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It depends on the thickness of the material you cut. If you never cut anything thicker than ~2 1/4" than the 8 1/4" blade would be fine. A 10" blade can cut ~3 1/8" thick material. (those are at 90°)
 

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I would look more at features than a particular brand. The brands you want to stay away from do not have any of the features you'll really want.

You want a full-size saw top. Full-depth and flat cast iron top. Full depth saws are 27" deep. Check the top with a straight edge before you buy it. Yes, cast iron can warp. No, you do not want a warped top.

You need a quality rip-fence. Tough to find on less expensive saws, but they can be had. Typically your older craftsman saws with angle iron for fence rails have a very bad fence. The newer saws with thick aluminum rails often have very accurate and adjustable fences. Spend a little more to get a saw with a good fence because a decent aftermarket fence is about $200+.

Standard miter slots. They are 3/4" wide and 3/8" deep. Anything smaller is bull**** and will severely limit your ability to use jigs. I can't say I've seen smaller slots on a cast iron top, however.

Removable blade throat plate or insert. You want to be able to make or use what are called zero clearance inserts. This is important so you don't chip your wood. Makes cuts look like they're laser cut.

Belt-driven motor. Saves your ears since belt drives are MUCH quieter than smaller, direct drive saws. Belt driven saws are more repairable since replacement motors are easy to obtain and install.

If you're cramped on space, a mobile base with casters is nice since moving a several-hundred-pound saw without a base is a royal pain in the ass.

Try to budget at least $175 - $300 for a used saw. The problems you'll run into with cheaper saws missing core features quickly negate any money saved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok I found two I like on craigslist one is a craftsmen the table is 44" wide and a 11/2"hp belt drive

Now this other one is a hitachi and it's not belt drive the table is only 30" wide and it's 3hp

Both tables are like new, is there a huge difference in the hp so I need 3hp I like the big table help help!!!!
 

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Without pictures we can't say much. But, I'd guess the power rating isn't really anything to go by. My guess is a 3HP rating on a direct drive saw might be a little liberal. Sight unseen, I'd be leaning towards the Craftsman. I know it'll be cast iron and have a removable blade throat plate, and be deeper. If it really is like new, it'll have a decent fence, too.
 

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The Craftsman is the better of the two but way overpriced. The average in my area is $100-$150. I paid $75. for mine and bought another recently for spare parts at $50.
 

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Which one
From the two you posted, I'd opt for the Craftsman. I haven't been following the prices of used saws, but I think if you can get a better price, that would be better.

Parts for the Craftsman would be easier to find. Motors are more standard. I'm guessing that's a 10" saw, but the picture I'm looking at the blade looks smaller. Maybe it's just my eyes.






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Which one

The Hitachi is plastic, aluminum, small, lightweight, loud, less reliable, less precise, unfeasible to repair, has little upgrade potential, but it is portable if that's what you need..... or, the other is cast iron, steel, has a large operating area, is stable, quiet, easy to repair, standard size, has more torque, and has excellent upgrade potential down the road.

Read the links that have been posted multiple times. ...they could help you understand the differences, and make the best choice.
 
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