Microlux Micromark table saw

Just want to rant here for archival posterity...
Aargh. Warranty ran out a couple weeks ago and this morning the little
guy played dead on me. Ohmmed it all out and the motor appeared open,
Micromark asks $72 + shipping for a replacement motor. Sending the 90+
day old unit in for repair would cost more than the purchase price.
So, I went into the thing to see what I could do before writing it off
as a bad decision and after dismounting everything it started working
again! I suspect there's a thermal circuit breaker device inside the
motor that I'm not supposed to get to since its all crimped together.
I've got mixed reviews about this gadget. Its handy as the dickens and
when I realized I was without it I started thinking about all the stuff
I COULDN'T do with my hacksaw and big jigsaw. I've become attached to it.
On the other side, the cheesy little blade that comes with it isn't
worth a shirt for much other than balsa wood. I wore out the first
blade in short order and bought a second one. $12.95 hit. Micromark
wants $10 to ship one (and wouldn't bend) but I found a source that
shipped for like 2.95.
I proceeded to eat up the second blade cutting fibreglass PCB or
Garolite or something.
But, I was able to kinda resharpen both of them with a Dremel tool.
True to form, I dulled the blade again cutting PCB. When will I
actually READ the ad schpiel?!?
They make a carbide blade for this thing that can really cut brass, PCB,
etc. $34fuggin95. For a 2" rotary blade! Geezus. I guess I'm gonna
buy one if the machine stays running and I can find a place that will
ship outside the 48 states..although both scenarios seem scarce. The
machine is worthless for my ersatz uses without such blade.
I dunno about this toy. Its an addictive machine for the type of stuff
I'm doing and I hate becoming attached to it. Nice little unit but
instead of thinking $119 the prospective buyer should plan for something
like $200 with an extra blade, shipping.
Its a 29.95 tool aimed at a market that might be willing to fork over
$119 like I did. Its still a 29.95 gadget tool quality-wise.
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Interesting review. But I wouldn't have dreamed of cutting PCBs with something like this (especially the glass/epoxy ones). Carbide is the only thing that won't dull in an instant while machining glas/epoxy.
And I sure hope that you are wearing some sort of mask. Glass/epoxy or phenolic dust is really nasty on your lungs!
Also, this saw wasn't ment to cut this type of materials. So, I'm sure that the dust will do a number on all the bearings (as I'm sure they aren't really sealed).
Reply to
Peter W.
I don't want to hear it, try $100 or more for a top end carbide blade for a real tablesaw.
Reply to
Of course you're right with all your comments although I really don't look good in a hazmat suit while eating pickles and sawing balsa. Pickles are HaZardous for your health, ya know. And those suits really make a sweaty mess of a guy.
One really must put things into perspective. My perspective is how the vendor keeps on raking my wallet....yours is how dangerous the unit is and how I am a typical idiot user.
Hmmm Ok. Are we disagreeing yet? We're on different wavelengths but we remain in the same band.
I won't be recommending the saw for anything other than 1/8 balsa, and for that its a coup. Feel free to expound on the other hazards resulting from inept use. I think I sufficiently proved the error case dollar-wise so there's no dispute from my side.
Have a pickle, Pete.
Reply to
What do you consider "top end"? Dewalt not a good brand? I found a 12" 32 teeth Carbide blade for $47.99 and a 10" 32 teeth Carbide blade for $42.99 at Ace Hardware. Mike
Reply to
Mike G.
Freud (not the line available at Home Depot, Lowes or Ace but the higher quality line available mail order or at cabinetmaker's supply houses), Forrest, The System, etc......32 tooth blades are for ripping, I'm talking 10" 80-120 tooth blades for precision cuts here. I often rip with a 32 or 36 tooth blade then change to an 80 tooth and rip just less than a kerf width off each edge and get finish or glue ready edges....I'd have to use a jointer or a plane otherwise. The drawback is very hard tight grained woods like hard maple can cut you deeply after cutting with blades like that, even 90 degree edges are almost razor sharp. Of the three brands Freud is generally the least expensive and good enough for most users.
DeWalt works just fine on the jobsite for general construction but doesn't cut it for furniture or cabinet work. I also get tearout free cuts in plywood without using a zero clearance throat plate with the better blades.
Reply to
I've got a contrary review. I bought the Microlux high-end saw with the tilting table and variable speed motor. Costs about $350. Some problems, but lots of good solutions. I build wooden ship models, so the cost of buying pre-cut lumber the sizes I wanted rapidly paid for the saw. I researched this very thoroughly before I bought. My research showed that all these little saws are overpriced (like expensive table saws) and all have problems. Look at it as buying a kit and you won't be dissatisfied. A full-sized table saw, (even my little 7.5" saw) is useless because you can't rip 1/16" strips out of a 1/32" sheet with it, no matter how sharp and how many teeth you have on the blade. I've made lots of noteworthy improvements though.
1. First was to make a new rip fence. Everyone knows that the rip fences on even high-end table saws suck big time. Took me a day of mostly milling work to create a very accurate high fence. Also made a cross-cut table.
2. I abused it by ripping very heavy hardwood stock (e.g., 1" thick ebony). Burned out the drive belt and drive cog in no time. Bought replacements from Micro-lux. Very good service, albeit, expensive. Had to take the motor apart and machine the stripped cog off the armature. Didn't want to come off even with a gear puller. Made some small changes to the set up to make belt and cog replacement easier. Burned out another belt and cog, so I went on the internet and located a source of better belts and drive cogs at about 1/3 the Micromark price. Now that I have several sets of spare cogs and belts, I probably won't need to do this again. Also, I have a bigger table saw now for the heavy-duty cutting. But I still have no problem ripping through 3/4" walnut and making 1/16" thick strips. For ebony and African bloodwood, though, I use the "big" (7.5") table saw. A real bargain. An old Craftsman table saw from about 1930 or so. Cast iron, 7.5" blade, but the best part is that there is an adjustment for everything, including spindle play, so it was easy to tweak it up to ultra precision (for a table saw). Had to improve the fence, of course, and rig up a vaccum port, new plates, etc. I use a high-end Freud blade, of course. No trouble cutting up to 2.25" thick slices down to 1/16" thick with no need to finish sand them.
3. The blades are so-so. The micro-curf blade from Micro-Mark wears out too quickly and the carbides are really marginal. And very expensive. Solution. I machined various arbor adapters out of brass, so I now can mount any blade: 10mm, 1/2", 15mm, 3/4", 1" .. and whatever I may need in the future. Replacement carbide blades typically run about $10.00 from many vendors .. but you need an adaptor arbor for most of them.
4. I lucked into a huge assortment of slitting saws some time back ... from 0.010 to 0.125" . Some with up to 300 teeth. All 3.5" under. Using these are great for really thin stuff and also much better than using a dado blade, which is a royal pain to adjust. I also use some very thin milling cutters, turning the saw into a poor-man's micro-jointer.
5. Makita makes some nice 3.5" 40 tooth blades with a narrow kerf. Bought a couple of these for 50 cents at the flea market, still in the shrink pack. Much better than the blade Micro-lux sells.
6. Made my own zero clearance plates .. very useful for the thin stuff. Also several different kinds of (better) feather boards.
7. Closed the air intake and redid the vacuum port at the back (it works now) and put in an adapter so that I can hook it to the shop vac. The way it was, all that the vacuum did was direct the chips away from the motor, but didn't do anything about the sawdust all over the place.
8. With metal cutting blades, a good fence, the motor is variable speed...this had become an indispensible little too for me. Well worth the price.
Reply to
Boris Beizer
Ok, I see. I went to Ace Hardware's web site and found the ones I told you about there. Freud blades were listed too. But I did not find the 80 to 120 tooth blades listed at all, just the coarser ones, not in carbide that is. I did find them in the, I guess you'd say "plain steel", though. MG
Reply to
Mike G.
High speed steel, initially very sharp but terrible at holding an edge compared to carbide. Some high end blades like hollow ground planers are high speed steel of neccessity due to blade geometry.
Be aware Freud makes 2 or 3 lines of blades depending on selling outlet and end use.
Reply to
Hey, I like Polish Half-Sour Dills! :-)
You are welcome to inhale all the fiberglass/epoxy dust you want. I'm a fairly carefree guy too, but there are some things I just wouldn't do.
But I was more worried about the health of the saw's bearings - not yours. Ground up fiberglass is quite abrasive.
And while I don't own that saw, from your review I would agree that it is not a heavy-duty machine.
Reply to
Peter W.

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