Can I use a 1/4 HP motor on a small 8" table saw?

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Forum topic by Steve posted 12-04-2012 07:17 PM 1613 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Steve's profile


165 posts in 1289 days

12-04-2012 07:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: 8 table saw craftsman motor

I have my father’s old Craftsman 8” table saw. When I try to turn it on, the motor hums but does not spin. I’m thinking it might need a new capacitor but I haven’t tested it yet. I tried spinning the shaft to get it going but that did not work. It is a 3/4 HP 3450 RPM motor and I don’t think it’s the original one.

I have a belt/disc sander that I do not use and it has a 1/4 HP 1725 RPM motor on it. If I can’t get the 3/4 motor working, do you think I could just put the 1/4 motor from the sander on the table saw? I would only use it for small pieces of wood 3/4” thick or less, so it seems like it would do the job. Would I need a different size pulley on the motor shaft to compensate for the 1725 vs 3450 rpm? Should I just try it and see if it cuts small parts ok, since I need to remove the old motor anyway? Thanks for any input and opinions you can provide.

-- Steve in Lawrenceville, GA -

11 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


113839 posts in 2670 days

#1 posted 12-04-2012 07:22 PM

I would think 1/4 HP would be way under powered you would need art least the 3/4 Hp the saw came with.

-- Custom furniture

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

5878 posts in 1473 days

#2 posted 12-04-2012 07:25 PM

The worst I see happening is the motor burns up. I think 3/4” stock is pushing it for a 1/4HP motor.


View crank49's profile


3903 posts in 2063 days

#3 posted 12-04-2012 07:56 PM

It’s the wrong speed also.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View MonteCristo's profile


2098 posts in 1281 days

#4 posted 12-04-2012 07:59 PM

With benchtop table saws as cheap as they are today, it hardly seems worthwhile to make such an effort. Also, the 1/4 hp motor may not like the load due to the (heavy for it) blade on startup. If your motivation is to resurrect a family heirloom, I’d give it a try but don’t 1.5” hardwood on it !! Also, keep the blade really sharp !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4023 posts in 3053 days

#5 posted 12-04-2012 08:38 PM

And the answer is ??? NO!


View Steve's profile


165 posts in 1289 days

#6 posted 12-04-2012 08:53 PM

Thanks everybody! I guess I won’t bother with the 1/4 hp motor. I will see if I can fix the 3/4 or find another one to get it working. I have a bigger table saw, but just wanted to see if I could get this little one going and use it for something since it’s taking up space. It would be nice to keep this one set at 45 degrees all the time, so I would need a bigger motor for that anyway. I knew this would be the right place to ask this question. :)

-- Steve in Lawrenceville, GA -

View MrRon's profile


3476 posts in 2336 days

#7 posted 12-04-2012 10:29 PM

With a good sharp blade, it would work but you would have to put a larger pulley on the motor to get the speed up to the 3500 mark. I wouldn’t try cutting hardwoods or anything over 3/4”. I think if you do it, you will find the speed falling quickly to the point of stalling. I could see it being used for hobby purposes where very thin wood (1/8”-1/4”) is being cut. If you can’t fix the 3/4 hp motor, Harbor Freight has some reasonably priced motors.

View Ted78's profile


161 posts in 1092 days

#8 posted 12-04-2012 11:29 PM

It would be underpowered for sure, but to just flat out say no it can’t be done is wrong. If your cutting small stuff, and your blade is sharp, and you don’t mind feeding the stock SLOWLY it would work.

-- Ted

View Grandpa's profile


3246 posts in 1768 days

#9 posted 12-04-2012 11:56 PM

I am with Ron on this. Go to Harbor Freight and lay out a few dollars for another 3/4 or 1 hp motor with the same base. You will save a lot of time since you will probably end up there anyway. I feel like an under powered saw is more dangerous. Things stop the blade of bind worse.

View dhazelton's profile


1746 posts in 1389 days

#10 posted 12-05-2012 12:02 AM

By the time you’ve bought a new motor you’ve bought another used saw that’s larger and more useful. It may be time to put that on the shelf as an heirloom. Those bases are nice to keep though, so save that.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2062 days

#11 posted 12-05-2012 12:10 AM

1/4 hp is too weedy IMO

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