Table Saw HP

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Forum topic by brianlsu43 posted 01-12-2011 09:40 PM 11334 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View brianlsu43's profile


18 posts in 3291 days

01-12-2011 09:40 PM

Is there a noticeable difference in performance between table saws with 2hp and 3hp motors?

I would like to buy a table saw in the near future. I have changed my mind over and over as to which one I would like.

Most, if not all, 3hp motors seem to require 220v. I would have to accommodate for this.

I have narrowed my choices to a Ridgid 4510 (2HP), Grizzly G0715P (2HP) and Grizzly G0690 (3HP).

Each of these units have different qualities that are appealing to me.

My question is….will I see a noticeable difference in a 3HP motor that you cannot get from a 2HP motor?

16 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3886 days

#1 posted 01-12-2011 09:44 PM

yes. there will be a significant difference in power.

FYI the reason for 3hp motors being 220 is that the AMP draw for anything beyond 2hp running off of 110 is just too high, and switching to 220 cuts the AMP draw in half (by doubling the voltage draw) making it feasible to power the units without burning down the house (high Amp = hot cables).

that said – if all you are cutting is 3/4” plywood, I doubt you’ll make use of that significant boost in power… so it boils down to what you need.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3412 days

#2 posted 01-12-2011 09:49 PM

Unless the money is TRULY tight …. I don’t imagine that there are ANY woodworkers, ANYWHERE, who have ever wished they had gone for the lower horsepower machine.

That same theory … holds true in much of the “which X should I buy ?” discussion.

Buy it right, and you’ll only cry once ;-)

-- -- Neil

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3885 days

#3 posted 01-12-2011 10:01 PM

Yes. Big difference.

I think you’ll get more power out of a 2hp motor at 230 volts than
at 115.

For that matter, many motors rated at 2hp but wired for 115 volt
are not what I would call a real 2hp motor. More like 1 3/4, usually.

2hp at 115 volts is right on the edge of what a common 20 amp
household circuit can handle.

I have never regretted going to 230 volt machinery. The wiring stuff is
a pain sometimes, but the boost in performance you get with the
bigger motors is dreamy.

View Murray62's profile


9 posts in 2929 days

#4 posted 01-12-2011 10:02 PM

If the table saw is going to be your main tool in the workshop, then you should check out some reviews and get a saw that is going to be quite a bit more saw what you think you require now. A cabinet saw would be my first choice and also a 3 hp motor. If you are going to be buying some larger stationary tools in the future, you should definetly get 220 volt recepticles in your shop and now is a good time. If your budget is tight, the next best thing is to try and buy used and later if you want to upgrade you may be able to get your full price back when you resell the used saw. I had a rockwell beaver 34050 for 30 years and was a great saw even when I sold it. These go for around a $100.00 in good condition.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3312 days

#5 posted 01-12-2011 10:03 PM

I use a relatively low HP TS. It has 1.75 HP. I compensate some for the lower HP by using a thin kerf blade.

In my opinion, the issue comes down to speed. When cutting think hardwood, I’m pushing the wood through the blade a little slower than someone with more HP. I am also inclined to take smaller bites with each pass. I often make one pass with the blade about 1” off the table, then take a second pass with the blade higher. Most blade manufactures recommend this technique regardless of your HP anyway. The man from Freud once told me to never take more than 1.25” in any one pass with any TS blade, Freud or others.

I’m not into high speed production. Indeed, I’m a slow speed kind of guy so, for me, not having more HP is not a big deal.

On the other hand,Tim, the Toolman, Taylor’s mantra was “more power” and that is the way many woodworkers feel as well.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View knotscott's profile


8178 posts in 3613 days

#6 posted 01-12-2011 10:15 PM

I went from a 2hp, to a 1-3/4hp, to a 3hp. Alignment and blade selection make a big difference in the smaller motors, but the 3hp just chomps through anything no matter what blade I’m using. Its not even so much a matter of speed, as it is “ease”. It never bogs, where the 2hp did.

I’m puzzled by the R4510 in your choices…that’s a portable jobsite site, while the other two are full size stationary saws. In that case, the saw type will make more of a difference than the stated HP. The G0715P and R4510 are both shown as “2HP”, but the G0715P is in a completely different league. The G0690 is step even further up the food chain, but the G0715P and G0690 are more similar than the R4510.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3152 days

#7 posted 01-12-2011 10:19 PM

What PurpLev and NBeener said. AND, I chose the G0690 and love it! 8-)

If you are going to add 240v service, I recommend adding several 30-50 amp outlets. I added 4-240v outlets on 3-(double) 240v breakers in my 125amp garage service box. This took up half of the available breakers but I feel it was well worth it. FWIW, I also switched my 14” Rikon BS from 120 to 240v so now my TS, BS and Grizzly G0593 jointer all run 240v. I have 1 vertical drop and 3 wall mounted outlets.

FYI, I used 10-2 Armor-Clad to make the runs. This allows me to easily move the 240v outlets at a future time if I don’t like where I placed any of them originally. Some +35 years ago I used to be an electrician so I was able to do this myself (on the cheap). I feel this is still worth it even if you have to pay someone else to get it done. You will NOT regret it.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View brianlsu43's profile


18 posts in 3291 days

#8 posted 01-12-2011 11:53 PM

Thanks for the quick replies. Looks like there is a good consensus that 3hp does outmatch the 2hp.

I have been cutting alot of hard maple and oak on my benchtop saw. It does the job, but I change the blades regularly to overcompensate for the lack of muscle.

NBeener – those are words to live by!

I believe I will just have to save up enough and go with a 3HP.

Thanks again for all of the help.

View Jeffrey Williams's profile

Jeffrey Williams

30 posts in 2929 days

#9 posted 01-13-2011 12:11 AM

I have a 2 hp Delta and the 3 hp for me was a money issue. After a year of some interuptions from braker trips I increased the circut and the saw to 240v but it remains at 2 hp. No problems in the second year of operations. So it can be done on 2 hp while 3 hp is always better. I don’t cut over 1 1/2” stock and it goes right through Purpleheart which is really hard material. Good blade helps too. The circut at 240v might be an intermediate position.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3152 days

#10 posted 01-13-2011 12:37 AM

FYI—You may already know this (I didn’t at the time), but the G0690 3hp has a riving knife that REQUIRES Full Kerf (1/8” thickness) blades. When I got all excited about upgrading and ordering the G0690, I went out and bought a series of 10” Thin Kerf TS blades in expectation, only to have to return them once the new saw arrived. Just a thought…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3886 days

#11 posted 01-13-2011 01:04 AM

I’ll second that a 2HP (or 1.5HP like mine) motor will always be 2HP motor be it running 110v or 220, AV, or DC motor – a 2HP motor is a 2HP motor.

FYI HorizontalMike – there are thin-kerf riving knives just like there are thin-kerf blades. you could have gotten a proper riving knife instead of returning all your blades.

I have yet to run a project that made me think “Now if only I had a 3HP saw I could have done this cut”, but I too agree that if you have the option between the 2 might as well go with the bigger motor and have a smoother running saw even if it’s not for the ‘need’.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Mark Colan's profile

Mark Colan

211 posts in 3083 days

#12 posted 01-13-2011 01:08 AM

I have never used a high-HP saw, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

More HP will make a difference most noticeably when you need to cut thick hardwood stock. If you are cutting 3/4” pine, I doubt it would make an important difference. If you expect to work with hardwood a lot, especially thicker material, that’s a better reason to get more HP.

I asked to have some plywood cut at Boulter Plywood in Somerville MA. They have a big high HP saw, and they pretty much just showed the piece of plywood to the saw and the plywood cut itself. OK, I exaggerate, but it went through with very little effort.

I imagine that a high-HP saw has the ability to throw material you with more force in kickback situations, or larger material that a contractor saw may stall on rather than throw.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3275 days

#13 posted 01-13-2011 01:42 AM

Kickback is less of an issue with higher horsepower saws since there is more of a likelihood that twisted stock will merely be cut, rather than get launched by the blade. For what it’s worth.

That being said, I live with a 1 HP Craftsman contractor saw (maybe 1.5, but I can’t remember off the top of my head), and really haven’t run into a situation where I would need to upgrade. I primarily cut 1” or thinner stock, so it’s typically not an issue for me. I have cut 2.5” thick SYP with it (doubled up 2X4’s planed down) and it has been fine for occasional use, but I definitely wouldn’t want to do that every day. I use thin and full kerf blades, and as long as I am using an appropriate blade, I typically don’t have issues. For dados, I definitely would like some more power, but I can get 3/4” cuts with reasonable feed rates, so I don’t really think that even qualifies as justifying an upgrade at this point.

My point is pretty simple—look at what YOU will be doing with your saw and then make a decision! Don’t automatically go for more power just because it is available.

-- David from Indiana --

View ChrisCarr's profile


196 posts in 3136 days

#14 posted 01-13-2011 06:44 AM

2hp saws work fine but use a 3hp and you will have much more power and safety.

I use a 2hp (220v rewired for 110v) and it works excellent.

View Pop's profile


429 posts in 4184 days

#15 posted 01-15-2011 12:29 AM

I have a General International contractor’s saw. Most contractor’s saws have a 1-1/2 hp. motor. The General has a 2 hp. It came wired 120 and I rewired it to 220. I have a 220 drop in my shop for my 15 in. plane so it was no problem to set the saw up for 220. I don’t have any more power, but I also don’t have any breaker problems either. The 2 hp. will bog down if I try to cram 2 in. hard maple through it too fast. Overall it has served me well.

If I was buying a cabinet saw I would want all the hp. I could get. 3 hp. is a bear minimum 5 hp. would be much better.


-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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