Table saw
I am new to the forum, and just recently got back into woodworking, so forgive me if I ask obvious questions, or questions that have been asked over and over again in the past.
I would like to buy another table saw. Possibly new, probably used.

Currently, I am using a Bosch job site contractors saw. It's a nice saw for what it is, but it's not what I would consider a cabinet saw. Years ago I had access to, and used a Delta Uni Saw, with a Uni fence. I thought it was a very nice saw. I have also heard of the Powermatic saw. I hear it is a very good saw also. I have never even seen one. Which one would win the "Peoples Choice" award? I have also heard a Biesemeyer fence is top of the line. Is this true?
I have seen a Delta Uni saw on FB. Platinum Edition. Someone glued plastic laminate to the top. Why would someone do this? Does that sound like something to stay away from?

In looking at used saws, what would be your main concerns?

Thanks for any help you can give me?

Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut, and have the world think you a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
Welcome to Woodnet.  You'll get lots of good advice here.  If I were looking for a used cabinet saw, I would want a Unisaw built in the USA, so I'm not sure that includes the Platinum Edition, or a Powermatic PM-66, and maybe a General when they were built in Canada.  The PM-66 is the beefier of the two, but both will last several lifetimes of hobby use.  I have a Unisaw built in 1954 and it still runs like new.  

Whatever saw you look at, I would only look at saws owned by a hobbiest.  There may be better deals with a saw coming out of a cabinet shop, but those saws have 100X the mileage on them as one owned by a hobbiest.  

The Biessemeyer fence is very nice, for sure, probably the best system out there, but the Delta Unifence works very well, too.  

Good luck in your search.  I just helped a friend buy a PM-66 with a 3hp motor and Biessemeyer fence and table extension.  He paid $1800 for it.  It looks brand new.  The owner sold it because he wanted a SawStop. 

It's hard to add much to the excellent advice you've already received above, but let me add my 2 cents. First, I wouldn't get too hung up on a particular brand or country of origin. Sure, made in USA is great, but there are plenty of Asian made saws that are more than sufficient for the hobbiest, serious or otherwise. For example, the Harvey line of saws is currently getting good reviews. Similarly, there are several "Biesemeyer-style" fences, which are more than adequate. Unfortunately, the used saw market is currently insane- relatively few choices, and high asking prices. I agree that the saw with the laminate top sounds a bit dodgy- like what is hiding beneath? Good luck!
thoughts on the plastic laminate glued to the top:

1) someone got sold a bill of goods for reducing the friction between the wood and the table with laminate instead of wax, or

2) the steel (iron?) got badly damaged and the laminate is to get back to a smooth surface - could be horrendous rust, some idot used the table as a welding table, a router bit into it, it got broken and had to be welded, etc

unless the laminate is extremely thin, it would require modifying the miter gauge (spacer on the guide bar) and, possibly, the rip fence mount.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
I think I would avoid a saw that had laminate glued to the table, like Iclark cold be hiding almost anything. That said a Unisaw is a great saw, and the Platinum edition is the one I had. But it's not any different than the other models, there was a time in Delta's history where they though painting a saw a slightly different color and adding some doo-dads (I got a nameplate declaring my Platinum saw was built especially for me) was the way to expand the product line. Back then those saw were USA made, and if you see one it will have plenty of marking indicating so. Even so, I give the PM 66 a nod over the unisaw, so if you see one better grab it.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
I'll weigh in with some thoughts.

Regarding things to look for:

  - Corrosion.  Some surface rust on the top would be no big deal for me.  Even some minor pitting would be acceptable.  My first saw, a used Delta Contractor Saw have a divot in the top where the original owner contacted it with a running biscuit jointer,  That divot never affected my use.

  - Look inside:  Dirt and sawdust buildup are normal.  Some cleaning is normally necessary.

  - If you can see the saw run, that's good.  Try to detect any burning or hot electrical smells.

  - Be prepared to buy on the spot if it passes basic function checks.  If you want to "think about it" after looking at the saw, expect that the saw will be gone before the end of the day.  The used market for woodworking equipment is very hot right now.

The only thing I'll say about new saws is stay away from Delta.  That company has changed ownership several times, and none of it was for the better.  Based on what I see in this forum and another, quality seems to have been uneven in new Delta equipment and parts are impossible.

On the used market, all comments come with caveat that the actual machine in question has not been abused or allowed to rust away:

  - If you can find one, look at SawStop.  That's the saw with the "flesh-sensing" technology that provides a measure of safety from contact with the blade.  I have one, and it's a very high quality saw.  I've used Pwoermatic cabinet saws, Jet cabinet saws, and a Delta Unisaw.  The SawStop is equal or better to all in this saw class in quality, in my opinion.  Downside is that used machines are nearly as hard to find as an actual unicorn.

  - Delta Unisaw; US made.  Good saw and parts can be found if needed.  Old iron saws are usually not hard to clean up and put back into service.

  - Powermatic Model 66:  The first saw I used seriously was a PM66.  It was in the military base hobby shop and was a great saw.  This saw showed me that a machine this large and heavy duty is truly capable of fine precision work, even on small pieces.  The PM2000 succeeded the 66 and are good saws as well, I think.

  - Jet, Grizzly, Shop Fox:  These brands are easier to find on the used market and are usually serviceable saws.  Parts not hard to find, usually.

  - For a fence, I do like Biesemeyer style fences.  The SawStop has one and it's been absolutely great for me.  Rugged, holds fine adjustment, and is very easy to use. 

Good luck.
(formerly "WxMan")
Good luck on the used tool market it could be a long wait, I searched for months until I gave up & went new. Glad I went new I spent more than I wanted but having a brand new saw was well worth the it.
The one thing I required on my used search was the saw had a modern riving knife and at least a 2hp motor with a decent fence.
And there are very good saws with really nice fence systems that are not considered "top of the line"
Knowing your your budget & intended use will get you more detailed responses. If I didn't have a budget I would have different saw, would it be more accurate, cut wood faster or make my projects any better absolutely not but would I enjoy looking at at more probably.
You might look over at (Old Woodworking Machines) They specialize in the repair, rebuilding, upgrading older woodworking machines. I have a Delta band saw from the 40's, and a Delta Unisaw from 1953, both found and refurbished with their help. They are front line power tools in my shop, and learned a lot about each machine. Great group of people. Worth perusing their website

May not be your interest, but it is an idea. Good luck in your quest, Ed
Hi Greg - Don't hesitate to post about your used market finds to gather folks' opinions. Quite a helpful bunch of folks in here. And welcome!
Where are you?

There might be someone close that has one for sale -- after my Unisaw nibbled on my left hand my sons are dropping SawStop hints frequently so I may be upgrading.  Might be someone close to you doing the same!
Big Grin
"Truth is a highway leading to freedom"  --Kris Kristofferson

Wild Turkey
We may see the writing on the wall, but all we do is criticize the handwriting.
(joined 10/1999)

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