Need help Identifying/ Comparing Uni-saw

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Forum topic by Luke posted 11-30-2011 04:20 AM 1918 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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545 posts in 3808 days

11-30-2011 04:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: unisaw table saw

This Unisaw is on sale on craigslist in my area and I’m really interested but don’t know much about them. It’s a 3hp and that’s all i know. Any help would be great. Selling for $650. I’m mainly wondering about dust collection, riving knive and that sort of thing. How modern it is or if it’s so old that I’d be better off getting something newer. I’m not looking to work on a saw I want something I can clean up, tune up and run with it.

Also I can get this saw and everything in the picture for $600. It’s not a unisaw but does have a nice fence and I know a great deal more about it.

-- LAS,

18 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4162 days

#1 posted 11-30-2011 04:34 AM

Dust collection is whatever you can rig up. Riving knife is an insert
with a stick of wood poking up behind the blade for 90 degree cuts,
with no option for tilting the blade.

Neither saw will have a riving knife available. Either saw will be
suitable for one-man shop use. Both appear to be left-tilt,
for which some people have a preference.

View RogerM's profile


800 posts in 2913 days

#2 posted 11-30-2011 04:36 AM

Luke – This saw is a Delta (or Rockwell Delta) and it appears to have a bit of age on it (perhaps at least 20 years). Most all of these saws had 3 HP motors. These old machines were heavy and stable but dust collection is a real problem with them. The old ones can also have some bearing problems. Based on my experience, it appears to me that the $650 price tag is quite a bit too high. I would suggest doing some more looking.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View RogerM's profile


800 posts in 2913 days

#3 posted 11-30-2011 04:46 AM

Luke – From the second picture this saw is clearly a Delta Left Tilt and does not appear to be too old. Based on the second picture $650 may not be too bad a price for the saw and accessories. I have a Biesmeyer Fence as well and really like it. The main reasons this saw is up for sale is the lack of dust collection and the left tilt which is becoming rapidly out of date. Right tilt saws are becoming the trend mostly because they are considered safer. I have never used a riving knife so can’t contribute much on that subject. I have seen a lot of riving knives offered by a number of manufactures which would probably work on this rig also. I have had one friend that rebuilt a similar (but older) saw with pretty good luck except for the dust collection.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3808 days

#4 posted 11-30-2011 04:49 AM

Roger they are not the same saw in both pics. The second one is a 36-714. Available for much less than a Unisaw if new but not quite the same. It’s much cleaner though and I know more about it because I have a model #.

-- LAS,

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3867 days

#5 posted 12-01-2011 08:10 AM

I’d go with the UniSaw pretty much regardless of its age. If that’s a Biesemeyer Fence, and it looks like an early one, and it looks to be a 52” that’s $300+ right there. It’s missing the motor door/cover so for dust collection you’d have to get that in order to do dust collection. More then likely it be available from Delta you can check on DeWalt’s SeviceNet it’d tell the availability and cost.

The opening below the motor opening is the dust collection port. If the saw has the slanted bottom inside going up to the left from the bottom of that dust collection port the dust collection is extremely good provided you have a decent dust collector. Believe me I know, I have one like that. Dust never accumulates in the bottom of the cabinet, I never have to clean mine out.

I built a hood for mine to connect to my dust collection system you can see what it looks like here. and actually that’s the second one I built, it’s the new improved version with a 5” connection, the old one was 4”

I’ve had my UniSaw for probably 15 years now so it being 20 years old or even 30 is not a detractor, if it was a taiwanese saw then yes it would be IMO. If I didn’t have one and this opportunity came my way I’d snap it up for $650 but I like old iron and I like restoring old iron and don’t mind spending a bit more to blueprint it. The older iron was made a lot better then most stuff today.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3497 days

#6 posted 12-01-2011 08:20 AM

i wouldn’t buy the first saw, but second picture i wpuld pay $600 for it if it had the 3 hp motor. these older machines won’t have a reiving knife or a left tilting blade. but those items on a delta, is around $3000 or a jet for around $2100. but for the $ 600, i’d get it

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5760 posts in 3007 days

#7 posted 12-01-2011 02:42 PM

I certainly think the first saw is a little overpriced. You’d have to come up with a motor shroud for DC. That doesn’t mean it’s niot a good saw…just overpriced (IMHO). The second is the hybrid??? If so, I’m leaning toward it being a little overpriced as well. Neither will have a riving knife, though you could get a snap in splitter or other options. As for DC; on my Uni, I run a 6” line to cabinet as well as a 3” line to the overarm basket from the DC. It gets everything in the cabinet, and probably 75%+ of what comes off the top of the blade.

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

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3207 days

#8 posted 12-01-2011 03:01 PM

I like the first saw if you could get it for a tad cheaper. That’s a bit proud.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3867 days

#9 posted 12-01-2011 05:04 PM

I’m wondering where all these ‘too much’ comments are coming from for a UniSaw? A little Google’n shows some as low as $800, if they’re still available, most are in the $1000 to $1300 range. Sure you can find one cheap sometimes when someone doesn’t know what they’re selling but those are few and far in between. I saw one for $3200, good luck with that. And the lower priced ones are usually the 30” model not the 52”

The motor cover would run ya $190 at ServiceNet if it’s the right one, I looked at the one for mine so that’s a downside but could be used to leverage the price by $100 or so, maybe even down to $500. So $700 to $750 total IMO would still be good deal.

Having owned a UniSaw for the length of time I have I would consider that a good investment, last table saw you ever have to buy. It definitely is for me. I’d consider buying it for $650 if the guy was firm even knowing I’d have to spend $200 for that motor cover. But probably no more then that.

I’m wondering if the people who are saying too much are UniSaw owners? Or if they’re basing it comparing it to some cheap knock off import junk. But being an owner, the solidness of it, the repeatability of cuts, especially with a Biesemeyer (but the UniFence was good too), never having to make adjustments or tweak it, makes it worth every penny I paid. And with the new improved model, which doesn’t impress me, going for $3400, huh?

My UniSaw wasn’t my first table saw, but when I got feed up with my el cheapo which wasn’t that cheap I was looking at Jet and Generals in the $800-$1000 range and that was in the mid 90’s. But then I thought, what if I’m not as happy with one of those? I’ll be buying a third saw? Went out and bought a new UniSaw to avoid that happening even though it was quite over my budget at the time. Never regretted it. If fact after a penny pinching buddy of mine used mine a few times he went out and bought one too. that said a lot.

And left tilt right tilt no riving knife, whoopee ding. It cuts wood very well and very accurately and just because it isn’t the latest with all the new fangled gizmos, big deal…

I’ve never heard any serious woodworker say, ‘Man I wish I wouldn’t have bought that UniSaw…’.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Alexdi's profile


21 posts in 2922 days

#10 posted 12-01-2011 09:53 PM

The first saw is accurately priced. It’s not a great deal, it’s not bad one, assuming all the internal parts are in order. If the motor cover is the only think that needs replacing, $600 would be fair. If internal parts are cracked, missing, or heavily worn, the table is scarred, the bearings are bad in the motor or the arbor, the arbor is out of true, it’d be worth less. Potentially a lot less.

If you’re not set on a cabinet saw, you could try something like this:

The overhead blade guard alone would be $400 new. Mobile base, $175. Fence and table, $300 at least. Great price for that rig. All you’re really giving up is some power with the thicker hardwoods.

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3323 days

#11 posted 12-01-2011 11:52 PM

Unisaw for sure, very good price if all is working smoothly. That one is a right tilt for sure (my personal preferance). Dont be sucked in by all the mickey mouse accessories on saw no. 2. If I was going to spend any money on the uni It would be on adding 10 inch wings to replace the existing 8 inch. As another poster mentioned the notion that that uni is overpriced is absurd. If your using it to make a living it will be payed for before nightfall and if it is just hobby use, well you probably dont need either one. Good luck with your decision JB

View kpmnd85's profile


5 posts in 2882 days

#12 posted 12-02-2011 02:37 PM

Both look like reasonable saws.

View thelt's profile


668 posts in 3893 days

#13 posted 12-02-2011 03:15 PM

Check and make sure parts are available from delta service centers or other online vendors. I have had poor results with Delta products and parts availability.

-- When asked what I did to make life worthwhile in my lifetime....I can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served a career in the United States Navy."

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3207 days

#14 posted 12-02-2011 05:20 PM

Blank, I don’t think anyone’s saying the first saw isn’t WORTH the money, as it most certainly is. Similar saws simply sell for less in my area (WV). I agree that this saw will likely outperform a modern multi-thousand dollar model. No one ever regrets buying an old Unisaw. If they do, like you said, I’ve never heard them.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View MrRon's profile


5727 posts in 3757 days

#15 posted 12-02-2011 07:03 PM

Both saws look good, but the one in the bottom photo looks to be a great value for $600. Based on that price, I would make a lower offer on the first one. I wouldn’t worry about the motor cover. It can be shop made very easily for a few bucks and bolted to the saw. The Biesenemeyer fences are valuable.

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