My old table saw

tbo123August 27, 2013

Hi all.

I've been pondering getting a new table saw in the $300-400 range. Basically, a Lowes or HD saw.

I have an old Skillsaw that I've had for some 25 years or so. It works, I know how to use it to get a straightish cut.
But, it is really loud and sort of scares me to use just because it's loud and old. I'm not going to cut any 4x8 sheets with it.

This pic is from like 7 years ago:

Anyway, My main dilemma with buying a new saw is that basically everything nowadays is junk. Reviews I've read indicate that there is lots of plastic. I look at the saws at Lowes and HD that have just been sitting on the shelf and they are basically falling apart.

How are these new saws? Would I be happy with a new one?

I know it's a stupid question just looking for some insight of some sort.


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I have a Dewalt I bought 20 years ago, only thing I dislike is it is underpowered for cutting hardwoods, selling point was the rack and pinion rip fence. Would look at the Ryobi contractor saw, 5000RPM

Here is a link that might be useful: ryobi saw

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Many of the woodworking magazines regularly run reviews on low end saws.

If I needed one, I'd buy before 'flesh detection technology' becomes mandated. IMO, prices will either double, or the low end will be out of the market. (see library for old copies)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 9:55PM
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There are a lot of good older saws that pop up---Delta has literally hundreds show up.

New, I'd look at Rigid, models R4512 or R4510(portable).

I had a business where I went through several saws(carried in a trailer) and all fell apart save one---a Porter Cable portable.

I have a Rigid TS2424 table saw I have had for over 8 years in my shop---the early model of the R4512. Really good saw for the money.

I had an early model Ryobi(BT3000)---cannot recommend that brand---every one of the Ryobi tools I have owned broke in use within 4 years.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 10:06PM
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All the low end saws are going to be noisy, they use universal motors. That basically means you have a circular saw mounted to the bottom of a table. If you want a quieter saw, you need to step up to a contractor style saw with an induction motor or a cabinet saw.

The biggest problem with the low end saws is lots of plastic, mediocre fences, and non-standard miter slots.

In a portable saw both Bosch and DeWalt seem to get good reviews but they're really meant to be used on the jobsite, not for fine woodworking. But that may be ok for you.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 12:41AM
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A $400 used saw will out do a new $500 saw. You will need to inlist someone to help you with buying used. I see many saws on craigslist but many are junk while a few are good buys. Far too many models of too many brands to list as good and bad so asking on the net isn't very good way to set values.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 2:40AM
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Another option is a used Shopsmith. Normally these run about $400-500. While the table saw mode is arguably the worst of the functions, these things just don't die if taken care of reasonably. There are lots of widows and heirs out there trying to dump dad's Shopsmith. The table saw mode would be as good and more powerful than any saw you could buy new in that range.

I bought one for my daughter and her husband. $500 got a lathe, drill press, disk sander, table saw, jointer and band saw.

Also, Porter Cable used to be a good tool company. Since taken over by DeWalt / Stanley, they've re-aligned their product line. Some older model SKUs are still good, but newer models are significantly cheapened.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 7:50AM
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Thanks for the ideas guys. The more I think about it, the more I realize that a compact moveable saw is paramount.

Anyone know the value of a used Makita 2704.
Good saw? Bad saw?


    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Used saws are like used cars---some well taken care of---some not.

It is a decent saw, can take up to 13/16" dado blade sets.

Probably about $500 new---used is usually half new. If it is in really good shape, $300.

The stand is another $340 new.

So, used saw with stand might be worth $500.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 2:09AM
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