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View Full Version : Time for a cabinet saw...but which one???



John Ricci
05-07-2008, 4:16 PM
Yes, I did use the search but it didn't help much. I'm in the market for a cabinet saw since my workload is getting bigger building items for our store and although I love my Shopsmith, it is slowing me down too much when it comes to making $$$.

Money is not an issue but I want to strike a balance of quality/price without spending more than I need to (no I'm not too keen on a SawStop). One of my "must haves" is a riving knife but I'm not sure who is currently producing 3hp cab saws with them. I would like to buy once and be done with it. Opinions?

J.R.

Larry Fox
05-07-2008, 4:25 PM
I am sure you will get lots of opinions here but, if it were me and money were no object I would look at a Euro slider. I have never used one but have seen one and was VREY impressed.

John Ricci
05-07-2008, 4:48 PM
Larry, I hear you on the euro sliders but if I did start looking in that direction then SWMBO would make the money an issue:(

J.R.

Ben Cadotte
05-07-2008, 5:00 PM
Powermatic PM2000 if you want to stay from SawStop and the Euro sliders. Can get a Griz for couple hundred less, but doesn't quite have the features as the Powermatic does.

Luther Oswalt
05-07-2008, 5:02 PM
I am not sure what the riving knife position is with General so I cannot comment on that ... however, I have a General 650 and I really do like it ... check them out! (edit: miss read your location and had you in Canada!)

Josh Rudolph
05-07-2008, 5:08 PM
John,

Sticking with a riving knife, I would say a PM2000 unless you want to really spend the money on a Euro.

I am in the process of deciding on a TS also.

I had originally talked myself into a Grizzly then talked myself into a PM2000 and now am leaning towards the Sawstop.

Just out of curiosity, why are you not so keen on the Sawstop? That is what I am favoring and would like a differing opinion on the saw.

Brian Penning
05-07-2008, 5:11 PM
It's a no brainer if money is no object.

Dan Lautner
05-07-2008, 5:30 PM
The General 650R-T50 has a riving knife and is available now through Eagle Tools in LA. This saw is made in Canada and uses a Baldor motor. Both the sawstop and the PM2000 are asian made with unspecified motors. I was not impressed with the fit and finish or the top on the PM2000. It looks like the General is the last true quality cabinet saw available.

Dan

Mike Heidrick
05-07-2008, 5:53 PM
Can you still use a cabinet saw in CA?

jason lambert
05-07-2008, 6:05 PM
PM2000, but I just got a saw stop again wondering why not a sawstop, you can alwas disable the break and it is still a great saw.

Jim Becker
05-07-2008, 6:41 PM
There are a number of choices now with riving knives. General, Jet, PM, etc., all have them, although some are new models and in short supply like the Jet.

If you can budget it, however...I'm in agreement about the Euro slider. It's really changed my world and I love it. (coming from a cabinet saw to the slider just over a year ago)

Glen Blanchard
05-07-2008, 6:55 PM
It looks like the General is the last true quality cabinet saw available.

Dan

OH BOY.

(grabs a coke and popcorn, sits in chair and waits).........:eek:

David Peters
05-07-2008, 7:55 PM
Too bad you're not in Florida... I'd give you a good deal on a 6-month-old PM2000 and I'd upgrade to the SawStop!

Lewis Cobb
05-07-2008, 7:55 PM
OH BOY.

(grabs a coke and popcorn, sits in chair and waits).........:eek:


Move over Glen....and give me some of that popcorn :D

Christof Grohs
05-07-2008, 8:11 PM
The General 650R-T50 has a riving knife and is available now through Eagle Tools in LA. This saw is made in Canada and uses a Baldor motor. Both the sawstop and the PM2000 are asian made with unspecified motors. I was not impressed with the fit and finish or the top on the PM2000. It looks like the General is the last true quality cabinet saw available.

Dan

I'll give another General 350/650 vote. I use Canadian made Galaxy (http://www.galaxymachines.com/home.php?flash=1&idt=t1&idb=b1&idm=m1-0) equipment for my day job and I'm slowly going green (http://www.general.ca/pagemach/machines/0general/650_350t50a.html) in my woodshop.

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:AONLLvEa6IZTUM:http://www.vermontcanada.org/img/CanadianFlag.jpeg

Will Blick
05-07-2008, 8:23 PM
Jim, why aren't sliders more popular? Grizz sells a 10" slider for $2700.... it seems pretty nice.

Can you elaborate on how it rocked your world? In what ways does it perform superior than a Cabinet saw? I have never used one.

I assume, its claim to faim, is large sheets? If not cutting larger boards, then wouldn't a Jessem slider add-on to a Cabinet Saw be on par with a slider?

Leigh Betsch
05-07-2008, 8:32 PM
If you made me get rid of my MinMax slider I would get a Felder. Ok that's still a slider. Maybe a Laguna and just expect to hate the company. How about a used slider? Save some money and still get a slider! If the slider is definitely out then it would be a Saw Stop. If none of these work I would switch to metal work. My MiniMax is one of those tools that just make me grin every time I use it.

Gary Curtis
05-07-2008, 8:45 PM
A sliding saw helps, first of all, with the material-handling task of large sheets of plywoods (not the Jessem type though). For speed and accuracy on cross-cuts it has a crosscut fence with flip stops. No measuring, thus no mistakes. In this regard it replaces a miter gauge.

When it comes to ripping, a whole new level of safety is achieved. You don't use a rip fence, but instead clamp the wood to the slider and let that carry the board through the cut.

Smaller sliders, such as I have, are limited in this regard because of the relatively short stroke. Mine is a bolt-on made by General for their cabinet saws. The real hardware built for war is made in Europe and will have a name like Mini-Max, Felder, Knapp. In the $6k-8k range.

Gary Curtis

Joe Jensen
05-07-2008, 8:57 PM
Doesn't a slider require much more working space to be useful? Also, every slider I've looked at seemed to be optimized for sheet goods and cross cuts, but a compromise for ripping unless you take the time to jig it to the slider and have a long enough slider for what you want to rip.

Can one fit a Biesemeyer type fence to a Euro slider? Can you put an outfeed table at the back for ripping longer stock?

J. Z. Guest
05-07-2008, 9:12 PM
Well John, you opened a can of worms when you said "money is no object." Now folks are talking about $8,000 saws. :D

If it were me, I'd look for a nice used Unisaw or Powermatic 66. Your thrifty side will be happy because you saved some bucks and bought used, and your quality side will be happy because quality was (much) higher in the past.

Peter Quinn
05-07-2008, 10:55 PM
A sliding saw helps, first of all, with the material-handling task of large sheets of plywoods (not the Jessem type though). For speed and accuracy on cross-cuts it has a crosscut fence with flip stops. No measuring, thus no mistakes. In this regard it replaces a miter gauge.

When it comes to ripping, a whole new level of safety is achieved. You don't use a rip fence, but instead clamp the wood to the slider and let that carry the board through the cut.

Smaller sliders, such as I have, are limited in this regard because of the relatively short stroke. Mine is a bolt-on made by General for their cabinet saws. The real hardware built for war is made in Europe and will have a name like Mini-Max, Felder, Knapp. In the $6k-8k range.

Gary Curtis

1) You can screw up as much wood with a slider as with a cabinet saw, and you can cross cut just as accurately with a TS as with a slider. I'd love to have a BIG slider for speed and ease on larger parts, but it won't make you a better woodworker. (Yes, I have used a slider, SCMI with a 12' stroke, 8' outrigger. Cut plenty of things wrong on it. All exactly the same length, but wrong.)

2) I get the straight lining using the slider, but from what I've seen ripping that second side of a board parallel using the slider takes some pretty PIA setup. In the felder video I was sent their demo shows a guy using the rip fence to rip just like a TS. The only shops I've worked in with sliders also had dedicated straight line rip saws so no ripping was ever done on them. How do you rip that second side? How would you rip a 9/16" molding off of a wide board on a run and rip operation using a slider? How would you rip long narrow stock?

3) Your not getting into a serious slider that would replace/improve your situation versus a well equipped cabinet saw for under $8K new. I've been looking and the water gets deep quick from there. You could get a smaller slider (just checked out a beautiful new General) which gives you a nice cross cut jig, a major PIA for ripping. Laguna has a good looking Hybrid (half small slider, half American style TS) in the $5K range.

I think you may need both. A good cabinet saw and a nice mid sized slider. When I talked about buying a slider my crazy wife suggested I sell my cabinet saw! Then she suggested I build some jobs using my cabinet saw to pay for the new slider before ordering one! INSANITY!

Greg Cole
05-07-2008, 10:59 PM
Move over Glen....and give me some of that popcorn :D

Keep the popcorn, I've got a beer.:D Although I might get another before I catch up on the "economics" post in the OTF.:rolleyes:

Greg

Matt Ocel
05-07-2008, 11:14 PM
I love my PM2000.

I can stand a penny on its edge a couple of inches from the blade, turn it on, rip a piece of wood, turn it off, and the penny is still standing on edge.

I can see having a saw stop T S in a school, or a production shop, but I would never pay that much more money for the extra safety in my shop.

(I hope that last statement isn't the kiss of death for me!)

Matt Ocel
05-07-2008, 11:17 PM
I love my PM2000.

I can stand a penny on its edge a couple of inches from the blade, turn it on, rip a piece of wood, turn it off, and the penny is still standing on edge.

I can see having a saw stop T S in a school, or a production shop, but I would never pay that much more money for the extra safety in my shop.

(I hope that last statement isn't the kiss of death for me!)

John Ricci
05-07-2008, 11:43 PM
Well John, you opened a can of worms when you said "money is no object." Now folks are talking about $8,000 saws. :D

If it were me, I'd look for a nice used Unisaw or Powermatic 66. Your thrifty side will be happy because you saved some bucks and bought used, and your quality side will be happy because quality was (much) higher in the past.

Jeremy, I did say "money is not an issue" but I also stated that I had to see value for the $$$...I could spend $8-10k on a saw but it would be more than I need, more than I want to spend and it would seriously piss off the wife and yes, my thrifty side comes on strong when I spend that kind of cash so I will end up buying the machine which will give me perhaps a bit more than I need right now but will allow me to keep sleeping inside the house. That being said, I looked at the General flyer and it shows the 650-50T on sale until the end of the month for $2649 and that saving makes up a good bit of the saw not having a riving knife but I need to think it out a bit more...it could be the one???

BTW, I have been trying to but finally gave up trying to buy back my dads Unisaw from the friend he sold it to...he's only in his 70s and he isn't ready to hang it up yet!

J.R.

Lewis Cobb
05-08-2008, 12:04 AM
Jeremy, I did say "money is not an issue" but I also stated that I had to see value for the $$$...I could spend $8-10k on a saw but it would be more than I need, more than I want to spend and it would seriously piss off the wife and yes, my thrifty side comes on strong when I spend that kind of cash so I will end up buying the machine which will give me perhaps a bit more than I need right now but will allow me to keep sleeping inside the house. That being said, I looked at the General flyer and it shows the 650-50T on sale until the end of the month for $2649 and that saving makes up a good bit of the saw not having a riving knife but I need to think it out a bit more...it could be the one???

J.R.

John - Not to stir up a debate on the PM2000 .vs. General 650 - but you can get the riving knife, and save even more money with the PM2000. I went through this decision making process over the last few months and ended up ordering a PM2000. I looked long and hard at just about every saw out there and had a somewhat flexible budget -but the Sawstops and sliders were too much $ for me to comfortably spend. It came down to the General or the PM2000 for me and even though I am in Canada, I went for the PM2000. Saved some money, got the riving knife and the built in casters in the process.

There's a few people that have had some troubles with the PM2000 - but there's probably 10x the number of them sold than the 650s so you will hear about them more. In all these cases PM solved the problems anyway and all customers were happy in the end as far as I could see. The 5 year warranty is good here in Canada as well and they will ship parts etc. direct to you here.

I think either saw would be great, but this was how I came to my decision.

Cheers,
Lewis

Leigh Betsch
05-08-2008, 12:37 AM
Well John, you opened a can of worms when you said "money is no object." Now folks are talking about $8,000 saws. :D

$8000?? I'm talking about $11,000 but that comes with a shaper and a saw blade.:D And a riving knife of course. They aren't for everyone. I've even heard of someone that sold his and went back to a cabinet saw. It's hard for me to imagine why but everyone has their own preferences. As far as ripping if you don't want to mess around and straight line rip with the slider just use the fence and rip like a normal cabinet saw. My fence has a DRO that makes setting to .1mm (.004") very quick and accurate and the 6.5 hp motor doesn't bog down in the middle of a cut.
Not many hobbyists are going to shell out the money for a Euro slider and I don't blame them but for me it is the best tool I've ever bought. But a slider will not make the woodworker. There are plenty of people using hand tools and contractor saws that do better work than me. Really my advise is to buy the best tools that you can afford and don't look back. If they are quality tools and someday you want to upgrade to something else they should hold their value and in many cases you won't loose much if you sell them. I bought a old Delta tilting arbor saw a few years ago for $500 and sold it for $350 6 years latter. I lost $150 not bad for 6 years of use.

Dan Lautner
05-08-2008, 3:01 AM
"That being said, I looked at the General flyer and it shows the 650-50T on sale until the end of the month for $2649 and that saving makes up a good bit of the saw not having a riving knife but I need to think it out a bit more...it could be the one???"


You can get the General 650 w/ riving knife for less than $2649. Call Eagle Tools for details.

Dan

Dewey Torres
05-08-2008, 4:52 AM
And just why has this saw been mentioned already but almost ruled out???

Money, no option, this is a $1700 saw that I would put against any of the new saws with the riving knives:confused:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-Heavy-Duty-Cabinet-Table-Saw-With-Riving-Knife/G0651

Oh... and your thrifty side will love you for it!
Dewey

Glen Blanchard
05-08-2008, 9:25 AM
And just why has this saw been mentioned already but almost ruled out???



I'm wondering why the SawStop has been ruled out??? :confused:

Dan Lautner
05-10-2008, 3:32 AM
I was just reading on woodnet about a pm2000 starter/motor problem. Apparently this is a recurring problem with this saw. I find it a bit strange that there is no specific specification for the motor on PM web site. It seems that there solution is to send out a new motor when the capacitor fails. These are the sorts of issues that would make me happy to pay a premium for the General 650.

Dan

Steve Kolbe
05-10-2008, 7:41 AM
Can you still use a cabinet saw in CA?


WOW. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

I'll be waiting with the rest of the watchers with the popcorn and libations. I'll fire up the Margarita machine!

Vince Shriver
05-10-2008, 1:23 PM
I am not sure what the riving knife position is with General so I cannot comment on that ... however, I have a General 650 and I really do like it ... check them out! (edit: miss read your location and had you in Canada!)


The General riving knife model will be out shortly, if not already. One thing, you do not want to purchase the current model w/o a riving knife with plans for a future upgrade. Even though General will make an upgrade available, it will cost about $800. The new saw, however, will sell for about $150 more than the current model I'm told.

Dave Falkenstein
05-10-2008, 1:42 PM
PM2000, but I just got a saw stop again wondering why not a sawstop, you can alwas disable the break and it is still a great saw.

I cannot resist asking why you would suggest buying a Saw Stop and then disabling the brake? Why pay all that added cost for the safety feature, and then turn it off?

Nancy Laird
05-10-2008, 1:57 PM
Just for info, the new granite-top Steel City saw has a riving knife. It's worth a look! And they are now available.

Nancy

Bob Justin
05-10-2008, 4:15 PM
As in many areas we all have opinions, but when choosing a major piece of machinery I really like to take the time to actually see one in person. All to often the sales brochure either dosen't tell the whole story or it omits something that might really make a differance in my use of the machinery.
I can't rembember how many times the arbor nut has slipped out of my fingers over the years because the table insert opening is so narrow. One manufacturer has eliminated that problem and it is not in the litature, just part of the over all quality of the product.
Take the time and look at the saws you think you might want to purchase in preson, its worth the time and effort if at all possible.

Cary Swoveland
05-11-2008, 4:22 PM
John,

Since your main interest is using your time more efficiently, I think you need to pull out your calculator and do some math. There is of course the make versus buy issue, but if you're set on the former, what sorts of things will you be building for your store, and how much will you be building in future?

If you'll mainly be building boxes from sheet goods, I'd expect an 8' slider would give you the best return (space permitting). Alternatively, you might consider a cabinet saw together with a panel saw, some EZ smart components or Festool guides and/or jumbo multifunction table. Having only a cabinet saw for breaking down sheet goods is, IMO, a real time-waster, and not fun.

Cary

John Shuk
05-11-2008, 9:37 PM
I'd buy a PM2000. It looks like a nice saw and the Riving knife is a great thing along with the built in mobility.
By the Way The Toolnut sells them at a great price. They sponsor the Creek now and are a great place to get tools.

Dan Lautner
05-11-2008, 11:43 PM
"I'd buy a PM2000. It looks like a nice saw and the Riving knife is a great thing along with the built in mobility."


Steel City, Jet, Grizzly and General all have cabinet saws with riving knives. There have been multiple posts by PM2000 owners about table issues and electrical/ motor problems. I have also heard multiple people (as well as a rep from Eagle Tools that sells the PM2000) that there have been problems with the built in mobility base(this issue may have been resolved). I feel the General 350/650 is the only well built Cabinet Saw that does not CUT CORNERS TO SAVE COST. The 350/650 uses high quality cast iron and an industrial grade motor. The General is built by employees of the General company unlike any other cabinet saw on the American market. The General 350/650R has a riving knife and can be ordered now. I have been researching cabinet saws for many months and this is my 2 cents.

Dan

Brian Penning
05-12-2008, 8:50 AM
Dan» After many months what has all your research indicated with regards to the SawStop?

Dan Lautner
05-12-2008, 1:20 PM
Let me pull my research folder on that unit.

Sawstop.

pros
1. large top
2. riving knife
3. safety brake

Cons
1. Price (for this much $ look at compact hammer/Felder)
2. Asian made like all the others except General
3. Non specified motor
4. possible brake issues with wet lumber

I use tools every day that could cause serious injury. A miter saw could take all your fingers off in the blink of an eye. I use my power tools like I drive my car "DEFENSIVELY". With a riving knife, feather boards, push sticks and common sense the TS is a safe tool imho. I also have a Festool guided saw for cuts that are best not made on a TS.


Dan

Cary Swoveland
05-12-2008, 1:47 PM
Don,

Could I suggest some additions and changes to your lists of pros and cons?

Add'l pros:
1. Beefy construction, especially trunions.
2. Adjustability for precision setup.
3. Good access for blade changes.
4. Excellent customer support and service.

Change con #4 to possible brake misfires due to operator error or wet wood. Operator error is the biggie (I touched the blade at 45 degrees to an aluminum fence--bang); I've yet to year of anyone having wet lumber fire the blade, though I know Sawstop has the warning.

It's perhaps time question con #2. Nobody lists as a con the purchase of a tool (or car!) because it was made in Japan (though they did years ago). South Korea is nearly there. Taiwan is well on it's way for many products, including power tools. China too, selectively. I'm referring to quality, of course. Buy American or buy Canadian is another matter, but that would apply to to European products as well as Asian. (Just try prying my Festools from my hands.)

Cary

Glen Blanchard
05-12-2008, 2:02 PM
2. Adjustability for precision setup.


Yeah - I agree with that wholeheartedly. When I upgraded from a JET contractor saw to a JET cabinet saw it became soooo much easier to adjust the blade for square. Then moving to the SawStop was another leap forward. I love being able to dial-in the blade rather than tapping the top. Are there other cabinet saws that dial-in in this manner?

Will Blick
05-12-2008, 2:31 PM
> Are there other cabinet saws that dial-in in this manner?


What do you mean by "Dial-In". How was this improved over your Jet TS?

One thing I am surprised about most all TS's is the blades fast rise / fall. While this is very convenient for blade changes (which was the design intent), OTOH, it's very hard to precisely set a dado depth. I once had a Sears Contractors TS that had 3x the number of handle turns to raise the blade vs. any cabinet saw I have used....I could easily set the depth of cut, within .001". IIRC from testing the SawStop at a tradeshow, it too had a relatively fast rising blade.

Glen Blanchard
05-12-2008, 2:36 PM
What do you mean by "Dial-In". How was this improved over your Jet TS?



The SawStop has an allen screw accessed on each side of the cast iron table. Turning these screws moves the table incrementally, making it a very easy thing to "dial-in" for square.

Jerome Hanby
05-12-2008, 2:37 PM
I don't know anything about it first hand, but that Grizzly looks pretty sexy...


And just why has this saw been mentioned already but almost ruled out???

Money, no option, this is a $1700 saw that I would put against any of the new saws with the riving knives:confused:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-Heavy-Duty-Cabinet-Table-Saw-With-Riving-Knife/G0651

Oh... and your thrifty side will love you for it!
Dewey

Dan Lautner
05-12-2008, 3:18 PM
"It's perhaps time question con #2. Nobody lists as a con the purchase of a tool (or car!) because it was made in Japan (though they did years ago). South Korea is nearly there. Taiwan is well on it's way for many products, including power tools. China too, selectively. I'm referring to quality, of course. Buy American or buy Canadian is another matter, but that would apply to to European products as well as Asian. (Just try prying my Festools from my hands.)"

I believe most Festool tools are made in house by Festool. They have complete control over quality of parts and quality of labor. Cars made in Japan are made by the company not subbed out to a factory making 10 other brands of cars. From what I understand, the Japanese workers take great pride in loyalty to the company and vise versa. The sawstop is subbed out to a factory where they make sawstops one week and who knows what the next. I don't think that is a good formula for quality control or pride of company.

Dan

Pat Germain
05-12-2008, 3:47 PM
I keep seeing the "General" saw mentioned. Is a General the same as "General International"? I've seen General International machines and wasn't very impressed. Although, I fully understand the true quality of these machines may not be readily apparent.

Also, I've done a fair amount of research on the SawStop machines. I have yet to see or hear one single mention of any quality control issues with SawStop. The only downside I've ever seen when it comes to a SawStop is cost.

The only downside I see about a Grizzly is it's harder to actually lay hands on one before purchase.

Buying a used PM2000 is probably a great idea, but good luck finding one. That's one rare beast on Craigslist.

Brian Penning
05-12-2008, 3:52 PM
" The sawstop is subbed out to a factory where they make sawstops one week and who knows what the next. I don't think that is a good formula for quality control or pride of company.

Dan

But what if there doesn't appear to be any quality problems? At least none of any major significance.
If this is the case, and I for 1 believe it to be so, then they can make them in as many different places as they wish and be proud of it also.

BTW as far as General is concerned, the saws are only assembled in Canada(Drummondvile, Quebec). The majority of the components are from guess where?

Glen Blanchard
05-12-2008, 3:57 PM
But what if there doesn't appear to be any quality problems? At least none of any major significance.
If this is the case, and I for 1 believe it to be so, then they can make them in as many different places as they wish and be proud of it also.

BTW as far as General is concerned, the saws are only assembled in Canada(Drummondvile, Quebec). The majority of the components are from guess where?


It looks like the General is the last true quality cabinet saw available.

Dan

It appears that Dan has his mind made up in this matter. Perhaps we should not confuse him with the facts. :eek:

Jim O'Dell
05-12-2008, 4:25 PM
Pat, the General International is General's line that is Asian made to compete with the regular market. The General saws are made in Canada and are vastly supperior, thus the difference in money. Kind of like the difference from a Cadillac to a Chevy. Jim.

Pat Germain
05-12-2008, 5:10 PM
^^ Thanks, Jim. That makes sense. I don't think there are any General dealers in my area.

John Ricci
05-12-2008, 5:15 PM
Wow, four pages on what I thought was one of those "dead horse" topics! Today I had to buy more lumber and had a chance to check out a few saws, Delta, General, Steel City, King etc. and I'm sold on the General hands down but...the new saw is not yet available:(. The folks a Welbeck made a call to General while I was there and we were told that the new 650 with the riving knife has not been released for sale yet but it would be "soon" and the price would be the same as the old version:cool: so I wait a bit. I'm moving in a couple of months so it at least saves me from moving it and setting it up again. The price was $2499, $200 less than the current flyer price on the saw! If I add the Excalibur overarm guard/dc setup I'm still under $3k...but there's still the torture of waiting:rolleyes:.

J.R.

Dan Lautner
05-12-2008, 5:18 PM
"BTW as far as General is concerned, the saws are only assembled in Canada(Drummondvile, Quebec). The majority of the components are from guess where?"


The Cast Iron tops and the T fence is made in Canada on the 650. The motor is an industrial grade Baldor. So what components are you referring to?

Dan

Mark Carlson
05-12-2008, 5:26 PM
John,

If and when you get a General 650R or 350R please give us an update on how the riving knife works, with pictures. Thanks.

~mark


Wow, four pages on what I thought was one of those "dead horse" topics! Today I had to buy more lumber and had a chance to check out a few saws, Delta, General, Steel City, King etc. and I'm sold on the General hands down but...the new saw is not yet available:(. The folks a Welbeck made a call to General while I was there and we were told that the new 650 with the riving knife has not been released for sale yet but it would be "soon" and the price would be the same as the old version:cool: so I wait a bit. I'm moving in a couple of months so it at least saves me from moving it and setting it up again. The price was $2499, $200 less than the current flyer price on the saw! If I add the Excalibur overarm guard/dc setup I'm still under $3k...but there's still the torture of waiting:rolleyes:.

J.R.

John Ricci
05-12-2008, 5:37 PM
John,

If and when you get a General 650R or 350R please give us an update on how the riving knife works, with pictures. Thanks.

~mark

No if, just when and yes there will be pics:D

J.R.

Ron Bontz
05-12-2008, 6:15 PM
Well just my 2 pennies worth. I own a Unisaw and have been happy with it. But I would go with the Powermatic PM2000. Dollar for dollar it packs a lot of punch. Dollars don't mean much unless you don't have any. Best wishes.

Doug Jones from Oregon
05-12-2008, 6:23 PM
Grizzley G0605X 12", 5hp/1ph, big, large side and off feed tables avail. Awesome saw. The only reason you would have for replacing this would be a slider, and, I'd be buying a cnc router before a slider.

Doug

John Ricci
05-12-2008, 6:49 PM
Well just my 2 pennies worth. I own a Unisaw and have been happy with it. But I would go with the Powermatic PM2000. Dollar for dollar it packs a lot of punch. Dollars don't mean much unless you don't have any. Best wishes.

Ron, earlier in the thread I mentioned that for several years now I have been trying to nudge the friend my late father sold his Unisaw to into selling but again, he is only in his 70's and he still wants to play. The Delta is a great saw and would cost me $200 less but I happen to feel the General is worth the difference. Dollars? Dollars, regardless of how many you have always mean something when you are parting with them and I need to see that I'm getting as much as I can for each one I part with.

J.R.

Simon Dupay
05-12-2008, 7:54 PM
Also, I've done a fair amount of research on the SawStop machines. I have yet to see or hear one single mention of any quality control issues with SawStop. The only downside I've ever seen when it comes to a SawStop is cost.

I've exp. more problems with the saw stop then any other table saw I've ever used: belts, rise/lower adjustment gear, bearings, ect... IMO their junk (a good idea though)

Dan Lautner
05-12-2008, 9:24 PM
"I've exp. more problems with the saw stop then any other table saw I've ever used: belts, rise/lower adjustment gear, bearings, ect... IMO their junk (a good idea though)"


You are not the first person I have heard say this. I don't see how you can build a quality product subbing everything out at rock bottom prices in a country where they don't speak English. Did you have problems with the sawstop motor as well? I have heard of sawstop sending out new motors to customers rather than use a quality one to start with.

Dan

Jim Becker
05-12-2008, 9:26 PM
Grizzley G...

Doug, he's in Canada. Griz is not an option.

Simon Dupay
05-13-2008, 2:45 AM
"I've exp. more problems with the saw stop then any other table saw I've ever used: belts, rise/lower adjustment gear, bearings, ect... IMO their junk (a good idea though)"


You are not the first person I have heard say this. I don't see how you can build a quality product subbing everything out at rock bottom prices in a country where they don't speak English. Did you have problems with the sawstop motor as well? I have heard of sawstop sending out new motors to customers rather than use a quality one to start with.

Dan
yes, the one at work was replaced (I've used 8 SawStop 2 at work,6 at school) I'd like to see a baldor or Lesson motor put on one the Taiwanese motor seems underpowered even though it's a 7.5 3Ph.

Steven Hardy
05-13-2008, 4:52 AM
To each his own regarding imports. I am comfortable importing from some countries....but I detest buying anything from any country that ,year after year,racks up a massive trade deficit with our country and also blows the doors off other smaller countries economies around the world.
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/top0711.html

I would buy a rust bucket table saw from Brazil (before I buy a saw-stop,a grizzly, a jet or whomever....even if their tops were gold plated,their miters platinum lined and they had a magic hand that reached out and fed the wood for me.:)

I detest their products(the big three deficit makers) and their steadfast refusal to equalise trade with us. (the usa) WE ARE NOT the only country in the world that has had to deal with this......

I bought a 20 year old Unisaw...In the future I may upgrade again,but it will be from someone that trades fairly with us...Canada,USA,UK,Netherlands..and others..see the trade site for details.

jason lambert
05-13-2008, 1:25 PM
Dan,

The new cartages on the saw stop are not suppose to fire with wet lumber they upgraded the programming, but they warn you they it is possable. But that is why there is a bypass.

Also could fire with a nail in the wood that is something you missed again I knw people that hve cut nails but is possable.

As far as the moter has anyone had any issues with it. No one has even complained of power issues witht he 3hp.

Price is the only down side I see and non us made if you care about that, this is not saying the quality is worse. In fact most of my us stuff is worse than the overseas stuff these days.

Charlie Plesums
05-13-2008, 2:52 PM
Doesn't a slider require much more working space to be useful? Also, every slider I've looked at seemed to be optimized for sheet goods and cross cuts, but a compromise for ripping unless you take the time to jig it to the slider and have a long enough slider for what you want to rip.

Can one fit a Biesemeyer type fence to a Euro slider? Can you put an outfeed table at the back for ripping longer stock?

I find that my 8 1/2 foot slider takes no more room in my shop than I had to reserve for ripping long boards on my old table saw - and a lot less hassle storing infeed and outfeed stands. In both cases I had to keep 8 feet clear before the blade, and 8 feet after the blade. And when I don't need the slider, I just shove it towards the other end of the shop.

Sheet goods are awesome. Cross cuts have a 6 foot fence (sure beats the 6 inch miter gauge). I use the slider to get the first side straight in hardwood as well as sheet goods, often establishing a new straight side to optimize use of a board with a flaw on one side at the leading end, and the other side at the trailing end. There is nothing immoral about using the rip fence on my saw, so the second side of hardwood is ripped on the rip fence. If my technique isn't perfect, the cut isn't as perfect as when a board is clamped to the slider, but it is as good as it ever was on a table saw.

I rarely have to use jigs with my slider - for example, a scrap of wood clamped to my slider gives me a tapering jig for table legs.

Precision, speed, and repeatability are other things that are far easier on my slider than with my table saw. Could I use a table saw for what I do today? Yes - much of the work on my web site was made with a cheap table saw. But I am far more productive, with better precision, using the slider.

fRED mCnEILL
05-14-2008, 1:50 AM
"Yeah - I agree with that wholeheartedly. When I upgraded from a JET contractor saw to a JET cabinet saw it became soooo much easier to adjust the blade for square. Then moving to the SawStop was another leap forward. I love being able to dial-in the blade rather than tapping the top. Are there other cabinet saws that dial-in in this manner?"

I'm somewhat confused by this "feature". I have a General cabinetsaw that I bought used approx 10 years ago. I bought it. moved it to my shop, checked it for setup and started using it. No adjustments were needed or have been needed in that time. My neighbor has had a General for 40 years or so. He told me that he moved 4 times and NEVER had to adjust the saw. Thats the main reason I bought a General. If its set up properly in the first place, AND STAYS ACCURATE you don't need to adjust it.

Incidently, The General is Made In Canada while the General International is made in the orient.

Fred
__________________

Dan Lautner
05-14-2008, 2:04 AM
Fred, don't waste your time. The sawstop people have a lot of money invested and will defend their purchase to the bitter end. The more closely I look at the current cabinet saws on the market, the more I see the General 350/650r (w/ riving knife) as the only smart decision for me. I will be placing my order this week with photos to come. This seems to be the only true high quality American style cabinet saw available today.

Dan

Joe Jensen
05-14-2008, 2:19 AM
"Yeah - I agree with that wholeheartedly. When I upgraded from a JET contractor saw to a JET cabinet saw it became soooo much easier to adjust the blade for square. Then moving to the SawStop was another leap forward. I love being able to dial-in the blade rather than tapping the top. Are there other cabinet saws that dial-in in this manner?"

I'm somewhat confused by this "feature". I have a General cabinetsaw that I bought used approx 10 years ago. I bought it. moved it to my shop, checked it for setup and started using it. No adjustments were needed or have been needed in that time. My neighbor has had a General for 40 years or so. He told me that he moved 4 times and NEVER had to adjust the saw. Thats the main reason I bought a General. If its set up properly in the first place, AND STAYS ACCURATE you don't need to adjust it.

Incidently, The General is Made In Canada while the General International is made in the orient.

Fred
__________________

You are so right. I've owned a 1970s Unisaw, and a 1990 PM66. Both were dead on and needed no adjustments, not for blade to miter slot, and not for blade heel. I have no doubt that the Canadian built General saws are as well manufactured as my older American Iron.

Manufacturing to the tolerances required for accurate blade heel costs money, and the labor to align the top to the blade costs money. When I consider that the new import clones cost less today than my PM66 cost in 1990, I have to wonder what corners are cut. Then I read on this forum that several members are having problems with blade heel. Doesn't surprise me at all. Blade heel problems are due to poor machining. The method of shimming the top to compensate only splits the error to minimize it.

Sawstop has built in adjustability for blade heel which makes a ton of sense. Their top is easily adjustable too, but my saw, and all that I've read about here, were perfectly adjusted when removed from the crate...joe

Glen Blanchard
05-14-2008, 9:13 AM
I'm somewhat confused by this "feature".

No reason to be confused Fred. A few months after I purchased my SawStop, I got to fiddling with my miter sled as it was not quite square. I checked the table saw blade and fence etc etc while I was at it and the blade was out by about .001". So I tweaked it. The fact that one can micro-adjust the table rather than having to tap on it is nice - albeit a seldom used feature. However, this (IMHO) demonstrates how well thought out this machine is.

Glen Blanchard
05-14-2008, 10:38 AM
Fred, don't waste your time. The sawstop people have a lot of money invested and will defend their purchase to the bitter end.



You make it sound as if those who own SawStops have sunk their life savings into the machine. :D

My purchase of a SawStop was (and remains) the right choice for me. It may not be the right choice for you. If I were to lose a finger, there is a good chance my career would end (etc etc - we have all read threads debating that issue). For me, it is yet another insurance policy. Additionally, the saw has performed flawlessly for me - so it is, for me, a "high quality" machine.

Doug Jones from Oregon
05-14-2008, 1:13 PM
Doug, he's in Canada. Griz is not an option.


I understand that he is in Canada and that Griz is not sold there....would not stop me! Coffee Crisps are not avail in the states and I still get my fix annually...

Doug

Dick Sylvan
05-14-2008, 2:52 PM
It's a no brainer if money is no object.
Yes , you are right, a Felder or a Mini-Max.

Joe Jensen
05-14-2008, 3:01 PM
You make it sound as if those who own SawStops have sunk their life savings into the machine. :D

My purchase of a SawStop was (and remains) the right choice for me. It may not be the right choice for you. If I were to lose a finger, there is a good chance my career would end (etc etc - we have all read threads debating that issue). For me, it is yet another insurance policy. Additionally, the saw has performed flawlessly for me - so it is, for me, a "high quality" machine.

Yes, it's funny how people see things through only their eyes. If a Sawstop is less then 1% of a persons income, is it a stupid purchase? Ignoring incomes, I don't smoke or drink. Some spend over $5 a day on cigs but can't imagine the spend on a sawstop. I wish all who bitch about the price should just say that for their situation it doesn't make sense.

Glenn Clabo
05-14-2008, 3:07 PM
OK everyone...this is heading in the wrong direction and I believe it's enough.