Help on Deciding on Table Saw Upgrade

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Forum topic by BRWoodCreations posted 03-15-2018 06:26 PM 2328 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BRWoodCreations's profile


11 posts in 840 days

03-15-2018 06:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question powermatic sawstop

I currently have the need to upgrade my table saw (Rigid 1.5 hp Contractor saw built into a cabinet table) and have found 3 different used saws, but trying to decide really which is the better deal.

So here are my options:

1. Save up for a $3500 Saw Stop 3HP table saw (not in the budget for at least 4 months or more)

2. Gently used (personal friend and know it has only been used about 10-20 times) Powermatic 64A (1.75 HP) Cabinet Saw with 52” Crosscut extension and rolling base for $700

3. Well used Powermatic 66 5HP Cabinet Saw without extension with a little rust on the table but not anything that cant be cleaned. The motor sounds good and looks like a beast and only $800.

4. Last is a 3 month old Powermatic PM2000 with extension and Excalibur over arm dust extraction blade guard for $2k

So what are your thoughts and why? Or is there another option that might be better?

Thanks, for the help.

-- Brian, Birmingham AL,

41 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8382 posts in 4143 days

#1 posted 03-15-2018 07:23 PM

I’m a little confused by choice #2….the PM64a is a contractor saw. It’s a little nicer than your Ridgid but not worth swapping over IMO.

Choice #3 makes the most sense to me.

Choice #4 is a great saw, but $2k is more than halfway toward your 3hp Saw Stop.

In the end, it really boils down to how much you want the safety feature of the SS.

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

View BoardButcherer's profile


144 posts in 862 days

#2 posted 03-15-2018 07:30 PM

I’d say give the powermatic 66 a really good looking over and then, if you don’t see any serious mechanical issues such as funny wearing on the gears or a bird nest in the motor, jump on it.

It’s more saw than you’ll need, but because it’s overbuilt for your purpose even well used it’s going to outlast you.

View fivecodys's profile


1634 posts in 2403 days

#3 posted 03-15-2018 07:50 PM

I have the Powermatic 64A It’s a good saw, but I agree with the previous poster. Not really much of a step up from what you have now.
I’m leaning towards the PM2000 but $2,000 is 2/3 of the price of new one. Maybe you can wear him down a little on the asking price. I would be more comfortable at $1,500 of retail but that’s just me.

Let us know what you decide.


-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View MrUnix's profile


8079 posts in 2966 days

#4 posted 03-15-2018 08:02 PM

PM66 hands down. BTW: It’s the only one in the group that is US made – all the others are Asian imports.


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

View mzimmers's profile


216 posts in 4683 days

#5 posted 03-15-2018 08:09 PM

If you’re only 4 months away from affording a Sawstop, that’d be my vote. Apart from the safety technology, by all accounts it’s one damn good tool.

I’m in need of a table saw too – sold my large power tools when I moved back to California – and once I’m done being flat broke, I’ll be looking real hard at a Sawstop.

-- M. Zimmers

View avsmusic1's profile


639 posts in 1452 days

#6 posted 03-15-2018 08:11 PM

#4 is a clear winner for me – do you even need the extension table? You break down sheet goods much?

View BRWoodCreations's profile


11 posts in 840 days

#7 posted 03-15-2018 08:29 PM

you are right knot, I mistyped. The 64a is a contractor’s saw with 50” fence.

And I do like the safety features of the sawstop, but kinda not sure about the safety features costing more money than just the saw when dealing with accidental things like wet wood (since I have not had one I don’t know how wet will set it off, and dont know if a staple will trip it as far as metal contact).

I do like the idea of not cutting off a finger because i got careless one time out of 1000. it only takes that 1 time…

-- Brian, Birmingham AL,

View psycokitty's profile


3 posts in 840 days

#8 posted 03-15-2018 08:51 PM

I would go for #2 personally if I was you!

View jonah's profile


2119 posts in 4066 days

#9 posted 03-16-2018 01:28 AM

I’m assuming the PM66 is three phase because of the 5hp motor. If so, $800 is steep. The PM2000 is overpriced as well.

View BRWoodCreations's profile


11 posts in 840 days

#10 posted 03-16-2018 02:25 AM

The PM66 is three phase. Why do you think that is steep? I see them all over eBay for much more, but don’t know if they are just that over priced or not? I am going to see the PM 66 tomorrow, if $800 is over priced, what is a good price for it?

As far as the PM2000, with the Excaliber, what is a reasonable price? Since he said it was only 3 months old, I don’t know if the warranty is transferable or not on it, but that could matter…

-- Brian, Birmingham AL,

View ppg677's profile


221 posts in 1623 days

#11 posted 03-16-2018 03:53 AM

PM66 hands down. BTW: It s the only one in the group that is US made – all the others are Asian imports.


- MrUnix

Hands down or hand cut off?

View knotscott's profile


8382 posts in 4143 days

#12 posted 03-16-2018 10:30 AM

$800 for PM66 could be a good deal if it’s nice shape and has an Accufence….it’d be an especially good deal if it’s single phase. $800 could be high for a rough 3 phase saw with the older style jetlock type fence. It really depends.

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

View jonah's profile


2119 posts in 4066 days

#13 posted 03-16-2018 11:11 AM

The PM2000 costs around $3k new. If the warranty isn’t transferable, that’s a big negative in my eyes.

With a choice between a used PM at $2k and a new Sawstop at $3k, I’d go with the latter.

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1271 days

#14 posted 03-16-2018 12:37 PM

I just bought a PM2000 the other day. The manual says on page 47, 16.0 Warranty and Service: under “Who is covered”, “This warranty covers only the initial purchaser of the product from the date of delivery.” So, it sounds pretty clear it is not transferable.
That said, it is a fantastic saw and I would have jumped all over a 3 month old one for 2/3’s the price of new anyway. I do believe though that the best “deal” in this thread is the PM66 for $800.00. As to the Sawstop thing….well, I look at it different than most guys it seems. First off, and this is just my opinion so take it for what it’s worth, in 40 years I have never even come close to a table saw injury. It’s just not worth half the cost of the saw to have a feature that will do nothing for me. If I really felt like I needed that kind of “prevention” I would take up another line of work/hobby. I’ve heard all the arguments…”what’s your fingers worth???”, etc. They are worth enough that in 40 odd years I pay the kind of attention that I haven’t even come close and would rather spend the $1500.00 on some other machine…..if that makes any sense.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2762 days

#15 posted 03-16-2018 12:55 PM

Lots of arguments over how much the safety feature of the Sawstop really costs. From a few hundred to over 1k depending o what saw you think it is most comparable to. But it’s a great saw.

The human machine is not capable of 100% reliability. At some point everyone will perform an unsafe act, despite how much they pay attention, how experienced they are, and how much smarter they are than everyone else. Look at safety data from every industry, every car insurance company, every everything. It is well proven.

So we all accept risk in the shop. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to accept and how much you want to mitigate.

Those PM saws are good saws and will perform well. If I have the money, and plan to keep stuff for a long time, I like to buy new. But that is a personal thing.


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

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