Craftsman Professional Table Saw Review
For many woodworkers a table saw represents the most important tool in their shop. The significance of this purchase is magnified by its permanence. Potentially you can own it for the rest of you life. The saw I needed to replace was a craftsman benchtop saw, after 60 years it had ripped its last board. Now if the replacement saw lasts half as long it will be hanging around for quite awhile.
Before looking for a saw it is important to determine your requirements. How will you use the saw? Do you need lots of power? If you primarily make small projects a large cabinet saw might be overkill. Another important consideration is your shop. How much space do you have? What type of power is available? In my case environment was the primary driver. I have very little space, so the saw needed to be mobile, and I lack 220v power. Adding 220v was not an option, so I limited my search to 110v. As far as space goes, I wanted a good sized table, as large as I can fit in my garage. Table width is ok, but depth presents a problem. Most contractor type saw have the motor protruding from the rear of the saw, that takes up space. Looking over my requirements I determined that the saw that best suited my needs was a Hybrid.
Hybrid are considered a mix between a contractor saw and cabinet
Thus the name hybrid. Hybrids borrow the 110v motor, and the 30" rip
capacity from a contractor saw. A left
tilting blade and a motor mounted inside the saw are featured from the
cabinet saw. Another cabinet saw feature that some hybrids have are
trunnions. Contractor saws generally mount the trunnions to the table
top. The big
benefit to mounting the trunnions to the cabinet and not the top is
ease of alignment. Typically you can loosen four bolts that are easily
accessible to align the top to the blade.
Most manufacturers offers some type of hybrid saw today. Although
Dewalt is generally credited with creating the hybrid with their model. With so many saws to choose from I took
some advice from Workbench Magazine, they reviewed four saws in the February 2005 issue. The
Craftsman received the editors choice, so I bought one. Overall I give
the saw 4 stars and recommend it. Here are my
thoughts on the Craftsman Professional 922124.
- The Fence
- I consider the fence to be the single most important feature on a saw. One of the best features of this saw is the fence. The Biesemeyer fence is a commercial grade product that will take all the abuse you can throw at it. I am sure that the fences on the other models perform well, but I have a certain confidence that the Biesemeyer fence will perform well over the life of the saw.
- Cabinet Mounted Trunnions
- Aligning the saw blade is an occasional task. Cabinet mounted trunnions make
occasional task fairly simple. The bolts for the
are easily accessible on the left side of the saw. The bolts on the
right require you to open the access panel. Overall adjusting the
saw is a simple process. In FWW issue
no. 177 they considered the trunnions the most impressive part of the
saw, I would have to agree.
- Customer Service
- My original table top had unacceptable warping and it lacked the
proper machining for the 0 and 45 degree stops. I called Customer
service and they gave me suggestions to deal with the warping, those
suggestions did not resolve the problem so they sent me a new top, no
questions asked. I
believe that the manufacture, not Sears, handles the service.
Whoever handles it they are doing a great job.
- Size does matter. My workshop is a two car garage, where I park
two cars. The extra space I gain because this saw is a hybrid is
critical. If the motor for the saw hangs off the back I can loose
enough space to prevent a car from fitting in the garage. This saw also
collapsible out feed table. This is another space saving feature.
Admittedly this is not the best out feed table, it suffers from some
stability issues on the corners, but it does the job.
- The Little Extras
- Dust collection, flat poly belt drive, upgraded miter gauge, out
feed table, and the
Leitz blade. All of these features add up. Along side those features is
the smooth operation of the saw. The saw is adjusted effortlessly. One
more item of note is the large on/off switch, its placement is ideal
for stopping the saw hands free. It also has comes with a padlock to
secure the saw when not in use.