Author Topic: Table Saw Recommendation?  (Read 652 times)

JenniferW

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Table Saw Recommendation?
« on: September 11, 2019, 05:04:43 PM »
Can anyone recommend a decent table saw without breaking the bank?  I don't think I'm smart enough to buy a decent used one.

It will be for small woodworking projects.  I want to build a cross cut sled for it along with a few jigs like box joint jig.  So it will have to take dado blade stack.

Or is it possible I can do everything with a circular saw, hand router , miter saw along with various jigs?

Ideally I'd get a professional SawStop with mobile base, but I don't have $3k.  I want to spend say under $600.

IsThisAGoodUsername

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 05:36:57 PM »
Rigid r4512, although it's slightly over your budget. I love mine, which was my first and only table saw for the past 3 years.  $649 from Home Depot, it can contribute nicely to a new credit card minimum required spend for a sign up bonus, or buy HD gift cards from Kroger so you can get monstrous fuel savings for a month. The box is HEAVY; I think it weighs about 300 pounds. You'll definitely need a helpful friend and a sturdy vehicle.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 06:27:02 PM »
I second the Rigid recommendation.

JenniferW

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 07:05:11 PM »
Wow that Ridgid does look really nice!  At 300 lbs.. it's gotta be made of some cast iron which is good I read.

My Home Depot for some reason has it listed for $749 right now -- Tulsa, OK.. grr.

JenniferW

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 07:06:21 PM »
How accurate / stable is the fence on that Ridgid btw?  Do you have to constantly measure the distance to blade on both sides, or does it stay fairly square all the time?

IsThisAGoodUsername

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 08:00:53 PM »
I'm a newbie, so it's good enough for me.  I find that I have to pull the base of the fence towards me to ensure it's square before I lock into place.  I'm not building to NASA precision specifications, so it's good enough for me. This is a hobby for me, so I don't need to buy the very very best just to get started.  I wanted to buy a mid-level product so I could learn over time what's good and what's not, to educate me for future purchases.  Yes, it's cast iron top.

I too would like a SawStop in the future.  If you're concerned about the fence, there are lots of upgrades available when/if you're ready: https://www.google.com/search?q=youtube:+r4512+fence+upgrade. You won't know you're ready until you use the product for a while and figure out what you like/dislike.  The saw does pull between 15-18 amps at 110v, so if I have anything else running on that circuit, I'm pretty sure I'll trip it. So I run my dust collector on another circuit. Think about your wiring setup in your work space and how much draw your saw will require. If you can get 20A, you shouldn't have a problem.

Welcome to the hobby! Make some jigs, cutting boards, sleds, and work shop furniture. But mostly enjoy yourself and be safe.  Be sure to wear eye and ear protection.

PS. The HD at 8880 S Delaware Avenue has it listed for $649. Maybe you can buy it there but pick it up at the 9808 East 71st location.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 08:04:11 PM by IsThisAGoodUsername »

JenniferW

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 02:52:19 AM »
Thanks for pointing out another nearby Home Depot store has it for $100 cheaper.  I had no idea they pulled stuff like this.  Why the heck would they do that? No I have to check all the stores every time I look up a price there.   So glad I know this now, thanks again.

JenniferW

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2019, 05:36:57 AM »
Been considering spending the $1399 for a SawStop Jobsite Pro saw.  Just wondering if it would be good/accurate enough for a beginning woodworker?  I know the Ridgid is a cabinet saw and they are preferable to jobsite and contractor saws.  Just wondering how much more accurate the Ridgid cabinet saw would be compared to the SawStop Jobsite Pro.   I know the fence is good on the jobsite pro saw so I wouldn't have to upgrade it.  And the peace of mind of not losing a digit with the safety feature of the SawStop is worth the extra $550-750 to me I think. 

Uturn

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2019, 07:40:10 AM »
With any power tool where the cutter is attached directly to the motor, you want to be concerned with runout.  Basically, how much play is there in the arbor.  If there is play, it will transfer to the cutting edge and affect the cut.  Bearings have less runout and generally last longer than bushings, but they cost more than bushings.  Higher end table saws have a belt between the motor and the arbor that isolates any runout and vibration. 

Make sure the miter track is 3/4" wide.  I have seen cheaper saws have narrower tracks, which forces you to buy accessories from that manufacturer.

The must have for any table saw is the blade, miter tracks, and fence be parallel.  The nice to have is size, weight, and dust collection. 

Most importantly, please learn what causes kickback.  Resist the urge to manipulate a full sheet of plywood by yourself, break it down to a manageable size with a circular saw first.  Although you see plenty of YouTubers run rough cut lumber across their table saw, this too is a bad idea.  If the stock does not sit flat on the table, you are increasing your risk. 

The blade that comes with the saw is probably more useful as wall art, get a good blade.  Get two, so you are not tempted to use the stock blade while your good one is out for sharpening. 

If you are ever unsure of a cut, stop, think it through until you are comfortable.  Make a paddle that you can bump with your knee to turn it off.

GuitarStv

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2019, 08:15:06 AM »
You you have a circular saw?  I've got a friend who built his old circular saw into a plywood surface . . . effectively giving him a table saw.  He's been using it with no problems for three years now and has made several sets of cabinets for his house.

JenniferW

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2019, 09:13:52 AM »
Iím familiar with table saw safety, been watching a lot of safety videos.  Like donít free hand cut, make sure wood is straight and flat, make sure to always use riving knife at least and blade guard when you can.  Always stand to side in case of kickback.  Use a good push stick.. perhaps a homemade one allowing you to grip better. Push down with the stick in the middle. Also gonna get one or two grr-rippers which seem to make things pretty safe.

I donít think Iíll make a mistake because Iím very cautious of the blade at all times.  I take nothing for granted around the table saw.  I didnít want to get one for the longest time because I know how dangerous the table saw can be.  But it offers too much to continue to ignore, for repeated accurate cuts.. e.g. I saw a video on simple box joint jig and was amazed how easy and accurately the joints could be made.  Also I want to construct a cross cut sled and other neat table saw jigs.

Iím just concerned that despite being very careful something bad could still happen and perhaps sawstop could save my fingers.

big_owl

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 09:25:18 AM »
I have this Bosch unit that's been very good to me for a few years now:

https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-4100-10-Gravity-Rise-Worksite-Table/dp/B07BZVKF8M/ref=sr_1_4?hvadid=78271594721586&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=bosch+table+saw&qid=1568301599&s=gateway&sr=8-4

A requirement for me was that it had to be easy to move since I store it folded up in my garage.  I have used dados much as I typically use it for ripping or crosscutting.  But it hasn't let me down so far and is pretty good quality without being some 500lb unit that is basically stuck in place. 

Papa bear

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2019, 10:00:17 AM »
How precise do you need to be with this?  Is this going to be a once in awhile hobby or do you want to spend a lot of time on woodworking?

I like working with wood, but Iíd hesitate to call myself a woodworker.  Iíve built custom cabinets, benches, chests, built ins, do a bunch of custom trim work, etc.  I get along just fine with the Loweís generic kobalt contractor table saw.  If it doesnít make a perfect cut, Iíll break out the hand plane or a sanding block and clean it up. 

Do I like working on better table saws? Yes. Absolutely.  Dewalt and rigid have some nice ones.  And old cast iron craftsman from the 1980ís. Or at my buddyís wood shop.  But for my day to day? $180 on sale, contractor table saw does just fine.  Folds up nicely in the garage when not in use.  I can take it to a job site when necessary.

When it dies, Iíll probably upgrade to a rigid, but that could be awhile. 


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lthenderson

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2019, 10:39:58 AM »
I upgraded to a Rigid R4512 a couple years back and love that thing. It is a perfect hybrid table saw, a cross between a job site saw and a cabinet saw. I got it because I do a ton of woodworking but store all my tools in the half bay of my 2-1/2 bay garage and I wanted something I could easily move back and forth. Keep track of sales and you can definitely pick it up for within your budget.

In reality, you can do everything you need with a good set of hand tools. You can upgrade to a few power tools and do things faster and more precise. You can upgrade to bigger power tools like tablesaws and do things even faster and even more precise.

I always recommend for people wanting to get into woodworking to start off slowly. Identify the project and acquire the tools necessary to complete it. With time and experience, you will gradually identify other tools that can do things better, has the features you most need, etc. I've seen too many people just jump into the deep end of the pool and buy a lot of things and then realize that what they ended up with didn't have all the features they really needed and then you have to spend more money upgrading. I belong to a woodworking group that meets once a month and we often spend time comparing power and hand tools with everyone else. It really gives me a sense of what brands and features I want when it comes time to upgrade.

Jon Bon

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2019, 12:30:52 PM »
All my tools have to be able to move. A table saw is right on the cusp of mobile tool/500# anchor tool. They make both kinds. The ones with a built in stand and wheels are a god send for me.

Just something to think about.

jmarkantes

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 03:11:59 PM »
I did a lot of research a while ago and also settled on the ridgid r4512. I can't remember all of the other options I looked at back then, but I read up a LOT in the $600ish range of table saws, so was pretty confident there would be no buyer's remorse. And so far, I really like it. Have built a couple of sleds for smaller things and in general highly recommend it.

It looks like the price has gone up a bit. You can always find one of those 20% off harbor freight coupons and most home depot's will honor a competitor's coupon. Some of them will also give a 10% military vet discount, though they've sadly been cutting that back a lot. I would resist getting one used- they crop up occasionally, but 2014sh they had some notable accuracy problems.

I built a good number of cabinets in our kitchen remodel with the usual starter set- circular saws and tracks and other jigs. Made some nice non-trivial cuts and we're pretty damn happy with how it turned out, but it also took twice as long and was not as safe as using a table saw. Of course, once we got the house perfect, we moved (and rented out the first one). The new place has a smaller garage so having the table saw able to roll out of the way is a really nice feature.

One other minor-ish benefit- it can be converted to use 220v (or 221, whatever it takes), which I'm planing on doing soon.

affordablehousing

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2019, 03:57:20 PM »
The Sawstop is a premium saw, and likely better in accuracy than the Ridgid. The fear of cutting yourself on the blade is high though the probability vastly less than kickback causing you to lose the side of your stomach, and the Sawstop does little to help with that over another saw. I think the big risk is the Sawstop's safety feature letting you think you can be any less vigilant. The real risk that causes 90% of table saw injuries is kickback. For that, power, a sharp blade, a jointer and a large table are the best ways to avoid it.

lthenderson

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2019, 06:47:48 AM »
Another thing about Sawstops is that they are somewhat expensive to replace. I have a buddy who runs an cabinet making shop and they go through about three of those things a year. Not because of errant fingers but because there happened to be just a tad too much moisture on the piece being fed into the saw. They do not like moisture. I think he says it is $80 a pop for the cartridges and then the cost of a new pair of underwear.

affordablehousing

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2019, 01:15:12 PM »
Also, a used power tool is almost ALWAYS a great investment for the hobbyist. We use the tools 1/100th of a tradesman, and even crappy power tools will last a long time in a home garage. Buy as big, heavy and old as you can transport and have room for. Wasting $700 on a new Ridgid saw that might last 10 years when you can buy a 15 year old Powermatic cabinet saw that will last your grandchildren is a much better investment for the same price.

nereo

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2019, 02:44:46 PM »
It seems HD raised the price on the R4512 a few months ago.

Another option is the Delta 36-725, available at Lowes for $599 (get a 10% off coupon and you get drop that another $50). I've spent a lot of time looking at both and used the Delta (friend has one) and they're pretty comparable.  I'll likely buy the Delta in a few weeks.

For what you describe you're probably going to want a table saw like those two (Jet is another contender here as well).  They'll take dado stacks (unlike many cheaper "job-site" saws) and be stable enough with a large enough top to rip half-sheets of ply safely (though please consider what your outfeed table will be first).

If you can live without a dado-stack (hint: you can use a router and jig to cut dados and rabbets very effectively) then a track saw will allow you to make dead-clean cuts and it can be tucked onto a shelf when you are done.  That may or may not matter to you.  Personally, I'm at a point where I'd like to have a table saw that's ready to cut whenever I want, but if your shop is small or mobile you might want to consider a track saw instead.

Jon Bon

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2019, 11:17:56 AM »
I think he says it is $80 a pop for the cartridges and then the cost of a new pair of underwear.

That's gold Jerry GOLD!


zolotiyeruki

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Re: Table Saw Recommendation?
« Reply #21 on: Today at 12:29:17 PM »
I use a 1960's-era Craftsman that I picked up for $125 off Craigslist several years ago.  Machined cast iron top, belt drive, and heavy as all getout.  I love it.  I bought some table extensions (again, machined cast iron) off ebay, so now I have something like five feet of table width.  It's a bit underpowered at 3/4 HP, and the blade probably needs to be replaced, but both of those issues are easy to address when I'm ready.

In fact, there are several more on CL right now.