Sawstop in Narrow Shop - Which fence system will work?

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Forum topic by kenneals posted 01-17-2017 04:11 PM 1156 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 734 days

01-17-2017 04:11 PM

I’m looking into a SawStop contractor or PCS as my first major equipment purchase as a hobby woodworker. I realize there are other options out there but for me a SawStop is the right choice.

I’ve been reading the forums a lot but I am looking for some additional advice on the following two questions:

1. The shop space I have available in my house is L shaped and I can devote one arm of the L purely to a table saw. The problem is the arm is about 7.5 feet wide(it is ~14 feet long). Based upon the width I’m leaning towards the smaller fence system (30”) for the SawStop 1.75HP PCS since it results in a 61.5” wide saw vs a 69” wide saw with the 36” fence system. Am I worrying too much about the 7.5 foot width of the space? Will the 36” fence system be workable? Should I shrink further and get a 30” in the Contractor saw(58.5” wide)?

2. Other than cost, for a someone who will use the table saw solely hobby woodworking(mostly tables/bookcases/etc), is there any reason to get the SawStop contractor instead of the 1.75HP PCS? I will get a mobile base for it either way to move it around the shop but it is unlikely I will ever move the saw outside the shop. The shop space I have set aside is also on the first floor so access isn’t a problem

Thanks for the input in advance

5 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3072 posts in 2413 days

#1 posted 01-17-2017 04:39 PM

I have a sawstop contractor’s with the 30” fence. The fence is accurate and adjustable. It seems to me to be a little light weight and I always worry about it locking up square. I would go with the 36” fence if I did it again. I might upgrade when I can afford it. More for peace of mind than performance.
I believe the PCS has a smaller floor footprint than the contractor’s if you can afford it go with the PCS because it is a cabinet saw. I am very happy with the contractors saw I believe the internals are the same in both saws.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bbasiaga's profile


1242 posts in 2235 days

#2 posted 01-17-2017 04:47 PM

The break is the same, but I think the trunions and motor system are different. The PCS has a smaller footprint than the contracto, so I would go that way.

With the 36” fence you’d have about 23” between the end of the saw and the wall. If you can eork that, do it. You’re going tto get about 30” with the shorter fence, which is still not a normal 36” walkway. I think you can get around either, and with either option you’ll need to break down sheet goods elsewhere first.

Spring for the ICS base if you can. Fully omni directional, so it would be easy to move the saw without all the K motion. It’s pricey but it is so nice it has ruined all other mobile bases for me.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5241 posts in 2733 days

#3 posted 01-17-2017 04:52 PM

I’d get the 36” as well (and the PCS). One thing about it, you can make it a little shorter if need be. BTW, that part about the ICS base is spot on, and it might even be more important with the spot you have in mind for the saw.

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

View clin's profile


974 posts in 1236 days

#4 posted 01-17-2017 10:28 PM

I have a PCS 3HP with the 36” fence and ICS mobile base.

I highly recommend the ICS base. It has 4 swiveling casters, the PCS base has two fixed and two swival. The ICS base can be rotated in place, if needed.

I have the left (extension) side of my saw near a wall, and that is fine 90% of the time. I don’t have a miter saw, so sometimes I’ll have to move the saw away from the wall, or even rotate it.

As for footprint, the smaller footprint of the PCS cabinet is of no help because you lose that with the ICS base. The ICS base is larger to handle the larger ICS saw. So the base sticks out the back, about as much as the motor on the contractor saw. But in your case, that’s not the issue.

I really like the PCS and while also a hobbyist, I do not regret getting it over the contractor saw. I don’t think an extra 6” will matter that much, even in your tight space. And as mentioned, if it really were a problem, you could always cut the rails shorter and modify the extension table.

I just put a tape measure across the diagonal of mine, and it about 70”. So you could rotate in within your 7.5” (90”) space, if needed.

And with a mobile base, you can always move the saw around if you’re making some unusual cut and need the room. It’s extremely easy to move with an ICS base. The ground clearance is really low 1/4”-3/8”, so it’s isn’t able to go over uneven ground. But a typical concrete floor is fine. It rolls so easy, that it will roll on it’s own, given the slope in my garage floor.

I have had to cheat my fence to 37” more than once and I’m glad I have that over a 30”.

-- Clin

View pintodeluxe's profile


5819 posts in 3053 days

#5 posted 01-17-2017 11:44 PM

I have the 52” rails and feel like my shop actually got bigger with the new saw.

I would go with the 36” rails. It comes with a better fence than the 30” model. The tabletop also offers a good horizontal storage space when not cutting wide panels.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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