are any of these a steal? Fair/Good deal?
-Is a pre-build wood cabinet worth it? Does it add value? (any saw that doesn’t have one, I would want to build one)

And of course the best question of all: Which would you buy??

#1) 10” Delta Unisaw
Single phase motor – 30amp/250v plug
Unifence, come with outfeed and crosscut tables.
Set of Dados and extra blades included. $600 CAD (asking price, not yet negotiated) – $452 USD

#2) Craftsman Professional Series (Model 152.221240)
120/240v – 1.75/2.4hp motor
Barely used at all, mobile base, biesemeyer fence $400 CAD (negotiated price) – $226 USD

#3) Delta 10” Professional Table Saw with Large Cabinet
Align-A-Rip fence & two sets of Dado blades
1.5hp Motor $300 CAD (negotiated price) – $226 USD

#4) Rockwell Delta 10” Unisaw – series 34-450
Delta Unifence, 6 ft work top extension, drop down dolly to make moving easier
220 Volt – 2 HP motor $550 CAD (negotiated price) – $415 USD

#5) 10” Professional Delta Saw (Model 36-650) with attached storage table
115/230v – 1.5hp – 1phase motor
12” cast iron table extension and Delta Fence $400 CAD (negotiated price) – $301 USD

Thanks so much for any and all input!!

Ben


19 replies so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1925 posts in 2777 days


#1 posted 09-26-2019 06:07 PM

I would go with number 1 or 4. I know that it’s taboo to say, but I know a guy who has that craftsman and loves it, and it’s a dead accurate saw. The last one is the one I would choose last, but that is only because of the fence. But if you just doing it for a hobby, I think any of them would be fine.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View syenefarmer's profile

syenefarmer

557 posts in 3888 days


#2 posted 09-26-2019 06:15 PM

I would also suggest either #1 or #4 with a strong leaning towards #1.

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1129 posts in 3873 days


#3 posted 09-26-2019 06:17 PM

+1 Kaleb. I’d start by taking a close look at the Unisaws, starting with #1.

-- Paul Mayer, http://youtube.com/c/toolmetrix

View Monty151's profile

Monty151

86 posts in 649 days


#4 posted 09-26-2019 06:44 PM

I have that same Craftsman saw. I really enjoy using it. I wouldn’t write it off, however I have to agree with the others suggesting the Unisaws. If you do decide to go with the Craftsman, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

View rustynails's profile

rustynails

893 posts in 3337 days


#5 posted 09-26-2019 08:44 PM

1 or 4

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3370 posts in 2302 days


#6 posted 09-26-2019 08:57 PM

Random thoughts:

If #1 Unsiaw has 5hp motor (30A plug), then it is a forever saw and good value. A 5HP replacement motor costs are more than price asked for saw. Will never want or need more power or another saw for rest of your life. If have 240V 30A in shop, get it, be done, and be happy. Don’t wait long, as I expect that saw will sell quickly. If it’s a 3HP motor, then keep reading.

If don’t have 240v and need 120v saw, #2 is worthy addition to any shop.

Mobile base under #4 has $250 USD retail value. 2HP will cut most anything needed in hobby wood shop. That saw has been upgraded since it left factory with; Unifence, motor starter, and mobile base. The price is reasonable value for what is being sold. Unless #1 has 5HP motor, #4 saw might be better for overall budget, as you don’t have to spend more money on mobile base?
If #1 has 3HP motor, you would only notice the 1HP difference when cutting wood thicker than 6/4.
Maybe be best to let your project list pick the motor size, and help you decide between 1 and 4?

Unifence .vs. Beisemeyer? Trying to start a fight? LOL

Have used both. I prefer the Unifence. The Unifence head cross bar is aluminum, and less weight swinging around when taking off/on. The fence center of mass is closer to front rail and it is easier to nudge when making slight adjustments. The ability to change the rotation of fence, and change the height also helps when cutting thin stock.
But either is reliable, repeatable, and works wood nicely.

PS – Read rule #5 on OWWM site:
http://www.owwm.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=158513

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

778 posts in 4081 days


#7 posted 09-26-2019 09:04 PM

1 OR 4

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Zengineer's profile

Zengineer

11 posts in 320 days


#8 posted 09-26-2019 09:09 PM

Buy once, cry once. #1 or #4 and you won’t be sitting there 2 years from now wishing you had a bigger saw…

-- My YouTube Channel of Workshop Projects - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtyEKcRbODF-sTWDF3kgEYw

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2785 posts in 1411 days


#9 posted 09-26-2019 09:13 PM

#1 looks like a left tilt which people seem to prefer but #4 looks to be in better condition plus the rolling cart it’s on. Those Unis are very heavy.

Someone here can probably tell which fence is the most desirable.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View hkmiller's profile

hkmiller

235 posts in 889 days


#10 posted 09-27-2019 12:24 AM

The 34-450. I love mine.

-- always something

View Kooptron's profile

Kooptron

2 posts in 321 days


#11 posted 09-27-2019 01:30 AM

WOW! Thanks for all the great info, advice and insight! Unfortunately #1 seems to be out of the picture . And of course, #3 and #5 are a no go!
I have reached out to the seller multiple times and no response. After a bit of digging it seems like a classic case of sold a few weeks back and left the ad up on a platform they no longer check for new message.
Super frustrating – Makes sense though, that it sold fast at $600 with everyone here’s recommend to buy. 

So on to #4 and #2…....
I will be honest, although I always tend to prefer “the older the better” motto,
I was leaning towards the Craftsman:
-Is it built in America? I heard by Orion or Steel City, seems good to me. 
-It has a larger cast iron area than the Unisaw
-I have heard the biesemeyer fence is the cats meow?
-It is set up and ready for dust collection
-I have 240v 30amp service – so I can re-wire the motor for 220v (should make over 2hp??), the manual indicates that it is a hybrid. 
-Solid Trunnion design
-Newer, very little use at all
-$150 cheaper!!

All things being equal as they are…..

Is the Unisaw really worth the extra cash? I know $150 doesn’t sound like much, but it all adds up.
Is the Unifence really better than a biesemeyer fence? DING DING – Round one, let the fighting begin!!
This unisaw doesn’t have the 12” cast iron extension on the left side or right side.
Of course, I am a huge fan of the upgraded start control and the mobile base.

What am I missing that makes this such a much better saw and an obvious choice over the craftsman? 
I am almost ready to pull the trigger on the Unisaw, I just need a little nudge in the right direction.

Thanks in advance!
Ben

PS – I love rule #5 on OWWM , Thanks!
And, “Buy once, cry once” – Copy That!!

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8382 posts in 4183 days


#12 posted 09-27-2019 02:48 AM

1 or 4

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

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2785 posts in 1411 days


#13 posted 09-27-2019 03:14 AM

Another Uni is sure to pop up though if you can wait. Never owned one but here they seem to be spoken of with almost a religious reverence.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Sark's profile

Sark

302 posts in 1168 days


#14 posted 09-27-2019 03:36 AM

I think that the Craftsman is probably a very fine saw, and you won’t regret owning it. But then so is the Unisaw. So you have two good choices. And without actually doing some test cuts on both, you really don’t have much to compare, mostly speculation. A couple of points re the Unisaw: 1) there is a big aftermarket for accessories 2) parts are readily available. 3) note that the cranks are bigger than on the Sears, which generally means less effort.
Other thoughts: The Sears probably has a lot fewer running hours. It is less expensive. It has a good fence, which it probably didn’t when it was originally made. So its good to go.

As regards UniFence vs. Biesenmeyer Fence: Yes, I agree with comment above, don’t want to start a war. Both are good fences. Both saws should serve you well.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6322 posts in 3301 days


#15 posted 09-27-2019 10:27 AM

Preference for the Unifence over a Bies is a personal thing. When I went from my Delta Contractor saw to a cabinet saw one of the reasons I picked a Uni was to stay with a Unifence (CS also had one). I really prefer them to a Bies fence. But that’s just me, and like someone said above, they are both top notch, you don’t lose with either one. That said, while that Uni (#4) is definitely a more robust saw than the Craftsman, that Craftsman looks to be a better value and almost certainly plenty of saw for a hobbyist. If Knotscott checks in he has some specifics on it you would like, and I do believe that saw was made by Orion.

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

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