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Sliding table saw12/10
I'm getting ready to purchase a new sliding table saw. I'm in the process of getting all the quotes back from sales reps (Martin, SCM, Altenndorf and Felder) I'm requesting digital rip fence and crosscut as the main components of the new saw.
What kind of reviews of actual saw user's do you guy's have on any of these? Is there another company I should be getting a quote from?
Obviously the Martin is the most expensive quote so far! But is it really worth the extra money?
I bought a new Altendorf F-45 in 1989. This was a really solid saw, I still have and use it. It does not have digital readouts but we cut most of our parts with our CNC router, so the saw isn't used like it once was. I do not know anything about the other saws you mention, but I would highly recommend an Altendorf F-45. Stiles Machinery is the Distributor and they are a good company for support.
I paid about $12,500 new, and even today, after 30 years, I could probably sell this saw for $4,000 to $5,000. Good value.
We have a Martin with NC controlled cross cut and rip. It is very accurate and reliable. Before that we had an Altendorf with NC controlled rip fence.
They are both nice saws. I had an issue with Stiles service which caused me to switch.
We have a small SCM to square hardwood panels. It is also a very nice saw for the price. There are no NC controls on it. I would not want to use a "manual" saw as my main saw.
Truth is with the Martin or Altendorf you can't go wrong. I can't speak for the Felder one way or another.
My thinking on a main piece of equipment like that is buy the best you can afford.
Good luck! Enjoy the new saw.
We bought an Altendorf about 18 years ago and it got used most all day everyday up until the day we got our CNC. Now it runs less than 10 minutes a day. Its nice to have for certain things but what would take 3 days to cut on the slider can be done in less than a day on the CNC with dados and shelf holes and all. Like Paul said it was about $12,000 new and we added tiger stop which I wouldn't do without. It will still probably bring $5,000 today. In the time we have had it not a single part has been replaced. The only problem we have was the blade wasn't wanting to raise all of the way (its auto raise and lower and miter) come to find out there was something we were supposed to grease that we didn't know about.
You would be better off buying a cnc router
i'd buy it used.
i purchased a used scmi (mini max) formula s2 ten years ago. we've only replaced a couple of parts, nothing unusual or very expensive, and we use it daily. stays square and runs true. paid $5k for in 2008 and could get $2-4k for it now.
pat's right about a cnc. panel saws like this are much less common vs. cnc's. i'd think you would want to limit your investment in this type of saw, so you can save up for a cnc. this would be work dependent, because solid wood fabrication can be better/faster with traditional equipment vs putting it on a cnc.
I can't comment on Martin as I have never even used one. However I have owned both SCM and Altendorf. I am in Canada so the best bang for your buck in my area is SCM, however I would put after market fences and readouts if I wanted those options, the factory ones are very expensive and not great in quality, and this information came straight from a dealer,
Thanks for the input guy's, Still getting quotes and going to go see a Martin at the show room next week! Interesting thing I found out today is Altendorf is separating from Stiles Machinery and going at it for themselves. Stiles will still service equipment but Altendorf is going to open their own show rooms and sales.
Buy a used Altendorf. I put a Tiger Stop rip fence on mine and bought the digital readout from Stiles for the cross cut fence. Not having to walk around the saw to set the fence is worth the cost.
We bought an SCM Minimax SI 315 about a year ago. Its just a couple steps up from the base model. We got it for about 9k with their year end close out deals, down from roughly 12k.
We went back and forth between it and a comparable unit from Felder.
Its a great saw, but I was a bit disappointed with a few minor things.
The overall finish of some parts leaves some to be desired. The fence and other aluminum extrusions were left sharp on the ends.
The fence doesn't slide as smooth as I'd like, and sometimes jams despite being clean.
The end of the arbor isn't chamfered, so the arbor nut can be difficult to get back on. I cleaned it up a bit with a file.
The fence is raw (not annodized) aluminum. If you run a part with light colored edgebanding on the fence it often leaves what looks like pencil marks.
None of these things are that big of a deal. Still really love it.
If I was doing it again, I would have made more effort to find a way to check out some of the equipment in person. On paper the SCM we bought was better than the Felder we could get for similar money, but I have a feeling I would have been a bit happier with the Felder.
I have an Altendorf F45 I bought 10 years ago. It's a 1996 model that was in perfect condition stored for almost 10 years. I paid 9K, came with factory digitals and a Tiger Stop. That said after I saw my first Altendorf I compared new saws to it and nothing but a Martin came close. I was not impressed with the Italian machines and the high end Felders looked nice but I would consider them a high end craftsman saw for furniture, I couldn't see them holding up to having panels thrown at them all day long. If you make it to AWFS you can really see the difference in machines. Even after 10 years I'm still amazed at the engineering in the Altendorf. This is only my opinion, you mileage may vary.
Again guys thanks for the input. I've almost drove myself nut's from reading review's online about all the choices. From what I can see almost every new model saw is a good saw. I have a 1998 Robland now and its seen its better day's to the point it wouldn't be worth jazzing it up with a tiger stop or anything I just use it to break full sheets down and then dial everything in at the table saw.
I'm almost deciding to wait until the woodworking show in Charlotte N.C this year to look at what the venders bring and have to say and offer!
I think if I did buy right now I would buy a base model saw and throw a tiger stop on the rip and crosscut and call it a day!
Martin and Robland are sold by the same dealer rep in Charlotte i'm going to go down in a week and check them out. Altendorf is supposed to be opening a sales location in Charlotte in 2019.
I'm foaming at the mouth to buy , but I don't need 20-30k worth of buyers remorse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I bought an SCM slider 30 years ago. Ran it two sifts a day for 8 years. It still runs true. I don't know how good they are now. The ball bearing guides have been excellent. Check out the guides on the Felder before you buy one. For sure get a powered fence! Wouldn't buy anything needing Stiles support.