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Thread: Entry Level Sliding Table Saw....HELP?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Question Entry Level Sliding Table Saw....HELP?

    The Background:

    Longtime lurker, first post.

    I'm a DIY'er and am starting to enjoy wood working more and more. A friend of mine taught me a concept of instead of paying somebody to do work on your house/car buy the tools
    needed and do it yourself. Often you'll spend less, learn somthing and then have the tools for the next project.

    I'm having a 14'x52' 3rd stall added to my garage. Much of this will be a wood shop, maybe a car hoist in the future and parking my vehicle

    I own a Dewalt compound miter saw, drill press, dewalt planer, Festool tracksaw and festool cross cut table. Tons of hand tools and Milwaukee m18 stuff. 4 years ago i had to
    sell my Powermatic 66 when we moved (not enough space). I still have a ryobi POS $90 table saw.

    I see a jointer, drum sander, bandsaw, router table, table saw in my future. Oh and i'm buying an Oneida V3000 for new dust control.

    Safety thoughts:

    I've never been a huge fan of getting my fingers close to blades (DUH).

    When I had my Powermatic 66 I loved how powerful/smooth it was. I know there are nicer/safer pushblocks like the Gripper to get
    your fingers away from the blade but there are always limitations. Something has to be better/safer.

    I've always felt awkward and not in control cutting a sheet of plywood in my Powermatic. This is why I got a tracksaw when i had to sell the Powermatic. The tracksaw is awesome,
    but its slower and not acurrate for repeatable cuts unless i use some kind of parallel guide thing, but even that isnít super accurate.

    Table Saw thoughts:
    I've been mesmerized by the Sawstop since I first saw the hotdog thing a long time ago. I've been thinking of getting a sawstop with the sliding table large or small.
    But damn, its $5,000 when i add it all up. Its still a western cabinet saw with slider attached. I've read many threads on here dating back to 2007 and it seems like anybody that gets a sliding saw, says its awesome. A few guys still have a normal cabinet saw as well, but if only 1 can be owned, it sounds like the slider wins.

    The Sawstop large sliding table needs feet so its not mobile at all compared to a Euro saw with that
    cantilevered arm that the Grizly and Minimax ones use.

    I was reading a few posts by Jim Becker (and others) about how they like Minimax sliders. Then i discovered the world of euro style sliding table saws.
    While they don't have the safety feature of Sawstop, I think their design is ultimately safer. Less reaching accross the table (i'm only 5'7"), stand next to blade, ect.

    I agree with the "Cry Once" mentality on spending. Am i a cabinet shop? NO! Will I ever use these saws to their full capability.....maybe. I need to build a ton of cabinets for
    my shop, for an upcoming basement remodel, perhaps redoing our kitchen cabinets, or at least face frames and new raised panels.

    My purchase can only use single phase 220v.

    Some euro saws canít use dado stack. The grizzly GO623x can. I know dados can be done on a router table or router jig too.

    $$$:
    If I didnít build the cabinets myself, I could spend thousands to have these cabinets made, or even buy crappy ones from a big box store and spend thousands. So i'm thinking somewhere between $3500-$6,000 is my budget on a saw, but if I stay around $3500, then I could spend $1500-$2000 on some of the other tools I mentioned above.

    I was thinking of a Grizzly GO623x for $3500 initially and if in a few years I think I want more saw, sell it and then get a Minimax SC3 or the 4e, but for the $1500 more now, is a Minimax SC2C a lot nicer than a GO623x?. Or do I just go to something with a 8' sled/wagon right out of the gate? That will be a ton of real estate, maybe I'll discover I don't actually rip anything 8' long.

    Another concern is Factory support after the purchase. Grizzly has more presence in the USA, am I going to get the support if I have an issue with a Minimax?

    Its a bit of a pain to compare all the minimax saws, not a ton of youtube videos in english. Grizzly i'm assuming isn't as good quality of machine vs an Italian saw, but is it even close to the entry Minimax in quality?

    Anyways, I welcome all help, but please don't try to convince me to buy a traditional western cabinet saw, i want some form of euro style slider. After gathering intel here, I'm hoping to see a few of the front-runners in action before I make my decision. The 3rd stall is being built next spring, so i've got time, BUT, if I know what I want, and a sale comes, i'll pull the trigger now and squeeze it into the 2 car garage.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    I used to own a Minimax Sc2. mine was an older one,like 1980's vintage. It was an excellent saw and I still miss it. (replaced with a bigger slider). The Italians build great machines that are basic designs built robustly and adjustable. My Minimax was no different,once adjusted it held adjustments. The short stroke sliders are great for solid stock work and mine had a 50'' stroke so you could crosscut a full sheet of plywood. The new version of the Sc2 is improved in a couple ways,the one thing I noticed the most is hand wheels for raising and tilting the blade. My machine used a lever to raise the blade and you loosened a lever and tilted manually. It also used 10'' blades with a 5/8'' arbor.

  3. #3
    I have a hammer k3 winner 48x79 slider. My son has the griz 0623 so I have used both. I bought mine first and it was a hard decision to make. I also considered the sc2. I donít think it will take a dado and i donít think itís as robust as the hammer so I crossed it off first. Then itís griz which is a great saw but needs the leg to help stabilize it because of the smaller base, the fence is lighter but itís a great value. Or the hammer with the longer stroke generally better made But a lot more. With a track saw the stroke may not be as critical. The griz is a great saw at a great value especially if you brake sheet material down first with a track saw. If you want a premium saw look at the k3 winner or sc3 With the longer stroke. I couldnít fit it and the hammer was priced better at the time
    good luck
    gary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Germany
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    When I built my workshop, the decision process for a saw narrowed the field down to the Hammer K3 Winner or the Minimax SC2 Classic. Other makes, such as SawsStop or Grizzly were eliminated immediately because they are not available where I live. I would have been happy with either the K3W or the SC2C, but the decision came down to availability, delivery, and commissioning.

    The lead time on the K3W was 90-120 days and I had to arrange for my own transportation from the factory, as well as commissioning. The SC2C was available immediately and the price included the scoring blade option, delivery, and commissioning. Another benefit was the SCM technician lived nearby, but the nearest Hammer/Felder technician was hours away.

    The features of the K3W that I miss on the SC2C are the mobility kit and the ability to use a dado stack. I've accepted that the SC2C cannot be moved in my shop and I think I can meet any dado requirements with my router table or Festool system. If you have the time to wait and plan, I would buy the K3 Winner.

  5. #5
    Honestly with that space and the premise of not needing the absolute best and a bit of cry once for a hobbyist I’d just buy the saw in the link below.

    Compared to a higher end saw it leaves much to be desired. But by comparison to other entry level machines be they Hammer, Grizzly, Laguna it’s actually pretty darn nice. It’s like $11k new and I know maybe twice that of a short stroke slider but it’s also not short stroke and imop it’s the entry point and the lowest level I’d ever feel good about entering into the slider market.

    I have know a couple people who purchased the saw new and compared to a Martin or higher end Scm it’s a toy. By next to a hammer or griz it seems like a pro level machine. So I’d say it’s right in the middle being neither industrial or hobby.

    And nothing Electronic really to fail on you and make it a lead weight later in life..

    https://www.scmgroup.com/en_US/scmwo...ova-si-400.586

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    NE Connecticut
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    I have a Minimax (SCM) SC4 Elite. I chose this saw because of the 8.5 stroke, which I use for straight-lining lumber and for working with sheet goods (although I often use a track saw to make sheets easier to handle before making cuts on the slider). I looked at Felder as well but for the price I felt like the SCM was the better bargain at the time. The SC4E has a 5/8" arbor and can handle a dado stack. It can use 12" blades. It comes standard with the scoring blade, which is fantastic for working with sheet goods.

    As I'm sure you know, space is a major consideration with a slider. The SC4E needs 20' front to back and close to that side to side if you want full cutting capacity to the right of the blade. Lots of slider owners, myself included, don't feel they need this since most work is done to the left of the blade.

    Like you, safety was a major consideration in my decision to purchase a slider. I had considered a SawStop, but triggering a safety feature is not as good as just never having a reason to put your hand near the blade in the first place, IMO. With the slider, I know that if my hand is over the sliding table, it cannot come into contact with the blade. I also never stand behind the blade when ripping, so kickback is not a danger to my body. The various jigs and supports that attach to the sliding table all serve to move your hands farther from the blade, not closer as is the case with the Grr-ripper (which I used to own, and liked).

    The SC4E is a basic machine - no frills but very robustly built. It's just a lot of steel, iron, thick aluminum extrusions, and concrete (for vibration dampening). The adjustments are obvious and work very well and hold their settings. I believe the overall machine weighs about 1,500 lbs.

    There is a mobility kit available for the SC4E. I believe it involves a couple of wheels attached to the saw and a lever with wheels attached - it's not a mobile base.

    I often see used sliding saws available within 100 miles of me on Craigslist or WoodWeb. They tend to be older, but sometimes newer models come up. Since you have time maybe you should just keep an eye out for a while.

    Good luck with your decision.


  7. #7
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    I currently have and SCM/Minimax slider and if I need something smaller when/if we downsize, it will be another SCM/Minimax slider with a shorter stroke to fit in a smaller space.
    --

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

  8. #8
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    Jun 2014
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    Western PA
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    If you can only have one saw, i would strongly encourage 8-9' if you can fit it. Especially if you are doing two kitchens worth of cabinets. The cost of the longer stroke would almost be worth it for just those two jobs. I have an older Felder 700, and I would probably go that direction if given the choice all over again. Id rather have a 15 year old Felder than a new Grizzly. Id be amiss if i recommended blowing your entire budget on a slider though. If you plan on doing the cabinet jobs first for the next year before doing any furniture work, then you can get away without having a jointer, but that is an awfully critical component, in my opinion. Sure, you can edge joint on your 8' slider, but that doesnt do squat for truing boards.

    Where are you located?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    NH seacoast
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    I am also in the market for a slider and Patrick makes a compelling point towards SCM. Thanks also to Brian and Jim for their input. I just reached out to SCM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Central Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Walsh View Post
    Honestly with that space and the premise of not needing the absolute best and a bit of cry once for a hobbyist Iíd just buy the saw in the link below.

    Compared to a higher end saw it leaves much to be desired. But by comparison to other entry level machines be they Hammer, Grizzly, Laguna itís actually pretty darn nice. Itís like $11k new and I know maybe twice that of a short stroke slider but itís also not short stroke and imop itís the entry point and the lowest level Iíd ever feel good about entering into the slider market.

    I have know a couple people who purchased the saw new and compared to a Martin or higher end Scm itís a toy. By next to a hammer or griz it seems like a pro level machine. So Iíd say itís right in the middle being neither industrial or hobby.

    And nothing Electronic really to fail on you and make it a lead weight later in life..

    https://www.scmgroup.com/en_US/scmwo...ova-si-400.586
    Oh man, but now you're talking about going from a $3500 machine to a $11,000 machine. Also I see that machine is 3phase, I think that's a deal breaker.

    I think the SCM SC4 Elite would be closest to the one you're suggesting and $2,000 less. But even that, we're going from $3500 to $9,000.

    maybe Brian Evans and Jim Becker could tell me about why the SC4 Elite is $4,000 better than the SC2C, other than the 8.5' sled, vs 5.5'.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Steffen View Post
    Oh man, but now you're talking about going from a $3500 machine to a $11,000 machine.
    Too true. You are stepping up to another tier of machines and need to adjust your price range accordingly. Where really nice cabinet saws may top out around $5k, this is more of an entry point for quality sliders / combo machines. You don't need to go crazy but, you do need to re-center your cost expectations or everything is going to seem really "expensive".
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Steffen View Post
    maybe Brian Evans and Jim Becker could tell me about why the SC4 Elite is $4,000 better than the SC2C, other than the 8.5' sled, vs 5.5'.
    This is outside my area of expertise. The only slider I've ever used is my own, so I have nothing to compare it to. I would contact Sam Blasco with this question. He is an SCM rep in Texas and was helpful to me when making my decision. You can see him on YouTube and PM me for his email if you're interested.


  13. #13
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    The Nova line is certainly nice, but I also agree that the SC-machines are very suitable for the hobbyist or one-man shop, especially when space is constrained.

    The SC4 Elite is a heavier machine all around than the SC2C, has an available separate scoring motor if scoring is desired, etc. The SC3 sits between them. They are certainly siblings for sure. Weight, capacity, features.

    SCM/Minimax, like almost all tool manufacturers has technical support and parts availability. And like all the others, the owner is who provides the labor if something needs to be replaced or adjusted. There are some exceptions, but on-site technicians are generally an uber-expensive thing as they are a special service. I've had no issue doing anything required on my own machines over the years.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 07-02-2020 at 1:27 PM.
    --

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

  14. #14
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    Location will determine what is reasonable priced on the used market. A poster in Germany has already replied. Carefully read his post since I think he is local to you.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 07-02-2020 at 1:20 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Cambridge Vermont
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    If you ask a bunch of car guys for advice on buying a new car they are going to quickly say you need a Ferrari. The fact is that $11k for a machine for a hobbyist is most likely overkill. Sure it'll be a real nice saw but a saw like that belongs in a shop making the owner money. You said the key words "3 phase". 3hp 3 phase piece of equipment isn't going to be too expensive to make run on your single phase power but once you start getting into these 7 1/2hp saws you are getting into the thousand dollar range for a rotary phase converter. So stick with your budget (chances are you will still go over it). Another option might be a panel saw and a cabinet saw.

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