Table saw motors

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Forum topic by sawdustjunkie posted 08-23-2014 03:40 PM 1773 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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384 posts in 1745 days

08-23-2014 03:40 PM

Are the new table saw motors really better than the ones made 20 years ago?
I am talking about the 1.75 H.P. size.
I currently have a 1.5 H.P. for a Craftsman saw and was looking at getting a new saw and the guys a Woodcraft are telling me I don’t need any more than a 1.75 H.P. on the new Powermatic PM1000 or the Saw Stop models.
What doe everyone think?
The Craftsman says 3 H.P. but according to the actual size, it’s a 1.5 H.P. motor.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

16 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 08-23-2014 03:53 PM


Actually really old, heavy motors tend to be more
powerful at a given horsepower rating. You’ll
see these on old band saws and things like
that. There’s more metal in the windings
I think. I’ve had old 1hp motors that weigh as
much or more than a common 3hp motor

You want to generally look at amperage to
compare motors. Most of the motors used
in common light industrial machines have a
S.F. (service factor) of about 1.0 and this
can effectively be ignored in comparing
motors. I think it’s a bit less than 3 amps
per 1/4hp in general so an 11 amp motor
would be 1 hp, a 15 or 16 amp motor about
1.5 hp and an 18 amp motor 1.75 hp. You
get up to 20 amps and we might call them
2hp but really I think 2hp is about 22-24 amps
and for that you need 220v.

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 2098 days

#2 posted 08-23-2014 03:54 PM

If you’re planning on cutting hardwood 2 and 3 inches thick and over, you’ll want 3hp. For most general work 1.5 is fine.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View retfr8flyr's profile


384 posts in 1696 days

#3 posted 08-23-2014 05:16 PM

As stated, if you aren’t planning on cutting thick hardwood the smaller motor with a thin curf blade will be fine. Myself I would go for at least 3 hp just because extra power is always nice to have and I never know what I will be wanting to cut. I got a new saw last year and ended up with a 5 hp model and I love it.

Most of the company’s over rate the motor hp’s. On the NEC tables 230 volt single phase, it’s 3 hp at 17 amps,
5 hp at 28 amps. My 5 hp motor is rated at 18 amp, so it is actually a true 3 hp motor.

-- Earl

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 08-23-2014 05:18 PM

If you’re planning on cutting hardwood 2 and 3 inches thick and over, you’ll want 3hp. For most general work 1.5 is fine.

strongly disagree. i’ve ripped 8/4 hardwoods with my 113 version TSs without incident. proper set up, appropriate feed rate and a blade specific to the task at hand are imperative. fine woodworking and cabinetry can be done with 1.5 hp, it just can’t do it for hours on end in a commercial environment like a 3 hp cabinet saw can.

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

View MrRon's profile


4797 posts in 3271 days

#5 posted 08-23-2014 06:07 PM

I’ve always used weight as a guide to everything from motors to machines to cars. Weight usually equates to robustness, larger wire, bigger bearings, better heat transfer; thus longer life under heavy loading. Look in a motor catalog and there are motors rated by use. There are agricultural use, compressor duty, general purpose, etc. The heavy duty motors will always weigh more.

View sawdustjunkie's profile


384 posts in 1745 days

#6 posted 08-23-2014 06:28 PM

I have been actively looking into getting a new saw to replace my 25 year old Craftsman 1.5hp saw, which is why I am asking these questions. The Grizzly’s are 3hp and the Powermatic PM1000 is 1.75hp and costs quite alot more than the Grizzly RL1023’s. It’s really not the extra $500 for the PM that bothers me, it’s more the difference in hp. The Grizzly’s may really not be 3hp, but if I currently have a 1.5hp and go to a 1.75hp saw, I don’t feel I am actually moving up much in power. I realize there is no comparison in anything else on the saws however!
$1,500 for the 3hp RLW1023 or $2100 for the 1.75hp PM 1000 and both saws are made in Taiwan and probably the same factory just doesn’t make sence to me. The biggest difference I can see is the 5 year warranty vs 1 year, but is that really worth $600.
Is the quality really that much better on the PM 1000??

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1452 days

#7 posted 08-23-2014 06:53 PM

Not only are you wanting to compare amperage, but who makes the motors. TEFC is a good start for woodworking. There is a huge difference between a Siemens , Baldor, or a Lesson vs. some of the others.

Power should be the last reason to upgrade IMO unless you just find yourself short.

A nice miter gauge, good tune up tools, a quality combination blade, and an accurate fence are usually better investments long term if you want to improve cutting results.

-- Brad, Texas,

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3574 days

#8 posted 08-23-2014 11:39 PM

I am personally a fan of going with a good used pm66, either 3 hp or 5 hp for a very good price. Often less than 1000.00. That deal is very hard to beat. If I were looking at going new, I would go saw stop. But anything else I would go old American iron.

-- .

View sawdustjunkie's profile


384 posts in 1745 days

#9 posted 08-24-2014 01:16 AM

I have been looking for one and have not found one in almost 10 months. I am sure there are some for sale, but I am not willing to drive over 500 miles to get one.
The ones I have seen are more than $1000 and look so beat up, I doubt it would be worth trying to bring it back to life.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1884 days

#10 posted 08-24-2014 01:40 AM

What about the grizzly 715? It’s 2 hp and either 110 or 220. Though 2 hp is pretty taxing on a 110 circuit. For myself I’ve never thought that my 1.5 hp grizzly was underpowered. I’ve cut full thickness into oak and just slowed down and it went right through.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View retfr8flyr's profile


384 posts in 1696 days

#11 posted 08-24-2014 04:31 AM

Have you looked at the Jet Deluxe Xacta Saw? I am extremely happy with mine. It has several advantages over the Grizzly models and is very close in price to the PM but with a 3 hp motor.

-- Earl

View GT350's profile


368 posts in 2009 days

#12 posted 08-24-2014 04:25 PM

You didn’t mention wether the 1.5 hp you currently have is enough. Check the amperage on your current saw and compare it to the amperage on the new saw and that should tell you if there is more power. I have the 1.75 hp Sawstop cabinet saw. For me it is plenty of power and I do cut 8/4 oak with a standard kerf blade but it is sharp. If I was doing that all day or cutting wide dados all day in a professional shop I would get the larger motor but as a hobbyist this works fine. One advantage is you are less likely to get injured by a hard kickback with the smaller motor and you can move it around without having to move your 220v circuit.

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2455 days

#13 posted 08-24-2014 07:00 PM


New motors are computer optimized in design. For example, the air gaps are way smaller, the electrical efficiency is way better, They can withstand way more voltage spikes because of far better insulation, they do not overheat because of the computer designed cooling systems built in, and they are much smaller and lighter.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View sawdustjunkie's profile


384 posts in 1745 days

#14 posted 08-25-2014 01:22 AM

To answer the question,with 1.5 hp, I have cut 6/4 hard maple, but nothing any thicker in hardwood.
The Craftsman does work ok, but it does bog down when cutting the hard maple. I do use thin kerf blades and keep them sharp.
I just think it’s time for a new saw. I have had this one for over 25 years. Still works ok and with my crosscut and miter sled, I can actually get straight cuts.
retfr8flyr: The Jet saw is $600 more than a Grizzly with the same hp. Why would I want that one?

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1592 days

#15 posted 08-25-2014 01:31 AM

Not sure how far you are from the northern suburbs of Chicago but a 3hp sawstop that was purchased in January just came on the market.


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