Thinking of getting a Makita 2704... Or is there better for the money?

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Chipmonk

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I'm looking for a small footprint saw with accurate cuts, for hobby work, guitar laminate necks, picture frames, boxes etc. I can't fit a cast iron table in my shop, but I can fit an ally-topped one on my bench (I don't think they do an iron one for benchtops?).

I'd love a Festool TKS80 or a Sawstop JSS, but they are either unavailable in the UK or simply crazy money (all things considered). Yes, I value my fingers, but £2600 with fence/guide/table is 4 times the competition and way more than I can afford, so they are taking the water and holding safety to ransom (the extra hardware is surely around £50, it makes me angry to think how many people have suffered for their greed).

Aaaanyway. My budget was £500-700, but the more I look at it, the more it seems I'm looking around the £800 mark. If it will do a good, accurate job for a long time, that's fine. I need a good mitre/slider and fence with some out-tray supports (I won't do many big sheets, but that's great if it supports it).

I've been leaning towards Makita because they seem to do accurate cuts and can be adjusted to be more accurate than most others. The MTN100 seems a bit flakey, but the 2704 looks like it can do a good job. I love the sliding mitre tray on the MTN, but it's had so-so reviews and I've been doing a lot of work to correct my previous mistakes cause by tools being 'slightly out' and, frankly, f**k that.

I'd appreciate it if anyone has been in a similar position and can offer some insight or alternatives to consider? I'm finding it hard to be sure that there isn't a newer version of some brands out there. e.g. the Makita 2705? Seems discontinued... what's going on with the model numbers?

I've looked at the Dewalt 7492 , Skil SPT99-11, Bosch CRJ10(?). But the Makita 2704 seems to edge the Dewalt 7492 as my current 2nd place option, but they are very close. I'm happy to reconsider if someone is familiar with both.

TLDR;

1. Is there an affordable option to get SawStop technology in the UK? i.e. imports or something. The Festool TKS80 doesn't come with a fence and the minimum cost is £1800 with one (it has other shortcomings, like non-standardisation but is excellent otherwise).

2. What's your opinion on the latest/best option from the Makita and Dewalt brands in the sub-£1000 bench/jobsite/contractor table saw?
 
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Armagh

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The Dewalt table saw gets better press than the Makita. I don't have any experience with the Makita but bought the 10" Dewalt with the scissor legstand about 2 years ago. I'm a site joiner and I'm very pleased with it. Tool-less removal of the riving knife, easily adjustable rack and pinion fence mechanism, an 80mm (from memory) rip depth, and the fence will allow cuts up to 830mm in the outer position. I can't comment if it's accurate enough for your application though.
 

Chipmonk

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The Dewalt table saw gets better press than the Makita. I don't have any experience with the Makita but bought the 10" Dewalt with the scissor legstand about 2 years ago. I'm a site joiner and I'm very pleased with it. Tool-less removal of the riving knife, easily adjustable rack and pinion fence mechanism, an 80mm (from memory) rip depth, and the fence will allow cuts up to 830mm in the outer position. I can't comment if it's accurate enough for your application though.
Thanks man, that's good to know. I am SO on the fence between these two. I love the R&P fence, but there are some reviews saying the Makita is capable of higher accuracy.

Does the 90 and 45 degree stop on the Dewalt snap-in? Or do you have to check it each time?
 

Chipmonk

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Look at axi ts200 / kity 419 for a cast iron bench top saw....
Thanks a lot! I haven't seen either of those before. I suspect I glossed over them on the Ax site due to the look, but it's definitely worthy of consideration.
 

Chipmonk

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turns out the Kity products were taken over by Scheppach, which turned into the Scheppach Precisa 2.0. Machineatlas reviews said the Kity were overpriced in the second hand market (which seems to be the case at ~£700).

Definitely food for thought, though, thanks!
 

Inspector

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I'd love a Festool TKS80 or a Sawstop JSS, but they are either unavailable in the UK or simply crazy money (all things considered). Yes, I value my fingers, but £2600 with fence/guide/table is 4 times the competition and way more than I can afford, so they are taking the water and holding safety to ransom (the extra hardware is surely around £50, it makes me angry to think how many people have suffered for their greed).

1. Is there an affordable option to get SawStop technology in the UK? i.e. imports or something. The Festool TKS80 doesn't come with a fence and the minimum cost is £1800 with one (it has other shortcomings, like non-standardisation but is excellent otherwise).
My perspective as a SawStop owner for a dozen years, when they only had the big cabinet saw. I don't feel your criticism is fair or informed.

There is far more to the mechanism than 50pounds worth of parts. Many millions to develop a reliable system and many more to create the company, set up production in Taiwan and bring them to market and support them. If you ever looked under the hood you would see they are completely different than any other saw and the brake isn't just a little add on hence the higher costs. There may be some corporate greed in there but name any similar companies that aren't. Are Felder, Hammer, Festool or Mirka really that far advanced and better that they are worth as much as they charge? When Bosch got spanked in the US law courts by a guy that lost a number of fingers on one of their jobsite saws they brought out the Bosch REAXX. Unfortunately for them they violated the SawStop patents and the US courts stopped them from selling in the USA. They were sold here but SawStop didn't bother stopping them in our small market. They were sold in the $2,000Cad range which was the same as the SawStop jobsite saw. Corporate greed too? They didn't sell well and have all but disappeared here. Not sure Bosch even sells them any more. Until SawStop's patents and there are a lot of them, run out you are not likely going to see a competitor. The parent company of Festool bought up SawStop and that's why they have a version which uses the exact same brake cartridge as all the SawStop models. You may not like it but that's how it is. Either pony up or use all the tried and true safety practices until the marketplace changes.

Pete
 

Chipmonk

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My perspective as a SawStop owner for a dozen years, when they only had the big cabinet saw. I don't feel your criticism is fair or informed.

There is far more to the mechanism than 50pounds worth of parts. Many millions to develop a reliable system and many more to create the company, set up production in Taiwan and bring them to market and support them. If you ever looked under the hood you would see they are completely different than any other saw and the brake isn't just a little add on hence the higher costs. There may be some corporate greed in there but name any similar companies that aren't. Are Felder, Hammer, Festool or Mirka really that far advanced and better that they are worth as much as they charge? When Bosch got spanked in the US law courts by a guy that lost a number of fingers on one of their jobsite saws they brought out the Bosch REAXX. Unfortunately for them they violated the SawStop patents and the US courts stopped them from selling in the USA. They were sold here but SawStop didn't bother stopping them in our small market. They were sold in the $2,000Cad range which was the same as the SawStop jobsite saw. Corporate greed too? They didn't sell well and have all but disappeared here. Not sure Bosch even sells them any more. Until SawStop's patents and there are a lot of them, run out you are not likely going to see a competitor. The parent company of Festool bought up SawStop and that's why they have a version which uses the exact same brake cartridge as all the SawStop models. You may not like it but that's how it is. Either pony up or use all the tried and true safety practices until the marketplace changes.

Pete

I'm always keen to hear other viewpoints. but you should know, I'm not naive or cynical, I'm just disappointed. And I can see that Sawstop are great tool, if you can afford them (big IF), I can't. Sawstop have made their money back now. No way they haven't. £50 per part (sold at a reasonable price hike) across 10's of thousands of units adds up to millions. I know it happens, corps gonna greed, but dont kid anyone that it's not very wrong. So, my criticism is fair. It's just applicable to many others, too, including Bosch (who weren't faultless in the tug of war).

Bosch's approach was quite different, better in some ways, worse in others, but some of the ideas were similar enough to infringe on patent. If Sawstop had just accepted that they'd made enough dough and captured enough market, we wouldn't have a monopoly, we'd have competition and innovation on a good solution. But we don't. That's on them, those avoidable life/career-ending injuries, that's on their greed. Sure, patents are a necessary evil, but monopolies definitely are not. Now Festool has it, and we all know how they like to share. *sigh*

I'll 'pony up' when it's affordable. Until then, I'll hope for the best, but for the 'tried and true' methods, they work well until they don't. Anyone can lose a finger in a moment's distraction and it's criminal that this isn't affordable tech.
 
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Jameshow

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I'm always keen to hear other viewpoints. but you should know, I'm not naive or cynical, I'm just disappointed. And I can see that Sawstop are great tool, if you can afford them (big IF), I can't. Sawstop have made their money back now. No way they haven't. £50 per part (sold at a reasonable price hike) across 10's of thousands of units adds up to millions. I know it happens, corps gonna greed, but dont kid anyone that it's not very wrong.

Bosch's approach was quite different, better in some ways, worse in others, but some of the ideas were similar enough to infringe on patent. If Sawstop had just accepted that they'd made enough dough and captured enough market, we wouldn't have a monopoly, we'd have competition and innovation on a good solution. But we don't. That's on them, that's on greed.




I'll 'pony up' when it's affordable. Until then, I'll hope for the best.

I agree safety parts like seatbelts, airbags, side impact bars etc should be licenced to all car manufacturers.

So should sawstop be licenced to all...imho
 

thikone

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My perspective as a SawStop owner for a dozen years, when they only had the big cabinet saw. I don't feel your criticism is fair or informed.

There is far more to the mechanism than 50pounds worth of parts. Many millions to develop a reliable system and many more to create the company, set up production in Taiwan and bring them to market and support them. If you ever looked under the hood you would see they are completely different than any other saw and the brake isn't just a little add on hence the higher costs. There may be some corporate greed in there but name any similar companies that aren't. Are Felder, Hammer, Festool or Mirka really that far advanced and better that they are worth as much as they charge? When Bosch got spanked in the US law courts by a guy that lost a number of fingers on one of their jobsite saws they brought out the Bosch REAXX. Unfortunately for them they violated the SawStop patents and the US courts stopped them from selling in the USA. They were sold here but SawStop didn't bother stopping them in our small market. They were sold in the $2,000Cad range which was the same as the SawStop jobsite saw. Corporate greed too? They didn't sell well and have all but disappeared here. Not sure Bosch even sells them any more. Until SawStop's patents and there are a lot of them, run out you are not likely going to see a competitor. The parent company of Festool bought up SawStop and that's why they have a version which uses the exact same brake cartridge as all the SawStop models. You may not like it but that's how it is. Either pony up or use all the tried and true safety practices until the marketplace changes.

Pete

Felder also has some safety mechanism. It hides the blade under the table and electronically restartable (no cartridge to change). But it comes with their top model and for a much higher price: Felder Preventive Contact System
 

paulbohs

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I got the dewalt 7492. Like yourself I wanted the sawstop but I wanted an incra miter fence and only the American sawstop had the t slot size I wanted. I'm very happy with the dewalt. The fence is perfectly parallel to the blade. There is no slot that the blade clicks into at 90 and 45 and I had to adjust my 90 by half a degree. I do have to check 90 and 45 each time I change the angle. In hindsight I would have bought the sawstop and not bothered with the incra miter maybe. The sleds might have been a right pain to make with festools t slot alternative. I wanted an accurate table saw for segmented woodturning and for fine woodworking and my old tablesaw had a fence not parallel to the blade.
 

Inspector

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Chipmonk over here at least, "affordable" would be more correctly explained as ones priorities. I belong to a wood turning and a woodworking club. There are lots of members in both that will complain that a proper dust collector (and they own $6,000+ lathes) or a SawStop is too much or unnecessary yet they own a cottage at a lake or a motorhome to drive to the warmth in winter, have tow boats for waterskiing, wake boarding or fishing, jet skis, ATV/quads, snowmobiles, Harleys and have multiple cars and pickup trucks etc. However when it comes to personal safety they don't want to spend. Little different in your country I know. For what it's worth I kept my first cabinet saw when I bought the SawStop. It can take bigger or smaller dado blades than the 8" the SawStop is limited to and it will also take moulding heads or specialty blades too.

Jameshow the SawStop inventor first went out to all the manufactures of woodworking machines and tried to interest them in licensing his invention. They all refused to have anything to do with it so he went into manufacturing them. They all had the opportunity to licence the system and probably could have gone to them in the years since and haven't.

thikone I'm aware of the Felder saw but it isn't something I can afford or have the space for and I don't even have a cottage. I wouldn't turn it down if it and the shop to fit it in was given to me though.

Pete
 

Chipmonk

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I got the dewalt 7492. Like yourself I wanted the sawstop but I wanted an incra miter fence and only the American sawstop had the t slot size I wanted. I'm very happy with the dewalt. The fence is perfectly parallel to the blade. There is no slot that the blade clicks into at 90 and 45 and I had to adjust my 90 by half a degree. I do have to check 90 and 45 each time I change the angle. In hindsight I would have bought the sawstop and not bothered with the incra miter maybe. The sleds might have been a right pain to make with festools t slot alternative. I wanted an accurate table saw for segmented woodturning and for fine woodworking and my old tablesaw had a fence not parallel to the blade.
I really love Makita stuff, but last night, and on the basis of the 'better fence' I tried to pull the trigger on the Dewalt 7492, but it's out of stock everywhere (unless you're willing to pay scalping prices). RRP is around £750 in the UK, but it's going for closer to £900 right now.
 

Jameshow

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I think if you value accuracy over portability then a cast iron saw would be better tbh.

That DeWalt saw is still a £900 site saw!
 

Chipmonk

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Chipmonk over here at least, "affordable" would be more correctly explained as ones priorities. I belong to a wood turning and a woodworking club. There are lots of members in both that will complain that a proper dust collector (and they own $6,000+ lathes) or a SawStop is too much or unnecessary yet they own a cottage at a lake or a motorhome to drive to the warmth in winter, have tow boats for waterskiing, wake boarding or fishing, jet skis, ATV/quads, snowmobiles, Harleys and have multiple cars and pickup trucks etc. However when it comes to personal safety they don't want to spend. Little different in your country I know. For what it's worth I kept my first cabinet saw when I bought the SawStop. It can take bigger or smaller dado blades than the 8" the SawStop is limited to and it will also take moulding heads or specialty blades too.

Jameshow the SawStop inventor first went out to all the manufactures of woodworking machines and tried to interest them in licensing his invention. They all refused to have anything to do with it so he went into manufacturing them. They all had the opportunity to licence the system and probably could have gone to them in the years since and haven't.

thikone I'm aware of the Felder saw but it isn't something I can afford or have the space for and I don't even have a cottage. I wouldn't turn it down if it and the shop to fit it in was given to me though.

Pete
Yea, I wish I were in that category. For me, affordable means "can I buy this and still eat?" This is just a hobby, but I'd like it to be a fall-back career.

I've read a lot about the history of sawstop (I was really pineappled off I couldn't get one and went looking for an explanation) and that's why I mentioned both parties were at fault. Greed and 'aint broke don't fix' seems to win most of the time (i.e human nature), but the only way it changes is if we don't let it continue. First action is with the wallet. I don't mind paying for the value I get, but I don't see the extra value in £2700 worth of walled-garden table saw (even if I had the money).
 

Linwoodjoinery

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Where about in England are you? I’m in Cheshire so if you’re anywhere near I’m more than happy for you to come and have a go of my Dewalt table saw
 

Chipmonk

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I think if you value accuracy over portability then a cast iron saw would be better tbh.

That DeWalt saw is still a £900 site saw!
My problem is floor space, it needs to be able to be picked up and put on my workbench (which is a 3rd of my floor space). I can lift anything up to about 50kgs (my band saw is 58 and I don't want to move that again!). I can store the jobsite/bench saws under the end of my bench, on their side (possibly).

Accuracy is important, but it looks like portability is necessary rather than desired. I do like the look of most of the cast-iron saws, but the axminsted ones seem overpriced. I can't figure out whether they are worth it compared to the DW/MK ones.
 

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I think if you value accuracy over portability then a cast iron saw would be better tbh.

That DeWalt saw is still a £900 site saw!
That saw here is about 550pounds when converted. Sorry I don't know how to make the pound symbol on a Mac and would likely forget next time I need it.

For a heavier saw you could cut the bench out to fit it and then drop a sheet of plywood etc on top when not needed. No lifting.

In time a bigger shop and more tool money will come along.

Pete
 

Chipmonk

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That saw here is about 550pounds when converted. Sorry I don't know how to make the pound symbol on a Mac and would likely forget next time I need it.

For a heavier saw you could cut the bench out to fit it and then drop a sheet of plywood etc on top when not needed. No lifting.

In time a bigger shop and more tool money will come along.

Pete
£550... *sigh* That's something we're getting used to here, but man it sucks.

That's an interesting idea, cheers.
 

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