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Table Saws - Hedging Bets and Easing In - 220v vs 110v

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Forum topic by Rob_s posted 10-03-2016 01:52 PM 890 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob_s

71 posts in 86 days


10-03-2016 01:52 PM

I’m up to the “buy a table saw” phase of filling up the shop. I’ve waffled from $3k Sawstops down to $500 Ridgids and all the Grizzlys in between. What I’ve arrived at is that I’d like to buy a saw that’s able to be wired for 110v now and 220v later. I’m ok with buying a saw that comes as 220v provided it has a “kit” available to convert it down.

My reasoning is varied, but is primarily due to not having a 220v outlet in the shop now. My thinking is that I can use the 110v that’s readily available, try the saw out in a couple of different locations, and then have the 220v installed where I want it in a few months. The panel for my shop is shared with the guest house, so it has a 220v for the guest house kitchen that we’re not planning on using, so I can “steal” that circuit and bring it into the shop for my tool use.

My question is, within that band of saws that can be both 220v and 110v, what should I be looking at/for?

Before I get the stock “craigslist” answer, I live in SE Florida which is a borderline 3rd world country and Craigslist searches for “table saw” here result in listings for a piece of plywood with a circular saw screwed to it. So that’s out. it needs to be a new saw.


16 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

829 posts in 687 days


#1 posted 10-03-2016 01:59 PM

Under 3HP.
Most motors can be wired 110V/220V, but halve the voltage, double the amps.
The info sheet on new saws should say something like “can be wired for 110v/220v”.

Power switches (magnetic contactors on bigger saws) are a mixed bag as to what can be done there.

A 3HP motor will require a 30A circuit for 110V wiring, but if you don’t have 220V, you probably don’t have a 110v/30A
circuit either.

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Rob_s

71 posts in 86 days


#2 posted 10-03-2016 02:28 PM

Correct. My 110v circuits are all 20A, not 30A.

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pontic

51 posts in 73 days


#3 posted 10-03-2016 02:42 PM

Jet contractors saw. Get the 52” fence option and mobile base. 110v motor that can be converted. It will serve you well.

-- drpurvis@aol.com

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knotscott

7215 posts in 2840 days


#4 posted 10-03-2016 02:46 PM

As splintergroup mentioned, most 110v saws (<2hp> 2hp are best run on 220v.

Some random thoughts on popular saws on the market:
There’s a pretty significant difference when you take the jump from a 1.5hp hybrid or contractor saw to a full 3hp+ industrial cabinet saw. Not only does the power nearly double, but the underpinnings are much beefier, have more mass, better longevity, etc. The Grizzly G1023RL or G0690 are both excellent values in this class. Since you don’t currently have 220v available, you’re limited to the hybrid or contractor saws unless you make a decision to install 220v now. The better hybrid or contractor saws are quite capable, but I’ve never regretted gaining the benefits from the long list of subtle improvements of a 3hp cabinet saw. Between $2 and $3k Jet has some good cabinet saws too.

The entry level $500 Ridgid, Delta, and Craftsman all offer steel wings, less mass, and generally lesser fences. The Delta 36-725 steel t-square fence is pretty decent, but has a two-piece front rail tube. The Ridgid and Cman fences also have two-piece front rail tubes, and are lighter duty aluminum fences. The Saw Stop contractor saw also has steel wings and a cheap aluminum fence, but is a beefier saw overall than the Delta, Ridgid, and Cman. A fence upgrade and cast wings, bring the cost closer to $2k to . It won’t cut your fingers off, but is pricey for the level of stock components that come with it.

Grizzly has 2 hybrids in the ~$700-$1000 range – G0771 and G0715P. Both have solid cast wings, full enclosures, and 2hp motors. The fence on the G0715P is a pretty sturdy steel t-square design. The fence on the G0771 is more similar to the Ridgid and Cman fences. The G0771 offers cabinet mounted trunnions that are easier to reach.

The Saw Stop PCS steps you up to a more substantial hybrid, offering cabinet mounted trunnions, full enclosure, solid cast wings, and a choice of motor power. The stock fence is a step up from the entry level fences, but isn’t on par with the better Grizzly fences. Saw Stop does offer a nice T-Glide fence option, that I’d encourage you to go with if you choose the PCS.

Jet, Laguna, General International, PM and Baileigh also offer some nice hybrids in the $1k to $2k range. Be aware that some have a somewhat downgrade fence, similar to the stock PCS fence, while the Jet and PM offer beefier welded steel t-fences.

Some light reading on table saw differences – http://lumberjocks.com/knotscott/blog/32154

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

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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1460 days


#5 posted 10-03-2016 02:50 PM

The main advantage of 220V IMO is that you can get a 3hp motor. None of the convertible voltage units have this advatage. They will all be less than 2 real horsepower. So I would just get the saw you like best and not worry about if it is convertible or not. If you ever go to 3hp in the future, you’ll need a new saw and can bring the 220 over then.

If you do end up with a convertible, you can gain the advatage of less amps, and also having a seperation circuit for the tool. Do course you could just as easily bring over a dedicated 110v circuit for it.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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TheGreatJon

296 posts in 698 days


#6 posted 10-03-2016 03:05 PM

Almost all single phase motors can be wired for 110v, but even a 2hp motor will draw more than 20A at 110v. Before you decide on a table saw, I think the first order of business is to run a new circuit. I had to run 220 in my shop as well. It was a pain, but it was well worth it.

That being said, I am a big proponent of the “buy it once” philosophy. If you can fit a full-sized table into your shop, there is no reason not to get a full cabinet saw. I’d recommend an old, used saw. Unisaw or a PM 66. You’ll spend about as much as the Ridgid “Professional” saw, but you’ll get a lot more for your money. Then, if it sits unused for a year or two, and you end up deciding that the hobby isn’t working out for you… it will still be worth just as much as the day you bought it! After 20-60 years, those old cabinet saws aren’t going to get any less-valuable. On the other hand, a used hybrid saw like the Ridgid won’t resell for much more than half of the original purchase price.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

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Rob_s

71 posts in 86 days


#7 posted 10-03-2016 03:19 PM

Thanks for all the feedback.

I’m a fan of “buy once” as well, but I also often like to ease into things when I’m unsure of the long game.

Since the real benefits of the 220v aren’t realized until you get to a 3 HP saw, I’m now thinking maybe I should get the Ridgid or Delta ~$600 option just to fill the void, find the right location, etc. and then plan on later on selling that off and stepping up to the 3 HP if all works out. If I’m eventually going to be buying a $2-3k saw and the cost of running the 220v to the location I want, it seems to me that the $200 I might eat selling off the Ridgid/Delta would be well worth it.

Seems like the Delta/Ridgid option would get me going in the least amount of time, and then I can start planning for the bigger investment down the road.

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unbob

718 posts in 1368 days


#8 posted 10-03-2016 04:02 PM

I started with a used Rockwell contractors saw 150-250$, then found a 12”-14” Rockwell cabinet saw. I find the contractors saw still very useful as a second saw, now set up for box joints.
Anyway, it appears to me the used contractor saws are one of the best buys out there for a useable machine, and both 110/220v 1 1/2hp motor.

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weathersfuori

31 posts in 594 days


#9 posted 10-03-2016 04:29 PM

Rob, FWIW… I am currently two years into the option you mention above. I purchased a near-new Delta 36-725 off Craigslist for I think $400 or 425. At the time I was just about to go out and buy one from Lowes when I saw the ad pop up, so I saved a little money.

Anyway, the saw has served me well for my needs to this point. I have done mostly small projects and am a hobbyist although I do sell a few things to pay for said hobby. I currently have 110V in my garage shop, and this was the main reason for purchasing this saw. For a hobbyist, I think it probably has plenty of power and does everything you need it to, but the only thing I can compare it to is my buddy’s Grizzly cabinet saw and I will say that using his saw is what makes me want to upgrade. The more I work with hardwoods, especially since I am running my HF dust collector on the same circuit at the same time, the more I realize that if I want to keep doing this and having fun, I’ll probably need to upgrade… so I am currently saving up for 220V and a new Grizzly cabinet saw and planning on that being the last saw I ever buy (hopefully!).

As mentioned above, the fence is much nicer than you see from Craftsman or Rigid… to me this alone is worth going with Delta over the other two. And finally, I don’t regret buying the Delta first to get me going. If for some reason I don’t end up upgrading, I feel confident it will serve me for many years to come. If I only get a couple hundred back when selling it… I’ve wasted money in much worse ways!

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

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Rob_s

71 posts in 86 days


#10 posted 10-03-2016 05:25 PM

weathersfuori, do you have a dust collector hooked up to the Delta? If so, how’s that working for you?

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weathersfuori

31 posts in 594 days


#11 posted 10-03-2016 06:21 PM

Rob- I have it connected to the Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector, which is modified with a Wynn filter and a Thein Baffle separator. I have a 4” flex hose on a short run to a Rockler Dust Right adapter on the dust port from the Delta. Before I got the dust collector I had it hooked up to a Shop Vac… the shop vac worked okay, and the dust collector is better than the shop vac, but neither is perfect. That said, I’d guess the dust collection is about as good as it can be with a contractor saw.

The issue I have now is that over time and use connecting the dust hose etc.., the plastic dust port gets loose from the shroud under the saw since it is only held on there by a couple screws. I did a quick fix with some duct tape to try to seal it up and hold it better, and noticed a difference, but again over time, this isn’t a good fix and I have been too lazy to rig something better. Somewhere along the line just after I bought it, I saw someone had made an enclosure under the saw to improve dust collection, but I haven’t been able to find it since.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

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MrUnix

4230 posts in 1664 days


#12 posted 10-03-2016 07:04 PM

Before I get the stock “craigslist” answer, I live in SE Florida which is a borderline 3rd world country and Craigslist searches for “table saw” here result in listings for a piece of plywood with a circular saw screwed to it. So that’s out. it needs to be a new saw.
-Rob_s

Not sure how you came to that conclusion, but I have seen many more killer deals come out of the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area than I do up here in the central and northern part of the state. Unfortunately, it would be roughly an 8 hour drive for me. That is about the only reason I regret moving out of South Florida. Well, that and I really miss being able to find killer exotic wood that had washed up into the mangrove shoreline (like around the Deering estate south of Coconut Grove).

As for the 120v vs. 240v question – you won’t find many cabinet saws that can run on either unless they have a ~1.5HP motor, which leaves you mostly looking at contractor and hybrids that rarely have anything bigger. Also, if you have a dedicated 120v circuit that is sized appropriately, then there really isn’t any need to go to 240v unless you just want to free up some 120v outlets.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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Rob_s

71 posts in 86 days


#13 posted 10-03-2016 07:20 PM


Not sure how you came to that conclusion, but I have seen many more killer deals come out of the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area than I do up here in the central and northern part of the state. Unfortunately, it would be roughly an 8 hour drive for me. That is about the only reason I regret moving out of South Florida. Well, that and I really miss being able to find killer exotic wood that had washed up into the mangrove shoreline (like around the Deering estate south of Coconut Grove).
- MrUnix

Because (a) it is borderline 3rd world and (b) I’ve been actively scouring CL for the last year+ looking for tools and haven’t found a single thing worth even texting the person about going to look at.

I suppose, perhaps, it depends on one’s perception of “killer deals”. If you see some, feel free to shoot them my way, but what I mostly see is garbage.

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MrUnix

4230 posts in 1664 days


#14 posted 10-03-2016 07:43 PM

Because (a) it is borderline 3rd world and (b) I ve been actively scouring CL for the last year+ looking for tools and haven t found a single thing worth even texting the person about going to look at.

I suppose, perhaps, it depends on one s perception of “killer deals”. If you see some, feel free to shoot them my way, but what I mostly see is garbage.

- Rob_s

Well, I guess you are close on (a) – I moved to Miami in 1966 and watched it transform over the decades into what it is now. Back then, there was miles and miles of cow pastures and open land between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale – but now, from Florida City to Palm Beach is basically just one big city :( I fortunately got out of there around the turn of the century.

As for searching CL, it really depends on how you search and what your expectations are. If you are looking for a like-new shiney plug-n-play machine, then you will usually wind up paying top dollar for it (although you will occasionally find a real gem if you are persistent enough). If you can invest a little effort into cleaning up a machine, then you can (frequently) find really nice machines that have just been neglected and the owners just want them gone. Some people will see a dirty, neglected machine with surface rust on the table and consider it a POS. Others know better, and realize that they are easy to clean up and bring back to new with just a little effort and minimal cash outlay. As an added bonus, the older machines are significantly more robust and better built than pretty much anything you can find on the market today.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: Try expanding your search a bit… would you consider a 2-4 hour drive worth it if you can get a $2K+ machine for $150? Remember OWWM rule #8 :)

PSS: Also keep in mind that the killer deals don’t stay out there very long – most will come and go in hours, not days. Set up a search alert and be ready to pounce. You gotta be fast to be first in line.

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

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Rob_s

71 posts in 86 days


#15 posted 10-04-2016 01:58 PM

You’ve got me to a “T”. I don’t have time to run around scraping/polishing rust, and the money buying new, or near new, is worth it to me. I barely have time to spend in the shop doing productive things so having to spend time scraping rust, dickering with the locals, etc. With a 50-hour/week real job and 5 and 8 year old girls at home, shop time is precious and needs to be productive.

Along with that time constraint is not having the time go go look at it, pick it up, bring it home, clean it, polish it, etc. and then find out that the lack of maintenance has actually affected function.

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