Why should you choose a granite topped table saw, band saw or jointer over one made of cast iron? Well, for one reason granite is flat, and is going to stay flat. If you think about it, granite is a stone that has been curing in the earth for millions of years.
Cast iron is made by remelting pig iron, often along with substantial quantities of scrap iron and scrap steel, and taking various steps to remove undesirable contaminants such as phosphorus and sulfur. -Wikipedia
Once made, cast iron then needs time to cure. You have to wonder, due to deadlines and demands, whether some companies bring cast iron out of the curing process before it is fully set. Granite on the other hand, is just cut from the earth and polished with no change in it’s chemical composition whatsoever.
Classified as a stone, the composition of granite is more stable and less porous than cast iron. Granite does not react with water so it will not rust or corrode like iron does. Granite is also more dense so it is not affected by heat, cold or humidity as much as cast iron is. Granite will not shrink and swell with the weather. It is the polishing of granite that seals the stone, making granite virtually maintenance free. If it gets wet, it gets wet. If cast iron gets wet and is not dried off, it can rust.
Granite is also heavier than cast iron. Using granite on a table top creates more density and weight in the power tool, thereby having an increased dampening affect which results in smoother, cleaner and more accurate cuts. Granite does have one downfall, it is a stone and can chip. But why would you hit your table top with a hammer anyhow, whether it be granite or cast iron?
Steel City Tool Works is the only manufacturer so far to produce granite topped table saws, band saws and jointers. It is the fence on Steel City’s 6″ Deluxe Model 40615G Jointer and the 8″ Deluxe Model 40620G Jointer that is built with granite. Steel City’s Deluxe Bandsaw 50100G has a granite table top and their soon to be delivered 10″ Hybrid Table Saw models (35900G, 35905G, 35910G & 35915G) have been the talk of the woodworking world since they were displayed at SWFS back in July. Steel City has also extended their normal 5 year warranty to 10 years for the granite tops on their products. And the cost of one of Steel City’s Granite Topped power tools is only approximately $50 more which makes them a great value for the professional woodworker.