Sawstop Size & Some Other Things.....

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Forum topic by klaugh posted 03-06-2018 03:33 AM 1468 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View klaugh's profile


3 posts in 863 days

03-06-2018 03:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop size tablesaw

*Warning – I am a newbie…..

I am getting into woodworking, where I will be building some cabinets and other things (tables etc.). I have decided that I will be getting a Sawstop TS (3HP – rather than the 1.75). My first question is what size? I am in a basement and don’t have much room. I am leaning towards the 36”, as I think it is as big as I can get down there. I am also thinking that I will get the mobile base, as it is on special now. Plus, I can always add the overarm dust collection. Do these things make sense? I don’t want to make a large purchase like this and regret it later, I can’t afford to do that…

I am really thinking about a used planer and jointer from FB marketplace, craigslist or let. Any thoughts on this? Any gotcha’s to look out for? Or is this just crazy to buy used equipment. My thought was that at least I am getting a good TS. Given that I am starting with cabinets, I feel that the TS is more important that the planer/jointer and I can pick those up as I go. I know that I need tons of clamps (which I have decided I really like the Bessey clamps…). Anything else that I really need to work on obtaining in short order.

I am also planning on getting a Harbor Freight DC with a Dust Deputry cyclone.

One other question I have is… can you move a TS in the future? We will likely be moving in the next 5 years or so and would prefer to take things if I am investing that much. But it will be a long move, so very open to thoughts!

Thanks all in advance. I really appreciate the help!


PS – This is cross-posted on another site, so I can get as many ideas as possible. If you have already responded, please disregard.

15 replies so far

View jonah's profile


2122 posts in 4079 days

#1 posted 03-06-2018 05:27 AM

You can absolutely move a table saw. Once you take the rails, wings, top, and motor out, the saw base can be moved quite easily by two people, or one strong and inventive one. I’ve moved two unisaws with a bare minimum of help. They even fit in a hatchback, station wagon/crossover, or small SUV.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6258 posts in 3274 days

#2 posted 03-06-2018 11:49 AM

I like your plan (all of it, except the DC part). Carry on, and enjoy. (PS as for my objection to the DC…I’m just not a fan of the HF unit or anything made by Oneida. Many are, so you’re good to go.) As for the shorter fence, I used a 36” fence for many years, and in all that time I needed more capacity only a handful of times. Then I upsized to a 52” fence 15 years ago or so. Since then I’ve used that extra capacity only a handful of times. The few times you need the extra length (which you don’t have room for anyway) you can come up with a work around.

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

View HarveyM's profile


106 posts in 2803 days

#3 posted 03-06-2018 12:04 PM

I made a template of the saw out of thin wood strips to give me an idea the floor space it required. Sawstop has all their dimensions on their website. Sawstop customer service also had some very helpful in suggestions for single handling it into my basement. (Break open the box in the driveway and rent an appliance dolly to move the cabinet down the stairs)

-- Just a Duffer

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2776 days

#4 posted 03-06-2018 01:23 PM

One thought.. the free base ships direct for. Sawstop,so if you go that way be prepared to wait toputyour sawtogwtber for we eral weeks after you get it. You have to lay the saw on its back to Instal lit so it is best to do right away as the saw us packaged on its back.

If you can swing the cash buy the ICS base with PCS adapter. Best base on the market, fully omnidirectional. Get the overall dust thing for free. Just a thought.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Robert's profile


3755 posts in 2261 days

#5 posted 03-06-2018 03:36 PM

I think you’ll find you would rarely need anything past 30” width on the fence (at least this is my experience – even though I have 52”, I use a track saw for sheet goods wider than that. Part of the reason is my back and also cutting any length material that wide thru the saw is not the best experience, riving knife or not).

Moving a TS of this weight out of a basement is doable, but certainly more involved. Removing the cast iron wings will help.

As far as used equipment, I’ve “been there done that got the T shirt”. All I can tell you is 1. know your stuff about the machines, 2. try it out (if the seller can’t do that walk away. That being said, I just bought a TS from a guy and never turned it on till I got home oy). 3. be aware of replacement parts availability.

Good rule of thumb = 1/2 the price of a new one. Planers and jointers are usually pretty rock solid machines not much can go wrong with them.

I’m also not a huge fan of anything HF. I know a lot of guys use the 2HP collector, but I’m automatically skeptical of any CFM specs they put out. Used DC’s are fairly common, often sold as a package with another machine, so keep looking.

The only other comment I have is be aware of dust migration into house. Check any air handling equipment you have and be sure it is sealed off from your workshop.

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

View clin's profile


1113 posts in 1777 days

#6 posted 03-06-2018 03:52 PM

I have the SawStop 3 HP PCS, 36”. Though bigger is an advantage in some cases, I don’t think it is ever a requirement. You can always use a stand or other support if needed. I built all my shop cabinets and never felt the need for a larger saw.

If you are often make cuts that the larger size would make easier, then of course get it. But with 36”, you have more than enough to rip a 4×8 sheet of sheet goods in half. I will admit to cheating the fence a bit and make something like 37 1/2” cuts. No matter how big you get, there will always be a cut you wish it were bigger. But unless you would be making those large cuts often, I’d stay with the smaller saw since space is tight.

As mentioned, just assemble the saw after moving it into the shop. Then the rail length doesn’t matter.

As Brian said, get the ICS mobile base if at all possible. This is really helpful in tight spaces. My shop is about 24’ x 11’ (one garage bay). And I find it VERY handy to move the saw around. Either out of the way, or sometimes I just need more room for some cut I’m making.

The ICS base has 4 swiveling casters so you can rotate it in place. The PCS mobile base has two swival and two fixed castors. So with the PCS base you would have to jockey it around. The tighter the space, the bigger the advantage the ICS base gives you. Plus it operates so easily. 3 Pumps of the foot pedal and you can move the saw with the push of a finger.

Beware, that while the ICS base lifts the saw about 1” or more, the frame of ICS base doesn’t move and it is only about 3/8” off the floor. This probably won’t be an issue for you on your basement floor. But in my case, I wanted the option to move the saw into my driveway and I have a small lip at the front of the garage. The base CANNOT get over this. Even with a special ramp I built. I have plans to mod the base to raise the frame about 1/2”.

The SawStop PCS is a great saw. Regardless of the size, you’ll love it.

-- Clin

View brtech's profile


1068 posts in 3703 days

#7 posted 03-06-2018 04:20 PM

I have the 3HP Sawstop, used jointer (Jet 6” long bed) and used Planer (Rigid) and an HF DC.
I have a basement shop. I do have the longer fence, but rarely use it.

A buddy and I got it down stairs and into my shop without a big hassle.

I think buying the planer and jointer used was an excellent idea. I got very decent tools at a very reasonable price. I am thinking of upgrading the planer, but that’s really cause I got jealous of my buddy’s DW735.

I think the HF DC is a real gem, but you have to be realistic. It won’t generate enough CFM to keep you safe; you need to wear a respirator when you make sawdust.

The Dust Deputy is questionable. First of all, the very first thing you need to do to the HF DC is upgrade to a quality canister filter. I have the Wynn Engineering filter, but their are equivalents. That isn’t optional in my opinion. It improves air movement and reduces dust substantially.

When you add the DD, what you get is convenience: you don’t have to clean the filter as often, and you can make emptying chips and dust easier. However, you lose CFM, and you don’t have enough to begin with. I’d skip that if I were you (and I don’t have a separator on mine).

View BoardButcherer's profile


144 posts in 875 days

#8 posted 03-06-2018 04:40 PM

The only thing you can do at Harbor Freight is waste money. I suppose you could look at it like a high interest loan to get you by until you can buy a real DC but hey, that’s me…

Dust collectors are also one of those stupidly simple pieces of equipment that nothing can go wrong with. If the motor works and the bearings aren’t dry, it’s good to go. Pick up a used unit on the cheap.

Sawstops are manageable with a good hand truck when you take all of the cast iron table off. Not just the wings, go ahead and remove the top too. They’re all easy to put back on so you might as well.

Just make absolutely sure you get the tracks parallel with the blade when you put it back on.

Because the tables are easy to pull off they don’t really factor into the portability issue. If you’ve got room in your basement for a 52” saw go for it, but I’d consider saving the space for other machines if the area is less than spacious.

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 1485 days

#9 posted 03-06-2018 09:02 PM

Interesting how folks are stating you should have no problem getting the SawStop into your basement without knowing anything about your access to the basement :) If you have a 12” x 18” hole in the floor and an aluminum ladder descending into a root cellar, well, that might be tricky :) A 24” wide staircase with 2 180-degree turns in it would be a challenge as well.

As others have stated, your saw will arrive in multiple pieces, so getting the saw into the basement shouldn’t be a factor in your 36” vs 52” decision, assuming fairly “normal” access to your subterranean space. If you’re able to get the saw into the basement, you should be able to get it back out again. Same process, just in reverse. And with gravity working against you instead of with you.

I’d also echo other’s opinions that you’ll probably rarely use the extra width, so the money might be better used elsewhere. Since you’re asking about used equipment, I assume you’re looking to stretch your budget a bit ;)

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View jamsomito's profile


547 posts in 1207 days

#10 posted 03-06-2018 09:55 PM

I’m relatively new to woodworking, been doing it very casually about 10 years, only “really” got into it 1-2 years ago when I bought a house and could start building out a shop. I have an old powermatic contractors saw with a 52” fence. I have never used the extra capacity, and in fact, I wish it was smaller. My placement options are very limited because it’s so big and needs to be a certain orientation for my space. It has a nice vega fence though so I don’t want to cut it down either. What IS nice about it, though, is I plan to put a router table in the wing. It will turn wasted space for me into something more than useable. You could probably do that with a 36” wing too, but the 52” will give you a bigger router table space to work with is all.

I much prefer to get out the sawhorses and make my big sheet cuts with a handheld circular saw. Forget manhandling a big sheet making a somewhat sketchy cut on a machine that’s already out for my blood. Not my cup of tea anyway.

View klaugh's profile


3 posts in 863 days

#11 posted 03-09-2018 02:32 AM

I really appreciate all of the feedback and advice??? You all are amazing!

Based on what I read above, I am going to look for a used DC instead of the HF DC. I have settled on the 36” Sawstop with the ICS base (if I am going there I should go all the way, right?). I will save some money on the other equipment.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4111 posts in 3890 days

#12 posted 03-09-2018 02:53 AM

The people here are always helpful. The ones who have some sort of issue(s) seem to drift off over time, or get the boot. This is one of the best places on the internet.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View klaugh's profile


3 posts in 863 days

#13 posted 03-09-2018 02:54 AM

@Dark_Lightning I am noticing!!!

View Mattg43's profile


27 posts in 887 days

#14 posted 03-09-2018 07:06 AM

Klaugh, if you have any sawstop dealers near you, I would consider visiting now. I dont know if it is widespread, but I live in the DFW area, and visited both Rockler and Woodcraft last weekend. Both had their floor models (both 36” fence) on sale, Rockler a 1.75 PCS with mobile base, overarm DC, and sliding table at about $1k off list, and Woodcraft a 3hp PCS with mobile base and DC.

I ended up with the one from Woodcraft. It seems both shops have a new PCS in for display with the new Sawstop router extension and were ready to deal.

Also, I concur with these guys on the DC and even other tools. I have the benefit of time to research, read, and drive, so I have been able to buy much nicer/bigger tools than I originally was considering, and save money in the process. And I have been able to stay pretty close to the 1/2 price for used tool mark as well (outside of Sawstops, which is one reason I jumped on the display model – which ended up being VERY close in price to used ones within a 300 mile radius that normally sold within 24-48 hours)

View TrentDavis's profile


44 posts in 3016 days

#15 posted 03-13-2018 05:55 PM

I really appreciate all of the feedback and advice??? You all are amazing!

Based on what I read above, I am going to look for a used DC instead of the HF DC. I have settled on the 36” Sawstop with the ICS base (if I am going there I should go all the way, right?). I will save some money on the other equipment.

- klaugh

You;ll probably love the 36”. I have the 52” and hardly ever use it. It just collected tools and materials. In the end, I made it into a router table, as seen here:

-- SawStop Users' Group:

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