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Forum topic by dwharmsway posted 01-21-2021 02:48 PM 560 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dwharmsway

5 posts in 52 days


01-21-2021 02:48 PM

Hi all,

Just starting this journey and really enjoying it. I’m so new, I don’t even own a table saw (I’m going over to a friend’s house for cuts). That being said I’m looking for a table saw.

I have a line on a General 650 international…. which from reviews is a great saw. However, it’s obviously more expensive than I was going to start with.

What I was going to purchase was the Lowes DELTA Contractor Saws 10-in Carbide-Tipped Blade 15-Amp Table Saw for $599.

The general 650 is listed for $1,500, but through emails, I know I can get I cheaper.

Question: Is the delta $599 saw good enough, that I won’t regret passing on the General 650? Price is definitely a consideration, but it won’t break me getting the General. I just won’t be able to get other items, like a planer, for a while longer.

thanks!


23 replies so far

View Kudzupatch's profile

Kudzupatch

118 posts in 2217 days


#1 posted 01-21-2021 02:57 PM

I went from a contractors saw to cabinet saw. In practical terms they both cut wood well and would do the job.

However, there is something that is hard to explain, but using a cabinet saw is more pleasurable. They operate smoother, less vibration. They are typically much better built.

I bought a very old (1946) Unisaw and rebuilt it. When I fired it up and made a couple of test cuts I was immediately impressed. My father-in-law came over and used it for a while and he made the same exact comments about what a pleasure it was to use compared to his old contractors saw.

Another consideration is cabinet saws hold their value better than contractors saw. If you ever want to sell it you probably get more of your money back.

Again, in practical terms the improvement in the wood cutting was minimal if any. But it just nicer to use.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com

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menuisierJC

18 posts in 42 days


#2 posted 01-21-2021 03:10 PM

Sawstop Professional. I bought one years ago and am 100% satisfied with my decision. (1) It’s a great saw and (2) it has the safety mechanism.

I went with the 52” fence and the 3HP 240 V motor. I also bought the Industrial base (which requires an adapter kit to use with the Pro saw), which is really nice if you are going to move your saw very often.

-- Jeffrey

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Robert

4440 posts in 2489 days


#3 posted 01-21-2021 03:12 PM

Well, you’re asking a question akin to “is this a good car?”

IMO safety is the #1 issue but before I address that, I’ll answer from my perspective. I started out 30 years ago with a cheap, underpowered, table saw with a lousy fence. It was really a dangerous machine, but I was too much a noob to know it. A piece of my thumb finally convinced me.

In addition to that, by then it was apparent to me I really was serious about wwi’ing and I knew that machine was limiting me. My next saw was a 3HP cabinet saw. Lets just say it was like going from a Cessna to an F-16.

My point is, within the limits of your budget, get the biggest one you can, and with a Beismeyer type fence.

I’d pass on the Delta and look for a used machine. Lots of them are coming up b/c of people switching to SawStops

And IMO that’s what you should be looking at.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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bondogaposis

5949 posts in 3360 days


#4 posted 01-21-2021 03:22 PM

The General saw is a far better saw. However if your shop isn’t wired for 220v circuit you likely won’t be able to use it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Andre

4292 posts in 2814 days


#5 posted 01-21-2021 03:31 PM

IMHO, $1500 for a General International model seems way to high, good saw but the the original “Generals” better?
When production went overseas, quality suffered. Not sure where you are located but this will also affect market price immensely and availability? Short answer, yes the General would be a better “Saw” and more than likely be the only Saw you will ever need, were as the Contractor Saw Will be replaced at some point:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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Andre

4292 posts in 2814 days


#6 posted 01-21-2021 03:33 PM



The General saw is a far better saw. However if your shop isn t wired for 220v circuit you likely won t be able to use it.

- bondogaposis

Yup, something to check, but they did have a 110V model?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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dwharmsway

5 posts in 52 days


#7 posted 01-21-2021 03:36 PM

Thanks. For the Help! Sawstop is pretty far out of my price range, though they are gorgeous saws!

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dwharmsway

5 posts in 52 days


#8 posted 01-21-2021 03:38 PM

And Yes I have 220 going to my garage. One of the first things I checked!

And $1500 is his starting… I couldn’t find anything similar within 250 miles of me to compare the price to. But I have negotiated it down to $1200. So not sure if that would change your mind on it being “way to high”?

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RClark

57 posts in 3193 days


#9 posted 01-21-2021 03:46 PM

I started out with a Delta contractor’s saw nearly 20 years ago. Bought it used for $300. I had it for over ten years. The problem I had with it was the fence…it always needed adjusting and was not easy to use.

But I did get my start and kept going with that saw. There are many who still turn out great work with contractor saws today.

I upgraded to the SawStop PCS in 2012. I was into bigger projects and was getting tired of the Delta and its issues. I also upgraded my shop’s electrical capability and so I was able to power the new saw.

All that said, if you can swing a new SawStop, that’s the way I’d go. However, if you need to remain lower cost, find a used cabinet saw.

Given Delta’s issues over the past decade, there’s no way I’d recommend anybody buy any of their new equipment. I have Delta equipment in my shop today; the newest of it dates to 2002 and was one of the last USA-made 14” bandsaws. Should I need to replace any of it, I won’t even look to see what Delta has. Old stuff..fine. Find yourself a used Unisaw that’s 20-years old, and it could be the last saw you’ll ever need.

-- Ray

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LesB

2861 posts in 4451 days


#10 posted 01-21-2021 05:33 PM

If you can skip the contractor type saw stage that many of us started with, go for it. I would get the General although you may find an older Delta cabinet saw a little cheaper if you take the time to search. I have been using my Delta for over 25 years and it still runs like new. I did upgrade the fence.

In general any saw under 2 hp will be disappointing; especially when cutting thicker or harder woods.

-- Les B, Oregon

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therealSteveN

7235 posts in 1582 days


#11 posted 01-21-2021 05:45 PM



IMHO, $1500 for a General International model seems way to high, good saw but the the original “Generals” better?
When production went overseas, quality suffered. Not sure where you are located but this will also affect market price immensely and availability? Short answer, yes the General would be a better “Saw” and more than likely be the only Saw you will ever need, were as the Contractor Saw Will be replaced at some point:)

- Andre

100% agreement. I have a Canadian made General 350, which I bought in sparkling new looking condition for 400 bux. I am aware I got a screaming deal, but that 1500 is close to retail, and you could get a new griz 1023 for about the sane, and they would be close to the same saw.

As stated many woodworkers start on a contractors saw, some stay with them, some move on to a cab saw. My recommendation is you put in a location, if you are in the states, which I assume (LOWES) then someone may be near you with a saw to offer, and also check Craigs list. There are sometimes many older Sears contractors for much less. If they are in good running order, they would be a start.

-- Think safe, be safe

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dwharmsway

5 posts in 52 days


#12 posted 01-21-2021 06:12 PM

Thanks for all the great advice. Looks like i need to do more research.

Lessons Learned:
1. Skip the contractor saw phase
2. Everyone wants a sawstop (But i don’t have >$2,500)
3. The General for $1500 is WAY too high
4. Look at the grizzly 1023, which is backordered.

I have been looking on market place and craigslist. That’s how I found the general 650. I’ve even expanded my search up to 250 miles. A vast majority (90%+) is contractor or portable saws.

Again, thanks everyone. keep the advice coming. I’m learning a lot.

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1419 posts in 2658 days


#13 posted 01-21-2021 07:29 PM

Totally agree, skip the contractor.
Everyone does want the SawStop PCS ( including me) . Very good saw, but as delivered 3 HP etc, about $4K
So, the saw I really want is the Harvey 300. Darn near as nice as a Powermatic.
The new Unisaw looks slick, but I have heard horror stories about quality and no stories about support as they don’t have any. Darn though.

Download the parts diagrams for the saws you are looking at. You can learn a lot about the trunnion. Which saws have the same one, which are better supported etc. Two basic methods of blade lift, pivot or slide in ways. No idea which is better.

Older saws are great IF THEY HAVE A REAL RIVING KNIFE, not a splitter. The riving knife is the most critical safety feature IMHO. A riving knife stays closer to the blade and moves with it. Do a little research on the difference. Ann new saws wil lbe riving as they are legally required.

Laguna F3 is also nice except the distance from blade to front edge is very short. One of the Jets has an odd size table. The Laguna F1 and F2, as well as the same saw sold by Baleigh is just a light aluminum contractor saw in a box.

Again, it is cheapest to go big the first time, as you won’t have to do it again. Go 3 HP. ( 220)

View skatefriday's profile

skatefriday

493 posts in 2491 days


#14 posted 01-21-2021 08:35 PM

For $1500 you can get a brand new Grizzly 1023 with a riving knife. I think that General is a “what are they thinking?” price.

I have the 1023, and have used saws with and without a riving knife and I would never, ever, again have a saw without a riving knife in my shop.

If it were me, I’d order the Grizzly and just wait it out. It will be the last saw you ever buy.

View AzWoodWarrior's profile

AzWoodWarrior

1 post in 38 days


#15 posted 01-21-2021 09:15 PM

Always respect the saw. It took 16 years, but I finally had a table saw “incident”. One bit of advice is to always check your push sticks for wear. They get thinned out fast. It was the last rip before I cleaned up for the day. my haste disregarded proper precautions and was just plain in a hurry. If I had only looked at the push stick I would have thrown it away. Instead as I was almost through the rip of a 3/4”X3/4” hickory when the worn corner slipped off and came at me @200 mph. Safety first!!! As for the type of saw, DO NOT go cheap on a table saw. If you need a few extra months of savings to get a high quality saw it will be worth it. I would prefer a Powermatic used over just about anything cheap new. It’s my personal philosophy regarding tools “it’s hard to make chicken soup with chicken shit” If your tools are garbage, your results will be as well. A few more titbits… Measure once! be confident, JK.
Jigs are crucial, utilize them.
Never skimp on glue
A sander is not a planer.
Routers spin clockwise, move the router into the cut.
If you plan on keeping your saw stationary, put something for grip on the floor (nothing like ripping a full sheet and slipping on sawdust to make you pucker) A centering bit doesn’t get used often, but it’s a must have.
Sorry for rambling. I hope you’re saw serves you well.

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