We were not actively searching for a sliding table saw when we found this one. For years we made do with a simple Safety Speed Cut panel saw to cut large 4×8 sheets into more manageable sizes and a cabinet table saw to cut those pieces into their final sizes. But, as our production volume was increasing, the limitations of those two machines were becoming more readily apparent.
One limitation was that the material had to be shifted between two saws to achieve accurate and square cuts. A full day of that work is a huge burden on an operator. The second issue was the fact that the table saw did not have a scoring blade. A scoring blade is a small blade that sits directly in front of the main cutting blade. Its sole job is to cut a shallow groove in the underside of the material before it is sliced by the main blade.
This groove prevents chipping out of the material on the underside, which allows for two perfectly clean cuts on melamine and plywood: the two main materials used in cabinetry. The third limitation of the table saw is that the operator had to support and move the material through the machine, which lead to imperfect cuts due to shifting of the material as it passed through the blade, and increased operator fatigue.
One day a newsletter appeared in the email inbox from none other than Coby at Advanced Machinery, detailing their newest machines. Included in that list was a Grizzly sliding table saw.
Let me take a few sentences to talk about Grizzly tools. Grizzly Industries manufactures woodworking and metalworking machinery overseas. We own seven Grizzly machines, including a bandsaw, an oscillating spindle sander, two shapers, a thickness planer, an edge sander, and a boring machine.
They have performed very well over the years, although, when you use them day in and day out, you see their limitations and lack of engineering in a few areas. But, given their price point, which is easily 30-70% less than the competition, these are things you may decide you can live with. As someone who makes a living with machinery, I also look at factors other than just price when choosing what brand to purchase.
In this case, the Grizzly sliding table saw began its life at about half the price of the top brand sliding table saws, like Altendorf, Martin, and SCMI, and its current used price reflected that. Coby also told us that he rarely recommends Grizzly machines, but he knew the design of this sliding table saw mimicked the design of the more expensive saws, and he knew the factory in Taiwan where it was manufactured, and felt like it would be a solid machine for our company. His advice was enough to sway me. We purchased the saw and had it shipped to us.
But before we could place in in the shop, we had to shift the location of four machines, re-duct a bunch of dust collection tubing, remove a 20′ pony wall, and have our electrician reposition and add bunch of outlets.
Nevertheless, once we got the saw into position and hooked it up to the phase convertor, everything worked smoothly. No more chipping out on melamine or plywood, no more struggling to send a huge sheet through the table saw, and no more transporting dozens of pieces between two saws! Another side benefit to the sliding table saw is the fact that the dust collection is able to capture almost all of the dust created, something our old table saw made impossible.
So, after $5,000 for the saw and $1,500 for the electrical hook-ups, we came to the end of this machinery shopping spree. We purchased all four with cash, and all four machines increased the quality of our product, eliminated a production bottleneck, and made our work lives more enjoyable!
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