Is it worth looking at a 1998 Unisaw for $850?

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Forum topic by Tom148 posted 03-15-2012 10:41 AM 2834 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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39 posts in 3605 days

03-15-2012 10:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw grizzly unisaw general

I am in the process of upgrading my shop and I am trading my 25 year old Sears Craftsman contractors table saw for a new model. I have been looking at the Grizzly table saws and like the G0715P Hybrid saw or the G0690 Cabinet Saw. Both seem very good prices for what you get. I have also looked at the General “50-200r m1” which I quite like. The blade cavity looks a little tight for a dado set but I think that is manageable.

I just ran across a 1998 Unisaw 1 1/2 hp, 26” fence with 50” rails for about $850. I know this is the reference standard in table saws but I would love for folks to chime in and offer opinions on the relative merits of these saws vs each other and the 20 year old Unisaw. I am concerned about dust collection and safety (riving knife) so I am leaning towards a newer model. I considered the Sawstop but the cost delta is too big at present.

My shop is being set up for small boxes, marquetry and wood carving. So precision is important but massive power is not. I have budgeted about $1000 for the table saw.

I am currently working bringing 220 single phase to my shop and I want to make a decision in the next few days.

So I welcome your feedback and opinions.


-- Tom

5 replies so far

View Marlow's profile


214 posts in 4012 days

#1 posted 03-15-2012 12:17 PM

I have a UNISAW of that vintage, and I think its a great saw, but the one I have is a 3 hp model: did not know they made 1.5 hp UNISAWs?

View knotscott's profile


8437 posts in 4716 days

#2 posted 03-15-2012 12:45 PM

What fence is on the Unisaw? $850 for the 1.5hp version could be a little steep even if it has a Biese or a Unifence…I’d be more interested at $650-$750, but it partly depends on your finances and the condition of the saw. If the saw is really nice and ready to roll, the G0715P and GI 50-200R M1 aren’t in the same league.

The G0690 (and G1023RL that you didn’t mention but should look at) are at least in that league, but sell for quite a bit more than the used Uni. Since you’ve got 220v coming, if budget allows, I think I’d prefer a 3hp G1023RL with riving knife for $1349 shipped than a 1.5hp Uni, but that’s really just a matter of preference.

FWIW, a 1.5hp Unisaw can be up can be upgraded to 3hp+. There’s also an aftermarket riving knife available that fits the old Uni called the BORK. I’ve got one on my Shop Fox cabinet saw, and am pleased with it.

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

View Loren's profile


11375 posts in 4989 days

#3 posted 03-15-2012 02:44 PM

A Unisaw will outperform most any any more portable
style of saw (except Inca and a couple other exceptions)
in terms of accuracy in joinery, quietness of operation,
and so on.

If precision for small work is what you need, you might
want to get a saw that runs smaller blades as standard.
A Unisaw is “belted” to run 10” blades. 9” and smaller
blades run with less edge flutter, other factors being

I don’t want to evangelize for forgoing a tilting arbor,
but for small work and joinery, the old tilt table saw
like the Inca 259 and the Delta 9” have advantages
that are hard to describe… and also the obvious liabilities
incurred by the tilting table.

That said… the price on the used Unisaw may be a
good deal in your area. It is quite high in mine.

View MrRon's profile


6260 posts in 4584 days

#4 posted 03-15-2012 07:59 PM

I come from the “more HP is better” school. The more power, the safer it is.

View Tom148's profile


39 posts in 3605 days

#5 posted 03-15-2012 08:31 PM

Thanks for the comments…..

I think the price for the Unisaw is a bit high as well.

I need to have a tilting arbor since the box miters are typicaly 45 or 22.5 degrees. I also do some furniture and general wood working so I need the flexibility. The more I think about it the more I think I will be going with a new model. dust collection, safety and horseower. I really want to take advantage of the new 220 V setup in my shop so I ant to get a 2 to 3 hp motor on my saw. From the spec’s I’ve read it will run strong and only drawe 7-10 amps depending. I’ll be sore for two days after running the wire so my motto is….Every job deserves a new tool!

Thanks for the comments. Now to figure out which model???? Fun problem to have!

-- Tom

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