Pondering a new table saw

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Forum topic by Charlie H. posted 01-07-2019 11:59 PM 1284 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Charlie H.

410 posts in 1659 days

01-07-2019 11:59 PM

The saw I have is a Delta 36-714 hybrid saw I bought new 12-13 years ago.
Cast iron top/wings, 115V 15A motor, Delta T2 T-square style fence, steel rails.
It is in very good condition and is aligned very well.
The saw / fence makes repeatable, accurate cuts.
There’s really nothing wrong with it at all.

I am a retired person that is a hobbyist woodworker, and spend considerable time in the shop.
Of late (for no good reason) I have been itching to replace the table saw with a 3hp cabinet saw.
Do I ‘need’ it, no. Do I think I want it, yes.

Sooooo, my question is what do y’all think about doing that ?
If any of y’all have made the switch from a good hybrid to the 3hp SS PCS or to a 3hp Grizzly or a PM2000 do you enjoy using the new saw more ?
Is the extra hp noticeable all the time or only on those very rare occasions that bog the 1.75hp motor ?
Does the 3hp saw still bog down on those same rare occasions ?
(Good, clean, sharp blades are a given.)

Does anyone that has gone from a good hybrid to a 3hp cabinet saw think in hindsight (after the new tool euphoria has worn off) that it was kinda wasted money that might have been better spent on a different tool ?

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

29 replies so far

View sawdustjunkie's profile


411 posts in 2726 days

#1 posted 01-08-2019 12:21 AM

I had a Craftsman 113 for more than 20 years it worked great for a 1.5 hp saw. It’s rated at 3 hp but it really isn’t. About 4 years ago I got a Grizzly G0690 3 hp. It doesn’t bog down even when I cut 8/4 hard maple, which is what I cut alot. Price of that saw has cone up some, but for my needs it’s a great saw.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8418 posts in 3208 days

#2 posted 01-08-2019 12:27 AM

What you have is frequently mistaken for a Unisaw as it looks almost identical. The only real difference is the trunnions/motor mount which isn’t quite as robust. Unless you are really pushing the limits of the machine, I doubt you would notice any difference during normal operations. How often do you rip huge hardwood boards, or do it for hours at a time?

If you really gotta get a heavier saw… I’d use the fact that you already have a really nice saw as an advantage. You are not in that ‘gotta have it now’ mental state and can wait for a fantastic deal to show up. You could actually make some money if you play it right :)


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

View Phil32's profile


1321 posts in 913 days

#3 posted 01-08-2019 12:40 AM

Like you, I am a hobbyist woodworker. I got by for many years with an old, used table saw – Craftsman, I think. But I can remember using my grandfather’s home made saw (with home-made blades!) Both had improvised fences that had to be re-aligned and checked with every setup. It was easier to do simple cuts with something else.

Recently I bought a new Dewalt contractor saw. It fits the space allocated for it in my garage. It’s a delight to use for the fairly simple tasks I do. I can easily move it when the task requires more space. I do not regret spending the money. I am careful to avoid the tool acquisition fetish.

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

View jonah's profile


2136 posts in 4308 days

#4 posted 01-08-2019 12:41 AM

I’m with Brad. I’d be in no rush at all. Your current saw is perfectly usable – certainly a sight better than any Craftsman 113/Ridgid contractor saw.

Keep your eye out for a used Unisaw, PM 66, or even a PM 72 (their 12” table saw). You might run across a good deal on a newer Grizzly or even a Sawstop. Be patient.

View syenefarmer's profile


571 posts in 4090 days

#5 posted 01-08-2019 12:44 AM

If you really want a cabinet saw and can realistically afford one without hurting the family fortune then I say go ahead and buy one. Want trumps need every time as long as I can afford it. Forever I got by rather nicely with a 1-1/2 HP contractor saw. The last few years I started to get the cabinet saw itch but didn’t act on it until last May when I finally gave in and purchased a 3 HP cabinet saw. For me, the difference in HP was very noticeable as I have yet to come close to bogging it down. I went from a 36” rip capacity to 52” and have loved the extra capacity as well as the extra working space it provides for other purposes. You should enjoy your retirement and if getting a new saw helps to do that then go for it, I did. :D

View Planeman40's profile


1536 posts in 3770 days

#6 posted 01-08-2019 12:47 PM

If it were me, I would keep the saw as its a good one and use the money to add another machine you need to the shop. I doubt if you would notice any difference in a new saw than the one you already have. Sadly, you have become a “toolaholic” like so many of us!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Sparks500's profile


280 posts in 1340 days

#7 posted 01-08-2019 01:20 PM

Hello, my name is Brad and I’m a toolaholic.

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6834 posts in 3502 days

#8 posted 01-08-2019 02:10 PM

Charlie, when I switched from my Delta contractor saw (a very good one) to a Unisaw I quickly realized that it had more power and often cut the tough stuff more easily, but didn’t cut anything more accurately (both saws had the Unifence) or do any tricks my CS wouldn’t do. But it was a joy to use the Unisaw, even if it couldn’t be justified. That switch was made in 2001. Then in 2016 I switched the Unisaw to a SS ICS (5 HP). It was deja-vu all over again. The SS is a joy to use, and I have no regrets (well, maybe one…I’d get the 3 HP if I did it again). The thing is what was mentioned above; if it’s in reach comfortably, go for it…..and don’t look back.

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

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


787 posts in 788 days

#9 posted 01-08-2019 02:52 PM

Used a 1.5hp for 20 years. Last time I moved I just left it. New saw is Grizzly G1023RL, 3hp 220. Similar to commercial saws I used in cabinet shops I worked at. Night and day difference. Power to spare. Blades stay sharp longer as there is less heat due to no bogging or binding. dust collection is just right vs who knows. Zero vibration. Fence is true and I no longer measure prior to cutting (that says a log for me).

View knotscott's profile


8410 posts in 4385 days

#10 posted 01-08-2019 03:09 PM

I made the jump from a very good Craftsman 22124 1.75hp hybrid with the Biese fence to a 3hp Shop Fox W1677, and am glad I did. The 22124 had sufficient power with a good thin kerf blade, but the difference is noticeable from the moment you turn the saw on to the moment you turn it off. Like you, I didn’t “need” the 3hp saw, but wanted it, and have no regrets about the extra power, extra mass, and more robust build quality of the heavier duty saw….it should last a lifetime. So much nicer to use.

If you have the funds, and want a beefier saw, I say go for it.

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

View jerkylips's profile


495 posts in 3579 days

#11 posted 01-08-2019 03:32 PM

In a similar boat. I have a Ridgid contractor saw & want to upgrade to a cabinet saw. Probably the biggest difference between your current saw & mine is that you have a much nicer fence.

I agree with syenefarmer – if you can afford it, go for it. Life isn’t always about NEED. Get what you want. Plus, you WILL see a difference. The question is really only “how much”.

The only other thing I’d say that you should consider is mobility. My “shop” is the garage, so I have to move my saw around. You may also need to get a mobile base.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


787 posts in 788 days

#12 posted 01-08-2019 04:43 PM

I will add, as I approach retirement and get the kids out of the house etc (and stay single!) that I am getting tools based on functional desire vs minimum performance. My shop is my extravagance and I take the time to get one right tool vs two just functional ones.

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

410 posts in 1659 days

#13 posted 01-21-2019 10:54 PM

Good decision or bad there’s no turning back now.
Last night I listed my old table saw on the Facebook market and said goodbye to it around noon today.
I will be heading over to the Rockler store a little later this evening to get a 3hp SawStop PCS to take its place.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View mramseyISU's profile


594 posts in 2555 days

#14 posted 01-22-2019 02:46 PM

Good decision or bad there s no turning back now.
Last night I listed my old table saw on the Facebook market and said goodbye to it around noon today.
I will be heading over to the Rockler store a little later this evening to get a 3hp SawStop PCS to take its place.

- Charlie H.

I hope that is me in about 2 years. I was going to do that this winter but ended up pulling the trigger on a new full size laguna lathe. A new Saw Stop is next on the list though.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View Markmh1's profile


115 posts in 1453 days

#15 posted 01-22-2019 09:20 PM

My tablesaw journey started with a pre-war Craftsman hand me down from my wife’s grandpa. Later, my dad
gave me his Delta Contractor’s saw with the stamped wings. With both saws I had to cut oversize and joint to
size. Cross cuts, to be accurate, were done on a Millers Falls Miter saw.
I got things done, and really I didn’t need anything better. Everything was a struggle, but things got done.

One day I was in my local hardware store with my daughter, (who normally keeps me out of trouble) and I saw
a brand new Sawstop 3HP PCS. Things just boiled over and I realized how sick I was making due with my
garbage table saws. All the years of convincing myself I couldn’t afford and didn’t need a nice saw just made me realize I really wanted a good saw even more. Before I could stop myself I whipped out the card and bought it.
On the way home, my daughter exclaimed she never saw me spend money that quickly before, and what did I
think mom was gonna say? I asked her if she thought I should put the sleeping bag in the garden shed.

The store delivered the saw that early afternoon, put it in the garage, and my wife walked past the pallet
and boxes without seeing it.

Of course, things worked out/blew over, and about a week later she asked me if I got the saw that stops
itself if your hand gets close. At that point I realized she was investigating my purchase.

Working with the saw is great. After completing a couple projects I realized I waited way to long before
buying it.

I hope you are as happy with your new saw as I am with mine.


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