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Porter Cable Table Saw Model PCB270TS

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Review by SirFatty posted 09-09-2012 03:07 AM 15454 views 1 time favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Porter Cable Table Saw Model PCB270TS Porter Cable Table Saw Model PCB270TS Porter Cable Table Saw Model PCB270TS Click the pictures to enlarge them

Recently, I had ran into a problem with my old Craftsman table saw. I decided to replace it instead of repairing it.

Having used it for a couple weekends and making quite a few cuts, I’ve come to really appreciate this machine. My views might not be fully objective having come from a twenty year old Craftsman, but this new saw is just fantastic. Yes, there are a few shortcomings (which I will detail), but the pros far outweigh the cons.

To begin with, the PCB270TS quick and easy. Now if you are somewhat mechanically challenged, this process will take a bit longer as the instructions are not too fantastic. The key is to be organized: sort out the hardware, and use trays to keep the bits and pieces together.

There are a few (modern) features that make this a far safer table saw than the Craftsman it replaces. Both the height adjustment and blade angle hand wheels are located on the front of the saw, and the bevel indicator is located on the surface of the table. And there is the riving knife. Having this device installed prevents the ripped lumber from pinching and binding the blade. Another major safety item is the dust port that can attached to a shop vac. It doesn’t get all the sawdust, but the vacuum does capture a large portion, especially the finer dust that floats around (and ends up in the lungs).

The integrated casters make it quite easy to move around, but a fair amount of control is required to raise and lower the saw. If not careful when the saw is lowered, it will slam to the ground. And there is no way that’s good for the alignments. It is possible to leave it in the up position, but I think it would move around if sheet goods were pushed across it.

The fence does work, and it is accurate, but it’s not too substantial. It does slide smoothly along the extruded aluminum rails, and the micro adjust wheels work fairly well. The miter gauge has positive stops at all the popular angles, there are four nylon blocks on the bottom side that allows it to glide over the table surface. Very little end-play can be detected.

The arbor has a locking mechanism that makes the loosening of the arbor nut a breeze. It’s a red button located on the backside of the arbor, simply press it inwards (or towards the front), turn the nut until it locks in place. The apply some force to loosen the nut.

But not everything is as it should be with this saw.. there are a few items that need to be re-engineered. For example, the shroud that covers the blade for dust collection makes it very difficult to change blades. The shroud is made of aluminum which adds to the discomfort of reaching in to remove the arbor nut. This is made more difficult when installing a stacked dado blade.

Next are the flimsy sheet metal wings. Their rigidity comes in part from the fence, and I’ve had a problem getting them to be 100% flat with reference to the cast iron table. I might adapt the cast iron wings from the Craftsman to this saw to address that problem.

The last issue is more of a concern at this point, and might not really mean anything. The trunnion is cast aluminum, and long term durability is a question mark.

So the bottom line: It’s well worth the $600 price tag, it has a whole host of unique features that make this saw stand out from the competition.

I’m finding out how hard it is to sell an old Craftsman contractor saw… there is a glut of them on CL.

-- Visit my blog at dave.spalla.com




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SirFatty

472 posts in 849 days



27 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7693 posts in 2689 days


#1 posted 09-09-2012 03:21 AM

I wondered when you were going to show us your New saw!

Looks like one COOL saw!

Is this the same saw that Steve got on Mere Mortals?

Now we know what those ZCI’s were for! LOL

Be careful… be safe…

Enjoy it!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View whitebeast88's profile

whitebeast88

3505 posts in 828 days


#2 posted 09-09-2012 03:25 AM

thanks for the review i also have an older craftsman and have been looking at the pc and the ridgid.i hate to spend $1k+ for anything else.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View SirFatty's profile

SirFatty

472 posts in 849 days


#3 posted 09-09-2012 11:30 AM

Hi Joe! It is the same saw, and I am certainly careful…

Marty: I should have prefaced this review with the fact that I have been looking at getting a new saw for years. I cannot afford what I would like to have, so this is a bit of a compromise. But I am really happy with it.

-- Visit my blog at dave.spalla.com

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1196 posts in 2112 days


#4 posted 09-10-2012 01:19 AM

Thanks for the review… I’ve been considering this saw and the comparable Rigid TS… no decision… I need to find some usable space first. I noticed the Rigid has similar sheet steel table extensions that don’t align properly.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Stevinmarin's profile

Stevinmarin

837 posts in 1713 days


#5 posted 09-10-2012 09:57 PM

I love this saw. After using mine for over 6 months, it still functions perfectly. The single complaint I have with it is that it takes non-standard insert plates. (I think PC sells ones for it.) I have made a couple of zero-clearance plates, but I need to figure out a better method.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers. http://www.WoodworkingForMereMortals.com

View SirFatty's profile

SirFatty

472 posts in 849 days


#6 posted 09-11-2012 12:47 AM

Hi Steve… I agree and have a review on the Leecraft ZCI here.

-- Visit my blog at dave.spalla.com

View Dwinkel5's profile

Dwinkel5

35 posts in 1013 days


#7 posted 09-11-2012 03:47 PM

I also have this saw and I can say that I have been very happy with it. I got mine when it was on sale, and I used a 10% off coupon. I would recomend this saw to anyone that isn’t in a possition to drop a few grand, but still wants a good tool.

Bottom line… this saw is a great “bang for your buck”

View mveach's profile

mveach

56 posts in 1020 days


#8 posted 09-19-2012 05:49 AM

I’ve had mine for over a year now. So far, no problems. My main complaint is the narrow blade shroud also. just a half inch wider would help. still all and all, a good saw.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5436 posts in 2013 days


#9 posted 09-22-2012 08:54 AM

Congrats on the new saw and nice job with the review. I appreciate the objectivity of noting a few shortcomings and concerns, along with the positives. Unless something is a bonafde bargain or is really stellar, once I get to the 2nd complaint I’m a 4-star guy.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View SirFatty's profile

SirFatty

472 posts in 849 days


#10 posted 09-26-2012 01:29 AM

Hey knotscott,

I would agree on the rating scale, if this were a professional review. But as I readily admit, the review is probably not as objective as it could be.. and certainly is just my opinion. But honestly, the saw is a 5 star from my point of view.

-- Visit my blog at dave.spalla.com

View AJswoodshop's profile

AJswoodshop

1057 posts in 914 days


#11 posted 10-04-2012 01:10 PM

That looks like a awesome saw! Do you have enough room to attach a router table to the side?

-- If I can do it.....so can you! -AJswoodshop

View LoydMoore's profile

LoydMoore

96 posts in 594 days


#12 posted 01-23-2013 02:43 AM

Here are a couple of pics with my Rockwell Unifence attached. On a normal day it would have been a 30 minute job to drill and tap five 5/16 holes. Since I was wearing my idiot hat last Friday, it took nine holes and two hours.

Dont pay attention to the mess, that is SOP when setting up a new tool. I still have to add the four ft extention but must put the thing to work making $$$s for couple of days.

#1 issue I had was blade alignment. It was .008” out from the miter slot and could not be alligned by shifting saw carriage or table top. I ended up reaming out three of the top mounting holes in the frame, to 3/8” and all was good. While I had the table off, I also ground off all of the excess casting crap around the throat so I wouldn’t have to do extra millwork on my zero clearance insert.

If anyone buys this saw and finds the 90°/45° positive stops out, this is an easy adjustment, once you figure it out. PC does not tell you how to adjust the positive stops but it is real simple once you have enough $$$s in the cuss jar to buy a new table saw. Just loosen the two set screws on either end of the worm gear. There are small pins that fit into holes in the worm gear. Rotating the pin one hole = about 0.1° so you can dial it in to a high degree of accuracy.

-- Loyd, San Angelo, TX http:www.moorewoodenboxes.com

View GSBrannan's profile

GSBrannan

3 posts in 562 days


#13 posted 02-17-2013 12:58 AM

I have this saw, but I am having problems with getting a dado blade to fit. I had a 6” adjustable dado, but it would not slide in the narrow opening. I got a stacked dado set, but it would not fit the arbor. It may be because of the brand I bought (Avanti at HD). Any suggestions?

View SirFatty's profile

SirFatty

472 posts in 849 days


#14 posted 02-17-2013 01:10 AM

i have a 8” Freud, fits without any issues. What do you mean by a narrow opening? Don’t forget to raise the arbor fully when performing these tasks.

-- Visit my blog at dave.spalla.com

View GSBrannan's profile

GSBrannan

3 posts in 562 days


#15 posted 02-17-2013 02:40 AM

I had the saw raised all the way up, but the metal “shroud” for dust collection makes the opening too narrow to slide the adjustable blade in.

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