Cabinet Saw Confusion...

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Forum topic by SomeClown posted 12-28-2012 10:32 PM 2206 views 0 times favorited 59 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 2974 days

12-28-2012 10:32 PM


My wife has given the green-light to get a cabinet saw (my first!) for my shop (our two-car garage) and I’d like to make sure I make the right decision. I’ve been sold for a while now on the Delta Unisaw 3HP with 52” fence. In doing my final due-dilligence, however, I find myself conflicted. I’m now wondering if the Unisaw is really that good, or should I go with a Grizzly or a Powermatic? I don’t want the Sawstop just because of the uniqueness, so let’s leave that out.

My only thoughts on something other than the Unisaw is that I could then get something extra, like a bandsaw. :) But, I don’t want to do this more than once, so I’d like to make the right choice now. I’ll be putting in a new couple of circuits for this saw, but no 3-phase. Otherwise, all suggestions welcome.

Thanks in advance!

-- There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

59 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3153 days

#1 posted 12-28-2012 10:39 PM

Sorry, but any discussion of a new 3hp Unisaw or Powermatic should also include Sawstop. It is every bit of the quality of table saw as the other two, arguably better. And that has nothing to do with the safety feature.

I would buy the Sawstop. I own a Unisaw.

-- jay,

View mbs's profile


1656 posts in 2934 days

#2 posted 12-28-2012 10:49 PM

I own a unisaw and a sawstop and I much prefer the quality of the sawstop over the unisaw. Their customer service is fantastic too. You actually talk to person in Oregon.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Redoak49's profile


3239 posts in 1983 days

#3 posted 12-28-2012 11:06 PM

At least take a look at the SawStop. It is as good a saw as the others and the customer service is great. I know that this is repeating what other have said.

Is the saw unique….of course it is and that is a good thing. The safety aspects have been proven many times. I had a good cabinet saw and talked with my wife about the SawStop. As others have found, the wives have encouraged their husbands to get the SawStop for the safety. My wife insisted that I get it.

View pendledad's profile


190 posts in 2084 days

#4 posted 12-28-2012 11:07 PM

The longer railed grizzly saws are worth a look. You’d be able to get another tool for the same cost as a SS.

G0691 seems to be a favorite from them.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#5 posted 12-28-2012 11:07 PM

If I had the money for a Uni-saw, I’d spend it on a SawStop in a heartbeat.
Would not even stop to think about it.

View SomeClown's profile


63 posts in 2974 days

#6 posted 12-28-2012 11:10 PM

I don’t have a problem with the Sawstop, and I am impressed with the quality and the reviews. I had just heard slightly better reviews about the Unisaw, especially with the new re-design and the fence. My main point here in not considering it was just to avoid a Unisaw vs. Sawstop argument which is what seems to happen on every forum I’ve ever seen where these two saws are discussed. :)

As for the Sawstop, the main factors dissuading me right now are cost and some configuration issues (I have read that certain configurations are more difficult on the Sawstop… maybe Dado blades? Can’t remember now).

FWIW, the Sawstop appears to be cheaper than the Unisaw by a decent amount ($600 or so) so that’s something I suppose.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

View SomeClown's profile


63 posts in 2974 days

#7 posted 12-28-2012 11:13 PM

By the way, I am new to all of this, so I am most definitely appreciating ALL advice. Whatever saw I do buy, it will largely be because of the input I’ve received on this forum. You all are some of the most helpful folks out there!

-- There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

View thewoodworker01's profile


93 posts in 2139 days

#8 posted 12-28-2012 11:14 PM

I would definiately go with the new Delta Unisaw. The unisaw has been around since the early 30s. It has had a great history, and I’m sure the new Unisaw is the best. I like the Unisaw than the Powermatic cabinet saw because it has the handwheels mounted on the front. I think that is a much better design than the side mounted handwheel for tilting.


-- Most people say "Measure Twice, Cut Once." I say, "Cut Twice, Measure Once".

View SomeClown's profile


63 posts in 2974 days

#9 posted 12-29-2012 12:04 AM

In looking at a few other things, I notice that the Unisaw has a 5-year warranty, is some 200lbs heavier, and has a better fence. The SawStop has the famous brake, but only a 2-year warranty and a lower quality fence.

This is where I drive myself crazy trying to figure out the things I care about in two obviously high-quality products.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2183 days

#10 posted 12-29-2012 12:07 AM

Delta has been bought and sold so many times, I would look at the Unisaw with some caution. They were very good at one time, but there may be a “but” these days. General is likely still good but overpriced. A used saw that was built before this latest round of cheapening up might actually be a better bet.

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

View Woodmaster1's profile


955 posts in 2581 days

#11 posted 12-29-2012 12:20 AM

I have a unisaw that I love. The school where I teach has a sawstop. The unisaw is my favorite. I would buy the unisaw. The upfront controls and the riving knife adjustment are great.

View Lenny's profile


1593 posts in 3521 days

#12 posted 12-29-2012 12:33 AM

SomeClown, it’s great to be in the position of going crazy deciding what saw to get. Relish it. Let’s go back to your first list of possibles. Personally, I do not feel Grizzly belongs in the same discussion as Powermatic (PM) and Delta. That’s not to knock them, it’s just not as quality a product as evidenced in their prices. Next, I grappled over this same issue 3+ years ago and my top three were PM, Delta and Sawstop. A 3hp cabinet saw with 52” rails from any one of these three companies will run about $3,000. I opted for the PM2000. Why? I read a few (not many) reviews that had one or two negatives about the Delta. I saw NONE regarding the PM. As for the Sawstop, at the time I resolved that the jury was still out on the saw. Would it have false triggers? Is the engineering and fit/finish up to Powermatic’s and Delta’s level? Will an eventual retrofit of the flesh-detecting technology become available for other brands, etc. I went with what I believed to be tried and true, the PM. I came to love my PM but eventually wished I had gotten to Sawstop because I learned it is as good as the PM in quality and has the additional safety feature. I procrastinated in selling the PM and four months ago suffered a serious injury (no loss digits thank God). Last Saturday I sold the PM and soon after my second surgery in a few days, I will be buying a Sawstop. Sorry for going on so much. In summation, I would go with the Sawstop. Second would be the PM2000 and the Delta Unisaw third. Good luck with your decision and whatever you get, be safe!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View SomeClown's profile


63 posts in 2974 days

#13 posted 12-29-2012 12:48 AM

Thanks for the information, everyone, and by all means keep it coming! :)

On a related note, I started reading on the saws made by General, and while I can find the Asian imported General International brand (which General owns, I believe, or the other way ‘round) I cannot find any made-in-Canada General saws for sale. I’ve read enough from others around that they are quite good (much better than Unisaw for instance) but no @#$~! idea where you can buy one. Anyone know?

Thanks again!

-- There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3571 days

#14 posted 12-29-2012 12:50 AM

One configuration you might be unhappy with would to be looking down and seeing several fingers laying on you table saw. If It were making the choice it would be Saw Stop hands down (no pun intended).

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Loren's profile (online now)


10373 posts in 3642 days

#15 posted 12-29-2012 01:24 AM

Are you able to buy used?

You’ll get at least twice the bang for your buck buying
used machinery, as a rule of thumb…. sometimes far

I prefer a European style cabinet saw with integrated
sliding table. A few vintage American machines have
a similar feature.

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