The New Delta Unisaw Roundup: Video + Pics + First Response from Woodworkers

Update 1/15/09: see Why The New Unisaw Is A Great Saw in WoodNet >> A great write up by a well respected member of WoodNet.

Also see An Inside Look at Delta’s Tennessee Unisaw Plant from the Popular Woodworking Blog.

>> Video: Exclusive First Look at the New Delta Unisaw (from FineWoodworking)

See First Look: The New Delta Unisaw write up from FWW >>

>> Photos of the New Delta Unisaw:
First Photos of the New Delta Unisaw (from Popular Woodworking)

See more pics of the New Delta Unisaw (from Popular Woodworking) >>

>>UPDATE: Tom Hintz “Pre-Review”
I’m a big fan of Tom Hintz’s site http://www.NewWoodworker.com and I believe he strives to be fair in all of his tool reviews. He checked out the new Unisaw at the IWF show and had this to say over at WoodNet: “I had big hopes when I heard a new US-made uni was coming but was really dissappointed afer seeing it up close at IWF today. The fence is Beismeyer in name only. It looks like a knockoff you would find in a big box store. The blade guard is really cheesy and looks very much like so jobsite saw guards. If you like lots of handwheels, I guess the front makes sense. It seems to me that they are trying to fix a problem that isn’t there. I can live with a handwheel on the side in fact I think it is easier to use there anyway. I wonder about the linkage inside that operates the tilt. (Didn’t see inside for that) The angle dial/gauge on the front is fluff. I think most of us use a good gauge when the angle is important anyway.
I thought we had a good one coming here but it sure doesn’t look like it to me.

To be fair to Unisaw, that may not have been a full production model they had on the floor… though you’d think they’d put a decent fence and blade guard on it, right? Also, as a poster says later on in the thread, “It is interesting how you can draw conclusions on the new Unisaw without having fed a single inch of wood through it.”

>> Editorial Coverage/Reactions:
Glen D. Huey in First Photos of the New Delta Unisaw (Popular Woodworking)

“So what’s new about this completely re-engineered and re-designed saw? Here we go. There is a unique one-piece cast-iron trunnion that allows the beveling and blade-height controls to be positioned on the front of the saw. No longer will you have to reach around to the side of the machine to adjust the bevel setting and the bevel gauge is also positioned on the saw’s front and is centered to make adjustments (accurate to 1/2º) easy. Also the blade tilt can be fine-tuned from the cabinet’s front using a large hex-head screw so you won’t have to climb inside the cabinet. But if you did want to gain access, a door is also located front and center, too.

The new design has an enlarged table surface in front of the blade to increase support and control as you begin a cut, while a true riving knife is positioned behind the blade. To make use a bit more effortless, the team at Delta added a tool-free arbor lock and a one-piece washer and nut combination to secure the sawblade. Additionally, the dust-collection is stepped up with two ports pulling from the cabinet and blade at the same time.

(Glen wrote about the coming of the New Unisaw in June’s Goodbye Old Unisaw)
Glen D. Huey in First Photos of the New Delta Unisaw (Popular Woodworking)

First Look: The New Delta Unisaw (FineWoodworking’s Roland Johnson)

“The new Unisaw is a complete redesign and reengineering of this venerable woodworking icon and it now has a true riving knife that stays close to the blade throughout the blade’s travel. Toolless adjustment allows the riving knife to be adjusted for through cuts or slot cutting.

Three left-tilting models will be offered; two 3HP models with 36- or 52-in. rip capacity and a single 5HP model with a 52-in. rip capacity. The saw will be made and assembled in Tennessee and powered by American-made Marathon motors.”

First Look: The New Delta Unisaw (FineWoodworking’s Roland Johnson)

>> Response from the Woodworking Community…
Woodworker Community Reaction Trends I Spotted:
Where’s the blade stop system?: 9
Riving Knife!!!: 6
Glad it’s made in USA!: 5
All left tilt?: 3
Looks Like the SawStop clone: 2
No way in he** I hate B&D: 1

Unoffical New Unisaw review
Quote from btle310: “I went to IWF today and got to play with the New Unisaw. The guys at the Delta booth were some of the nicest and most helpful at the entire show. On to the saw
It is solid! They have 2 versions a 30” and 50”. They said they will be available in stores by Feb 2009 and the 30” will be around $2500 while the 50” is $3000.”

New Delta Unisaw? (Woodnet)
Consensus: Solid, logical inquiries into the reasoning behind the innovations. Best thread for intelligent speculations. Funny.
Quote from loosetoe: Pro: “Front mount stop adjustment – the ability to adjust the 90 and 45 stops without having to climb in the cabinet is wonderful. Steel city has this, but it is through the top. Still this is a feature that I like. Granted, it is not something you do often, but this is a feature I like. PM and sawstop do not have it.”
Con: “SHOW ME THE TRUNION – after talking about the new 1 piece trunion, one would think they would show it. This would be one of my primary decision points if i were looking to buy. I would like to see what this new trunion looks like and if it looks more substantial (albeit different) that the current one. The trunions on the Steel city, sawstop and PM make the current Unisaw’s cast iron look downright flimsy, imo. Moreover, what does he mean by a one piece trunion. I can’t imagine how that would work. I just want to see it, please.”

New Unisaw pics (Sawmill Creek)
Consensus: Excited about it overall.
Quote from Jim Becker: “The dual dust collection port setup is also a nice idea, clearing a hood around the blade as well as the cabinet. Of course, using that capability along with a good overarm guard collection point ups the anty for the dust collection system if you want to fully realize the capability.

The revamped trunnion is also nice, putting both of those wheels on the front. That makes for more flexibility for folks who want to do storage under the extension table.”

The New Delta “Made in the USA” Unisaw (Sawmill Creek)
Consensus: B&D, owners of the Delta brand, have a tough row to hoe proving that they will consistently strive for excellence…
Quote from Steve Reeves: “Everything they seem to touch turns to crap within a few years.”

Drool…. Drool… Drool… the All New Unisaw (LumberJocks)
Consensus: Excited + SawStop Clone?
Quote from PurpLev: “I will be in the market for a more powerful saw in the (not too far) future -and to this moment I couldn’t find anything that “wowed” me – but this new Unisaw sure did! This one is definitely on my list- just a matter of price and time.”

New Unisaw? (Family Woodworking)
Consensus: Not blown away.
Quote from Jim DeLaney: “Interesting that they’re only making it in left tilt models, after being ‘right tilt only’ for about 70 of the 80 years they made the older model.”

First Look: The New Delta Unisaw (Comments in FWW Editor’s Blog)
Consensus: Where is the blade stop system???? (Then backlash from folks who promote safety habits over safety technology…)
Quote from Claus Fjord Christensen: “One huge disappointment is that they have not included instant stop. I consider this an essential safety device on any saw, now that the technology is available. Think of how many fingers that would save.”

Quote from Mapdude: “All you people whining about Saw Stop. How did the world get along with out it for so many years?”

If you find/spot anymore coverage please comment this thread or send me an email: GFrench@ToolCrib.com… and enjoy the wait until 2009 when the new Unisaw ships ;)

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6 Responses to The New Delta Unisaw Roundup: Video + Pics + First Response from Woodworkers

  1. You’re kidding right? Everybody wants a 1947 Unisaw because of the beefy cast iron and American build quality. So what does Delta do? They parade this cheap imposter out and try to convince the public that it’s worth $2000 -$3000? I’m sorry but I wasn’t born yesterday. We won’t be fooled into thinking that this cheap looking substitute is anywhere near quality. Let Delta experiment with their own money…They’ve made enough off of us!

  2. Rod Sheridan says:

    I was pleased to see that Delta has decided to make most of the new UniSaw in the USA.

    As a Canadian owner of a General 650 with an Excalibur overarm guard, I understand the attraction of being able to purchase something “home grown”.

    Aside from the country of origin however, the new saw falls far short of anything I would consider. Face it, there aren’t any cabinet saws that are in the 21st century, including SawStop.

    If I were to buy a new saw it would have;

    - sliding table
    - blade brake
    - riving knife
    - overarm guard with dust collection
    - ability to accept a dado cutter (not necessarily a stacked cutter)

    The Felder/Hammer/MinMax etc, come closest, SawStop second, and the typical cabinet saw a very distant third.

    It was dissapointing to see Delta squander a great oportunity on another obsolete saw platform.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that the SawStop is the first truly innovative secondary safety device produced, too bad they didn’t put it on a European style slider, instead of an old tired platform.

    Regards, Rod

  3. Vernon Trevathan says:

    I examined the new Delta saw today as well as the SawStop. Both are good, extremely sturdy saws, but with the features in the Delta I would definitely choose it over anything else in the market. I’ve been hurt several times with kickback, but never (yet) by actual blade contact. The Delta riving knife and anti-kickback system is so good that one would be much more likely to actually use it. There are a number of details on the Delta that are really great. I didn’t see anything about the Delta that could be called “cheap”.

  4. TommyP says:

    SAWSTOP=foreign made with foreign materials by non-wood working way under paid foreigners who could care less what it is they’re putting together! As much as I thought the SAWSTOP technology eliminated all other choices in saws for me, when I went to buy and found out it was not made in the USA or or other country where the company still makes products with quality and pride of ownership i.e. USA ITALY GERMANY etc., Sawstop was quickly marked off my list. I think you’ll find that products that are made with quality in mind, in todays market are made in countries and by people I.e. Companies, that have pride in what they’re making, and the same interests that the consumer who is buying the product has. For example a company that makes woodworking tools,with employees that are actually interested in woodworking. This can be applied to just about any product you might be in the market for. Companies like SAWSTOP care first about PROFITS , quality will always be secondary with companies that employ the lowest cost employees. Don’t let these types of companies lie to you about why they are ‘forced’ to manufacture in these foreign countries. They’re not charging you less because they’re paying less! They just make more on each second rate product they sell. A $3000.00 saw can be made by people that are be paid a wage that enables them to have a decent life also. With plenty of profit for the company.

  5. mike says:

    Hats off to Delta for making their new saw in the USA. It has to be more expensive for them to produce the saw here and I hope consumers support Delta for maintaining a production facility here.

    -Mike

  6. Phillip says:

    Glad to see something made in the usa , this is my next saw

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