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Thread: Cabinet saw or slider for a hobbyist?

  1. #1

    Cabinet saw or slider for a hobbyist?

    My contractor saw is a nice saw, but it has a few shortcomings that bug me:


    • It won't cut clean bevels. I once spent an entire Saturday trying to shim it before convincing myself that it's a design limitation
    • Cross-cutting panels can be clumsy
    • I find it to be underpowered sometimes
    • I don't care for the right tilt
    • I made a dust panel for the back, but I have to remove it whenever I want to tilt the blade
    • The right table extension sags too much to make a good router table (OK, I've been too lazy to fix it )
    • I can get pretty clean cuts on veneered plywood, but it take a lot of fussing


    I was about to order a Sawstop PCS with the router table when I got interested in sliders. Something like a Hammer C3 is more expensive, but it's close enough for me to consider. I could sell my 12" J/P to make room for a combination machine, and maybe even free up some precious space. An 8' slider would still be too large, but I have a long guide for my track saw in those cases.

    What do you think? Is a slider more than shop jewelry for a hobbyist, or should I look to myself for improvement rather than my tools?

  2. #2
    If you can afford the cost and space for a slider, get a slider.

    I don't care for sliders, but if I could only have one saw, I would have a slider

  3. #3
    I can see where a slider would be quite handy. I have the SawStop PCS and wouldn't mind adding on either their slider or possibly aftermarket equipment. Can't say anything for or against equipment like the Hammer C3 but I'd really hate to give up the safety features of my SawStop. Just my 2 cents.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    black river falls wisconsin
    Posts
    734
    I had the add on sliding table same as saw stop sells now on my cabinet saw.. I bought thre grizzly 70" or so slider... game changer. I would hate to go back to cabinet saw.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Flower mound, Tx
    Posts
    351
    I bought my first tablesaw before I could drive. I have worked with many hobby-level and true industrial tablesaws for over 40 years. Last year, I replaced my PM 66 with a slider. After a year operating my slider, I can confidently say there is absolutely nothing a cabinet saw can do better than a slider. All sliders are not equal especially in size. My slider is a “short stroke” which takes the “too big” argument out of the picture. Saw Stop is no where as safe as a slider. Some will say sliders are only good for cutting sheet goods? Actually, sliders are the best saw for cutting the tiniest of pieces of wood.
    I actually feel every tablesaw in every Hobbiest or Professional shop should be a slider.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    46,091
    I went from a cabinet saw to a slider quite a few years ago and haven't looked back. If I had to downsize, I'd still have a slider, even if it only had a short stroke. The precision, repeatability and safety aspects of the format are valuable to me. Do note that there's a learning curve because we do some things differently on a slider than we might have on a North American design saw. But as John said, there's no limit to what you can do.

    For the record, I have no issue with North American design saws, especially high quality ones. I just personally prefer the slider over that design...and this is, honestly, a very subjective thing.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    5,871
    If you have the room, slider.
    I wish I had the room.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John Sincerbeaux View Post
    I actually feel every tablesaw in every Hobbiest or Professional shop should be a slider.

    If you're using the fence to rip, the slide part really doesn't matter though. Or with a power feed.

    Like I said, if I could only have one tablesaw, it would be a slider, but I have basically five set up for different things, only one of which I would consider a slider an improvement over what I've got.
    Shortcut for putting me on ignore:
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/profile.php?do=ignorelist

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    542
    I am totally happy with my cabinet saw.

    However, if I had the room and could do it over, I would likely buy a slider rather than a cabinet saw.

    So I too say go with the slider...

    Bill
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    410
    I went from a contractor table saw to slider. I love the slider. I would make the same choice if had to do again. For me, there is no comparison but it is your decision to make. The SawStop is a quality machine.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    122
    Iím a hobbyist and went from a Unisaw to a Felder Slider about 4 years ago. There is definitely a learning curve with the slider (which is not to be underestimated) and Iím still learning :-). Iím very happy with the switch and the Felder is a more capable saw in every aspect. I would say the only thing I miss about the Unisaw is the ease of switching over to a dado stack. While the Felder has dado capability the set-up is not as quick or straightforward, and my saw can only handle a 6Ē dado stack.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    8,785
    Definitely a slider.

    I have a 4 foot stroke slider/shaper (Hammer B3) and wouldn't go back to a cabinet saw.

    Mine has the same footprint my cabinet saw had yet with the outrigger on I can crosscut a sheet of plywood easily and accurately.

    The capacity, capability and accuracy is far better than a cabinet safe, not to mention the improved safety......Rod.
    Last edited by Rod Sheridan; 08-25-2018 at 9:32 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bain View Post
    There is definitely a learning curve with the slider (which is not to be underestimated)
    I think this is my biggest concern, along with the fact that Sawstop seems very consumer-oriented, while the Euro slider companies aren't so much. At least that's my perception. Dado is nice to have, but I can live without it.

  14. #14
    if you get a slider that doesnt have a large outrigger carriage at the back you have a cabinet saw and a slider together in one. You can still use it like you used your cabinet saw though likely many things will be better quality than the cabinet saw was like the fence for instance, internal dust collection baffling and and. My two cabinet saws are toys compared to the used slider im working on. I had a first generation cross cut system on one of them on both sides. Very poor compared to what is on this old slider and its primative compared to other stuff now still way way better than the add on stuff I had on the cabinet saws

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse Brown View Post
    My contractor saw is a nice saw, but it has a few shortcomings that bug me:



    [*]Cross-cutting panels can be clumsy

    A cabinet saw will do nothing about this.

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