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post #1 of 35 Old 12-05-2011, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Question A good starter table saw

I would love to but my new husband a table saw for Christmas. I am pretty low on funds, but I don't want to waste my money on something like a refurb skilsaw for 170 if its no good. Ant suggestions, help would be much appreciated!
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post #2 of 35 Old 12-05-2011, 03:51 PM
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The qualifier "starter" table saw implies that an upgrade will likely be in the future. Generally, with major power tools like that it's best to buy the best you can afford. The work quality will be higher, the user will have to fight it less and, in the long run, it's cheaper to buy better now than to buy then re-buy later.

That's just my opinion but I know others will agree.
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post #3 of 35 Old 12-05-2011, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spangler View Post
I would love to but my new husband a table saw for Christmas. I am pretty low on funds, but I don't want to waste my money on something like a refurb skilsaw for 170 if its no good. Ant suggestions, help would be much appreciated!

I have the saw here that has wheels. It's been used to death in the field by me for the last 4 years, a good saw. The one without the wheels is the same saw but $100 cheaper.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...5yc1vZaqdkZ1aw

While I have a very expensive saw in the shop this saw has worked well. It's very easy to toss in the truck bed and take to the job site.

Last edited by JAGWAH; 12-05-2011 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Extra sentence
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post #4 of 35 Old 12-05-2011, 04:10 PM
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That's a very nice gesture on your part You're smart to not waste your money on that Skil refurb. Refurbs in general can be good investments, but I don't think that particular saw is a good buy.

A good used saw is likely to be your best bet. A good full size cast iron belt drive saw is the way to go IMHO....the full size saws have every advantage except for portability. New full size saws start in the $450 range and go up (Ridgid R4512, Craftsman 21833, Porter Cable PCB270TS, Steel City 35990SS).

It'd be good to list your general geographic location...someone here might have a candidate or know of a good one.

Last edited by knotscott; 12-05-2011 at 07:44 PM.
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post #5 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Thanks!

I live in Manchester PA, near Harrisburg. I'm so glad for the thoughts, I am out of my element here!
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post #6 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 01:38 PM
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Pictures are worth a 1000 words. Here are some examples of full size (27" deep) cast iron contractor saws that can often be had for the same $150 you're looking to spend. These saws have a larger table area...especially in front of the blade, so there's more operating room. They're also much heavier duty, heavier, more stable, more dependable, quieter, more powerful, easier and cheaper to upgrade, easier and more feasible to fix if necessary, and they hold their resale value better. Most will weigh in the 225# to 300# range. It's worth noting that cast iron can rust if not prevented, but is typically easily cleaned up if it's not badly pitted and totally neglected....a little "patina" on an old saw is normal. A good full size used saw will be worth about what you paid for it should you decide to sell it later on....a cheap used portable won't be worth much for resale. Check Craigslist, Ebay, free woodworking classifieds on forums like this one for good used saws.

Here's an older Emerson made Craftsman contractor saw often found used in the $100-$200 range (and can be polished up and painted to look new if he likes):


Here's a similar slightly newer Emerson made Ridgid contractor saw:


Here's a 10-12 year old Delta contractor saw:



Other good brands to consider are Jet, Powermatic, Grizzly, Shop Fox, Bridgewood, Woodtek, Rockwell, and more....most full size contractor saws are very similar. These are all belt drive saws with "induction" motors...most will be hanging off the back of the saw, though some newer hybrid style contractor saws will have an induction motor housed inside the enclosure. These are fairly quiet motors...they just make an audible humming sound, with the blade being responsible for most of the noise. If you inquire about a used contractor saw, be sure it has that type motor and drive system and ask them to run it....if it screams like a circular saw, then it has a direct drive universal motor that isn't as desirable. It's good to take someone along who knows tools to help advise, but a competent woodworker and honest seller will usually take good care of their tools and will be open and honest about the saw.



In contrast, here's a look at some benchtop and portable saws with plastic enclosures, aluminum or composite tops, flimsy fences, that have direct drive universal motors and sell in the $150 range. They'll weigh 40-70#, are much smaller, less accurate, much louder, less reliable, are less likely to accept standard accessories, and are harder to upgrade....but they will cut wood! They're just not as easy to get good results from, and pose some additional dangers due to their inaccuracies and instabilities.


Last edited by knotscott; 12-08-2011 at 02:09 PM.
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post #7 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 02:59 PM
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Buying used is definitely the way to go to save money, but then you have to go through buying a used table saw, transporting it etc. You might consider giving him a suprise "budget" for him to go pick out a table saw.

We need yocalif who is so great at foraging for deals! In his stead I'll throw some up for you to look at.

http://www.searchtempest.com/ is a great way to search Craig's List. I used it to find some candidates near you.

Here's what Knotscot was talking about, a decent used contractor saw:
http://york.craigslist.org/tls/2710682871.html

Here are some others, all pretty inexpensive:
http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/tls/2741840320.html
http://york.craigslist.org/tls/2696293784.html
http://york.craigslist.org/tls/2673930937.html
http://york.craigslist.org/tls/2704844016.html
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post #8 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 03:12 PM
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This one Shop Dad listed from Halifax for $150 looks like a very solid deal. The fence is decent...an upgrade from many of the older Craftsman contractor saws, plus it has cast iron extension wings vs stamped steel.

The first one for $250 looks like a decent saw, but it's at least $50 overpriced...I'd offer $175 to $200 if it looks good in person and runs good. It's actually similar to the one linked above, but has steel wings, so is a bit of a downgrade for more money....still a possibility though.
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post #9 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 03:25 PM
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Thanks Shop Dad for the thumbs up I appreciate it.

First we need a realistic budget?

Are you ok with buying used, so you get most bang for your buck? Some people just won't do it, "my sis is one of those, and so is my bro-in-law", heck they are even snobby about new stuff if it isn't the right brand, look, etc.
2nd we need to know what your expectation is?
•(Do you want a newish saw that requires very little prep to put into service, this is my personal preference when shopping used.
Or sometimes you can find serious steals because the equip wasn't cared for and is being sold way under value and with a little TLC you could have a gem for a steal price. note this would take an experienced person).

If you have a friend that is local and can help you decide that might be useful.


Here are some saws on Craigslist near you:
NEW Craftsman 10" Prof Table Saw - $500 (Mechanicsburg)
I am selling this (NEVER USED) Craftsman Table Saw. It is a professional grade saw with 24" ripping capability. The table top is of cast iron and the weight of the unit is 350 lbs. After getting the saw home I realize it is too large for my small shop.

PostingID: 2741027450

* I own this same model saw, it is a very nice saw for a starter. Since it is NEW and never used the guy believes he can get almost full price, these saws were regularly on sale for around $500 when Sears was still selling them. The saw cost him about $600, but he got a full warranty, you won't get a warranty so I would offer $350 and be prepared to go to $400. PS he will tell you it has a mobile base it is worth extra, the base is important for a garage shop, but stick to your guns.

JET JWTS-10JF TABLE SAW - $300 (Hempfield)
PostingID: 2730026654

Grizzly 10" Table Saw - $350
PostingID: 2667944511

10" Sears Professional Table Saw - $700 (Boonsboro Md)
10 inch Professional table saw, 3 years old, Excellent condition,
it has casters, so it is movable, Must Sell!

PostingID: 2650815619

*I just bought this same model saw about 5 or 6 weeks ago for $400, with $200 of extras for $400. These go all the time for around $400-600 (sometimes even slightly less). The fence alone is worth $300. I would offer $400, no more than $500. The ad is old so may already be sold.

10 INCH BELT DRIVE TABLE SAW - $175 (Sykesville)
PostingID: 2741119238
If your budget is small this might be a ok starting point, looks ok, can't see much rust, offer $100-125

Table Saw - $300 (Browns Mills)
PostingID: 2728554937

NOTE I'm a newbie too, my only working experience is with the craftsman 22114 and 22124, I would recommend both. However generally you are safe buying the brand name others have recommended in this thread. It is easier picking that cost $500 or more because someone usually on this forum has had experience with that brand/model. Where it gets confused is the lower end, trying to find the gem that can get a newbie by until he/she is ready to step up to something better. Thus my listing above starts with saws that cost more, yet still are considered on the budget end when they were new. However they still offer performance most hobby wood workers need. Also I stayed away from the portable saws, while they are great for the right application, most on this forum use either a contractor, hybrid, or cabinet style table saw. And like cooking it isn't the pan or tool that makes the meal it's the chef, so any of those three styles of saws in the hands of someone who takes their time and cares/learns will do a great job.

PS, knotscott is WWT expert on the different models, no joke, he gives excellent advice..
PS. before making an offer on a particular model, post here and those with experience will give you a good starting point for a price.

Last edited by yocalif; 12-08-2011 at 03:32 PM.
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post #10 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Spangler View Post
Any suggestions, help would be much appreciated!

You asked!
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post #11 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 03:44 PM
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The best advise I can give yous is DO NOT BUY YOUR HUSBAND A SAW. Give him an envelope with a note telling him he is to get the saw that HE WANTS within a specified budget.

He wil be the person using the saw. He is the one that knows best what saw he needs to fulfil what he wants to do with it.

George
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post #12 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
The best advise I can give yous is DO NOT BUY YOUR HUSBAND A SAW. Give him an envelope with a note telling him he is to get the saw that HE WANTS within a specified budget.

He wil be the person using the saw. He is the one that knows best what saw he needs to fulfil what he wants to do with it.

George
Actually pretty good advice. Unless that person is like my wife who takes that money and buys others gifts, she is so hard to buy for unless we get her something to wear.
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post #13 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 06:19 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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The OP came here for advice

and she got some very good advice so far.
Whether she should buy the saw or give hubby the money is best decided by her, or by them together since she is a novice in the tool area. It will be difficult to return.... it may be a lemon... and it may cause issues down the road.

This might work.... pick out the best saw on the used market and plan a joint road trip to check it out. At the time to make the purchase she can come up with the envelope..."surprise" ...

I have this saw, a hybrid, and paid $500 new, on close out. It has everything you could possibly want...power, large table, out feed support, accurate fence (one of the best), and good dust collection. "must sell" means offer less...... However, for the price I don't consider this a "starter" saw. You could use this saw for 15 years and be very satisfied with it. Knotscott's Emerson contractor type is more in your price range. If you can find an older 12" Craftsman motorized saw, built in under the table motor, grab it! 220 Volts only however. They are a great saw. The last one I found was $186.00 on Craig's List.

10" Sears Professional Table Saw - $700 (Boonsboro Md)
10 inch Professional table saw, 3 years old, Excellent condition,
it has casters, so it is movable, Must Sell!

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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-08-2011 at 08:33 PM.
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post #14 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 08:17 PM
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Wow yocalif that was the longest post i ever read. But thanks, good points.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #15 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 08:31 PM
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I have a Craftsman 10" table saw Model # 113.298750- this is in very good condition and has a brand new blade. It has a heavy cast iron worktop and all parts included. Asking 250.00 you must pickup or arrange shipping.
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post #16 of 35 Old 12-09-2011, 03:57 AM
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Wow yocalif that was the longest post i ever read. But thanks, good points.
Why waste a good paragraph when it can be said in a sentence.
Unfortunately I'm a paragraph man. Often many paragraphs.
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post #17 of 35 Old 12-09-2011, 06:17 PM
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Yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaincarver Steve View Post
The qualifier "starter" table saw implies that an upgrade will likely be in the future. Generally, with major power tools like that it's best to buy the best you can afford. The work quality will be higher, the user will have to fight it less and, in the long run, it's cheaper to buy better now than to buy then re-buy later.

That's just my opinion but I know others will agree.
You are quite right, always buy the best you can first or you will be doing it again later.
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post #18 of 35 Old 12-09-2011, 07:47 PM
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New guy here. I'm with the other guy, let him buy it. Wrap up a piece of wood and write on it, "cut on new table saw". Buy the best saw for the work he wants to do. Go in debt for it. It's the main stay in the shop and you both will never regret it. Pros can't use cheap tools and neither can we.


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post #19 of 35 Old 12-11-2011, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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drwood, where are you located? Thank you all so much, my husband will be getting this link for this great forum as well! My budget is probably maxed at 400. My other concerns are these, table vs contractor. He will be using the garage, which also houses both cars on snowy days. With the limited space - portability to stick in the corner is a must. We don't really have an area big enough to keep it out permanently. I think after all of your advice I probably have a handle on what he would like. I love the idea of the wood with a note for him to pick it out! Again, thanks so much for all of the advice!!

Last edited by Spangler; 12-11-2011 at 02:43 PM.
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post #20 of 35 Old 12-11-2011, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Thanks again

I am not opposed at all to a used saw, I would rather the quality gently used than a new cheaper saw. He feels the same, so thanks again and the best of the season to all of you!!
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