|Review by Tucker||posted 1704 days ago||5990 views||0 times favorited||16 comments|
A while ago I posted a very poor review of the Grizzly 1023slw. This saw was its replacement.
I purchased the Powermatic with a 3hp single-phase motor. It is quite a saw. I bought it because I couldn’t find a SawStop anywhere locally, and I didn’t want to wait. I bought the new PM2000 off a showroom floor. It was delivered basically for free. It is (mostly:read on) a dream to operate. Very smooth operation, very precise cuts. very finely tuned. Now for the not-so-great part. I couldn’t move the saw around my very small shop (a necessity) because the mechanism to operate the wheels didn’t work. And, if they did, I then couldn’t tilt the blade (same handcrank for both on this saw).
The saw came with a retractable base assembly that allows for the lowering/raising of the wheels under the base of the cabinet. You pull out the blade-tilting handwheel to engage the bushing that then engages the shaft to turn the chains to lower or raise the wheels.
However, dang thing was a bear to put into the position to turn the crank to lower or raise. It wouldn’t engage. It took a ton of force to move in or out. And then, it didn’t turn more than one or two revolutions once it did engage. Great design, but it didn’t allow me to turn the wheels. I could barely move the wheel! Had to use a rubber hammer just to get it to move! “Hmmm,” I thought. “This can’t be right.” Then, if I was able to persuade any wheel adjustment, I couldn’t then tilt the blade. I would crank and crank and nothing moved anywhere.
So, back to the tool place I went. A new one was set up there. “CLICK” out came the handwheel, which then operated like a dream. “For the love of…” I can’t believe this. “So that’s what it’s supposed to do!” I called Powermatic. This seemed like something that a professional should be fixing. I initially thought there was a bearing or something that was bound up.
I called WMH toolgroup (Powermatic). After several missed connections and several tries for suggestions, they sent out a guy to fix it. After several hours and lots of bolts being undone, he took the assembly (parts) with him for replacement. After a couple of weeks he returned and after a few choice phrasings trying to reassemble, he got it all back together. Only to find: it still didn’t work. Same problem: shaft is at angle and just bound up. A couple of turns of the crank and it would be near impossible to turn any further.
“I’m going to suggest that they replace the saw,” he said. “Huh?” I said. To their credit: they offered immediately to do so. That is good customer service: fair and responsive. I’m still thinking about just returning it, as I now am within driving distance of a tax-free purchase of a SawStop.
I realize that there are no perfect products, but good customer/product support makes all the difference.
In terms of the saw’s operation and performance: Nice! The only complaint would be the flimsy extension table. This is pretty cheaply made. The laminate is weak, and the legs connect pretty poorly (4 small wood screws into the particle board that supports the top). Also, the cast-iron top seems particularly prone to scratches. Has anyone else experienced this? Finally, the fence had quite a bit of waver in the surface of the plastic. I ran a dial-indicator from beginning to end and was very surprised at what I found there.
The saw does have power though. It is smooth and strong. This makes a big difference with critical cuts that you’ll need and that really show in the finer details of your craft’s results.
The only suggestion I’d make to others considering this saw (if you need the extension to be this big) is to spend the extra money on a cast-iron top for the extension and forgo the black laminate one. Also, if you absolutely don’t cut sheet goods regularly, don’t even opt for the huge extension. I cut my sheet goods on 4 inch piece of stiff stryofoam insulation with a zero-clearance plate I fashioned with my skilsaw, right on the shop floor. Super clean and very precise cuts. I never used that length of extension except as a bench top, and I already have one of those.
I especially loved the riving knife, the dust collection (though I had to attach a band clamp to hold the hose on inside the cabinet), the fence, the bladeguard(s), and the power switch. A very stable saw, what with all the weight. Lots of thought went into this saw, and it shows. It is a precise instrument. It’s unfortunate that I received one that came inoperable in one very important aspect.
I’m currently considering returning it and purchasing the SawStop. I loved the safety features of this PM2000, and I’d like to up the ante one more by including a brake. I think the savings to any medical bills are easy math. And, I see enough of this industry’s big names adopting the full-time use of the SawStops. Their example means a lot to me.