the cabinet saw face off

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Forum topic by ToolCrib posted 05-12-2007 11:23 PM 29233 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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34 posts in 5135 days

05-12-2007 11:23 PM

Here’s a question we got recently at that I’d appreciate your input on:

“What is the best cabinet saw; Powermatic 2000, powermatic 66, Jet,
or Delta?”

I asked for a little more detail and got this in response:

“Thank you for responding to my email so quickly.

The main job for my cabinet saw is ripping from 4 1/4 to 10 1/4 hardwood
lumber and occassional dadoes. I run a small shop and do a gambit of
projects from building custom made furniture to restoring antiques.

Thus far I have my choices down to two saws: Powermatic 2000 or Jet
Xactasaw. I’m leaning more towards the Powermatic 2000 but I know it’s just for ego. I’m hoping not to spend over $2500.

Looking forward to your opinion.”

So – what is your opinion?

Warning – I will write about this thread on the toolcrib blog AND mention it in our email newsletter.

-- Editor,

21 replies so far

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 5041 days

#1 posted 05-13-2007 03:14 AM

My answer would be different then the saws mentioned above. It looks like the use above is for a WWer who is more than a hobbyist. I would justify getting the Powermatic in that case. I chose a Grizzly 1023S (3HP). I’ve read reviews from a few people who own both and they say that the Grizzly gets the job done well, but it isn’t quite a Powermatic. I’ve never had a situation that I felt the Grizzly was underpowered or unaccurate so I’m very pleased.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Nicky's profile


698 posts in 5065 days

#2 posted 05-13-2007 07:06 AM

In 1981 I bought a 15 year old sears. Motor burned out about 3 years ago.

Could have replaced the motor, or replaced it with a contactor saw, but I’ve always wanted a unisaw, so I bought one. Very happy with the saw. I would think that for the money, the Powermatic and Jet (and others) saws in this class would have similar features, and perform as well.

My first large stationary tool, purchased new, was a Delta band saw. I’ve purchased other tools from Delta, so I would say that brand loyalty colors my choices.

I wonder if my first purchase was from Powermatic, and I had same good experience as with Delta, would I be the owner of a “66.”

-- Nicky

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


605 posts in 5157 days

#3 posted 05-13-2007 05:09 PM

I’ll tell ya, the extra features on that PM2000 are pretty hard to beat. Have you guys seen them?

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5070 days

#4 posted 05-13-2007 05:38 PM

I think it is about time for a video Marc… Pls. Show us.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5063 days

#5 posted 05-13-2007 08:02 PM

I have tried most of them. All are nice. I would still buy the SawStop.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5134 days

#6 posted 05-13-2007 08:24 PM

Yes, show us the features Marc. Some of us still need to get a table saw, so it is good to know what is available on the upper end saws.

Agreed, tt would be nice to have a SawStop Giz.

I wonder about the sliding table top saws? I have not read much about them yet, but it seems they would be a better way to go eventually. Instead of sliding the wood across the table, move the table top instead. I would think that would improve the accuracy of the cuts.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 5041 days

#7 posted 05-14-2007 03:09 AM

I went through this exercise recently. Sold a Grizzly 1023 and bought a new saw. I looked at all mentioned and ended up with the PM2000. So obviously my opinion (and my dollars) voted for the PM2000. The biggest pluses being the larger table and the riving knife. The riving knife really works. I’m sold on it now. The larger table is nice, maybe not required but given that I was buying a new saw the larger table is a nice bonus. The built in casters ended up not adding much value. The saw has probably moved twice before it found it’s home and now I never move it. I like the biesemeyer over the uni-fence, but I understand that is a religious issue with delta owners so I’ll not go there.

The arbor lock for blade changing is nice, I use it, but I was fine with jamming a 2×4 into the blade, it’s always worked before. A nicety but not a make or break.

The PM2000 has a single flat belt instead of the multi V belts. Of course there are opinions on both sides, beats me, I never noted a problem with either type.

The PM2000 weighs more so supposedly it should be more stable. More stable that a 66 or a delta or jet? I dont know, I’ve not used either. But it is definitely more stable, less vibration, than the Grizzly. But to be fair the Grizzly was getting older and I think the arbor bearings were going.

I looked at the sawstop but the extra cost and the proprietary cartridges required to run it turned me off. I plan on having this saw for 20 years or more. What happens when the electronics either blow or are no longer manufactured for the sawstop. Not something I wanted to have to deal with 10 years down the road. Otherwise the sawstop looks like an excellent saw. If it had some kind of override that would turn it into a regular saw and not need the cartridges or fancy electronics I probably would have gotten it. For that kind of investment I need a simple fix or a guarantee I wouldn’t be stuck with a boat anchor.

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5063 days

#8 posted 05-14-2007 03:20 AM

Colorado,... I think it does have an override… for cutting green wood….but could be used otherwise.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 5041 days

#9 posted 05-14-2007 04:02 AM

Thanks Colorado. I’m always interested to hear from people who have used the Grizzly 1023 and the Powermatic 2000. I love my 1023, but have no experience with the saws that Grizzly is attempting to “copy”. It sounds like there are few moderate differences. I like the idea of the locking arbor. The riving knife sounds good in theory, but I have never used it. I have almost no vibration on my 1023, but it is only a year old. I also have added about 100lbs. of weight to the saw to aid stability. I can’t be sure if it really helped or not. I would appreciate the larger table top.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View andrewsdunn's profile


2 posts in 5038 days

#10 posted 05-14-2007 04:27 AM

Hi all. I can highly recommend Felder if you want to spend up a bit. They are made in Austria but I assume that they are sold into the US. Very happy with mine.

-- Andrew

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 5041 days

#11 posted 05-14-2007 05:14 AM

Giz, I think the green wood / conductive override is a key you put in the electronics box and turn to disable firing the stop when contact with conductive material (like a human body) is sensed. I think, am pretty positive, the saw will not operate without the electronics / brake cartridge installed. I read the saw stop literature pretty thoroughly specifically looking for a “run while brain dead” mode and I don’t think it has one. Now eventually the saw breaks down to a motor and a switch so I suppose it would be possible to rip out the fancy electronics and put in a magnetic switch. But I dont think with the sawstop electronics installed that it is possible to run without a cartridge. I even checked to see it the saw would run with an old fired cartridge. That way if they quit making the cartridges maybe you could still run the saw but I dont think the saw will run with an already fired cartridge.

Too dicey for me to make that kind of an investment.

USCJeff, When I was looking to get a new saw I did look at getting a new grizzly. Bang for the buck I think the grizzly is hard to beat. A pretty reasonable cabinet saw for a very good price.

I guess what really swayed be away from getting another grizzly is that I dont trust the quality of grizzly’s products. I went through a LOT of issues getting the grizzly tuned straight and square. Enough that even though I eventually got the saw running nicely it still left a bit of a bad taste. I’ve kind of had this same experience with everything I’ve bought from grizzly. Great price, always one quality issue or another. I never got that 100% satisfaction right out of the box with grizzly. Grizzly tech support has been great to work with, grizzly prices are very good, but I’ve always had to tweak one thing or another whenever I buy grizzly.

View Tony's profile


994 posts in 5003 days

#12 posted 05-16-2007 08:37 PM

I will stick-up for the delta Unisaw 10” Left Tilt, with the 50 Biesmaer Fence. I got mine from ona special (I think it was $950). I have been using mine on a daily basis, with no problems at all. I did swap the 3 HP 220 V 60Hz motor, for a Europen 4 HP, 3phase 400V. but that was because of the 50 – 60 Hz frequency imbalance. It took up to 80A at start-up (this is normal because of the frequency inbalance)

I am ripping and cross cutting 12/4 Oak, Maple all day, using a standard Freud rip blade, I very happy Unisaw User. Save the money and buy some other goodies.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 5050 days

#13 posted 05-16-2007 10:14 PM

Compare them all. A FineWoodworking Mag. article.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View F Ben Kautz's profile

F Ben Kautz

33 posts in 3584 days

#14 posted 10-03-2011 06:49 PM

The Laguna Platinum saw’s fence can’t be beat. It rides just above the table. There are metal “fingers” that overlap
the fence so it stays perpendicular to it. It is completely adjustable.
The adjusting wheels on the Delta Unisaw are silky smooth, and the best of the bunch.
I was disappointed in the PM’s quality and smoothness of its wheels.
I wonder what will happen when the first injury sparks a lawsuit against Saw Stop where someone was cutting green wood and had the override turned on. There is no substitute for thinking, when using a saw.

-- Woodsurgin

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3666 days

#15 posted 10-03-2011 07:32 PM

I like the lore as much as the next guy but between a 66 and a PM2000, I’d probably opt for the 2000. I’m a JET guy but the JETs can’t really compete with the PMs IMO. Between the PM2000 and Unisaw, it probably goes more to brand loyalty in most cases. I think both are fine choices. SawStop doesn’t interest me personally.

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

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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