A ToolCrib.com visitor asked us recently what was the best DIYer table saw for ripping plywood and paneling… in the $300 range.

I posted his question at WoodNet and learned three key things.

Here’s the thread: best table saw for DIYer in $300>

The first and most important thing I learned is that he’s better off NOT getting a table saw for ripping sheets of plywood, especially at his $300 price range. Second, he’ll need good outfeed support. Third – a used Ryobi came pretty highly recommended for that price range.

Read for more details and resource links:

1)For that price range you’re probably going to be better off with a circular saw and a guide.

So… here are two circular saw cross cutting jigs I found:
Circular Saw Rip Cutting Jig (from Lowes)
Circular Saw Cutting Guide Board (from BenchNotes)

Also – check out this WoodWorking Online video of the top 10 best woodworking tips of all time. The very first tip is a method that involves a sheet of styrofoam on your shop floor, a jig and a just-deep-enough circular saw cut. NEAT!

2)If he goes the table saw route he needs to have outfeed and sidefeed support.

You can, of course, BUY some table saw outfeed support from our associate Amazon. Wink wink.

Or you can build your own using some of these links as guides…

Folding Table Saw Outfeed Table – great idea from a woodworker who built an outfeed table himself. There are no actual plans but you’re a crafty woodworker so I bet you can figure it out from his descriptions.

Construction ideas for an outfeed table with mounted router – so I’m not sure if you can get more boss than this, but here’s a discussion from WoodWeb with great pictures that describes a professional-grade solution.

Table Saw Outfeed Support – an idea for using cabinet drawer slides as long board outfeed support, unsuitable for sheets of plywood though.

Table Saw Techniques – scroll halfway down this wonderful article from Waterfront Woods for a description of cross cutting/rip cutting with table saws.

3) within that price range one potential table saw consideration (with proper sidefeed and outfeed support) is a used Ryobi BT3000/3100

Here’s a Ryobi BT3000 Owner’s Review

Also see http://bt3000.com/, which appears to be a user-written guide to the Ryobi BT3000.

And here’s a forum dedicated to the BT3000, where I’m sure you can learn more about finding yourself one. Also check your local craigslist if you’re interested in owning your own.

4) Craftsman table saws got one yes vote and one no vote…

Our ToolCrib.com visitor went over to the thread and joined WoodNet and asked specifically about the Craftsman series of tools. One Woodnetter says yes, one says no.