I am new to woodworking (less than a year). Looking back over my first major project for our home (a king-size bed), I realized that I spent an inordinate amount of time adjusting for the poor quality of cuts I got out of the old Craftsman table saw I inherited. Having discussed this with my wife and considering the future projects we both would like to see in the house, I have a budget not to exceed $1,000.00. Any recommendations for an accurate table saw for that amount or under?
Michael Dresdner: There are several top-notch contractor’s saws that are very accurate, excellent machines for under $1,000. Two of my favorites are JET and DeWalt, but they are by no means the only ones.
Rob Johnstone: I hesitate to recommend specific brands of tools for several reasons, but allow me to complicate your buying decision before I attempt to simplify it. With a $1,000.00 to spend, you could buy a good quality new contractor’s saw and then spruce it up with after-market options. Why go through this extra rigamarole? It would allow you to create the machine that most suits your needs and shop. For example, you could add an after-market fence and a table extension. The table extension could have a place to mount your router. Add to that a mobile base, and you are really cooking. With all that said, most of the major bands of contractor’s saws are of pretty good quality. I always recommend that you look at which product has the best warranty and how close the service centers are. Another good thing to do is to go to a woodworking show (if there are any close to you) and put your hands on the machine. A show would also let you look at the after-market options if you choose to go that rout.