Hammer, SawStop or Grizzly? aka..not another TS thread!

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Forum topic by CharlieW posted 01-29-2013 04:55 AM 5851 views 1 time favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CharlieW's profile


28 posts in 2463 days

01-29-2013 04:55 AM

Sorry folks but yes this is another request for opinions on table saws. I’ve read the recent posts on sawstop, both for and against. Here is how I rank them in my mind and how I’m leaning and wanted to get input.

#1 Hammer K3 Winner – Everything I’ve seen and read has been positive but granted, I haven’t found that much on it. I’ll see it live next week but so far it has the lead in my thinking. Looks to be a very high quality saw. What can you guys tell me about Hammer and this saw?

#2 SawStop PCS – Lots of positives, plenty of lovers (and haters), I like the safety feature. Maybe a few quality issues here and there

#3 Grizzly – Not sure which model yet. Seems to be a very good saw with great customer service. Very reasonably priced. Some potential quality issues out of the box (I know many have had great experiences)

This is less about the cost differential and more about quality. I’m looking for a high quality machine that is very accurate. I think these are all grouped pretty close together but I give the edge to Hammer because of quality.

Your thoughts?

26 replies so far

View ScottinTexas's profile


108 posts in 2460 days

#1 posted 01-29-2013 05:09 AM

If I had the money I would get a sawstop – maybe because I’m just starting out and the TS scares the heck out of me.

View Ken90712's profile


17745 posts in 3701 days

#2 posted 01-29-2013 05:16 AM

I have been doing alot of research as well and just about sure I’m getting this one

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4160 days

#3 posted 01-29-2013 05:33 AM

.... depends on how you think and what sort of work
you intend to do with the saw.

For me, a format slider wins. I’ll not comment on
comparing a Hammer with, for example, a Minimax
saw of similar capacity. There are not a lot of dealers
offering smaller European-made sliders to the
N. American market.

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 2506 days

#4 posted 01-29-2013 06:53 AM

That is a very big range. The K3 comes in four sizes, you didn’t specify which one. To get it fully equipped (as it is in the pictures), you will be adding accessories, some of which are as expensive as the Grizzly. Overall, 3x the cost of the Grizzly. A 48”x79” is a bit over $5000. The smaller units would be a around $4k with options.

It has advantages. The sliding table is sort of an ultimate cross cut sled. It has a scoring blade. It has an electric brake. If you have the floor space and the finances, you probably can afford the sliding table saw and a conventional table saw.

Generally, the Grizzly is bought with cost considerations in mind. The direct competitor to the SawStop PCS in price and presumably quality would be the Powermatic P2000 and Delta Unisaw. Both are very slick.

With the conventional table saws their accuracy can be improved with the Incra fence. I’ve never seen a post by someone who had one and didn’t think it was great. They also have miter gauges with large fences. The combo will add $500-$1000 to the cost of the saw.

The conventional table saws don’t have scoring knifes; many here are using Hi-ATB blades (e.g. Forrest Woodworker II, Freud Premier Fusion, Infinity Super General) that provide some of the same functionality. Blade and accessories will be easier to find.

All of the examples in US woodworking magazines reference using a conventional table saw. The sliding table saw will have the same capability, but the jigs used may not be readily transferable.

The SawStop is about the safety feature. In many cases, it is the woodworker’s spouse demanding the SawStop (including my case). The electric brake on the K3 is nice, but not the same. It will stop the blade before an inadvertent reach for a work piece, but not if something happens while cutting. The sliding table should minimize any need to have fingers near the blade, but in the K3 video the woodworker has his fingers right there.

Net: not an easy call.

View knotscott's profile


8339 posts in 3888 days

#5 posted 01-29-2013 10:28 AM

”This is less about the cost differential and more about quality.”

If that’s really the case, the Saw Stop ICS is a step ahead of the PCS.

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

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2605 days

#6 posted 01-29-2013 11:02 AM

I can’t compare those saws directly as I only have a SawStop. I haven’t run into any quality issues with mine. It seems very well made.

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 2477 days

#7 posted 01-29-2013 02:29 PM

Given the the choices you’ve offered, I’m surprised Grizzly is even mentioned and you’ve left out Powermatic, Jet, and General. From a quality standpoint, Grizzly isn’t even in the same universe. Over the years I’ve owned several Powermatic and Jet tools, as well as a couple of Grizzly. The Powermatic and Jet have been solid performers, and on the rare occassion I’ve needed them their customer support has been was great. Grizzly tools were adequate, but never exceptional by any means.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2622 days

#8 posted 01-29-2013 03:23 PM

The ICS, not the PCS, the top of the line Saw Stop.

View CharlieW's profile


28 posts in 2463 days

#9 posted 01-29-2013 04:54 PM

Good feedback on the Powermatic, it is a brand that I’ve had been considering, maybe I should reset and take another look at it.

For what it’s worth, I choose those three to get feedback on the saws based on their individual merits not based on a comparison to each. I understand they are very different saws. Thanks for the input, its all really helpful!

View brtech's profile


1066 posts in 3435 days

#10 posted 01-29-2013 06:00 PM

Not sure what quality issues you have heard about with a SS, but you don’t find many here. I didn’t have anything at all significant with mine, and their support staff is top notch. Plenty of Griz issues, but since they also have a really good support staff, it goes down easier. Not a lot of reported experience here on Hammer, but what there is seems to be good.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4160 days

#11 posted 01-29-2013 06:33 PM

A little more on Hammer…

It was acquired some years ago by Felder, which is
an Austrian machinery maker that has pushed into
making higher-end machinery in the last 20
years, almost competing with Martin and Altendorf.
Hammer became Felder’s entry-level line.
The Hammer table saws are going to be robust
machines on the insides and share some of
the same design DNA as the Felder machines.
Some users have griped about the Hammer rip
fences and the sliding table is not as nice as
the one you get on a Felder.

I bought a Felder (used) and it’s a nice saw but
was still a lot of money. I only spent that much
because I knew resale value would be strong
due to the brand name and I could virtually
trade it in for a larger Italian or older German
slider if/when I move to a larger shop.

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4161 days

#12 posted 01-29-2013 06:40 PM

the Hammer would be my choice

edit: to add context to the above statement:
everything (needed) about the hammer is built into the saw. the sliding table can handle rips and cross cuts. for cross cuts, the slider is right up there against the blade, unlike any after-market slider for “american” cabinet saws which isn’t ideal to say the least. for that same reason, the slider can be used for ripping – keeping your fingers way away from the blade so a mechanism to stop the saw due to human contact really isn’t necessary. the hammer will do the heavy lifting and pushing for you so you do not exert the force on the board your self which again can lead to some unsafe scenarios.

In regard to safety, I would compare the hammer and the sawstop to the following:
sawstop: cold medicine
hammer: don’t get a cold.

the above statements are put to make a point, please do not take it to the extreme assuming that nothing will ever happen when using the Hammer… but the design upon which it is build and the operations which it is design to be used as are far safer than the cabinet saw design, both in safety, and in ease of use.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View MJCD's profile


598 posts in 2883 days

#13 posted 01-29-2013 06:59 PM

The Hammer:

These are highly-engineered, buy-once machines. The sliding-table approach is simply safer and more ergonomic; also, there are quiet refined touches engineered-in which places it ahead of traditional machines.


View Manitario's profile


2783 posts in 3395 days

#14 posted 01-29-2013 07:16 PM

As others have said; it depends what you want to do. If you want a top of the line quality TS, that’s also a slider, and have $4-5K to spend, go with the Hammer. The Sawstop is also an excellent TS, safety features aside, it is well designed and high quality. I have never read a negative review by someone who actually owns a Sawstop…I’m not sure why Grizzly is on your list though; Grizzly makes good tools for the price, but they are not the same in quality as the Hammer and the Sawstop. General/Gen International also makes some pretty good TS…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Spur's profile


87 posts in 2540 days

#15 posted 01-29-2013 07:31 PM

Love my sawstop. I have two young boys who like to follow daddy around the shop. My older has used the sawstop. I wouldn’t even consider it with any other TS. The PCS gives me all the precision I need (but I am fairly new to woodworking so the saw is more precise than I am).

-- Henryk, South Carolina

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