Sawstop contractor saw

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Forum topic by Phalanx1862 posted 09-17-2019 05:27 PM 476 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 113 days

09-17-2019 05:27 PM

Hey folks! Like to have some contractor saw jocks weigh in here. In the near(6 months) future, I plan to purchase a new Sawstop table saw, and would love some feedback. First off, I want to say that I would love to have a PCS, but due to physical restrictions of my shop, I’m fairly certain that a cabinet saw won’t work for me. I use a Porter Cable “hybrid” saw now, but haven’t worked with any hardwoods thicker than 1 inch. Most of what I have read indicates that a 1.75hp saw will struggle ripping 8/4 and above hardwood with a full kerf combination blade, and that one should use a 6” dado stack instead of an 8”. Assuming that I use thin kerf blades, and don’t use the full 13/16 cutting width with an 8” dado(that I already have), everything should work out ok, right? The issue is that I do most of my sawing in my driveway, so I need a mobile base/platform. However, there is close to a 1” difference in height between the slab and driveway, and while the commercial mobile bases are too low-profile to get it over the “bump”, most of the built ones I have seen lift the saw at least 5”. I’m not aware of a way to shorten the cabinet on a PCS, and I’m not sure I want my table saw height to be 39-40”(I’m around 6’ tall), whereas with a contractor saw I can take the legs off and build a cabinet at whatever height I want. Anyways, I’d love to have your thoughts on using a 1.75 saw, or arguments on having a tall saw.

15 replies so far

View Monty151's profile


83 posts in 354 days

#1 posted 09-17-2019 07:54 PM

I am actually considering the same setup. I thought about the JSS or the new JSS pro for mobility sake however the SS contractor on a shop built stand or integrated into an out-feed table seems like a great combo. I don’t see why a 1.75hp saw would have issues with 8/4 stock. I get by easy enough with my 1hp old craftsman TS. As far as table height goes I say go with what is most comfortable for you. That will make working easier on your back.

View cmacnaughton's profile


103 posts in 157 days

#2 posted 09-17-2019 08:45 PM

I have the Delta 36-725 which at 13 amps is about the equivalent of 1.75 HP. It’s obviously a couple of orders of magnitude less impressive than the Sawstop contractor saw, but for my money it cuts pretty well with a thin-kerf blade. I’ve cut 8/4 oak and 6/4 maple (rip and crosscut with appropriate blades) without issue. The Delta stands at 37” high, which is a good 3” higher than my last saw, and I’m short so I was concerned it might be an issue. It hasn’t been…but 39-40” might be!

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

View bigJohninvegas's profile


683 posts in 1975 days

#3 posted 09-17-2019 10:46 PM

I have the Ridgid r4512. Pretty much the same saw. Like Chuck said, without the bells and whistles of the saw stop.
I have no issues with 8/4. I have cut some really dense wood, and the worst I have had to do is slow down the rate of feed a little. Be careful of the thin kerf blade. Riving knife needs to match, or it can bind up.
Also, I use an 8” dado stack. I think 3/4” is all I have needed. Handled it with no issues. Not like you making deep cuts anyway.
So really biggest issue with a 1.75hp saw is that feed rate may need to slow down sometimes.
I’m a hobbyist woodworker. So that’s fine for me.
Good luck.

-- John

View clin's profile


1068 posts in 1509 days

#4 posted 09-17-2019 11:23 PM

I’m a little confused by the reference to the saw height. You make it sound like typical saws are too tall, yet you say you are 6’. I have a SawStop PCS on an ICS mobile base, and the table surface is 34” above the floor. So not sure where 39-40” is coming from. Though maybe what you’re saying is putting a saw on top of a 5” lift. That does seem crazy to me.

The way the SawStop ICS base works is there is a very heavy duty frame that is supported by the castors. This frame does not move when the saw is lifted. The lift mechanism lifts the saw which is inside the frame. There is some roughly 1/4” thick straps under the saw that are lifted by the mechanism supported by the frame. Point is when down the saw is essentially right on the floor + maybe 1/4”.

As for clearance for any sort of mobile base, you are correct to be concerned about even a 1” lip. My PCS with ICS mobile base lifts the saw plenty, But the lift frame has maybe 3/8” of ground clearance. Though I have plans to shim the castors and effectively raise the cradle to get more clearance. That way I can clear my 1” lip if I use a ramp.

So, consider that you can improve on this with an appropriate ramp.

I do not think you would have to resort to something that actually sets the saw 5” off the floor when in use.

As for room for a saw, the right mobile base can make a difference. The ICS base has all 4 castors that swivel. This means it can be rotated in place. A lift that can do this can be maneuvered in smaller spaces and more easily tucked in a corner etc. Also, as for depth, in the case of SawStop, and with most or all(?) contractors saws, the motor hangs out the back. So while the table is smaller, the depth of the footprint of the whole saw may actually be deeper than a cabinet saw. At the least, difference may not be as large as you may think.

So be sure to look at the real footprint the saw takes up and not just the table size. Also, don’t ignore the footprint of the lift. My ICS lift extends out a bit in back. It’s not a problem for me at all, but effectively adds a few more inches to the depth for the purposes of pushing it against a wall.

-- Clin

View Phalanx1862's profile


16 posts in 113 days

#5 posted 09-17-2019 11:51 PM

Thanks for popping in and helping me out fellas! Monty, Chuck and John, thanks for the thoughts on contractor saw power. I also am just a hobbyist, and slowing down my feed rate is definitely something I can do. I tend to take my time in the shop anyways, so taking a little more time for the thicker and denser hardwoods isn’t really an issue, just wanted to make sure it would actually do it. I haven’t had any issues with the saw I have, but I was wondering about the future, and who doesn’t want MORE POWER?

View Phalanx1862's profile


16 posts in 113 days

#6 posted 09-18-2019 12:11 AM

Clin, WOW thanks for all the thoughts man. You hit the nail on the head with the mobile bases(Sawstop, Portamate, etc) not having enough clearance to get over the 1” lip. Honestly my Rikon 10-324 on mobile base bottoms out, and I have to basically lift it over the lip, which is doable with that 200 lb saw, I’m pretty positive that I won’t be able to do it with a 450 lb saw. I was saying most of the diy mobile bases for cabinet saws put the saw on top of a platform, with a torsion box on the bottom, which is suspended with casters on the bottom. With 4 inch casters, the height of those is normally 5 inches, that’s where that measurement came from. I had thought about finding ramps, but haven’t found one that I thought would work. Also the fact that when I were to set the saw down on the uneven driveway, I would have to readjust the legs to support the extension, and would they have enough adjustability for how uneven the driveway may be. The footprint of the saw will be fine I think, basically what I was worried about is the garage lip, and my ability to get my tools across it. I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m just trying to consider all of the variables before I spend the money on a saw that may not be ideal for my situation.

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)


3915 posts in 1087 days

#7 posted 09-18-2019 12:14 AM

Just today saw Rob Johnstone from Rockler/Woodworkers Journal talking about the brand new SawStop Jobsite PRO Table Saw

Looked to be $1399.00

Not sure if that is pertinent for you or not?

-- Think safe, be safe

View Phalanx1862's profile


16 posts in 113 days

#8 posted 09-18-2019 12:48 AM

Thanks for the idea Steven. While the saw is nice and portable, I’m looking for something with a larger cut capacity.

View Markmh1's profile


111 posts in 956 days

#9 posted 09-18-2019 12:59 PM

My son has the Sawstop Contractors saw for over a year. 1.75 HP has worked very well for him just by slowing
down the feed rate. You need to be careful of the thin kerf blade. As has been mentioned, the riving knife
needs to match the blade, and everything needs to fit on the Sawstop. Go into this carefully, lest you buy
something that won’t fit.

When we bought his Contractors saw, we realized the only base that would work was the Sawstop base
made specifically for the Contractors saw. He got the T-glide fence that only comes with the 36” table
extension. Because of the table extension you need a base that lifts the saw squarely, if the saw is lifted
at an angle the legs of the table extension drag on the ground.

You’ll need an 8” Dado, that’s then only size that will work with the Sawstop blade brake. This brake is
available at extra cost. It is a different brake than the brake for the 10” blade. You won’t be able to run
the saw without the brake, there’s no running without the brake cartridge.

Your 1” step shouldn’t be a problem, you’ll need a ramp.

I can’t think of anything else. The cast iron table extensions are nice, You definitely want the T-glide fence.

Good luck with your saw.


View YesHaveSome's profile


163 posts in 771 days

#10 posted 09-18-2019 02:24 PM

I have the SS contractor saw and cut 8/4 stock just fine. I also have a similar lip at my garage/driveway and I can wheel my saw in/out no problem. They also offer a mobile base with big tires that I would recommend if you’ll really be moving it a lot.

-- But where does the meat go?

View dbw's profile


312 posts in 2149 days

#11 posted 09-18-2019 07:21 PM

I don’t think you’ll have issues cutting 8/4 with a contractor saw. I have ripped 8/4 on a 20 year old Jet contractor saw with a new full kerf Freud. You’ll have to feed it slower than you might like. It is what it is.

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View Phalanx1862's profile


16 posts in 113 days

#12 posted 09-19-2019 12:56 PM

Thanks y’all! I am feeling pretty good about this situation, and I honestly do appreciate your valuable input.

View Monty151's profile


83 posts in 354 days

#13 posted 09-19-2019 05:35 PM

Let us know what you end up doing and if you get the SS contractor let me know how you like it.

View Phalanx1862's profile


16 posts in 113 days

#14 posted 09-19-2019 07:54 PM

Sure thing, it won’t be for a few months, but I will certainly check back in.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3587 posts in 3622 days

#15 posted 09-19-2019 09:57 PM

I have the JSS as well. It will cut through 8/4 oak, but it struggles and I have to feed slowly, as other people have noted. I may end up finally buying a dado set for it, and the brake for that set. I’m resisting so far. I recently moved the saw off the “cart” and installed it on a cabinet I built, so that I could press the Incra fence into service. It’s on 3” casters, but I don’t move it out of the garage when I use it.

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

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