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good deal? Delta Contractor's 34-444

ehrichweiss's picture

I came across a Delta Contractor's Saw Model #34-444 for sale.  I only have a bench-top TS right now and would really like to get a contractor's saw.  The price is 300 bucks and apparently the saw is 6-7 years old.  The HTC mobile base is included and I'm not sure what kind of fence that is (if its standard or what).

Would you please tell me what you know about this saw and whether you think 300 is a high, fair, or low price for what I would be getting.  I'm new to this wonderful world of woodworking and would appreciate any comments about this saw and whether you (as experts) think I should buy it.  I've been searching auctions for that excellent deal on a TS, but have yet to find one that is in good shape and at a good price and want to know if this saw is the one for me.

I have read much about the different saws and Delta is the one I will eventually buy.


ehrichweiss's picture

(post #96718, reply #1 of 18)

I forgot to add a pic or two, so here you go.

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forestgirl's picture

(post #96718, reply #2 of 18)

If it's sound mechanically, the table's flat and the fence performs as expected, that should be a good price.  My impression is that the saw originally sold for around $600.

Note -- your pics are toooooooo big for us dial-up access people.  With a little editing and practice in resizing and compression, you should be able to get any photo down to 50kb or less in size.

Let us know if you get the saw!  ("Sound mechanically" -- it will tune-up and hold its settings of blade and fence parallel to miter slot, stops set at 90* and 45*, arbor not bent or otherwise running out, motor fires up full speed and goes.  Stuff like that.)

forestgirl Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>)  you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

ehrichweiss's picture

(post #96718, reply #4 of 18)

Sorry for the big pictures.  Here are some smaller ones FG.  Thank you both for your advice.  Does anyone else have any comments regarding this saw?  Should I hold out for one with cast iron wings and possibly a better fence?

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Robbie's picture

(post #96718, reply #5 of 18)

If you look on e-bay, you may be able to find something similar for 50 to 100 less, but the time and shipping factor may render that worthless.  All in all, if the saw is in good mechanical shape, it will not be a bad deal, but try for $250.

The things you will want are a better fence (Check out Biesemeyer's website for scratch and dent) and an extension table to the right.  Also, make or buy a zero clearance insert for around the blade.  Both will make a world of difference.

I also owned this saw.  Put on a Biesemeyer and a heavier duty HTC stand.  I sold it in nearly perfect condition for $500 and put the money towards a Unisaw.

forestgirl's picture

(post #96718, reply #7 of 18)

Good job on the pics, thanks!  I'd agree that $250 would be more like it in terms of price.  If you're really limited on budget and eager to get going, that saw would be fine, IMO.  The fence would be the biggest drawback from my perspective.  Take a look at the AccuSquare by MuleCab -- it's a very affordable aftermarket fence that gets great reviews from owners who have retrofitted older saws: 

forestgirl Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>)  you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

forestgirl's picture

(post #96718, reply #8 of 18)

I forgot, one thing to do before you bargain would be to go to Home Depot or Lowe's and see what that "level" of Delta saw sells for these days (make sure you're looking at one with a belt-drive, not direct-drive, motor).  The price point may give you some leverage.

forestgirl Another proud member of the  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>)  you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

dustmight's picture

(post #96718, reply #9 of 18)

That saw should do what you need it to do, and if you can pick it up for $250, you won't lose anything. That said, if your budget allows, something with cast wings and a Biese type fence would be the cat's meow. The fence on that particular Delta looked a bit dated. Griz has the new G0444Z for $525 plus $75 s/h, General Intl has the 50-175M1 or 50-185M1 for $650....very nice. Both sport 2HP motors, Biese fence, cast iron miter gauges, dust collection pan, and solid cast iron wings.

Good luck.

ehrichweiss's picture

(post #96718, reply #11 of 18)

Again, thank you all for your advice/comments.

My thoughts:  it would be a nice saw to have and would be better than what i have now (delta benchtop) but there are some things that the saw doesn't have that would add additional cost to the purchase.  I think I would like cast iron wings and a better fence for sure.  I think I'm going to pass on this deal.  Again, thx.

ChipTam's picture

(post #96718, reply #14 of 18)

Where is the saw located?  I might be interested if you're going to pass on it.


ehrichweiss's picture

(post #96718, reply #17 of 18)

The saw is located in Pekin, IL. 

GILL's picture

(post #96718, reply #18 of 18)

I have the same saw in Streator, for sale for $270.   Mine is a little older with painted sides on the fence, not aluminum.  I built a wooden wheeled base that is wider than the one in the pic's.  Let me know if you are interested.



Mackwood's picture

(post #96718, reply #16 of 18)

Echo Forest Girl's comment on the "Accusquare" fence.  I just finished setting one up on the old "Unisaw" I mentioned previously.  It is a really stout, basically designed fence with no frills but good solid components and excellent provision for attaching "stuff" ("T" slots on both sides and the top of the fence).  Really a nice piece of equipment and I'm pretty sure it was under $200.00 U.S. or very close to it for the 50" model.  Nice instructions also.



"Close enough for government work=measured with a micrometer, marked with chalk and cut with an axe"

dirtstirrer's picture

(post #96718, reply #3 of 18)

Welcome to woodworking, I agree, it is a blast.  My first tablesaw was a Delta contracter, so I'm a little biased in Delta's favor.  That being said, I think you can do better. 

First, I think that saw is older then you think.  I've hated the stamped extensions I've used, they seem flimsy.  They work, but, cast is better.  It adds weight which makes a better saw.  You can clamp feather boards without worrying about warping cast iron, and cast just looks better.  If you use sheet goods, you're going to wish you had a bigger table.   The fence will work, but you can do better. 

Now for the good points.  It is a Delta, so resale when you upgrade is OK, because Delta has a well earned reputation.

If I was you I'd hold out for a brand name used contracter saw, with cast iron extensions, and at least a 30" Biesmeyer or Unifence style fence.  You'll get a heavier (smoother running) saw with enough capacity to tackle most things.  Oh, and personally, I'm not a huge fan of TS's on mobile bases.  Unless you have to move your saw for the wife to park her car, a moving saw seems like a bad idea.  What if you forget to lock it down, lean forward while ripping a long board, and your saw takes off with you leaning on it?  Yikes.

I sold my first tablesaw to upgrade to a huge Jet cabinet saw.  It was a Delta contracter, 2yrs old, 30" Biesmeyer fence, and 1 1/2 hp, and I got $500.  Be patient, there is a heck of a deal right around the corner.


Sancho's picture

(post #96718, reply #6 of 18)

I ahve a delta contractors saw it does all that i need it to do. I appears to have the old style delta fence which IMO needed something to be desired. 300 bucks isnt really a bad price. But Like someone else said i would look for one with a better fence or talk him down about 75-125 bucks and buy a fence for it. A decent fence is gonna run ya about 200-250 or more depending on what you want. You can also find used fences fairly cheap also.



Estamos ganando detrás el estado de Calif. Derrotando a un #### a la vez. DESEA VIVO LA REVOLUCIÓN

emerckx's picture

(post #96718, reply #10 of 18)

I used that saw for years and made oodles of stuff with it. I replaced the fence with a VEGA pro and put a PALS alignment system on it. The original fence drove me nuts. It would mysteriously, and unexplainably go out of alignment. Once I replaced the fence, it was really a very nice setup. I eventually upgraded to a Unisaw with a Biesemeyer fence. I actually like the Vega fence better. $300 is a little high, but not much. I don't know what a new one would cost, or if they even make that model anymore. Though I got a lot of good use from the saw, in hindsight, I wish I had just paid the extra for a cabinet saw in the first place. I think I paid $750 for the saw, then $300 or so for the fence. I paid $1299 for the Unisaw.


fdampier5's picture

(post #96718, reply #12 of 18)

Just my experiance..

    My Delta was a nightmare! I was so happy to buy it and so glad to get rid of it that I literaly gave it away!  My nephew has it and he got it free! 

  I've had a lot of trouble with other Delta stuff so I know that their quality is hurtin'   

Robbie's picture

(post #96718, reply #13 of 18)

Contrary experience on my side, Frenchy.  Own quite a bit of Delta machinery.  In the few instances where it has not been up to my expectations, Delta VERY quickly took care of it.  But for the most part, I have been extremely happy with all / most Delta / Porter Cable machinery purchases.  Find their quality very good and their service after the sale unparallelled.

Mackwood's picture

(post #96718, reply #15 of 18)

I agree with "hold out" unless you're in a big hurry.  Less than two years ago I bought a good, used, operationally sound "Unisaw" for $225.  It is over 50 years old but that only makes it better, not worse.  It could have been cleaned, tuned and used in a matter of hours.  Keep looking!



"Close enough for government work=measured with a micrometer, marked with chalk and cut with an axe"