All Replies on Starting with Sawstop Contractor then possibly upgrading

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View crookedpine's profile

Starting with Sawstop Contractor then possibly upgrading

by crookedpine
posted 02-01-2017 01:47 PM

17 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2840 days

#1 posted 02-01-2017 02:17 PM

Well, you will definitely lose setting when you sell.

Perhaps a good compromise would be to start with the 1.75hp PCS. It is a middle ground price wise, smaller footprint and a great saw. You may want to check with SS, but I believe it is possible to buy the motor and other parts necessary to upgrade the PCS to 3hp in the future. You’ll pay more for the parts, but you won’t have lost money on the contractor saw, and you may decide you never need those extra HP anyway.

I have the 3hp PCS, and I can tell it does better on some cuts than my old 1.5hp saw. So the extra HP is nice, but you can usually just go slower or take extra passes to get the job done with less.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3467 posts in 4282 days

#2 posted 02-01-2017 02:17 PM

Hmm. hard choice. My nephew has the contractors and says it’s really enough. I guess it depends on use. I’ve put some hard wood through it and it cuts better than my old Rockwell delta Contractor saw, which I think works pretty good with a good blade. If/when I ever replace it, it will be like the one he has.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View johnstoneb's profile


3154 posts in 3017 days

#3 posted 02-01-2017 02:28 PM

I have the contractors saw and it is plenty of saw for me. I was going to do the same thing your are thinking about. I just don’t see the need to upgrade now.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bigblockyeti's profile


6716 posts in 2565 days

#4 posted 02-01-2017 02:33 PM

Get a better fence for the Delta for the time being then evaluate what you need based on what projects you’re trying to tackle.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View crookedpine's profile


6 posts in 1325 days

#5 posted 02-01-2017 03:02 PM

Thank you for your responses ! All are good considerations. I wish I could find a used SS contractor for around $1200 or very near the price it will likely always be worth :-) That would make it easy.

With my inexperience and knowledge that a close relative cut himself twice on a TS … and that a safety device “does” exist, ... I have to get a Sawstop. (Still will practice safety as if there was no device) ... that’s just me.

Regards !

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6409 posts in 3338 days

#6 posted 02-01-2017 06:30 PM

Consider that PCS 1.75 option. When I was looking for a new saw (SS) I checked a few used ones. I could have bought a three phase ICS and converted it to single phase with a new motor from SS ($300 for the 5HP motor, and another $100 for a new contactor, plus shipping). I passed for some different reasons. But I also talked to them about replacing the 1.75HP motor on a PCS, also possible. It might be even cheaper to buy the smaller motor and upsize. Going from a 3HP to a 5HP ICS was a $400 upcharge, the motor alone is $300. These are all 1 1/2 yea old numbers, but you get the idea.

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

View crookedpine's profile


6 posts in 1325 days

#7 posted 02-01-2017 10:35 PM

I just heard back from SawStop. Upgrading a PCS 1.75 to a 3hp will cost about $500 and is labor intensive. He said when you consider the 3hp models include a dust collection blade guard worth $139, there is only about $300 difference between a 1.75 and a 3hp. So my choice is now really between a SS Contractor saw with a 36” T-Guide(that mightttt serve me from now on) or a full-blown PCS 3hp with a 56”T-guide … a difference of about $1200. Hmmm ?

Oh well … I guess it will be a skill saw with a good straight edge until I pull the trigger for the PCS 3hp … unless I see a deal on CL for a good priced Contractor SS. Ha !

Thanks all !

View clin's profile


1121 posts in 1841 days

#8 posted 02-01-2017 10:46 PM

I have a 3 HP PCS and love it. I chose it over the contractor saw knowing I plan to have this saw for the rest of my life. Over that time frame, the cost difference is insignificant.

Of course that same argument can be used to justify buying an ICS over a PCS. So you do have to draw a line somewhere. In the end, I wanted a cabinet saw.

-- Clin

View pintodeluxe's profile


6204 posts in 3658 days

#9 posted 02-01-2017 10:49 PM

I was most attracted to the PCS with 3hp and 52” fence. I’m sure I would have been happy with a 1.75 hp PCS with 36” fence. I’m not so sure a contractor saw would have satisfied me for long, but every user is different.

I got just the one I wanted, and have no regrets. Great saw.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bigpapaporsche's profile


9 posts in 1324 days

#10 posted 02-01-2017 11:36 PM

After procrastinating for years about buying a SS table saw, I finally pulled the plug today. I found a slightly used SS 30 inch on CL, without any signs of any usage. New, these saws sells for $1600.00, I got this one for $800.00. My old 1990 Cman TS served me well and I liked to think that my Wood Working skills have grown to a point that I now need a better grade TS! I upgraded the Cman saw by installing the Link Belt/Pulley system, which greatly improve how smooth the saw ran and installed the Delta T2 fence system, which transformed the saw entirely. Additionally I installed two Router Table Inserts in both TS Wings. It wasn’t until I recently installed a new Freud Stack Dado Blade that I realized the Cman saw had reached it limit. The Cman arbor doesn’t allow the Dado Stack to sit on its shaft properly, which results in a rouge cut in the bottom of the Dado groove.
Hopefully, I’ll sell the Cman for around $200.00 and my Delta RAS for another $250.00, which means I would have dramatically improved the overall safety in my little shop for only $350.00, that sounds like a fantanic deal to me. I have 10 other good reasons which contributed to my decision, hopefully I’ll keep all of them!!!!!!!

View crookedpine's profile


6 posts in 1325 days

#11 posted 02-02-2017 02:46 AM

... New, these saws sells for $1600.00, I got this one for $800.00 …

I would have jumped on that too. The saw will probably be worth that or more for years.

View crookedpine's profile


6 posts in 1325 days

#12 posted 04-25-2017 12:05 PM

Well after another month of researching and study Sawstop comes out with it’s March and April promotion. Buy a PCS and get a free upgrade … mobile base or overhead dust collection.

I thoroughly considered the Contractor with 36 in T-glide. Knowing it would be a better saw than my current AND have the safety feature. With Sawstop’s promotion it meant the difference between it and a PCS 3hp would be about $900 since I would have to pay for a mobile base for the Contractor. For less than a thousand, I could not reason ever upgrading the Contractor with better wings (which would likely be the first thing) .. or improving the dust collection as the differential would just get smaller …. and for a little more I could have had the Best saw for a lifetime that I would never outgrow.

The only other approach that seemed could be valid to me was … buy the Contractor with Premium fence for $1600 . Get a 3rd party cheaper mobile base and do not upgrade any more. Live with it for a year or two and see if it is all you need or sell it and buy the ultimate PCS 3hp.

So … I went ahead and bought the PCS 3hp with 52 in T-Glide. Half way through assembly and as everything I’ve read, manuals and process is great.

Thanks for input !

View Markmh1's profile


115 posts in 1288 days

#13 posted 04-25-2017 02:14 PM

Sorry to add more confusion. If I had it to do over, I’d buy the hydraulic base for another $100. My PCS with the $200 mobile base wouldn’t fit through doors. (For assembly purposes, it’s easier to assemble the $200 base when the saw is still on the styrofoam.)

The $300 base has 4 swivel wheels instead of 2. Every time I move the saw I think of this.

IMHO, I wouldn’t buy something with the plan to lose money. It’s easy enough to lose money without trying.

Over the course of my life I’ve also learned that a tool should absolutely delight you whenever you use it. Having a big smile on your face when you work is how it should be.


View knotscott's profile


8385 posts in 4220 days

#14 posted 04-25-2017 03:30 PM

Cry once, smile for a lifetime. Go straight for the PCS 3hp if you can afford it. The PCS 3hp is a good value IMO relative to the premium attached to their other models. You’ll get outstanding performance, and will have a lifetime saw that’ll make you happy every time you use it.

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

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3912 days

#15 posted 04-25-2017 03:56 PM

IMO save a little long and get what you want! I was in your shoes a few years back. And ended up waiting another year and putting more money away and just bought the one I wanted. I wanted the 5hp and ics was the only way to get that. I almost settled for the 3hp PCS (funny word settle).

I saved a long long long time to buy mine. Had the ICS 3 years now (I think), and don’t regret the wait. If It were me, I’d get the 3hp PCS with better fence, and you will be happy.

buy once cry once. :)

Good luck.

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

View clin's profile


1121 posts in 1841 days

#16 posted 04-25-2017 08:52 PM

So … I went ahead and bought the PCS 3hp with 52 in T-Glide. Half way through assembly and as everything I ve read, manuals and process is great.

Thanks for input !

- crookedpine

Hey guys. He did pull the trigger on the 3 HP PCS.

Enjoy it. It’s the nature of these things.

When I bought mine, it was after ratcheting up from getting a new fence for an old Craftsman. After getting it, it is just so nice to use, that I use it more than I ever thought I would.

That’s part of the equation that is hard to get a handle on. With better tools, you enjoy what you are doing more, and therefore are more likely to do it and use the tool more.

I went through something similar when I got a DW735 planer. A project sort of required a planer. But I wasn’t too sure how much more use I’d get out of it. Now that I have it, it has opened up a whole new way to work with wood. No longer restricted to stock boards.

Anyway, enjoy getting the saw up and running.

-- Clin

View crookedpine's profile


6 posts in 1325 days

#17 posted 04-26-2017 03:56 AM

Yes, after the considerations I mentioned, I did get the PCS 3hp and 52in T-Glide. Good to hear other people’s reasoning. Everything I’ve read about the quality of the saw, assembly manual and hardware packaging is true. It is the best I’ve ever seen. This is the first Cadillac I’ve ever owned :-) Spent some time today figuring how to get 240 volts to the machine. Got-r-done and got back to assembly. Will post some pictures when done.
Thanks for input.


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