Reply by kryptix

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Posted on Sawstop contractor, vs. pcs 1.75 hp vs. pcs 3.0 hp

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109 posts in 1068 days

#1 posted 11-28-2016 06:58 PM

I have a 3 HP PCS and love it. If you get the PCS, as mentioned by others, you want the ICS mobile base. It is much more maneuverable. It has 4 swivel casters and the PCS mobile base has two fixed and two swivel.

However, the ICS base is larger and extends out the back of the saw. So the net footprint is similar to the contractor saw with the motor hanging off the back. I think the ICS mobile base uses about 6” more out the back.

As for 240 V power, a 240 V load draws half the current of a 120 V. So if you are running an extension cord, it s actually better to do it with 240 V. Though I understand, that you are only looking to use the extension to reach the 240 V and apparently don t need one to use the 120 V. Also, because it draws half as much current, it will use up less of the total available current.

Remember, just because it is a 3 HP rated motor doesn t mean it is going to draw 3 HP. And if you ever draw full power, again, the 3 HP 240V, will draw about the same as the 1 3/4 HP will at 120 V and full power. Maybe even a bit less.

Don t be afraid of 240 V power. It s not some difficult thing to add. It s no harder to add a 240 V circuit than a 120 V. If your power panel is in the garage, just add a 240 V circuit. It s common to just stub out a short piece of conduit and add an outlet near a breaker panel. But still simple enough to run some more conduit and put the socket where you really want it. It s very much a DIY project. Just do a little research online.

Where things can get harder is if you need to run a circuit through existing walls etc. But, even that is doable, just more work. No house is a forever house, and 6-10 years is a long time. Especially compared to the one Saturday afternoon, or maybe full weekend, you would need to do some electrical work.

Electrical work can be intimidating if you have no experience. But do your research, do it to code, and when done, you ll realize it just wasn t a big deal. Better still, ask around, you can probably find a buddy who has some experience. Still do your own research just in case said buddy is an idiot.

If you do want 240 V through an extension, as mentioned, just make your own extension cord. There are several plug/socket types. The different ones are for different currents. Just match the PCS cord at one end and the wall socket at the other. You can buy appropriate cable at the BORG.

For longer runs you want larger wire, but the socket type will limit how large a wire you can use. If needed, you can replace the plug on the PCS with a higher current plug so you can plug directly into a higher current socket, on the end of the extension cord (if needed).

I m pretty sure the PCS plug is the smallest size (lowest current) there is, but if not, you want to be sure that the wall socket and circuit rating are enough. Again, I think the PCS draw is very much on the low side and I don t think this is an issue.

- clin

I’m pretty sold on getting the 3HP PCS at this point, most of the debate now is if I want it now (when its honestly getting too cold to even assemble) and to burn up 4-5 months of my warranty before I even use it much, or to just wait to see if any deals are around in the March-April time frame. With Zoro’s high retail cost the deal today amounts to about $300 off for a 3HP saw plus ICS base. Side benefit is that it would be a bit less of a strain than adding a $3k line item to the holiday budget.

As for an extension cord, does it matter which hot prong you wire to which hot socket on the wall plug? Since one end is a dryer outlet (I’m not sure if its 3 or 4 prong), and the other is 6-20R, I was having a hard time finding online which hot wire goes to which prong in the dryer plug side.

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