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Help! What table saw to buy?


spacewood

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After several years of using a very good but non the less limited benchtop table saw (perfect size when my workshop was my balcony), I'm ready to step up and buy a real saw. I'm looking in the $1000 range, "hybrid" table saw.

Can anyone offer their opinion or experience with the various brands out there and what would be a good buy? I know a lot of changes have been happening due to lawsuits and such. There are quite a few brands and I'm not quite sure which way to go.

Thanks,

J

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There are a lot of great hybrids on the market today. We have never tested a Sawstop, but they have a very cool safety feature. Not sure how well the motor or the system is built. Jet, Dewalt, Delta are all good saw, plus a few extras. Personally I like the Jet as they have a lot of different models to pick from and you can find one in your range. Craftsman has a couple, but I owned one and the motor went out pretty quick. Maybe just a bad motor, but never the less. Most hybrids are prety close to the same with some small differences, but to me I like a saw that has a guide fence that truely locks down tight. Nothing worse than being off a little on each cut.

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My biggest desire to move up from the small saw is the accuracy issue. I want a good fence. The craftsman in the toolcrib article above sounds cool...but no riving knife. After reading, I really like the idea of a riving knife.

What about the lesser known brands (lesser known outside of woodworking professionals maybe) like Steel City, General, Grizzly?

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They are all good saws. As long as you keep your blades sharp, the motor should last no matter what saw you get. I have worked with a grizzly and steel city and liked them both. Tables were nice, accurate cuts, except when I messed up. The steel city had a lot of use and still ran well. Not sure how many hours were on the saw, but my buddy who owns it does stuff a couple of times a week on the saw without any problems.

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Are there any particular features you've found in any tablesaws that you "couldn't live without" after using them? Jet seems to be the more affordable brand, and they easiest to obtain. I tend to think long and hard about purchases of this magnitude though, I want to be convinced.

Thanks

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I am pretty simple. A lot of people look for various features such as wheels to move the saw, a saw that is not loud etc. I figure I can always add wheel if I plan on moving it, which I really don't move mine much. The main things I look for are a nice big table top. I want something heavy so when I run plywood or something big through, the saw stays in place. The third thing I want is a good fence that is very accurate and locks down where I want it and stays in place. The last thing is a powerful motor. Anything else is just a bonus to me. do you have a local home improvement center or woodworking store by you? Check them out. A home center will only have a couple saw, which it always seems like lowes has the most variety compared to home depot or at least by me. Go play with them and see what fits your needs. You might find out that you don't like the saw we spoke about, maybe you like the hitachi or something else. It's a big expense.

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I have a Home Depot right next to me...as a power DIY'r, I've spent a lot of time there. They have mostly benchtop saws. I've been to a local Rockler - but they only carry SawStop and the fancy Delta's. I think I've just located another woodworking shop near by...I might head there next week.

I hear ya about the large table top. That's one key thing for me, moving up from a benchtop. the other is a good fence and straight miter slots (mine are wavy, nothing slides smooth and thus there's always a fair amount of slop).

i'll definitely be getting wheels - small shop, garage really, shared with the motorcycle. Thanks for the help!

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