A table saw is one of the best all-around pieces of electric woodworking equipment that you can own.
Whether you are a beginner or expert-level woodworker, a table saw is practically a necessity for your projects – that said, since this equipment is so valuable and long-lasting, it can get expensive.
Buying a used table saw is a great way to get this equipment without having to spend away your entire life savings. Although it can be somewhat risky when buying used woodworking equipment, as long as you follow this guide you will be set up for success.
Here’s everything you need to know about how-to buy a used table saw for cheap.
Where to Buy Used Table Saws for Sale
There are quite a few places where you can find used table saws for sale.
In our opinion, Craigslist is the best place to find used table saws.
Although it depends where you live (some areas/cities/states/countries use Craigslist more than others) this is where you can find great deals on used equipment, like a table saw.
Chances are you have ventured onto Craigslist at one time or another – maybe you’ve even bought items in the past. Whatever the case, if you are looking to buy a used table saw then this is where to do it.
All you need to do is go to the ‘For Sale’ section of Craiglist and search for relevant terms, such as ‘saw’ or ‘table saw’. Then, you can view pictures and listings of various table saws, their price, descriptions, etc.
Every listing will have some form of contact information that you can use to reach out to the seller – from there, you can negotiate prices, ask questions, etc.
Always be sure to be safe when meeting up in person for physical transactions.
Facebook Marketplace is a lesser-known alternative to Craigslist but is just as useful for purchasing used woodworking equipment.
All you need to do is go to Facebook Marketplace (through Facebook, obviously) and you can search for items in your area.
A benefit of using this option is that Facebook Marketplace allows users to set up alerts; this means that, for example, you can set alerts for ‘table saw’ so that whenever a new listing is posted that includes the words ‘table saw’, you will be alerted.
Items on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace go fast and change constantly, so this alert option is incredibly valuable when buying any used item.
Many people know Amazon as the #1 destination for online shopping, but few realize that it also includes used items for sale.
Now, these used items on Amazon are usually much smaller than a table saw – you might not be able to get the table saw you want (if you want a larger one) or, if you find one, you might now want to pay the expensive shipping costs… it’s truly up to you.
In our opinion, when it comes to buying a used table saw, Amazon should be the last resort if you ‘strike out’ with the other options.
eBay is great not only for online purchases but for local pickup purchases as well.
Simply go to eBay and look for Table Saws in your area; contact different sellers in order to ask questions and negotiate prices.
This is a big one that is commonly overlooked when buying used equipment.
If you have any physical stores in your area that either sell woodworking equipment or (and this is a little-known secret) use saws in their business operations, call and ask if they have any used table saws for sale!
Even if they don’t sell saws, shops will sometimes have machinery they use but don’t need anymore and they may be interested in selling it to you.
What’s the harm in asking?
Once you’ve found a used table saw that you’re interested in, now you need to know how to negotiate a good deal.
How to Negotiate a Good Deal on a Table Saw
Negotiating is a skill that can be taught and learned, although it usually just comes with practice. The more you negotiate, haggle, and purchase used items on the market, the better you will be at negotiating the costs down and understanding the basic strategy for getting the lowest price possible for your used item.
Whatever the case, even if you’ve never bought a used item or piece of woodworking equipment before, here are some general tips to help you on your way to paying the lowest amount of money possible without losing the deal:
Know The Market Value of the Table Saw
This is very important – if you have no basic guideline as to how much the table saw you are buying is worth, how can you even start with negotiating a good deal?
Hopefully, up until this point, you’ve done some research on the model of table saw you are negotiating; assuming the seller’s price is less than the market value of the table saw, then you can start haggling the price down.
You will want to consider two things when deciding how far down to go with your price negotiation:
- how old is the table saw, and
- how ‘used’ it is.
Only when you know the market value of the table saw you are interested in buying, you can then consider how much the table saw might be worth now depending on how old and how used it is.
Do Not Buy From Stores
Instead of buying from a shop, buy your used table saw from a private individual.
This is not mandatory – you can certainly find great deals on used table saws from shops that simply no longer have use for it anymore. That said, you are much more likely to get a better price for a used table saw from a person than a business.
Think about it… a shop that carries table saws (available for purchase or just for business operations) has employee wages to pay, rent, inventory, and other operating costs – this is why buying online is typically cheaper than purchasing from a brick and mortar store, because the ‘middle-man’ is cut out and the product is sold directly to the consumer, with no physical location or employees being necessary.
So, when you are buying from a shop, their price will likely be higher because their expenses are higher – not only will they probably do this purposefully, but subconsciously they are also used to pricing items higher to make their money back.
When you buy used items directly from an individual instead of a shop, you are skipping these overhead costs and can negotiate a better deal for yourself.
Carry Cash On You
This is a fantastic ‘tip’ to getting a better deal.
Consider this: you are negotiating the price of a table saw and you offer $300, to which the seller says no. You then say I can give you $300 cash right now, take it or leave it.
That is a powerful strategy right there – by having the cash ready at that moment, you are creating urgency for the seller by basically dangling the opportunity of getting cash right that minute.
As human beings, we always crave instant gratification.
Turning down instant cash is difficult for many, so by simply carrying cash (as opposed to paying via cheque or online, or waiting to visit an ATM), you can get a better deal on your used table saw.
Shop around as much as you can.
This has many advantages, the main one being you can get an idea as to how much you should be paying for a used table saw. By seeing multiple table saws for sale you are not only giving yourself options to buy but also giving yourself leverage to use against sellers to negotiate a better deal.
Think about it; if you are speaking to a table saw seller and they offer you a price, and you can say that you have a different option and it is much cheaper, then the seller is more likely to sell at a lower price because he (at this moment) does not have the leverage you have.
The thought of missing out on a sale to someone else is not appealing to anyone, so make sure to let it be known that you’ve looked at other table saws at better prices.
You can even start a negotiation this way: “I’m going to buy this used table saw from this man for $200, but I still wanted to talk to you to see if you would sell your table saw any lower than that price?“
Let the seller quote their price, then offer valid reasons as to why that price is too high.
This is a classic technique for negotiating that can be used for any type of deal, ranging from buying a used car down to buying a used table saw.
Any table saw you go to look at is probably not perfect (otherwise, why are they selling it in the first place?) So, use any and all downsides of the table saw you are looking at against the seller.
Let’s say it is five years old, for example; wait for the seller to quote their price, then say something along the lines of, “That price seems a bit high considering [enter your reason as to why the price is high, such as ‘the table saw is five years old, I was hoping for a newer one or a better price for this one]”.
Use all the downsides of the used table saw to your advantage in order to get a better price.
Forget Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty is useless when purchasing used equipment.
Many woodworkers are loyal to specific brands and make of their equipment – this is perfectly okay and allows us the peace of mind knowing that what we are purchasing is worth our money due to our past experiences with the company.
That said, when you are buying used, you may want to eliminate brand loyalty.
If you are shopping for used table saws then there will likely be only a limited amount of available options… if you only decide to purchase one brand specifically, then you are limiting your options even further.
More than that, you are also setting yourself up to get a bad deal – the fewer options you have, the less leverage you have, and the more likely you are to settle for an expensive price and negotiate poorly.
By forgetting brand loyalty you will have a more successful time buying a used table saw.
Patience Is A Virtue
This is a simple mindset technique that everyone knows but seems to forget in a time of negotiation.
Naturally, when we want something, we want it NOW – this is bad for negotiation.
There won’t always be a good deal on the market, and it might very well be worth it to wait for that perfect deal to come along; also, if you are negotiating prices and you can’t seem to get the price you want, don’t be afraid to give it a couple of days before agreeing.
By doing that, you are showing sellers that you are not desperate and are risking them the possibility of not selling to you at all – oftentimes, they will call YOU and offer you a better price without you having to do anything.
Now that you know some basic negotiation strategies, let’s discuss what you should look for in a used table saw.
What to Look for in a Used Table Saw
Before you seal-the-deal on a used table saw, make sure you know what to look for:
- external condition (make sure that the table saw looks relatively clean and maintained – although rust and patina can be removed fairly easily, it is a general sign of neglect and can mean the saw wasn’t stored as well as it could have been).
- pulleys and belts condition (these are parts that can be replaced if damaged or missing, but it might affect how much you should be paying for your table saw so don’t forget to evaluate the condition of the pulleys and belts).
- a solid fence (is the fence square and precise? Does the saw come without a fence? Be sure to check this part out as well in order to determine how much you should be paying for your used table saw and whether or not you want it at all).
Buying a table saw is one of the best decisions you’ll make throughout your woodworking career – do your research and make sure you are making a wise investment because if you do, your table saw can last you a very long time and result in a wide array of new projects and experiences.