|Review by Kenshu||posted 10-22-2010 09:53 PM||12248 views||3 times favorited||15 comments|
About a year ago I picked up my first table saw, an older craftsman contractor saw, for about a hundred dollars. I took it home, cleaned it up, replaced the blade with a freud diablo combination blade, and spent a lot of time tuning it. It didnt take me long to figure out that it was underpowered, the fence was terrible and would not stay aligned and the belt pully had a habit of flying off mid cut (even after being replaced). I spent several months dealing with it and finally decided I needed to upgrade.
I spent a lot of time researching and looking and eventually I was torn between the Porter Cable PCB27-TS and the Jet JPS10. The 20% off one item at Lowes coupon that my wife acquired finally helped me make my decision to buy the Porter Cable. I picked up the saw, took it home and started assembling. The machine was well packed but even so I found that the dust collection port had broken off and the mechanism to raise and lower the blade had broken off. I returned the saw and was given another one which I am happy to report was in much better shape.
Assembly took me about 3 hours partly because I took my time and partly because the instructions could have been better. The biggest problem with the instructions was the diagrams outlining the part number did not match what they would reference in the instructions. The diagram used numbers to identify the part but the instructions would reference a letter. It was easy enough to figure out that 1 would equal A and 2 was B but it was still a pain.
After assembling the saw I started aligning the miter slot to the blade but much to my surprise I didnt need to. The blade and the miter slot were in perfect alignment as was the fence to the miter slot. As a result I cant tell you for certain how difficult that would be to fix but the instructions make it look like its not too difficult. The only issue I had with assembly was figuring out how to install the riving knife and the shroud over the blade. Once I had them installed I was pleased to see that the riving knife was perfectly aligned to the blade as well. I swapped the blade that came with the saw for my Freud which was much easier and safer to do than on my craftsman thanks to the arbor lock.
Upon turning the saw on I was surprised at just how different it sounded. It was much quieter than the old saw yet….beefier. Since I had just finished building a new work bench with 3/4 MDF (which often bogged the old saw down) I decided to run a couple of scraps to check the accuracy of the fence. I set the fence to make a 3” cut and ran a piece through it. I couldnt believe how easily the material moved across the surface of the table and was really surprised to feel almost no resistance as the MDF went through the blade. The fence needed about a 1/8” adjustment to set it correctly but the cut was perfectly square. After adjusting the fence I was able to make cuts at any width and the fence never moved and were always the right width.
I have used it quite a bit over the last couple of weeks and I so far I am very pleased with it. It still cuts perfectly aligned and square with the rip fence and I have yet to bog it down even when using the dado blade. The dust collection port connected to a shop vac is a huge improvement over no dust collection at all but I do plan to install a real dust collection system after we move. Perhaps the best thing about this saw is its mobility. Just press a lever with your foot and you can move the saw anywhere you would like. It’s still early to say but at this point it feels like a good quality machine, perhaps not quite as nice as more pricier models but at a retail price of 599.00 I think its pretty good.
-- The second mouse gets the cheese.