How to research a good table saw?

edwenaJuly 20, 2005

I am looking for a good table saw - 3HP or more - really good fence - reasonably large table.

Are there sites where woodworkers discuss their woodworking tools? Similar to THS appliance forum?

Thanks much for the help!


Also, my DB wonders how to price and sell an "old" delta table saw?

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There is a Search function that will give you the last years worth of comments when you enter table saw. Beware---there are over 15,000 registered members, half of which have opinions about table saws.

There is a Power Tools forum along with a Woodworking forum.

If you ask "Which is the best table saw?"----you will get a lot of answers---some of which will be useless. That question gets asked a lot and there really is no 'best' saw. If you do some research and ask why ABC saw is better than XYZ saw---you will get a lot of opinions.

Oh, yeah, there is also a Swap'n Sell forum to sell tools---depending on the age/condition of the old Delta---1/3 to 1/2 the original cost is generally the figure most accepted.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 10:55AM
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The "old" Delta was purchased in 1937, has original book and attachments, tilt table with detached motor. I believe that the original cost was $130. Seems like a LOT for the time - since the first house my Dad built a year later was $3,500.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 12:26PM
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Whoa!!!! Forget what I wrote!!! Go to and let those folks know about the saw!! They really appreciate those old Goodies!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 2:03PM
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Wood magazine has a tool issue every year. Fine Woodworking runs reviews of saws once in a while, as does Fine HomeBuilding.
There is a large price jump between 'contractor' saws and cabinet saws. Jet, General, Delta all make very good saws. The fence quality is a large part of any table saw, and there are several after market companies (some are included in the higher end saws).
Watch out for universal motors (brush motors). They are not as good as an induction for larger sizes. A 3 hp motor will require a 240 V circuit dedicated for the saw.
Grizzly can be OK for occasional use, but the motors have little reserve power and some features are often missing. A frined purchased a grizzly 10 inch table saw that did not have a reliable blade height lock. They have probably changed by know, but examine before purchasing.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 9:11PM
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Pooh Bear

If I had the money I would get a Powermatic.
They are made rite up the road from me about 30 miles.

I have one of those old Delta saws.
Place where I used to work gave it to me. (back in ~1992).
It was missing a rip fence. So I called Delta and ordered one.
They sent me a parts manual for free with my order.
I still use the saw. Works great.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 1:41AM
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Delta, Jet, Powermatic, Bridgewood and a new one---SawStop all amke cabinet model saws. The SawStop's claim to fame is that the saw automatically stops if a finger/other part of your body comes in contact with the blade. It seems to work---at the cost of a destroyed blade and a new brake cartridge. But, safery minded folks like them.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 9:03AM
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Make sure you get an iron top, a lightweight saw is dangerous. I have professionaly used a $500.00 rigid for six years and it's still going strong.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:02AM
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"It was missing a rip fence. So I called Delta and ordered one. "

The after market rip fences are MUCH better than the Delta fence ever was.

I trhink Paralok is gone, but you can easily add the pulleys and cables to a Delta fence to make it work the same way.

I did years ago, and it works like a dream.

Dead parallel at every position, no movement when locking down.

The only down side is it is harder for me to remove the fence if required (some screws holding the cable to the fence).

I usually just use a portable circular to break large panels down anyway, and a sled to the left of the blade for wider cuts than the fence.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:01PM
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