Help me pick a new 3hp table saw

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Forum topic by onesojourner posted 09-16-2013 06:56 AM 3730 views 0 times favorited 54 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 1710 days

09-16-2013 06:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

I am finally in the market to purchase a decent table saw. I have been using freebies and hand-me-downs my entire life. This will be going in a walk out basement in a shop that is about 14×20. I am leaning towards saws that have a 50” fence. Will this be to much for that size shop?

I began me search looking at high end 110v saws. When I built the house I ran 4 2amp circuits to the basement. I was busy and didn’t consider that I may want some 220 down there. I may have an option of pulling 220 of the back up heat strip 50 amp circuit though. I just need to figure out how to do it.

During my 110v saw search I was pretty set on either the Steel City or the Jet Proshop. In all the similiar threads I kept seeing the grizzly 691 and the 1023 coming up. Grizzly is about 2 minutes up the road from my work, so I consider that a huge advantage over the other companies out there. I guess my question is are the 3hp saws from Jet, Delta, Powermatic, SawStop (ignoring the safety brake) really worth the almost double the price of the Griz? I am looking for a saw that will last me 20 years, if not the rest of my life. I will not be considering a used saw.


54 replies so far

View danman123's profile


2 posts in 1708 days

#1 posted 09-16-2013 07:10 AM

onesojouner, what ever saw you decide on make sure that you can set the blade parallel with the fence. I have a sears contractor and it is hard to get into the area to set the blade with the fence. To me one saw is just about as good as another. The secret to keeping any machine for a long period of time is keeping it clean and oiled. Machines as you know will rust. So keep it clean and oiled.

View knotscott's profile


8006 posts in 3370 days

#2 posted 09-16-2013 10:13 AM

Since 220v is available and budget allows, IMHO either the Griz G1023RL or the G0690 are among the best bangs for the buck in a new saw. Are the PM, Delta, General, and SS worth 2x? Not to me, but it’s personal choice that should consider your needs/circumstances. The step from the 110v hybrids toa 3hp cabinet saw isn’t a requirement for good hobby work, but it’s a very large step for another couple hundred bucks, which makes it money well spent IMO. If I was spending $3k, I’d consider the SS PCS 3hp for the safety feature, but the performanc of a G1023RL should more than suffice.

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

View jonah's profile


1695 posts in 3293 days

#3 posted 09-16-2013 12:28 PM

Why would you ignore the safety feature of the Sawstop? If I had the money to spend, I’d buy one of those in a second. If I didn’t, I’d probably get a Grizzly 2HP hybrid.

Unless you commit to installing 220V, you can’t get anything above 2HP.

View Loco's profile


210 posts in 1743 days

#4 posted 09-16-2013 12:37 PM

It’s bad enough having a goobermental trying to keep you safe; now this ? S.S. Table saws for idiots who shouldn’t be using a table saw !
Maybe I should put a breathalyzer on my belt grinder !
I wonder how much that rocket-ship sensor costs when it decided to jam the machine ?

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

View CharlesA's profile


3319 posts in 1792 days

#5 posted 09-16-2013 12:59 PM

@Loco—if people lost fingers on a TS only because they were idiots, they’re wouldn’t be much of a market for the SS. The fact is, that the most experienced operators have a mental lapse from time to time, and the nature of wood means that sometimes the saw does something you’re not expecting. I don’t have a SS (and I don’t think they’re worth the money ignoring the safety feature), but when I have the $’s it’s a no brainer to me (unless others end up with a similar feature). Is a finger worth $1000? You bet.

That being said, I am a bargain shopper by nature. And I can see why someone would look at Grizzly and see what you get for the $’s and go that direction. I’ve never been around a Powermatic up close and personal, so I’m not sure what makes the so desirable.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View bigblockyeti's profile


5111 posts in 1715 days

#6 posted 09-16-2013 01:57 PM

The Stop saw safety feature seems neat, but I think I’ll put seatbelts on my motorcycle before dumping the extra cash into something that most people who own tablesaws have gotten along just fine without. Don’t know why you have omitted buying used, I bought my Unisaw with a 3hp motor and 48” fence for just over half what a new one costs and It will easily outlast my kids if it’s taken care of.

View AlaskaAviator's profile


3 posts in 1725 days

#7 posted 09-16-2013 02:53 PM

I agree with Loco on the SS. To the OP in my experience when you buy cheap, ie grizzly, you will buy twice. Meaning you get the cheap one but will eventually buy the good one also. Unisaw.

View GT350's profile


368 posts in 1976 days

#8 posted 09-16-2013 02:56 PM

I have the 110v Sawstop cabinet saw, it is a nice very accurate saw with plenty of power for me. I wanted to find out if it had enough power so one day I went out and started cutting thin strips off 8/4 red oak and it didn’t stop, jam or slow noticably so unless you are doing something more than that I wouldn’t worry about the 110v not having enough power. Just make sure and keep a good quality sharp blade on it, 110v saws are not as forgiving of poor quality, dull blades. I have never used the Grizzly saw but I have seen a few less expensive saws out there and there is a huge difference in quality as the price goes up. I would just try to take a look at all of them in person and see how they look. I saw the video someone on here posted of the new 110v Powermatic cabinet saw and it looked nice and a few things I liked better than the Sawstop but it doesn’t have the safety feature. Unless you are cutting a lot of plywood I would get the smaller fence because you are probably going to be wrestling with not enough space with that size shop.

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 2324 days

#9 posted 09-16-2013 03:09 PM

Loco, don’t be naive, kickback and accidents can happen to anyone, anytime on the tablesaw. Don’t think that because it hasn’t happened to you, that you’re smarter than those it has happened to.

I’m not trying to be a dick, or start a internet feud or argument…. I just felt like you called me an idiot.

And to answer the topic’s question….If you have the money, buy a sawstop. Quality machine, and well worth the expense. Agree with Charles that a finger is worth $1000. Hell, losing the tip of one of mine cost me more than that in ER bills.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2435 days

#10 posted 09-16-2013 03:47 PM

Thought I’d jump in on this one and share my own experiences as how I ended up with my SawStop PCS. Keep in mind that everyone’s different and you others may not feel the way I do, but since you’re soliciting, I figured other points of view may be useful.

I own a 3hp SS PCS after doing quite a bit of research and trying out a few saws.

Originally, I only had 110 run in my shop so I limited myself to those saws. Started of trying the Ridgid R4512 but had troubles with the alignment. Next tried out the G0715P; went through two of those. One had issues with alignment (it’s the same trunion design as the R4512) and both had issues with tripping a dedicated 20A circuit. Grizzly couldn’t figure out what the issue was nor could my electrician. To their credit, they took back the saw and gave me a full refund, shipping and all.

At this point, I surveyed the landscape trying to figure out what my options might be. As far as 110v saw go, there wasn’t much left in this space. There’s the Laguna Fusion at ~$1300, a few Steel City Saws (none were available locally to me though), and Baileigh hadn’t yet entered the scene (I didn’t consider the Jet, mostly because I forgot about it, no real reason otherwise). I found out that it actually wouldn’t cost that much to add 220 to my shop so then that opened the door to all the 3hp saws.

As it turns out though, it didn’t take long for me to narrow it down to either the Grizz 0690/0123 or the Sawstop. The Grizzly because its price puts it at about half the cost of everything else. My everything else category was pretty much the PM 2000, Delta Unisaw and SawStop PCS. All those are right around the same price (about $3000) and all of them are pretty much equal in quality / features. Picking the SawStop from those three was a no-brainer for me since the price was pretty much the same and it offered a pretty nifty feature that the other saws didn’t. Some may not have considered the SS at all simply due to their “politics” (or perceived politics) but bottom line for me was that it was a high quality product that when considered with everything else, was actually a decent value. Don’t get me wrong I’m as “don’t tread on me” as many out there, but I wasn’t going to let that cloud my judgment. The choice to get this saw was ultimately mine and mine alone.

I ended up going with the SawStop over the Grizzly, despite the cost, simply because of the safety feature.

- Is the SawStop a higher quality saw than either of the Grizzlys? I’ve never used one of those, but from what I’ve read it’s a very high quality saw in its own right, so anything where the SS beats the Grizzly quality or feature-wise (ignoring the braking feature) is probably minimal and not worth the additional cost to most people
- Will the SawStop help me produce better work? Absolutely not, don’t be silly
- Is the cost of ownership, barring any accidents, higher for the SawStop? Absolutely. Aside from the additional $1500 for the cost of the saw, should I ever accidentally set off the brake by say cutting some really wet wood or something conductive w/o using the bypass, I’m out a $70 cartridge and probably a $100 blade. Hopefully that won’t ever happen, but I know it may, so I have on hand 2 spare cartridges (one standard, and one dado) and one spare dado stack.
- Does the SawStop mean I can never get hurt at the table saw? No, absolutely not. Kickback is still a very real concern and who knows. Maybe I have the one in 1 billion brake cartridge that’s defective.

So despite all of that, why the SawStop for me? Like I said – the safety feature. I try to be very careful around all my tools. Before doing anything, I mentally rehearse the cuts in my mind several times. I have a healthy respect for the table saw. I try to take all safety precautions into account – how I feed the stock, how the fence is used, how a miter gage is used, push sticks, body positioning, etc, etc. That being said I don’t think for a second I’m immune to making that once-in-a-lifetime brain fart – the half a millisecond in lapse of judgement that can cause a lifetime of regret. Statistically speaking, if I follow all the rules, the chances of that happening are very low, but they’re still greater than zero.

I’ve never been in a car accident and I consider myself a very safe driver? Does that mean I’m good to go and can drive without a seatbelt? Of course not.

Despite the increased cost, there was a financial aspect of the SawStop that I also believed makes sense. I’m on a high-deductible health care plan, where I’m responsible for a $1500 annual deductible before insurance kicks in, regardless of what the malady is. Right there is the difference in cost. I just figured I’ve prefunded that deductible, in perpetuity, for a certain type of table-saw mishap.

I’ve owned my SS PCS for about 6 months now and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a top notch tool that will last me a lifetime and I absolutely have no regrets. It’s not for everyone, but I absolutely feel it was the right decision for me. I find it unfortunate that more often than not, in every table saw thread that even lightly touches on the SS subject, there are some that feel the need resort to name calling and childish behavior towards anyone that even considers a SS or owns one. I laid out my thought process and if that makes me or anyone else an idiot, so be it. I’m glad there are those out there that are perfect and absolutely immune to any mishaps at the table saw, but I don’t consider myself one of them.

I hope my perspective helps you in coming up with a decision. Always remember that everyone’s different and ultimately, you need to figure out what works best for yourself.

View Mario's profile


173 posts in 3390 days

#11 posted 09-16-2013 03:57 PM

If it´s within your grasp, don´t sweat it, go for Powermatic, 3hp, 220v, you´ll have it zipping 8 hrs a day 20 years down the road.

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 2324 days

#12 posted 09-16-2013 04:02 PM

gtbuzz, very well said….I was just gonna go with the childish behavior and name calling retaliation : }

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View jonah's profile


1695 posts in 3293 days

#13 posted 09-16-2013 06:33 PM

Agreed, well said, gtbuzz.

People said the same thing about seat belts that certain folks are saying about the Sawstop saws. Also safety glass. Road hazard signs. Lead paint. Asbestos.

The list goes on and on. Nobody is twisting your arm to make you buy something. Someone is offering a (pretty well done) product. Keep the politics out of it.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7754 posts in 2908 days

#14 posted 09-16-2013 06:48 PM

I will buy when they come out with the SHOP-STOP, and not a second before…!

I insist that ALL of the following equipment STOP within 5-thousandths of one second:

  • Tablesaw
  • Bandsaw
  • Jointer
  • Planer
  • Router (automatically if a bit slips or is about to fly)
  • Dust Collector (automatic bag failure detector technology)
  • Hand Plane (automatic blade retraction upon skin contact)

Nothing less than SHOP-STOP will do!

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

View mummykicks's profile


109 posts in 1796 days

#15 posted 09-16-2013 07:52 PM

lol at this thread. I don’t understand the hate towards the SS. Seriously. If you think a finger is worth a grand, buy one, if you think one isn’t, don’t.
If you think it’s an inferior saw, then explain why it’s so much worse than the alternatives.

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