Powermatic PM2000 - Assembly and setup review

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Review by darthford posted 03-23-2013 02:18 AM 11772 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Powermatic PM2000 - Assembly and setup review Powermatic PM2000 - Assembly and setup review No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I finished the assembly and setup on this tablesaw last night and wanted to share my observations good and not so good.

Shipping: Arrived in good shape overall, one minor shipping rub on the cabinet base through the yellow paint to the black base paint and one minor rub on the black extension table. My two bothers lifted the saw as I yanked the pallet out from underneath, no hoist required.

The good

1. Mobile base is great, all four wheels rotate so its easy to maneuver the saw in any direction. It does take about 140 cranks on the wheel to raise it up and down its geared low.

2. Massive fence rails as a former machinist I was impressed.

3. I was looking forward to reporting the table and wings were absolutely flat sadly at the 11th hour last night I found a crown on the table, more on that in The Not So Good section below. Other than this the table and wings assembled absolutely flat, verified by my certified flat Starrett 24” rule.

4. Just about every component is heavy duty, wheels, locks, base, the plastic arbor lock excluded it won’t be long before I snap that off.

5. Everything fit properly without having to hog out holes larger or bash together which has been my experience with older less expensive saws.

6. Paint and finish quite good, I was also impressed with the construction of the wood extension table its heavily crossed braced underneath.

The Not So Good

1. Accu-Fence needs to get a clue, they included 1 1/4” bolts for the rear fence rail to attach the wood extension table. It says right in the instructions use the 1 1/4” bolts, 2 lock washers, and 1 flat washer. Extension table is 3/4 inch thick, the rail is 1/4 inch thick, the 3 washers are 1/4 inch thick leaving not a single thread to start the nut on (face palm). Off to the hardware store to pick up six 1 1/2” bolts.

2. Only two measily bolts hold the rear fence rail on, Accu-Fence states you can drill a hole and throw in another bolt if you want to, I did.

3. I found a crown right dead center over the arbor in the table late last night as I was adjusting the zero clearance throat plate. The front and rear of the throat plate was dead flat but oddly my 12 inch rule was rocking in the middle, I took the throat plate out and it still rocked so there’s a high spot there in the table. I can probably knock it down with a file but on a $3k plus saw I shouldn’t have to.

4. The blade to miter slot alignment was way off, on the order of .020, the 90 degree stop was off close to .100 huge. The fence was pretty good about .005 off and the 45 degree stop was dead on accurate out of the box. The good news is the miter slots are machined absolutely parallel. I picked up a fancy electronic angle guage thing-a-ma-bob and it confirmed my trusty Starrett square still had its mojo the blade measured at 89.8 degrees and 45.1 degrees.

5. I know they are no longer polishing PM’s to a mirror finish but I was not impressed with the table and extension wings finish. Its not bad but I have seen as good a finish on saws costing half as much.

6. Instructions state the riving knife should not need adjustment yet it was way off out of the box, kind of cramped getting my large hands down in there and a brand new razor sharp Forest blade didn’t help things.

7. The included throat plate looks like it was ground with a 36 grit grinder I have never seen one that course before, I threw it in the toolbox and it will likely never see the light of day again. I picked up a Leecraft zero clearance throat plate at Woodcraft, its premilled for the riving knife. I’m probably going to drill some small holes in it for improved dust collection per a tip I read on the forum here.

Setup Results: I wasn’t satified with my setup just using the Starrett square so I picked up an Align-It jig with a dial indicator, the standard kit not the deluxe. Blade to miter slots alignment is now dead on +- .000, there is about .001 runout at the arbor which is within published specs and a wobble between -.001 and +.001 at the blade teeth also within published specs, Forest blade by the way. Fence is adjusted dead on at .000 with the miter slots at both the front and back with .001 to .002 variance as the Align-It jig travels along the middle of the fence. Overall I’m quite happy with this setup, now just to deal with the crown in the table.

View darthford's profile


778 posts in 3205 days

16 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3335 days

#1 posted 03-23-2013 03:18 AM

thanks for the review

-- Joel

View xwingace's profile


229 posts in 3869 days

#2 posted 03-23-2013 03:27 AM

For that price, the crown is unacceptable.

-- I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.

View Timthemailman's profile


336 posts in 4057 days

#3 posted 03-23-2013 05:49 AM

Thanks for the review, nice saw.

View Lildrgnoflb01's profile


11 posts in 4293 days

#4 posted 03-23-2013 06:58 AM

Hey Darthford,

Sorry to hear about the troubles with your saw. I purchased the same saw and there was a tiny chip on the table top and the wing had a small beveled area where it mated with the table top. I called Powermatic and they sent a brand new table top and wing..NO QUESTIONS ASKED! They didn’t even ask for the old ones back. I’m sure you can hit them up for a new top, since by far, a crown is a more serious issue than my tiny chip.

You had me wondering about the bolt size so I went and measured mine. They’re 1 1/4” alright, but I had no problem starting them with plenty of threads. And yep two washers, lock washer and nut. Thinner washers maybe? I wouldn’t worry too much about there only being two bolts for the rear rail, I’ve tugged, bumped, bashed and yanked the table by the rear rail and it’s still rock solid. I think there are only two since the rear rail doesn’t do much other than hold the extension table on. I even replaced the table that came with the saw with a router table, and still, those two bolts are holding tough.

My arbor lock is metal? Either that or they found a way to make plastic stick to a magnet. I hope PM is not starting to cut corners. Maybe you could ask about that and see if they switched.

I got a few of the leecraft inserts as well, the one with the riving knife is great. I heard a tip from another lumber jock to remember to put a sacrificial board over the plate when you make the kerf, that way there is no tear-out. Unfortunately, I didn’t see that hint til after I cut my first plate. =/ I did keep the OEM plate for beveled cuts though. And you’re right, its ugly. But mine is smooth???

I really love my saw, so I hope you can get your very legitmate issues straightened out with the manufacturer. They were great the one time I had to talk to them, so hopefully your experience will be the same.

Good Luck!

View darthford's profile


778 posts in 3205 days

#5 posted 03-23-2013 07:24 AM

My guess is they changed the arbor lock to metal after the plastic ones were breaking, I seem to recall this being an issue. To clarify this saw while just out of the crate is like 3 years old. I purchased the saw for my brother for his birthday several years ago and the sale on the house with the shop he was buying fell through. Its sat in his packed 1 car garage ever since so we decided to set it up in my new house recently. Something is thinner on the extension table assembly since they made this one then. Good to know 2 bolts hold it, I put a 3rd grade 8 bolt in the rear rail so its going nowhere in any case.

Yes the instructions are to clamp a board over the top of the Leecraft when cutting up through it, I don’t know about tear out mostly this is so the throat plate doesn’t go flying across the shop ;-)

Good to hear your throat plate is smooth, it sounds like they made a few improvements since I purchased this saw for my brother. The grinds on the fence rail are also pretty course, the plastic from the adjustment nubs under the fence are already shedding plastic shavings just from minor sliding back and forth during setup.

I won’t bother with table replacement unless that crown is real bad, it may just be the edges around the throat plate opening. In any case this saw is probably out of warranty by now.

View Ken90712's profile


18081 posts in 4469 days

#6 posted 03-23-2013 12:18 PM

Great review and details. Sorry to hear about the crown….. I’m in the market for a saw and having a hard time on which one right now.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4147 days

#7 posted 03-23-2013 12:55 PM

Not everything was perfect or acceptable with my PM2000 out of the box either. However, after 5 years I’m still pretty satisfied with it. Thanks for the well thought out review.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View lj61673's profile


271 posts in 3680 days

#8 posted 03-23-2013 01:32 PM

First time I’m hearing of a lot of these complaints. My PM2000 is two years old and has been trouble free since day one. I have three 1-1/4” bolts holding on the back rail, not two, and the bolts are plenty long including washers. My table has a slight dip near the center approx .001 per my feeler gauge. Arbor runout was .0000 as per my dial indicator. As for the throat plate, yes it leaves much to be desired as does the factory miter gauge. I view these items as expendable. The first purchases I made after the saw were a ZCI from Leecraft and a quality miter gauge from Incra. You will need to keep the original throat plate for 45 degree bevel cuts unless you buy an additional one from Leecraft. As for the arbor lock, mine was metal. Never heard of a plastic one.

Good luck with your saw and be safe.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 4790 days

#9 posted 03-23-2013 06:10 PM

That is not acceptable. I would make them ship another part and pick the other one up. we’re not talking about sub 400 dollar saw.

-- Router รจ ancora il mio nome.

View Tennessee's profile


2936 posts in 3795 days

#10 posted 03-26-2013 06:48 PM

This is a lifetime tool. You don’t want to be seeing that crown for the next ten years. Call them and see if you can get a new top, as Lil said. I did with Grizzly on my bandsaw on the fence, and they sent a complete new one, no questions asked.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Lawseeker's profile


8 posts in 3208 days

#11 posted 03-27-2013 02:15 PM

Thanks for your informative review. I am looking at the PM or a SawStop. Your review is helpful toward my decision. Hope you are successful obtaining a new top. Stay safe and kick a little dust….

-- Marvin, Bakersfield CA -- stay alert, be courageous--

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 3579 days

#12 posted 03-29-2013 11:58 PM

ching chong ching ching ching ching chang chow chu choo choo

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View darthford's profile


778 posts in 3205 days

#13 posted 03-30-2013 12:45 AM

Alrighty then lol

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 4410 days

#14 posted 04-03-2013 09:33 PM

I’m sorry to say that I’m not surprised. I bought a pm 66 new and its table flatness was a joke. There were plenty of other problems too. When I went to buy an 8” jointer several years ago I looked at PM first (that undeserved reputation for quality is a priceless asset). I came across enough posts complaining about (you guessed it) table flatness to set off the “don’t get fooled again alarm”. Bad enough on a supposed high-end (high priced anyway) table saw, but on a jointer no way! I emailed PM and asked what tolerance they would guarantee on the jointer beds – -no answer, which of course answered my question in a back hand sort of way. So I got rid of my 66 and got an SS industrial – a vastly higher quality machine. And for the jointer I got a Grizzly G0490 with those dead flat beds everyone raves about (they were dead flat by the way). So WMH Tools I hope your listening because your customers are finally tuning in.

View 9FINGERTIM's profile


54 posts in 3221 days

#15 posted 04-12-2013 11:13 AM

Sometimes there are advantages to being a tightwad .After 15 years of using my old craftsman ts 1398 i was so tired of the incredibly bad stock rip fence,that i almost gave up and went for a ridgid. I went so far as to look at one but it just dident seem as rugged as my old craftsman(15 amp three horse motor).I had read on this sight of the numerous successfull delta fence transplants that had been performed by fellow woodworkers and my accountant /budget director /wife liked the idea of 200 bucks better than 500 bucks.Since everything else on the saw still performed well I bolted on the new fence and rails and stepped into a whole nother world of sawdust making no more c c lampps holding down both ends of the fence!I felt so gratefull to the saw that I treated it to a new specialty rip blade and a new belt. I guess the moral to this story is sometimes its better to refurbish the good old iron you own than to take a chance on buying an unknown level of quality. sometimes its “better the devil you know”


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