Advice on Used Unisaw

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Forum topic by BDY posted 05-07-2014 02:34 AM 1298 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BDY's profile


17 posts in 2353 days

05-07-2014 02:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

Looking at getting a new saw soon. Only thing interesting on Craigslist is a 3hp 1phase Delta Unisaw with 52” rails, Biesemeyer fence, delta mobile base, penn state overarm blade guard and dust collection, and some other minor items.

Sent a note to the seller for year and model, he doesn’t know year other than “last year machine and motor were made in USA”. Will find out the model number and send me later. Has no riving knife but does have a splitter.

From the pics it looks to be in excellent condition, looks like a real woodworker who has moved and no longer has room for a shop.

First, does anyone know what year this thing might be? trying to match the pic to stuff on google image search looks to be in the 2003-ish timeframe.

Second, any opinions on using just a splitter vs a riving knife? I guess I could try to attach something like the BORK for an additional $150.

Third, assuming it is in good condition, what price range would you say would be reasonable?

Besides this I’m considering a new Grizzly g1023RLW for about $1500. Was also looking at SS and PM, in 1.75 and 3hp variations, but I just can’t seem to bridge the cost gap in my mind.

12 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile


3071 posts in 2532 days

#1 posted 05-07-2014 03:39 AM

How much is he asking for it?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View MrUnix's profile


7478 posts in 2706 days

#2 posted 05-07-2014 03:48 AM

Year can be determined by the serial number.. and Unisaws have always been made in the US and still are.
How much is he asking? Take too long and you might miss out on a great machine.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2056 days

#3 posted 05-07-2014 05:11 AM

Without seeing a picture, sounds like a very nice setup. I’d pick it over the others mentioned if it was in good shape.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4155 days

#4 posted 05-07-2014 09:20 AM

$1000 up, as equipped. I would not pay that much personally
but Unisaws saws in that sort of configuration are sought after so
there will be some local interest in that price range.

View squaretree's profile


160 posts in 2078 days

#5 posted 05-07-2014 11:07 AM

Is he giving you a price?

Sounds like a good set up. I would take it over the Grizzly, and I wouldn’t spend the money for a SS or PM. Just my opinion.

-- if you can't find me, just follow the extension cord

View BDY's profile


17 posts in 2353 days

#6 posted 05-07-2014 11:21 AM

He’s asking $1450. I will probably go look at it today if I can to see what kind of shape it’s in.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5739 posts in 3000 days

#7 posted 05-07-2014 11:24 AM

Couple of things: you can get the year of manufacture from the serial number, first 2 digits. The tag should be on the back right side of the cabinet. All Unisaws (except for some of the very latest models, and maybe them as well) are USA made…so his description isn’t of any use. On mine I have the Bies snap in splitter and like it just fine, I have to admit a riving knife would be more convenient (slightly) but I can’t imagine it working any better. There is also a drop down splitter available for them, though I’ve not seen one first hand. If your estimate of model year is correct, mine is a 2001 and i bought it new in 2002. With mobile base and 52” Unifence it was about $1600 (delivered). I would think his price should be somewhere south of $800 (+/-) or so. Just my opinion.

Edit in: that price is way too high, I’d go for the Griz. That said, I forgot to mention: the factory splitter is kind of a PITA to use, which is why mine was still hanging on the wall when someone else needed it. I gave it to him for the shipping.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View BDY's profile


17 posts in 2353 days

#8 posted 05-07-2014 11:29 AM

Fred, thanks, that helps a lot. I assume he’s jacking up the price 1) because of the extras, and 2) because it’s Craigslist and he knows people will offer way under his asking price.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4155 days

#9 posted 05-07-2014 11:40 AM

I’d want a riving knife at that price.

I’m not that snobby about riving knives actually, but
if you can get a newer saw with one for the same
money, it’s a good thing. From what I’ve read, riving
knife retrofits are awkward on most Unisaw-class older
table saws… I haven’t kept up with it though as I’ve
been using European saws for the last several years.

I’m not saying the Griz or whatever is as good
as a Unisaw, but they are pretty similar design wise
and you’ll probably never notice a deficiency in
the Grizzly unless you go pro and start using something
much more substantial than a Unisaw type saw.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1329 posts in 2442 days

#10 posted 05-07-2014 12:00 PM

Just for reference, I bought a used unisaw off of craigslist about a year ago. It was a 3HP, single phase machine, very clean. He had built custom rails (about 7 ft long) and a custom extension table with a router set up in it, and it came with about a 48” excalibur fence (come to think of it I have never measured it). I got a 3hp old school made in Japan ryobi router with the deal as well. It is a mid 90’s saw. Came with the stock riving knife. I paid $1050 for that setup. It was never what I considered a great deal, but it was definitely a good one. I love that saw and would do the deal over again today. Totally worth it and a unisaw is an awesome investment if it is in good shape.

$1450 might be a little high, but keep in mind you will be getting a bada$$ saw that you will keep forever. I’d probably give him $1000 or so for that set up.

Remember, there is always something to be said for finally being able to put your search to an end and getting to work. People never put value on that, but they should. Sometimes it is worth $200 to be able to get to work now instead of navigating the turbulent waters of craigslist for another month or two.

Good Luck!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View WoodNDust's profile


228 posts in 2613 days

#11 posted 05-07-2014 01:06 PM

I purchased a Grizzly 1023RL. It’s a nice saw. Good fit and finish. About $1195. Taiwanese made. No complaints. But getting a solid USA made saw used sounds better all the way around. Was there a picture you could post?

View squaretree's profile


160 posts in 2078 days

#12 posted 05-07-2014 01:36 PM

I agree 1450 is too high. Somewhere around $1000 would be a good price. I would also factor in the time and headache involved with having a new grizzly shipped in, cleaned, set up, tuned, damaged pieces replaced, etc…

Sounds like you are going to end up with a great saw either way you go, though. congratulations!

-- if you can't find me, just follow the extension cord

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