LumberJocks

Pre-purchase comparison PM 1500

  • Advertise with us
Review by Herbb posted 02-28-2021 06:21 PM 1031 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Pre-purchase comparison PM 1500 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Well the saw has not yet arrived, but i did want to share my reasons for choosing the Powermatic over a few other brands.
I got a chance to compare the Powermatic to similarly priced Jet and Rikon units. The comparison did not include any actual use, as the units were on display at the Indianapolis Rockler store.
To me, the PM just felt more substantial . I especially liked how solid the blade guard felt when fully extended. The crank handle also felt better and operated more smoothly.

Note that i did purchase the PM 1500, but my comparison was made between each company’s 14 inch offerings. I figured the quality should be better as i moved up the model line.

With Jet and Rikon out of consideration, i started getting interested in the Harvey Ambassador C14. Mostly from the few positive reviews I’d read.

I decided to write down the pros and cons of each saw, assigning one point for each catagory.
In the end, the PM won my little test. Not unexpectedly, given the price difference.

The Harvey won 2 categories and tied in 3 others.
Price $1678 vs. $2699
Left Tilt range (-15 degrees vs. -10) not sure that will come into play too often.

I rated the following as ties:
Guides (to each their own)
Resaw, though the PM is 1/2” greater.
Reviews, though there are very few Harvey reviews.

Main influences on my decision, and all advantage Powermatic:
Fence
Table size
Table height: 40” vs 34-1/4! At 6’3” this is important. I did not see where Harvey provided a stool.
Motor: Taiwan vs Red China
Weight: 350# vs 394#! The Harvey must have some thin metal somewhere
Wheel size: 14” vs 15”

Fit and finish: I did not see a Harvey in person, but the PM fit and finish are excellent.
Country of origin: I’m still politically active, and i oppose what Red China is doing to their people and our economy. Some of you old guys might feel the same

Local support: I bought from a local shop. Money stays in my area instead of going to some warehouse store a thousand miles away. I anticipate better customer service dealing with a local bricks and mortar shop. The Harvey’s have no dealer network that I am aware of at this time.

The PM was on sale at 10% off until 2/28/21. My dealer claims PM, Jet, and Laguna have all informed him that there will be no more sales in 2021, as demand is so great. I guess they don’t feel the need to cut prices if we’re going to buy anyway

I have read the reviews that say just go to an Italian brand for a few hundred more, and my dealer can get them, but I’m already going to be kicking myself in the morning for dropping $2700

I have gotten back into woodworking after a 20 year hiatus. I’ve built some live edge furniture, a child’s workbench, and some shelving and other items that did not require a high level of precision since getting back into the hobby.

I’m upgrading in anticipation of retiring later this year.
Next up is a Saw Stop, dust collector, and drum sander.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but hopefully this helps someone else who might be in the market. I’m also looking forward to everyone’s thoughts.

Oh, I should expect shipment late April.
Thanks.




View Herbb's profile

Herbb

9 posts in 59 days



19 comments so far

View darthford's profile

darthford

667 posts in 2979 days


#1 posted 02-28-2021 08:22 PM

I think you made a fine choice. I looked into the PM1500 after reading your post and nearly ordered one. But they are 2+ months out and to be honest a bandsaw is only a nice to have for me right now so I’m holding off. Look forward to your review after yours arrives.

View darthford's profile

darthford

667 posts in 2979 days


#2 posted 03-01-2021 12:13 AM

You know…dang it Herb…FINE I ordered one just now! lol The 10% off and free shipping made me pull the trigger.

View mdhills's profile

mdhills

68 posts in 3688 days


#3 posted 03-01-2021 05:11 AM

Your table will get taller if you mount the bandsaw on zambus casters for mobility.

Matt

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1149 posts in 442 days


#4 posted 03-01-2021 07:18 PM

It would seem the Harvey 15” HW615 would have been a more direct comparison no? About the same price. Looks like some nice features and about 50 lbs heavier than the PM1500.

-- Darrel

View darthford's profile

darthford

667 posts in 2979 days


#5 posted 03-01-2021 09:28 PM

I agree that’s a pretty close comparison Foghorn. One thing I really wanted was the PM’s side discharge top dust port vs the front port on the Harvey and so many other bandsaws. PM also added some shrouds and did some design to improve dust collection. Another nice touch was the bright yellow bandsaw tires for each of sight through the blade tracking window. The deeper I dug the more little things I found on the PM that I liked.

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1149 posts in 442 days


#6 posted 03-01-2021 10:13 PM

It looks like a great saw. I’ve only ever seen the 18” one in the flesh and it was a beast.

-- Darrel

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

6115 posts in 2270 days


#7 posted 03-01-2021 10:20 PM

To assist with this review- pre-purchase saw- here is a youtube review. I think the video will help people “see” what is being written about here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkIbHTMbGQQ&t=50s

I have the PM14 with a riser block- it was the top dog at the time. It appears that PM is stepping up their game on improvements. Since I won’t comment on a bandsaw that I don’t need or want I hope it brings you good results and be sure to let us know-

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Herbb's profile

Herbb

9 posts in 59 days


#8 posted 03-02-2021 12:18 AM



I think you made a fine choice. I looked into the PM1500 after reading your post and nearly ordered one. But they are 2+ months out and to be honest a bandsaw is only a nice to have for me right now so I m holding off. Look forward to your review after yours arrives.

- darthford

Darth, i understand. The bandsaw was supposed to be after the table saw, drum sander, and dust collector upgrades.
That $300 off sinched it for me.

View Herbb's profile

Herbb

9 posts in 59 days


#9 posted 03-02-2021 12:19 AM



You know…dang it Herb…FINE I ordered one just now! lol The 10% off and free shipping made me pull the trigger.

- darthford


Ahah! Fret not, I’m still feeling OK two days after the buy!

View Herbb's profile

Herbb

9 posts in 59 days


#10 posted 03-02-2021 12:20 AM



Your table will get taller if you mount the bandsaw on zambus casters for mobility.

Matt

True Matt. I plan to gain an inch or more with the right base, but 4” difference is ridiculous for a guy my height.
- mdhills


View Herbb's profile

Herbb

9 posts in 59 days


#11 posted 03-02-2021 12:24 AM



It would seem the Harvey 15” HW615 would have been a more direct comparison no? About the same price. Looks like some nice features and about 50 lbs heavier than the PM1500.

- Foghorn


Good point Foggy. I’ll post a comparison between that one and the PM soon. I suspect the Big harvey should do better.
It’s just too bad that PM does not offer anything right around the $2K price point.
The main attraction with thw smaller Harvey was features/value per dollar

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

6115 posts in 2270 days


#12 posted 03-02-2021 01:41 AM



Your table will get taller if you mount the bandsaw on zambus casters for mobility.

Matt

- mdhills

Interesting point since we have had no actual reviews stating the lift difference; similar to lifting a truck. What is the difference between factory specs and after installing casters? The engineers make their product but do the added casters affect the actual lift dimensions of comfort?

I watched the introduction video, which looked solid but from experience, I bought my Power Matic 14 w/ a riser block, it even came with Carter market products from WoodWhisper and Charles Neil video “pitches”...

Again at the time PM was the gold standard in tools… but the saw compared to a Laguna 14 – Laguna wins hands down. Best of luck to Power Matic the video looks good and much improved…

-- Desert_Woodworker

View darthford's profile

darthford

667 posts in 2979 days


#13 posted 03-02-2021 01:59 AM

I wanted to go with a smaller but capable bandsaw. I had the Grizzly 19” in my 2 car shop and it was so big I couldn’t find a spot for it where it wasn’t in the way. So for me the PM is a better fit.

View Herbb's profile

Herbb

9 posts in 59 days


#14 posted 03-02-2021 11:59 AM


Your table will get taller if you mount the bandsaw on zambus casters for mobility.

Matt

- mdhills

Interesting point since we have had no actual reviews stating the lift difference; similar to lifting a truck. What is the difference between factory specs and after installing casters? The engineers make their product but do the added casters affect the actual lift dimensions of comfort?

I watched the introduction video, which looked solid but from experience, I bought my Power Matic 14 w/ a riser block, it even came with Carter market products from WoodWhisper and Charles Neil video “pitches”...

Again at the time PM was the gold standard in tools… but the saw compared to a Laguna 14 – Laguna wins hands down. Best of luck to Power Matic the video looks good and much improved…

- DesertWoodworker

Your table will get taller if you mount the bandsaw on zambus casters for mobility.

Matt

- mdhills

Interesting point since we have had no actual reviews stating the lift difference; similar to lifting a truck. What is the difference between factory specs and after installing casters? The engineers make their product but do the added casters affect the actual lift dimensions of comfort?

I watched the introduction video, which looked solid but from experience, I bought my Power Matic 14 w/ a riser block, it even came with Carter market products from WoodWhisper and Charles Neil video “pitches”...

Again at the time PM was the gold standard in tools… but the saw compared to a Laguna 14 – Laguna wins hands down. Best of luck to Power Matic the video looks good and much improved…

- DesertWoodworker


View Herbb's profile

Herbb

9 posts in 59 days


#15 posted 03-02-2021 12:01 PM

The PM 14 and the 14 inch Lagunas look to be very different animals. I also looked at the lagunas at my local dealer. Saw too many negative reviews for table flatness, fence flatness, and lousy customer service. That scared me away.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com