Somehow these discussions never get old to me – someone in a forum offers a dollar amount, a list of intended uses and a tool. Then the forum members give their opinions on which tools fit the bill.
A recent visitor to WoodNet gave these parameters:
“I’m looking into adding a table saw and have it narrowed down to a Ridged ts3650 $550, Jet JWTS-10 $553 and a Delta 36-979 $450 w/o fence.”
Here’s the WoodNet tally (as near as I can tell):
Rigid – 4
Jet – 2
Circular Saw + Guide Rail – 2
budget more money – 2
Delta – 1
Your mileage will vary!
This cheap table saw question is so eternal that it got its own FAQ from Art Mulder on the legendary rec.woodworking newsgroup… Here’s Mulder’s main tip:
“buy used, especially if you’re just getting started.”
I would add to this that if you can only spend 300-500 that you’re looking closely at the EZ Guide system.
Here’s the WoodNet thread: newbie table saw question
Here’s Mr. Mulder’s “Which Cheap Table Saw Should I Buy!?“