Time for a new table saw; recommendations?

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Forum topic by pashley posted 10-13-2012 03:23 AM 2720 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1044 posts in 3988 days

10-13-2012 03:23 AM

Well, I think my old contractor saw (DeWalt) is about ready to bite the dust after 5+ years. Yes, a contractor saw…I didn’t know much about saws back then when I started, and it was all I could afford. Anyway, it’s making some funky noises; I suspect the bearings are going in the motor, so I need to get started shopping for a new “real” table saw, and I’d like some recommendations.

What I am looking for:

• Something small. My shop is not big. Something I can roll around would be nice.

• Something with a decent amount of space before the blade, so I can lay down work before pushing it into the blade.

• A saw that I can get decent customer service on, if need be.

• A saw that is highly accurate, referring to the miter gauge, fence, saw angle, and so on, and something I can adjust easily, if need be to bring it back to alignment.

• Not too expensive. I’m thinking around $700.

• Decent dust control.

So far, the only thing I’ve seen is the Rigid table saw at Home Depot. Again, just getting started looking. This would be a perfect size; I can’t accommodate a huge outfeed or side table.

-- Have a blessed day!

7 replies so far

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3210 days

#1 posted 10-13-2012 04:20 AM

I would consider a used Delta unisaw or a powermatic 66. Both are very dependable and accurate saws that will likely outlast you. You may be able to find them at an auction too

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2455 days

#2 posted 10-13-2012 04:38 AM

throw in an extra $95 and you have a hybrid grizz built like a cabinet saw that will last a life time with a riving knife and great/accurate fence.

View knotscott's profile


8209 posts in 3646 days

#3 posted 10-13-2012 12:46 PM

A new saw that meets all your criteria for $700 is going to be a tall order. All the new saws within your budget will meet some, but not necessarily all of your criteria. Something may need to give….budget or criteria. At least 4 obstacles come to mind.

1) There are precious few new (or used) saws that come with a good stock miter gauge…you’ll need to look to an aftermarket gauge or build a crosscut sled for good accuracy.
2) “Highly accurate” is a relative term. None of the new saws I know of for < $700 come with a top notch fence…most are functional, but not great.
3) Any saws with table mounted trunnions is going to be a bit of challenge to align because the trunnions are harder to reach…those with cabinet mounted trunnions are easier to reach and align, but it narrows the field.
4) Customer services limits you to new…a used saw is likely to offer a better fence and cabinet mounted trunnions within budget.

I can think of 4 new full size saws within budget…the R4512 and nearly identical Craftsman 21833, the Porter Cable PCB270TS, and the Steel City 35990SS. There are pros and cons to all of them. You’ll need to prioritize you’re want list and choose which offers the most of the features you want.

The R4512 and 21833 have table mounted trunnions, but also have what I feel are the best fences among these 4 saws….not a great fence, but functional. The PCB270TS and 35990SS have cabinet mounted trunnions, but both have what I feel are weaker fences….still capable, but less robust and repeatable. The PCB270TS also has a plastic elevation gear that concerns me. All are full size hybrid style contractor saws with the same size main table dimensions, and similar motor power.

The Craftsman 22116 has occasionally fallen near your budget, but it’s rare….this one has the big yoke style cabinet mounted trunnions, a nice steel Biese clone type fence, and full enclosure for good DC. It also has a heavy granite top.

The Grizzly hybrids put you closer to $900 shipped, have a nice fence, cast iron top, full enclosure, but table mounted trunnions.

A used saw has no service.

Table Saw Classifications and Buying Tips

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

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2847 days

#4 posted 10-13-2012 12:55 PM

I suggest saving a few more pennies and get a good saw with cabinet mounted trunions. Steel city makes one as well as craftsman and I think a general international.

I wish I had saved those pennies from the get-go. I’d not be on tablesaw #3 and still not totally happy with it.

This time I’m going all in for a 1.75HP sawstop cabinet saw.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Cabletech1's profile


21 posts in 2322 days

#5 posted 10-13-2012 01:12 PM

I have a very small shop and I went with a Unisaw using a Biesemeyer fence and it is dead on accurate. It doesn’t take up that much room from another saw. It’s how big your tables are that take up the room. It came with the rollers to move it around the shop also. I got mine through Craigslist like new for 950 but worth it.

-- "Do it right the first time while remembering this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these — safety glasses."

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3184 days

#6 posted 10-13-2012 01:21 PM

+10 on what Knotscott says.

My personal spin/opinion:

  • You say ”...I need to get started shopping for a new “real” table saw…”, so at that point you are talking about full cabinet saws and NOT “contractor” or “Hybrid” saws.
  • You have already gone through ONE TS within 5-years. And your stated budget indicates that you are about to do the same again, go through another lesser quality saw that will wear out quickly.
  • By the time you go through a 2nd TS, in about 5-yrs from now (according to your use pattern), you will be looking again for a 3rd TS at likely the same sub-thousand dollar budget forecast.
  • Once you buy your third “budget conscious” TS, you will have spent enough for a quality “lifetime” cabinet saw. Maybe this makes sense to you, however you could save yourself the grief and smile every time you use a quality tablesaw that will last your 20-50yr.
  • My own personal recommendation is to buy 2 or 3 models higher than the manufacturer’s “entry level” model, because regardless of manufacturer those “entry level” saws tend to be of much lower quality. ALL manufacturers do this in order to have their foot in the “price leader” market. Be so warned IMO.
  • If you double your budget NOW, that would be $1400 and that alone opens up the TS field tremendously. Such as a Grizzly G0690
    Price: $1,325.00
    Freight: $150.00
    Your Price: $1,475.00

Or how about the Grizzly G1023RL with a router extension included:
Price: $1,250.00
Your Price:

AND YES, I AM BIASED TOWARDS LIKING GRIZZLY PRODUCTS (if/when I shop high enough on the food chain). For example, here is my pride and joy, and notice that I have a mobile base on this and can roll it anywhere I want it within the shop. At ~600lb I can NOT roll it over a garage slab Lip, though I don’t think any piece this large can do that successfully:

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View toolie's profile


2151 posts in 2899 days

#7 posted 10-13-2012 01:26 PM

+1 on knotscott’s comments. i’d also add that steel city tools seems to run specials annually that reflect some pretty good deals if you’re up for a drive, i have this available (preferred price for LJers):

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

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