Table Saws

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sgilly's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-09 17:21
Table Saws
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My old table saw has bit the dust and I'm ready to purchase a new one. I'm looking at the more expensive Rigid portable saw and the Ryobi portable saw. I want to be able to fold it up and move it to the side of the garage and both of these fit that need. There's $300 difference in the saws so I want to make sure I've done enough research to pick the one that best meets my needs.
My new found interest in woodworking is pretty much all consuming! When I'm not working, I want to be building something. So, I think that the saw will be used a lot-the old one was. But, I'm by no means a professional, so I wonder if I need the $500 Rigid saw.
So, any thoughts on which might be the best, or which you'd prefer (and why) would be much appreciated.
I have a big project to finish this weekend so I'd like to have it up and running on Friday!

frank_shic's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-26 16:18
i've been through quite a few

i've been through quite a few tablesaws and would say that there are three you should consider: the ridgid portable, the bosch portable and the dewalt portable. the ridgid has a very beefy fence and is pretty easy to set up. the bosch folds out the most easily but i wasn't crazy about the aluminum fence which had some play in it. the dewalt is probably one of my favorites because it's so light (this is the one with the roller cage) that you can actually pick it up with one hand. in addition, the fence is mounted to a rack and pinion system so you always get parallel cuts. if i were going to purchase just one table saw and had limited space, i'd pick the dewalt. i currently have the dewalt set up with a dado stack and the ridgid with a forrest woodworker ii blade. btw you can find a lot of these saws at a much cheaper price on craigslist if you're willing to wait. i got my ridgid off of a gentleman who was originally planning on installing hardwood flooring and then later contracted it out.

claydowling's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-26 17:28
A permanent working site

If you can arrange a permanent workspace, now is a fantastic time for buying a second-hand cabinet saw. These are larger, non-movable (without several strong men) table saws used by professionals. I've been seeing Delta Unisaw cabinet saws for $500 locally. I've worked on them, and they're fantastic. There are lots of add-ons for them as well.

The saws are cheap on the market right now because for the first time in more than 50 years, Delta has introduced a new version. Pros are wanting to upgrade, because the new features are useful to them and will save them money.

The downside, of course, is that you need a larger permanent place to work, because this saw can't be moved easily. But if you're serious about wood working, this is a prime time to buy.

frank_shic's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-26 16:18
ridgid also makes a more

ridgid also makes a more stationary table saw that has a great mobile base. if i had to do it again i probably would have bought that model. swing by home depot and check it out.

claydowling's picture
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Woodcraft

If you can find one within an hour of your house, look at Woodcraft. They have a large number of saws in stock, and there are people in the store who can guide you to products you might not have heard of yet.

They also do product demonstrations, which can be good for learning about new things. Even my wife, who isn't a wood worker, loves going in there because of all the neat new things she sees.

sgilly's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-09 17:21
Thank you!

Well, I finally brought home the saw - actually, this is the 3rd saw I've brought home! And, the 3rd time is the charm! When I went in to buy, I pointed to the one on display that I wanted (a $299 model with wheels-can't think what brand it was!), but the person helping me grabbed the wrong box. I didn't even notice at check out that it was $100 cheaper than it should have been. Just opened the box when I got home and noticed right off that this model didn't have the wheels.
Next day I returned that saw to HD and bought the one I'd convinced myself I should get ($299). I put that one together, got everything aligned, used it for about 2 weeks, and every single time I turned it on I thought "I wish I'd gotten the Rigid, I wish I'd gotten the Rigid". So, on Friday when I was in HD again (yes, I'm keeping their stock prices up.) I told the guy in tools that I'd been using the one saw, but really wanted the Rigid, would they take it back? He said bring it in and get what I wanted - and that's just what I did today! It comes assembled right out of the box. Everything was aligned. It doesn't wobble when I'm pushing material through it, you can move it around really easily - I love it!
Thank you for all your advice. I don't think there's a Woodcraft place anywhere near me, but I'm going to check that. It would be nice to have a place to go to learn more about how to use it. If there isn't one around I'm thinking of taking a cabinet making class at the city's adult ed.

I'm so darned excited to have this saw!

frank_shic's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-26 16:18
if you bought the portable

if you bought the portable ridgid tablesaw, you won't regret your investment! i also bought the ryobi portable table saw a long time ago and returned it when i realized i wanted something more substantial. just make sure to use some common sense: use push sticks whenever possible and avoid crosscutting narrow pieces with the fence.

sgilly's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-09 17:21
I did, I did!

And I love it. I open the garage door a couple of times each evening just to peek at it! Crazy, I know.
I have a very healthy respect for all power tools, especially table saws! My husband was a cabinet maker and would often have several men assisting him. I could never understand, though, why he would never let any of them use the saw. Shortly after he died, I was out to prove that I could take care of myself and decided to build a workbench type table for our BBQ area - a project he'd wanted to complete. I pulled out that old portable table saw and did just fine. Then, on one of the last cuts, the board kicked back at me and the impact dropped me to the floor! I looked to the heavens and said "Okay, okay, now I understand!" I now take every possible precaution!
Thanks for your concern and advice!