table saw decision?

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Forum topic by Brandon posted 12-31-2009 04:12 PM 3484 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brandon's profile


15 posts in 3059 days

12-31-2009 04:12 PM

Ok guys I am just getting into woodworking. I started restoring an older craftsman table saw that I posted on here. Well I decided instead of trying to add wings base etc and spending all the money and still having a small saw that I would just purchase a bigger saw. I want something that I can keep for a long time. What direction should I go? I would like to get a hybrid saw or maybe a used cabinet saw. I found an older powermatic 66 for 800 bucks. Should I go with something like that or just buy a new hybrid saw? Thanks!

24 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1612 posts in 3427 days

#1 posted 12-31-2009 04:16 PM

I think the older PM66 is a much better saw than you can buy today. If it were me I would look for something that is a little older and still useable. I have a unisaw that was given to me and then restored. Craigslist is an awesome resource for saws. Keep an eye out and one will come up. The PM that you found sounds good. At todays prices thats a $3000 saw!

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3445 days

#2 posted 12-31-2009 04:17 PM

I guess it would depend on what your budget is. I always prefer to buy a used top line saw than buy a cheaper less quality new one. Certainly a good cabinet saw is the ultimate. There are a lot of great used deals in Craigs List and Ebay. I bought my Powermatic 66 (88 model year) used a number of years ago and I have never looked back.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3628 days

#3 posted 12-31-2009 04:21 PM

I echo MedicKen’s advice … if the PM66 is any decent shape, it is a steal at $800.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3340 days

#4 posted 12-31-2009 04:25 PM

There are some nice hybrids, but none that’s built like a PM66. Assuming it’s in nice shape with a good fence, the only downside of a full cabinet saw is the requirement of 220v operation.

If you’ve got 220v, then you might also consider one of the Grizzly deals currently going on. They’ve currently got the Shop Fox W1677 (same as the Grizzly G1023SL for $795 ($889 shipped).

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

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3163 days

#5 posted 12-31-2009 04:44 PM

Absoluteley, go with the PM, however if you are squeemish about used, and wonder about your own mechanical ability to fix it, I like grizzley equipment a lot. I currently have a Craftsman, Hybrid, and it work very well for me, I do suggest the 5 year warranty, if nothing breaks in that time, then It will probably be only wear-able problems in the future. If something breaks, then they fix it. And in the case of my Lathe, they replaced ( at their expense) it with a Jet 1642, cost is more than twice what I paid for the craftsman. Anyway it would be up to you, but the PM is probably more saw for the money.
Good luck

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5805 posts in 3159 days

#6 posted 12-31-2009 04:47 PM

Greetings Brandon: If you’re asking for advice on which saw you are thinking about upgrading to, my vote would be a good used Delta UniSaw. I’d shop around, and also keep checking Craiglist for one coming on therte. If no luck, then my next vote would be the PowerMatic 66… both of these saws are beast, and will hold up to any woodworking you throw at them. Stay away from Grizzly, in my opinion. I wouldn’t buy two bolts and nuts from them…........ stick with quality…....... you’ll be glad you did.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3922 days

#7 posted 12-31-2009 04:49 PM

The Powermatic is a great choice even used and a little beat up. You can still buy all the parts you need to bring the saw back to factory specs. Most of them from the early ‘70s on had a fence that was colored and labeled as a Powermatic product but it was manufactured by the Biesmeyer company specifically for Powermatic and called “Accufence”...but it is really just a Biesmeyer colored gold. $800 sounds a little cheap for a 66, but who knows how old it is? I’m not exactly sure of the dates but you can get an idea of it’s age by the paint color….if its gold, then it is probably at least from the late ‘60s on. If it is green then it is older..

I agree with Rick…you can’t go wrong with a Unisaw :0) If your lucky you might stumble over a ridiculous deal on Craigslist for an almost new Unisaw with a Biesmeyer fence….gee, that sounds so familiar!


View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3628 days

#8 posted 12-31-2009 05:08 PM

FYI … Powermatic introduced the PM66 in 1966.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3613 days

#9 posted 12-31-2009 05:15 PM

I would go for the PM… at that price it’s a no brainer if you have/can setup 220 line to power it up.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3445 days

#10 posted 12-31-2009 05:55 PM

Just FYI…for a Powermatic 66 TS if you look at the serial number, the first two digits of the serial is the year it was manufactured. They started to use that format in 1978.

Below is a little bit more info on the serial sequence.

Model 66
66-nnn 1965—68 “nnn” is a number.
N66-nnnn 1968—77 “N” is the units digit of the year, beginning in 1968. “nnnn” is a number.
NN66-nnnn 1978—?? “NN” is the last two digits of the year, beginning in 1978. “nnnn” is a number.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3318 days

#11 posted 12-31-2009 07:43 PM

Powermatic used to be a really good name and have a good reputation and made good machines, not sure if they still do. However, based on that I bought their Model 13 Edge Sander and was not impressed at all with it’s fit and finish nor its manual. If it’s an older PM you probably can’t go wrong. But I second the recommendations given here to look for a used Delta UniSaw, there I would say you can’t go wrong. There’s plenty of resources here and on the web to help you do any restoring it might need. I’ve restored a number of machines now and would offer any help I can. I myself would have never bought used a few years ago but now I seek used and have gotten some older, better built machines for a fraction of what they sell new for now, like 1/5, and that’s street prices not list. If you need tips on what to look for when checking out a used machine this is a good place to ask.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Brandon's profile


15 posts in 3059 days

#12 posted 01-01-2010 02:46 AM

Thanks for the info guys. I am leaning towards the PM because it is a bigger better saw. I am a mechanical millwright so the mechanical part on these things is cake. I will keep yall updated.

View a1Jim's profile


117062 posts in 3542 days

#13 posted 01-01-2010 03:00 AM

Hey Brandon it’s a good saw but do a little home work on how to check out a used saw to make sure this on is good.
If you can try it before you buy that would be a good Idea along with the motor make sure the fence works well. Many times you can get a seller to through in the mobile base if it has one. If it’s one of the oldest ones you might offer closer to $650 unless they have replaced things like the motor or fence. Another thing you have to check is what kind of power the saw will use

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View drbob's profile


31 posts in 3381 days

#14 posted 01-01-2010 06:52 AM

I recently included a review of table saws on my blog/site. You can review contractor saws, table saws, cabinet saws and hybrid saws. It should be helpful in making a decision. you can read it at

-- drbob at

View a1Jim's profile


117062 posts in 3542 days

#15 posted 01-01-2010 07:23 AM

Theres a Few I don’t see listed Bob like Jet ,Delta ,Grizzly.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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