Underpowered table saws

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Forum topic by Sirgreggins posted 05-14-2013 01:27 PM 2154 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Sirgreggins's profile


299 posts in 2258 days

05-14-2013 01:27 PM

I just got a Craftsman Flex Drive table saw for free a few weeks ago and the 1 1/6hp motor bogs down pretty good when cutting 2×4’s. I have a 40 tooth blade on there now. Will a 24 tooth blade make a big difference or is this something i’ll have to live with? Just curious what you guys do in these situations.

15 replies so far

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2651 days

#1 posted 05-14-2013 01:51 PM

Will a 24 tooth blade make a big difference

i believe it will help, at the expense of cut quality. the loss of power may be a function of the flex drive cable beginning to fail. i’ve only used one once and was glad that i will probably never have to use one again.

regarding what to do in this situation, start planning on a new TS. those flex drives were a good idea that apparently didn’t enjoy the reliability of their belt driven brethren.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View JamesT's profile


102 posts in 1935 days

#2 posted 05-14-2013 01:52 PM

A very sharp thin kerf 24 tooth should help on rip cuts and a 40-60 tooth TK for cross cuts. If you want to stick with just one blade, I would recommend a 50 tooth thin kerf combination blade. However, don’t expect too much of an improvement with the limited horsepower.

-- Jim from Doniphan

View bandit571's profile


20211 posts in 2706 days

#3 posted 05-14-2013 03:51 PM

Found out I like my saws a little underpowered. Too much power can drive a kick back through a wall.

Mine, IF it gets into a pre-kick back bind, the saw bogs down to a stop. I can shut it off, and clear the bind.

Ripping with 24-28 teeth, cross cuts with either a 40, or a 60 tooth. No, I don’t have thin kerf blades.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3670 days

#4 posted 05-14-2013 04:00 PM

A sharp blade, especially a thin kerf one will.

This blade at auction would make a difference and you
could keep it when/if you upgrade to a nicer saw.

Also, try raising the blade up higher.

View PaulJerome's profile


57 posts in 3056 days

#5 posted 05-14-2013 04:24 PM

Rip it to rough width with a 24 tooth and then to final with the 40. Just shave the last 1/32 off.

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2659 days

#6 posted 05-14-2013 05:45 PM

You can cut half way through in one pass, with the fence set 1/32 bigger than you want. Then set the fence to your measurement and cut the rest of the way through. I have to do this with my benchtop saw, especially with hardwoods.

View Sirgreggins's profile


299 posts in 2258 days

#7 posted 05-14-2013 10:14 PM

thanks for the advice guys. do you have a “minimum” horsepower threshold? just curious.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2655 days

#8 posted 05-14-2013 11:06 PM

Well first off, I’ll say that Craftsman has a tendency to “over-state” the HP ratings of their machines. I can’t speak for the flex drive model as I have little knowledge of that product, but my Craftsman 113 saw is advertised as 3 hp. No way in hell its anything close to 3hp. My 120v circuit wouldn’t support it.
My best estimate would put my saw in the 1.25ish catagory. I haven’t cut any hardwood over 5/4 with it, but it cut through that without issue. But My saw would easily rip a 2X4 with any general purpose or rip blade.

Anyway, with that said, I think 1.25hp would be the minimum power I’d want.

View Sirgreggins's profile


299 posts in 2258 days

#9 posted 05-15-2013 03:31 PM

This saw is being sold near me and the guy would be willing to sell it for $250. i dont really believe the 3hp but is this significantly more powerful than the 1 hp one i have now?

View dschlic1's profile


432 posts in 1992 days

#10 posted 05-15-2013 05:06 PM

From the picture it looks like a 113 model. The motor is 1.5 Hp belt driven. I have one and it is a good saw. However $250 is too much. Probably worth about half that much. I paid $90 but the saw need some TLC.

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2651 days

#11 posted 05-15-2013 05:06 PM

not really. that saw is between 1 and 1.5 hp (at best). it’s worth between $100 and 200 (more like 100 and 150, actually) if complete. emerson built 10”CI TS with webbed CI extension wings. looks to have an upgraded version of the OEM fence that gets a great deal of bad press. don’t see the splitter/blade guard, which is ~ $50 -100. good basic TS that will do whatever a hobbyist needs to do. i have two similar saws, one with a 1 hp motor, the other with a 1 1/2 hp motor. they will both rip 8/4 hardwoods with the appropriate blade.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Sirgreggins's profile


299 posts in 2258 days

#12 posted 05-15-2013 05:55 PM

i’m waiting for my 24 tooth marples blade to come in. i will just use that blade and see how it goes. i also bought the Delta T2 for it so once i get those 2 on there it should be better. i guess i fell into Craftsmans’ marketing of the the 3hp. i’ll stick with my free flex drive saw

View Woodknack's profile


11771 posts in 2403 days

#13 posted 05-15-2013 06:32 PM

If ripping, an actual rip blade will cut much easier than a combo or general purpose blade.

-- Rick M,

View Sirgreggins's profile


299 posts in 2258 days

#14 posted 05-15-2013 07:04 PM

i will just have to be a blade changer for a while :-)

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 1926 days

#15 posted 05-15-2013 10:35 PM

I have had my worst incidents cutting 2X4s on an underpowered saw.
First, I have not seen a straight 2X4 in years, they export those and sell you the crap.
When a saw bogs down, thats a warning sign. The blade and the wood is getting hot, causing even worse problems such as side loading the blade. Blades are not designed for a side load, they must be free cutting with no bog down.
If one does not have a jointer, hand plane the board to sit flat on the saw, and true an edge for the fence.
Even a 1 1/2 hp saw can kick back hard, or explode the wood sending it out like shrapnel.
Folks, please be careful!

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