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Where have all the table saws gone?

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Forum topic by Finster posted 08-15-2020 02:15 PM 602 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Finster

2 posts in 38 days


08-15-2020 02:15 PM

Why are there no contractor style table saws available anymore in the sub $1000 price range? The only saw that I can find anymore is the Delta 36-725T2. It seems not that long ago that there were several manufactures offering contractor saws in the $500-$700 range. Is this a result of tariffs or are the manufacturers just focusing on the portable jobsite style saws now?


11 replies so far

View Fresch's profile

Fresch

500 posts in 2769 days


#1 posted 08-15-2020 02:20 PM

I’m going with …The Corona!
Seems to be what everyone tells me why they aren’t doing their job.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1005 posts in 1027 days


#2 posted 08-15-2020 03:24 PM

For me it’s the competition from the class below and the class above.

It’s not a huge jump to an entry level grizzly hybrid/cabinet. It’s not like the contractor saws are easily movable.

The some of portables are Very capable and less than half the price.

View SMP's profile

SMP

2447 posts in 754 days


#3 posted 08-15-2020 03:41 PM


For me it’s the competition from the class below and the class above.

It’s not a huge jump to an entry level grizzly hybrid/cabinet. It’s not like the contractor saws are easily movable.

The some of portables are Very capable and less than half the price.

- CWWoodworking

I would agree with this. In the 90s and previous the little portable saws were complete junk from what i have seen. And a contractor saw needed a truck and a couple people to move. Whereas the new jobsite saws are better than most old contractor saws in many ways, especially for the DIYer or construction.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3589 posts in 2342 days


#4 posted 08-15-2020 04:37 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks!

IMHO – The demand for old ‘contractor’ style TS by professional carpenters has evaporated.
The hobby wood working market is relatively small. Without a large market demand by professionals, the OEM have shifted production away from contractor style table saw. Supply is always market driven

Let me explain why:

- Latest 12” sliding miter saws have cut width capability that the contractor saw or radial arm saw was used for in the previous century. Even closet cabinet work does not require contractor saw thanks to exact width shelving boards. The improved sliding miter saw relegates the table saw to mostly rip cutting.

- Newer molded plastic job site saws are lighter weight, easier to move, and take less room in back of pickup truck or trailer. They are also cheaper to produce, and ship. Most all the housing contractors I know, have one in back of the work truck. While the are not as accurate as well tuned contractor saw, they do the job ripping 2X stock.

- Contractor saw has the same basic table/fence size, and does not provide any floor space, and barely any transportation advantage over the a regular cabinet saw. Smaller job site saws are more convenient solution for day/gig work by carpenters. Most builders have switched to use: sliding miter saw, with new job site saw, and/or occasionally a track saw for sheet goods on construction sites.

- Cost to manufacture, ship, and sell wood working tools is higher today, than it was back when contractor saws where popular. The same design for a $600 contractor saw is now $1000-$1200 product. The Delta 36-725 is perfect example. To make a $600 saw, they are using an integrated motor arbor assembly, instead of separate components.

- Hybrid cabinet saws are replacing contractor saws as the cabinet has become cheaper to produce than a pile of sheet metal parts with hardware used on contractor saw. When price for a Hybrid cabinet saw are near same as stamped open frame contractor saw, which one will you want to buy?

- Housing construction methods have changed dramatically in last 20 years. Between use of CAD, and desire for lower costs via higher efficiency; need for contractor saw on job site is much less. CAD is used for new buildings, as many building permit agencies use it for online permit reviews. The CAD data is sent to a framing and roof truss processors; who cut and prefab walls/rafters at semi-automated factory to make a build kit for use on site. The kit is shipped to site and framing is assembled in couple days .vs. the month+ it use to take. Saw work on construction site has been reduced to smaller task or ‘trim work’ these days.

There are still high end custom builders that will cut/assemble framing on site where they need capability of a contractor/cabinet saw on site. Several that I know are using a cabinet saw in a work site trailer, as they don’t trust/like the aluminum fence and other weight reductions that most recent contractor saws used to keep costs down. The number of these ‘use large tool on site’ equipment buyers in market is much smaller than day work contractors.

Bottom line: If you want a contractor saw, better look for a used one, or spend a little more for Hybrid saw.

Thanks for reading.
YMMV

-- 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 nickbatz's profile

nickbatz

598 posts in 928 days


#5 posted 08-15-2020 05:30 PM

+1 to what CaptainKlutz says about 12” sliding miter saws. That’s my latest toy, and it sure makes a lot of things easier – but it’s complementary to my contractor table saw, not a replacement.

Anyway, isn’t the Ridgid contractor saw still available? It’s a nice saw – basically the same as my Craftsman 315, only with more capacity and a riving knife.

View Finster's profile

Finster

2 posts in 38 days


#6 posted 08-15-2020 09:36 PM

I’m a hobbyist with very limited floor space and a limited budget so job site saws appeal to me in space saving and cost aspects but the one major drawback I’m finding is they offer very little when it comes to dust collection. Especially the latest models which have no sides or back. The built in blade shrouds with a 2” port is basically useless. The only saw I’ve found that still has a fully enclosed base that could possibly be modified is the Bosch 4100.

This shift also seems to have affected the used market on contractor saws. Its now very difficult to find a decent used saw and the few that are available are usually way overpriced IMHO.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1005 posts in 1027 days


#7 posted 08-15-2020 09:54 PM



I m a hobbyist with very limited floor space and a limited budget so job site saws appeal to me in space saving and cost aspects but the one major drawback I m finding is they offer very little when it comes to dust collection. Especially the latest models which have no sides or back. The built in blade shrouds with a 2” port is basically useless. The only saw I ve found that still has a fully enclosed base that could possibly be modified is the Bosch 4100.

This shift also seems to have affected the used market on contractor saws. Its now very difficult to find a decent used saw and the few that are available are usually way overpriced IMHO.

- Finster

I have the DeWalt 7485 and the dust collection is tons better than my old contractor. Not close.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3325 posts in 2646 days


#8 posted 08-16-2020 12:42 AM

The Bosch 4100 with the gravity rise stand is a great saw. I bought one for a specific job I worked on off and on for almost two years. It sat outside sometimes covered sometimes not. When the job was over I brought back and cleaned it up. I took the blade off a thin kerf Forrest woodworker 2. Power washed it because it’s mostly plastic and powdered coated metal. Looked new to me.
It cut every bit as straight as my shop saw. The only downside is it’s top is small and it’s load.
I sold it on Craigslist very easily.
The reason the table saw selection is low is Diy shows have all the paper pushers convinced they can build whatever they set their minds to.
One of the lumber yards I visit shared with me every weekend they get cleaned out of a different species. Sometimes oak sometimes maple hardly ever walnut. Mostly red oak the wood of pilgrims just starting on the journey. :)
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1074 posts in 3347 days


#9 posted 08-16-2020 03:34 PM

“I’m a hobbyist with very limited floor space and a limited budget”
Have you considered going hand tool only?
Visit the Paul Sellers web sites.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

6245 posts in 1422 days


#10 posted 08-16-2020 05:32 PM

Having to add a Riving Knife took a lot of them out. It was just too expensive to keep making them.

Just plain advances in jobsite saws, and low cost of Hybrids, which on comparison are much better saws. It doesn’t have to be a $50.00 difference. If it gets to within 250 bux, most will just steer toward the better quality saw, many will go for even more difference. On the lower end it applies to going toward the jobsite, as stated many of them make great cuts.

Then just plain economics. If you have a fixed cost to make a contractor saw, and only sell 1% of your total sales of them, it isn’t worth hanging onto them.

-- Think safe, be safe

View AlanWS's profile

AlanWS

73 posts in 4406 days


#11 posted 08-16-2020 06:55 PM

Or, put another way, it is no less expensive to manufacture a contractor’s saw than a hybrid, and you can charge more for a hybrid. And there’s a large reservoir of used contractor’s saws for those who want them.

-- Alan in Wisconsin

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