Sawstop ICS or PS3?

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Forum topic by Charlesaf3 posted 03-07-2018 03:03 PM 3131 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 891 days

03-07-2018 03:03 PM

So I sold my sawstop contractors saw in 10 hours. Those things hold their value…

Now to what to replace it with… Obviously the ICS is a great saw. But does anyone regret buying a 3hp PCS?

18 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2803 days

#1 posted 03-07-2018 03:09 PM

No regrets here. It is rock solid and cuts full dados with no bogging.

The ICS is even heavier and had a bigger table, but I have never wished for a wider table. I do use my work bench as an outfeed table though.

I don’t know why a hobbyist would need a 5hp motor, which I think you can get in the ICS but not the PCS. So I would save the thousands of dollars difference and stick with the PCS. Infact…i did just that myself!


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

View Charlesaf3's profile


9 posts in 891 days

#2 posted 03-07-2018 03:11 PM

I’m pro, but not furniture. Given I never really bogged the contractors saw much, it does seem like 3hp 240 would have plenty of juice.

And I bought an outfeed table last time, but I’ll build a big table around this one instead.

View BoardButcherer's profile


144 posts in 903 days

#3 posted 03-07-2018 03:26 PM

Something to consider between the ICS and PCS for a hobbyist: The 30” deep table on the ICS is not a standard size, so some of the third party accessories you may want to add later won’t fit the saw without a space-filler.

Any sort of extension wing that isn’t from Sawstop is the biggest problem.

Only reason I went with the ICS over PCS is because I caught a sweet deal and saved thousands over the PCS. Keep an eye out, you never know what someone else is trying to get rid of without knowing what it’s worth.

Edit: Oh, and I decided I could use 5hp because there’s a rough-cut mill down the road that throws out a lot of red oak and cypress that I can resaw. Still trying to figure out how I want to do that without breaking my back though, some of the slabs are huge.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2803 days

#4 posted 03-07-2018 03:26 PM

If you are a pro, then service factor may be an issue. Common more is a 5hp will last longer if running all day long, especially if only doing 3hp cuts.

I am not sure this is true, based on years of aquantance with industrial motors on pumps and compressors at work. Over amping motors kills them, but i have seen motors running their nameplate loads 24/7 for decades with no problems. I am not a motor expert though.

If you didn t burn out your 3hp contractor model, you probably won’t burn this one out either.


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

View Redoak49's profile


4809 posts in 2797 days

#5 posted 03-07-2018 03:36 PM

I have the PCS 3 hp and works great for me as a hobby shop. I have never bogged it down and cut a lot of red oak and ash.

View yvrdennis's profile


50 posts in 1885 days

#6 posted 03-07-2018 03:37 PM

Like they said. I got a good deal on a used ICS so that’s what I have. There is a couple more inches of room on the table in front of the blade, which is handy but not essential. If I were buying new I would go with the PCS.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6323 posts in 3301 days

#7 posted 03-07-2018 04:15 PM

I went with a 5 HP ICS. Someone above mentioned it: the 5 HP is more important in a commercial setting where the saw runs 5-6+ hours a day…in hobbyist use the 5 HP is completely unnecessary. You will often hear someone say “I’ve never seen anyone wish for less HP”. In my case I do wish I had went with the 3 HP over the 5. As for ICS versus PCS, either one will be a lifetime saw….but I won’t say I wish I had went with the PCS. I really like the ICS though I’m sure I would have been happy with the PCS.

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

View buckbuster31's profile


256 posts in 1324 days

#8 posted 03-07-2018 04:37 PM

no regrets here

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3691 days

#9 posted 03-07-2018 05:18 PM

I have the 3hp PCS, can’t imagine needing either more HP or a bigger saw.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View moke's profile


1574 posts in 3584 days

#10 posted 03-07-2018 06:22 PM

Never had a second of regret…...great machine. If you have the room the 52” is great, and I would get the ICS wheels instead of the PCS wheels, if you need wheels. Much easier to use. Also you may consider the new folding out feed…..the standard out feed is kind of small.

-- Mike

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3875 days

#11 posted 03-07-2018 06:24 PM

I have the ICS. I upgraded from a grizly 1023slx, that served me well for 10 years. To be honest, if I could have got a 5hp in the PCS, that’s what I would have done. I even called their support and asked if I could buy a 5hp motor and retro it to the pcs. They said no go.

So I went ahead and jumped. What I like is the extra space in front of the blade. Thought that would not be a big deal, but I really like it when doing panels.

I like the interloks too. As a manufacturing guy, I appreciate the safety feature to disable the saw when open.

Had it several years now and when I amortize the extra cost over the life of the saw (it’s my foreversaw), its a very minimal investment.

My only regret, is I got the long rails, and in hind sight, that was overkill and it sucks up too much room. It ends up collecting wood, tools, and various things in the shop. (tough problem to have)

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4385 days

#12 posted 03-07-2018 06:30 PM

I went with the ICS 5hp thinking I want this to be my forever saw so evaluating the price difference over X amount of years it didn’t make sense for me not to get the ICS plus I like the larger table and extra power.


View Charlesaf3's profile


9 posts in 891 days

#13 posted 03-08-2018 01:41 PM

thanks all, I appreciate it. I don’t run the saw all day – when we use it its off and on all day, not constant use. House building not furniture. We do some cabinetry, but given the 1.75 hasn’t been a problem, I expect the 3 would be good….

The idea “what’s an extra 1000 over all the years one uses it” is pretty compelling. But given the above I’m wondering if I’d ever need the 5.

52” table is a definite. I have an excalibur sliding table too, so it will eat space. But…

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6323 posts in 3301 days

#14 posted 03-08-2018 05:34 PM

It’s really hard for me to imagine why a 10” saw would need 5 HP (see my comment above about commercial use) versus 3 HP…you can’t cut a thick enough piece of wood to overwork the 3. I’m sure somewhere in the world there is a wood that would demand the 5 HP; and I’m equally sure we hobbyists never see it cross our saws enough to make it an issue. I bought a 5 HP because I could…which turns out to be a really dumb reason.

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

View skogie1's profile


120 posts in 2171 days

#15 posted 03-08-2018 05:44 PM

I have the 3 hp professional model and I’ve never had it slow down on me for anything. I ripped miles of 2” beech not long ago and it hummed through all of it. I love that machine. One little word of advice, and this probably applies to all of the sawstops, if you switch out the cartridge for a dado cartridge be sure to reset the distance between it and the blades. I had it set perfectly for the 10” single blade and just assumed that the larger dado cartridge would take up the additional space perfectly and fit in with the same clearance as the single blade cartridge did with the rip blade. BUT, actually the dado was brushing up against the cartridge just enough to wreck it when I turned it on.

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