Reply by NathanAllen

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Posted on Which table saw to buy - Steel City 35990c or Porter Cable PCB270TS

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376 posts in 3171 days

#1 posted 03-08-2011 05:47 PM

Here a distinction mostly missing from power-tool discussions; Brand does not equal manufacturer

Steel City, Delta, GI, Craftsman, Jet, DeWalt, Grizzly and others are brands that purchase from a manufacturer; similar to a private/White label but without an exclusivity agreement.

As far as I know the only truly unique private label arangement is with SawStop; based on an exclusive manufacturing agreement tied to the technology.

The Steel City 35990c looks like the successor to the Granite top 3/4 to full cabinet SC, Ridgid, Craftsman, GI model that is fairly well respected for a budget saw. I’m assuming the fence, trunions, motor, and gear assembly are similar if not identical; all of them very functional; if not in the same category as a full cabinet saw.

The PC is the sucessor to the Hitachi brand saw sold by Lowes without much success for several years. It’s an okay saw; however, there are some limitations immediatly evident. Even if you wanted to upgrade to cast wings to throw some weight over the saw they simply aren’t available. The fence is custom and may not be exchangable for after-market models, etc.

I’d suggest a good look at Grizzly’s offerings to compare to the SC Saw and Sears/Home Depot version of their new contractor saw to compare against the PC. Set two tiers; $600-$800 or $400-$500. Depending on how long you want to use the saw before you upgrade, portability, etc.

And as above; keep an eye on Craigslist for a steal sale. Chicagoland this week very briefly had a PM available for less than $1,000.

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