Table saw help

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Forum topic by poser516 posted 09-03-2008 07:14 PM 2263 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 4141 days

09-03-2008 07:14 PM

Hello you all.
I’m looking to purchase my first tablesaw. I’m not a woodworker but am using it to make wood surfboards. I will be ripping 9-10 foot 2 by material into thin strips with the saw.

If you go here:

You can see the two saws i am interested in. THe one on the left, labled “benchtop”, looks nice and easy to move around and pretty basic. it’s around 350 dollars. It has legs, which is mandatory for myself. They have another one, the contractor saw, to the right, which is about double the price, maybe a little less.

I’d rather not spend that much money but if I have to, I will. Ill mainly be ripping cedar and redwoods and woods of that weight. Will the saw on the left be enough for me? or do i need something like the contractor saw?

Thanks for all of your help,

33 replies so far

View Brad's profile


132 posts in 4316 days

#1 posted 09-03-2008 07:34 PM

Just my 2 cents but I would keep an eye out on craigslist. You may find as you start getting into woodworking you’re going to want some more versatility from your table saw. You can find an awesome TS on craigslist for about what you’re going to spend on the small bench top TS. Jet makes great tools though so really you couldn’t go wrong. Just make sure whatever you buy has a quality rip fence… nothing worse than spending all day creating scrap.

After a few purchases on Craigslist I’ve found tools unlike other items aren’t really “used” they are just dirty. After a little clean up even the worst looking tool will perform like a champ.

-- Brad --

View PurpLev's profile


8552 posts in 4191 days

#2 posted 09-03-2008 07:56 PM

there are plenty of delta contractor saws going on sale on craigslist – some are pretty decent!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TheDane's profile


5695 posts in 4205 days

#3 posted 09-03-2008 11:04 PM

FWIW … I bought a Jet 708100 almost two years ago. Here’s a review I posted a while back:

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View poser516's profile


41 posts in 4141 days

#4 posted 09-04-2008 04:17 AM

hey yall.
thanks for the tips. craigs list has treated me well in the past but so far haven’t found anything that looks satisfactory on there as far as table saws go. im also most hesitant with used table saws because i don’t want a junky fence.

the 7089100 looks great, but is twice as much. is it excessive for me to purchase that tool? dane, how big in feet is it?

View DavidH's profile


519 posts in 4285 days

#5 posted 09-04-2008 05:10 AM

i too was in this same position several months ago, and I nearly went with a bench top model, save a few extra hundred dollars and get a contractors saw that has full cast iron wings you wont regret it. I picked up a delta contractors saw at the houston wood working show earlier this year for $495ish and have no regrets about the purchase and know that it unlike a bench top saw will serve me well for years to come.

I dont want to stear you away from jet they are a great brand but compair the prices on the delta.

-- David - Houston, Texas. (

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4296 days

#6 posted 09-04-2008 05:13 AM

I bought my Dewalt DW746 off of Craigslist..just keep an eye on the list and when you see something up check it out….thats what I did.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4230 days

#7 posted 09-04-2008 05:14 AM

Looks like Home Depot is selling the contractor model for over $200 less than Lowes and most of the other places …better hurry before HD finds out !!! Unless you’re going to be ripping all that cedar , etc. outside , you probably ought to consider a good dust collector as well ….AACHOO !!!! After experiencing a DELTA benchtop saw and a REAL saw …...I opted for the REAL saw which was a JET cabinet saw which is probably more saw than you’ll ever need …I would go with the contractor saw myself : ) You don’t mention if the surfboards are for yourself or if you are opening a business….

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View damnHippie's profile


35 posts in 4317 days

#8 posted 09-04-2008 05:48 AM

I have the bench top version of the jet table saw. It is very powerful for the price, and the table is very flat. But the fence is a bit wobbly until locked down (making it hard to know if it is parallel to the blade), the miter slots are narrower than most (making it hard to find an aftermarket miter gauge), and on mine the blade isn’t parallel to the miter slots and isn’t adjustable.

With all that in mind, I use the saw on a regular basis and am very pleased with it. Just gotta know what you’ve got, I guess. If possible, buy one you’ve seen in person and have had a chance to inspect.

-- 10 fingers, 2 eyes, and healthy lungs. for now. :P

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4357 days

#9 posted 09-04-2008 05:55 AM

Have you considered a band saw? Much safer and you could probably get away with a small one. Build it into a bench so you can support the long boards and make strips to your hearts content without all the noise and danger of kickback.

Just trying to think outside the box.

-- Scott - Chico California

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4313 days

#10 posted 09-04-2008 06:03 AM

It is not so much what you are cutting as it is the importance of it. I’m sure you want to make the finest surfboards and you should have the best tools you can to be the best craftsman you can be. I agree with Brad & PurpLev, keep an eye out for a used Delta contractor saw (if you want to save money) or check out CPO Delta and have them ship you one brand new. Two further points, one, if it is a Delta, make sure it has an external motor (you can see it mounted to the back of the saw). Two, if it does not have a fence in good condition, you can get a replacement T2 fence from Delta or even Lowes. Good luck and remember, buy the best tools you can afford and you’ll only cry once!


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View poser516's profile


41 posts in 4141 days

#11 posted 09-04-2008 06:29 PM

thanks for all of the help everybody. im amazed at all the information you have all just given me. im gonna look into the delta contractor saw right now and see what I can come up with. i did think about a bandsaw, chicowoodnut, but it seems like it would be difficult to get perfectly straight strips off of one. I guess I would have to clamp a piece of straight stock on the side of the blade, and use that as the fence? Would that be accurate?

View poser516's profile


41 posts in 4141 days

#12 posted 09-04-2008 06:36 PM

just doing some looking around. why are jet tools so expensive?

I was looking through the delta contractor tablesaws on their website and they have like 5 or 6. which is it that you reccomend, david?

View poser516's profile


41 posts in 4141 days

#13 posted 09-04-2008 06:39 PM

how about the delta 36979?

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4357 days

#14 posted 09-05-2008 06:09 AM

Yup, you would have to make a fence as you described. Thinking back on my comment though, the one I linked is too small for ripping really long boards. I rip on my Jet bandsaw but it is a 14”.

-- Scott - Chico California

View ryno101's profile


388 posts in 4207 days

#15 posted 09-05-2008 09:40 PM

My two cents as well… I have posted a review of the benchtop model, and agree with DamnHippie… the fence is a bit wobbly, and inaccurate, you can see in my review how I’ve gotten around it.

If you’re looking for accuracy and precision out of the box, go with something that’s got a “real” fence… if you’re looking for power, reliability, solid construction, and are willing to do some tweaking, I’d say the benchtop Jet is a good saw for the money.

-- Ryno

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