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Hello guys. My dad always spends time in his garage working with wood. I thought it would be a nice idea to buy a table saw as his birthday gift. Which one you can recommend (as for the first time)? I already checked some products on amazon and here http://www.elreviews.com/best-table-saw-reviews/ , but still I'm full of doubts. Have you ever faced this problem?
Thanks in advance!

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What is your budget?  What types of things does dad make from wood?  If he is a serious woodworker, look at table saws that have a cast iron top and a metal body, vs. the smaller ones that have an aluminum top and a plastic body.

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For the budget, I would look at the used market.    Look on craigslist for old Craftsman or Delta contractor saws.  These are saw with a cast iron top, and a belt driven motor hanging out the back.  They are older machines, but they are far better than anything a new $200 table saw can provide.

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They last as long as people take care of them and replace parts like bearings and brushes when they wear out. I used a 1950 saw for years. Unless you want to do a lot of maintenance, stick to saws built since the new millennium. 

At 200, the saws you can buy are going to be on the crappy side of things. You may want to consider other tools. If he uses hand planes you can buy a very nice plane for that much. You may be able to find a mediocre 14 bandsaw (used), or a half decent drill press (used).

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I have an old craftsman saw that is easily 30+ years old.  I put a modern fence on it, and a few other upgrades.  It will last until I decide to make the move to a cabinet saw.  At that time, it will likely go to someone else who will use it for years as well.  I got the saw used from Craigslist for $100 about 7-8 years ago.

I will echo minorhero, since your budget is limited, there maybe other tool options you can look into for your dad.  If you can get us some background as to the type of woodworking your dad does we can give you some more options.

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Not to sound callous but not sure you would be doing your dad any favors by getting him a $200 table saw. Does not matter if it's new or a used one of CL. I don't think you have enough experience to be able to discern what used table saw would be a good buy for your dad if you are not sure what you are looking for. There are plenty of duds out there on CL and you don't want to give your dad something that needs work or does not function properly. 

I would try and find out if there are any other tools he might need/want or I would try to get a few other members of the family (if this is an option) to chip in on a proper table saw for your dad. Another option is to tell him that you want to put some money toward a table saw for his birthday and let him pick one out and see if he will cover the additional cost. These are just other options and may not be viable. 

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Others have brought up good points, and I agree that there is no new $200 table saw that is worth having. He'll just end up being frustrated & hating the thing. Much better to spend that money on a used saw, but does he have good mechanical skills to do the repairs & maintenance. 

Personally, I wouldn't want anyone picking out a table saw or most any other large woodworking power tool for me. There are so many variables & choices that are personal preference. Maybe a gift certificate?

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Tools can tend to be a very personal choice for some people.  May a hand written gift certificate that says you would like hime to buy a saw or ather tool that he wants.  Talking about a choice and even shopping with him is quality time.

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