Author Topic: Benchtop Table Saw advice  (Read 4899 times)

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Offline Garry

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Benchtop Table Saw advice
« on: January 01, 2008, 01:29 PM »
Having now attempted several different methods of ripping long (over 4') narrow (under 2") pieces, I've concluded that a bench top table saw is my best/most cost effective method of achieving the accuracy I'd like.  I can do it with the TS55, but it takes a great deal of time, and my repeatability is mediocre at best.

The front runner in my search is the Dewalt DW745, but there seem to be good offerings from Makita, Hitachi, and even Jet.

I am looking for advice on the best option, understanding that I will never use it to cut plywood, or for cross-cutting.  It will be exclusively for ripping narrow stock.

Thanks in advance.
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Offline Jesse Cloud

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 02:02 PM »
If the saw is dedicated to ripping small pieces, I wouldn't spend a lot of $$ - any of the brands mentioned above can do the job.  Key factor will be aligning the blade and fence - so be sure the fence is adjustable.  Beyond that, be sure to use featherboards and push sticks.  A good outfeed table will help, too.

Offline Garry

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 02:27 PM »
If the saw is dedicated to ripping small pieces, I wouldn't spend a lot of $$ - any of the brands mentioned above can do the job.  Key factor will be aligning the blade and fence - so be sure the fence is adjustable.  Beyond that, be sure to use featherboards and push sticks.  A good outfeed table will help, too.

Thanks, Jesse.

The Jet is in the "lead" on Amazon for $222 w/ free shipping.  What impresses me most is the fact that this one is belt driven.  It actually has a 24.5" rip capacity, too. (if I ever needed it.)\

I spent more than that on 2 plastic parts bins from Festool :D
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Offline Lou Miller

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008, 05:58 PM »
One thing to consider is the future use of the saw. You say "now" that you only plan to rip narrow stock with the saw, but in the future, I can almost guarantee you that you will do other things with it as well. I'm not saying you need to step up to a cabinet saw or anything like that, but you might want to reconsider your options a little bit with the saws you're considering. I've read some less than complimentary things about that Jet saw. I'm only going from memory, but one was that there isn't an arbor lock on the saw. Meaning the depth setting can and will change in the middle of a cut. That is a MAJOR PITA to deal with on a TS. There were some other drawbacks that I read somewhere on that saw too, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment.

The Dewalt saw you mentioned isn't for everyone. People seem to either love it, or they really hate it. I personally am in the camp that hates it. IMO, its under powered and the fence is just not anywhere near my liking. To be fair, those that like it usually do so because they like the fence and how light weight it is. Different strokes for different folks, I guess?

There is a thread here about comparing the Rigid saw to the Bosch saw in this off-topic section. Matthew started the thread and did an excellent job of being impartial. You should check that out before you buy anything. The Rigid was just selling for $299 with the stand included. Maybe you could still get it for that price??? If so, it would blow the doors off the Jet saw and do so for only around $100(including tax) more out of your pocket. I've had mine for around ten years now and can vouch for their durability and build quality. With a saw like the Rigid, you get the ability to put a dado blade on it, a really top notch fence (the best fence on any portable saw, IMO), plenty of power, and a saw with a proven track record that will be trouble free for a LOT of years to come. Time will tell how well those Jet saws are going to hold up, but I doubt they're as well made as the Rigid. What may appear to be a bargain today, could be nothing more than a waste of money down the road.

Just my opinion, but go down to your local HD and see if you can still get the $299 price on the Rigid. If you can, buy it as fast as you can. If not, then look around a good bit more.

Offline Loren Hedahl

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008, 11:25 PM »
Of the saws mentioned, if all you expect to use it for is ripping long thin pieces, I'd go for the DeWalt. 

It is the smallest one of the bunch, has the best fence for keeping in alignment with its gearing on the front and back, and has the pipe cage.

If you were to operate your shop 'tablesaw based' rather than 'Festool based', then as Lou states, the Ridgid is probably the most full featured bench top saw. 

However the Ridgid would be a bear to lift out from under the bench and set up on a bench in short order.  And getting it back under the bench would be a back strainer also.  The DeWalt would certainly excel in this regard.

Another option would be to use a bandsaw.




 
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Offline Tom Gensmer

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2008, 10:35 PM »
Hi Gary! I do a lot of field-carpentry, so I often don't have the luxury of even a decent contractor's-style TS. I owned the DW745 for awhile, with the intention that I would use a TS55 for breaking down sheet goods and precision cuts, and the DW745 would be more for ripping up 2x framing lumber and for smaller rips. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago we were using my DW745 outside for some soffit and fascia work in a snow storm, snow and ice got into the rack and pinion gearing, and when we went to adjust the fence the knob snapped-off and the rack and pinion assembly fell apart, so I'm going to hold off on purchasing another. Right now I'm utilizing a company-issued Makita 2703, which is incredible for ripping up framing material but is VERY tedious for any sort of trim work.

Right now I'm mostly biding my time, hoping that Makita or Bosch will release a small-form-factor job saw similar in size and weight to the DW745. My impression is that, reading between the lines in articles the Bosch 4100 is the first in a wave of new table saws with the updated riving-knife and other safety features, and my guess is that we'll see a raft of new and revised TS designs emerge in the next two years. I've also looked at the Jet, it looks quite promising, but is a little bigger than what I'd like for hauling around a jobsite. In an ideal world I'd love to own a TS55 as my work-horse, a DW745-sized Makita or Bosch for smaller rips and for 2x lumber, and a Sawstop Contractor-Saw on a mobile base (rumoured to be released sometime early this year!!)

Anyways, the DW745 is a decent saw, it even has miter slots for your featherboards, a feature most other saws of this size lack. However, as a jobsite saw that makes its home in the snow and mud it has too many moving parts for my taste, but for garage or shop use it'd be great!
« Last Edit: January 02, 2008, 10:38 PM by Tom Gensmer »
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Offline Garry

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2008, 12:52 AM »
Thanks for the responses.  This is definitely for a garage shop, and I use the TS55 for larger cuts.  I really will be using this primarily to rip narrow stock.  Dados will always be done with the OF1400 and crosscuts with the TS55.  Based on what I've read, the Dewalt is also the least offensive from a dust collection perspective.
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Offline Eli

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2008, 07:00 AM »
I had the first incarnation of the DW745, without the pipe cage, and loved the fence a lot. If you aren't working in snow and mud (or even if maybe you are, and don't put it on the ground) it's a great saw. So great I was comparing it's fence to the CMS's. Which was sort of silly, they are different beasts. Seems like the Bosch might need some trial time. The Makita with a Rousseau fence/table is considered untouchable, a benchmark for a lot of guys. Myself, I'm going for the CMS, because the Dewalt is almost the same price here!!!! :o
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Offline The Woodentop

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2008, 01:28 PM »
Eli

Are you still angry with me??

Hope not.

Larry
Never assume you know....only know you know

Offline kfitzsimons

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2008, 08:56 PM »
Lou Miller mentioned that there is a thread in "Off Topics" that compares a couple of bench table saws.  I looked for it but couldn't find it.  Anyone know the link?

Offline Eli

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Re: Benchtop Table Saw advice
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2008, 09:14 PM »
Is this the other TS thread you're looking for?

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