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Powermatic PM2000 5hp tablesaw

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Review by hickeymad posted 04-17-2012 08:59 PM 5139 views 0 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Powermatic PM2000 5hp tablesaw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Splurged on the new table saw a few months ago and wanted to post a quick review to help others out there make a wise decision if they are in the market as well. I have no photo so instead you all get to admire my beautiful 2-year old daughter Caitlin. She is happier than am I about the machine by the looks of her.

Saw arrived in two packages. The heaviest of which was REALLY heavy. It took 5 guys to muscle this thing into my basement and I’m pretty sure it is never going to leave that spot now that its down there. No issues with packaging or delivery other than a clueless, ill-equipped and less-than helpful delivery truck driver.

I’ve got a few bones to pick with Powermatic about this machine itself however. For the chunk of change I paid for this thing I was expecting a better thought out design and a few more features. For instance, when you have the blade tilted near 45 degrees, the hand wheel to raise and lower the blade is very hard to turn without bruising your knuckles on the bottom of the table. Poor design. Also, the dust collection on the machine is pretty poor (even with a dedicated 3hp collector). Dust gets trapped in the trunion gears – an issue that I’m sure will cause problems with blade tilt in the future. The riving knife holder is also subject to clogging with sawdust and has to be cleaned out bore installing the knife every time – again; poor design. Also, the motor takes FOREVER to come to a stop when you turn the blade off – wasting me time and thus money. If you attempt to restart the machine before the blade has nearly stopped, the motor makes a horrid sound and won’t power the blade. Also, the saw comes with a cord that barely reaches the ground – way too short.

All said, I wish I’d ponied up the extra $1000 and bought the sawstop. It is a much better design on all accounts (iv’e hads a chance to use several at Gary Rogowskis shop here in Portland). Powermatic seems to be banking on their reputation from the years when they were american made as well as slick product placement/advertising in the woodworking trade journals. For the money you shill out, you would think that you’d be getting a machine better designed. My advice; pony up the extra cash and get the sawstop -not only will the blade-break possibly save your fingers, but their machines are better designed and built. Don’t be a fool like me and try to save a little cash!




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hickeymad

152 posts in 1758 days



45 comments so far

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1922 days


#1 posted 04-17-2012 09:07 PM

She doesn’t LOOK to be 50”.

You sure about that spec ??

;-)

-- -- Neil

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PCM

133 posts in 1793 days


#2 posted 04-18-2012 01:44 AM

I’m sorry to you regret your purchase. However, your candor is helpful. As for the Saw Stop, I have owned mine for 4 years and have no regrets. I highly recommend it. To Saw Stop’s credit, when they came out with an improved dust collection system it was made available to previous owners. I can definitely vouch for it. Virtually no dust is left in the cabinet and when used with the blade guard lets very little dust get away outside. Additionally, the newer guard is a significantly improved guard. I have also found Saw Stop’s customer service superb.

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Woodmaster1

533 posts in 1335 days


#3 posted 04-18-2012 01:55 AM

From the sound of your review I am glad I bought the 5hp unisaw. I have no problems at all and I love the up front controls.

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Dusty56

11684 posts in 2436 days


#4 posted 04-18-2012 03:37 AM

”I was expecting a better thought out design and a few more features.”
So you’re saying that you made a major tool purchase without checking it out first , or reading any reviews , but you know all about the SawStop , but bought something else instead ???
What other features were you looking for ? Have you contacted PM about the “excessive” length of time it takes for the blade to stop ? What are you cutting that needs 5HP ? 1phase or 3phase ?
Your review reads like a wannabe tool gloat gone bad. 2 stars ?
Please tell us what convinced you to buy this saw.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdR6rID6-dc

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

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AHuxley

208 posts in 2069 days


#5 posted 04-18-2012 07:05 AM

OK I think you have 4 complaints.

One the handwheel, that truely depends on your physical makeup and how you happen to address the wheel with your hand, I am 6’ 180lb and wear a large glove so quite average and don’t find the wheel to be any issue but ergonomics are different for everyone, I don’t see it as a flaw but if a majority of users have the issue it certainly would be, however you are the first I have herad complain about it.

Second, dust capture. I am almost certain there is something wrong with either the saw or your DC, I own both a PM2000 and an ICS and if anything the PM beats the ICS in under table dust capture (the ICS leaves a pile in the cabinet after a full day of ripping). The PM2000 was the first NA cabinet saw to really address dust capture and it and the SS models are almost always singled out for their superior dust control. I would go through everything to make sure the volume and velocity of the air is not being hindered, it is possible if you are using a ZCI and the motor cover is sealing better than it should there is not enough air moving through the cabinet, this is the least likely senario but the also the least likely for most people to catch.

Third, the cord length. I have a shop full of machines and I can’t think of any of them that came with a full length cord and plug, most of them cost more than the PM2000. Since I hardwire most of my machines it wasn’t even an issue for me but that is a complaint that almost all quality 240v machines will have to endure.

Fourth, long motor rundown. This one I am really lost on, low friction and high enertia are what causes this, both of which tend to be hallmarks of a quality machine and good bearings. Without a motor brake or some mechanical brake this is the case with all high quality table saws, the SS does tend to rundown quicker but due to the extra complexity of the braking assembly it has more friction (I am not saying this is a bad thing just the nature of the beast). I understand your reasoning but good bearings and heavy reciprocating components are always going to do this, would you have preferred cheap high friction bearings and lighter duty parts? If by chance you have a 3 phase saw you could always add a VFD and use it to brake the motor (have soft start too if you like).

I am sorry you aren’t happy with your machine, I know how gutting that is. I will reiterate to go through the dust collection systems from blade to filters/bags since unless you have unresonable expectations there is something amiss since the PM is as good as any cabinet saw when it comes to DC.

PS I had to smile at “blade-break” since it is blade brake BUT when it fires it is often a blade-break as well.

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hickeymad

152 posts in 1758 days


#6 posted 04-18-2012 08:05 AM

Yes I checked the reviews before purchasing (of course). The reason I bought the PM200 was in fact due to the number of positive reviews. Perhaps I have higher standards than do many. I feel that for $3000 I ought to be able to buy a saw that is damm near perfect. Maybe I’m crazy, But then again, after having used the sawstop machines I feel justified in saying that they offer a much better machine for a bit more money (and this ignores the whole safety issue).

I have large hands, it’s true. I’m guessing that the issue of blade tilt causing interference while raising the blade is something others have experienced regardless of their hand size. The fact that it has not been brought up is probably more an issue with lower expectations. Like I said, I’m picky – for $3000 i’d prefer not to have a saw designed to skin my knuckles every time I make a 45 degree cut. Also For $3000 I would expect a blade brake. Waiting 15 seconds for my blade to stop after hitting the off button is just unacceptable. Also, supplying machines with inadaquate cords and claiming it is ok because it is industry standard is a just plain cop-out. It is such a trivial expense for a manufacturer, but can make a big difference in customer satisfaction. Why don’t companies get this? It’s like the Ford F-150 I bought last year. Great truck, but there is a rattle caused by something in the brake/gas pedal adjustment that no one seems able to fix that is absolutely driving me nuts every time I drive the thing. I am an inch away from selling a $35,000 rig because of a poorly designed $2.00 part somewhere.

With regards to dust collection – everything appears to be in order. I’ve checked it over as has a technician from the company from whom I’ve bought the saw. I still need to clean out the saw by hand every week or so. Its not so much the fact that I need to manually clean out the saw every week or so as much as the fact that dust combines with the grease on the blade tilt mechanism (trunions?) to create a gloppy mess that seems bound to hinder the mechanism eventually. It is very difficult to clean this mess out as there is very little room to get a finger or brush into the mechanism. Seems to me like a design flaw, but I may very well be wrong about interference over time. We’ll see…

What I’m basically saying is that I’d prefer it if PM took a portion of thier huge marketing budget and instead gave us the best saw possible. Now that they have real competition PM seems to have made the choice to spend their energy whining about their competition instead of offering consumers a better product for their money. Yeah, 2 stars. If an honest review bothers the company that much they are welcome to come by, take back their machine, give me a refund (with which I’ll buy a superior product), and I promise I’ll praise their customer service till the cows come home. Until that happens I’ll use the democratic nature of the internet to ensure other consumers out there are not suckered into making the same mistake I’ve made.

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helluvawreck

16033 posts in 1614 days


#7 posted 04-18-2012 01:04 PM

I must say that I love my PM2000. I can’t think of a single thing that I’m unhappy about. I will say this, I might have purchased a Sawstop since I’m 61 and after a lifetime of hard work I’m probably more apt to make a bad safety mistake than I was in my younger days; however, I simply couldn’t afford the difference in cost. Another thing about cost: when I made up my mind to get the PM2000 I shopped long and hard for the right place to buy it. I didn’t pay near as much for mine as most people do and delivery was free by 2 men with a lift gate. I didn’t have to lift my finger.

helluvawreck
https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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lj61673

234 posts in 1147 days


#8 posted 04-18-2012 02:03 PM

Also For $3000 I would expect a blade brake. Waiting 15 seconds for my blade to stop after hitting the off button is just unacceptable.

What major manufacturer offers a blade brake to slow the motor after shutdown? And, if you paid $3k for yours you overpaid by at least $500. I got mine last year for a shade over $2300 with free delivery and liftgate service.

Also, supplying machines with inadaquate cords and claiming it is ok because it is industry standard is a just plain cop-out.

Again, who does this? This is not some portable Home Depot special, this is a heavy duty commercial grade saw meant to be installed and wired to a single location with a dedicated 220volt supply feed. How can the manufacturer possibly know how far from a power source you are landing your saw? No preparation on your part.

As for the dust collectio, look elswhere for your problem as many other reviewers give this saw high marks for it’s dust collection feature.

Sounds like you did little or no leg work to find out exactly how a saw of this type operates. Making assumptions without research is just ignorance and makes for a uneducated review and makes this one worthless.

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Howie

2656 posts in 1671 days


#9 posted 04-18-2012 02:28 PM

Wow.

-- Life is good.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1441 days


#10 posted 04-18-2012 02:35 PM

I appreciate the review but I plan to purchase this saw over the SawStop. It’s certainly not about saving money; it’s simply about preferring this saw over the competition. I consider this saw’s only competition to be the Unisaw. Having used this saw quite a bit, I’m surprised by the dust collection complaint. Cord length? I have expensive machines with a six inch cord. I guess they figure most people are going to replace the cord anyway. Run down? My bandsaw has a brake; I never use it. A saw that quickly spins to a halt is suspect in my book.
.
I really do appreciate this review and I wished you liked your saw more. Sell it and buy a SawStop if you think you’ll be happier. Simple.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View hickeymad's profile

hickeymad

152 posts in 1758 days


#11 posted 04-18-2012 03:47 PM

Thanks Bertha. I try and be honest about my equipment. There are too many reviews on this site with 5-stars. They do not help consumers out there make wise decisions in the marketplace. Lj61673; declaring a review worthless for everybody smacks of arrogance. Perhaps its worthless to you, but there are a lot of other people on this site who probably appreciate a bit of candor.

With regards to slowing the blade after shut-down; I have a question – does a three-phase motor do this automatically? Perhaps the sawstop machines I’ve used that had this feature braked as part and parcel of their motors. I’ll have to check and see if the sawstop machines I’ve used that have this feature are single or 3-phase. Regardless, it is a very nice feature that improves safety as well as saves time and money for the owner.

Manufacturers could supply a longer cord and save consumers the time, trouble and expense of having to go out and purchase and install one themselves. It’s an easy operation to cut a cord down to the length needed. I think we as consumers should demand more from manufacturers. Especially after they have eliminated American jobs in order to line the pockets of Wall street and wealthy investors.

Why is it that the biggest defenders of the saw have no or next to nothing in terms of projects on this site? Would it be wrong to suspect that there are people paid to defend certain products here and on the net in general? Paranoid? Perhaps…

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1922 days


#12 posted 04-18-2012 03:52 PM

”Manufacturers could supply a longer cord and save consumers the time, trouble and expense of having to go out and purchase and install one themselves. It’s an easy operation to cut a cord down to the length needed. ”

But … how long should the cord be ?

And … what IS the expectation ?

From what I’ve read, it’s pretty common knowledge that the big machines tend to come with very short cords, allowing (yes, forcing) the consumer to get the correct cord for his/her application.

-- -- Neil

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RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1931 days


#13 posted 04-18-2012 03:59 PM

No offense but if you spent $3000.00 on a saw and didn’t actually look at and put your hands on before you shelled out the cash then it sounds to me that you expect a lot from a company but at the same time you didn’t use due diligence in your research. I’ve bought many things on line or mail order but before paying that kind of money I wouldn’t rely only on reviews I read on the internet but actually go to a distributor and insist on touching and manipulating the controls, and look under the hood so to speak. Cord length isn’t really an issue since most people will hard wire a saw of that size unless it’s mobile and in my case I use an extension cord made for the amperage draw. Most shipping companies only deliver items and in the case of heavy items they will not assist you in moving or carrying large or heavy items except to remove it from the truck. It’s your responsibility to arrange for help in moving your merchandise from the drop off point. It’s not that they aren’t wanting to be helpful but by their company policy they are not allowed to due to liability. The grease on the gears is usually removed and then a dry lubricant is applied for that purpose, this should be spelled out in the owners manual during assembly. If you own an air compressor, just blow out the cabinet once a day by turning on the DC and remove the insert plate and blow out the dust and you should be able to keep the build-up from occurring on the rack and pinion gears. Dry lubricant will help keep it from building up. One other thing, don’t cut wet wood as it will act like glue and make it hard to clean out.

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

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lj61673

234 posts in 1147 days


#14 posted 04-18-2012 04:22 PM

Perhaps its worthless to you, but there are a lot of other people on this site who probably appreciate a bit of candor.

Candor, yes. Ignorance, not so much.

Manufacturers could supply a longer cord and save consumers the time, trouble and expense of having to go out and purchase and install one themselves. It’s an easy operation to cut a cord down to the length needed.

How long would that be? Should they check with you first? And should they also supply a plug end? What type receptacle are you using? What is the plug blade configuration? Did you know there were several types??
You comments show absolutely no knowledge of what is involved.

Why is it that the biggest defenders of the saw have no or next to nothing in terms of projects on this site? Would it be wrong to suspect that there are people paid to defend certain products here and on the net in general? Paranoid? Perhaps…

Not so much defending the saw or brand name, more speaking out against ignorance of the product or process.
And how does the number of projects posted equate to general knowledge of a product?
Sounds like another assumption…

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1671 days


#15 posted 04-18-2012 04:50 PM

One other thing, don’t cut wet wood as it will act like glue and make it hard to clean out.
I would also point out sawdust absorbs moisture so if you leave it around for a week it probably will cake up.

-- Life is good.

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