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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick backstory: I'm relatively new to table saws and I feel a little overwhelmed looking at the options. I am building custom cabinetry (kitchen and bathroom) and so I am handling large plywood sheets regularly. The two things that are most important to me are:
1. An extension if possible to maximize the surface when I'm handling big sheets.
2. A fence that sits square to the blade and allows for perfectly parallel cuts. I can upgrade the fence later down the line, but an ok fence would be important for now.
3. A blade that does not shake/move.

I bought the 10" Ryobi saw - total piece of crap. No matter how much I tightened the blade, with the pressure of pushing 2x4's through to square them up, it would move and shake, leaving me with 95 degree angles when I was trying to square them up. Plywood worked ok, but thicker pieces were a nightmare.

Then I bought the Kobalt 10" table saw (Model #KT10152) and I am fairly confident in this purchase. It seems like a much more sturdy saw, comes with a 30" extension table and the fence looks much better. But I just cannot understand the instructions on setting up the fence or making the extension work (see video here:
). Maybe I'm just an idiot and it's a simple fix...?

So, I wanted to see if any of you can help me figure out what's wrong (is there a trick to it or is it a defective saw?) or if you suggest I just get a completely different one.

If the latter, I am eyeing the Craftsman (Model 113.298032). I found one in my area second hand and it comes with a homemade outfeed table, which could be helful: https://offerup.co/b1PKftEXseb

Does anyone have experience with this saw? What's your experience with the fence? If you think it is a good saw, is 300 a good price including the outfeed table?
 

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You mentioned that you are handling “large plywood sheets regularly”. Is this for a business or personal/hobby use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You mentioned that you are handling “large plywood sheets regularly”. Is this for a business or personal/hobby use?
My boyfriend and I are remodeling a cabin and we're building some cupboards, etc. Attached is a picture of something I've recently built - a kitchen nook.

So to answer: hobby/personal use, but pretty elaborate cabinetry projects.
425213
 

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I have no opinion on any of those saws. You seem a little overwhelmed. No problem. We all get that way sometimes. What other tools do you have at home? Do you have a circular saw? Is this your first table saw? Do you have a large shop area to work out of?

Did you consider a track saw?

I will offer some advice on breaking down plywood or sheet goods. Consider breaking down sheets of plywood or sheet goods with a circular saw. Use the table saw for finished sizing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have no opinion on any of those saws. You seem a little overwhelmed. No problem. We all get that way sometimes. What other tools do you have at home? Do you have a circular saw? Is this your first table saw? Do you have a large shop area to work out of?

Did you consider a track saw?

I will offer some advice on breaking down plywood or sheet goods. Consider breaking down sheets of plywood or sheet goods with a circular saw. Use the table saw for finished sizing.
So for this project (in the picture) I did break down the big 4x8' sheet with a circular saw on a insulation foam pad with a straight edge. So far, I'm good. But in this recent project for example, the final sizing was 72x18 inches and my table saw only went to 12in. hence why I wanted the Kobalt saw, which goes up to 30in.

I have most other tools in my shop (large garage with ample space, which will long term be turned into a shop): 7in circular caw, 10in miter saw etc. I want to avoid getting a track saw because so far, a circular saw and a straight edge did the trick.

The project I need a circular saw for is a table top. I am using construction lumber, joined with biscuits to create a 4x4' square table top. But, in order for the top to laminate properly, I need to trim off the round over. And for that I need a table saw with a solid, stable blade and a decent fence that wont move and allow me to make crisp 90 degree cuts on the short ends that are to be laminated. The Ryobi saw I mentioned in the original post moved and left wonky edges - ranging from 95 to 92 degrees - which will result in a very uneven top.
 

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So for this project (in the picture) I did break down the big 4x8' sheet with a circular saw on a insulation foam pad with a straight edge. So far, I'm good. But in this recent project for example, the final sizing was 72x18 inches and my table saw only went to 12in. hence why I wanted the Kobalt saw, which goes up to 30in.

I have most other tools in my shop (large garage with ample space, which will long term be turned into a shop): 7in circular caw, 10in miter saw etc. I want to avoid getting a track saw because so far, a circular saw and a straight edge did the trick.

The project I need a circular saw for is a table top. I am using construction lumber, joined with biscuits to create a 4x4' square table top. But, in order for the top to laminate properly, I need to trim off the round over. And for that I need a table saw with a solid, stable blade and a decent fence that wont move and allow me to make crisp 90 degree cuts on the short ends that are to be laminated. The Ryobi saw I mentioned in the original post moved and left wonky edges - ranging from 95 to 92 degrees - which will result in a very uneven top.
Now I get it. You have some tools. You have built some stuff. But now have actually ran into the limitation of the tools at hand and need to add the capability.

I don't know much about the smaller saws or the portables. For a 2nd hand saw, a Craftsman or Delta contractor saw would give you the capability you are looking for. I doubt either, when properly set up, will flex in any way to give you less than accurate cuts.

The saw in the offer up post is exactly the type of saw to look for, at least in my view. A shop saw. Don't forget to look at CL as well. I have no judgement as to the value of that saw. I like the fence. Several people on this forum have saws that use that fence and rail system. If that saw has a 61 inch one piece front rail, that is a plus. I believe that particular model is a 1HP. Many contractor saws of the vintage variety came with 1-1/2hp motors. Not a big deal but something to consider. A new version of what is considered a contractor saw might be the Delta #36-725. I believe Lowes offers them at around $600.
 

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I just viewed your video. Check the instructions on how to adjust the silver tabs to make the fence parallel to the blade (in case you need to adjust one or both). Measure from the fence to the blade at both the front and rear of the blade and don’t depend on the painted markings.

Second, the table extension should just pull out without getting stuck. Check the locking mechanism underneath the table extension to make sure it is fully releasing. You may have to fully lower the blade and carefully set the saw upside down to see what is happening under the table when you release and try to pull out the extension.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Without being there in person it will be difficult for us to determine what's wrong or just how the saw operates. There are several videos on You Tube that will show you:

At 3:00 in he deals with the fence not aligning parallel with the blade:
 

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Just because a saw can rip a piece 30" wide doesn't mean you should necessarily try. Breaking down sheetgoods with a job site saw (small, portable saw meant to be tossed in a truck and moved from place to place) is an exercise in frustration at best, and outright dangerous at worst. It's all about relative sizes, with such a small saw top and such a large workpiece, there's an increased risk of tipping the saw over, losing control of the workpiece, or otherwise not being 100% in control of the situation. You can kinda get around some of the issues with things like outfeed tables, infeed rollers and the like, but it's kinda lipstick on a pig

If you plan to work with a lot of sheetgoods, a much better investment would be a track saw, basically a much more accurate circular saw. When working with large pieces, it's easier (and safer!) to bring the tool to the work. A circular saw with a guide works too, but tracksaws generally make for more accurate cuts. You can find tracksaws pretty close to what you're looking at for a table saw, in the $3-400 range. If you could swing it, DeWalt makes a very nice kit that retails for about $400. Decent chunk of change, I know, but that's what, 5 sheets of quality plywood, and in exchange you save yourself a massive amount of frustration. Shopfox makes a more budget oriented option, though I dunno off the top of my head how much that runs

Oh, and to be clear, I have nothing against jobsite saws. Well, I have a few things against them (those things are way too loud), but I can respect them for what they are, and if you're working with smaller pieces of solid wood the jobbers do a good job. That said though, I'm of the opinion that anything short of a sliding table saw is the wrong tool to use on full sheets of plywood
 

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I just have a standard size table saw. To cut full sheets of plywood I use a circular saw with a saw guide or a 2x4 clamped to the sheet to make a straight cut. I do final cuts as needed on the table saw once the pieces are smaller and easier to handle. Just an idea.
 

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Not familiar with that exact model craftsmen but if it’s a direct driver version be weary. Mine failed last year after 20 years of good service to family and replacing motor would have cost more than my new Delta 725T2 which has a much nicer fence and several nice features that I love. Plus one on using track saw for sheet goods but a good hybrid table saw like the delta or rigid can do the job also.

Craftsman table saw note, all saws I’ve seen are number 113.xxxxxx. The different numbers after the period are the ones to worry about. There are 113 saws out there that are belt driven beasts worth a lot more than you’ll pay for them on CL but there are newer ones that are direct drive contractor models not much better than your little portable one you have now. Most do have cast iron tops though. Like I said mine lasted my dad’s sparse use for many years than he gave it to me when he inherited my grandfathers larger belt driven craftsman 113. His is still running after 40+ years of service, mine is a gloried flat surface not worth repairing. Do your research and “kick the tires”.
 

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If the long term goal is to turn your large garage into a full time shop, why don't you invest in a larger 'shop-type' saw? In the long run you will be happy you did, unless your long term goal is to turn wood on a lathe... ;^)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow! Thank you so much for all the help and suggestions, I definitely have a lot to consider! I think I'll try and see if I can use @woodnthings comments and tip it upside down to see if I can get my Kobalt to work and then if that doesn't work, I'll shop around for a proper shop saw.

And yes, generally I would break down my sheets with a circular saw and a guide and I definitely wouldn't put 30in. of width on there, but the 12in max capacity of the Ryobi for example was indeed very annoying. I'm talking 20in max, most pieces would be more like 16/18in.

One question though: I have seen a lot of posts on pinterest where people have used a compact jobsite table saw and built it into a workbench (for example with other features like a router table or a flip up miter saw). Is there anything in general speaking against using a job saw and building around it, besides maybe the noise?
 

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Not all job site saws are loud. My Bosch 4000-09 isn't for whatever reason, so that may or may not be an issue. It also has the extendable fence that will allow a >24" right side rip. and a rear outfeed extension that pulls out for support at the rear. However, a proper stand is a must. When working with longer or wider material a light saw will tend to tip towards the weighted side. A built in surround would only be "worth it" if you are happy enought with all the features of your present saw. It will "most likely" be less expensive than a newer/better saw.... I donno?
I started out with a Craftsman contractor saw with a cast iron top and grid cast iron extension about 45 years ago and I used the heck out of it. When the 12" Craftsman motorized saws went on sale back in 1990's, I got two of them and bolted them together making a wide support which included the cast extensions on the right and left side. I used the heck out of that setup and still do, but I added a third saw and a router table extension. I don't need to change blades anymore, unless there is a special operation like finger joints.
That arrangement is not for everyone, of course and takes up 11 ft of shop width. But, others here have made twin saw setups with great success. You can have so many variations of the 27" deep cast iron saw that will suit your own situation, that that's is what I would look for. Contractor type saws will have a separate motor and belt drive hanging out the rear which takes up some additional shop space and definitely makes dust collection more difficult have to work around a spinning belt. Hybrid type saws have the motor inside the cabinet and are still belt driven. Finally, a full on cabinet saw is the dream saw for most woodworkers, because of the power, the large table and accuracy.
Buying a table saw is a complex decision and many factors come into play. Typically table saws last a long time so, you either end up with several if you have the space, OR trade them off as they become unwanted. I have kept all of mine, so that's my choice. My shop has evolved out of necessity from remodeling, renovations and repairs on a house I designed and built over a long time frame. It didn't start out that way, but has proven it's worth many times over. It would be a hard call to say whether it has saved me more money than I've spent buying tools and machines over the years, but I kinda don't care either way, it's a great hobby/vice to have.
;)
EDIT:
Just for the record, there are $600.00 jobsite saws and there are $200.00 0nes, you can't compare them feature for feature. The Bosch was a $600.00 one on sale, so I picked it up for around $500.00. The biggest negative I have found with the Bosch and most jobsite saws, is the short distance from the front edge to the blade for crosscutting wider pieces, but that always an issue no matter the size of the saw. That's why folks make crosscut sleds for even the larger professional saw, for more capacity!
 
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I have seen a lot of posts on pinterest where people have used a compact jobsite table saw and built it into a workbench
If you are going to do this take a look around your shop at all the work benches and other tools. I made every surface in my shop the same height, the table saw, radial arm saw, work benchs and bandsaw are all level to each other. This allows you to drag a workbench over to the saw to use as an outfeed table or to hold up the side of a sheet of plywood as you rip it down. Then when you're using the chop saw the table saw can be used as a side extension. My table saw sits on a base to raise it up but when I take it off thje base it's the right height to hold the planer so that it's level with the bench and RAS. I still need to build a custom stand for the jointer but that day will come. The point is that if everything is the same height you can reconfigure based on the job at hand using less space to do more.
 

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One question though: I have seen a lot of posts on pinterest where people have used a compact jobsite table saw and built it into a workbench (for example with other features like a router table or a flip up miter saw). Is there anything in general speaking against using a job saw and building around it, besides maybe the noise?
Theres not anything wrong with it, its just kinda putting lipstick on a pig. Building a small saw into a larger table does solve the problem of not having enough horizontal real estate on the saw table, and does make it easier to deal with sheet goods in that regard, but it doesnt do anything to help with all the other faults of the saw. Youre still left with the noisy, underpowered motors, poor quality fence systems, occasionally wonky miter slots, garbage blade adjustment mechanisms, etc.

Generally, if youre going to go through the effort to build something as complex as a large workstation for a saw, it makes sense to start with a good saw at the base. Good doesnt mean expensive though, could just mean old. If you could get your hands on something like one of the venerable Craftsman contractor saws (float around on Craigslist and the like a lot, $1-200 depending on your area), that would make an excellent base to build a workstation around. Doesnt have to be a craftsman specifically of course, just something with a cast iron top and a belt-driven induction motor, craftsman is just the most common maker of that type that you see floating around.

Again, sounds like im just dissing jobsite saws, but again, i like them for what they are. I just dont think that the effort spent trying to improve one is effort well spent, since the core aspects of that breed of saw are flawed. Direct-drive means that if something happens to kill the motor, the entire saw is scrapped, universal motors are noisy, gutless, and inefficient, and the undersized aluminium tables are seldom flat, not durable in the least, and tiny. That class of machines are a great way to dip your toe into woodworking, but theyre a stepping stone at best and thus not worth much time spent trying to upgrade them. Cant make a silk purse out of a sows ear
 

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I am about where you are in terms of experience but still not comfortable moving the big sheets through the cutting process. I haven't gotten the 'feel' of keeping the entire sheet pinned against the fence at all times.
I am a part-timer with limited space and funds so from now on, I am going to have my cut plans in hand when I buy the plywood and cut it right on the trailer before I move it. Less risk of damaging the wood moving it by myself and easier on me. Not a good plan if you have deadlines but costs nothing.
 

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If you are looking to build a shop and it does sound like you are an interested DIY'er I would invest in a decent table saw. It will be the center of your shop.
If you get a crappy one you will avoid using it because it will frustrate you.
You have already tried the small tablesaw route and you are inching your way to bigger and better. I searched for used table saws for months before I eventually saved up for the Delta 36-725
Yes i wish i could have bought a bigger cabinet saw but I have limited space and the Delta is moveable. Night and day compared to my old Craftsman that frustrated me for years.
It made cabinet making so much better and now I find myself using it more than my miter saw for even the smallest cuts.
 

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I have the same Craftsman 113 saw. It is a belt drive and with a few add-ons e.g. PALS (Precision Alignment System) for the blade alignment, aftermarket fence it works very well. You should be able to do all the cabinet work you want. The price I would be willing to pay for one of these would depend upon several things e.g. motor condition, fence, etc.
I don't know anything about the other saws you have.
 

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Quick backstory: I'm relatively new to table saws and I feel a little overwhelmed looking at the options. I am building custom cabinetry (kitchen and bathroom) and so I am handling large plywood sheets regularly. The two things that are most important to me are:
1. An extension if possible to maximize the surface when I'm handling big sheets.
2. A fence that sits square to the blade and allows for perfectly parallel cuts. I can upgrade the fence later down the line, but an ok fence would be important for now.
3. A blade that does not shake/move.

I bought the 10" Ryobi saw - total piece of crap. No matter how much I tightened the blade, with the pressure of pushing 2x4's through to square them up, it would move and shake, leaving me with 95 degree angles when I was trying to square them up. Plywood worked ok, but thicker pieces were a nightmare.

Then I bought the Kobalt 10" table saw (Model #KT10152) and I am fairly confident in this purchase. It seems like a much more sturdy saw, comes with a 30" extension table and the fence looks much better. But I just cannot understand the instructions on setting up the fence or making the extension work (see video here:
). Maybe I'm just an idiot and it's a simple fix...?

So, I wanted to see if any of you can help me figure out what's wrong (is there a trick to it or is it a defective saw?) or if you suggest I just get a completely different one.

If the latter, I am eyeing the Craftsman (Model 113.298032). I found one in my area second hand and it comes with a homemade outfeed table, which could be helful: https://offerup.co/b1PKftEXseb

Does anyone have experience with this saw? What's your experience with the fence? If you think it is a good saw, is 300 a good price including the outfeed table?
A suggestion, tablesaws can be cumbersome and not always the best solution for cutting full sheet goods. A full 4x8 can be awkward, heavy, and difficult to keep tight against the fence. I would suggest making a cheap straight cut sled (or a track saw if you have the spare change) for a circular saw and rough sizing the sheet goods, doing the final dimensioning on the table saw. If you are confident you can do all your sheet good cuts with a accurate straight cut sled and a circular saw.
 
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