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Hi All,

During a residential move, I sold several of my woodworking machines. Although reliable and well maintained, they were dated and I had outgrown them. I saw the move as a great opportunity to get a little return on my investments, and I did not have to move them to my new home.

Amongst the machinery was my trusty Craftsman 10" contractor's saw. It was more than twenty-years old, and although it was still serving my needs, I began bumping-up against its limitations more and more. So now, it's time to upgrade. I intend to add a 10" cabinet saw to my home shop. My short list of manufacturers are:

- Powermatic
- Delta (Unisaw)
- Jet (Xacta Saw)
- StopSaw

My home shop is wired for 220V, so I'm good in that regard. I'm wrestling over going with 3HP or 5PH.

I know that Powermatic is still the Gold Standard of table saws, but maybe the other manufacturers have stepped their game up? What do you guys/gals think?

EJ
 

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I own a PM66 and am quite happy with it. However, if I were buying again and could afford it, I would take a hard look at the SawStops. I don't ever want to earn the nickname of Four Fingered Wu!

Regarding the 3hp vs 5hp issue, I think 3hp is very adequate for a home shop unless you intend to rip 8/4 hard maple 8 hours a day. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I watched a demonstration of the StopSaw at my local Rockler when they came out. Other than the blade retraction/stop feature, I really didn't see much difference between it and a Jet.

When I was a kid, my father lost half a thumb to a table saw. Years later, he told me that the incident was due to him being distracted and in a hurry. As a result of his "gift" to me, I give all of my tools a huge berth and a lot of respect.

EJ
 

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Actually, Sawstop is the gold standard…

- DKV
We have had a few heated discussions over sawstop in the past but I don't recall any about which table saw is the gold standard?powermatic or sawstop? you may have already started WWIII.

EJWash,why are not considering a Grizzly table saw?I don't own one but a lot of members think highly of the name Grizzly.
 

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Powermatic and JET are owned by the same
parent company these days. Powermatic isn't
what it was. It's a badge now, put on
Asian and European made machines. I've
heard Powermatic and Grizzly 3hp shapers
come off the same assembly line.

I'm not knocking Powermatic. I think they
stand behind their product and you can expect
good fit and finish. The new machines are
priced at a premium for what they are and
the quality is not head and shoulders above
other Asian-made machines however.

I've started recommending a 12" or larger
table saw for furniture making. On the used
market there are real bargains on these
larger saws to be found.
 

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I would look to a SawStop seriously before any Powermatic, Jet or Delta. They are all made in Asia now.

To say that other than the safety stop feature the SawStop doesn't look much different than the Jet makes my head spin.
Are you serious?
You don't see the added value in the safety stop feature?
For me that single feature completely eclipses anything the other brands offer; especially since otherwise they are all pretty much equal and not much different in price, other than the Delta being the most expensive for no good reason.
Loren brings up a good point about 12" saws.
And Ken makes a good point about Grizzly needing to be in consideration.

I'll just combine those two points.
Why not look at a Grizzly 12", GO 696X 5 hp single phase. Even including shipping would still cost $500-$700 less than the SawStop, Powermatic, Delta or Jet and would be a hell of a lot more saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just cruised Acme Tool and all four of my choices are made in Taiwan - if Acme's listings are correct.

Grizzly is not, I repeat, NOT an option.

And again, besides the safety feature of the SawStop, what are the other features that put it above the rest?

EJ
 

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It costs quite a bit more, so you have to talk yourself into thinking it's better if you've just dropped $4000 on a $2500 saw.
 

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All of the top brands today offer excellent quality and a much higher degree of accuracy than is ever possible on a Craftsman (I've owned several). My father used to say that good carpenters don't blame their tools because good carpenters only buy good tools. So in terms of accuracy I think you will be happy with almost any one of your choices.

But there is the safety issue. We are all careful and respect the power of our tools. Yet there are 34,000 ER visits and 10% of those result in some kind of amputation every year. Sobering numbers. I bought a SawStop and I love everything about it. It is rock solid, beautifully engineered, good dust collection and very accurate. The few times I called their support line it was quick, friendly and top notch. So what it came down to for me is "how much are my fingers worth?"
 

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The 3 HP and 5 HP Sawstop table saws are as fine as you can buy today! I recently got rid of my 20 year old Craftsman contractor style table saw and I looked at all brands.
All other factors being equal, the safety brake on the Sawstop was the deciding factor…BUT it would not have been the reason I bought the saw if anything else was lacking.
The Sawstop saw was dead accurate "out of the box". It's quiet, strong and the dust collection is better than most.
It's the only saw I would buy again!
 

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If you still have to ask the question "Other than the safety feature, what's puts it above the rest?"

It costs no more.
It is just as well made if not better.
It is sold by a company that is hell bent on having a better, safer product than anyone else.

Where did that "$4000 for a $2500 saw" crap come from?
The only saw on the list that sells for $4000 is the Delta.

SawStop Professional Cabinet saw, 3 hp, about $2795 to $3100 depending on fence.
SawStop, Jet and Powermatic are about the same.
 

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Grizzly is not, I repeat, NOT an option.

gold plated marketing hype and fancy paint jobs do not, necessarily, make better machines.
 

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It's a really tough choice, I'm thinking through the same thing right now. Since they all essentially come from Asia, it boils down to some other factors. Safety features aside, I'm thinking right now you'll have better customer service from Grizzly (based on my past experience) and Sawstop. At one time Powermatic would have been a top pick, or maybe even a Unisaw; but both those companies have fell out of my favor. One thing about the Sawstop: to get 5 HP you'd have to move to an ICS, which ups the ante quite a bit. The PCS only goes up to 3 HP.
 

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I bought a 52" 3hp PC Saw Stop about 4 years ago. I had a Craftsman contractor that had been "tuned" and had a Unifence, with extensions on bith sides. It was as nice as you could make a contractor….it was still a sow's ear compared to the Saw Stop. While I had spent money on it and much effort, it was still a 1.75 contractor at the end of the day….You will be thrilled as soon as you use whatever cab saw you get. I had a friend that mentored me many years ago, long before saw stop came on the scene, and he had a PM, which I used a lot and had every intention of buying before Saw Stop came on the scene. I have no experience with the new PM saws, and not to start WW3, but I after admitted to myself, reluctantly, that WITHOUT the consideration of the safety, the PM was a smoother, more durable saw than a SS. The fence is wrapped with what ever you call the slick, cutting board material HW??, where the Saw stop uses paricle board with laminate. The extrusion the on/off switch is in, is plastic ….etc…...

Now before anyone writes me a nasty gram…I knew all this before I bought one. Having known that, I still bought the Saw Stop and after owning it for 4 years would still buy it again. I won't tell you that the safety factor is'nt the primary reasons, because if it wasn't, it was damn close. It is a well made machine, manufactured and packaged as well as most anything out there. After about a year or so, a young friend ran a cart in the plastic shroud that contained the switch, fracturing the "mounting ears" off. The customer service I recieved was second to none, which in my mind is a huge factor. Certainly far from the awful service I recieved from the Delta Co.

I had a relative in another State cut off two fingers and cut some tendons in his palm after a lifetime of woodoworking without injury. His portion of his medical was commenceorate to the cost of several Saw Stops….Knowing what I know now, I would buy the SawStop in a heartbeat.

My point of all this is, while I really like my Saw Stop, I do believe there are other machines as well made, but maybe not with the level of customer service available and certainly not as safe. That is why it is in my shop.

This is just my .02…..
Mike
 
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