Are you going to do more than one remodel project that involves cutting wood? If yes, for the love of making your life easier, buy a table saw — perhaps a few other things that cut as well.
Learn from the amount of suck I have endured at the behest of frugality. We have remodeled two homes, built a boat load of furniture, modified cabinets, built 3 custom fireplace surrounds, 500+ feet of cedar fencing, and more — I did it all with guides, clamps, and free hand. This saved us about $300+, but it wasn’t worth the suck! You don’t need the best of the best, but they will pay for themselves over on your projects.
Our advice: Buy the following:
- A quality table saw (so it cuts square). I like the Dewalt DW 745.
- A worm drive rip saw will tear through nearly anything, but unless you’re cutting a lot of wet wood or framing a house, a circular saw will save you about $100+. My Rigid Circular Saw has cut through everything in its way – including building a fence in March in Seattle (very wet wood). I did get myself Diablo blades – a 24 tooth blade (for ripping).
- An average miter saw, I have the Dewalt 10-inch with a backup 80 tooth blade for finish work. I found this saw was large enough for most projects I was working on. There were times I would have preferred a larger saw, but made do with my circular saw or a “lucky” double-cut. If you’re going to be cutting very large crown then consider a bigger saw.
- A sawsall (reciprocating saw) for demo – Had a lot of luck with a Hitachi 12 amp and they’re cheaper than Milwaukee, Dewalt, etc.
- a cheapo oscillating saw – my Chicago Electric is about $50-150 cheaper than others and trust me, I’ve cut just about anything and everything – these are fantastic for cutting drywall.
- And for good measure – chainsaws are fun, especially when reducing an old fence to ruin. I just have a baby Echo 14-inch because I have a good neighbor with a bigger saw when needed.
Happy cutting – make sure you have eye/ear/digit protection. And if you buy online – try this trick with ebates!