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Forum topic by 3285jeff posted 11-19-2015 12:26 PM 1271 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 3285jeff's profile


152 posts in 1745 days

11-19-2015 12:26 PM

im thinking about biting the bullet and getting a saw stop table saw,,can anyone tell me what the difference is between the contractor saw and the professional,,,the 1.75 horse power,,i know the professional come with some extras that the contractor saw doesn’t,,but you can add them at a later date,,im getting it for my own personal use,,but this will be the last saw I purchase,,and the safety features are outstanding,,can anyone also comment on the fence system that the contractor saw comes with,,thank you

11 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5000 posts in 2520 days

#1 posted 11-19-2015 12:32 PM

Take a look at this link. I’ll offer my opinion: Sawstops are expensive, but generally the PCS is a very competitively price…the contractor saw is not (again, my opinion). You get quite a bit more with the PCS and it is a good choice. (from a SS ICS owner). The improved fence available on the PCS is worth the upgrade (don’t forget the mobile base…I’d go with the ICS model though).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View HarveyM's profile


106 posts in 2050 days

#2 posted 11-19-2015 01:04 PM

I can’t comment on the fences, but the Professional has the smaller footprint. Additionally, if you check the reviews here, the Professional gets slightly better ratings than the contractor. I believe the Professional can be retrofitted with the 3hp 220 volt motor, if you decide you need more grunt ( Finally check out knotscott’s table saw guide on the design trade offs in contractor vs cabinet saw

-- Just a Duffer

View johnstoneb's profile


2942 posts in 2200 days

#3 posted 11-19-2015 01:52 PM

I have the contractpr saw. I would upgrade the fence if I did it again. The stock fence on the contractor saw is a good fence but the piece riding against the front rail is plastic and you have to push it against the fence3 against the rail to be sure it locks square. The other sawstop fences are the T style and and will lock square. It is only a $150 dollar additional to get the 36” fence. I have a Delta T2 that I am going to take off the Craftsman I had and install on the Sawstop and put the sawstop fence on the craftsman. It is a much better fencde htan the craftsman.
I have been extremely satisfied with all other aspects of the contractor version. If you can afford the cabinet saw go with it but if your budget won’t let you the contractor saw is a very good saw.

I am extremely happy with my Sawstop. The safety makes working by myself every day a lot more relaxing.
I am a whitewater boater and there is a saying. There are two types of boater those that have swam and those that are going to. In woodworking there are to types of operators those that have had and accident and those that are going too no matter how careful you are.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View clin's profile


853 posts in 1023 days

#4 posted 11-20-2015 01:48 AM

I bought a SawStop PCS about 2 moths ago.

I was originally considering the contractors saw, but the apparently larger footprint, due to the motor hanging out the back, made me go for the PCS. I’m very glad I got the PCS, though the footprint turned out to be misleading. The SawStop PCS footprint is smaller, but if you get the industrial mobile base (I highly recommend that), the foot print is much larger. The base sticks out quite a bit in the back.

While I don’t have experience with the SawStop contractor saw, I do believe that dust collection is not nearly as good. That’s just due to the inherent differences between a contractor vs cabinet saw.

I just made several hundred feet of rip cuts in 8/4 mahogany today. Had to empty my Dust Deputy 5 gal collection bucket twice. That’s a lot of dust. While plenty of dust still flew around the shop, I’m sure it would have been much worse with a contractor saw.

Since it sounds like a PCS is at least a possibility with your budget, I would encourage you to go that route. I think it’s a great saw. I did get the 3 HP 240 V, and do not regret it in the least. Cutting 2” thick mahogany without any trouble at all.

I also got the upgraded fence and like I said the industrial mobile base (it has full swiveling castors) and rolls in any direction. A warning though. While the base lifts the saw well over an inch up. The base itself still stays very close to the ground. Clearance is maybe 1/4” . Easy enough to roll around in the shop. But I still need to build a very specific ramp to get it into the driveway due to a small threshold I have to clear.

I’m not a table saw expert at all. But the SawStop PCS seems to be well built and I really enjoy working with it.

I was really debating getting the 3 HP PCS, with upgraded fence, mobile base and even the overarm dust collection. I think total was about $3,700. That’s a lot to spend on a tool as a hobby. I have zero regrets and would do it again. More convinced than ever now that I’m working with it.

-- Clin

View bonesbr549's profile


1558 posts in 3094 days

#5 posted 11-20-2015 02:26 PM

I have the ICS (only because I wanted the 5hp). I’ve used both and looked at the contractor version. I would go PCS if at all possible. Not because of problem with contractor version, but I’ve had contractor style TS’s and they have issues. A contractor saw does not save space and the power issues and other considerations, a cabinet saw is just a better choice. If you can’t do 220 then ok, but get the PCS. You won’t regret it, but go the other way, I do think you will in short order wish you had gone the other way.

Just my opinion and that and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1708 days

#6 posted 11-20-2015 02:40 PM

I would suggest the 3HP PCS if you can swing it and get the power in your shop with the 52” fence if you have the space. You will never regret the heavier weight, upgraded table, better fence design and more power. The contractor saw is a compromise design to build something portable so unless you really want a saw you can haul to the job site the PCS will serve you better. The weight difference alone tells of how much more massively built the PCS is. I see the PCS as a good last table saw for a lot of people where the contractor version while I’m sure is a great saw is something a lot of shops could outgrow over time especially if you are working with large sheet goods.

View helluvawreck's profile


31407 posts in 2894 days

#7 posted 11-20-2015 02:57 PM

I don’t know much about the contractor model but I do have a professional. For whatever it’s worth I haven’t had a bit of problems with it and I’m glad that I got it. I do all of my ripping on it. I also have a PM 2000. The PM 2000 is a heavier saw. I use my PM 2000 for all of my jig type work. For my ripping I am glad for the additional safety features of the Sawstop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dan's profile


710 posts in 1919 days

#8 posted 11-20-2015 02:57 PM

there was at least a couple Saw Stop PCS’s from the first part of 2015 that came with problems. Mine was one.

Just a suggestion but you might want to find out the mfg month and gett one made later in the year.

-- Dan

View Alan72's profile


211 posts in 2060 days

#9 posted 11-20-2015 03:07 PM

I have the PCS 1.75hp saw. The only regret I have is that I didn’t get the 3hp saw. The 1.75hp boggs down with thicker stock, the blade guard is POS, it’s different then the one that comes with the 3hp saw. I don’t know why they did that? I got my blade guard free with mine, the motor that came with the saw was Dead. Customer Service forgot to send my motor out, after a week I called the guy felt bad and was going to over night it but I asked him to send it regular mail and throw in the blade guard with the DC feature. (I had to work the next 3 days).

One more thing, If you can hold out to end of Feb. Since I bought my saw, Saw Stop has a promotions when you buy one of their saws. The mobile base or the Over arm dust collector setup without the blade guard. I bought my in Dec 2012 and I was not happy when I seen this 2months later and they told me sorry I bought my saw too soon!

I did recently buy the over arm dust collection system that is given during the promotion for $200.00. I am very happy with this and it does make a difference.

View HarveyM's profile


106 posts in 2050 days

#10 posted 11-20-2015 03:47 PM

I’ll just add- The Sawstop owner’s manuals are online; they include nice color drawings of each saw’s ‘guts’. Specifically the blade, trunnions, and motor mounting. You’ll notice the difference. The Contractor saw’s guts are attached to the table. That makes it a pain to adjust if the blade is out of alignment with the miter slots. The owner’s manual doesn’t go into how to adjust it (but they will email you the instructions). To be fair, most reports mention it’s alignment from the factory is excellent. Conversely the PCS has a very simple alignment procedure of loosening three bolts holding the table to the cabinet, and using two grub screws set in the back of the table to move it into alignment.

-- Just a Duffer

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3460 days

#11 posted 11-20-2015 03:57 PM

I have the PCS 1.75 and it is a great saw… accurate right out of the box.
Unless you are planning to “move it around”, I think the PCS is the way to go. I upgraded the mobile base and would recommend doing it.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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