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3 year old Dewalt

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  • 3 year old Dewalt

    I have an opportunity to buy a 3 year old 788 for $200. I have heard bad things about the newer Dewalts. Is the price good enough to buy the saw or are the problems too large to warrant the expense?

    Any opinions?


  • #2
    I brought a type 1 with stand and light for $250. The only issue is that the blade is not centered in the table. There are ways of fixing it. I've read that you can take a file and make the hole bigger or widening the screw slots on the tilt mechanism. Other than that it works fine. I haven't used a type 2, but I've heard it has other issues and then some.

    Does it come with the stand and light? If not, see if you can get the person to lower the price.
    DeWalt DW788 Type 1


    • #3
      If you can give it a try before you buy, it would be worth it. Not all are bad, but that's about the right time frame for the one that gave me so much grief.


      • #4
        In my opinion, the quality problems aren't necessarily universal, nor are they all so severe as to automatically disqualify what may be a good deal. The saw would need to be thoroughly tested before I would buy it, but if you get a good one, then it should serve you quite well.

        A few things to look for;

        Run the saw at all speeds to check for any noises or vibrations. The saw should run quiet & smooth through the entire range of speeds.

        Make sure the table is flat and smooth. Check the angle adjustment to make sure it works properly and the table can be readily squared to the blade, side to side.

        Install a blade and check the blade clamps and tensioning mechanism. Make sure the clamps hold the blade securely. When applying tension, you should feel resistance at around #3 on the tension scale. You shouldn't have to go all the way to #5 to get good tension.

        Does the saw include any extras like a stand, light, footswitch or a Jim Dandy arm lift?

        Make sure the saw cuts evenly, front to back. There is a problem with uneven forward motion with some of these saws and it is serious enough to cause you a lot of headaches if you get stuck with one. To test for this, take a piece of wood at least 3/4" thick or more if possible. Feed one edge into the running blade just enough to make contact. Examine the cut. If the blade made contact at the top and not at the bottom, or vice versa, you have a problem. I would consider walking away at this point. If you are willing to do some modification the blade arms, or perhaps the table mounts, you may be able to adjust for this yourself. I don't think it's terribly difficult, but I've only read about it and it may take a good bit of fussing and trial & error to correct the problem.

        There may be other things to look for as well, but that is what I can think of off the top of my head. I have a DeWalt, Type 2 saw and fortunately it's a good one. Given their recent track record, I hesitate to recommend folks buy a new one, especially sight unseen. But if you are able to put it through it's paces to your satisfaction, then a used saw can be a good purchase. I suggest you peruse Rich Hutcheson's website and familiarize yourself with the DeWalt tune-up section before going to look at the saw. Some of the problems I noted above can be overcome with a little tuning. If there is an issue and you are confident you can correct it, you can use that to your advantage when negotiating price.

        Good luck!
        Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


        • #5
          I own a Type 1 and a Type 2. I would say the Type 2, which I bought new, has over 500 hours on it and is over 10 years old. The only issue I have had is there is a slight high spot on the table. The Type 1 was a recent purchase so it has only a few hours on it. Yes Dewalt has had quality issues especially with the Type 2's but for the price I do not think you can go wrong.
          Creator of fine designer sawdust.


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