I am considering buying a Hammer or Minimax sliding table saw. Any thoughts on these or other european table saws?
Go for it. One thing you might watch for is only some take a dado blade. Once you use one you will consider a cabinet saw only half a saw. Even a 48" crosscut is such a step up. Look at Felder, Rojek, Paolini and there are more small ones as well.
For the mildly curious among us, around how much do these saws cost?
Minimax website lists the SC3 at $5700. The Hammer K3 @ $4500.
The Rojek is a few grand and Kufo makes an entry level slider for a few grand. Much nicer than trying to add a slider on a cabinet saw. Well worth the money in my opinion. Rpelaces a radial arm saw and miter saw for the most part in my experience so that save some money there.
If I could afford it, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
I recently took delivery of a Hammer B3 saw/shaper combo. Their is no comparison between it and a typical cabinet saw, the slider wins by a wide margin. The quality and engineering are outstanding and while it is not in place yet I know it will be a joy to use. I look back and say why didn't I purchase a slider sooner, GO FOR IT. I did look at the Minimax but I liked the Felder/Hammer better.
Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans .
Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans.
When your ship comes in... make sure you are not at the airport.
I am also considering the Hammer. I would be interested in hearing reasons you choose Hammer over MInimax.
Hey retire! I too am retired and have been considering the purchase of a smaller slider as an upgrade to my powermatic 66. I checked them out at the 2005 IWF Woodshow in Las Vegas. Out of all of them I was most impressed with the quality of the Hammer and Laguna. Grizzly now makes a slider also for a decent price but upon closer inspection lacks many of the features that come on the Hammer and Laguna. It's just doesn't appear to have the same quality of craftsmanship either. Not that I have anything against Grizzly, as four of my major tools are from Grizzly and they work well and their customer service is great. I also checked out the Kufo and in comparison to all the others it looked very cheesy and cheap. To be honest, it looked like a piece of junk. The Mini Max was OK but doesn't appear to be as nicely made, and set up, as the Hammer and Laguna. Besides, I'm more interested in the smaller sliders that don't have the swing arms on them that take up too much space in my small shop. The Rojek seemed Ok as well but I didn't like their fence system and their table seemed to small. I understand that they have made some changes in design since last year also. I've also checked these saws out on their websites but there's no substitution for actually seeing these saws in person and even better to get feed back from present owners. So all you sliding table saw owners please give us your feedback, preferably after you've used them for awhile. Just today I watched the DVD on the Laguna TSS table saw, that you can have sent to you from Laguna, and I was pretty impressed. They have a really good blend of the best features on American cabinet saws and European sliders. I believe Laguna must have just upgraded the look of their TSS saw recently as the one shown presently on their website doesn't look like the one pictured in their add in our current issue of Fine Woodworking.I like the look, feel and appearance of quality crafstmanship of the Hammer best so far, but I'm waiting to see the new TSS. I believe the TSS is a little less pricey and may be easier to get parts for. The Hammer salesman at the IWF woodshow told me that if this saw ever broke it would take 6 months to get parts. I'm not wood working as a source of income so I'm not too concerned about this. That's where I'm at in my decision making process right now,so please give us your thoughts. Brownman
Edited 8/17/2006 5:57 am ET by brownman
I have a Hammer K3 saw/shaper. Two things I would like to mention, parts and the excellent Hammer video that is available. Parts do not take 6 month to receive. I did not order the larger rip capacity option and then realized that I wanted the larger full length rip extension table. I ordered it, the hardware and brackets and received them in about a month. I would expect that common parts are stocked in the US. Their are a lot of accesories available and I get them in 2 or 3 days. Also, John Renzzetti does an excellent video of the Hammer in operation. I would highly recommend viewing it if you are new to sliders and combo machines.
Edited 8/17/2006 2:12 pm ET by JerryPacMan
Thanks for your input JerryPacMan. I'll call Hammer and have them send me their DVD. Brownman
The Laguna band saw HD16 and Table saw with slider TSS that I received two weeks ago may be good machines but until Laguna get their story straight regarding the missing and damaged items I guess I'll have to wait.
On a side note their packaging is a joke, the table saw components are shipped in cardboard boxes with a just a light sprinkling of shredded paper for visual effect. Even the boxes are placed around the cabinet and rub a good deal of paint of the steel.
To be fair they do look like serious bits of kit it's just such a shame the company doesn't take care of shipping or customer service at all well. Maybe I'll lighten up when they're running...
The Hammer A3 31 Jointer-Planer also arrived with a missing part,however they were honest about the discrepancy and provided follow up. Plus it came really well packaged.
Sorry about your shipping dilemma Numbernine. Hope you get it all squared away. I feel your pain. I'm a retired UPS driver and there were plenty of times I refused to pick up packages because they were not packed properly. Unfortunately it sounds like Laguna needs to get it's act together in their shipping Dept. Items this large and heavy should always be packed securely in crates and on pallets. Get back to us when you get them all set up and you've used them for awhile. Thanks. Brownman
I couple of points to ponder. I went to Bellingham, WA the other week and looked at the Grizzly slider. It wasn't the same quality as my felder. The ball bearings aren't as nice in the slider and the table felt cheaper (which it was $$). You mentioned not liking the outrigger support. That is not a necessary piece of equipment, but many owners get one as it is a lot of help when crosscutting a sheet of plywood. It's also a simple matter of pulling a couple of pins and removing the frame table. The swing arm has a magnet on the end and it just folds up against the chasis when not needed.
Also, the Hammer/Felder' have aluminum or cast iron extensions that slip into place on the sliding table when you want to use them. You can level them to the table surface. You can also put the extensions on either end of the main saw table (fore or aft) or, like in the case of my euro combo, on either end of the jointer or planer. Felder/Hammer also makes an attachment to add to the side of your other machines (like bandsaw), so that you can put the tables onto those machines.
I've included a picture of my older felder which shows the 12" wide by 20" long aluminum extension off the planer. It also shows the 6" wide by 20" long cast iron extension off the back of the tablesaw.
Hey Rodwolfy, thanks for bringing up the point about the swing arm and table on the sliders being removable or swung out of the way when not needed. I'll definitely consider this point before I purchase as It would be nice to have the extra support when cutting a whole sheet. I was fortunate enough to come across brand new hardware for a saw-trak(SP) panel saw for $20.00, so I was planning on making my own vertical panel saw to cut the full sheets down to size before squaring them up on a slider. Thanks again and keep the info coming all you, small panel slider owners. Brownman
I wound up getting the Felder. What makes it so good is the accessories, all absurdly overpriced, but accurate and effective. The extension piece, the cast iron extensions, the clamp. The Hammer is the budget version. Felder's customer service is terrific. So is MiniMax's by the way. They have fewer accessories than the Felder but I have the bandsaw, and it's amazing, I'm sure the saw is too.
On the downside, the hoses Felder uses in the cabinet for duct collection are of low quality--unacceptable in such an expensive product.
BTW, don't buy the blades from them, they are not good, stick with Amana and Forrest, or Freud if you prefer. You will need to have them custom bored. Forrest does it quickly, Amana more slowly, but their Euro Rip blade is the best ripping blade I've ever used.
Daryl, you say "What makes it so good is the accessories, all absurdly overpriced,". As a matter of interest, how have you come to your conclusion on the price of the accessories?
"Daryl, you say "What makes it so good is the accessories, all absurdly overpriced,".As a matter of interest, how have you come to your conclusion on the price of the accessories?Philip Marcou"
Based on years of experience with woodworking machinery and tools, you can sort of tell when something is insanely espensive and when it is not. They are generally Aigner products, which are very costly. Don't gert me wrong, well made and thought out, but $30 for a piece of wood with 2 magnets is rather high. Have I bought them? Some of them yes. Are they very expensive for what you get? In many cases yes. It;s a great tool, I said it before and I say it again. Their service department is absolutely sensational--they know what they are doing, and it's a pleasure doing business with them. But they charge a lot, even based on what machining costs are.
Daryl, wouldn't it be the case that if anyone else is matching what Felder offer at half the price then the Felder products are overpriced?
Isn't it a bit like the tale of the guy that goes into a yard to buy some wood at $15 a board foot and complains, "It's too expensive, and the yard down the road sells it at half the price."
"Oh, well," the seller responds, "You'd better go down there and buy what they've got then."
To which the purchaser replies, "I would, but they don't have any, haven't for months, and can't get any at a price they'd be willing to sell it at."
Richard Jones Furniture
If I had a dollar for every time I went through that scenario with a customer I could buy a Felder.
Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.~ Denis Diderot
I find it interesting that I am saying this and I bought the stuff. Relative to similar products that are compatible with other products, it is very expensive. Do the products work any better than similar? Hard to say since they are such specialized acccessories. But Felder charges a lot more for an extruded aluminum piece. So does Festool. Once you buy into a system, you are rather stuck with that particular system. Gilette hit on the idea to give away the razor, sell the blades. Ink jet printers are cheap, the cartidges are not. Felder, like MiniMax, like Knapp, and Altendorf and Martin even more so, have huge start up costs, and high maintenance costs. Much of it is the engineering, a lot is the design which is very high level, and a lot is profit. i don't begrudge it, they've earned it. but it is still a lot.
There's the rub isn't it Daryl? You bought into the Felder system knowing the accessories and spares are expensive. Yet there you are with that darned Felder and their prices.
The questions I suppose are:
Do Felder products work, and do they work better than similar less expensive products? Are they more reliable, accurate, quicker to set up, and easier to use than rival systems? Is the Felder spares and repairs system less efficient or more efficent than what rival companies offer?
The problem with these questions is that it's likely that you can't really answer them dispassionately. You've bought into the system and if you need Felder spares or accesories you have to pay their prices-- bits from Delta, Powermatic, Martin, SCMI, etc., don't fit. They're useless for Felder gear.
So, in the end you just have to ask, "Am I happy with what I get from my Felder equipment in terms of performance, reliability, service, repairs, etc.?" If the answer is yes, then every item or accessory is not really expensive. It's just a cost of being in business and you pass this cost on to you clients one way or another.
If you're not in business and still bought into the Felder system, then quite simply you can afford it, and that's your choice. After all, if I was a hobby woodworker, I can use a lot of kit that's cheaper than Felder to do the same thing .
I don't need a Holtey plane to plane wood. I can do that with my Stanley, Record, Clifton and Lie-Nielsen planes, but, if I decide as a professional woodworker that I need the alleged performance of a Holtey plane as it will increase my ability to make a profit on my work, then a Holtey costs what a Holtey costs and that's the end of that. If I'm an amateur woodworker and decide that I must have a Holtey and go and buy one, all it proves is that I can afford the most expensive toys, whether or not I need them. Slainte.
*Edit. None of what I've said is intended as a criticism- merely observations on the way life is.
Edited 8/19/2006 8:14 pm by SgianDubh
Fair comments, and the funny thing is I've made the same comments about Festool. I am technically a pro in that I have sold some things, and have ridiculous prices on the things that have been published--like Felder, why not if you can get it? However, I don't do woodworking as my major source of income.
A tablesaw is a tool that rips, and frankly, my old Unisaw did that as well as the Felder. The X Roll sliding table made it more than that, as does the shaper component. For a pro, time is money, but what people sometimes don't realize is that for an amateur, or a half amateur, or whateve, time is also valuable, since the woodworking is eating into your family time--unless you convince yourself that its just time that would otherwise be with a shrink.
And you are right--Ive seen Frank Klausz use his cleaned up old Stanley planes do as good a job as someone would with a Holtey: I've seen them in use and they are really pretty, but not more so than an old Norris or Spiers--which I have, and just how perfect a shaving do you need?
I went with Felder when the type of woodworking I do--fairly complex curvilnear stuff made such a tool worthwhile for me.
The funny thing is I've given seminars when I suggest, depending on what woodworking you do, to get a great bandsaw and a Festool circular saw and guide. The tablesaw comes later, and then if I'm asked what I have, I have to confess. Felder's cam clamp for the tablesaw is close to $150, and I use it a lot. I could have rigged something up for maybe $20, but the time I would have to put in would not be worth it. However, I will do that with a tenoning jig, since I use it less, so it's worth building.
We could take it a stretch further. I know someone who showed off a Martin saw, which goes for about $25,000. Is it worth it? Well, it was down then, as a piece of plywood fell from where it was leaning, and knocked the fence out of true. Now maybe it runs great, maybe it's quiet, I don't know. But if a $25,000 can be knocked out by an accident that occurs almost every day in every single woodshop, I don't want it. It's like all those old Jag owners who proudly proclaimed their Jaguar was in the shop.
Sorry to run on about this, and I didn't mean it. I answered the thread initially to say that Felder and Hammer was run by a company I liked dealing with, and their stuff was good though expensive.
I saw a guy on the freeway that was causing one of the Seattle bottlenecks on I-5 today. I bet he was more upset about his purchase than you or I. I have a BF6-31 and I'm happy as a clam with it over my old Jet cabinet saw. The slider w/ aluminum extensions is not compareable with any current system on a US saw. An Excaliber is a joke compared with the Felder slider (IMOHO). I couldn't go back for that reason alone. It was worth every penny to me and like you, I make my living at other work and sideline at woodworking for $$.
Now, back to that thing on I-5. I passed a brand new Ferrari (BEAUTIFUL yellow one) that was being loaded up on a flatbed. My wife commented on it as we passed it in our 6 year old van that was probably 1/5 the cost and has never broken down....
A few years ago I had an older laguna X-31 that served me very well. The construction was a touch agricultural in places but nothing I hadn't seen on typical Delta or Powermatic machines. It performed very well and taught me the value of the slider and properly designed riving knife. The only problem I had with it was a burned out jointer/planer motor and Laguna (in the only customer service interaction I had with them) sold me a 'barely used' motor from a floor demo unit for $200 (I think) and shipped it overnight for $14 ! I was pretty impressed.
I sold it when moving to save the fun of humping it around again and then later replaced is with a MiniMax CU300. MM service was excellent; they took a small deposit at the SF area show on the undersanding that it might be a while until I could complete the sale and they kept the price for an entire year despite the US$ exchange collapsing. I was *very* impressed by that part.The CU300 is an excellent machine and is of much higher construction quality than the X31. I did look at Hammer (seemed roughly similar quality to MM but just didn't appeal somehow) and Felder (nice but very much more expensive at the time) and even Rojek (just seemed too much like an old-style skoda setup) but MM won my money.
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