If you had $1500 for a new table saw... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 55 Old 06-24-2019, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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If you had $1500 for a new table saw...

I've been fiddling with wood for about 5 years now, but only "woodworking" for the last 2-3 years. I have a potential project that will be my largest order by far (a little over $2,000), and if it goes through, I want to upgrade my saw. Right now, I have a Dewalt saw that I'm really starting to hate (the biggest problem is that the table is nowhere close to flat), and the more I think about it, the more I want to replace it.

So: If you had $1,500 for a new table saw, what would you buy?

Info:

- Portability is NOT important to me. I've moved my saw exactly once in the past 3 years, and I can't see a scenario which requires me to move my saw again.

- I don't want to have to pay someone to rewire my shop, so it needs to work on standard 120v.

- I occasionally cut 8/4 hardwood, but most of the time it's 4/4.

- EDIT: Right now I'm a stay-at-home dad building up my Etsy shop when I can, and my goal is to definitely see if I can make woodworking my full-time job once the kids are in school. So I'm looking for something that will stand up to that kind of workload.
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post #2 of 55 Old 06-24-2019, 08:01 PM
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$1,500 is not enough for a SawStop. It is more than enough for a very good standard saw. You said that you have a saw now. I would start by visiting all of the stores in your area that carry table saws and see what meets your eye. I would probably even be tempted to look in the used saw market for a low mileage saw.



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post #3 of 55 Old 06-24-2019, 08:42 PM
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Delta 36-725 and $1,000 worth of wood.

For a hobbiest/weekend warrior/garage shop, im pretty firmly in the camp that the Delta is all you really need, and anything above it in terms of price/features is just overkill. For the 3/4-1" thick stuff most commonly seen, the 1.5hp motor is more than enough oomph to keep the cuts going, the fence is a simple bisemeyer style and works extremely well, and the top is flat and plenty large enough.

That said, this goes out the window for saws in a commercial environment. If youre ripping down 12/4 hardwood 8 hours a day 5 days a week, then yes, one of the beefier 5hp saws would be worth it, but short of that, well... If you do end up looking for one of those beefier saws, i agree with George, SawStop is a good place to look just for the safety tech. Personally i cant stand them as a company, good tools but i dont like how the inventor tried to get the government to make licensing his tech mandatory in new saws. Id recommend Grizzly as another good place to look, no fancy bells and whistles but probably the best bang for your buck

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post #4 of 55 Old 06-24-2019, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Delta 36-725 and $1,000 worth of wood.

For a hobbiest/weekend warrior/garage shop, im pretty firmly in the camp that the Delta is all you really need, and anything above it in terms of price/features is just overkill. For the 3/4-1" thick stuff most commonly seen, the 1.5hp motor is more than enough oomph to keep the cuts going, the fence is a simple bisemeyer style and works extremely well, and the top is flat and plenty large enough.

That said, this goes out the window for saws in a commercial environment. If youre ripping down 12/4 hardwood 8 hours a day 5 days a week, then yes, one of the beefier 5hp saws would be worth it, but short of that, well... If you do end up looking for one of those beefier saws, i agree with George, SawStop is a good place to look just for the safety tech. Personally i cant stand them as a company, good tools but i dont like how the inventor tried to get the government to make licensing his tech mandatory in new saws. Id recommend Grizzly as another good place to look, no fancy bells and whistles but probably the best bang for your buck
I edited my OP to add some info. Basically, my Etsy shop and the overall scope of what I make has already grown way more than I thought it would when I started, and my goal is to continue growing it as much as I can. Would the Delta still be the go-to saw if I'm hoping to grow to basically full-time woodworking?

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post #5 of 55 Old 06-24-2019, 09:00 PM
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You are kinda limiting things with the 120 volt requirement. Some of what has been suggested isnít going to run on 120.

I would look at something like this https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...d-Fence/G0771Z or maybe a https://www.jettools.com/us/en/p/the...-wings/725000K
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post #6 of 55 Old 06-24-2019, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerrys View Post
You are kinda limiting things with the 120 volt requirement. Some of what has been suggested isnít going to run on 120.

I would look at something like this https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...d-Fence/G0771Z or maybe a https://www.jettools.com/us/en/p/the...-wings/725000K
I know the voltage requirement is going to limit my options, but I'm no electrician and messing with wiring is the one aspect of DIY that skeeves me out. I've been looking at the Jet (saw it mentioned in a couple articles), and the Grizzly looks great too. Thanks!

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post #7 of 55 Old 06-24-2019, 09:46 PM
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Price of the contractor Saw Stop ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
$1,500 is not enough for a SawStop. It is more than enough for a very good standard saw. You said that you have a saw now. I would start by visiting all of the stores in your area that carry table saws and see what meets your eye. I would probably even be tempted to look in the used saw market for a low mileage saw.

Yes, you are correct, but you can come close:
https://www.woodcraft.com/products/s...QaAvVHEALw_wcB


A good honest review here:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #8 of 55 Old 06-24-2019, 09:52 PM
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Myself, I would try to buy a used commercial grade saw with at least 3hp. Then if it didn't already have one upgrade the fence to something like Biesemeyer.
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post #9 of 55 Old 06-24-2019, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Myself, I would try to buy a used commercial grade saw with at least 3hp. Then if it didn't already have one upgrade the fence to something like Biesemeyer.
I have never seen a 3hp motor that runs on 120 volts.
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post #10 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackman View Post
I know the voltage requirement is going to limit my options, but I'm no electrician and messing with wiring is the one aspect of DIY that skeeves me out. I've been looking at the Jet (saw it mentioned in a couple articles), and the Grizzly looks great too. Thanks!

There are electricians out there who you can hire to change your wiring.


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post #11 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackman View Post
I've been fiddling with wood for about 5 years now, but only "woodworking" for the last 2-3 years. I have a potential project that will be my largest order by far (a little over $2,000), and if it goes through, I want to upgrade my saw. Right now, I have a Dewalt saw that I'm really starting to hate (the biggest problem is that the table is nowhere close to flat), and the more I think about it, the more I want to replace it.

So: If you had $1,500 for a new table saw, what would you buy?

Info:

- Portability is NOT important to me. I've moved my saw exactly once in the past 3 years, and I can't see a scenario which requires me to move my saw again.

- I don't want to have to pay someone to rewire my shop, so it needs to work on standard 120v.

- I occasionally cut 8/4 hardwood, but most of the time it's 4/4.

- EDIT: Right now I'm a stay-at-home dad building up my Etsy shop when I can, and my goal is to definitely see if I can make woodworking my full-time job once the kids are in school. So I'm looking for something that will stand up to that kind of workload.
'' my goal is to definitely see if I can make woodworking my full-time job'''

The above statement you made tells me you need to get your house wired for 220 volts. Look around and see if you can find a really good used saw. Here is one in TN and I know it's too far for you to travel but one will pop up in your town pretty soon. Don't be in such a hurry and you will find a deal.

https://nashville.craigslist.org/tls...913040204.html

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.

Last edited by hawkeye10; 06-25-2019 at 08:49 AM.
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post #12 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 08:55 AM
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When I started my first shop and needed 220V, I made and extension cord for my planer that plugged into my clothes dryer outlet in the house. It worked just fine on my 5HP Foley Belsaw planer.

$1500 is a good starting point for a table saw. It is usually the most important tool in your shop. Some of the old brands that used to be good, like Delta, are pure garbage now.

The bigger and heavier the saw and motor, the safer it is. This is especially true if you work alone. I think a 3/4" sheet of MDF is around 90 lbs and a 3/4" sheet of cabinet grade plywood is around 70 Lbs. There are lots of times you will be slamming the boards on the table saw top (not intentionally) and then pushing it through the blade You want to know that the table saw will not roll over.

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Last edited by Tony B; 06-25-2019 at 09:49 AM.
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post #13 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 09:12 AM
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Before counting a simple 240v receptacle out, just get a price from an electrician or two. It might be well within your budget to have the receptacle run and have enough for a better saw. It would also affect many other possibilities down the road for other equipment you might buy. The difference being a garage full of weekend warrior grade tools for a guy trying to make full time living at woodworking vs. more power and more options down the road. Just don't assume it's too costly without getting a price. Every house is a different situation and a quote is free.

A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains...
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post #14 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerrys View Post
I have never seen a 3hp motor that runs on 120 volts.
Exactly, a person should never let electricity hinder you in selecting a machine. You buy a machine that does the job and if it needs more power than what you have fix the electrical problem. I bought a machine one time that ran off three phase. When I bought the machine I had planned on replacing the motor with one that was single phase only to find out the motor was irreplaceable period. I ended up having to purchase a phase converter to make it work. Then I realized there is a lot of great machines out there which are three phase and cheap so I ended up buying three more machines which run on three phase.
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post #15 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 12:10 PM
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The op stated he didn’t want to rewire. I completely understand where the op is coming from. My shop is in a pole building about 100 feet from our power meter. The original owner put in a buried circuit from the meter to the pole building. He only ran a 50 amp circuit. What I need to do is install a new circuit breaker at the point of service, pull new wire from point of service to pole building, install new panel in building and basically rewire the entire building. I don’t want to go to all that trouble to have 220. Perhaps the op is in a similar situation, perhaps not. He asked for suggestions for table saws that run on 120.

One of the reasons I don’t post much.
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post #16 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 12:11 PM
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Budgeting for 220 wiring and a decent used saw will make you happier in the long run than spending the entire $1500 on a 110 volt saw.
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post #17 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 01:20 PM
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used 1 1/2hp unisaw
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post #18 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice, everyone!

For everyone advising I just bite the bullet and get a 240-volt line put in: A super quick search gives cost estimates anywhere from $500 to $1200 or more. The place where I'd want the plug is literally on the other side of the wall from the breaker box, so it seems like the cost may be on the lower end of the spectrum? My main reason for not wanting to go this route is I don't want to shell out a thousand dollars or so now, then end up moving in the next 5-10 years and have to pay it all over again (or potentially even more!). But I will look into it.

I'm pretty against the idea of buying a used saw, partly because I don't seem to live in a good area for used equipment. I'm in the central valley of California, and every time I check out Craigslist, I see the same stuff: Rusted, banged-up equipment that I just don't have the necessary experience to judge. The main reason I don't want used is I can't look at a used saw and see what potential issues it might have, or what I would need to replace. I'd be entirely at the mercy of the seller at this point (this is something I think lifelong woodworkers with a ton of knowledge and experience might forget!). Buying new and being able to get broken parts replaced by the manufacturer has a lot of value to me.

If I were to get the 240-volt line put in, and were a bit more flexible on price, what are some saws I should be looking at?

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post #19 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 02:52 PM
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It won't cost anything to have a licensed electrician come over and give you an estimate, from that you will be able to decide how you want to proceed. Most efficient tools are going to need 220 so you might as well plan for the future.

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post #20 of 55 Old 06-25-2019, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
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I edited my OP to add some info. Basically, my Etsy shop and the overall scope of what I make has already grown way more than I thought it would when I started, and my goal is to continue growing it as much as I can. Would the Delta still be the go-to saw if I'm hoping to grow to basically full-time woodworking?
Personally, I'd say yes to that last question. Again, if all you plan on working with is 3/4-4/4 material, 1.5 HP is plenty and I can't say that I've ever found myself wishing I had more power behind my saw. Again, the story might change if you deal with thicker wood on a regular basis, but for a smaller shop, and especially on 120v, my opinion is the Delta is one of the best options

All that said, its worth mentioning that the Delta is a hobby grade machine. I have no doubts that one could hold up to commercial use in a small woodworking shop. My saw has been holding up to 4-5 years worth of pretty good use without any problems, which is why I have no qualms recommending it.

If 120v is a dealbreaker, I feel you'll be hard pressed to go better than the delta, for the work you've described. Put the remaining money to a high quality blade, possibly a dro for the fence, and a lot of wood to work with

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