Sawstop and Excessive Spending...

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Forum topic by grub32 posted 11-08-2011 05:18 AM 4522 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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215 posts in 3927 days

11-08-2011 05:18 AM

First off, I want to say that I don’t want this thread to turn into a bash of Sawstop.

I am writing for your advice…

This is one of my favorite websites to visit and I have taken time off from my woodworking because of several family issues and now I am thankfully forced back full stream as we are expecting a second baby in the spring…Time for a new crib and other furniture that we need to populate our house.

Next week, I am going to have the ability to buy a few new tools that will be tools that I will use for a long time down the road.

I am going to buy a sawstop for sure. I know that I will be spending lots of hours in the shop down the line with my son and it will give both my wife and I great piece of mind. That is something that priceless in my opinion.
Now for my sawstop question…If you had the ability, would you lean toward a PCS or ICS for non-production woodworking? Is there a good reason to step up to the ICS? I already have a 1 3/4 hp saw and do want the 3 hp for cutting the tough stuff. I just don’t think I will need the ICS over the PCS…I am looking for sharing of ideas btwn the two.

Thanks for any insight,


-- Educator by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

22 replies so far

View lysdexic's profile


5348 posts in 3501 days

#1 posted 11-08-2011 05:44 AM

I am not going to be ableto provide specific quantitative reasons but I chose the PCS. I am a garage hobbyist but I CAN NOT stand to buy a tool that under performs. I would probably be fine with the contractor even. When considering the ICS I never felt that I would need that much power especially for the bump on price.

Not really reasons but just a vote for the PCS.

BTW, I have been nothing but pleased.


-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View mondak's profile


71 posts in 3279 days

#2 posted 11-08-2011 05:53 AM

Long before saw stop came about, I needed a new table saw. I purchased the 10” unisaw 20 years ago now, and I’m glad I did. Never a lack of power, rock solid and it will out last me. Oh ya….....I am JUST a hobbiest. You buy the big saw stop now…....your set for life.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3862 days

#3 posted 11-08-2011 07:48 PM

My first question would be what tough stuff isn’t the 1 3/4 hp able to cut, and how often do you work with these materials? This will help to determine if the cost offset will be worth your while for the extra power of the ICS model.

Having said that and cost isn’t a issue I’d go with the ICS over the PCS.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3889 days

#4 posted 11-08-2011 08:56 PM

I have the PCS and don’t foresee ever needing more power.

The saw is well-built enough such that I don’t see the need for ever wanting a heavier or more well-built saw.

If you want the best you can buy in their lineup then absolutely go for the ICS. If you want to save a grand or more for other tools and still not miss much, go for the PCS.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7898 posts in 3792 days

#5 posted 11-08-2011 09:31 PM

I do NOT have a SS, however, when it was time for me to upgrade the TS I researched and was convinced that buying a cabinet saw was the CORRECT decision to make. Pick your Brand, but do know that cabinet saws are more massive/steady and NOT under-powered.

That said, since you have the funds, go for the PCS.

Oh yeah. I ended up with a 3hp cabinet TS and have never looked back.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 4008 days

#6 posted 11-09-2011 02:20 PM

The ICS is a much heavier, larger and powerful saw. My feeling is that if you can get get the ICS. the difference in price is definitely IN the saw in terms of quality. You will never regret owning it it is tops in quality

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4640 days

#7 posted 11-09-2011 03:28 PM

The amount of shop space frequently determines the selection of tools. A smaller shop needs to have tools mobile where they can be moved to “center stage” when needed. A large cabinet saw weighs 500+ lbs and unless you have the strength of an NFL lineman, it will likely stay fixed in position. This might create an awkward work flow. You are going to have a new shop. Now is the time to give serious attention to design and layout.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 4245 days

#8 posted 11-09-2011 06:19 PM

The SawStop Industrial has a mobile base available that makes it pretty easy to move. It has a horologic jack to raise the saw and then casters to move it. It costs about $350 but works great. It is heads an shoulders above any of the other mobile bases.

As I remember it, one of the big differences between the Professional and the Industrial is the size of the table top. So if you are going to do more sheet work, the Industrial would be better.

I have the Industrial and like it a lot and I am a hobbiest working out of my garage. My wife insists we be able to put the cars in the garage so the mobile base is a must.


View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3572 days

#9 posted 11-09-2011 06:39 PM

I’m not a SawStop guy but if I end up having to buy one, it’ll be the big one. After a few years, you’ll forget all about that premium you spent. It’s a very desirable, very powerful saw.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7007 posts in 4073 days

#10 posted 11-09-2011 07:12 PM

I’m on the other side of the fence about saws. I don’t own a SawSop either, and actually never wanted one. I’ve been a Delta person for years, and when I decided to upgrade to a cabinet saw, I went with the 5 h.p. Unisaw, and never looked back. For 26 years I ran a 3 h.p. Craftsman contractor (which was a good saw back when, and I still have it). I can’t argue or say one way or the other about the SS. A lot of LJs do own them, and speak very highly of them, but I can say that I’ve never been happier with my Unisaw….it is a beast, and will handle anything you throw at it. So, all I can say is pick your poision….

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

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4110 days

#11 posted 11-09-2011 07:21 PM

Let me state this very clearly. From a political / legal stand point I am VERY uncomfortable with Sawstop. From a product standpoint I WANT a Sawstop. I would feel better about buying one if the inventor wasn’t using judicial and political means to build a monopoly. Thus I am hard pressed to want to put the money aside for one.

Now with my Sawstop rant out of the way. Like I said, I do want a Sawstop. The big difference between the PCS, and ICS for me would be the table size. The PCS from what I understand uses a standard size (depth / width) table, and an owner can easily add things like cast iron router wings, or sliding miter tables without too much hassle. The ICS having a deeper table makes fitting third party accessories problematic.

For me that would be a show stopper…

So assuming that either Sawstop decides to get out of the game of politics and the courts, and also assuming I can pony up the bucks for one, I would grab a 3HP PCS with the wide fence rails and a couple of extra brakes.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View thebigvise's profile


191 posts in 3779 days

#12 posted 11-09-2011 07:32 PM

The tablesaw is the centerpiece of the woodworker’s world, both geographically (in terms of shop arrangement) and also strategically (in terms of it’s critical role in almost every project). Erring on the high side is easy to justify, and I recommend the larger machine if you can afford it.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3572 days

#13 posted 11-09-2011 07:40 PM

DB, I wasn’t aware of that. I had to drill my poor vintage JET into submission for accessories. I’d likely do the same to the ICS, although at that price point, it’s admittedly absurd. I’m the same way about investing in something that I’m fundamentally against but like you say, that’s been adequately covered elsewhere, lol.

I’d take Rick’s 5hp Delta any day of the week. For the price of a new saw, you could get a vintage 3ph saw with rotary converter that eats SawStops for breakfast.

All that negativity being laid down, I think both saws enjoy a good reputation among those that actually own them.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7007 posts in 4073 days

#14 posted 11-09-2011 08:06 PM

Thanks Al….I like it, too…....Being a Southern boy like myself, I knew there was something about you that I liked…...Us boys from the South knows what’s good…...from weapons to saws….If you can’t shoot it, then you can saw it….or cook it…..

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

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4052 days

#15 posted 11-09-2011 08:11 PM


IMHO … buy once, cry once. Buy as much table saw as you can reasonably afford.

Very rarely does anybody regret buying MORE tool. It’s far more common to see people who regret buying LESS tool—particularly if they take the resale hit, in the process of trading up.

Good luck !

-- -- Neil

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