Mid-market machine

Things are constantly on the up for the would-be table saw purchaser. Go back only a few years and it would be aluminium extruded tables for the entry and mid-level saws, but cast iron is the expected starting point for many of us now when we look for a table saw.

You can get a lot for your money if you look around, and here Record has gone for a small panel saw aimed at the light trade or higher end of the hobby market and equipped with some good features for around the £1000 mark.

Sliding beam

Most notable is the sliding beam. A desirable feature normally reserved for a top-end saw is to have the beam sitting directly on top of the cabinet, with its edge tracking tightly to the edge of the blade. This style of carriage is designed to be more accurate than those that sit off board, and retain accuracy once setup.

In the basic package you get the sliding beam and basic saw cabinet plus a rear take-off table, but to gain the most from it the additional squaring frame as well as the right-hand extension table are well worth the outlay as they bring full sheet dimensioning into the equation.

Squaring table

The 600 x 405mm squaring tab!e is a fabricated box section sitting on a small outrigger. At its optimum setting it will crosscut to 1230mm, allowing a full sheet to be crosscut, although the overall support for sheet stock isn’t ideal if you have to take a smal! crosscut rip from a full sheet on the squaring frame.

The plus side of that is that the footprint isn’t excessive, so the saw will fit in a small workshop. Without the crosscut fence fitted it. takes up around 2000mm width from the edge of the squaring, frame to the edge of the right-hand extension, but of course you need working room, so with the sliding beam capacity you should be looking closer to 4000mm and beyond to account for its capabilities and capacities.

With the optional right-hand table extension the saw has a ripping capacity of 930mm, or if you opt for the standard package, 610mm. That lower figure still allows economical conversion of sheet stock without taking up any additional room. For safety, there’s a small stabilising foot to keep the saw from tipping, counteracting the overhang of the side tables.

Cutting capabilities

The saw has a 2hp motor, and comes fitted with a 36-tooth TCT blade. Stated capacity of 80mm at 90° and 54mm at 45° are tip of tooth dimensions, so you need to look a little under this to gauge gullet clearance. As part of my testing I ripped some 70mm-deep pine with good results, the saw coping well at a nice and steady feed rate.

The BOO x 80mm deep fence locks solidly on its running rail, and can be altered via two small knobs for ripping solid stock or ply. As tends to be the case, these are not of the best quality! They are also a bit too sma!l to nip up tight or undo if they have bitten tightly.

Likewise, there’s a fine adjuster for the fence that falls into the ‘basic’ category.

A useful addition and it works, but I found it quite stiff to adjust.

However, move to the blade adjustments and both the rise-and-fall and the tilt wheels are super smooth, running on heavy acme-thread worms.

The saw head unit sits within a pair of CNC-machined cast-iron trunnions, which give accuracy as well as aiding the sweet adjustment. The adjustment wheels for these operations are poles apart from the fence ones. These are cast and very well made, and that’s the annoyance for me with a lot of machines and tools — one minute you have excellence, but alongside something contrarily poor.

Mitre fence

This is also evident on the mitre fence for the squaring frame. The fence itself is good, and with the fence at its furthest extension repeat cuts up to 2280 mm can be made. The bracket that Socks the fence to the squaring frame is again poor though, this time little more than a piece of aluminium with a locking bolt. This comes more into play when securing the fence on mitre cuts as there are offset pins to allow the 90° position to be tweaked and act as stops for squaring work.

Again, this clamping bracket works, but a bit more attention to detail to this and on a couple of other points on this saw and I would be ticking boxes across the board.

Making some cuts in melamine-faced board, even with the supplied coarse blade, left the underside very clean with minimal chipping, indicating a stable running action. A finer blade should give increased performance in this area.

Conclusion

Record Power has been striving to hit strategic price points and this saw is again targeting a price and user. It’s a shame that in doing so a couple of areas are cheaply covered when a few pounds here or there would lift it. As with woodworking, no matter how good a thing is, a weakness or poor point is always where your eye hovers the most.

That doesn’t detract from this saw’s ability to do its job though; it’s a great performer, and with the full package gives great scope for panel and solid stock work.

Check with dealers for the latest winter promotions as well Typical price: £1,150.

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