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Which SawStop is best value for standard kitchen cabinets

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Forum topic by Big_T posted 01-08-2015 08:18 AM 1843 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Big_T

119 posts in 819 days


01-08-2015 08:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question shaker

Wife axed 3hp model today, so back to searching for a cheaper saw.

I was checking the SS site and noticed there is $500 difference between the 1.75hp CNS and 1.75hp PCS models with the same features of cast wings and 36” T-glide. Other than a pretty cabinet is there something else I am missing that explains the difference in price?

Thanks

Please no flame throwing as I am new


30 replies so far

View Minorhero's profile

Minorhero

372 posts in 2067 days


#1 posted 01-08-2015 12:10 PM

The construction under the table is quite different with the better construction going to the cabinet saw. Specifically the cabinet saw has a better motor mount and cabinet mounted trunions. All reduce vibration.

Before you jump feet first into a very expensive purchase, you might want to consider other saws. They all cut wood and the only thing they lack compared to the sawstop is the brake. Grizzly makes some excellent machines for instance. Used machines are also likely available on Craigslist in your area.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3933 posts in 1955 days


#2 posted 01-08-2015 12:12 PM

A lot of it is the normal difference between contractor saws and cabinet saws, check this list for specifics. Notice the weight difference, the PCS is much more robust in construction. There may be a little more precision in the PCS (table flatness) and the fence seems to be a different setup. The SS contractors saw seems to me to be really premium priced compared to the competition, if you consider the cabinet saw to be more-or-less evenly priced. You alos might consider looking for a used saw. I’ve seen a couple of the ICS models show up within driving distance of me around the $2000 range, quite a discount from new.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View TechTeacher04's profile

TechTeacher04

325 posts in 994 days


#3 posted 01-08-2015 01:10 PM

I agree with searching craigslist. I started out with a nice 36” rip capacity delta contractor saw found on craigslist. I recently sold it via craigslist and drove to Grizzly in Pennsylvania and picked up a G0715p hybrid saw. I have been pleased so far. You can’t beat the price, I saved on tax and freight as well by driving to get it. About a 2.5 hour drive for me, was a nice day trip with my dad and father-in-law. Since it was new, I know how it was set-up and maintained and the top is pristine. I added an additional table section and an out feed table to improve my work area.

View Chris Cook's profile

Chris Cook

191 posts in 1743 days


#4 posted 01-08-2015 01:33 PM

the SawStop contractor saw is greatly inferior to many saws that cost half the price (or less). I bought one for our shop at work about 5 years ago and the build quality and general construction is disappointing. It is the safest of our table saws (all less than $1000), but also it is the most disappointing in terms of quality and performance.

-- Chris, “as soon as you come up with something foolproof, they come up with a better fool""

View brtech's profile

brtech

893 posts in 2385 days


#5 posted 01-08-2015 02:38 PM

If you can get approval from the head office, get the PCS. It’s a much better saw. On the PCS, the cost of the brake is negligible meaning the cost of a PCS compares very favorably to similar saws. I haven’t seen or used many CNS saws, but my PCS and all the other PCSs I’ve seen (several) have excellent build quality. Tech support is excellent. Manuals are excellent.

Get the dado cartridge and the Coli-Beck (Infinity) ZCI and you will have an excellent, safe, reasonably priced table saw.

Ignore the doubters. Safety is really important. The SS mechanism works, and even smart people make dumb mistakes some times.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2529 days


#6 posted 01-08-2015 04:02 PM

I spent a loooonnnngggg time planning my SS purchase. Mostly because I had to save the money, but also because I wanted the right one, since it will be the last TS I will purchase.

I think type depends on two things, first the what you are planning to do with it (not just current project) and two budget.

I’ve owned every TS from table top versions, to contractor, to combination TS’s to my current ICS. At the time each made sense.

If you look at the types there are reasons they are diff prices. The contractor is designed to be portable to get to the job-site. By default the stamped steel wings, ease the weight, and DC is not as major an issue. However you trade heft, to get that portability, and for that you trade all the bennifits of that bigger fixed saw brings i.e. better fence more surface area, power etc.

The PCS ist the next step to that full powerhouse of the ICS. For those that can’t do 220, the 1.75 is a good choice, but trade off is power

The 3 HP CS is great choice and would handle most of anything you want. I had a 3hp CS (griz) for 10 years and it was great.

However, with my last purchase, and with the projects I’m doing (beds) where long cuts on 12/4 & 16/4, I wanted to move up to the 5hp for the extra oomph. To get that I had to go to the ICS. It’s bigger heavier, and has a few more features I did like but there is a big cost difference. However when you take that difference in cost and average that over the life of the saw, it’s not really that much difference.

I finally sat down, put all the features side by side and decided which one was to be the “I wont settle for less than x” in features and that 5HP was it for me. If not for that feature, the PCS would have been a fine saw.

People often quote space requirements as a reason to go with the contractor version, and the footprint is just not that big a diff. Add their mobile base and its no issue at all. I can move my beast around with my pinky when it’s engaged. One foot press and it gently glides down and won’t budge.

Also consider, if you are going to put down that much money for the safety, get what you want, then you won’t be second guessing for ever.

You will enjoy it no matter what you decide. Good luck.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1102 posts in 1508 days


#7 posted 01-08-2015 09:29 PM

If you can swing it, definitely go with the PCS. It’s the same cabinet saw as the 3HP PCS with:
  1. The smaller 110 1.75HP motor
  2. A different guard with dust collection on the 3HP model ($139).

I believe you can upgrade the saw to match the 3HP model should you choose to by replacing those two pieces of the saw. Note that the price different comes to $291 if you go with the guard with dust collection.

-- paxorion

View Alan72's profile

Alan72

187 posts in 1495 days


#8 posted 01-09-2015 01:52 PM

I would hold off for at least another month or so. I noticed a couple of years ago that around Tax season is when Saw Stop has their special offers. A mobile base setup or dust collection setup. Oh I have the PCS 1.75hp, wish I would’ve gone with the 3hp. I would just get the 3hp saw. I know you’ll hear about it for along time but I think it would be worth it.

View kwolfe's profile

kwolfe

108 posts in 1027 days


#9 posted 01-09-2015 04:26 PM

Are you using this only for the kitchen cabinets or is it a reason to justify buying the saw? I only ask because if you are going to be building them from cabinet ply, I good track saw would be great for cutting down sheet goods. I have a dewalt and can get glue ready cuts the first time. Dust collection is really good and its safe to boot.

View WOODIE1's profile

WOODIE1

117 posts in 1741 days


#10 posted 01-09-2015 10:52 PM

If you are buying it solely for the safety I would buy the cheapest one the have as any of them will be suffice for kitchen cabinets. They even have a job site one that looks interesting.

The safety issue is your choice and been beat to death. The advise to buy the cheapest one would also allow you to buy a track saw. I have a Makita and honestly use it more then I ever would have imagined. If you are building cabinets the combination of breaking down sheet goods and the TS for ripping face frames is the way to go.

SawStop saws hold their vale beyond anything out there. You see them going for list as you save the $250 o shipping. You could always recoup your money if you sell to upgrade after or just don’t need a TS anymore. You can’t loose either way.

I always say iI am upgrading to a better TS vs the Dewalt portable I have but unless saw mfg.’s start modernizing saws there is no difference especially in cabinet making.

Good luck.

View Big_T's profile

Big_T

119 posts in 819 days


#11 posted 01-10-2015 08:24 PM

Does anyone know if it’s better to order online or buy from a local store? If I buy online from CPO I can get free shipping/lift-gate and no tax. Locally the closest store is 25 miles away, I will pay 7% tax and $75 lift gate fee so that’s roughly a $300 difference. A tech at SS recommends I buy locally so that’s why I am asking?

Thanks to all and Knottscott has been giving me a ton of advice too on other threads. I have 230v so I was leaning toward the 3hp Grizzly 0690/1023RLW and since the price is close enough, I thought the SS CS would be a good contender. But after reading everyone’s experience it looks like I am back to the $3200 PCS. The Grizzly is less than half the price, but some say the SS PCS is actually on par with more expensive names like PM and Unisaw. What a big & expensive decision this is.

This exercise (cabinets etc) is to feel good about making something I can be proud of. It may take me 3 months longer than a professional but it looks fun and challenging when I see the HGTV shows.

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1102 posts in 1508 days


#12 posted 01-10-2015 09:36 PM


Does anyone know if it s better to order online or buy from a local store? If I buy online from CPO I can get free shipping/lift-gate and no tax. Locally the closest store is 25 miles away, I will pay 7% tax and $75 lift gate fee so that s roughly a $300 difference. A tech at SS recommends I buy locally so that s why I am asking?

Thanks to all and Knottscott has been giving me a ton of advice too on other threads. I have 230v so I was leaning toward the 3hp Grizzly 0690/1023RLW and since the price is close enough, I thought the SS CS would be a good contender. But after reading everyone s experience it looks like I am back to the $3200 PCS. The Grizzly is less than half the price, but some say the SS PCS is actually on par with more expensive names like PM and Unisaw. What a big & expensive decision this is.

This exercise (cabinets etc) is to feel good about making something I can be proud of. It may take me 3 months longer than a professional but it looks fun and challenging when I see the HGTV shows.

- Big_T

A few thoughts.
  1. On buying local, part of the benefit of buying through a dealer is dealer support. I know of at least 2 non-Woodcraft dealers locally who have been in business for decades. If I’m looking to spend THAT much money on a saw (someday…space is the challenge), I’d be willing to make sure I had someone to call and not a customer/tech support line. It also helps to support small business in my book (my parents and in-laws are small business owners). Add that all up, and a premium is something that I am open to paying for. (PS: it helps that several of those dealers are willing to give free delivery if one buys multiple machines)
  2. On Grizzly vs SawStop/Powermatic/Delta/etc. – A lot of the savings for Grizzly is the degree by which the middle man is cut out. That is, you work DIRECTLY with the tool company and not through a dealer. If you read about the customer/tech support experiences, you know that many people talk about the positive customer service experience. Here’s my spin on it. Yes Grizzly may do a good job, but the fact that people have to tout it means most of the tools requires more back and forth for pre-use servicing TO get it in tip top shape. There’s also the implied need to be mechanically inclined to service your tools.
  3. On this exercise to feel good about making something – I fell into two traps in my first 2 years. Tool hording and analysis paralysis on the tools to get. My advice, just get something (circular saw, router, and make your own guide), and making something.

-- paxorion

View Big_T's profile

Big_T

119 posts in 819 days


#13 posted 01-11-2015 02:04 AM

Paxorion thanks for your thoughts,

1. I have always been confused about the term small business owner (SBO) since some define it as less than 1,000 employees. I had a seller tell me he was an SBO over the phone and based on that I purchased a kitchen scale that when I flipped it over it read “made in China.” It didn’t last more than a couple years and I’m not surprised, just mad about the $100 that did not return much of a yield.

2. I agree with you 100%.

3. I do suffer from analysis paralysis, especially after seeing all the tools that others have in their workshops which are then detailed in their projects. The whole thing is overwhelming and just makes me want to forget about the whole thing, but I will press on since life is short. I’ve had many nice things in my life, but never actually made anything, maybe something good will come from it.

My tool collection is very small, just a miter saw I picked up for baseboards a few years ago. It took me over a month to install with several mistakes, but it feels good to see them every day. I’m sure this seems silly to most of the folks in here, right?

Kudos to all the lumberjocks as I am amazed at the projects I have seen, especially the foresight and ingenuity, now that’s true creativity. Will I become creative, probably not, but I will give it a shot.

Lastly can you recommend if I should get the 1.75 or 3hp version and which do you think will have better resale value in 3 years? My planned projects include kitchen/bathroom cabinets, swing, see-saw, pergola and who knows what else if I get good at it.

Thanks,
Travis (Big_T)

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1102 posts in 1508 days


#14 posted 01-11-2015 02:40 AM


Lastly can you recommend if I should get the 1.75 or 3hp version and which do you think will have better resale value in 3 years? My planned projects include kitchen/bathroom cabinets, swing, see-saw, pergola and who knows what else if I get good at it.

Thanks,
Travis (BigT)

- BigT

For what you are looking to do, either will do the job. I’ve used saws with both 1.75HP and 3HP motors and will say that in most cases, the 1.75HP saw with a good thin kerf blade will work through cuts up to 1.5inches thick without any problems. It’s only when you start getting to thicker stock where the extra power works.

Now having said that, all I can comment on is what I would do in your situation (with 220V), with a caveat that I plan to keep the hobby for life (and not think only the next 3 years). new house), I would certainly be looking to the 3HP saw. If we do think about offloading potential in the next 3-5 years, most people who are serious about the hobby will be pining for the 3HP.

A few additional words of caution:
  1. If you aren’t certain that you’ll keep things up for more than 3 years, splurging that much money on a top of the line piece of equipment that is often seen as “the last” of that class of tooling folks buy, you’ll probably have a hard time convincing both the Mrs and yourself that it was the right move.
  2. For what you are looking to build, you won’t be working in a vacuum of just a single tool. Factor in other tools (power, hand, measuring/marking/layout, and lets not forget clamps), and the price tag of the saw will seem small. In short, don’t focus on JUST getting that table saw. There are plenty of other expenses that will pop up.

I’ve also read many of your other forum topics and would surmise that you’re in the “thirst for knowledge and experience phase” like I was not too long ago. About a year and a half ago, I got to a bitter point where I was about to give up on the hobby because I never felt like I had the opportunity to ACTUALLY make thing. What helped was finally getting involved with my local woodworking guild for community learning and finding a makerspace to actually make things. If you have either of those resources around you, I recommend you go check them out and roll up your sleeves to get to making things.

PS: I think I’ve procrastinated enough by editing my reply and it’s time to get to painting my daughter’s doll house.

-- paxorion

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7210 posts in 2838 days


#15 posted 01-11-2015 01:21 PM

There are really only two reasons I’d chose 1.75hp over 3hp…..1) lack of 220v, 2) absolutely cannot spend the extra money. The jump to 3hp is pretty substantial even though the smaller motor can make the cuts. There’s more than just gaining power and increasing feed rate….it’s about freedom to dictate the feed rate that you want, it’s about tolerance for not being as diligent about blade selection, sharpness, and cleanliness, it’s about increased longevity due to the motor not laboring as hard, and there are definitely some resale benefits that should return the additional funds originally spent for it.

With that said, I understand that > $3k is a bunch of money for a newbie to spend on a TS…that’s an executive decision that you only you and your wife can make. There might be some dollars to be saved by ordering online….you’ll still have excellent service from SawStop, Grizzly, PM, Jet, etc…a dealer tends to just make it easier. This is proper time to lament about the decision…..far better than regretting a hasty one! Good luck.

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

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