1.75 or 3HP Sawstop

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Forum topic by agallant posted 07-06-2015 02:08 PM 3143 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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551 posts in 3802 days

07-06-2015 02:08 PM

So due to a few things I am in the market for a new tablesaw. I loved my unisaw but we had to move in to an apartment while our house was being built and I had nowhere to store it. I was able to sell it for what I paid for it and after helping the guy move it in to his trailer I realized that even if I kept the saw and had a place to store it there was no way my wife could have helped move it. No heart burn there.

My wife is insisting that I get a Saw Stop (yeah bring it on guys or at least the ones who have seen my other posts regarding it) Thing being is she is a nurse, has seen all kinds of injuries and does nothing but worry and check in on me when I am in the shop. My issue is the cost. It looks like the 3HP Professional with 52 inch rails is $2,999 vs the 1.75 Professional with 52 inch rails for $2,469. I don’t really want to spend the extra $500. Has anyone gone from 3HP to 1.75 and regretted it?

15 replies so far

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 2146 days

#1 posted 07-06-2015 02:18 PM

When power is concerned I would think that anyone who goes down regrets it. No I have not done the specific thing you mention but I have gone from working on a 1 hp craftsman to a 5 hp and 7.5 hp PM 66 and PM 72. It made me cry when I had to leave the shop and work on the 1 hp again.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View retfr8flyr's profile


386 posts in 2585 days

#2 posted 07-06-2015 02:28 PM

Back 2 years ago, when I was deciding which saw to get for myself. I looked at both the 1.75 and the 3 hp SS saws. I wanted to run on 220v so that was a factor. If you want to run on 110v then the 1.75 is the only option. By the time I had them similarly equipped, better fence, 220v option on the 1.75 and the overhead DC there was only about $200 difference between them. If I would have gone for the SS, then the 3 HP version would have been the choice, not even taking into account how much better a 3 hp saw cuts heavier stock than a 1.75 hp saw.

-- Earl

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3802 days

#3 posted 07-06-2015 02:34 PM

Does anyone know if you can wire the 3HP up to 110V? I know it won’t be 3HP but I won’t have 220 until my shop is built and will need the saw in the interim for house projects.

View Julian's profile


1605 posts in 3606 days

#4 posted 07-06-2015 02:40 PM

Installing a 220V circuit in your garage isn’t very expensive.

-- Julian

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6571 posts in 3409 days

#5 posted 07-06-2015 03:26 PM

Even if you could wire the 3 HP to 110V, it would take a 30A/120V circuit to run it, you’re just as likely to not have that as to not have the 240V. What you could do if you want to take a chance is buy the 1.75 HP, and later if you believe it isn’t enough power (which I doubt will happen, on the toughest cuts you just go slower) you can buy a new motor from SS and install it…and it will probably be no more expensive than buying the 3 HP right now. With the ICS saw, the 5 HP motor is a $400 upper versus the 3 HP. But you can get the 5 HP motor by itself for $300 (+ shipping) from SS….go figure.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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551 posts in 3802 days

#6 posted 07-06-2015 05:09 PM

Installing a 220V circuit in your garage isn t very expensive.

- Julian

I won’t have a garage untlll I build one.

View firefighterontheside's profile


21275 posts in 2772 days

#7 posted 07-06-2015 05:21 PM

I think I would just pay the five hundred and have the cabinet saw with more power. $500 when you’re paying $2500 for a saw, doesn’t sound like that much more. Do I think you will need 3 hp? No. I’ve got 1 1/2 hp and it’s more than I have ever needed.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Dee1's profile


368 posts in 2805 days

#8 posted 07-06-2015 05:36 PM

I bought the 1.75 pro with the better fence system
about six mo ago I love it, now that said I am only a hobbiest and build lots of toys, but all I use is hardwoods and I have not had a problem yet.
But if I was doing it again I would get the four wheel casters as my saw is hard to get in its corner with only two wheels turning 360. I know picky picky.
Dee 1

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

490 posts in 2596 days

#9 posted 07-06-2015 05:52 PM

I have been debating the 3hp vs 5hp models for a long time which is a much larger jump in price. The thing is I have used a 1 1/2HP saw for years in my Delta contractor saw and have used the 5HP ICS quite a lot in other shops. The difference between 1 1/2HP and 5HP is huge with the Sawstop ICS being able to cut 12/4 square maple legs without breaking a sweat. I would never even attempt that on my 1 1/2HP saw and use my bandsaw for anything over about 5/4 except for very short cuts or just cleaning up a surface by removing sawdust. What I can’t help you with as I have no context to compare is the difference between 1.75HP and 3HP. I know 1 1/2HP isn’t enough for the kinds of things I want to do but I’m not sure if 3HP is adequate or if 5HP would be better.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6571 posts in 3409 days

#10 posted 07-06-2015 07:17 PM

Everyone has an opinion on HP, here’s mine: I just went from a 3 HP Unisaw to a 5 hp SS, and I can tell absolutely no difference in power. I ripped a bunch of 6/4 hard maple a few weeks ago for a new benchtop, the SS didn’t break a sweat…but neither did my Unisaw when I did it for the top that’s being replaced. Personally, I think the 5 HP excels in a commercial shop where it rips tough stuff all day…but to a hobbyist makes little difference.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Robert's profile


4150 posts in 2396 days

#11 posted 07-06-2015 08:34 PM

I can’ think of anyone who going from a cabinet saw to a contractor saw…

...wouldn’t regret it.

If you had a Unisaw you will most likely be disappointed downsizing to a contractor saw.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View knotscott's profile


8392 posts in 4291 days

#12 posted 07-06-2015 08:51 PM

1.75hp is sufficient, but is far more sensitive to proper setup, blade selection, the supply circuit, and having flat/straight lumber. A smaller motor is more likely to dictate the cutting pace too. Going from 3hp to 1.75hp will definitely be noticeable to you…especially in thicker stock, but there’s really not much that you should struggle unreasonably with. If the $500 means a lot right now, the 1.75 will be fine….if you’ll be over it in a couple of months, I’d strongly consider spending the extra money upfront.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View lateralus819's profile


2243 posts in 2805 days

#13 posted 07-06-2015 08:52 PM

I have a 3HP and have never had issues with it bogging down. It’s been rebuilt with new bearings so I’m sure that helps a bit.

I guess it depends on what you cut a lot of. If you usually stick to 1” thick stock Maybe a 1.75” is plenty. I do a mix of both but I’m sure with what I do I could get by.

View endgrainy's profile


251 posts in 2804 days

#14 posted 07-06-2015 09:26 PM

Besides power, the Sawstop PCS 3.0hp does have one other advantage over the PCS 1.75hp. The 3.0hp comes standard with the upgraded blade guard with a built in dust collection port. It’s a $140 part, and necessary if you plan to use the overarm dust collection optional upgrade.

I don’t have the overarm d/c, but do have the 3hp and I use a shop vac on the blade guard port and my dust collector on the cabinet port. It leaves very little dust behind with this setup.

That makes the 3hp motor $390 more expensive. Amortized over 10 years, I’d pay $39 a year to have the extra power. It’s at least worth the psychological benefit of not wondering “if only…” for the life of the saw.

-- Follow me on Instagram @endgrainy

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 4237 days

#15 posted 07-06-2015 09:41 PM

IMO every machine in the shop has a “magic HP” that being the point where you are no longer limited on tooling, capacity or feed rate (within “normal” usage). For a cabinet saw in a non-commercial shop that number is 3HP. The cost difference between a 3 and 1.75HP PCS when equipped like for like except the motor isn’t very much relatively. Again, IMO the ONLY reason to get a 1.75HP PCS is the inability to supply it with 240v power. For me if I have 240V somewhere in a structure at most it is an afternoon and a couple of hundred bucks to have it anywhere I want it but not everybody is comfortable with wiring.

To the OP, if the new shop is pretty much a forgone conclusion then I would do everything possible to get the 3HP PCS or at least make sure I had a reasonably priced upgrade path to have 3HP when all is said and done.

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