Table Saw Upgrade

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by SteelCutOak posted 08-08-2016 03:08 AM 290 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SteelCutOak's profile


3 posts in 78 days

08-08-2016 03:08 AM

I currently have a Dewalt 744x, which I’ve used for the past five years and I’m ready to fork over the cash for a cabinet saw. I’m primarily looking for either a used Unisaw or Powermatic, preferably something made in early 2000s or earlier.

I’ve come across two saws and would appreciate any suggestions/opinions -

1) Delta Unisaw (36-L31x) – 10” blade, left tilt, 50” Biesemeyer fence. Manufactured in 2003.

2) Powermatic PM68 – 12” blade, left tilt, 50” Biesemeyer fence. Manufactured in 1974.

Both are priced around the $1700 range; that seems like an ok price for the PM 68, but a bit high for the Unisaw. I think that’s how much the Unisaws were priced brand new at that time. I’ll be looking at the saws in person during the next few days, but based on the pictures and descriptions, both seem to be in decent condition. Any comments, suggestions, and opinions are welcome. Thanks in advance.

5 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


4031 posts in 1620 days

#1 posted 08-08-2016 03:21 AM

The PM68 wasn’t made for very long IIRC, so parts availability might be a bit of a problem. It’s also a 12” saw, but has a 5/8” arbor – so AFAIK, you would need to find a reducing bushing if you wanted to use the more standard 12” blades which have a 1” arbor hole. The Unisaw on the other hand is a 10” saw (5/8” arbor) and was made (and remained virtually unchanged) for almost 70 years or so – meaning parts and information on them is much more plentiful.

Both are nice saws, however both of those you stated are priced more than twice what they are worth IMO.


PS: Since you already have a saw, use that to your advantage to keep an eye out for a great deal. Patience pays when looking for used machinery.

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View SteelCutOak's profile


3 posts in 78 days

#2 posted 08-08-2016 11:04 PM

I ended up going to see the powermatic 68 yesterday and was impressed with the condition it was in, considering it’s a 42 year old saw. The saw is owned by an individual who uses it in a shared workspace and coincidentally there was a Unisaw x5 similar to the other saw I found. Going from the powermatic over to the Unisaw was night and day. The powermatic’s table (38×48) dwarfed that of the Unisaw and in general made it look like a miniture cabinet saw; both had two cast iron wings. The one thing I did not like about the powermatic is that there is 20 inches of table before you even hit the blade. That’s great for ripping sheets, but not so great for someone who is short (e.g. me). The constant reach seems like it would get uncomfortable and even worse, unsafe.

After doing some research on pricing, it looks like the Unisaw model 36-l31x-bc50 sold for about $1800 brand new, based on that I would think no more than $1200 for a 2003 saw in great shape. The powermatic pricing is a bit trickier, especially if I can get a few blades thrown in with the saw; it was outfitted with a12” WWII at the shop.

View knotscott's profile


7146 posts in 2796 days

#3 posted 08-08-2016 11:38 PM

Have you considered looking at a used PM66 instead of a PM68? It’s a closer comparison to the Unisaw.

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

View TheFridge's profile


5676 posts in 907 days

#4 posted 08-08-2016 11:47 PM

A 12” saw sounds awesome

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View SteelCutOak's profile


3 posts in 78 days

#5 posted 08-08-2016 11:49 PM

A PM66 would be my preference over a PM68 but I just haven’t seen any for sale in my area. Once in a while a Unisaw comes up but it’s rare to see a Powermatic 66 or other that’s in both decent condition and single phase. I may need to extend my search are beyond ~1hr drive to find what I want.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics