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Got my first table saw – Did it exceed my expectations?

I have bought my very first tool, cheap circular saw one year ago, just to try working on DIY projects, to see how well i’d like it. Well, now i have several tools and have recently bought 400$ table saw, so i’ll let you judge how well that went. Turns out, working on improving and decorating home has been my favorite thing, i just hadn’t discovered it. I am not fond of wasting money on unnecessary purchases, but turns out, you really need different types of saws to perfect your products.  But you still need to plan your budget carefully – some table saws have crazy prices – up to few thousand dollars. Those are obviously for commercial purposes, but still you need to know ins and outs of a product before buying it.

  Considering my tight budget, i think i made great purchase. I bought DeWalt portable table saw, which, as name suggests, is smaller than other products in the field, but after trying it out for some time, i know it’s exactly what i needed. Picking high quality table saw for cheap price is specially challenging, because they usually cost more than thousand dollars. There are few good table saws under five hundred dollars. Of course these saws are smaller, and you can’t expect them to perform as well as thousand dollar saws, but it perfectly satisfied my requirements.

 Except for reading above article, i also recommend you use Google a lot, and read what actual customers have said about any particular product. In particular, i love reading Reddit, because people there don’t sugarcoat it – if they bought a tool and it turned out to  be terrible, they will be quite forward about it. Other review websites try not to bash products a lot, because they’re afraid of ruining relationships with brands.

 Speaking of brands, best table saw makers are arguably Bosch and DeWalt, especially when talking about portable table saws. Cheaper brands like Ryobi offer table saws for as cheap as around 150$ – it’s incredible. But i really doubt it’s quality is any good. Ratings seem fine though, 4 out of 5 stars is solid, at least not bad.

 To conclude, i am quite satisfied with my purchase. But if i went back in time just before buying it, i would wait a little bit more, save more money and get better saw from DeWalt. Also, if you are a professional company, don’t be cheap and get one of the commercial ones. Personal table saws might function for a while, but the workload will quickly take a toll and they’ll break down.

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Which power tool brand is the most reliable? And why?

As a guy who is both – quite proficient in home improvement tools, and has had significant experience in how those tools are made during his long career, i get asked a lot of questions about tools. I don’t mind the questions, i love discussing interesting or controversial topics and debating about anything related to my field, but sometimes questions get too repetitive and simple, and i feel like they could all by answer in one small tutorial, which is why i decided to write this thing. I don’t claim to be always right, and always encourage everyone to be skeptical, so if i express the opinions that you don’t agree with, feel free to comment and i’d love to talk it out.

 Now, let’s get serious. One of the most often mistakes that i see people make when buying power tools is not knowing what tool they need, and how much they should expect to pay for it. Some spend too much, while others don’t spend enough on the tools, and both are equally as bad. Technically, spending too much is not a problem, assuming you don’t have tight budget and are okay with spending money on whatever, which most people aren’t. Being too cheap is problem too, because sometimes people think that they can use cheaper, low maintenance circular saws for their professional work, which is false. Tools for personal and commercial use are very different, in all aspects – quality, maintenance, price, and pretty much everything else. If you’re buying tools for your business, keep in mind that you’ll need to pay premium to make good purchase in the long run. Cost for replacing cheap circular saws every few months or so,  is much larger than money you save by buying cheap tool.

Also decide what size of circular saw you need. For more delicate work, what you’ll need is mini circular saw.

 If you are a contractor, the best power tool brand i recommend is Milwaukee. Once you get to know other people in your business, you’ll discover yourself that this brand is most used and therefore, trustworthy brand out there. In my experience, every job site or carpentry you go to, you’ll see people using either Milwaukee or Dewalt, which is also an excellent brand. Other good brands include, but are not limited to – Makita and Bosch. I just haven’t tried any other brands.

 And the last thing i want to talk about, are battery-powered tools. That is, because cordless power tools seem to be a bit controversial – people have different opinions about them, and i think i know why – because some cordless tools are good, while others are bad. I know it’s cliche, but it’s simple as that. For example, Bosch makes the best battery powered circular saws out there, but their price is slightly higher, so a lot of people prefer cheaper brands, which fall apart quickly. Then they complain about the battery powered tools in general, when they should be blaming themselves. Good way to differentiate high quality cordless tools from bad ones, is by reading customer reviews and checking the ratings.

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