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Table saw advice. General? Help me out guys.

  • Junior
  • Topic Author

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.
  • Messman

Messman replied the topic: Re: Table saw advice. General? Help me out guys.

Glad you stopped by and asked your question. Let's see what kinda of trouble I can stir up here in my answer 8O :wink:

First off I strongly recommend that you get the best you can afford. This will save you alot of hassle in the future.

Second, if you are 100% sure that you are not going to use your saw that much, just every now and then, then I would not go to the upper end saw's. I would stay with a basic contractors saw. But if you are going to get into woodworking with any frequency then refer back to my first suggestion.

Now as far as brand recommendation. I will not recommend any one brand and thats because everyone has their fav.

I hope that this has helped at least a little bit.
  • MichaelOH

MichaelOH replied the topic: Re: Table saw advice. General? Help me out guys.

I would just stick with a $199 Craftsman availiable at any sears or K-mart. I started with one and it served me well for the first few years. If you want to go a little better go to Grizzly.com and check out their saws. Same as general with a better price.

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