Junior created the topic: Table saw advice. General? Help me out guys.
Bear with me here. I realize this is a long post.
I'm not a professional woodworker. I'm a manufacturing supervisor by day and a guitar player by night with a mini home recording studio in my spare room. My only woodworking experience has been building sound proof 3/4 particle board boxes to enclose my guitar speaker cabinets for recording. The wood for these I had ripped at HD. Other minor tasks around the house have been done with my tiny cordless skill saw. I'm now wanting to build a couple more boxes and possibly a custom studio work station for my home studio gear. I got an impulse to buy a table saw. I am VERY limited in my woodworking experience but fairly handy. I just figured I would go out a buy a solid contractors table saw at HD or Lowe's for a few hundred bucks and that would be it. I checked out HD and Lowe's. Even with my lack of experience I was not impressed with the overall quality of the saws they carried (no offense intended to anyone who has bought from them). I'm not rich by any stretch but I do have a problem when it comes to tools only buying top of the line rather than budgeting and being practical with my money. I'm still single and have this luxury/curse. Because of this, I always find myself looking at DeWalt since this seems to be one of the only higher end power tool brands we are exposed to. After MUCH RESEARCH I have found that the General line of saws seem to have the right combination of quality and features I want (cast iron wings, left tilt, powerful enough motor to avoid too many limitations, quality fence, and safe). Based on this my research has landed at the General line of saws. I am looking at the 50-185(contractor $699), the new 220CLM(hybrid $879), and even the 260(cabinet $1295) leaning toward the 220 for the dust collection advantages of its cabinet design without the price of a full blown "cabinet" saw. I was lucky enough to find a General dealer 20 minutes away that actually has a showroom with all three saws I'm considering on display. I went over and checked them out and one of the sales guys took me on a tour of their whole showroom explaining how each machine worked as we went most of what he was saying going over my head. These were huge machines catering mostly to large shops with high end equipment. We ended the tour at the General saws. I was very impressed with the quality of all the saws but after hearing him explain all these different machines during our tour and how the General line is made with the professional woodworker in mind I left there thinking maybe it was too much saw for a beginner like myself. I'm just being honest. Is it a waste for someone like me to buy one these beautiful, quality saws that only gets used a couple times a year? Should I just go buy something a little more practical? I know only I can make this decision. I just wanted some input from the professionals point of view. Maybe someone that's just going to cut particle board and maybe build some garage cabinets and and studio workstation does not need that level of quality? Maybe I'm finally starting to mature. Ask myself these questions in the past could have saved me thousands. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Sorry for the rant.
RONZWORLD replied the topic: Re: Table saw advice. General? Help me out guys.
JUNIOR, GO TO LOWES AND CHECK OUT THE HITACHI C10FL TABLE SAW. I OWN ONE . THE PRICE IS $499.00 IT HAS 3.0 HP., ROLLERS ON THE LEGS,A DECENT FENCE ONCE IT'S SET RIGHT, AN ENCLOSED CABINET FOR GOOD DUST CONTROL,A NICE MITER GUAGE FOR ANGLE CUTS AND A NICE FINISH TOO. I'VE OWNED MINE FOR ABOUT 6 WEEKS NOW AND ALL I'VE HAD TO DO TO IT IS CHANGE THE BLADE TO A FREUD DIABLO THIN KERF 24T RIPPING BLADE AND THE SAW WORKS GREAT,ALMOST NO BLADE MARKS LEFT ON THE WOOD AFTER THE CUT AND IT ALSO LOWERS THE DRAG ON THE SAW MAKING IT EASIER TO CUT. THE BLADES ARE MORE EXPENSIVE BEING COATED AND ALL BUT ARE WELL WORTH THE MONEY. YOU WON'T BE DISAPOINTED WITH THIS SAW,I WOULDN'T TRADE MINE NOW THAT I'VE USED IT SOME. GO CHECK IT OUT, IT'S NICE. THE WINGS ARE STAMPED STEEL BUT ARE NICE AND STURDY WHEN BOLTED IN PLACE. THE SAW WEIGHS 268 LBS. SO IT WON'T MOVE AROUND ON YOU WHILE YOU'RE CUTTING,AND THE ROLLERS ARE GREAT BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO OUT AND BUY AN EXPENSIVE ROLLER BASE TO SET THE SAW ON TO MOVE IT. JUST THOUGHT I'D THROW MY TWO CENTS WORTH IN.GOOD LUCK WITH WHATEVER YOU BUY , AND WATCH YOUR FINGERS! RON, FROM RONZWORLD 8)
rbwarden replied the topic: Re: Table saw advice. General? Help me out guys.
If you can find a Cummins Industrial Tools store they sell a refurbished Ryobi BT3000 or BT3100 for $199. It is an excellent saw, not too big not too small, has an accurate fence system and sliding miter table. Excellent for what you want in a table saw and won't put you out too much money. Home Depot also carries new ones. Check out this link.
dipdog replied the topic: Re: Table saw advice. General? Help me out guys.
I'll try not to be too long winded here, but I feel you should get what you think is best for your circumstances. I know a lot of good things have been said about the Ryobi saw, and I'm sure they are right. I personally have a Jet contractors saw that cost about $1000.00 after getting the 30" fence and mobile base. I couldn't be happier. The General saws are fine pieces of machinery themselves. You probably would do well with any of them. The only comment I have regarding your question is that once I got started and my woodworking skills improved, I can't keep away from it. What started as an occasional hobby on the rare weekends that I had free now has turned into something I look forward to at every opportunity. Be careful because the bug could easily get you too. My personal advice to you would be to keep in mind the amount of space available to work, get the best you can afford and then enjoy yourself. As far as getting too good of a saw is concerned, if you do catch the fever, then you won't have the hassle of upgrading later.
Just to throw in my two cents. I've been doing this 'beginner' thing now a couple of years and after buying the cheap craftsman from Sears, my advice? DON"T DO IT!
I looked at the Hitachi C10FL at Lowes today and it does look good and sturdy. Has a belt drive and STANDARD miter slots (try making a jig to fit the Craftsman! or Tradesman machines!)
I agree that the Ryobi is a better beginner saw if price is critical but get as much as you can afford and look for standard features.
Thanks for the time!