Concerning a new table saw

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Chris Cook posted 01-11-2018 02:00 AM 2368 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chris Cook's profile

Chris Cook

335 posts in 3052 days

01-11-2018 02:00 AM

So folks I am considering a new tablesaw purchase. Have been for about a year.

The three I have worked it down to:

Powermatic 1-3/4 HP 1791000K PM1000 ~$2100

Laguna Tools Fusion Series 1-3/4 HP Tablesaw with 36’’ Fence ~$1300

SawStop 1-3/4 HP Professional Table Saw w/30’’ Fence, Rails, and Extension Table ~$2400

First, I do know the safety advantage of the Sawstop. I get that and it’s a good argument. In fact, we bought one for our shop at work about 8 years ago. The quality of the saw really pout me off, but I havenoticed they have improved the saw quite a bit and it does now compete with my other two choices, in terms of quality.

My research tells me the Powermatic is likely the best overall of these three.

My research tells me the Laguana is probably the best deal of the three. I am finding the quality may be close to that of the Powermatic.

I am finding that the ranking in terms of quality is likely:

1) Powermatic
2) Laguana & SawStop (just about equal)

Common sense would lead me to the Laguana as it has a good price and decent quality and it would leave $$$ to put towards a new drum sander.

As I get older, the safety features of the SawStop seem more and more reasonable. However, I know a lot of people who have spent decades running tablesaws and had no accidents. I know, I know, one accident changes all that. I am a guitarist as well, so I can easily talk myself into the SawStop and maybe I will.

I am looking for some insight here. Some objective insight. I do know some SawStop owners who won’t give me objective advice as they won’t say anything negative about their saws. Can’t be the case that any saw is perfect.

Thanks LJers

p.s. @TheFridge, I am guessing it’s alder

-- Chris, "all we are is sawdust in the dust collector""

40 replies so far

View jonah's profile


2119 posts in 4070 days

#1 posted 01-11-2018 02:04 AM

Sawstops give absolutely nothing away in terms of quality to Powermatic. Powermatic makes a great saw, but so does Sawstop. The PCS is a heavier, nicer saw than the PM1000. It’s more comparable to the PM2000.

Do you not have 240V in your shop? If you do, I’d consider the 3HP PCS.

View bigblockyeti's profile


6575 posts in 2492 days

#2 posted 01-11-2018 02:17 AM

I would agree weigh your assessment of the Powermatic being number one with the other two being lesser & comparable. I had a little more recent experience playing around with a sawstop last December and I guess it’s an OK saw but it’s missing something I just can’t put my finger on, some intangible just doesn’t measure up. I guess I’ve been spoiled by my 25 year old Unisaw with a Unifence, there’s no Taiwanese saw made that I would think of trading it for at any price.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Knockonit's profile


675 posts in 973 days

#3 posted 01-11-2018 02:35 AM

I would agree weigh your assessment of the Powermatic being number one with the other two being lesser & comparable. I had a little more recent experience playing around with a sawstop last December and I guess it s an OK saw but it s missing something I just can t put my finger on, some intangible just doesn t measure up. I guess I ve been spoiled by my 25 year old Unisaw with a Unifence, there s no Taiwanese saw made that I would think of trading it for at any price.

- bigblockyeti

Ditto, had mine since 84, and what a saw it is, still runs like new, with three moves, one of the best tools i’ve ever purchased.
good luck with selection

-- Living the dream

View Pogo930's profile


18 posts in 1414 days

#4 posted 01-11-2018 02:56 AM

I’ve had a Sawstop 3HP for 5 or 6 years now. X ( My son and 2 friends had saw accidents within 2 weeks. Wife said get the Sawstop NOW!)
It is lighter than my 1949 bullet motor Unisaw. Does it make that big a difference? Not really. But I agree with bigblockyeti about the intangible part. Dust collection from the 4” port is excellent. I don’t like the blade guard. Dust pickup from it is marginal and it prevents the fence from getting close to the blade. How much? Can’t remember because its in a box someplace. I would go with a guard like a Shark or Excalibur I think.
My son and I have both tripped the cartridge with the bar of a Jessem miter gauge. Both times just barely touched it, didn’t even leave a saw mark.
I tripped for real with my thumb reaching with left hand across the blade as it was ALMOST stooped. Blade hit the pad of my thumb and stung like crazy but it didn’t break the skin. If you’ve seen a real trip or a video where the saw is running you know they go off with a bang. In my case I couldn’t figure out what happened at first because it was virtually silent then I realized the blade had retracted. Saved some stitches that’s for sure.
If I had to replace what would I buy? Another Sawstop.

View GT350's profile


379 posts in 2753 days

#5 posted 01-11-2018 03:08 AM

I think your assessment of sawstop owners is incorrect when you say they won’t say anything negative about the saw. I think probably all of them are equal qualities so you could say that about any owner. I am an owner of a 1 3/4hp Sawstop cabinet saw and you are correct, I don’t have much bad to say about it but I didn’t like the standard blade guard so I switched it for the upgraded one. I really can’t say anything else negative about the saw and I can tell you about one of the perceived negatives is that it takes too long to change out to a dado blade. I timed it and it took about 30 seconds to switch the cartridge so that is not accurate. I would buy this saw over again unless I was cutting a lot of wide and deep dadoes in which case I would probably opt for the 3 hp version. It is so accurate I can reset it up and reproduce parts exactly the same as the original as I am sure the other saws will do also. What convinced me to buy the Sawstop was I figured that I would never forgive myself if I didn’t buy it and seriously injured myself since I needed a new saw anyway. I know some people will tell you that that injuries are caused by the operator and that is a great reason but no matter how much people say it, accidents, wether out of the operators control or negligence keep happening, I like the peace of mind in knowing that technology is there. I do believe it is everyones choice so now you must make yours.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2257 days

#6 posted 01-11-2018 03:11 AM


If you want a new ones I won’t try to sell you hard on used. If you’re even considering a sawstop then just go with that one. I’m sure you’ll be happy with the powermatic as well. Laguna? Meh. If you get the rare lemon then good luck.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Dee1's profile


362 posts in 2660 days

#7 posted 01-11-2018 03:38 AM

I have the 1 3/4 Cabinet saw it is my third table saw my first was a craftsman the second a Delta bought back in the early 60s I have had the Saw stop now for a couple years I use it mainly for hobbies and toy building.
I like it but I guess I don’t change to the dado often enough as it definitely takes me longer than 30 sec?
Also I am running it on 120 volt and I changed to a narrow blade as cutting hard maple I could pull it down at times
My only other complaint is setting the fence is usually a set it then fiddle with it when working close tolerances .
maybe I am getting to old I will hit 80 my next birthday.

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1275 days

#8 posted 01-11-2018 03:55 AM

I just pulled the trigger on a PM2000, this afternoon in fact. I am hopeful that it is everything they say it is. Nothing against the others, I have several PM machines and am impressed with all of them. For a minute there I was looking hard at the Hammer slide thing, but it’s four times the money and a panel saw in reality….I can get a top of the line panel saw for $1600.00 that don’t take up a 20 foot long spot in my shop. I also looked hard at the saw stop but I feel like I am paying $1000 of the price for a safety feature that does zero for the quality of the cut. I have been at this for 42 years and still have all ten digits…I have never even had a close call, but will no doubt cut off four of them the day I get the new one set up just for writing that!!! If I was prone to having accidents with equipment or had a recent “run” of close calls I might think different. Haven’t heard great things about the Laguna fence. I almost got their bandsaw though, but the $100 a set blade guides were tough to swallow.

View Jerry's profile


3388 posts in 2419 days

#9 posted 01-11-2018 03:59 AM

Any one of these saws, set up properly, will give the same quality cut and do everything you need it to.

All of them will be here and working well long after you aren’t.

Two of them will take your fingers.

I’m a guitarist too, if I could afford a saw stop, there would be no question.

There’s no do-overs with saw accidents, and it only takes once.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View alittleoff's profile


548 posts in 2048 days

#10 posted 01-11-2018 04:06 AM

I’ve spent about a year and a half getting my older unisaw setup the way I want it. I don’t think there’s another saw out there that I would be as happy with other than a new powermatic. Then I’d have to set it up the way I’ve got my unisaw.
But, lately I’ve been considering buying a Sawstop because of the brake. I’m getting, or already have got to the age where I think I could make a mistake. The only thing about it is, I don’t think ill be satisfied with the professional line saw and really dont need the heavy duty industrial saw, or spend 5000.00 on one. For some reason the Saw stop professional saw looks light weight to me. I’ve thought about getting one an keeping my unisaw but if I keep it, ill be using it so why bother. I’m still undecided, but if I wasn’t as old and in better health I’d buy the powermatic in a minute if I needed a saw.

View Greg the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg the Cajun Wood Artist

514 posts in 1714 days

#11 posted 01-11-2018 04:33 AM

I am 70 and have never had a table saw accident ….but when you personally know someone that had a bad table saw accident … someone who also has always been very careful until that one moment…. the choice becomes obvious.

Seeing a friend who had a bad saw accident about 6 years ago helped me make the decision to buy a Sawstop that same day… and I have not one regret.
It is an excellent quality saw. I never put the factory fence on it since I had the Incra fence system

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself" Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does

View GT350's profile


379 posts in 2753 days

#12 posted 01-11-2018 06:16 AM

I like it but I guess I don t change to the dado often enough as it definitely takes me longer than 30 sec?

Just to be clear when I said it takes 30 seconds when changing to the dado blade I wasn’t referring to actually changing the blade which is the same as any other saw, I was talking about changing the cartridge. Basically after removing the blade I reach down and twist and remove the handle that holds it in, slide the cartridge out, slide the new one in and install the handle again. I know how far to turn the adjustment and that part is finished. After that install the blade like any other table saw. I personally know of two people that took fingers off on the table saw. One had been using a table saw all his adult life and he was over 70 and made an error and took three fingers off.

View Walker's profile


385 posts in 1243 days

#13 posted 01-11-2018 06:52 AM

I’ll never have enough money for any of the saws on your list, but I am a guitarist. The thought of being able to play guitar immediately going away would make me buy a sawstop if I could afford one. I’m sure if it has any downsides at all you’ll get used to working around them, and it’s still better than a contractor saw.

On the other hand, there are a few really amazing guitarists who are missing fingers, which makes them even that more amazing. Django Reinhardt only had two good fingers on his left hand. Phil Keaggy is missing his medio finger on the right hand.

I don’t know what your guitar collection is like, but perhaps you could sell one or two to make up the price difference on the sawstop?

-- ~Walker

View MrUnix's profile


8088 posts in 2970 days

#14 posted 01-11-2018 07:22 AM

The PM1000 and SS PCS are roughly the same in size and weight (PM is ~40 pounds lighter), but the PM comes with a 52” fence, while you would need to add an extra $270 for a 52” T-glide to the SS. You also get a 5 year warranty on the PM versus a 2 year one on the SS. If you are persuaded by the fear based marketing, then pay the hot dog fee and go with the SS. If you want more versatility and less expensive long term maintenance, then go with the PM.

Of course, you could also save yourself a few thousand by just finding a nice used machine, and use the extra cash for blades, wood, and dinner out with the significant other :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View DocSavage45's profile


8956 posts in 3614 days

#15 posted 01-11-2018 07:32 AM

You have investigated the merits of all the saws. Prices in the long run are comparable. Charles Neil fell asleep while pushing to finish work for a client. Cut his finger and he had a huge surgery bill as well as the loss of his finger. He bought a big Saw stop.

When you bite the bullet make sure it’s the one you want. I tell people that about cars because for every good quality vehicle there is always that one. So emotionally you are willing to deal with something you wanted vs. didn’t want.

Lots of good arguments here.

I went for 240 volt 3 hp grizzly used as it came out of a cabinet shop and it was replaced by the same model. I really pay attention when using my saw. Had a board get caught and flung back at me in the gut. Had knocked me down and I had a big butterfly on my stomach for a long time. I was wearing a back brace which took some of the blow.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

showing 1 through 15 of 40 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics