Table Saw Woes

September 28th, 2004 · 7 Comments · Tools and Tech


You guys know this. Aside: I’m from Texas and when I say “guys,” I mean the ladies too. You guys know that when you buy something you have basically three choices: buy the best, the cheapest or somewhere in the middle. Pros and cons both ways: the best choice is the best match for your needs.

It is a reasonable expectation that the best will last longer and perform better–with the exception of mint chocolate chip ice cream in which the best will not last as long.

Likewise it is a safe expectation that the cheapest and the middle child would perform appropriately. It always makes me happy when the cheapest performs better then my expectations. Conversely it’s annoying when the middle child is a dud.

Middle children out there: you better get your act together.

So I bought a middle child table saw three months ago and now it’s having trouble. What’s worse is it’s having the same trouble that my first one had, which was taken back the second day I had it and replaced with this one. My confidence is waning. Perhaps I needed more? Perhaps this is a fluke. After-all, doctors tell patients all day that the chances of the thing that happened to them was one in a million. Think about that. Millions of doctors all over the world telling millions of patients this.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong.

Category: Tools and Tech

7 Comments so far ↓

  • Feets

    This will be my next table saw:
    My uncle has the 220v version and loves it. It has a great reputation and at about $800, its about $500 cheaper than a comparable Delta or Jet saw.
    Grizzly seems to be the middle child that keeps everyone happy.

  • Murray

    That is a fantastic saw, one I would definately consider if I had 220 and didn’t need it to be portable. The woodworking forum that I frequent loves Grizzly ts’. Mine is a General International contractor saw. While being a top of the line contractor, it’s still a contractor. I wish I had a cabinet saw so much. Someday.

  • feets

    I have a cheap Ryobi saw that isn’t even considered a contractor saw since it has a direct drive motor. It does the job good enough, but sometimes good enough just isn’t good enough. (I can’t cut large panels with it.)
    I hear you on the “Someday” aspect. I said that would be my next saw, but it’ll probably be at least a year or two before I can set enough money aside. I will get the 2 HP 110v version, but it surely won’t be portable 😉

  • Murray

    I just looked at the 110 version (I didn’t realize they had one). It looks really good. When you order it–make sure the trunnions are attached to the base–not the table, like contractor saws. If they do then it’s a winner. If they don’t then you’ll run into the same alignment problems that I’ve gotten into with mine. Having trunnions attached to the base means it’s *very* easy to align and it keeps the alignment longer. A huge hassel otherwise and a big safety risk.
    Many “arbor” cabinet saws have table-mounted trunnions (Delta , Jet and General for example). People get tricked because they have a solid base and “look” good.
    You might consider moving up to this one:
    –even if it means getting an ellectrician to put in the line, assuming the 110 version does have table-mounted trunnions–which it dosn’t say on the web page: suspicious.
    Grizzly is a solid company but has a reputation for being sneaky on some of their specifications. For example, their great contractor saw is advertised at 110 but when you read the fine print it draws a whopping 30 amps which pretty much forces you to switch it to 220/15 amps.
    A couple hundred for a ellectrician and the extra $100 for the upgrade adds up. This is by no means a no-brainer. Shopping for tools is soo frustrating.
    : )
    I want to see a picture when you get it

  • feets

    “People get tricked because they have a solid base and “look” good.”
    The other thing that I like about them (even if I was getting tricked into thinking they provided superior performance), is that they offer much better dust collection capabilities. I love the idea of just hooking a hose into the back of the thing, vs. either constantly sweeping up my mess or trying to rig up some way of keeping the dust contained. (I often love the challenge of “rigging things up”, but in this case the cabinet just seems to be the best solution.)
    With that in mind I’ve considered the DeWalt and Jet hybrid saws, but it seems like the performance trade off isn’t worth the “cool factor” yet. Maybe I’m wrong…

  • Murray

    Great point Matt, and I agree too that Grizzly beats the pants of the hybrids.
    : )

  • feets


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