1988 Powermatic pm66 tablesaw versus new Grizzly, versus new Powermatic?

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Forum topic by JeffS posted 02-02-2010 05:36 AM 7839 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 2543 days

02-02-2010 05:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: powermatic grizzly delta unisaw table saw tablesaw

Hello all,
I currently own a fold-up roll-a-round craftsman tablesaw, so naturally I go to bed every night dreaming of a powerful cabinet saw. The craftsman certainly works for me now, as I’m always working out of my 1 car garage, or in the driveway. But, who doesn’t have gear envy :-)

I’ve been keeping tabs on table saws as they come up used on craigslist and our local want ads, and a used Powermatic 66 has recently appeared for $975. Here’s what I know:

3 Horsepower Single Phase Baldor Motor, Left Tilt, Bissemeyer Fence system, +48” Cutting capacity to right of blade. The saw Includes the attached aftermarket splitter. The miter gauge, extra thrat block, and blade guard shown in picture 3 are included. The serial number starts with the number 88 which I belive indicates a date of manufacture of 1988.

It was used exclusivly in a hobby shop. Wheels turn smoothly,
motor runs fine, and the metal table surface has very some slight scratches.
The laminated extension side table has some paint and glue stains which
could always be painted over.

anyone have any thoughts on this? Until this ad popped up, I was getting excited about the Grizzly 1023slx, and also noticed according to powermatic’s website that they’re running a sale that puts a brand new PM2000 $600 cheaper than a brand new Unisaw.

So, I would love to hear your thoughts on used versus new powermatics: specifically how easy is it to service and get parts?

Of course to be practical, I do not yet own a bandsaw, so I should probably save the $1000 for that! But, it’s not everyday a good solid powermatic or unisaw come up used in my area. So, maybe it’s worth jumping on?


6 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2994 days

#1 posted 02-02-2010 07:21 AM

It’s hard to say I have and like powermatic 66 ,but it depends on what kind of use and care it has had. If you can tell how much use it has had.

-- Custom furniture

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2793 days

#2 posted 02-02-2010 03:10 PM

The PM66 was arguably one of the best American style cabinet saws made, with the General 350/650, and Uni being some of the others that would frequently be in that discussion.

Note that I have and like some Grizzly machines, including a Shop Fox W1677 that’s essentially a white Griz G1023SL. Great hobby saw for sure, and while it falls into the same style classification as the PM66, it’s simply not made to the same level the PM66 was. Whether the PM66 is 22 years old or 22 months old, with only minor considerations like belt wear, it’ll be nearly the same machine it was when it was uncrated….and since it was used for hobby use, and obviously well cared for, it sounds like a heck of a nice saw. It should go another 100 years with minor maintenance and care. The fact that all those little minor usage marks were even mentioned is a very good sign if the seller offered that info. You’d be buying superior cast iron, superior bearings and pulleys, tighter tolerances, and a better American made motor….not to mention one of the last US made saws available. As long as there are no major cracks in the trunnions are other significant damage, there’s really nothing that can’t be easily replaced to make it like new again, and the odds of it needing anything but cleaning and lubing are slim. Neither of these saws offers a riving knife so you’re really not gaining anything with the Griz other than warranty, and that new car smell. I’d be leaning heavily to the PM66 in this case.

A peek under the hoods:

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

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 2460 days

#3 posted 02-04-2010 06:08 AM

I agree with Scott. The 66 is pratically bulletproof. Nearly every shop I’ve ever worked in had a 66. There’s a good reason for that. They take all the abuse inconsiderate employees dish out because they didn’t pay for it and keep running as smoothly as they day they were made.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2793 days

#4 posted 02-04-2010 06:50 AM

Are you there Jeff?

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

View JeffS's profile


23 posts in 2543 days

#5 posted 02-05-2010 04:50 AM

Great – thanks for the responses, and Scott, for the great info and photos.

Things were pretty busy at work the few days, and so I wasn’t able to look at the 66 before someone else came and snatched it up. But, all of you have given me the confidence that for my budget and what I do, I’ll keep my eyes open for any other 66’s that pop up!

On another note, a used Unisaw also appeared in my area. There’s a guy selling his whole shop as he is moving / downsizing, etc. So, going to take a drive this weekend and see what I see!


View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2897 days

#6 posted 02-05-2010 05:33 AM

The PM66 is a great saw. I happen to have the 88 model myself.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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