About to invest in a Table Saw- how do you see it?

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Forum topic by Mitchmor posted 12-25-2014 04:19 AM 2272 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 2597 days

12-25-2014 04:19 AM

I am pretty green in woodworking and started to walk down the “Which table saw do I buy” yellow brick road.

I have learned a ton of stuff here at LJ and felt I needed to post here before I pull the trigger. Any input is greatly appreciated. I’m looking to get the best performing saw for the best value without going too far beyond the $1000 range.

So while researching I looked at saws such as Laguna, Jet, Steel City, among others.

This group had me leaning to the Steel City Tool Works 35990G 1.5 HP- amazon currently lists the cost as $934.92.

Laguna’s fusion looked overpriced (around $1300) for just the 1.75 HP.

....but then I stumbled upon Grizzly and realized that for a couple of hundred dollars more than the Steel City I can get a 3 HP saw.
I pinned it down to 3:

G1023RL $1195 3 HP

G0690 $1375 3 HP

G1023RLWX $1395 5 HP

From what I gather the, 1023 is more updated in ways than the G0690 (better blade lift, serpentine belt), but the 690 has the Leeson motor.

I’m leaning on the G1023RL over the G0690. (Any objections welcome….!)
I’m also considering that for $200 more I can get the 5 HP version of the G1023, the G1023RLWX.
Would a $2000 saw be worth considering? (It would be somewhat of a stretch money-wise but I’m still open to considerations). I just want to make the right decision. (I’m also strongly considering pairing my saw with an Incra fence)
Thanks for any input folks…really!

How do you see it?

Grizzly’s value seems too good to pass up, reviews are pretty solid.

18 replies so far

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 2940 days

#1 posted 12-25-2014 04:36 AM

I’ve never used a grizzly, but mostly I hear good reviews. I am pretty confident in saying 5 HP is not really needed for dang near anything. I use a 3 HP and work with a lot of wood that is in the 3” thick range. The 3 HP motor has never bogged down on me. I’d skip the 5 HP. Not needed for very many applications at all.

As far as which saw… Oh man. I’ll try to keep this short. I think tablesaws might be the best tool to buy on craigslist. They are abundant and a good one comes up in my area about once a week. I have a great mid 90’s 3 HP unisaw that I love that I got off of craigslist. There are good deals to be had there. Now, if you want to buy a new saw, that is fine, just know you can typically get more bang for your back on craigslist. As far as buying new, I would have to suggest sawstop if at all possible. They are expensive, but from what I hear they are great quality. And you can’t buy fingers. If a sawstop is out of your price range and you want to buy new, I think the 3 HP grizzly is a good choice.

One thing I will say is that 3 HP is a good thing to stick with. At some point you’ll need it. I need that power often because I use thicker woods. But, at some point I would venture to say almost all woodworkers need that power no matter what their normal work includes. You can get by without it, but it is a good thing to have when you need it. I think buying a 3 HP saw is a good long term decision.

That’s all I have to say about that.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View MrUnix's profile


8405 posts in 3204 days

#2 posted 12-25-2014 04:45 AM

Get a nice used PM66 or Unisaw and use the money saved for some nice blades and other accessories, a band saw, jointer and maybe still have enough left for a planer :)


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

View sawdustjunkie's profile


411 posts in 2722 days

#3 posted 12-25-2014 05:27 AM

I got the grizzly 690 about 3 months ago. I have to say I really don’t know what I would do with a more expensive saw. The 690 has so much power and will be all the saw I will ever need.
Dust collection is quite good, but I only have a HF dust collector and run 1 machine at a time. I do have a Super Dust deputy atatched to the system, but I now think I could use more volume than the HF can supply.
Good luck with your choice!

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View runswithscissors's profile


3128 posts in 3030 days

#4 posted 12-25-2014 07:45 AM

I assume 220 volt juice won’t be a problem.

I like Craigslist too, but you will not have a riving knife with an older saw (I think the mandate came in around 2006 or so—others can correct this if I’m wrong). The RK is a really worthwhile safety feature.

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

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 3610 days

#5 posted 12-25-2014 12:17 PM

I love vintage machines and my shop is full of them including a 1950s unisaw. That being said, I wish I had a riving knife which can really only practically be had on a new saw.

I would go with the grizzly 1023 in a heartbeat with your budget. 5hp saws might require new wiring. A lot of them need a bigger circuit then 20amps and as someone else pointed out the extra hp is mostly useless on a 10” saw blade. If you are running a 12” saw it might be different. As it is the 3hp is excellent.

View knotscott's profile


8409 posts in 4380 days

#6 posted 12-25-2014 12:59 PM

If you’ve got 220v, IMHO either of those Grizzly 3hp saws are among the best bangs for the buck on the market. It’s simply hard to find more saw for less money. Which to go with seems to be split right down the middle….both have large happy followings….go with your gut.

Your budget would allow you to get into the entry level Saw Stop contractor saw, but you give up a fair bit to get the safety device at that price level….it’d come with steel wings, an outboard motor, and an entry level fence, two of which would beg for an upgrade, which pushes the total cost beyond budget and it’ll still be less substantial than either Griz cab saw IMO. That’s one of those personal choices that you’ll need to make.

Used is viable options if the right deal comes along, but you’ll often give up the luxury of a true riving knife.

5hp won’t hurt anything if your circuit will handle it, but even 3hp is pushing overkill for most hobbyists. Good luck, and please keep us updated.

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

View WhyMe's profile


1357 posts in 2566 days

#7 posted 12-25-2014 05:00 PM

You say you are a green woodworker; just how advanced you do plan on becoming? I consider myself as a novice and have made some fairly nice pieces of furniture and use a $600 contractor style table saw. It does all I need and is portable enough so it can be moved around easily. I don’t plan on becoming an expert and cranking out dozens of projects a year. I’m just saying you don’t need to spend $1000 or more on a table saw if you are not going to be really serious about wood working. I originally wanted to buy a $3000 unisaw, but after a lot of talking back and forth with myself, I couldn’t justify it.

View Lumberpunk's profile


334 posts in 3342 days

#8 posted 12-25-2014 05:10 PM

+1 For craigslist. There is a 3hp 3ph unisaw (no fence) on Vancouver craigslist right now for $175. And a PM66 for $1000 and and a General 3hp for $1600 and quite a few saws in between . Don’t know where you are located but I bet there are lots of good saws in your area. Get a 8” jointer at the same time with your savings.

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

View Woodbum's profile


946 posts in 4070 days

#9 posted 12-25-2014 05:28 PM

1023 in one of it’s variations just from personal experience. I bought one a few years back and never regretted my purchase. In my part of the country there is not much on Craigslist except junk. Good luck with that wherever you hail from. Me, I would rather have new, if not necessarily top of the line (PM). The Griz has done me a great job with 0 problems so far.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View Mitchmor's profile


16 posts in 2597 days

#10 posted 12-25-2014 11:25 PM

Thanks to all of you for the viewpoints and knowledge.

220v is no problem (thanks for the doublecheck).

TheWoodenOyster – Thanks a ton for the sound advice, it reinforces my gut feeling about it all.

MrUnix- Thanks for the other side of the coin, I see your point, but CL doesn’t have too much right now in my area.

sawdustjunkie- Glad to see a reply from a Grizz owner, anything in particular that made you go with the 690 over the 1023?

runwithscissors- I’m sold on a RK, thanks for the advice.

Minorhero- Thanks for the info, I will go with the 3HP.

knotscott- I remember your name while researching all of this, you have helped me a lot along the way thanks for taking the time!

Whyme- I am green, but am looking to continue along and progress in woodworking- Cab mounted trunnions are a must for me, so that’s why I started out with Steel City, and then moved into Grizz. I’m looking to get into a fair amount of production. Thanks for your input, I see your point.

Lumberpunk- I hear ya,but like Woodbum my area is dry.

Woodbum- I’m in the same boat as you thanks for the recommendation.

View alittleoff's profile


548 posts in 2281 days

#11 posted 12-26-2014 12:50 AM

I bought the Delta saw from lowes. I love the grizzly saw I believe it about 900.00 shipped. The only reason I didn’t buy it was I wanted to buy local in case I had trouble with it, I could drive it back in a few minutes. If you don’t mind buying over the Web, look at the grizzly. It’s a good looking saw with good reviews.

View Tennessee's profile


2936 posts in 3519 days

#12 posted 12-26-2014 01:48 AM

I’ve been using the Rigid 4512 for a couple years now. Save for one problem in the beginning, (a C clip popped off), the saw can handle everything I throw at it, up to 2 1/2 inch oak. It runs on 120VAC. Many other saws are much better and I admit that, but I can’t imagine why for 99% of use, you would need a 3-5HP saw running at 220VAC. Money well spent elsewhere.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View klassenl's profile


213 posts in 3664 days

#13 posted 12-26-2014 02:23 AM

How about the 0715p I have one very similar to this. As long as your blade is good there is lots of power and the price is excellent as well. However look for a used one first.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View Mitchmor's profile


16 posts in 2597 days

#14 posted 12-26-2014 05:00 AM

Good posts Tennesee and klassenl, because it brings up the table mounted trunnions vs cabinet mounted trunnions issue.

Tennessee- The Rigid 4512 was actually the first saw I heavily considered, but as I read about blade adjustment problems with table mounted trunnions (such as rigid), I moved onto cabinet mounted trunnion table saws. This lead me to Steel City, then Grizzly.

Now I’ve never adjusted/aligned a TS blade so all I can speak to is what I’ve learned from forums, salespeople, and reviews. I was loving the Rigid at one time though, but I think the cabinet mounted trunnions might save plenty of headaches.

As for the need for 3HP- I’d like to know I can handle resawing and hardwoods, but I see your point and it echoes inner dialogue I’ve had about the HP topic, and I can’t speak much from hands on experience so thanks for yours.

klassen- I looked into this Grizz model, 0715p as I was looking at Steel City’s saw.
I read some bad reviews of this model most notably problems with the table mounted trunnions/ blade alignment. If I’m gonna get close to the $1000 mark I would just assume to pay the extra couple of hundred for cabinet mounted trunnions.

I take it you guys have not had notable difficulties with blade alignment….?

View Ltwud's profile


24 posts in 2948 days

#15 posted 12-26-2014 06:39 AM

I bought a 5 horse grizzly about 10 years back and never regretted it. I love the oversized fence option that allows me to cut up to 52” so get the biggest and best you can afford and you won’t regret i . I think Grizzly makes some great stuff and they definitely have entry level product as well .

I have bought over 10 large tools from Grizzly and I happily keep going back. 3 years back I was moving into my new shop and a band saw fell over during the move and was damaged . I was amazed the part was only $25 and had it at my door in 3 days. I was amazed they had a part from a 7 year old saw in stock so I feel the service after the sale is amazing with Grizzly

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