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SawStop PCS or ICS mobile base

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Forum topic by DBordello posted 04-07-2015 08:31 PM 1735 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DBordello

132 posts in 693 days


04-07-2015 08:31 PM

I am planning on buy a SawStop PCS 3HP with a 52” fence.

I am debating between the PCS or ICS mobile base. I work in my garage, so I will be moving it around a fair amount. It probably isn’t unreasonable to expect it to be stored against the wall, and rolled out for use. And, since I don’t have DC at the moment, I may roll it out to the driveway occasionally, which has raised pebble concrete.

What are your thoughts on the two bases? Is the ICS mobile base worth the $129 upgrade over the PCS mobile base? Actually, due to the current special, it is basically, $328 more for the ICS Mobile Base + Overarm dust collection versus just the PCS base.

Thoughts?


25 replies so far

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2534 days


#1 posted 04-07-2015 08:47 PM

I have the ICS, and the better Base is worth every penny. I can move my beast around with a pinky.

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

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1425 days


#2 posted 04-07-2015 08:49 PM

I use the sawstop base and it is well built, easy to move around the garage even over the seems. I would not use anything else. Too simple and obviously engineered to handle the saw as you expect it to.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1959 posts in 1455 days


#3 posted 04-07-2015 08:50 PM

I agree that the industrial mobile base is great and I have it. I do not know about rolling it around on the pebbled concrete will be good.

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DBordello

132 posts in 693 days


#4 posted 04-07-2015 08:56 PM

Okay, it sounds like the ICS base is the way to go.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

628 posts in 1419 days


#5 posted 04-07-2015 09:09 PM

I don’t have the need to move my saw much and the regular PCS base works just fine for me. It only has two rotating casters so you need to steer it with that in mind. The lift mechanism works great and the saw moves easily. The lift does bring the legs on the fence table off the ground, but that leaves any extension table dragging.

My concern for your application is the driveway surface. The casters are beefy enough, but they have the customary molded plastic wheels. There is a lot of weight concentrated on four small contact points when the saw is lifted up. You might grind the wheels down on the raised pebble concrete. That said, the casters appear to be standard stuff and the wheels are on an axle that could be unscrewed. Replacing the complete caster or just the wheel should be no problem if you find they get worn down on the driveway.

You are going to enjoy your new saw. I have that exact model and it is great.

View WhoMe's profile

WhoMe

1468 posts in 2710 days


#6 posted 04-07-2015 09:37 PM

ICS…ICS….ICS….ICS!!!!!!!
Totally worth the extra money. Where I work, we have a PCS with aPCS base and an ICS with an ICS base. We also have an uneven concrete floor. The pcs base lifts the pcs fine but the legs at the end of the table get caught on some high spots on the floor ant they get tweaked. If we raise the feet on the legs, they don’t support the table when the saw is down.
With the ics base, a few more pumps and there isn’t an issue at all.
The BIG plus is how easy the ics is to move around. Even with 200+ lbs more for the ics saw, it is so easy to move anywhere. Annnd, with 4 swivel wheels, it can be moved in any direction at any time. Plus the adapter kit is easy to install. The hardest part is picking up the ics base to work on it at a comfortable level. Took me 20 minutes with distractions.
Not so much with the pcs base. It has 2 fixed and 2 swivel wheels. Moving it around takes some planning.plus it is not nearly as easy to maneuver in close spaces.
I recently purchased a 3 hp 36” pcs with the ics base and there was no decision to be made. To putt my saw in its home, it has to be pushed directly backwards and with the pcs base that would be a no go. Plus it will be soooo much easier to position in the shop.
I’m not regretting the ics base at all. Now to finish the 240v wiring so I can put the saw together and use it.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

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DBordello

132 posts in 693 days


#7 posted 04-07-2015 09:41 PM



ICS…ICS….ICS….ICS!!!!!!!
Totally worth the extra money. Where I work, we have a PCS with aPCS base and an ICS with an ICS base. We also have an uneven concrete floor. The pcs base lifts the pcs fine but the legs at the end of the table get caught on some high spots on the floor ant they get tweaked. If we raise the feet on the legs, they don t support the table when the saw is down.
With the ics base, a few more pumps and there isn t an issue at all.
The BIG plus is how easy the ics is to move around. Even with 200+ lbs more for the ics saw, it is so easy to move anywhere. Annnd, with 4 swivel wheels, it can be moved in any direction at any time.
Not so much with the pcs base. It has 2 fixed and 2 swivel wheels. Moving it around takes some planning.plus it is not nearly as easy to maneuver in close spaces.
I recently purchased a 3 hp 36” pcs with the ics base and there was no decision to be made. To putt my saw in its home, it has to be pushed directly backwards and with the pcs base that would be a no go. Plus it will be soooo much easier to position in the shop.
I m not regretting the ics base at all. Now to finish the 240v wiring so I can put the saw together and use it.

- WhoMe

Welp, it sounds like I have no choice.

Out of curiosity, I was going with the 52” model based on the “cry once” methodology. The 52” is only $100 more than the 36”. I don’t have a ton of room, but I figure it is only 16” more, and I can cut a 48” piece of plywood.

What are your thoughts on 36” v 52”?

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1193 posts in 1361 days


#8 posted 04-07-2015 09:47 PM

I love my SS but the extension table is kinda crappy. Not horrible, it does its job. But it’s the only part of the entire setup I wish they used better materials. If you look at it from the top it looks fine and it should hold up OK. But underneath you can see the cheap wood used.

Mine is 36, which is plenty for me. If you’re cutting a lot of plywood and/or bed posts or whatnot get the 52.

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 858 days


#9 posted 04-08-2015 02:23 AM

On the question of which base…

If this is just about being ABLE to move the saw if you have to, then the cheaper base is entirely adequate.

If this is about having such limited space that you simply don’t have a dedicated space for the saw to sit “almost all the time”, and you are constantly having to move it around, then go for the more expensive one.

The biggest difference between the two is not so much the “ease” of moving it, but rather which direction you can move it. The mobile base is more like driving a large heavy wheel barrow around. It turns an immovable saw into a movable one. You can only go more or less in line with the long dimension of the assembly. If you need to move the saw “backwards and forwards” (from the perspective of where you stand when you are operating it), the PCS base is nearly worthless. You can only do this by sort of “tacking into the wind” like you do in a sailboat.

Imagine you have a fully loaded wheel barrow by the handles. You want to move it way over to the left. You can only do that by going forward to the left and then backward to the left and then forward to the left and so on. You can’t just move it to the left and be done with it.

With the ICS, you can simply move the table saw back and forth or side to side…more like moving a chair on casters.

In a situation such as a garage shop, where you have to back the car out and then move the table saw out from a wall, the ICS is the ONLY way to go. OTOH, if you just need to be able to move the saw somewhere else on rare occasions, the PCS gets the job done.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3949 posts in 1960 days


#10 posted 04-08-2015 10:45 AM

My first saw had a 36” fence, and i used it for many years and did just fine. I think I may have needed the extra capacity of a 50”+ fence maybe 2-3 times. My last saw and the current saw had the 50” + fence, same thing…I’ve probably used the extra capacity a handful of times. But I have the room now, and don’t worry too much about it. My suggestion would be to get the longer fence if it isn’t a problem, or the shorter one if you have to and not worry about it.

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

View Putttn's profile

Putttn

53 posts in 1745 days


#11 posted 04-08-2015 12:34 PM

I have the upgraded ICS and I’m challenged for space plus I have the same type of driveway. I’ve only taken it out on the driveway a couple of times and it worked fine. A little bumpy ride but it worked. I love the ease in being able to move it easily wherever I want and would highly suggest it.

-- Bill eastern Washington

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HarveyM

92 posts in 1489 days


#12 posted 04-08-2015 12:39 PM

I made my own base for my PCS. I wanted four swivel casters without the cost of the ICS set. In your case you could use whichever casters you wanted for your driveway. The PCS wheels use a set of four holes in the cabinet to mount the base. I used those to run all-thread rod through to attach it.

-- Just a Duffer

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

427 posts in 1908 days


#13 posted 04-08-2015 02:26 PM

ICS all the way. I wrote a review of it a while back:

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/3400

My only nit is that it’s expensive and they make you pay an extra $29 for the linkage kit for a PCS saw but when you’re already in for $3k… If you’re going to be moving it around at all (say more than once or twice a year), it’s absolutely worth the extra money over the shopping cart style PCS base.

Originally, I was concerned initial concern was for your driveway type, but I think I misunderstood what you have. I thought it was a loose crushed gravel driveway, not pebbles set in cement. If it’s the former, where the surface may “give” a little (especially under smaller wheels) and might not be uniformly level, then I don’t think either of these bases will work for you. If it’s firm though, I think you’ll be fine.

I recommend giving the SawStop guys a call and asking if they think the ICS base would be fine on that surface. They’ll absolutely be able to give you an answer.

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1425 days


#14 posted 04-08-2015 02:32 PM

review of ICS: http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/3400

Also, I have the 36” b/c if space or so I thought. The reality is that I would not notice the extra length all that much. If it fits, DEFINITELY get the larger extension. It will save you a lot of trouble when you want a cut just a few inches larger. It is like a 6” or 8” jointer, 2 inches opens up a lot possibilities and you pay $400 and inch in that case with the better jointers.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1425 days


#15 posted 04-08-2015 02:34 PM



I love my SS but the extension table is kinda crappy. Not horrible, it does its job. But it s the only part of the entire setup I wish they used better materials. If you look at it from the top it looks fine and it should hold up OK. But underneath you can see the cheap wood used.

Mine is 36, which is plenty for me. If you re cutting a lot of plywood and/or bed posts or whatnot get the 52.

- ColonelTravis

Agreed Travis. I have the same setup you have. I am usually good the with 36” but last weekend I almost bought a Festool TS55 b/c my extension was a couple inches too short.

As far as the material goes, has anyone replaced it? The rails are what you pay for, and the upgraded fence. The black top is not worth much. I would consider getting a different material and making my own, even something that just looks nice large a stained hard maple. Just for fun.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

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