Delta Contractor TS Question

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Forum topic by rotorwash posted 03-10-2012 05:12 AM 2182 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 2648 days

03-10-2012 05:12 AM

I have a Delta 10” Contractor saw with a 1 1/2 hp motor. Does anyone know if I can upgrade the motor to a higher hp motor or is there a some limitation in the saw itself that I am unaware of?

-- Jon, California

15 replies so far

View tomd's profile


2149 posts in 3737 days

#1 posted 03-10-2012 05:20 AM

I don’t have a Delta but I have a Craftsman that I upped from 1 HP to 3 HP, 4 years ago with no problem. You will have to get a new pulley, the pulley on 1 HP is usually 5/8” diameter shaft while a 3 HP is usually 7/8”.

-- Tom D

View KDO's profile


154 posts in 2736 days

#2 posted 03-10-2012 05:20 AM

I can’t answer your question about the limitation of the saw, eventhough I wouldn’t think it would hurt anything.

My first thought is…Why do you think you need a bigger motor?
Thousands of these saws have worked successfully for years.
If you put in a bigger motor you also have to watch your electrical requirements for the bigger motor.

If you slow down your cutting, I would think you have plenty of power.
A thinner Kerf saw blade will help if you are having problems.

I have the same saw and have never had problems. My father used one for probably 20 years as well.

Any other input LumberJocks?

-- Christian, Husband, Grandpa, Salesman, amateur Woodworker.

View rotorwash's profile


20 posts in 2648 days

#3 posted 03-10-2012 05:32 AM

KDO I have not yet decided if I will upgrade or not. I am building a mobile base for the saw and will take the oportunity to tune up the saw and possibly upgrade it where I can. The main reason I am thinking of a more powerful motor is safety. When cutting thick stock 1 1/2” – 2” I have to use quite a bit of force to push the stock through (even at a very slow speed). I clean my blades often and keep them sharp. I do use push sticks and I have a grr-riper but I still would feel safer if the saw itself cut had more power.

-- Jon, California

View rotorwash's profile


20 posts in 2648 days

#4 posted 03-10-2012 05:34 AM

Tom thanks for the info.

-- Jon, California

View KDO's profile


154 posts in 2736 days

#5 posted 03-10-2012 05:38 AM

Thats a valid point.
I am concious of questions like this because I am one of those guys who often falls prey to the idea that
“Bigger is Always better”, when in fact, often that is not the case <grin>.

-- Christian, Husband, Grandpa, Salesman, amateur Woodworker.

View rotorwash's profile


20 posts in 2648 days

#6 posted 03-10-2012 05:46 AM


Thanks for the input. I too often fall prey to “bigger is always better”

-- Jon, California

View JohnnyM's profile


39 posts in 2299 days

#7 posted 03-10-2012 06:38 AM

I have used my Delta CS since 1995 with no issues as far as power. I have cut 8/4 hard maple, oak and walnut with no problem. Mine is wired for 220v and I have my blades professionally sharpened when I feel resistance or I experience burning. A sharp blade runs through the hard stuff like a hot knife through butter. Just sharing my experience.

-- ~~ John . . . . . . . . . Against the Grain Woodworking & Design, LLC

View wee3's profile


76 posts in 2238 days

#8 posted 03-10-2012 08:13 AM

I had that saw,good saw too,it did its job,then i had bearing issues.the guy who ended up with it,was machined schooled,had ur similar idea,but could not get it running to specs.i know,cutting 2 in.hard maple,mine would grunt,if i rushd it,from time to theory,leave well alone,great saw as is.good luck.

-- BiLL @wee3

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2543 days

#9 posted 03-10-2012 01:17 PM

I have a delta contractor saw as well and have no issues with it.
Sometimes cutting thick purpleheart is slower going than poplar but not to the point where I feel there is any danger.

Also, try a thin kerf blade.
You could probably get a 2 HP motor on there, but it might not be worth the cost.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3342 days

#10 posted 03-10-2012 01:36 PM

Rotor – There’s always a chance you can overtax the under pinnings of the saw with a motor that has more torque and weight than the system was designed for. The drive system on true 3hp saws is very different than a 1-1/2hp saw. You might get away with a 2hp motor, but the difference won’t be all that substantial.

Are you using a decent thin kerf 24T rip blade for thick stock? If not, something like the Freud Diablo D1024 is $27…..a lot cheaper and easier than a motor upgrade.

Alignment is another critical factor in how well a saw cuts, and it’s free. The splitter needs to be aligned too. Check it closely.

It’s a lot easier to rip a board that’s flat and straight too. If possible, joint a face and an adjacent edge first so the board won’t rock as you feed it.

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

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3363 days

#11 posted 03-12-2012 01:18 PM

That saw was offered with a 2 H.P. motor, should be no problem to upgrade it. There is not much difference in weight from the 1-1/2 – 2 H.P. motors to have serious effect on the bearing loading. I wouldn’t recommend going over 2 H.P.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View rotorwash's profile


20 posts in 2648 days

#12 posted 03-16-2012 01:41 AM

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I think I am just going to give the saw a tune up new belt and try using thin kerf blades.

-- Jon, California

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3711 days

#13 posted 03-16-2012 12:23 PM

The best motor upgrade you can do for this saw is replacing it with a 1 1/2 – 2 hp TEFC motor. The dust that gets in the open frame motor is what will kill it. Sharp blades, splitter and good alignment, this saw will work fine without having to put an oversize motor on it.

View JayCop's profile


37 posts in 2400 days

#14 posted 03-16-2012 01:13 PM

If you saw is not wired for 220V then you may want to wire it for 220V and see if that helps. I have read that it increases the effective horsepower of theses motors.

View rotorwash's profile


20 posts in 2648 days

#15 posted 03-17-2012 07:19 PM


I don’t have 220 in my garage. i thought about running 220 but no open bays in the electrical box.


I had a thin kerf combo blade but changed to a freud thin kerf 20 tooth rip and also changed the belt to a Power Twist Link Belt. Cuts are like butter even through hard maple. I’m gonna give up on swapping the motor because I’m happy with the results I’m getting now. Thanks.

-- Jon, California

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