Pros: great motor, safety key
Cons: too much movement, not enough precision, no dust collection
I have been working in construction and woodworking for about fifteen years now. I was blessed to have met a gentleman in our church when I was still a teenager who took me under his wing and helped cultivate what would become a lifelong passion. I'm sure he did this partly because I was without a father, who had died when I was just five, and I'm sure it was partly because he wanted a grunt to tear down the old drywall and heft bundles of shingles onto a roof or two. Whatever his motivation I am eternally grateful. And it's stories like this that seem to mesh with the idea of Craftsman tools. My first saw was a Craftsman. It was more movable than this model #22849, but the nostalgia is there nonetheless. Oh how I hate what I'm going to write....
This 10 inch saw from Craftsman is a stationary version. Not quite like the beast I have permanently fixed in position in the shop (a Delta), but a bit "more" than the movable, table-top versions used often by weekend warriors. It weighs in around 250 pounds (I read the literature for this figure) with table dimensions of
20" x 27" without extensions.
Price: $550-$600 depending on sales, etc.
Ownership (FYI): I utilized this saw on a regular basis at a residential construction jobsite within the past year. I do not own this one.
The Craftsman retains some of that age-old quality within the confines of the saw. Its motor "takes a licking and keeps on ticking". It works hard even when being worked hard, and continues to go on after months on the job. This I can attest to and this I can applaud them for. That said, one downfall here is the ability to actually move the motor. Nudge this one (the motor is attached to a plate which then hangs on the saw body) so much (and I'm picturing the usual shove that occurs when you swing that 2x4 or plywood a bit too much while working) and there is movement of this plate that hangs on the saw body. Not really a good feature.
Blade settings are good and the Craftsman allows the user to lock the blade into position. Not available on all models of table saws, but a nice feature. Adjustment is accomplished with a turn of a handle. It's a relatively good adjustment here in terms of accessability for the user and ease of adjustment, but there is some additional movement by fractions of an inch just when you think you have your blade set. It may not be a big enough move to throw off a framing crew, but for anything precision it could be a thorn in your side.
The fence on this model grabs at the front and back. The lockdown, after setting, is good. Yet there is no room for adjusting after it has been locked down. I can move the fence post-lockdown and bring it out of square but I can't correct it. The problem doesn't make much sense but it's frustrating beyond belief. This alone is enough for me to steer clear of this saw.
Finally, while vibration is minimal (a good thing) and there is a safety key accompanying this saw allowing only those possessing the key to use the saw (love this feature especially if you're working on your home and children are around), there is no dust collection options here. That said, I believe part of this issue revolves around the fact that many of these saws are crafted to be operating on a job site. Here you picture a saw set up in what will someday be a garage, humming away while a framing crew work on a building. And in those situations - "dust collection, what dust collection? We've got the $6/hr kid with a broom for dust collection."
Craftsman holds many memories and older carpenters can remember fondly when buying a Craftsman meant buying something that would last forever and be the top in its field. I'm not sure when part of that equation stopped being true. While I'm pretty sure this saw would last a long time as evidenced by its quality motor, it just isn't up to snuff when it comes to precision work. But wouldn't it be great if someday the Craftsman so many aging craftsmen remember returns and we can purchase these tools from our favorite Sears with confidence?
Avoid this one. There are better options including at least one that I know of at a relatively similar price.