LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner

Is a 5/8" arbor safe, or too weak?

3111 Views 49 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  unbob
I've had more than one european woodworker tell me I shouldn't get an american style table saw (I am in finland) because the arbor is 5/8" and that's just too weak for any serious stuff (such as ripping long rough sawn lumber).

I figured I should ask the americans what you think. Seems to me even more serious machines use the 5/8s arbor and it seems to work okay? Is it the 5/8" arbor a weak point in a table saw you think, would you prefer a 25mm or 1" arbor? Or doesn't it make a difference?

I like this american contractor style saw I found, it can even take dado blades, also has a 1phase 3HP induction motor and cast iron top. It would bring the total to 1k euros to bring it home from the UK though. He has pointed out some old machine by a company called Griggio instead, a combined saw and spindle molder, for 600 euros, but it's in pieces and need some parts replaced, says the total to get it running will probably come to the same as the UK saw.

So I am at a bit of a loss, I am new to woodworking and somewhat lost.
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
The Delta Unisaw (and PM66, Grizzly G1023, etc..) has a 5/8" arbor and I have never ever heard anybody complain about it or claim it is a 'weak point'..

It would take over 30,000 lbs of force to break the 5/8" arbor shaft.
Europeans are always speculating how much better their designs are than ours.
That's why they invented the electric light, the phone, space travel, computers, the internet. . . oh wait.
If you look at the millions of hours logged on those saws with 5/8" arbors and could figure out the failure rate (I'm sure there have been a few, though it's so low it would be considered insignificant) I think you would find it to be just as good as whatever the standard is in Europe. While I think the European tools have some advances over those here in the states, I can't imagine that being one of them.
AS an engineer, I 2nd what Crank said about ridiculous forces necessary to break the arbor.

As a cheapskate, I would like to point out that you say the Griggio is a saw AND a spindle shaper. I don't know anything about Griggio, but if it is a decent quality machine, why would you not jump on it and get double the functionality for the same price?
As an engineer as well, I would turn back to you friend and ask for the supporting data to that argument. My guess is that there is none, just a bunch of hearsay. If you're going to state something as fact, you'd better be able to back it up. If he can't back that up, I'd question the credibility of anything else that comes out of his mouth. I'm not saying you shouldn't be friends with him, but all advice, as well as the advice from an internet forum, should be taken with a grain of salt.
It seems that the arbour is quite strong enough, at five eighth's of an inch.Please don't worry there is plenty out there which will get you first.Like Perpetual constipation for example.Alistair
The 15.875mm arbors are much much stronger.
Yeah, because 15.875 is a bigger number than .625.
We used a PM table saw with a 5/8" arbor w/ a 3 HP motor for years to rip down long lengths of lumber in the cabinet shop. Now we're using a SawStop with a 5 HP motor and a 5/8" arbor to rip down long lengths of lumber…

Never. Been. An. Issue.

Buy whichever one you want.
Wait, do you rip rough lumber? That's not safe. You need to joint an edge and face first.
Are blades for use with 5/8 arbors easily available there? That could be a factor.
I would disregard their advice…

Instead I would look at what saw blades, arbor wise, are readily available in your area. If 1" or whatever seems to be the most common, cheapest, available locally,... I would base my decision to get or not get that saw on that.
I know this is off topic, but Mike67 - do you really think that it is that unsafe to rip rough lumber? If so, then how would anybody make battens from rough cut lumber for board and batten siding? Nobody is going to take a 16' long board to the jointer and a lot of rough cut siding comes from a guys with a mill, but no molder to S4S or even S1S a long board.

I do agree that sending really gnarly boards through the table saw could be a hazard - like a 2" thick warped and twisted slab of hard maple with tension wood, but I and many others have safely ripped thousands of feet of rough 1x pine boards for siding on many different table saws without any serious kickback or danger. A splitter is certainly recommended

Rough lumber is commonly ripped to a width that is close to the size of piece that you will be using before jointing as you can take a cupped 8" wide board and cut it into two 4" blanks for cabinet door parts, then joint each piece individually and get flatter wood more quickly and with less waste than if you tried to joint the wide 8" board first.

Not trying to bust your balls, but it is not true that is is always unsafe to cut rough lumber on a table saw.
See less See more
Many European woodworkers think dado stacks are completely dangerous, and they are not allowed anyway as the blade guard must be removed for use. Those operations are done on other machines.
They tend to have a lot more government rules. It seems the saws sold there have only a short arbor, for ones own good.
Ripping rough sawed wood on a table saw, seems a little bit of a hazard to me, perhaps more so on short lengths.
Matt made some good points above, I am glad he posted that.
Bull. When was the last time anyone heard of an arbor breaking. And if so, what led to the failure. No one in their right mind, or with some common sense and or experience would shove a twisted piece POS wood through a table saw. At least I wouldn't think they would.
Re : "and they are not allowed anyway as the blade guard must be removed for use."

unbob, is it illegal to remove the blade guard in the privacy of one's personal shop in Europe ? Our OSHA in the US goes overboard at times, but at least they don't pester the home woodworker.
It's not illegal no, and I found a saw that could take dado blades legally. It just can't be used in a commercial setting if it can take a dado blade.
theJbitt, I just don't know much about the machine, never heard of the brand or anything, and it's in parts. I mentioned to him I have only an 18 square meter garage and he said that was too small for the machine anyway.

He feels I would be paying too much for the woodford saw and thinks I should keep a lookout for an Ejca L18 which sometimes pops up used. Not a 3 phase motor is the biggest thing he has against it apparently. Sure I would like 3 phase, every home in finland has 3-phase so I could use it. But I haven't found a suitable saw for a suitable price.
If your friend is telling you a 5/8" arbor is insufficient I would look elsewhere for advise on buying a table saw.

I'd take a look at the blade bores you can easily get in
Finland. I've owned some European saws and they
are often bored 20mm or larger. Smaller bores may
be not so easy to find where you are. Here in the
states 5/8" is pretty common and works fine for cabinetmaking.
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.