Upgrading to 5 HP table saw!

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Forum topic by Uglidan posted 05-30-2018 03:57 PM 845 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 909 days

05-30-2018 03:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question

So I have been using a table saw since I was about 15 years old(so 32 years now), and it has always been a 1 hp table saw(old craftsman, then an old delta), but I came across a deal too good to pass up, a Jet cabinet saw with a 5 hp 3 phase motor, a 6 foot beisemeyer fence, and the rotary phase converter to go with it for $500. My question is really about safety with a saw with that much power, is there anything I need to know. My dad taught me table saw safety and he went to his grave without a single ding from a table saw, but he never had anything more powerful than his 1 hp craftsman either. Any advice would be appreciated!

11 replies so far

View toolie's profile


2193 posts in 3541 days

#1 posted 05-30-2018 04:42 PM

Same caution as applies to your less powerful saws. Accidents might happen a bit faster because you can push stock through the cut more quickly given it’s added power, but otherwise, both will hurt you just the same if you are careless.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Robert's profile (online now)


4134 posts in 2393 days

#2 posted 05-30-2018 05:22 PM


Actually a low powered saw is much more dangerous.

You can run 12 or maybe 14” blades, too.

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

View smitdog's profile


469 posts in 3018 days

#3 posted 05-30-2018 05:24 PM

The thing you constantly have to remember is there is absolutely no forgiveness with a saw that powerful. If you make a cut incorrectly the only thing that will save you is dumb luck, so don’t leave it to chance! I went from an old Craftsman like you to a 3hp Powermatic. I used to be able to stall out the Craftsman if I did something stupid, if I did that on my new saw I guarantee that I could never stall it so I really have to think ahead and make sure I’m approaching a cut safely. I am constantly telling myself to keep my hands away, don’t reach over the blade, make sure my stock is flat, square and well supported, don’t stand behind the workpiece… and the list goes on. And make sure you keep a sharp blade on it so that it doesn’t grab the wood. Other than that enjoy your new beast of a saw!

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View Aj2's profile


3495 posts in 2711 days

#4 posted 05-30-2018 06:42 PM

The two rules I have for myself .
Don’t cut warped or twisted boards.
Don’t touch the blade when it’s spinning.
You probably already know about alinement of blade to miter slots and slots to fence.
Use push sticks ,eye protection and dust collection.
Good score on the saw.

-- Aj

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7041 posts in 4107 days

#5 posted 05-30-2018 06:49 PM

I have two saws….a 3 h.p. 1985 Craftsman, and a 2011 5 h.p. Delta Unisaw…..Both will hurt you bad…No matter what the h.p…...!!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Loren's profile


10784 posts in 4561 days

#6 posted 05-30-2018 06:55 PM

More powerful saws will kickback with more
force. A splitter mounted to the throat plate
is a good idea or a product like a Shark Guard.
The splitter is easy to make yourself from a
stick of wood but it won’t tilt.

I prefer to use a retracted fence when ripping
solid wood. This is a European method where
the fence ends about where the blade begins.
You can get clamps that will work to attach
a sub-fence to a Biesemier type fence.

Magnetic feather boards are more convenient
to set up and adjust than other types I’ve used.
Ripping with feather boards is much safer imo.
Things like Board Buddies work too but the
BBs are kind of fussy to adjust. Jessem makes
a version that’s pricier but may be easier to

View Uglidan's profile


2 posts in 909 days

#7 posted 05-30-2018 09:35 PM

Thanks for the prompt replies, I have long been a reader here, just never posted anything before, you guys are great. I do use push sticks and feather boards, going to get me a mag lock one for fathers day. I really like the concept of a retracted fence for ripping, going to have to do some more research on that. I wish it had a riving knife, but they didn’t put them on back then, so a splitter is in my future. Right now I am taking my time to set this up where it needs to be in my 14 by 21 foot shop because I can barely move it. Going to make an out-feed/assembly table for it as well.

View Kelly's profile


3156 posts in 3857 days

#8 posted 05-31-2018 07:49 AM

A second vote on the splitter and the push shoe.

View clin's profile


1125 posts in 1909 days

#9 posted 05-31-2018 06:25 PM

I think that the easier a tool is to work with (sharper etc), the safer it is. Anytime you don’t have to push hard to move wood through a saw, the safer it is going to be. In this case, a 5 HP motor isn’t going to stall, so if you were stalling the lower power motor, with the 5 HP something else is going to happen. Most likely the blade will power through the cut, but if it is binding, you may get a piece of wood thrown back at you and sustain very serious injuries. A 1 HP saw can do that too.

If you simply put your hand into a moving blade, both a low power and higher power saw will cut your fingers of, cut into your hand, with equal ease.

Bottom line, I don’t see the 5 HP as being more dangerous and arguably, safer.

-- Clin

View PCDub's profile


226 posts in 1157 days

#10 posted 05-31-2018 07:21 PM

The two rules I have for myself .
Don t cut warped or twisted boards.

Don t touch the blade when it s spinning.
You probably already know about alinement of blade to miter slots and slots to fence.
Use push sticks ,eye protection and dust collection.
Good score on the saw.

- Aj2

I don’t even touch the wood until the blade stops spinning. I don’t reach over the blade unless the guard is on, and even then I usually wait until the blade stops. My rule to avoid harm.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7041 posts in 4107 days

#11 posted 05-31-2018 07:39 PM

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had 2 saws…..The Craftsman is set up with dado blades to cut rabbits and dados only, and I’ve made a couple of jigs just for that…..The Unisaw does all the other cutting, and I have jigs and sleds for that one, too…That 5 hp is a beast….It’ll cut 8/4 stock smoothly, and nothing slows it down….I use Forest WWII thin and regular kerf blades, but I prefer the thin kerf….I’m lucky I have the room for 2 saws, and it sure saves time and setups….!! Just be careful in your shops, as those blades will bite ya…!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

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