Chinese Sliding Table Saws?

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I am in the market for a sliding table saw. While doing research I have found dozens if not more options. The origins of this style saw seem to be European and there are a few big names that usually come up:


Each with multiple options and grades (consumer through fully automated industrial). 

Where it gets interesting is the when you dig into all the other brands. Many companies have jumped on board with this style saw. There are so many varieties that it is difficult to even compare them at this point. Grizzly and Laguna have their versions at a reasonable discount from the equivalent Felder or SCM. It seems almost all of them are made in china and many are rebranded or modified of similar base saws.  Some of the very high end models might be still made in Europe, but I know even the Euro-brands have started outsourcing to China as well. 

Chinese manufacturers have been pushing a lot more "retail" through sites like Alibaba for many things including machinery. It seems easily possible to save 5-10k of the sticker price of a name brand saw and have the exact same parts inside it. I have seen a couple of reviews of these saws with mostly positive results. The biggest complaint was arranging shipping. 

One of the brands I was really interested in is Lead Machinery. They appear to be a really close knock off of Felder for way less money.

Has anyone gone this route or dug into it enough to determine whether a direct-from-china saw is worth pursuing? or is it possible to separate the good from the trash? I find it difficult to image so many of these saws are being fabricated and nobody is actually buying them. 

This decision would be way easier if I could walk into a showroom and touch one, but rolling the dice on something completely site unseen is hard to swallow. Lead appears to at least attend major industry shows in China. 

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There is a lot of extra work importing a saw from China by yourself.  You need to take care of a lot of the customs paperwork and finding a shipping broker.  I read on a forum of a guy who did this and the machine was great, but the process was extremely complicated and took quite a long time.

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I have learned from direct experience, not to assume lesser quality just because a product was made in China. But speaking from direct experience with other types of equipment built in China according to our company's specification, import costs narrow your savings margin quite a bit.  What looks like 30% or more savings now may be more like 10% by the time your saw arrives, and where will the after-sale support come from?

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1 hour ago, Coop said:

I try and shy away from anything labeled made in China and that, unfortunately, is hard to do.

I ordered some round over router bits on Amazon recently. The first time I used it the dust shroud on the bearing flew off. Yes, it was half the price. Now I have to return them, order new ones from Freud...

The brands listed by the OP are the ones he should consider. IMO Chinese sliders are not worth the risk.

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Don’t forget that now you’ll have a lovely 25% duty on the value of the saw in addition to the freight charges.

For freight, you’ll have to pay the ocean freight to get it to the port, then pay a trucking company to pick it up from the port and deliver it to you. And potentially a ‘last-mile’ freight company if the trucking company will not deliver to your door. 

Personally I’d just look at Felder/SCM, or just get the slider table on a Sawstop. Without seeing one or talking to someone with direct experience with one, the risk is far greater than the cost difference for me.

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If you have to arrange your own shipping for the item itself it's not likely the company is going to be able to muster much customer support.  What happen's if you need a part?  Who ships that?  Will there be someone fluent in English on the other end of the phone?  

And what's the resale value of the equipment if you want sell it later?

Just some thoughts.

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