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Almost excellent.

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Review by Ennismt posted 06-11-2020 05:15 PM 1217 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Almost excellent. Almost excellent. No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’d say I’m an intermediate woodworker. My previous table saw was a DeWalt job site saw, the 7491RS. It’s an excellent saw but with a small work surface.

The good: excellent fit and finish. most parts are durable steel, chrome and iron that fit and function very well. packaging was excellent and all parts were present and in excellent condition. assembly was pretty straight forward. the measuring tape was off and was replaced quickly after a phone call. removing and re-applying the tape was easy. blade and table alignment were spot on. the fence needed only minor adjustment. mine was delivered to Home Depot and everything went very well there.

The not so good: dust collection. it is worse than my DeWalt job site saw with a shop vac. my 64b is connected to a 650 cfm dust collector and it does worse. i’m in a garage so i wasn’t looking for a dust collection upgrade and contractor saws are what they are, but worse was unexpected. The culprit seems to be the blade/dust shroud (see picture). while its definitely better than not having one it has its shortcomings and limitations. its connected to a 2 inch or so hose that leads to a 4 inch port, limiting suction and access to dust. the rest of the space under the table is open and not connected to dust collection. as a result, the dust is flung by the blade and either drops to the floor or finds gaps in the table or stand to be flung or float everywhere. furthermore, the shroud is half, brittle plastic that is just off the arbor (the other half looks to be the quality steel that is typical of the saw). removing the blade has already cracked the plastic. My DeWalt saw, on the other hand, had the space to the right of the shroud (and under the table) closed with a durable fabric that kept dust in but allowed tilting of the blade. i’m making mods to see if i can control the dust.

other options: i was very close to buying a sawstop contractor saw. however, it was about $1k more (similarly equipped except the blade brake) than what i paid for this saw during the 15% off. couldn’t justify it based on my use and purpose. buying this saw through Home Depot allows me to return the saw locally if needed, as opposed to getting a Grizzly. The Grizzly saw that was comparable was $2-3 hundred less, I think.

side notes: customer service is good if you call, not so good via email. the measuring tape and plastic shroud piece were replaced with no hassle and quickly. These are inexpensive items with easy replacement so maybe not the best test cases for customer service but thought I’d pass them on. I’m running the saw on a 20A breaker and have had no problems. Based on the 15A FLA I don’t see why I would. I’m getting 32 in rip capacity on my 30 in model. it comes in handy. Their table insert for the blade is huge. i can’t find zero clearance inserts. the dado insert was not a good fit, but doable. the blade guard is very good, but i still don’t use it much. dado blade set is very tight on the arbor compared to my DeWalt saw.

summary; The 64B is, for the most part, an excellent saw as far as they take it. sawing is executed well and accurately, and with mostly durable parts. ingenuity is lacking, however. it looks like the dust collection is an afterthought mod and not thought out to be the most efficient. the customer service and 5-year warranty are positives, so far. the description of the saw includes “with riving knife” which is now a decade old requirement. maybe the design is a little long in the tooth.




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Ennismt

15 posts in 91 days



9 comments so far

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fivecodys

1637 posts in 2413 days


#1 posted 06-12-2020 03:36 PM

I have the 64A and I agree with all of your comments.
I was able to rectify the DC issues by building an angled shoot at the bottom of the saw for my DC connection.
I have since rotated that chute 180 deg to that the DC hose drops on the right side.

You can kind of see it in this photo

I also made a paddle so I could turn off the saw with my knee.

The best upgrade was the Shark Guard (2019). The stock guard sucks.

I have been using this saw for about 18-19 years and I have been pretty happy with it.

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

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Ennismt

15 posts in 91 days


#2 posted 06-12-2020 05:12 PM

@fivecodys,

Your 64A looks great! these are solid saws and will last a long time.

thanks for the input on the DC. i’ve thought about constructing a chute. however, my DC port is connected to the dust shroud, so i’d have to hook up another hose to a chute. or, i could take the cheap plastic off the shroud, remove the connector hose and install a chute. what was the original DC design on the 64a, before your mod that is?

good point on the switch, too. the current one on the 64B is less than ideal. their PM1000 has a nice version, but that hasn’t trickled to the 64B. It is what I believe is another out dated feature of the 64B. Not huge, but a hip bump version would be more convenient and maybe more safe. Furthermore, i don’t think is an expensive or challenging change. Powermatic just hasn’t done it.

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fivecodys

1637 posts in 2413 days


#3 posted 06-12-2020 07:52 PM

The saw did not have any type collection at all from the factory. They did sell me this part to use and it was pretty worthless.

The paddle board for the On/Off switch is so simple to build and works great.

Have fun with the new saw.

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

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Madmark2

1381 posts in 1365 days


#4 posted 06-12-2020 08:06 PM

FiveCodys:
Put a ZCI on that saw NOW. It does more for safety than that cumbersome “anti kickback” blade guard.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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fivecodys

1637 posts in 2413 days


#5 posted 06-12-2020 08:56 PM

FiveCodys:
Put a ZCI on that saw NOW. It does more for safety than that cumbersome “anti kickback” blade guard.

- Madmark2


Hi Mark.
That’s all I use. The stock insert was what I was using when I was installing the guard. The blanks were on order. I have three of them. White is full Kerf, Tan is thin kerf for ripping blade and another white one for Dado’s….See?

Thanks for looking out for me Mark!



-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

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Madmark2

1381 posts in 1365 days


#6 posted 06-12-2020 09:01 PM

Ever since I had an “anti-kickback” blade guard with a stock insert cause kickback – while I was teaching a class at WoodCraft – I’ve been a fanatic about ZCI’s being a requirement.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View LeeRoyMan's profile (online now)

LeeRoyMan

1189 posts in 504 days


#7 posted 06-12-2020 09:20 PM

deleted, wasn’t relevant to OP

-- I only know what I know, nothing less, nothing more -- That doesn't count what I used to know..

View Ennismt's profile

Ennismt

15 posts in 91 days


#8 posted 06-14-2020 07:16 PM

I added some weather stripping to the gap between the base and the table. The gap is only in the front and left of the table. The fit isn’t perfect but Its seems to help with the dust escaping from the location. Furthermore, the dust blocked by the stripping isn’t ending up on the floor. So far so good. This was a major source of the finer dust escaping the collection. I’ll be watching this with different projects, but for now it looks like have the more typical dust below the saw and on the surface.

View MrGrowthRings's profile

MrGrowthRings

100 posts in 4451 days


#9 posted 06-16-2020 04:35 PM

I used to own the Powermatic 63 Artisan saw and it was an excellent saw. I found this pic online of the exact set-up I had, which included a Vega fence system and a sliding table. I sold it because in the end I just couldn’t stand that it had a right tilting blade. It was one of the earliest Taiwanese tools that Powermatic imported and they must have copied the old Delta contractor saw. I have a PowerMatic 66 now, but 97% of the time I just use my Shopsmith.

-- http://www.MyGrowthRings.com and http://www.Youtube.com/MyGrowthRings

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