A better saw than I thought it would be

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Review by bonesbr549 posted 03-21-2014 01:26 AM 12077 views 0 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A better saw than I thought it would be A better saw than I thought it would be A better saw than I thought it would be Click the pictures to enlarge them

I will not go over the safety side of the tool nor the politics as those have been beat to death.

Well I’ve been lusting for a SS since they first came out, but being out of my budget started a savings fund. My Grizzly 1023SLX had served me well but I wanted to upgrade and really like the safety feature. With the last project providing a significant bump in my $$, I bit the bullet and ordered it back in early Feb. It supposed to be delivered on a Friday and it dumped a foot of snow. Long story short 4 separate appointments later (all delayed due to weather) It arrived last Friday! A special thanks to the Tom Temple and The Downing Town PA Woodcraft Store. He was great to work with.

Unlike the PCS, the ICS arrives in an all wood crate and a second box for the rails, and the extension top. Eight or so big screws removed and the top of the crate lifts off the base easily. The Saw is not bolted to the packing crate but is well packaged and wrapped. We removed the boxes and the saw was easily removed from the packing crate. First step was getting the beast on the industrial mobile base. The powder coat on this is fantastic and very thick. I was extremely pleased with the quality of the wheels on the base. It blows my old shop fox mobile base out of the water.

Putting it in the Mobile Base
It took three of us to do four quick lifts to get it on the base. There are two main support bars underneath the base. We lifted it over the first one with a grunt (this sucker is heavy), lifts two and three got it close to the second support and the final lift got it situated on the last support bar. At that point it moved like it weighed a couple pounds. If you get one accessory for your saw this is it! When assembled, I can move it around with a pinky.

Moving the ICS with pinky

The ICS has great assembly documentation. I had watched a lot of videos on you tube about the ease of assembly with the color coded parts packaging. This is not the case for the ICS. It’s one bag of bolts washers and screws. No big deal, I just dumped them into a magnetic bowl I have and all was ok.

Documentation is strait forward and easy to follow. Out of all the nuts bolts and washers, there was a single lock washer missing for the rail. It was not an issue I had a nylon locknut that was substituted and better anyway (Love my bolt bucket). Table was assembled and level in a flash. This thing is machined well. One wing is attached already and you have to put the second on.

Installing the Rails for the Fence
Rail and fence assembly was a tad of a challenge due to its weight. The front and back rail are really heavy. It’s a Biesemeyer style fence similar to the one I had on my Griz except much better quality and the powder coat is thick and nice. I used roller stands to support it and align to the top.

The counter sunk machine screws takes out any need to align the rail to the table top. You can’t get it wrong. I remember the slots in the shop fox version of this style fence and the up and down adjusting to get it just right. Next step was assembly of the legs to the table top. The brackets have predrilled holes for the screws. Assembly was easy.

Again very nice and finish was perfect. The only adjustable part is the distance from the steel tube to the side of the SawStop rail which is 1/16th of an inch. I did both ends and put the fence on the table and first try the fence was .005 out of perfect to the blade. A quarter turn of a machine set screw and it was perfect. The fence was a perfect 90 to the tabletop.

Using the saw and cut quality

Miter Slots were perfectly aligned to the blade and arbor is running true.

I put the supplied 60T SawStop blade on and inserted the riving knife, it locked easily in place. Even the wrenches are well made. They are heavy duty rubber coated

They have a nice spot to hold them under the table top.

I removed it and put the dust guard insert and that was not as tight as I would like. It was slightly thinner (.005) than the riving knife. I found the documentation on adjusting the tension on that and it was fixed in a jiffy to my liking. They really designed this so you would be willing to easily use the safety equipment. Love it.

Time to Fire it up! It requires a 30A circuit. Being forward thinking I purchased 10/4 flexible wire to get from saw to outlet. I’d like the capability to have 110 at the saw to support a light or future addition, since it is about 8’ away from anything.

The grommet opening for power hookup was only ¾ and the cable would not fit! So I went back and bought 12’ of 10/3 for now to get it running and I’ll take care of that latter by adding a junction box at the saw and wire from the JB to the saw and have a 110 outlet. Cost me an extra 25$ for the wire but just an inconvenience.

So, wiring was done and time to start it for the first time. I flipped the switch on and no lights? I checked the wiring and all looked ok. Pull the cover on the power box and have 240 at the saw? I was scratching my head and remember the ICS has the disconnect switch for lock-out/tag-our support. It was in the off position. Fixed that and it took about 10 seconds to go through the self-test and was ready. I have to admit, I felt like Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation and the Christmas light scene.

Pulled the paddle and she fired right up. I love the bumping the paddle with the knee to cut it off. It flashes green while it spins down and you cannot touch the blade during spin down or it will trigger the brake. However, I don’t know why anyone would want to do that.

The stock blade is not a bad blade. I cut 4/4, 5/4, and some 12/4 stock. I had a 3hp saw prior to this and can say the 5hp is sweet. It cuts like butter and you really see it on the thick stuff.

Test cuts were all square and clean on the edges. The only drag I see on that blade is cutting the thick stuff. I had a piece of a bedpost that was a little over 2 5/8” thick.

Did some cross cuts and it was square and a pretty decent cut. However it did show saw marks on the end-grain. I have not used the stock miter gauge except to put in in its holder on the saw. I will check it later and report on it. I used my Incra 1000se for miter cuts because that’s what I will be using going forward anyway and not the stock miter gauge.

I’ve got two Forrest blades on order and will switch when they arrive. ( I sold my old thin kerf ones). I will state that all the cuts are usable with the stock blade and I would use that blade with no reservation. However, after being accustomed to Forrest cuts, I just want that quality. So I give the blade a B+ and will keep it for an emergency blade.

Dust Collection and the over arm attachment:

Dust collection is fantastic. With the ICS, the shroud around the blade is heavy duty cast iron with a plastic side gate that opens for easy access to the blade area. Dust is directed down to the rear of the saw via flex pipe. The exit to the rear of the saw does present a challenge for me. I liked using my bench as an out-feed table for my Table saw. With the location of that DC port that will not be possible without building a bridge section. I’ll have to come up with either a new solution, i.e. dropdown hinged table, or build a small bridge to my workbench.

My only screw up is remembering to close that plastic door when I open it to change the riving knife or blade. It’s magnetic and nothing to it, but twice I forgot and got a bit of dust into the cabinet. That was totally my fault not the saw.

The over arm attachement comes with an adapter that joins its hose to the main DC at a 90 degree angle.

I did not like that setup.

I replaced that with an elbow (I know that’s not optimal) and Y joint, and it improved flow. I have a 2hp DC and the length of trip from saw to DC intake is 20’.

If I were going on a start basis for like I’d give it 6 stars out of 5. (That’s not a misprint). They took a great safety feature and built a truly great saw around it. From the blade brake to the power interconnects to the lockout tag out features its top notch. I figure it will be up to my son’s to deal with it when I’m gone as it’s the last saw I will buy. I really struggled with the cost but no buyer’s remorse now that I have it.

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

View bonesbr549's profile


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31 comments so far

View cabmaker's profile


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#1 posted 03-21-2014 02:08 AM

Nice write up bones ! I like to see people happy with their acquisitions . Nice looking saw ! JB

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4231 days

#2 posted 03-21-2014 03:24 AM

Wondering Y the Y for the overhead arm is placed towards the outlet of the cabinet and not towards the intake of the DC. I would think the venturi/ejector effect would be better in the opposite direction to draw a better vacuum on the overhead arm section? Not saying it’s wrong, just doesn’t look right to me. What do I know, I’m just an old Navy MM that used a lot of air ejectors and loop seals.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3804 days

#3 posted 03-21-2014 04:23 AM

Congrats on the fine new TS

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Jim Reeves's profile

Jim Reeves

211 posts in 3823 days

#4 posted 03-21-2014 04:28 AM

Lucky man a great saw for sure.

-- jim

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3377 days

#5 posted 03-21-2014 06:05 AM

Congrats! You got the Big Daddy of table saws! :-)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


847 posts in 2437 days

#6 posted 03-21-2014 06:13 AM

Beautiful saw. And great review

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

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93 posts in 2504 days

#7 posted 03-21-2014 11:49 AM

Thanks for the great review. Enjoy your new saw.

View Jbower500's profile


14 posts in 4357 days

#8 posted 03-21-2014 11:52 AM

I have owned this saw for 2 years. Only one small problem which one phone to service fixed. Took me longer to make the call that the time to make the repair. I have found this saw to be of the highest quality and workmanship of any of the cabinet saws being sold today. I would not think twice about buying a second one should the need arise.

View CincyRW's profile


165 posts in 2450 days

#9 posted 03-21-2014 12:38 PM

Great review and quite literally a beautiful piece of machinery. Enjoy!

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2819 days

#10 posted 03-21-2014 01:24 PM

Thanks, now I have to explain this boner to my coworkers.

Great and thorough first impressions/review.

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3867 days

#11 posted 03-21-2014 02:04 PM

“Wondering Y the Y for the overhead arm is placed towards the outlet of the cabinet and not towards the intake of the DC. I would think the venturi/ejector effect would be better in the opposite direction to draw a better vacuum on the overhead arm section? Not saying it’s wrong, just doesn’t look right to me. What do I know, I’m just an old Navy MM that used a lot of air ejectors and loop seals.

—Scott, Irmo SC”

You are right sir on the Y. It is going against the grain. Truly for optimal flow I should spin the saw around but then the real business end of the saw would be cluttered with the dust collection pipe passing my foot path and creating a big trip hazard. Trust me I struggled with that. However, that set up is still better than the other one I found. Due to the very short distance and making multiple cuts, I found the DC pick of the overarm to be very good. Long term I’m looking at upgrading my DC to a much more powerful system with 6” piping and just coming directly from overhead to the connection on the blade guard. I’m thinking next year’s toy buy. Maybe a real nice 3hp Laguna with automated dust gates :) For now my 20+ year old Kufo Seco 2hp DC.

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

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3735 days

#12 posted 03-21-2014 02:23 PM

^^ Can the Y just be flipped around so it’s pointing in the right direction?

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3867 days

#13 posted 03-21-2014 03:57 PM

Yes, but flipping the y around you get a big bend in the small black hose that creates a bigger drag than the y the way it’s pictured. Trust me I tried so many diff setups. To truly fix it the flow should all be going the same direction. With mine running as configured, the DC pick up is really good. I want to go overhead with 6” to reduce drag. But as one might say, I shot my $$ wad on the saw this year so it will be next year before I can tackle it.

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

View CharlesA's profile


3431 posts in 2597 days

#14 posted 03-21-2014 04:06 PM

So, the extension table is still enough that when you lift up with the mobile base it lifts up cleanly so you can move it around? Is that what I see in the video?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View dgage's profile


60 posts in 3770 days

#15 posted 03-21-2014 04:10 PM

I was thinking the same when I saw the Y (wrong direction) as I was interested in how you changed the stock to get improved performance.

That is a really nice saw and I’d love to have one, and likely will one day. Great review too!

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