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Porter-Cable 10" Job Site Saw PCB220TS

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Review by bobdobbs posted 1559 days ago 36701 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Porter-Cable 10" Job Site Saw PCB220TS Porter-Cable 10" Job Site Saw PCB220TS Porter-Cable 10" Job Site Saw PCB220TS Click the pictures to enlarge them

Thanks to Laffayette Jack, for having one of the only reviews anywhere on this saw.

I was in the situation of having my old craftsman portable die mid-project. I was never very happy with that saw anyway, so I started looking at craigslist for real saws and just stopped by Lowes to see what they had for prices. Being surprised to see the Porter Cable saws (both PCB220TS $299 and PCB270TS $599) as well as all of the other Porter Cable tools that I’ve never seen (Planers, Jointers, Scroll Saws, drill presses, band saws…) I was kind of concerned that they bought or were bought by another company and just had the PC name put on another low end piece of… equipment. If you’ve looked, you’ll know there really is NOT a lot of information to go on, so y’all be glad to hear that I was very happy last weekend when I went and made the purchase.

I’ll give a short review first because I am far from an expert and have limited experience using many different saws. then I’ll ramble for as long as you’d like to read:

Pros: Standard 3/4” miter slot, SEPERATE blade angle and blade height adjustments (and the angle has a locking mechanism), cuts a very clean edge…PRICE$

Cons: Extruded aluminum fence that needs better anti-stick/easier slide solution, the blade insert is not (what i find) to be standard and more importantly, is made out of sheet metal and flexes with too much force.

Firstly, keep in mind that this saw was $299, where the next similar saw (price wise) is the rigid that you can get at HD for $499, then you get into the $600 plus range, where at that price I start trying how to figure out how I can keep the car, motorcycle, 3 bikes and whatnot in the garage as well as getting a contractors saw with a cast iron table and a real fence. The collapsible rolling stand seemed pretty sturdy, but after I finished modifying my saw cabinet (see pictures) that got folded up and will go into storage just in case). The stand was pretty easy to put together and I was able to figure out the bags (why would the manual call them bag A, B, etc… but not label the bags?? – my assumption: so we can feel like we’re really smart when we figure out which is which.) I did fully assemble the whole thing including the riving/anti-kickback/blade guard, and it was intuitive enough that the only thing that i really had to read the manual for was inserting the riving knife into the saw (hint: you have to unscrew the locking nut THEN push it in!). I like it when it’s intuitive.

So anyhow, the saw is put together but it wont fit my cart which is the basis of my compact shop so i got to make my first cut. The blade was well aligned out of the box so I was pretty happy not to have to fuss around with that. I cut a piece of 3/4” shop birch ply and ended up with a very broad smile because, (with my 60 tooth blade) it cut clean, straight and quiet. (quieter than the 3 year old craftsman). I did some quick cuts on some 1/2” Padauk and Purple heart (just to see) and both cut cleanly and again straight. I did find that the fence needed to be aligned a bit, but I’ve developed the habit of hitting it with the speed square before cutting anyway, so no big deal for me.

The next day I cut dadoes, rabbets and tenons as well as crosscuts and a few rips, all on purpleheart of the 3/4” variety. I have to say again that my only experience with a table saw since high school (1983) has been the craftsman that benchtop that is now going for $189, so I may be a bit over awed. I was extremely happt that using the miter gage for a quick crosscut actually gave me a clean cut as well as a good right angle cut. The miter gage moved smoothly and with very little play. I cant see how you can get any tighter with an aluminum slot). With the stacked dado setup (at about 1/2”) I was annoyed to find that the blade insert didn’t come close to fitting. Other than that, the cuts were clean (more pictures) and although slow, not too difficult.

All in all I’m happy with the saw and the only thing I’ve found so far that I don’t like are 1 major and 1 minor issue. Frst the minor issue. At the back of fence there is a wedge that runs along a channel that is parallel to the locking mechanism, the problem the problem is there is a little piece of plastic that is (was) stuck to the bottom of the fence to make it smoother. That little piece of plastic doesnt stick very well. I plan on cleaning the glue off and use some UHMW slick tape.

The second and much bigger problem, is the blade insert. It is not the standard rounded rectangle, and it is 1/8” or less steel that snaps in wit a locking clip. The first issue I had was that is was slightly bent down, so i was catching the back edge during cuts. That was easy enough to bend back into place but then i found that the thing actually flexes if you’re pushing down too hard and when making cuts that are in that range (about 2 1/4” to the right of the blade). The only fix I have for that is to get used to not always cutting from the right. Also, the damnable thing wont fit when my dado stack is installed…agaon, have to get used to cutting from the left of the blade in these situations or figure out how to make an insert for that situation.

All in all, I’m very happy with the saw and look forward to making a jig or 2 that I can make to overcome the blade insert issues… as well as that crosscut sled I’ve always wanted.

cheers,

Mark (AKA bobdobbs)

more pictures at:
http://s870.photobucket.com/albums/ab262/bobdobbs1965/

-- If I had some ham, I could make some ham and eggs...if I had some eggs.




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bobdobbs

7 posts in 1837 days



19 comments so far

View ColonelK0rn's profile

ColonelK0rn

13 posts in 1566 days


#1 posted 1556 days ago

Good information to have. I see you’ve got the same CMT stacking dado set that I picked up last week. Man, that set sure is worth the money. I just have one gripe with it though: one of the outer blades is slightly higher than the other, so there’s a small groove cut just about 1/64 deeper than the other side, so the cut looks like cat ears. i.e. |^—-|. Kind of an exaggeration.

-- Common sense is not common practice.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2271 days


#2 posted 1555 days ago

Your description sounds like my old Delta tabletop saw…..insert and fence issues. Those inserts should be outlawed !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2745 days


#3 posted 1454 days ago

Nice write up on the Porter-Cable table saw. I bought the same one a few months back. Besides the minor issue with the little plastic piece on the fence, it has been a good saw. True, the table is not as big as a contractor saw, but it works well except for large plywood pieces.

I also liked that it was in align right out of the box. I did go through the steps to check everything as in the instructions, and each time no adjustment was needed.

The riving knife is definitely a nice touch and works great. I leave the blade guard on, but took off the pawls as they sometimes make it tough to work on smaller stock.

The cart works nicely, and was not difficult to assemble. I like that it rolls out of the way when not in use.

Overall, I am quite pleased with it as well, and would probably rate it a 4 star like you did.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2420 posts in 1675 days


#4 posted 1450 days ago

I am trying to decided between the Dewalt job site table saw, and this one that you are talking about. One of the main reasons I want to go with Dewalt is their fence setup is unbelievable, and incredibly accurate. Problem with it is is that its $370, doesnt come with a stand, can’t use dado blades, and the blade raising/tilting are the same mechanism – which i believe is harder to get accurate.

anyways just wondering how the saw is still doing? are the “major/minor” issues still a big problem or are you working around it? I really want to get into fine woodworking – like humidors, etc. So i want a very accurate saw – is this the one??? Thanks – this will help me greatly in decided. Great review as well

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View bobdobbs's profile

bobdobbs

7 posts in 1837 days


#5 posted 1448 days ago

dakremer,
I’m still standing by my positive review. The power and accuracy are what I can work with (I think i wouldn’t be so happy if I had the space or $$ for a real cabinet saw) and it’s real easy to set up. My first choice was the Dewalt but the way the fence works is what stopped me. I was not only worried about jigs, but also it wasn’t going to work with my cart (although I ended up having to modify the cart anyway) because of the way the fence is attached to the extension table and the whole thing moves for the adjustments. Aside from that, I had talked to a few people on jobsites about the DeWalt and they all had good things to say about it. As you can see, i don’t use the stand that came with the PC saw so that’s not an issue. I do use a dado stack and get up to 1/2” with that and it’s not too bad to set up. All in all, in my opinion, the porter cable still has the bang for the buck.
HTH
Mark

-- If I had some ham, I could make some ham and eggs...if I had some eggs.

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

940 posts in 1448 days


#6 posted 1448 days ago

Hi Mark

Looks like you have a nice setup there. What I was wondering is about the insert, would it be easy to make a zero clearance insert out of something like MDF or plywood for this saw or is the construction out of sheet metal too restricting to replacement inserts?

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2256 days


#7 posted 1448 days ago

Thanks for the review.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View bobdobbs's profile

bobdobbs

7 posts in 1837 days


#8 posted 1448 days ago

Pat,
I’m not sure it would be easy. I have to admit, i had a plan to make one out of 1/2” ply, and had the idea in my head, but i got laid off from work, then had throat surgery and the blank still sits there. It looks like a little router work is in order, but I’m pretty sure it can be done pretty effectively. I just got a job (pending background check which should be no problem) so I can stop stressing about money and get back to what’s important. I’ll be sure to post pictures when I get it done.
cheers

BW,
No problem for the review. When I first got it, I couldn’t find any reviews. Somebody had to do it.

-- If I had some ham, I could make some ham and eggs...if I had some eggs.

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

940 posts in 1448 days


#9 posted 1448 days ago

Awesome, I am definitely getting this saw. Off to the post office to get my 10% off coupon from Lowes in the moving pack.

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2745 days


#10 posted 1448 days ago

I still like my table saw, after using it for several months. Nothing really has changed, but its been a good working saw.

Dakremer, I would say if you want to do fine woodworking you will eventually want a good solid table saw. The portables will never been quite as good as the cabinet saws. But, as you read through lots of postings, everyone has opinions about table saws. Also, most people will upgrade their saw along the way. If you have the money and space, buy a cabinet saw to start with. If not, buy a good quality saw and start working with it and upgrade when you can.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Fencerider's profile

Fencerider

3 posts in 1260 days


#11 posted 1260 days ago

Mark is a sweet set up you have for your worktools. That cart helped me pull the trigger on getting my son-in-law this saw. I had been concerned that the increasing tools would simply overtake his garage with freestanding Saws and such. But your pictures instantly led me to the solution you have already in place. He can have all his toys and room too if he plans it out right. I have forwarded you link to him so he knows how to start getting his tools to a place of their own and ready at a moment’s notice to go to work. Thanks again for the review and the pics.

-- Bob, Alpharetta, GA I just need more time. And the ability to use it would be nice

View SamSpade's profile

SamSpade

1 post in 1256 days


#12 posted 1256 days ago

I would be weary of this saw…...for now. It is actually made by a company called Rexon. They have made many of Porter Cable’s table top tools over the years. Porter Cable does NOT sell this tool and does NOT sell parts for it. The only way a company can obtain these saws to sell is to purchase an entire container (about 250) of them directly from Rexon. Of course, Home Depot and Lows can cover a container just supplying one state’s worth of stores. Porter Cable is hoping to be able to sell these saws (and other tools made by Rexon) direct to suppliers later this year. It may also be tough, depending on your local repair shop’s ability to get parts and buying power, to have these repaired. This will be a good price point saw and may be a good upgrade to a Craftsmen saw but I do not see it holding up on job sites or in a busy shop. Porter Cable is known for their sanders and routers being top notch tools but not so much with anything else. Since Black & Decker’s purchase by Stanley Bostitch last year the Delta/Porter Cable line has taken some hits and has been twisted in strange ways. Good luck out there.

View GIJoe's profile

GIJoe

1 post in 1251 days


#13 posted 1251 days ago

Hey, did u ever figure out a way around that stupid insert? I just got one and I didn’t realize how dangerous the damn thing is.

View NicktheStick's profile

NicktheStick

1 post in 1232 days


#14 posted 1232 days ago

Is there any information about the blade guard insert outside of the installation instruction booklet?

It seems so flimsy and if there were kick back, would fly right out. The slot of the blade guard is smaller than the center pin which doesn’t allow the guard to sit right in the housing since it seems like it should insert deeper in the housing. Plus it’s a finger tight knob so it can only be so tight…...

View WillMat's profile

WillMat

7 posts in 823 days


#15 posted 823 days ago

I just purchased this saw, and am surprised by the quality, but there are a few problems. I agree with everything that bobdobbs said, but what I found problems with are listed below.

The insert, as several have commented on, is a bad design, however, one can be made for it, that just doesn’t encircle the entire blade. The insert only needs to encircle the front of the blade, or the front teeth, to stop tear-out anyhow, so an L-shaped insert can be fitted into the saw. Another problem though, is that the material for the insert has to be thin to fit the table recess.

The major problem that I found, was the blade to table alignment. The manual shows it is adjustable, but it is not, or on my new model, it is not. The manual shows two set screws on either side of the trunion bracket at the front of the saw, to adjust the trunion laterally, and to align the blade with the miter slot. My saw does not have this, and I have read that somebody else found the same on their saw.

On my saw, the trunnion pins go into tapered bearing blocks, which fit into tapered sockets, that are cast into the table at either end. There are no latteral adjustment screws to align them with. The only way to align these, would be to place a shim on one side of the tapered block, to nudge the trunnion around for alignment. I checked my blade, and it was 0.010” off, and the rear of the blade was over closer to the fence, which would bind the work between the blade, and a straight fence. I am now having to try to remedy this.

Now, the good news is, that the design is really beefy for this type of saw. The trunnion and the motor mount/gear box are alumunum castings. The lift rods, and lift screw is steel, along with an all steel tilt mechanism. The only thing plastic, around the trunnion unit, is the front cover for the trunnion, that makes it usable with a vacuum.

The base, though plastic, is thick and tough.

The table is a heavy aluminum casting, with 3/4” T-slot type miter slots. The miter gauge is a little loose fitting, but most are.

This saw has a nice riving knife, with a split guard. Mine works wonderfully in that regard, but the button to take the guard on and off is hard to depress. The anti-kickback pawls have some pretty severe teeth, and any kickback will result in them digging into the work, but then again, they are supposed to. I didn’t find any problem with installing the riving knife, nor guard, and they worked correctly. The only problem is, when you lift the guard, it will not lift high enough to stay upright, and you have to hold it up in order to align the work to the blade.

To me, this is one of the safest saws of this type out there, and from the quality of it, it made the Skil, and even the DeWalt saws that were sitting beside it, look really bad in comparrison. Plus, the DeWalt was way more expensive.

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