Charnwood 650 query and general table saw buying advice

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11 Mar 2016
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Birmingham, UK
Hi everyone! I've just joined this fine forum as a new woodworker, so ... first things first .... Hello!

Right. Another table saw thread. I apologise in advance, but assure you I've read all the others I can find!

So I'm pretty new to woodworking, but I've completely got the bug having started building myself an electronic pipe organ. I've found I'm getting more and more interested in the woodwork on the organ console, and less and less interested in the instrument ... which wasn't how it was supposed to be... :roll: :mrgreen:

Anyway. I'm looking to set up my garage as a workshop. I've spent the last few weeks looking over the internet for table saw reviews. My budget limit is £1,000 max at the moment, which sadly just rules out the Jet 600 and Axminster Trade ones once extension tables and sliding tables are factored in. The garage hasn't got a 16A supply, either.

What I've narrowed it down to is as follows, with my thinking:

1. Bosch GTS 10 XC

The cheapest. Reasonable power at 2KW ish. Reasonably square-locking fence system. But non-standard mitre slots, and rather lightweight. Only small cross cut capability. Only aluminium table. Could buy from Axminster and enjoy decent after sales if any problems.

2. DeWalt 7491

Not cheap. Love the rack and pinion fence. Reasonable 2KW ish power. Still a site saw at the end of the day, though. Non-standard mitre slots (I think). No sliding cross cut table. But a nice small footprint with massive ripping width. The only large place that sells them is Machine Mart, and I frankly don't trust them to put right anything that was wrong. Bad experiences with them. I can't find anywhere that would let me actually get a hands-on experience before parting with the best part of a grand.

3. Axminster 250 full kit

Good price. Axminster have none in at the moment, but I gather that some are due in a couple of weeks. I've read many good reviews, and many bad reviews. Non-standard mitre slots (I think). Only a 1.5KW motor, though, and I'm going to be sawing a lot of oak. The fence locking system doesn't *look* the strongest thing in the world, but I haven't had a chance to fiddle with one properly.

4. Charnwood W650

Popped into the Charnwood Leicester showroom and saw this one today. My gut says to go for this one. Massive 2.2KW power, smooth sliding table with stop block. Reasonable mitre guage. Cheap. Feels solid. Fence seems to lock squarely, even if it moves a bit on locking. However, I'm aware that I've only seen the showroom one, and the chap there basically told me that the ones they have on display have had a lot of fettling done to them. I worry that I'm not experienced enough to fettle! But I guess the same would apply to the Axminster. I don't know whether the fence system would be upgradeable with an aftermarket fence. I've seen a lot of people say that they're decent, but not great. But most of those statements seem to be from a few years ago, before it had the mitre slots cut added to the table. I don't know how it stands now. Have heard a couple of people say that aftersales is non-existent from Charnwood.

So. There we go. I suppose my main concern is accuracy, closely followed by being able to make and buy useful jigs for it to get the most out of it, which is why I'm wary of the Bosch and the DeWalt.

Anyway, I hope you don't mind me posting my thoughts here. I'd appreciate it hugely if anyone could chime in with anything they think might be helpful. I think whichever one I buy, at some point I'll wish I'd bought one of the others, but .... God, this is more difficult than I thought!

Thanks so much! :D
If noise is a consideration (like if you have neighbours) then ITYF that 1 and 2 have screaming universal motors whilst 3 and 4 have much quieter induction motors.
I have had the charnwood 650 for a while and has been problem free...the fence although reasonably rigid is not easy to set for repeatable cuts....with a bit of fettling recently fitted the axminster bandsaw/universal fence which is far superior
I do not have a clue about the Charnwood saw, but the after sales in my experience was very good, courteous and knowledgeable.

You have been to their showroom so you will have a better judgement of them than a load of hearsay on here!

If the chap says the showroom sample has been fettled I think that displays a degree of honesty of the real world.
I doubt any machine is going to be spot on out of box.
Even if it is you are going to have to maintain the settings so you will have to learn that anyway.
Thanks for all your replies - I appreciate that a great deal.

I'm going to go and have another look at the Charnwood on Monday. I suppose I just wanted the reassurance of no-one going, "OH MY DAYS! Don't do it! They're terrible!!!"

As you say, Lurker, I found the chap at Charnwood's attitude very refreshing. When I said, "Well, your instruction manuals can't be as bad as Axminster's," he said, "I wouldn't bet on it!". I rather like that!
Hi, welcome to the group. I have the 650 and have to say that it's been a pleasure to own, the sliding table is good and with a little bit of care produces accurate 90 degree crosscuts. I'm a novice and have found this saw to be a great first saw. I don't think I'll be changing soon.

It can be a little underpowered if you are cutting 3 inch oak but generally breezes through everything I've thrown at it.

Dust collection is ok As well

Over al, I'm well chuffed really

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