The table saw is one of the most useful and versatile tools of any workshop, but it's not always the easiest tool to buy. Larger table saws such as cabinet table saws, contractor table saws and hybrid table saws are all very expensive when purchased new. A new contractor table saw can cost five hundred dollars or more and a new cabinet table saw can cost several thousand dollars. Even a new portable table saw can cost several hundred dollars. The enormous cost of a new saw is why many people choose to buy used table saws.
Clearly the advantage to buying a used table saw is the ability to purchase a professional piece of equipment for a fraction of the cost of what a new table saw might cost. If you hunt around online auction sites like eBay you can sometimes find used table saws selling for a quarter of the price that they sold for new. Here are some things to consider before choosing between a new or used table saw.
Consider the resale value: while you are probably planning to use your table saw for many years to come, it's always a good idea to think about the future. You may find yourself needing to upgrade sooner rather than later and you'll want to think about selling your current saw to get another saw.
Newer table saws have more safety features: there's no doubt about it that the newer saws have more safety features and are generally designed with safer and more advanced features. That being said, all table saws are only as safe as the user, so if you follow good safety practices then you will be okay.
Table saws can be repaired and upgraded: Table saws are mechanical pieces of equipment that can break and fall into disrepair. But if you're handy or you know your way around a table saw you may not only be able to repair a used saw but you can almost definitely upgrade your saw with such items as a new rail and fence system. Used table saws may not come with a manual or any sort of specification documentation, but a new table saw will almost always come with some sort of helpful literature. Also remember that you'll probably more easily be able to get replacement parts and accessories for a newer table saw than an older used table saw.
Think about a warranty: remember that not everything you buy always works perfectly right out of the box. Though a new table saw will cost more, some of that extra money goes towards the piece of mind you have knowing that a new table saw is almost always covered by some sort of limited warranty. A used table saw may work great for the first week and then break down and unless you are handy with tool repairs then you could be out of luck.
While buying a used table saw will save you plenty of money, buying a new table saw is definitely an easier route to go if you have repair or quality questions.
You have a third option for buying a saw that could save you some money and that is buying a factory-reconditioned table saw. A factory-reconditioned saw usually carries the same or similar warranty as a new saw and it has been looked over and repaired by the company that originally made it. You are still buying a relatively new saw but you can easily save several hundred dollars by buying a saw this way.
These are all things that you have to weigh in your mind before choosing to buy a new or used table saw.
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