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Sawstop contractor, vs. pcs 1.75 hp vs. pcs 3.0 hp

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Forum topic by kryptix posted 11-28-2016 06:52 AM 1693 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kryptix

79 posts in 429 days


11-28-2016 06:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop cyber monday

Zoro.com has a 25% coupon that works on sawstop today, they have a higher retail price than their competitors and tax for me so it’s not gonna be a huge savings but definitely the cheapest I’d get a saw for. I was planning to get the 36 inch contractor saw with mobile cart next spring after bonus season and in time to see real use (my shop is an unheated garage in the northeast.) but, the deal has me considering the PCS instead. Biggest problems I have, small garage shop, so I have to roll this thing around probably up to a wall after I use it, probably including a 90 degree turn. Mobility wise, how does the pcs mobile base compass with the contractor mobile cart?

Also, going PCS I’d be tempted to get the 220 saw but the nearest 220 is in my basement about 25-30 feet away. I’d have to run the saw off an extension cord… I don’t really plan to rewire my garage because it already has a 30 amp 110 feed. However, it does make me hesitate a bit to run a dust collector, lighting, and the saw with a refrigerator off that 30 amps… house may not be my forever house, I may end up moving in 6-10 years, so I don’t want to do too much work that isn’t necessarily going to make a huge difference in quality of life.

Also, this would be an impulse buy months ahead of schedule so any savings would be nice, if I won’t notice a difference as a hobbiest.


26 replies so far

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knotscott

7788 posts in 3214 days


#1 posted 11-28-2016 10:27 AM

Get the PCS 3hp, and never look back. It’s a significant step, and should roll just fine in your shop, plus it actually has a smaller overall footprint. The PCS is a better design with better dust collection, and the option of 3hp is nearly twice the power. It’ll be the last saw you ever love.

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

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kryptix

79 posts in 429 days


#2 posted 11-28-2016 11:34 AM



Get the PCS 3hp, and never look back. It s a significant step, and should roll just fine in your shop, plus it actually has a smaller overall footprint. The PCS is a better design with better dust collection, and the option of 3hp is nearly twice the power. It ll be the last saw you ever love.

- knotscott

I was leaning toward the pcs 1.75, you don’t think running a 220 extension cord out the bottom of the garage door and around about 15 feet to my basement will be an issue?

Also, any recommendations on how to pass a cord semi-regularly to the basement without ruining my insulating value? I was considering an exterior outlet plate stuffed with insulation when not in use…

Lastly, any recommendations where to get a 220v extension cord?

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Fred Hargis

4762 posts in 2331 days


#3 posted 11-28-2016 12:11 PM

Make your own extension cord, it’s a piece of cake and a lot of us can talk you through it. If you get the PCS, maybe consider getting the ICS mobile base (if you can swing it). It sets a new standard in mobile base design and will really help you maneuver it around that 90° turn with ease. One other thing: you could get the 1.75 HP PCS and upgrade it to the 3 HP later buying a new motor from SS. Yo might find it to be not much more expensive than buying it as a 3 HP from the getgo. Just a thought. I do agree that starting with it (the PCS) would be the best approach.

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

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gmc

49 posts in 1994 days


#4 posted 11-28-2016 12:20 PM

I bought the 1.75 PCs due to a recommendation from a guy at the wood shop. He said it had plenty of power and he was right. It had never bogged down. Definitely the best decision I ever made. It is a great saw with plenty of power for me. I have never regretted buying it over the 3 HP model. Like most decisions it is personal choice.

-- Gary, Central Illinois

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kryptix

79 posts in 429 days


#5 posted 11-28-2016 12:59 PM



I bought the 1.75 PCs due to a recommendation from a guy at the wood shop. He said it had plenty of power and he was right. It had never bogged down. Definitely the best decision I ever made. It is a great saw with plenty of power for me. I have never regretted buying it over the 3 HP model. Like most decisions it is personal choice.

- gmc

Well I’ve never had anything more than a job site saw, so I’m thinking either way the power would be a huge boost. Only worry I have is tripping my 30A circuit that also runs a 2hp HF dust collector if I plug both in with the 1.75hp… is that a legit worry? I guess I can always run one from an extension cord but then I’d be back in a similar position vs getting the 3 hp and spending $100-150 connecting it to my unused dryer outlet (I have a gas dryer)...

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kryptix

79 posts in 429 days


#6 posted 11-28-2016 02:48 PM



Make your own extension cord, it s a piece of cake and a lot of us can talk you through it. If you get the PCS, maybe consider getting the ICS mobile base (if you can swing it). It sets a new standard in mobile base design and will really help you maneuver it around that 90° turn with ease. One other thing: you could get the 1.75 HP PCS and upgrade it to the 3 HP later buying a new motor from SS. Yo might find it to be not much more expensive than buying it as a 3 HP from the getgo. Just a thought. I do agree that starting with it (the PCS) would be the best approach.

- Fred Hargis

Just doing my research, does anyone know what kind of 220 plug the PCS uses? I’d want to take a look at the plug and my dryer outlet before pulling the trigger in either case…

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bbasiaga

1011 posts in 1833 days


#7 posted 11-28-2016 03:29 PM

You can go on amazon and buy 220V plug converters for about 20bucks. The plug on my PCS 3hp wad a nema 6-20p. It is the one that looks mile a regular outlet but with one prong turned horizontal. You can go to their website and download the manual to see it. The cord On The machine was Only About 9’ long. I went to home Depot and bought another 15’ of three conductor 12 gauge ‘appliance extension cord’ wire from their by-the-foot wire rack, and two ends for it. One to match the plug on the saw, and one to match the twist ok outlet I had. You could do the same to match your dryer plug, most likely.

I’ll say it again just in case you missed it above….the PCS will take up less footprint than the contractor version. So if space is a concern go that way.

Also, 30 amps with a saw, dc and lights is pushing it. In theory both of those units could pull 20 amps at 2hp. In reality they may not run under full load often but it could be close.

Brian

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

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knotscott

7788 posts in 3214 days


#8 posted 11-28-2016 03:43 PM

I don’t think using a suitable 220v extension cord will be an issue at all. As Fred mentioned, it’s very easy to make your own. It’ll have better overall current delivery than a 120v circuit because 220v splits the current across two hot supply legs vs one. 1.75hp is adequate, but it’s not hard to lug a motor that size. Having the extra power means that the motor doesn’t work as hard, so should last longer in theory. It also allows you to dictate the pace rather than having it dictated to you. A 3hp motor will also be less sensitive to setup and blade changes.

There are pros and cons with each motor, that you’ll have do decide on. Additional upfront cost being the biggest downside of the 3hp, but will offer immediate benefits as well. Rarely (if ever) is extra power a bad thing.

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

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Fred Hargis

4762 posts in 2331 days


#9 posted 11-28-2016 03:46 PM

Just doing my research, does anyone know what kind of 220 plug the PCS uses? I d want to take a look at the plug and my dryer outlet before pulling the trigger in either case…

- kryptix

You’re overthinking this. The dryer outlet is likely a 30 amp, and it may be a 4 pin (later day model) or a 3 pin. Neither is a problem and can be made to work with the saw. The plug on the saw would be the 6-20p Brian mentioned. Any of the stuff you need will be readily available at any borg or electrical supply. Just don’t get too wrapped up in worrying about it.

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

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Blindhog

26 posts in 887 days


#10 posted 11-28-2016 03:55 PM

I have the 3hp with the Industrial mobile base. Having the extra power for working with solid wood is something that am glad I have. Your woodworking interests may change in the future and having the extra power when needed is of high value to me.
Either way, you won’t go wrong with SS PCS and the mobile base really works great!

Hog

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kryptix

79 posts in 429 days


#11 posted 11-28-2016 04:00 PM


I have the 3hp with the Industrial mobile base. Having the extra power for working with solid wood is something that am glad I have. Your woodworking interests may change in the future and having the extra power when needed is of high value to me.
Either way, you won t go wrong with SS PCS and the mobile base really works great!

Hog

- Blindhog

The only thing I can think of right now that I’d want the extra power for is batching out things like cutting boards out of 8/4 stock, but that’s something I haven’t done because it would be a pain… I actually have some 8/4 hard maple and purple heart lying around that I meant to do this with.

I’m really leaning towards getting the 3 hp now, but I’m going to have to sell it to my wife that I want to spend $3100 on a saw and base we didn’t budget for when I convinced her she didn’t really need that handbag she wanted…

At least the saw probably has better/easier resale value?

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Matt

159 posts in 789 days


#12 posted 11-28-2016 04:23 PM

I have the PCS 175 w/ 36”. I love the saw, it also was an upgrade from a portable TS and there is literally no comparison. I’ve run 12/4 poplar through it with the factory blade (still basically new) and it was slow going, but no burning and aside from a slight hiccup (could hear the motor slow slightly) with me feeding the wood too fast, I haven’t had any performance problems. That being said, I don’t think that running both a 110 DC with a 15a+ motor, a TS with a 15a+ motor and lighting on the same 110v 30a circuit is a good idea and I’d be surprised if you didn’t pop the breaker fairly often.

If I was to do it again, in my situation at the time, I’d still purchase the 1.75HP 110v saw because I don’t have available access to 220 with out significant expense that isn’t worth the investment in my current house. (Moving soon). If I had access to 220 I’d get the 3HP model. When I move my shop (and home) I’ll have 220 available but unless I could sell my PCS for almost what I paid for it, I see no good reason to upgrade because I’ve been very happy with the available power. I’ll add I’m a hobbyist so speed is the last of my concerns.

Edit – If I was to do it again – I would get the 52” rails – I didn’t think I had the space, but I do with how my shop works.

-- My "projects" always look better with beer goggles.

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clin

751 posts in 834 days


#13 posted 11-28-2016 06:51 PM

I have a 3 HP PCS and love it. If you get the PCS, as mentioned by others, you want the ICS mobile base. It is much more maneuverable. It has 4 swivel casters and the PCS mobile base has two fixed and two swivel.

However, the ICS base is larger and extends out the back of the saw. So the net footprint is similar to the contractor saw with the motor hanging off the back. I think the ICS mobile base uses about 6” more out the back.

As for 240 V power, a 240 V load draws half the current of a 120 V. So if you are running an extension cord, it’s actually better to do it with 240 V. Though I understand, that you are only looking to use the extension to reach the 240 V and apparently don’t need one to use the 120 V. Also, because it draws half as much current, it will use up less of the total available current.

Remember, just because it is a 3 HP rated motor doesn’t mean it is going to draw 3 HP. And if you ever draw full power, again, the 3 HP 240V, will draw about the same as the 1 3/4 HP will at 120 V and full power. Maybe even a bit less.

Don’t be afraid of 240 V power. It’s not some difficult thing to add. It’s no harder to add a 240 V circuit than a 120 V. If your power panel is in the garage, just add a 240 V circuit. It’s common to just stub out a short piece of conduit and add an outlet near a breaker panel. But still simple enough to run some more conduit and put the socket where you really want it. It’s very much a DIY project. Just do a little research online.

Where things can get harder is if you need to run a circuit through existing walls etc. But, even that is doable, just more work. No house is a forever house, and 6-10 years is a long time. Especially compared to the one Saturday afternoon, or maybe full weekend, you would need to do some electrical work.

Electrical work can be intimidating if you have no experience. But do your research, do it to code, and when done, you’ll realize it just wasn’t a big deal. Better still, ask around, you can probably find a buddy who has some experience. Still do your own research just in case said buddy is an idiot.

If you do want 240 V through an extension, as mentioned, just make your own extension cord. There are several plug/socket types. The different ones are for different currents. Just match the PCS cord at one end and the wall socket at the other. You can buy appropriate cable at the BORG.

For longer runs you want larger wire, but the socket type will limit how large a wire you can use. If needed, you can replace the plug on the PCS with a higher current plug so you can plug directly into a higher current socket, on the end of the extension cord (if needed).

I’m pretty sure the PCS plug is the smallest size (lowest current) there is, but if not, you want to be sure that the wall socket and circuit rating are enough. Again, I think the PCS draw is very much on the low side and I don’t think this is an issue.

-- Clin

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kryptix

79 posts in 429 days


#14 posted 11-28-2016 06:58 PM



I have a 3 HP PCS and love it. If you get the PCS, as mentioned by others, you want the ICS mobile base. It is much more maneuverable. It has 4 swivel casters and the PCS mobile base has two fixed and two swivel.

However, the ICS base is larger and extends out the back of the saw. So the net footprint is similar to the contractor saw with the motor hanging off the back. I think the ICS mobile base uses about 6” more out the back.

As for 240 V power, a 240 V load draws half the current of a 120 V. So if you are running an extension cord, it s actually better to do it with 240 V. Though I understand, that you are only looking to use the extension to reach the 240 V and apparently don t need one to use the 120 V. Also, because it draws half as much current, it will use up less of the total available current.

Remember, just because it is a 3 HP rated motor doesn t mean it is going to draw 3 HP. And if you ever draw full power, again, the 3 HP 240V, will draw about the same as the 1 3/4 HP will at 120 V and full power. Maybe even a bit less.

Don t be afraid of 240 V power. It s not some difficult thing to add. It s no harder to add a 240 V circuit than a 120 V. If your power panel is in the garage, just add a 240 V circuit. It s common to just stub out a short piece of conduit and add an outlet near a breaker panel. But still simple enough to run some more conduit and put the socket where you really want it. It s very much a DIY project. Just do a little research online.

Where things can get harder is if you need to run a circuit through existing walls etc. But, even that is doable, just more work. No house is a forever house, and 6-10 years is a long time. Especially compared to the one Saturday afternoon, or maybe full weekend, you would need to do some electrical work.

Electrical work can be intimidating if you have no experience. But do your research, do it to code, and when done, you ll realize it just wasn t a big deal. Better still, ask around, you can probably find a buddy who has some experience. Still do your own research just in case said buddy is an idiot.

If you do want 240 V through an extension, as mentioned, just make your own extension cord. There are several plug/socket types. The different ones are for different currents. Just match the PCS cord at one end and the wall socket at the other. You can buy appropriate cable at the BORG.

For longer runs you want larger wire, but the socket type will limit how large a wire you can use. If needed, you can replace the plug on the PCS with a higher current plug so you can plug directly into a higher current socket, on the end of the extension cord (if needed).

I m pretty sure the PCS plug is the smallest size (lowest current) there is, but if not, you want to be sure that the wall socket and circuit rating are enough. Again, I think the PCS draw is very much on the low side and I don t think this is an issue.

- clin

I’m pretty sold on getting the 3HP PCS at this point, most of the debate now is if I want it now (when its honestly getting too cold to even assemble) and to burn up 4-5 months of my warranty before I even use it much, or to just wait to see if any deals are around in the March-April time frame. With Zoro’s high retail cost the deal today amounts to about $300 off for a 3HP saw plus ICS base. Side benefit is that it would be a bit less of a strain than adding a $3k line item to the holiday budget.

As for an extension cord, does it matter which hot prong you wire to which hot socket on the wall plug? Since one end is a dryer outlet (I’m not sure if its 3 or 4 prong), and the other is 6-20R, I was having a hard time finding online which hot wire goes to which prong in the dryer plug side.

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Fred Hargis

4762 posts in 2331 days


#15 posted 11-28-2016 07:10 PM

You can’t get the hots backwards/reversed (makes no difference). As for the future deals, about the best they offered so far was a some freebies with the saw….not much of a discount in the price. Of course, tahat’s not to say they won’t do something different in the future. But I can understand where you’re coming from…except on the warranty. But then, I’m not one to worry about warranties too much. Good luck with the choice.

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

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