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Forum topic by Stoli posted 12-12-2013 02:11 PM 958 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Stoli

44 posts in 2053 days


12-12-2013 02:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

First off, no haters please. After a momentary lapse that only cost me 4 stitches, I have decided the cost of a new sawstop is less than the risk of injury and followon costs.

First question: is there a forum where sawstop users congregate? I don’t see one linked from sawstop.com and nothing shows up on a google search.

Main question: I am trying to choose between a contractor and professional saw. Either way, I plan to upgrade the fence, so I believe they are the same. I also believe the motors are the same (1.75hp). I have been WW for 10+ years now, and feel that I am ready for an upgrade from a contractor saw, but my main issue is that I have a small basement shop and need to be able to get the saw down (really only a 1 time issue that I can get movers or friends to help with), mobility, and maximize storage. I have seen the great examples of saw stations made from the contractor version, and this looks optimal for my situation. I can’t figure out how to combine that idea with the PCS: both of the PCS mobile systems look like they only directly support the saw base, and the extension table is cantalievered off. So if I make storage/router tables, they would hang from the rails and be supported with legs under normal use—will the mobile systems be able to deal with this? Or is it advisable to simply lift the PCS onto my own mobile torsion box?


25 replies so far

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

362 posts in 1127 days


#1 posted 12-12-2013 03:07 PM

Not sure if there’s a SawStop specific forum, there just seem to be people sprinkled around the regular ones.

As far as your main question, IMO unless you’re really gonna move it around a lot (as in from site-to-site), I don’t really see the benefits of the contractor saw vs the PCS models. Not that it’s a bad saw, mind you, I just don’t think it’s a good value. Once you add in the cost of the cast iron wings, you’re not that much cheaper than the 1.75hp PCS. Plus, you get a real cabinet saw and better dust collection. One thing of concern for me was that the footprint of the contractor saw is actually a little bigger than that of the PCS models due to the motor hanging off the back. Once I decided on the PCS, I just went ahead and sprung for the 3hp motor since I didn’t want to have any doubt in my mind later on that I should have bought bigger :)

The PCS saws come in a giant box, I’d say about 2’x3’x4’ or somewhere thereabouts. With a couple guys help, I don’t think you’ll have an issue sliding it down the stairs to your basement. There’s a few people on here that have mentioned a winching system to help slow down the ascent too, so you may want to look into that.

You’re right in that both mobile stands only support the base of the saw. On the 36” and 52” fence models, the tables have extension legs that help prevent the table from sagging. The 30” model doesn’t have that. When moving the saw, the extension legs are momentarily unsupported. In my case, I built little rolling carts that go underneath the extension (I’ve got the 36” fence) and I roll them out of the way should I ever need to move the saw, and then roll them back. If it were me, I wouldn’t hang any storage off the table, seems like it would just invite sagging.

Building your own mobility system doesn’t seem like a bad idea if you want to be able to move everything at once either. I’ve got the ICS base for mine and I absolutely love it. Worth every penny over the regular one. The 4 independent casters make it effortless to move.

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5178 posts in 1994 days


#2 posted 12-12-2013 03:41 PM

I have the PCS 3 hp saw and am glad I purchased it instead of the 1.75hp. I have a mobile base on my saw but ended up using a cabinet that I built for the extension for my old saw… and the storage it provides is very useful.

Definitely make yourself a torsion box type mobile system for the saw and whatever you use for the extension because no matter how permanent you think it might be…you will end up needing to move the saw at one time or another. I didn’t use the fence that came with the saw because I kept the Incra fence that I used on my previous saw. The SawStop fence is a very good fence but I prefer the Incra

-- We all must start somewhere in our journey of doing what we love to do.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1128 posts in 2556 days


#3 posted 12-12-2013 04:00 PM

The 3 hp is a super nice saw, I have the 5hp and have for many years , you won’t be sorry , out side of the safety feature its just a super well made and dependable saw. I make my living with it .

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richimage

2 posts in 416 days


#4 posted 12-12-2013 04:24 PM

I lost most of my right forefinger many years ago in an AF Hobby shop in Germany, and will be facing the same quandry of which SawStop model to buy when (if?) I actually do the retirement thing. been trying to since the first one in 1985… Thanks to all the comments!

-- "Women are like modern paintings. You can't enjoy them if you try to understand them." Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury)

View Stoli's profile

Stoli

44 posts in 2053 days


#5 posted 12-12-2013 04:40 PM

@greg: You’re the first I’ve heard of that put the PCS on a torsion box. Does this raise it up too high? I figure I need at least 3” casters, plus 3” of torsion box. I am only average height, so raising the tables by 6+ inches seems like a lot.

For the fence, my comment was more directed towards the upgrading the contractor saw’s fence to be what is standard with the PCS/ICS.

View Richard Hillius's profile

Richard Hillius

137 posts in 366 days


#6 posted 12-12-2013 04:40 PM

I have never used the 1.75HP or the contractor version of the Saw Stop but the 3HP and 5HP ones are really solid saws. The mobile base on the PCS works extremely well and does lift side table with it but I wouldn’t use it that way if you wanted to mount something permanently to the side table or turn it into a router table for instance. Could you put a roll away cabinet built to fit under the table and not attach anything directly to it?

I have used a 1.75HP contractor saw from Delta for years as well as the larger 3 and 5HP ones at other peoples shop and school and while you can get by with a 1.75HP motor on a contractor saw I really don’t think you would ever regret going with the 3HP one instead. I really never saw a difference with anything I do between 3 and 5HP honestly but I”m sure some people have.

View mbs's profile

mbs

1458 posts in 1626 days


#7 posted 12-12-2013 04:53 PM

I have the industrial Cabinet saw with a 3 hp motor and I love it. I would go with the 3 hp vs 1.75.

Plan on changing the blade to a higher quality blade. Knotscott has done a lot of blade evaluations and has good recommendations.

I don’t have any issues with SS fence system. You may try it and keep it rather than change it.

I have the SS mobile base and it’s very nicely made but pricey.

I find SS replacement parts very inexpensive and their customer service great.

Good luck

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14565 posts in 1023 days


#8 posted 12-12-2013 05:39 PM

Regardless of the type of saw you buy, I would not go less than 3 hp. I am a firm believer that with the more powerful motor it does not work as hard and therefore will last longer (IMO).

I do not own a SS product, but I know a few who do and have never heard any complaints about them.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15959 posts in 1552 days


#9 posted 12-12-2013 05:54 PM

I have recently purchased a Sawstop Professional 3HP. I can tell you that it’s a beautiful piece of equipment, the saw blade was perfectly in alignment with the grooves, the fence took only a few more minutes. The saw was packed very well and has two nice manuals. I was able to assemble the saw by myself except for standing the main part up on it’s bottom. I did need a helper for that. I would have liked to buy the Industrial model but I just couldn’t afford it. I’m mainly going to use the Sawstop for ripping. I plan on keeping my PM 2000 also and use it for crosscutting and jig work. I also advise you to get at least 3 HP. I haven’t used the Sawstop enough to say much more than I have said.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View moke's profile

moke

517 posts in 1462 days


#10 posted 12-12-2013 07:15 PM

I am one more guy that is going to tell you that 3 hp is well worth the additional money. I have a 3 hp SS 52inch, it’s awesome. I went from a Craftsman 1.75hp contractor type saw with upgrades fence and many other features I added to it….it does not compare to this saw. The 3 hp slices through hard wood with ease. Its like night and day.

Now taking the saw downstairs is something I would not relish, but once it is there, it would be far superior to the contractor. Find and hire some big mama-jama’s and let them worry about it….if memory serves me right I think the main “box” was about 400lbs. Another consideration is hiring a safe moving company…I had a gun safe put in my basement with some machine. It walked down a filght of stairs. It cost me a $100, but that money would not go far in an emergency ward.
Mike

Edit: I noted that there is no “Haters”...my last name is Haeder…is it ok for me to comment? lol

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3855 posts in 2348 days


#11 posted 12-12-2013 07:15 PM

I bought a PCS 1.75hp a little more than a year-and-a-half ago. Mine has the built-in mobile base, the 36” fence, and the over-arm dust collection system.

So far, I haven’t run into anything it can’t handle, and am perfectly satisfied with it. I never considered installing a router in the extension table as I have a BenchDog router table in the shop. I have a rolling cut-off bin that fits nicely under the extension.

As others have pointed out, packing and machining were first class and setup was the easiest of any tool I have ever owned.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Alan72's profile

Alan72

99 posts in 718 days


#12 posted 12-12-2013 07:48 PM

Stoli I had to make the same decision last year. I thought of going the cheaper way and getting the contractor saw. I” am so glad I didn’t ! I went with the 1.75hr cabinet saw with the 36” fence. I love this saw the only thing I didn’t like about this saw was that the blade guard that come with these saw is not the dust collecting one. I bought it last December and in February Saw Stop had a free promotion with a $200.00 accessory. So if your not in a hurry you may want to wait and see if the promotion will happen again.

View Stoli's profile

Stoli

44 posts in 2053 days


#13 posted 12-12-2013 07:56 PM

Man, I was hoping this discussion would make my choice easier. Now I have to factor in 3hp (+$400). With all the comments on it, I may go for the 3hp instead of 50” rails with the thought that the motor upgrade will only be available as long as SS is in buisness, but there will always be options for longer rails. On the plus side, it looks like the $400 includes the dust collecting blade guard. Choices, choices.

And yes, Haeders are welcome. Haters with direct experience would also be welcome. Haters from afar should just stay away.

View mbs's profile

mbs

1458 posts in 1626 days


#14 posted 12-12-2013 08:27 PM

You can easily remove the motor to make it easier to move down stairs. It takes about 10 minutes to do it.

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

View doordude's profile

doordude

1085 posts in 1668 days


#15 posted 12-12-2013 08:44 PM

just buy the PCS you won’t regret it at all. push the 400# box down the stairs, and assemble down there.
easy pezzy

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