Tablesaw help - Direct Drive Vs. Belt Drive

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Forum topic by GlennsGrandson posted 11-26-2012 02:51 AM 35798 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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445 posts in 3555 days

11-26-2012 02:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: direct drive belt drive tablesaw

I am in the market for a good used TS with a bigger cast iron top.

Can someone please give me their opinions on direct drive vs. belt drive tablesaws? The only thing that I’ve heard is that belt driven is quieter (I have a cheap small direct drive, sounds like a jet). Is one recommended over the other?

Thanks for helping!

-- Grant - N Dakota

6 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3845 days

#1 posted 11-26-2012 03:03 AM

Belt driven induciton motor is typically seen as superior, quiter, longer life span, and more torque…unless mobility from job site to job site is a factor for you, not too many reasons to go for the universal motor. Not sure you can get a cast iron top with the universal motor.

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Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3584 days

#2 posted 11-26-2012 03:14 AM

I have belt driven. Don’t think i have ever had the other. Really like mine though.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3435 days

#3 posted 11-26-2012 04:48 AM

Can’t think of a table saw of any size/power that is direct drive. Also, with direct drive you want to move quickly if you jamb the saw blade and it stops turning, otherwise you will end up with a “no-drive” TS, ie. it will burn out the motor. With a belt driven saw the belt (supposedly) will slip when the blade stalls.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4217 days

#4 posted 11-26-2012 05:24 AM

I think Sears had a contractor’s saw one time that had a cast iron table and a universal direct drive motor.
They tried to promote the direct drive as an advantage stating things like high efficiency and no belts to get loose and things like that. They also claimed it was a 3hp saw, which is obviously BS, since it ran on a standard 120volt outlet.
Most people must have seen this marketing ploy for what it was, a way to sell a cheap universal motor in a table saw, and stayed away because they dropped the campain about as fast as it popped up.

In answer to your question, all direct drive saws hang the blade directly on the motor shaft and use universal, brush type motors. There are a few really well respected saws that use this design, like the Bosch, Dewalt, Ridgid, Porter Cable etc. jobsite type saws, and they are good saws, but cost almost the same as the hybrid class cabinet saws; about $500 to $600. Their main purpose is to be portable.
Much more common in the direct drive saw genre are the $100 to $200 Ryobies and Skil, and generic labeled variations. These saws serve a market where longevity is not a primary concern. They work, but they don’t have the bearings and beef to hold up to continuous professional use.

A table saw with a cast iron table, standard miter slots, belt drive induction motor is just a much more stable and quiter, and longer lasting option.
a f

View GlennsGrandson's profile


445 posts in 3555 days

#5 posted 11-26-2012 06:04 AM

Enough said, thanks for all of the input guys!

Belt it is.

-- Grant - N Dakota

View knotscott's profile


8431 posts in 4622 days

#6 posted 11-26-2012 10:29 AM

Here’s some info if you’re interested. Table Saw Classifications

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

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