Matt

Table saw purchase?

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Hello, I am a new aspiring woodworker.  I have a question for you. I am just starting out and I am looking for a good table saw.  I believe it is the centerpiece of the woodworking shop and so I am looking for something that I can work with now as well as once I am a more seasoned woodworker.

What price range should I be looking at?  I'm NOT wealthy so I need to get the best bang for my buck.  Also, any specific make/model that you would recommend?

 

Thank you !!!   

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Welcome to the Forum Matt!

 

What exactly is your budget? Its hard to give a recommendation based on "Im NOT wealthy." Im far from wealthy and spent 5k on my saw so its all perspective. Budget will help determine if you are shopping for a jobsite, contractor or cabinet style saw. I buy the best that I can now so I don't have to sell and buy new tools later. 

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Welcome to the forum Matt.

I used a Delta contractor's saw for 20 years before a recent upgade.  But having said that I wish I had known about Grizzly at the time because I think you can get more bang for the bigginner's buck

Edited by Chet K.
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i use a job site saw from rigid. i bought it at home depot from the RENTAL shop. they swap out every year or so.  it just took me a bit of checking

that said, if i were going to buy a new saw and limited funds, and had plenty of room, i would look at grizzly.

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To: mat60, RichardA, Shaneymack, Chet K,  and weithman5

Thank you all for your warm welcome and helpful feedback!!!!!!  :)

What exactly is your budget? Its hard to give a recommendation based on "Im NOT wealthy." Im far from wealthy and spent 5k on my saw so its all perspective. 

LOL  yes, Shaneymack, "not wealthy" wasn't the most precise phrase to use....... sorry  :D  I'm hoping to stay somewhere around $800 to $900 if that is possible.  My hope is to be able to find a cabinet saw as opposed to a job-site/contractor saw.

It seems that many of you speak highly of the Grizzly Tools.  I am going to look into that.  I noticed that many of the woodworkers I see on YouTube use a 10" saw.  Is that a fairly standard thing?  

 

Thanks again to all of you for your advice!! 

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Yeah, 10" is pretty much the standard for home shop. 

With the budget you mentioned, and wanting a cabinet saw, I'm not sure if there are other options than grizzly.

Grizzly table saws from what I have heard are decent saws.  Not top of the line, and some frustrating tenancy but a good option.

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since this is a relatively knew thing for you, it may be worthwhile buying a used saw, even a used craftsman till you know it is what you want to spend money on

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Welcome to the forum Matt. 

 

There are a lot of nice saws out there.  I wish I could afford one too.  I have been using a 1987 Craftsman contractors saw (10") for years.  My dad bought it new and it still keeps cutting wood in a straight line and will spin a dado stack.  I am pining for an upgrade, but the old saw has not let me down yet.

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Im not sure about the US but here in Canada you would have to get a used cabinet saw for that price. Cabinet saws here start at around 2k. Im not familiar with Grizzly but i guess that would be an option as it seems lots of guys on here own Grizzly stuff and are happy. I would be surprised if they had a cabinet saw in that price range but if they do thats good for you!

If not, im sure you could score a nice used saw for that price if your patient.

Good luck shopping and keep us posted!

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I have an older Rigid contractor saw, and it serves me quite well. Paid $250 for it, used. For a relative beginner with your stated budget, I would look at Grizzly pretty close. You might also look at CPOPowermatic.com, sometimes there are good deals on their stuff. I doubt anyone will argue that Powermatic is a step up from Grizzly.

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Rigid R4512 is a good compromise if you want a cabinet saw on a contractor budget.  Its got mixed reviews, but if you are willing to spend and hour or two setting up carefully.  

 

I've had one a few years and it's served me well.  I got mine with a HF coupon, which HD doesn't accept anymore (unless you sneak one by an unknowing clerk).  I think they are 450-500 these days.

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Matt, I was in your shoes a few years ago and made some mistakes on my purchase - here's what came to mind when reading your question and the responses above...

  • What electricity do you have access to in your shop?  Many (not all) cabinet saws require 220V - it can be surprisingly expensive to get a new circuit run if you don't have a spare one near where you want the saw (says the man who paid $300 to have a 220V circuit run today)
  • Try to get at least a 2 HP motor.  I had a 1 1/2 HP in my first saw and it bogged down a bit - even with a thin kerf blade (the rule of thumb is you can get a narrower "thin kerf" blade that doesn't push as much wood out of the way so you can cut thicker wood with a less powerful motor - I'm sure that's true, but my little saw struggled with denser woods like hard maple)
  • Watch for the fence on the saw.  The first saw I had (Jet JWTS-10) had a really crappy fence - if you can find a saw with a "biesemeyer style" fence you'll be better off - I upgraded to one (a $200 upgrade for my $500 saw) and found it had less flex and gave me more options because you could clamp things to the fence (like a sacrificial fence).

I just looked at the Grizzly table saws - not knowing their saws particularly well, I like the look of the G0715P (if you're going up the price list from cheapest to most expensive) - mostly because it looks to have a better fence than the G0771.  That looks like a nice saw for a bit over $900 delivered.  (or you could always drive down to Pennsylvania and pick one up - I visited Grizzly's showroom in Missouri, it's a great place to spend a day!)

 

Good luck! (and welcome!)

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Hello Jim DaddyO, I respect the point that you made.  I'm coming from a musical (recording engineer, musician) background.  I realize that, although the tools we use ARE important, in the right hands, with the right attention to detail, some imagination and the willingness to put some extra effort in, you don't necessarily have to have the "Cadillac" of tools to get the job done well. Point taken!  By the way, I subscribed to your YouTube channel today and took your shop tour. 

MattK, thank you for your insight!! Until now, I hadn't considered that some of the saws require 220V.  

Thank you also to Chris H, wtnhighlander, franklin pug and shaneymack!!!!

By the way, what led me to woodworking was while I was making a Cajon, which is basically a wooden box that is played as a percussion instrument, I had sooooo much fun doing that project that I realized I REALLY love working with wood.  It is such a creative and rewarding pursuit.  While I was building the Cajon, I came across the Wood Whisperer YouTube videos.  I am absolutely OBSESSED with woodworking and putting a shop together now!!  One of the best things about it (aside from the creative aspect) is that it requires skill that is passed along from one woodworker to another.  The woodworking community is fantastic!!  

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I'd look to a full size saw with a good fence and belt drive induction motor.  Beyond that, left tilt and a true riving knife are "nice to haves" IMO, but not essential.  Good blade and proper setup are essential, and ultimately dictate the end performance.

The ABCs of Table Saws

 

Edited by knotscott
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I'll throw my two cents in.  I agree with the good advice you've already received:  used; Grizzly; contractor style if you can afford it; etc.  

We know you are going to love woodworking so you will probably want to upgrade this first saw sometime, so the other consideration I would through in is look at the re-sale value.  

Following up on the good point about available electricity, consider your available space.  You need space on the infeed and outfeed sides and space at least on the right to accommodate large pieces that you may be cutting.  A mobile base is a nice accessory if you'll have to move the saw from time to time.

And speaking of that large piece of wood, it turns out these dead trees are expensive.  So as your looking at your budget make sure that left yourself some pennies to buy wood for that project.  

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I'll throw my two cents in.  I agree with the good advice you've already received:  used; Grizzly; contractor style if you can afford it; etc.  

We know you are going to love woodworking so you will probably want to upgrade this first saw sometime, so the other consideration I would through in is look at the re-sale value.  

Following up on the good point about available electricity, consider your available space.  You need space on the infeed and outfeed sides and space at least on the right to accommodate large pieces that you may be cutting.  A mobile base is a nice accessory if you'll have to move the saw from time to time.

And speaking of that large piece of wood, it turns out these dead trees are expensive.  So as your looking at your budget make sure that left yourself some pennies to buy wood for that project.  

Thank you, Mark!

I'm learning that there is a lot to consider (just as there was when I was first setting up my studio).  I am very thankful for ALL the advice and wisdom from people that have already been through the process.

Since I will be needing to share the garage with my wife's car (obviously, it won't be in the garage while I'm working), it will be very important for me to be able to move the larger tools around on mobile bases to work with it and then be able to find a wall or corner to store it.  When I was younger, we did a lot of camping and boating and so I've learned that you need to be able to make every inch of space count and everything has o serve, at least, dual purposes !

At this point, running the electrical is going to be quite a project.  As it is now, there is only ONE outlet in my garage.  It just happens to be on the same line (to the breaker) as some of our kitchen outlets.  The electrical box to the house is on the opposite end of the house from our garage.  My plan is to put a small box in the garage with a few dedicated breakers for the shop.  I need to speak with a few electricians to get some idea as to how best to run my main power line to the new box in the garage.  From there, I've wired up rooms and such before so, I feel okay working from the box out into the room.  The part that I'm needing more advice on is going from my current box to a new box in the garage. 

So, this will be a process.........  in the meantime, I am trying to learn as much as possible from all the other woodworkers.  

 

Thanks again for your advice, Mark!!!

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Matt:  glad to have you aboard.  As a new woodworker you've come to the right place.  I speak from experience that people here are super patient with newbies and provide helpful guidance.  Hopefully I can pay forward some of the advice I've gotten over the years.

First I'll link to a post from Eric in an old thread that was resurrected yesterday:  http://www.woodtalkonline.com/topic/5397-what-are-the-best-woodworking-tools/?do=findComment&comment=41539

I'd quote that in its entirety.  He's spot on.  The key points being #2 and 3 in my opinion.  I've been woodworking a little over 3 years now, and I've already lost count of how many cheap tools I wasted money on in the beginning that were replaced in short order.  I'd strongly recommend that you try to stretch your dollar as far as possible to buy quality tools, or learn how to use a limited tool set until you can afford quality tools.  For example, don't buy a cheap jointer just so you can have a jointer.  Instead just learn to edge joint with a router or handplane, and/or buy S4S stock.  Then buy a quality jointer when you can afford it.

Just my 2 cents.

 

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Keep your eyes peeled on craigslist. I picked up a nice Jet contractor 1.5 HP saw for $320 bucks a few years ago, sold that after finding a Jet 3hp contractor saw for $500. Keep in mind you gotta be on top of it though. Read, read some more, and when you're done reading go back and reread. Knowledge is power, the more you research and read, the more you will learn about what it is you're looking for in a saw. 

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