Much more professional that other Craftsman saws in this $ range
Let me start by saying that I am not a table saw officionado. I much prefer a radial arm saw for its versatility. But, there are times when a small table saw fills the bill, espcially when you are lugging it around to job sites. That's exactly what this saw is made for and does well. Most job site saws are larger and have attached stands. This is fine if all your jobs are accessable by flat smooth surfaces, but they seldom are. The added wieght of an attached stand requires two people to carry up stairs or across a field. This saw can be carried or wheeled. It would be nice if a separate folding stand were available for this, but there doesn't seem to be. It does work fairly well to just bolt it to a pair of saw horses.
This saw begs comparison to the similar DeWalt mini job site saw also sold by Sears. The Craftsman saw has many advantages: lower price, greater rip capacity, a real metal miter guage, a side and outfeed extention, wheels, and a telescoping handle. The DeWalt has a rack and pinion fence mechanism that insures a parallel fence and is a little lighter. It also has a full thickness blade insert and available stand. It was an easy choice for me. I refuse to pay Dewalt prices for a saw with a plastic miter guage. And besides, I'm still mad at Dewalt for not making there excellent radial arm saws anymore.
This saw is made in Taiwan by a company that also makes saws for Ridgid whose jobsite saw is top rated by a leading consumer magazine. Ridgid actually sold a cosmetically altered version of this saw as a special edition of a while. My saw came pretty well set up right out of the box. I made slight adjustments to the blade heeling, the rip fence, and the riving knife. These adjustments are all easily accessible. The heeling adjustment is particularly easy because of a eccentric bolt which allow precision changes. The guard is the best I have ever experience on a table saw. The splitter is hefty and easily adjustable in three different dimensions. In the past I've never been able to get a good adjustment on cheap splitters so I didn't use them. I may actually use this one. It has tooless, modular kickback pawls and guard. Much heftier than what I am used to on inexpensive saws. One compaint is that the blade insert is not thick enough to allow replacement by zero clearance inserts. Also, it only takes a 1/2" dado. You need 3/4" for shelf inlets. It has a dust collection shroud around the blade an outlet tube. Oddly enough it doesn't come with a bag. I bought a Bosch bag and it works fine. Most of the dust--not all--goes in the bag. I would collect more with a vacuum, but who wants to hassle with that. The fence works well. The miter guage is sturdy metal but a little loose in the slot. The table extension lock was a little weak when I got it, but was easily adjusted with a turnbuckle under the table. The table is almost perfectly flat with a very slight roll-off at the rear. I don't care so much for the painted table, but I suppose machining it would add a lot to the price.
I bought this to replace another Craftsman saw in this price range. The other was much flimsier, made by another supplier, and not up to professional standards at all, but then it wasn't marketed as such. I think this saw pretty well lives up the "Professional" designation. I used to repair typewriters, so I know machines pretty well. I think this is quite well made compared to much of the junk that is on the market today. I've been a professional builder for several years, and I like this saw. I'd give it a 4.5 if I could. Not quite 5 because of the drawbacks I have mentioned.
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could not cut straight
I bought this saw to replace an approximately 35 year old Craftsman table saw when the motor burned out, and I could not find a replacement motor.
I was initially disappointed to find that no stand was available for this model. I was well on my way to adapting the stand from my old saw to mount my new saw, when I discovered that the new saw would not cut a straight line parallel to the rip fence. Being a retired Engineer by trade, I was confident that the instruction manual would walk me through the necessary steps to rectify the problem.
The manual was well written, and easy to follow, but didn't address what to do when you ran out of adjustment to align the blade. (other than strike the blade with a block of wood and a hammer, which didn't work either) After several attempts to align the blade, I gave up and put the saw back into the carton for return, and purchased a different model.
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