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Thread: Perspectives on potential table saw purchase

  1. #1

    Perspectives on potential table saw purchase


    We are looking to acquire a high quality, good condition, used cabinet style table saw to do the interior woodwork and cabinetry of a new construction home (just broke ground, so a ways off but looking early). We might keep it after the construction is complete, but given that we will most likely already fill the garage with everything else we own, we'll likely resell it after we are done.

    This 2006 3 hp Delta with 52" Biesemeyer fence is available and we are considering purchasing it. It includes the side and outfeed tables, mobile base, router lift and router. It would be a 7hr drive to go get it. I have a few questions in to the seller and would request a FaceTime call or video to show it working before driving all the way there to get it.

    Any thoughts on whether it is priced well for a used item, assuming it is in working condition?

    Many thanks for any help and advice,
    Last edited by Kathy Hipsher; 07-04-2020 at 5:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Lebanon, TN
    Personally, I couldn't see myself spending $2300 and a 7 hr drive on a 14 year old saw when you are just a few hundred dollars away from buying a new Sawstop, but that's me.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    Personally, I couldn't see myself spending $2300 and a 7 hr drive on a 14 year old saw when you are just a few hundred dollars away from buying a new Sawstop, but that's me.
    Thanks for the perspective. It's definitely a worthwhile exercise to compare prices on used vs new. A new Sawstop 3 hp with 52" fence is about $3400. And that is without any side or outfeed tables, router or router lift. So it's quiet a lot more than "a few hundred dollars" to get a new Sawstop that has the same specs as this used saw. We want the 3 hp and the 52" fence, so we'd not be looking to save money by going for a smaller fence or less hp that brought the cost down at the expense of features.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    columbia, sc
    Still seems like a lot for a used Delta

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Too much money, too far, and for a saw that I think has an arbor for which there are no replacement parts if it goes bad. I would keep looking for something else, like an older Unisaw or Powermatic, definitely closer and for less money, or buy a new Sawstop. If you plan to sell the saw when you are done I would look for a used machine because if you buy smart you should be able to sell it for what you paid for it. I've sold stuff for more than I paid for them, after using them for a few years, just by cleaning them up and giving them a little TLC.


  6. #6
    I would rather have a SawStop with the best modern safety features even if I had to drop back to the contractor model to stay under the price of the used Delta. I have the PCS with the 1.75hp motor and it will not reliably rip 3 inches deep even in softwood WITH A FULL KERF RIPPING blade. With a good blade, it will do it slowly. But with a thin kerf ripping blade it goes well with a normal feed rate. So my conclusion is you do not need a 3hp motor. At least not as much as I value my fingers. I would have lost the end of my left middle finger if I had made the same mistake with a different saw. I have nearly 5 decades of experience and it was my first table saw accident. It can happen.

    A PCS with the 36 inch fence like I have (with the 110V motor) would be fairly close to the delta price. I guarantee you I can do anything with it that can be done with the Delta. I am not saying the Delta is a bad saw, just that 220V motors are not in my considerable experience necessary.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Lancaster, Ohio
    your choice, mine is it is too much money and too far away
    what is your location, good chance there is one closer that might be a better deal, can't help you without a location
    also purchase price is a small part of the equation since your intent is to resell when done, So therefore resale price plays a big part

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    The price is definitely better than buying all of it new. My first question is do you want all that is included? If yes, then it would be a maybe.

    I bought a 4 year old Unisaw (5 hp) with 52" fence and mobile base for $1600. New price would've been over $3.6k so I think I got lucky (he was asking for well over $2k but I forget the original asking price - and he was moving so he had incentive to get rid of it a bit lower). I did the same as you and asked here as well. Some people recognized the value while others still indicated it was too much.

    I recently saw another similar saw that they were asking $2.5k but I don't know what it sold for (I would assume a fair bit less than $2.5k but I don't know).

    In my area these seem to be reasonable prices. I had a nice router table and Jess-Em fence that I located in the side table that I rebuilt. But adding a nice router table and fence is not cheap if purchased new.

    For most things that I've bought used in good condition it seems ~50% is a good starting price. If it's an item I can't find otherwise then I consider the savings that I'm not buying it new and I've been happy with those purchases.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Lafayette, CA
    Iíve owned a 3 HP Unisaw with a 52-in Biesemeier for almost 20 years. It is in constant use. I admit I have only lubed it once. Itís a great saw that has never let me down, even when ripping 3Ē ash.

    $2300 is almost what that saw cost in 2006 without the side or outfeed tables or mobile base. I donít know about the quality or precision of that router and lift setup, but if it is a reliable tool, Iíd say go for this assembly. It seems right for your needs.

    Sound like Iím the vox clamatis in deserto here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    West Lafayette, IN
    You should be able to get an excellent saw for around $1000 used. I forget how far KSL goes from SLC, but check there and marketplace as you have been doing. Lots of good used tools out there.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    I intended to get a used Unisaw or PM66 as a bridge to getting a SS in a couple years. My budget was <$1K for this saw (my configured dream SS was about $3.5K). There are plenty of good used cabinet saws out there but a lot depends on being patient and on timing.
    I ended up going significantly over my budget on a very gently used PM66 but was still less that half of the SS price. I spent enough that decided to get a Sharkguard for the 66, to USE the Sharkguard, and to enjoy the heck out of this lovely saw.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Arlington, TX
    It was listed 5 weeks ago. If it hasn't sold by now, that is a good indication the asking price is too high. Offer $1800, and go up as far as you feel comfortable.

    That's assuming the following points are acceptable:

    The router lift appears quite different from current Jessem lifts. Make sure it has a locking mechanism on the height adjustment, so it cannot change while running.

    I would also find out whether it is adaptable to other router sizes, without having to buy a new adapter (current better Jessem lifts do not need additional adapters for different router motor diameters, but some makes/models require separate adapters.)

    Find out if the router lift has interchangeable throat inserts with different size holes for different diameter router bits. They may no longer be available if not included. Some older lifts just had a large hole with no reducing throat inserts, which can make routing small parts more difficult.

    Also if the lift top plate is not the same size as ones sold today, then if you need to replace it, you will have to replace the table extension too. The most common plate size is 9-1/4" x 11-3/4" x 3/8”, but 8-1/4" x 11-3/4" x 3/8” are also available (Rockler's standard size for their lifts and tables).

    The seller lists the router as being worth $219 new, while Home Depot has it for $186.19 with free shipping.

    Many router table extensions for tablesaws are cast iron, and do not sag or warp over time. I would take a straight edge with you and check the wooden extension on that saw, around the router lift, before you buy it. A sagging or warped table will cause inconsistent results from the router.

    I recently replaced the router insert I inlet into my wooden extension years ago, with an Incra Mast-R-Lift-II-R and a Benchdog cast iron extension wing from Rockler, partly because the wooden extension had sagged over time.

    The Incra lift is made by Jessem. It differs from Jessem's same model# in that the throat inserts are steel, held in place by strong magnets, and do not require tools to remove/replace. The Jessem throat inserts are plastic, and require a supplied pin spanner wrench to remove/replace.

    If some of these issues are not ideal, but acceptable, they can be negotiating points to reduce the price.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    NH seacoast
    Congratulations to you for breaking ground on a new home. Very exciting time to be sure.
    What is the experience and skill level of the operator of this table saw and what is the scope of work?
    I was a residential interior finish carpenter for a couple decades before becoming a cabinet maker. Most guys trimming out a house use a chop saw, portable table saw, jigsaw, hand held router and a coping saw. With any experience a lot of work can be done with a $200 yard sale table saw. Just something to consider.
    Best of luck with your construction.

  14. #14
    I agree with Dan that a table saw is not the most used power tool for trim carpentry - in my admittedly more limited experience. I've done the most work on my current house which I've completely re-trimmed (to make all the trim match and due to additions and rennovations). I used my older 10 inch CMS the most of the cutting tools. (I have a 12 inch but its mounted to a bench in my shop and the 10 inch is easily portable and I have a mobile base for it) I used a cordless 18 gauge nailer the absolute most (I also used a pneumatic 23 gauge pinner for returns and a 15 gauge for window stools). If I had not had a table saw, I could have gotten by with a track saw, I think. Definitely with a less capable table saw. I use my table saw for furniture making, hardly at all for trim carpentry.

    I assumed in my earlier response the user(s) might be somewhat inexperienced. That could increase risk but I certainly had quite a bit when I made a poor decision and got injured. The table saw results in more injuries than the other tools you would use for trim carpentry.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    I agree it is at the top of the price spectrum but, if that JessEm router lift is actually functional (it looks odd in the underneath picture?) it is a $300+ router lift. The router shown is no big shakes but, beats a poke in the eye with a hot stick. If the lift is functional and can take a larger router I would be becoming more and more interested. The 7 hour drive has different cost impacts for different people. I hate long trips but, have friends who drive hundreds of miles just for fun.
    "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

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