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Thread: rating tool brands?

  1. #1
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    rating tool brands?

    how would you rate the following brands on fit and finish (flat tables, nice look castings, quality parts

    Powermatic
    Baleigh
    Oliver
    Jet
    Grizzly
    Delta
    Laguna
    Rikon

  2. #2
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    The days of being able to rate by brand have been gone for some years. There just isn’t enough consistency across the catalogue. Shop the tool not the paint, you’ll be much happier.
    “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,”
    -Jonathan Swift

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    The days of being able to rate by brand have been gone for some years. There just isn’t enough consistency across the catalogue. Shop the tool not the paint, you’ll be much happier.
    What Glenn said.

  4. #4
    Apples to apples there's not much difference at that level of machinery.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny means View Post
    Apples to apples there's not much difference at that level of machinery.

    Pole needs "None of the above."

  6. #6
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    If by Powermatic and Oliver you mean the old vintage stuff, I’d pick that far and above the others.

  7. #7
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    Matt, I agree, and have had a lot of that stuff, but when I look back I wish I had done things a little differently. In todays market, for a serious hobbyist, I would recommend jumping right to say a Minimax combo machine starting at about $6000, which may seem a little high, but really it is not. The machine is good enough out of the box to do any project one has in mind, has a slider for the shaper and the saw, has a Tersa head on the jointer-planer. Jump up to $10,000 and you are getting close to pro quality.

    Now $10,000 sounds like a lot, but compared to a snowmobile or other toys that are worn out and valueless in a few short years they will provide many hours of useful enjoyment and in the end will be cheaper than buying inferior separates.

    Was not much of this kind of stuff around when I started, and no internet and Fine woodworking had not printed its first issue yet, but if I knew what I know now I would have looked for a Knapp

  8. #8
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    I agree with Larry, get a Euro combination machine, either a jointer/planer and a saw/shaper or a 4 function machine.

    You'll receive much better value for your money, along with capacity and capabilities that the single function NA machines will deliver, unless of course you really are going to buy a 12 or 16" stand alone jointer.

    Like Larry, I wish I had done it at the start of my wood working hobby and saved all that money, and enjoyed the machinery much longer.......Regards, Rod.

    regards, Rod.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Edgerton View Post

    Now $10,000 sounds like a lot, but compared to a snowmobile or other toys that are worn out and valueless in a few short years they will provide many hours of useful enjoyment and in the end will be cheaper than buying inferior separates.
    I wish I had seen that about 4 years ago. I probably could have sold the wife on that logic.

  10. #10
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    Most of the "mass market" tool brands are going to be very similar and many are made in the same factories. Parts often interchange between them no matter what the color or brand label. (but not always) Some pay more attention to quality control, but even that's a moving target. Woodworking tools "in general" are not super complicated things.

    I personally also favor the Euro type tools and have since the mid 2000s...and like some others, I wish I would have discovered them sooner which would have meant less "flipping" of machinery. Yea, the initial cost was a little more, but I truly enjoy the features and benefits.

    In the end, buy the best you can afford. You're going to be maintaining it yourself no matter what the brand or how much you paid, for the most part. That doesn't mean you have to buy the most expensive. Just avoid low-end for things that you really need to depend on. IMHO, of course.
    --

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

  11. #11
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    A better question is probably:

    Rate:


    1. After purchase support
    2. Setup documentation
    3. long term parts availability


    A Woodcraft owner told me that nothing beats SawStop for setup documentation. I believe them.

    I can also say that Sawstop had amazing support when a capacitor went out on the motor. Cannot comment on long terms parts availability.

    Hopefully others can comment on your particular saws of interest.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    A better question is probably:

    Rate:


    1. After purchase support
    2. Setup documentation
    3. long term parts availability


    A Woodcraft owner told me that nothing beats SawStop for setup documentation. I believe them.

    I can also say that Sawstop had amazing support when a capacitor went out on the motor. Cannot comment on long terms parts availability.

    Hopefully others can comment on your particular saws of interest.
    I've never bought anything, tool or otherwise, that had documentation, packing and assembly nailed down as well as SawStop. They are the gold standard (with apologies to Powermatic).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    I've never bought anything, tool or otherwise, that had documentation, packing and assembly nailed down as well as SawStop. They are the gold standard (with apologies to Powermatic).
    100% agree. Not even close.

    Well, my Traeger was sorta close. Bubble card packing, color coding of part locations AND optional equipment recommendations..

    IMG_05852.jpeg

    IMG_05871.jpeg

  14. #14
    Man, there's just no way I could swing a $6000 combo machine. Ive got $1100 in a tablesaw, jointer, planer and small bandsaw and feel fortunate. (Tablesaw was used. The others were new.)

    Based on the new tools I have, I'd rank them in this order: PM, JET and Rikon. And the Rikons are nice tools, they aren't Harbor Freight stuff.

    Fred
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 01-21-2020 at 9:59 PM.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  15. #15
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    I just found out that horrible fright sells trailer hitches! People have reported bent parts and bolts unscrewing after 100 miles or less. Do they still sell the bolt together trailer which unbolts itself from road bumps?
    Bil lD

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