Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Craftsman 28330 Walking Tour

I was bumming around near a Sears store over the weekend and decided to pop in to see if they had a 28330 model table saw set up on the floor. With all of my research about this saw (and the Ridgid r4512 and Steel City 35990), I had still never actually seen one in person. I’m amazed that there are so few photographs available on the web. It’s like the companies are trying to keep this saw hush-hush. When you go to the company websites, they only offer a photo from the front of the saw and it’s too far away to see much detail. Well, there was a 28330 set up and so I surreptitiously took out my phone camera and snapped a few photos from different angles.

I was curious about what the back and the sides of the saw looked like. I knew that the motor was enclosed, but didn’t know where the dust port was located. So here is my little walking tour around this saw. Granted, the saw was set up as a floor model and so I’m sure no time was spent trying to adjust anything. It was just happy to actually be able to go hands-on with it.

The first thing I noticed, when I tried to push the saw and nudge it around a little, was that it didn’t budge at all. It felt very solid. The table wings, while being stamped steel, seemed heavy-duty enough. Despite pushing down on it fairly hard, I couldn’t get it to bend or flex. If they were adjusted to be flat with the main cast iron table, I’m sure they would be perfectly adequate. They were marked up quite a bit, and if that’s what they look like after only mild handling in the store, I’m sure they would look pretty awful with even moderate work in the shop. One of the first things I would do is give them a good coat of wax.

The blade-raising wheel worked really well. The movement felt great. The lock mechanism was also very good and I couldn't budge the wheel after I locked it down. Now, the tilt mechanism was a different story. The movement was great, but the lock barely worked at all. Again, this is a floor model, so I’m sure with adequate set-up, it would work fine. I was very impressed with the fence. I moved it around a bit, lined it up with the outer edge of the right miter slot and clamped it down. The back of the fence didn’t move at all. It stayed perfectly aligned to the miter slot. And when I pressed on it with my fingers, I couldn’t get it to move with moderate force. That bodes very well. The caster system didn’t seem to be totally installed, so I couldn’t really test it out.

The final thing I looked at was the blade guard and riving knife system. They were very poorly installed (as you can see), so it was hard to judge them at all. I don’t know enough about riving knives to know how rigid they are supposed to be. I could move it with light pressure, but I don’t know if that’s how it is supposed to be or just how this one was due to sloppy set up. I assume it is supposed to be fairly rigid.

This saw is being offered for $549 at Sears. There wasn’t a store manager around (a good thing, because he would have probably called security), but I will contact them to see if they knock prices down for floor models. Sears has lots of sales and special offers, so I’ll keep an ear out. Hmmm…

1 Comment:

Kerry D said...

Thanks for the "sneak" peak.