Table Saw Recommendations

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Forum topic by MrHart posted 03-15-2013 11:20 AM 7375 views 0 times favorited 101 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 3335 days

03-15-2013 11:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m sure this could be an old subject here, but I’d value everyone’s opinion.

What is the best, all around table saw, for the money? I don’t have a big budget and I don’t want to experiment with a purchase and not be happy with it, after all, its hard to test drive one. I’d like a nice 110v with an accurate, smooth fence. My use would be general woodworking as a hobby, not professional and most likely no real cabinet work or large sheet goods (very often).

I have a Shopsmith or 3, that I love, but the table is too high for me in the table saw mode and I’m not comfortable. This would be my only stand alone power tool and I want to make the right choice.

-- MrHart

101 replies so far

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3127 days

#1 posted 03-15-2013 11:24 AM

Good morning,

I have a Bosch 10” portable TS with a gravity rise stand from Home Depot. I’ve had it a few years and am very happy with it. I have nothing to compare it to however. The fence doesn’t slide smoothly, but I find it accurate.
I bought a Freud Dado set and a laminate blade, and it’s done everything I need it to do.

The stand is easy to use, and puts the saw up on its side for storage against the wall.

I’m sure there are better saws out there, but if you need portable, this one works for me.

All the best

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3493 days

#2 posted 03-15-2013 01:19 PM

I think the answer to that could very well depend on what your budget is. Are you looking for a purely portable saw or would a stationary one be okay? You would probably be well served scouring your local Craigslist too. Here’s a listing of table saws in Boise:

There looks to be a couple decent ones on there.

Ridgid TS2400 I had a Ridgid TS2400 (portable table saw on a cart) that I sold a while back for $250, so this guy is asking WAY too much money (if you could get it for around the $250 mark, I think that would be a pretty decent deal). That was a pretty solid “occasional” saw. The fence slid pretty smoothly and it had a feature you don’t see too often anymore – there was a thumbwheel that allowed for some micro adjustments. I hated the distance indicator on it though, it was very difficult to read.

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399 posts in 3033 days

#3 posted 03-15-2013 01:29 PM

If your mechanically inclined at all look for a used Contractor’s table saw, Delta and Powermatic are good ones to look for. With a good fence they can run around $500 – $600. Good fences are the Biesemeyer, the Unifence, the T-2, Vega, etc. Without a good fence the used saws can be found for around $300, but you can usually find a very reasonably priced new Delta T2 fence for under $200. This is not a bad deal for a made in the USA Delta with a good fence and the extras. I’d see if he would take $500 for it.

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513 posts in 3016 days

#4 posted 03-15-2013 01:38 PM

If you want to buy used, make sure to avoid the right tilt saws. Left tilt saws like Craftsman or the current crop of Rigid are good choices. Keep in mind you may have to replce the fence.

If you arer looking for new, a lot of folks are happy with Rigid. KnotScott will be along soon and can give you the best suggestions He’s the tablesaw guru around here and the most knowledgeable.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

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2298 posts in 3422 days

#5 posted 03-15-2013 01:41 PM

I have the Bosch 4100 with the gravity rise stand. A little paste wax on the fence makes it slide like buttah. I get great, accurate cuts from it. If space is a limiting factor for you, like it is for me, you can’t beat the Bosch. Even though I am extremely pleased with it, if I had more space, I would’ve opted for something bigger/permanent. That being said, I’ve never regretted buying it, I got it at Lowes with a 10% mover’s coupon.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View JamesT's profile


104 posts in 2964 days

#6 posted 03-15-2013 02:00 PM

I had a Ridgid 2400 that I was happy with, a Ridgid contractor 3650 that I was very happy with, and a Ridgid 4511 granite top hybrid that I was very, very happy with. You should be able to find good used ones for: 2400, $250-300, 3650, $300-375, 4511, $400-450. Any of them will do what you want to do. Plus, of course many other brands.

-- Jim from Horseshoe Bend

View toolie's profile


2203 posts in 3680 days

#7 posted 03-15-2013 02:03 PM

i ‘d suggest you first determine what type of saw would accommodate your intended applucations. this write up is a good starting point:

once the decision of what type of saw is most appropriate to your needs, then various markets and brands can be investigated.

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

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 3163 days

#8 posted 03-15-2013 02:10 PM

It depends on what you want to do with it. Carpenters can use a small portable saw and be happy with it. Precision woodworkers need a more accurate and larger saw which is more expensive. About 17 years ago, I purchased the Delta Contractor’s saw, with left & right tables, mobile base and a decent blade it was about $700. I quickly realized that I really wanted and by now need a bigger, more powerful saw.

So, define what you want to do, how much and how fast you need to do it in. Also, the available voltage is an issue as bigger saws want 220V. This will help narrow down the selection. If you are a serious woodworker, I would suggest a 3HP cabinet saw. If you have the money and safety is a concern go with the StopSaw, if you want to spend less money select a Grizzly.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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399 posts in 3033 days

#9 posted 03-15-2013 02:13 PM

I think that his original post pretty much tells what his intended applications are. I’d like a nice 110v with an accurate, smooth fence. My use would be general woodworking as a hobby, not professional and most likely no real cabinet work or large sheet goods An American made Contractor’s table saw I think would be the best investment for his needs.

View knotscott's profile


8415 posts in 4428 days

#10 posted 03-15-2013 04:35 PM

More important than brand is saw type IMO. I’d suggest a full size saw with a belt drive induction motor. You didn’t mention a budget, but new full size saws tend to start around $500 (coupons and sales can shave costs a bit). Everyone’s preferences are different, but once you’re into the full size belt drive 110v category, the more desirable features are a good fence, solid cast iron wings, and cabinet mounted trunnions…the more you spend, the more goodies you get in one package. The alternatives of steel wings and table mounted trunnions will work, but a lame fence will hinder precision, so either buy a saw with a good fence, or plan to buy a good aftermarket fence. With the restriction of 110v, they’ll all be no more than 2hp… alignment and blade choice will be the factors that ultimately determine end performance.

A good used saw is always an option if the right deal comes along….sometimes the most bang for the buck.

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

View TerryDowning's profile


1149 posts in 3169 days

#11 posted 03-15-2013 04:48 PM

Shopsmith user here chiming in.

Personally, I’ve endeavored to reduce my table saw usage. For ripping I now use my band saw, for cross cuts I use my Sliding compound miter saw. For dadoes and other non through cuts, I use my router (with or without the table depends on the cut.). For larger rips (panel goods mostly) I can’t do on the band saw, I find that a straight edge and circular saw make a much safer combination.

I have neither the real estate nor the budget for a stand alone table saw.

Of course I can always use galoot tools as well :) I do have a complement of handsaws, planes, chisels etc.

I’m just providing the minority opposition opinion re: table saws. I don’t think they are as essential as is made out.

-- - Terry

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3183 posts in 4283 days

#12 posted 03-15-2013 06:19 PM

I am just the opposite of Terry. I am trying to eliminate my sliding compound miter saw. The only reason I need it is to cut 1×12 boards to a shorter length. Other than that, I can do just about anything else on the table saw.

My suggestions is to buy the best you can afford and get a good blade for ripping and a good blade for crosscutting. The two I am using are the Marples 50 tooth blade for crosscutting and simple ripping. I also have a Freud 30 tooth glue line rip blade for ripping.

With a table saw you can make a sled for accurate crosscutting. And there are jigs that you can make for making miter cuts or buy a miter jig like the Incra.

A good stacked dado set will aid in cutting rabbits, half laps, etc. And if you have room, you can build a router table for one of the saws extension wings.

Good luck in your search.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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399 posts in 3033 days

#13 posted 03-15-2013 06:25 PM

Scott,in a new saw, your not going to get much of anything for $500. Infact I would strongly suggest that anyone should stay away from anything that is that cheap, or even close to it in a new saw.

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399 posts in 3033 days

#14 posted 03-15-2013 06:32 PM

I will never understand why people think that they need to do all their crosscuts on a table saw. Keep your miter saw, use a good sharp blade, or get a better miter saw if it isn’t working for you.

View mdawson2's profile


35 posts in 3024 days

#15 posted 03-15-2013 06:42 PM

I have a 12 inch sliding compound miter saw, but even that can only cut about 12” at 90 degrees. So I fail to see how having a compound miter saw will do all my crosscutting needs.

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