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Thread: Good Contractor Saw Inplace of Cabinet Saw...

  1. #1

    Good Contractor Saw Inplace of Cabinet Saw...

    I know I'm opening up a can of worms, but here goes...I'm likely going to be selling my PM2000 cabinet saw and replacing it with a more portable, smaller contractor type saw. I'm keeping my Festool stuff, so I can do a lot with that, but for narrower stock ripping, I really do like using a table saw. Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Aside from raw power, a Contractors' style saw of decent quality will do what you want to do very nicely. But about portanility ...they are not lightweight, either. Still cast iron tops, stile have fence weight, etc. Easier to move on a mobility base, however, because they are less heavy than a cabinet saw.
    --

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

  3. #3
    When you talk contractor saw, are you thinking of the traditional contractor style saw with the motor hanging off the back, or like a modern small saw that big box stores sell that folds up on it's stand to slide in the back of a truck?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Myles Moran View Post
    When you talk contractor saw, are you thinking of the traditional contractor style saw with the motor hanging off the back, or like a modern small saw that big box stores sell that folds up on it's stand to slide in the back of a truck?
    Good point. The smaller footprint the better, as I'd like it to be able to go against the wall, nothing hanging off the back. Of course, I'd still like it to be able to rip styles and rails and stuff like that, where consistent 90* edge cuts are important.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    Good point. The smaller footprint the better, as I'd like it to be able to go against the wall, nothing hanging off the back. Of course, I'd still like it to be able to rip styles and rails and stuff like that, where consistent 90* edge cuts are important.
    If you’re doing smaller stuff keep your cabinet saw and remove the right extension wing to bring it down to 30 inches or smaller.

    The cabinet saw may have a smaller foot print....Rod.

  6. #6
    I'm downsizing my garage shop, so I'd like to have the smaller footprint saw that uses a vac for DC, then I can get rid of my 2hp DC, that takes up about 3'x4' of floor space.

  7. #7
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    Consider one of the "hybrid" saws .... cost and weight of a Contractors' Style saw but with a cabinet similar to a cabinet saw with the motor enclosed. Using a shop vac for DC is going to be minimally effective even for a really small saw...nature of the beast.
    --

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    The Gift of the Table Saw gods to arthritic, condo bound pensioners everywhere

    I can't say enough good about my year old Bosch 4100 with Gravity Rise Stand. It has about a 36"x 24" footprint folded. Open, though, because of the stand, it's quite a bit wider. No stand, about the same 36"x 24".

    The fence, blade alignments and miter channels cut dead balls accurate straight, although the rule and pointer can't be trusted. Not like the Biesmeyer. The sliding extension out to 27" is a little wonky but again, the fence aligns perfectly. Likewise the left tilt blade is dead on at 0 and 45 degrees. My one cavil is that the blade height doesn't lock, although I've never caught it out drifting. The supplied miter gauge is the usual junky after thought. The splitter aligns perfectly with the blade.

    I've ripped 2x SYP and 5/4 Maple with no bogging. Likewise, 3/4" dado's with a 6" dado set. The arbor is juuust long enough for the set.

  9. #9
    Thanks Bill. Good info for me to research.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    I had a Bosch with the gravity rise stand. It was pretty darn good portable saw easy for me to load and unload out of the truck. Unlike my air compressor that I think gave me a hernia.
    Aj

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Florida
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    I can’t imagine going back to a contractor saw. And I had a pretty solid one.

    Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    I'd hate myself for going to one of those little portable saws every time I turned it on. Those universal motors scream about like an old Craftsman shop vac. Your neighbors will agree every time there hear it through the garage walls too.

  13. #13
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    I understand your limits on space as well and, while primarily a hand tool user, my Delta contractor saw does what I need it to do. And when adjusted properly, is as accurate as I need. You mentioned running a shop vac only. Just keep in mind that these saws do not have great dust collection without some modification (custom build enclosure). My shop vac gets maybe 50%. The rest is all over me and the floor.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Just so you know where I'm coming from, I currently own and use in the business, (1) Bosch 4100 small contractor, (2) Dewalt 7491RS small contractor, (1) Delta contractor like the 36-5000, but with a Biesmier, (2) Delta Uni w/Bies, and a Felder. Have had another Delta contractor and a Jet uni clone. If the consideration is saving space and dust collection, don't get a conventional contractor like the Delta. The dust collection is not good, and the footprint is same as a cabinet saw assuming the fence is the same length. Felder takes a whole wing of the shop by itself. As for the small contractors, they have great stands, the gravity rise Bosch is slightly better, but heavier to load. They both have pretty good vacuum dust collection, but not as good as a cabinet saw with a dust collector. Both have good fences, but the Dewalts are better. They aren't as loud as mentioned above, but they are a little louder then a cabinet saw. Both use 10" blades. Neither have blade height lock, but they seem to stay put. The Bosch is currently down waiting on switch parts, which because I like the Dewalts better, may be the next owners problem. Downside to the small contractors is a short (front to back) table, you'll definitely want a roller stand system at your disposal, and the fences, while being good, both have issues. The Bosch needs measured every time you use it, and the Dewalt can be knocked out of parallel if you smack it with a board.

    Summary, you won't save much space unless the small saws are stowed. Their dust collection is ok at best, and their capacity for sheet goods is bad. If that's ok with you, as it usually is on a job site, then they make excellent saws when driven carefully.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    I'm downsizing my garage shop, so I'd like to have the smaller footprint saw that uses a vac for DC, then I can get rid of my 2hp DC, that takes up about 3'x4' of floor space.
    Another option would be to keep the cabinet saw, sell the dust collector, and buy a good half-mask respirator like the 3M 7500-series.

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