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Thinking of buying a used Craftsman 315.218290

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  • Thinking of buying a used Craftsman 315.218290

    Hello all,

    I am a novice woodworker and interested in purchasing my first table saw. I have been looking at the $300-$500 range Dewalt/Bosch/Delta jobsite saws at the big boxes. But I came across a used 21829 on craigslist near me. Based on the pics, it seems to be in very good shape and owner says it has been barely used. Obviously I will be taking a closer look before buying, but he is willing to let it go for $250 with the rolling stand included. I was not familiar with this model until today and have been reading up on as much as possible, even breezing through most of the FAQ page.

    So, first of all, thanks to everyone here for all the great info on this site!

    This seems like a versatile TS despite the few quirks that some may or may not like. As I said, I am a newbie, I do have some experience in carpentry, but mostly framing. I am looking to do more furniture work, but need a good starter saw.

    Is this a good buy? And are there any really major things to look out for when I go to look at it?

    Thanks in advance for the help!

  • #2
    Hi Welcome to the forum. I have approved your post.
    We used to be largely based on the BT3000/Sears 21829 platform but many of us have gone on their different ways. as the BT3000 platform has not been made in maybe 8 or 10 years now?
    Of course many of have used it and know some of its tricks.
    I still use the BT3000 ca. 1999 as my saw- used it this morning.
    I'm pretty knowledgable as I put together the BT3 FAQ which you said you downloaded; I gleaned the info from 10-15 years of input mostly from this forum and its predecessor in Ryobi, and of course personal experience.

    If you read the FAQ, you know its a pretty close cousin with some differences.

    I think the FAQ covers the quirks fairly evenhandedly; (the motor), some things everyone likes, some things were mixed reviews (SMT)

    If you have any specific questions, please ask, Ask a broad question and you won't get very specific answers.

    My brief summation is that this is not a heavy duty saw, but one that needs care in using but rewards you with accurate cuts. Its for the creative, it won't take all the traditional table saw jigs but it has a lot of attachment points which you can be really creative with.

    As for the price, I would say its not a super bargain but if it in good shape and he has all the pieces*, then its a good buy esp. if the BT3 series fits your needs. You might bargain him down a little.

    * make sure it has the blade wrenches (or at least one if not both - you need either to lock the arbor); make sure it has the SMT and the Rip fence which both come off. Make sure the SMT has the miter fence and all the pieces - knob, orange pointer to the angle, black pivot underneath. Also make sure you get the Aux/Router table. I think on the 21829 it came with a small miter fence for the slots but don't eve use that for sawing, its just for the router.

    Lots of people liked the stand it comes on. The rails are a little longer than the oens for the BT3, but accessories fit it.

    Good luck, let us know how it goes.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 12-27-2016, 03:50 PM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - http://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/dis...sked-questions

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome and thanks for coming to this forum and asking.

      You have some carpentry experience and in general most people are being modest when they say that - in the context you wrote above. The saw above will do framing - for a person who takes care of their equipment and tools diligently. It generally will not do well for someone who is more interested in how fast they can do the job and jostle the saw in the back of a truck and literally drop 2x4s across the top. Having said that, for a person who wants accuracy in cuts and more concerned about doing the job right (this is about attitude), this saw will do well.

      There is another concern here. For some, setting it up is tedious and frustrating. Others, they have no problem. For some it is the technique used and for a few, there are occasional quirks in the mfg process that every saw brand including Unisaws have. I have two of these models. I used to live overseas (Japan) and had one there and one here. The one over there (purchased in the USA - Memphis) stayed true in its settings for a year or more on end. I even moved it in a move for Osaka to Nagoya and checking it with registration squares, everything stayed true without any need for re-setting or re-adjusting. However, the one I bought for use in the USA when I was here for a month or so each year, the Sliding Miter Table (SMT) would not hold its square. With the experience with the first one, I was able to determine that the screws for the sliders on the one used here in the USA - were drilled off center about .05" or so. This caused the SMT to have too much slop that the SMT's adjustment screw could not make up for that.

      I know that there was one other fellow on this forum that had this same problem, but the vast majority of folks did not have that issue.

      I gave one of my BT3x00s to my ceramics-artist son in law and he does great with it and takes care of it like he does with his own equipment. I gave him the better one and I fixed the faults of the other by purchasing a separate SMT from someone here who was parting out their BT3000. Some fellows here found out that by parting out their saw, they could get more money for the parts than for the whole. But it takes work and time.

      One other issue: In general, these saws can be picked up used for $150 - $200. But included extras and extra care can make a machine worth more.

      I keep coming up with "other things". Some people love the SMT and some do not. They prefer miter slots. There is/was a miter slot table available. Some of the fellows have two miter slot tables, and custom built cross cut sled. Me - I like the SMT personally, but do on occasion use a quality miter gauge for some cuts and situations.

      My dad passed in 1996 and left me his Unisaw. It was OK but just too much saw for me, so I sold it. Recognizing what tool is right for one really helps. Some people start off with the BT3x00 series and then realize that they need more. And a few move up because they WANT more but don't really need it.
      Last edited by leehljp; 12-27-2016, 07:21 PM.
      Hank Lee

      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

      Comment


      • LCHIEN
        LCHIEN commented
        Editing a comment
        I think the 21829 is worth a bit more than the BT3000 or BT3100. Maybe because it has a few extra features such as the folding stand, the longer rails, and its newer by a few years.
        Pricing is difficult these days, as the years since it was discontinued, the prices start to diverge all over the place.
        Condition and missing parts vs completeness have a lot to do with the price, as well as the buyers enthusiasm and the sellers urgency.

    • #4
      I really liked my Craftsman 218209. It was a very good saw and the rolling/fold up/ stand it out of the way stand was better than any other mobile tool stand I have ever seen. It is a great saw for a limited space shop. The weaknesses and drawbacks have been mentioned, but one fault that I have noted that wasn't mentioned was the drive belts. They don't last forever so you might budget in replacing them soon. Sears eparts lists them at $42.00, and I'm not sure it's the correct part since I think it uses 2 belts. This could also be a good bargaining chip to get the price down a bit!

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by capncarl View Post
        I really liked my Craftsman 218209. It was a very good saw and the rolling/fold up/ stand it out of the way stand was better than any other mobile tool stand I have ever seen. It is a great saw for a limited space shop. The weaknesses and drawbacks have been mentioned, but one fault that I have noted that wasn't mentioned was the drive belts. They don't last forever so you might budget in replacing them soon. Sears eparts lists them at $42.00, and I'm not sure it's the correct part since I think it uses 2 belts. This could also be a good bargaining chip to get the price down a bit!
        My 1999 BT3000 is still on the original belts. It has been used steadily for weekend and evening projects.
        That's probably because I bought a spare pair some years ago, I'm sure.
        The belts are polyurethane and custom. They will break if you jam the saw blade... it protects the motor and the other mechanical components which are all more costly and fail more spectacularly.
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 12-28-2016, 12:50 AM.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - http://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/dis...sked-questions

        Comment


        • #6
          There are great points above and you'll be hard pressed to find better experts anywhere about these models. Those guys know what they're talking about.

          Myself, on the other hand, well, I'm a hack. I have a BT3100. I do like it, but count me in the group that considers it finicky. I seem to always be adjusting and tinkering with it. I got rid of the SMT. It's awesome when it works, very frustrating when it's off by a hair or two. My woodworking time is limited and I don't want to spend it realigning my saw when I need to use it. Like Hank said though, all saws have issues and all need TLC from time to time.

          If I were to buy a saw in that price range, I'd look at the Ridgid (not the job site one) or the Craftsman version of that one.
          Joe

          Comment


          • #7
            Not to hijack here, but whats the difference in a 218209 and the 315-221850 i just bought? Ive read the faq on this 3 times, but its a bit vague in this area, lol.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Crapsman315 View Post
              Not to hijack here, but whats the difference in a 218209 and the 315-221850 i just bought? Ive read the faq on this 3 times, but its a bit vague in this area, lol.
              I think they got dyslexic they are talking about the 21829(0) saw, (sometimes they use the trailing zero).
              i think the 21829 was the very last Sears BT3 based model in red trim with a nice wheeled folding base. Sold as late as 2012.
              Looking back in my FAQ there was a sears variant called the 22185(0) (315 is just the Ryobi manufacturer prefix.) was a fairly low production based on the BT3000 which was the early Ryobi model. Most of the ones sold were 22811 (a grayish paint scheme) and I don't have details on the difference between the 22811 and the 22185 but they were contemporary so likely quite similar.. So the design of your is probably mid 1990s whereas the 21829 of 2012 vintage had every improvement they made. .

              Read my FAQ.
              Last edited by LCHIEN; 06-29-2017, 03:39 AM.
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - http://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/dis...sked-questions

              Comment

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