Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 53

Thread: About to dive in, sub-$700 budget for a table saw, wwyd?

  1. #1

    About to dive in, sub-$700 budget for a table saw, wwyd?

    Hi,

    I'd originally been considering the DeWalt or (*ducks*) Hercules jobsite saws at just under $400, but digging around I'd seen posts on other forums from 2014/2015 or so saying "the way to get your first saw is to be patient, keep an eye on craigslist, and score something great for $200."

    So, I pivoted to that, only I'm finding the only contractor's saws in my area (or, within an hour's drive) which look relatively new-ish and clean, are priced at $350-400. The $100-200 saws: have rusty tops, questionable fences, lack of, and possibly lack of the possibility of, riving knife installs, etc. In short, between renting a truck/van to pick them up, 2 hour round trip, labor and supplies needed to bring them back to working order... a $200 table saw inflates to $500, and a $400 saw hits closer to $600.

    So now I'm thinking, hell, why not just get the Delta contractor's saw that's currently in stock at Lowe's? It's $600, model #36-725T2. Has what is by most accounts a fairly good fence. Has a riving knife. I know it's nt perfect or the absolute best, but it seems like a hell of a lot of saw to start with.

    Am I thinking correctly? Missing anything I should be considering?

    At the moment all I have is a speed square, circular saw and some hand tools. Going to jump in with a table and a miter saw for projects in the Spring. Mostly will be doing larger scale, structural stuff like deck repair, walkway replacement, building shelves & some lawn chairs. Nothing super precise.

    Thanks for your shared wisdom.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    897
    Blog Entries
    1
    For the upcoming projects that you listed, a miter saw might be a more useful first purchase. I did many of those same projects, and after a few months of cutting everything with my circular saw and a square, I bought a decent miter saw... building decks, general construction, and then (later on) breaking down lumber for woodworking projects. It got a major workout for many years.

    Also, based on the projects you mention, I think you'll be doing a lot of work with sheets of plywood... Not very easily handled on a table saw in my opinion. A nice clamping straight edge that you can run your circular saw against might be better for those tasks. Later, a "track saw" (just a nicer version of straight edge and circ saw) might be a good option.

    All that said.... I love having a table saw and use it nearly every day. The one you list is not one that I've used personally, but it looks pretty nice from a quick read. Some cast iron on the top is nice, and the ability to square the top to the blade is good. The price is certainly right.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    742
    Jim, depending on the future projects you envision, I'd forgo the miter saw and combine the money with that for the table saw. You can breakdown lumber to manageable pieces with the circular saw. Build a decent crosscut sled for the table saw and you'll be golden for most projects except woodwork in a house or similar. With the combined money, you should be able to go directly to a cabinet style table saw that will serve you well for a much longer time. For your current projects, the miter saw is what you need, but down the road?
    Last edited by Lisa Starr; 01-04-2021 at 1:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
    Posts
    13,316
    A little over a year ago, my son was looking for a table saw and after exhausting the supply of used saws in his area, he decided to purchase a Rigid 4512 table saw. I was there when he put it together and I was impressed with the features and the quality of the saw. The saw alignment right of the box was nearly perfect. The fence locks down repeatably parallel to the blade. The price for the Rigid 13 amp table saws is very close to your target point.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    319
    First a disclaimer: I don’t have a table saw. I have 3 RASs, a SCMS, a Skilsaw and a PC 314 trim saw. Also many hand saws. But in the unlikely event that I ever get a table saw, I would only buy a SawStop. Read today’s earlier entry entitled “Shouldn’t have been cutting - SawStop saved my fingers or worse” and you’ll find out why.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    2,241
    Delta has a terrible reputation right now, and has for several years, regarding tool quality and customer service. I recommend going with a different brand.

    Given your budget, I recommend a new Ridgid TS4520. It's a little above your stated range, but probably the best quality you can buy at that range. You can get it at Home Depot. I bought a TS3650 maybe 12 years ago, and I'm still using it. I've had no issues with it so I can't comment on customer service. With good quality thin kerf blades, it will cut 8/4 lumber well.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    854
    Hey Jim,

    I somewhat agree with the previous advice you have received. I started out with a brand new portable dewalt table saw. Its a fine saw and its great that its so portable, but really, not the best option for building furniture. I quickly sold that table saw for a loss and purchase a 25 year old delta 34-444 contractor saw with a unifence. Awesome fence system combined with a mediocre saw design. With patience and proper calibration, i think you can do almost everything on a saw like that. It cost me $300-350 6-7 years ago. I saw a very similar saw for sale in my area in May-June for $150. I quickly sent it to a friend that wanted to get into WWing, and alongside the text i added, "buy this, quickly". This with a miter saw and a router will have you off to the races.

    For your deck project, a miter saw is more important than a table saw. It is very difficult to crosscut a 16 footer on a table saw sled. That would be complicated to do on my sliding table saw with a 8' crosscut fence/outrigger.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    2,653
    Delta is about the last brand I'd consider buying. For the last 10 - 20 years they have been going steadily down hill have a reputation for having contempt for their customers. The only Delta machines I have now are a bench grinder & a planer. The work fine, but as soon as something breaks, they're garbage because I won't be able to get parts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
    Posts
    1,491
    What part of the country are you in? Sometimes good options pop up on the IRS auctions dot com. Check CL as well. Also FB market place. I'm pretty well in a vacuum it seems for such items. Or if they do pop up they want new price. Patiently search is the best advice I can give.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,187
    I'd shop for something made in the 70s. Those job site saws are a POS in my opinion for everything but loading in a pickup to work on site. If it's going in a shop, those screaming motors are a real put off. Tiny tables and rip fences are not fun to work with either. For you budget, go old cast iron.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,785
    For $700 you are firmly in the buy used camp if you want a quality saw. I would watch for the aforementioned Delta Contractor with a Unifence,Powermatic or General Canada. At that price range Cabinet saws with 3hp motors will begin to show up as well. A cabinet saw would be an even better option if one lands near you. All the saws listed shared the Biesmeyer T square fence system which is excellent as well.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    509
    I had a few older Craftsman table saws between 10 and 20 years ago, I burned up the motors in all of them sooner or later except the last one that was "Flex Drive" (the stupidest engineering idea ever put into production, I think) that I had to convert to belt drive with a homemade motor bracket. I got them in the under $100 range and they were okay while they lasted. Then about 10 years ago I bought a used Delta 10" contractor's saw for $315 and it has been great for what I need it for, fast rough ripping of rough cut lumber. In my teens I bought a little benchtop saw for $30, it was a screamer for sure and vibrated a lot, but it was okay for a while. I would encourage watching Craigslist or local auctions, there are still some good deals to be had and once you outgrow a cheap table saw you'll have a better handle on what you really want instead. I have also had a DeWalt 12" miter saw for the last 12 years, it has built 20 or so wheelchair ramps in the surrounding area and a number of outbuildings here and is still going strong. It's not terribly precise, but it doesn't sound like you need that yet anyway, and mine cost $130 at an auction. I've seen them go even lower since then. Best of luck, I hope you'll have fun with wood.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Central New Jersey
    Posts
    385
    The 600 price point is pretty good. A powermatic contractor saw is 1700 or so but the build quality will be higher, slightly higher hp motor 1.5 to 1.75 and comes with cast iron wings vs stamped wings. The price might be to meet a lowes requirement of putting a saw in at that price point, but quality wise might be the same as Delta's more expensive model but with stamped wings vs cast iron wings. I have a JET contractor saw for about 15 years now and my only beef with it the stamped wings.

    So what you will notice with a contractor style saw vs the more portable Dewalt's your looking at is the belt driven blade. The Dewalt and other small portable table saws are usually direct drive where the motor is connected right to the blade, almost like a circular saw. With a belt driven system, you will have less vibrations in the saw and the blade resulting in a cleaner more accurate cut.

    One must have upgrade if you want to start working with hardwoods is to use a thin-kerf blade, like a Forest woodworker II.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    2,057
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    A little over a year ago, my son was looking for a table saw and after exhausting the supply of used saws in his area, he decided to purchase a Rigid 4512 table saw. I was there when he put it together and I was impressed with the features and the quality of the saw. The saw alignment right of the box was nearly perfect. The fence locks down repeatably parallel to the blade. The price for the Rigid 13 amp table saws is very close to your target point.
    I got the Ridgid TS3650 over 13 years ago and have never regretted the purchase. It cuts true and has a great fence. I have it wired for 220V and it has plenty of oomph to get through the heavy stuff. It was less expensive back then, but it still runs like new. The modern version seems to have improved dust collection and a fully enclosed base versus the one I have.
    Last edited by Rob Luter; 01-04-2021 at 5:20 PM.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Riefer View Post
    For the upcoming projects that you listed, a miter saw might be a more useful first purchase.
    My thoughts as well. I intend to get the miter first, then the table saw later, then maybe a drill press, and then just tumbling in to spending from there

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Riefer View Post
    All that said.... I love having a table saw and use it nearly every day. The one you list is not one that I've used personally, but it looks pretty nice from a quick read. Some cast iron on the top is nice, and the ability to square the top to the blade is good. The price is certainly right.
    Yeah, my feeling is if I have the table saw I can for sure find uses for it. I *can* build shelves with a miter saw alone, but I think I can build measurably nicer shelves with a table saw in the mix.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •