Job site table saw for beginner?

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Forum topic by superrupe posted 12-10-2013 03:49 PM 5015 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 3093 days

12-10-2013 03:49 PM


I am looking into buy a DeWalt DW-745 for my first (real) table saw. I had an Ace bench top and the fence was worthless and motor was shot. I would like to build a cabinet around it to include an extension, router addition and out feed table. I don’t do too many big projects, but would like to get more involved in woodworking. Would this table saw for a beginner? If not, what would you recommend in the same price range?

Thank you!

-- Neil - Manhattan, KS

12 replies so far

View scvwood27's profile


117 posts in 3414 days

#1 posted 12-10-2013 03:57 PM

It sounds like with all the additions you plan on adding to the saw it will be stationary and not moving a whole lot. The only reason I would buy a job site saw is to move it from location to location. I would consider a contractor or hybrid style saw. These saws are bigger, which would allow your rip capacity to be greater, and much more accurate. Check craigslist daily and you will find a deal.

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 4048 days

#2 posted 12-10-2013 04:33 PM

+1 On getting a contractor or hybrid saw (both have a cast iron top, belt driven motor). The Dewalt and Bosch jobsite saws are the best in their class of saws, but they are still a jobsite saw.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

View a1Jim's profile


118321 posts in 5039 days

#3 posted 12-10-2013 04:44 PM

Job site saws have a number of disadvantages like a small table top.small fence. light weight(makes them easier to tip over) many do not let you use a dado blade,the miter gauge is toy like,the miter slots make it hard to use a sled.
One of the best saws in a low price range is a Ridgid contractor saw,it has a moble base that lets you move it around you shop or garage.


View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 4445 days

#4 posted 12-10-2013 04:48 PM

I like the dewalt saw. if you have palns to build a table around it, for other tools; then you’ll have to buy a larger fence rails. there are some nice set ups here on LJ’s . I would rather go with contractor style T.S. (money) now, and after a few years if you get more serious about finer woodworking; then step up to a full cabinet table saw, that has the HP to do the bigger denser lumber.

View a1Jim's profile


118321 posts in 5039 days

#5 posted 12-10-2013 04:48 PM

This can be very helpful for finding out about table saws.


View knotscott's profile


8439 posts in 4838 days

#6 posted 12-10-2013 04:50 PM

Ditto what the others have said….why buy portable if you don’t need portability? That’s typically the only user advantage of a portable saw over a decent stationary saw. For the same money or less, a good used full size cast iron saw with a belt drive induction motor has the lion’s share of advantages. For near $500 you can buy a new full size stationary saw.

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

View JonHitThingWithRock's profile


97 posts in 3184 days

#7 posted 12-10-2013 05:58 PM

I agree with the other guys here, get on craigslist type table saw, and explore your options, I got my Craftsman 113.299142 for about $125 and it’s far more capable than a jobsite saw, cast iron top, full dado support… I did replace the fence with a delta t2, as the stock one is a festering bowl of dog snot. Everything is adjustable, so I can get it calibrated just perfect. I see table saw deals like this all the time on craigslist, craftsman, delta, rockford, etc… and if in a couple years you decide on a full size cabinet saw (like I’m about to), you can sell it with all the upgrades you’ve done to it and make most of your money back.

View RandyTsuch's profile


52 posts in 3130 days

#8 posted 12-10-2013 08:04 PM

So I’m a newbie like you, working on my first project.

I recently bought the DW745 because I was tired to trying to make do without a TS.

And I am happy with it, understanding it’s limitations. I haven’t done much with it yet except make a crosscut sled. Hope to start using it for my real project pretty soon.

I mainly choose the 745 because the size lets me store it away when not in use, and the current HD pricing makes it a real bargain (IMHO).

However, if I had to do it again, I might go for a slightly larger saw, like the rigid or the PC, which is on wheels.
My projects are on the small side, so I think the 745 will work out for my, and do what I need it to do.

I did need to square the blade against the meter slot after buying the table, I think it was about 20 thousands off, and in the wrong direction. It was fairly easy to do, I used a digital caliper, and you need to loosen 4 screws I think.


-- Randy, Los Angeles/Brentwood, Ca

View JayT's profile


6455 posts in 3673 days

#9 posted 12-10-2013 08:16 PM

Hey Neil, welcome to LJ.

I’ll echo all the others. You will be better off finding a good used contractor style saw. Since I’m just down the road from you in Salina, I can say with great certainty that Craftsman 113’s come up frequently on the Salina or Manhattan Craigslist—some other models, as well, but not as often. That would give you a much more capable machine for less than the cost of a DW745, even if you want to upgrade the fence (the stock Craftsman ones are usable, but are the weak point of the model) You can still pretty easily build a complete workstation around one of those with all the features you want.

Good luck on the woodworking journey

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View knotscott's profile


8439 posts in 4838 days

#10 posted 12-10-2013 09:23 PM

This Ridgid TS2412 would make a great saw for $150. Some minor TLC, a good blade, and alignment would have that saw singing to you in no time, with money left for wood.

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

View schuft's profile


123 posts in 4070 days

#11 posted 12-10-2013 09:54 PM

If you really want a portable saw, be sure to check out the Ridgid R4510. The fence is solid, the miter slots are standard size, and the arbor accepts a dado stack up to 13/16”. As others have pointed out, however, all job site saws (including the R4510) have a number of disadvantages: small table size, poor miter gauge, aluminum (or even plastic) table surface, low power.

I bought the R4510 when I started wood working in my garage. It’s been okay. I thought I wanted something portable that I could push out of the way at night. Unfortunately even with a decent blade (Freud Fusion thin kerf) it still burns 4/4 hardwood. I think it’s really only powered for construction lumber and plywood. I wish I’d bought the R4512 contractor instead. Or even saved my pennies for a Grizzly 1023 or 690, or a used Unisaw.

View superrupe's profile


3 posts in 3093 days

#12 posted 12-10-2013 11:34 PM

Thanks everyone for the help! This is really good information. Based on the comments, I will look (by look, I mean convince the wife) at getting a hybrid or contractor saw. I will keep you posted. Thanks again for the help. What an awesome site!

-- Neil - Manhattan, KS

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