Help on choosing Sliding Table Saw or SawStop

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Forum topic by LSGss posted 03-17-2013 01:00 AM 11987 views 0 times favorited 55 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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68 posts in 2529 days

03-17-2013 01:00 AM

Hello Fellow woodworkers,

I am looking at purchasing a nicer saw than my current Bosch-4100, although my Bosch is awesome I want something larger and safer. My choices are between a sawstop or a sliding table saw. I am leaning more towards to sliding table saw however they seem to be more expensive. That being said I would like to know what is the best sliding table saw for a hobbiest, including what size table should I purchase. I recently was at the St. Louis woodworking show and saw a Hammer K3. It was a nice looking machine however I have no frame of reference so I wanted to see what people recommend. Although I want to know what the “best” is, I still want the most bang for the buck and nothing that is outrageous or unnecessary for my needs. I also don’t need to necessarly purchase a new machine, but would like a newer model. This is a saw I plan on keeping for a long time. I would like to stay around $4k.

Thank you!

55 replies so far

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3017 days

#1 posted 03-17-2013 01:07 AM

For sliders I would look at Altendorf and Mini Max, Mini Max being less expensive. The Hammer line of Felder is a hit or miss proposition IMO. Some people have had good experiences with them some like me have not. I think Loren has a Hammer slider, he might be a good source of information on the slider.

As for Saw Stop, there are thousands of posts and pissing matches about it here, just do a search. With the kind of scratch you are willing to spend, you cannot go wrong with either choice, I lean towards the sliders as I think they are more versatile but Saw Stop is not a bad choice at all.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View LSGss's profile


68 posts in 2529 days

#2 posted 03-17-2013 01:48 AM

Hi Jorge,

Thank you for your response. I think the minimax entry level SC2 saw does not allow for a dado blade which means I would need to purchase the next level up which would be out of my price range.

I should also mention my other option is to purchase one of the cheaper SS models and upgrade when I am finished with orthopaedic surgery residency.

Thank you,

View Howardh's profile


24 posts in 2676 days

#3 posted 03-17-2013 02:02 AM

I was looking at the same decision last Spring and ultimately went with a Hammer K3 48×48. It was a great decision. IMO, keeping yours hands a foot away from the blade is the ultimate safety device. I don’t do much sheet goods work, I work primarily with hardwoods. The slider makes ripping very easy, especially putting a straight edge on a rough board. The 48” sliding is plenty for me. The 78” would have been too long. It has loads of power and you can get blades from Forrest and others. It exudes quality and I’m not sure what problems others may have had but mine has been fine. See my review here on the site. If you go with the Hammer, you won’t regret it. I liked it so much I got their A3-31 J/P and it doesn’t disappoint either.

-- If you learn from your mistakes I must be a genius.

View mbs's profile


1662 posts in 3482 days

#4 posted 03-17-2013 06:42 AM

Both are good choices. Most Lumberjocks have standard table saws. If you want more opinions from people with experience on both types of saws you may want to register with the Felder Owners Group. It’s a yahoo forum that is a bit difficult to navigate but the people are very helpful. i have a saw stop and a Felder 741. I don’t have enough experience with the Felder to give you a recommendation yet.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2731 days

#5 posted 03-17-2013 07:22 PM

Strange either/or. Most Sawstop owners are convinced the saw will save their butts, well at least a few fingers. If you think that is so, buy a Sawstop. Personally, I think Sawstop’s advantage is overblown and would go for a slider. But buy a good one. I tried adding Delta’s slider to their Unisaw some years back. It was nothing but an exercise in frustration. Good enough for carpentry, but not for woodworking.

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

View stefang's profile


16821 posts in 3876 days

#6 posted 03-17-2013 08:13 PM

I would think that the type of work you plan to do most should influence your choice of a table saw. That is, will you be working with big panels, or maybe doing a lot of miter sawing, etc. But if you’re not sure then a saw that is very flexible would be good.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4190 days

#7 posted 03-17-2013 08:20 PM

I have a Felder slider. It’s a lot like the Hammer K3 but the
slider part is fancier. I think for a hobby user or small
time furniture pro, a Hammer would be a good choice.

Rojek and Robland also make or have made smaller sized
sliders… some of them not the format style, but you
can get them used for $1500 or so. Smaller Minimax
sliders can be found too.

If you have the space, the Robland E300 looks like a
nice saw to me. There’s a Powermatic badged version
too and they do show up on the used market.

View History's profile


399 posts in 2524 days

#8 posted 03-17-2013 08:24 PM

I would like to know what is the best sliding table saw for a hobbiest. Although I want to know what the “best” is, I still want the most bang for the buck and nothing that is outrageous or unnecessary for my needs. What your looking at seems really over the top to me for a hobbiest.

View LSGss's profile


68 posts in 2529 days

#9 posted 03-17-2013 08:24 PM

I plan on doing smaller things typically and furniture like beds and cabinets etc. I like the idea of a 48×48 slider. The reason I added a saw stop is become I am going to be a surgeon and would like to have a back up safety. That being said I do not plan on being any less careful plus it seems like sawstop makes generally a good saw. In regards to a slider I like being far away from the blade and being to the side to avoid kickback. In regards to finance I dont have much money this is actually a medical school graduation gift. At this point slider is at the top of my list I just want to know one is best.

Thank you for the help.

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 2507 days

#10 posted 03-17-2013 08:30 PM

I would definitely choose the slider over the SawStop. I believe a slider will give you greater functionality. Everything I’ve read has the Hammer at the top of the list for entry level sliders with the greatest value. Keep us posted.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View iminmyshop's profile


300 posts in 2536 days

#11 posted 03-17-2013 08:33 PM

Boy that Hammer looks like a sweet saw. But I love my SawStop – it’s accuracy, thoughtful design and safety. Now if SawStop added a sliding table…...


View GlennsGrandson's profile


443 posts in 2851 days

#12 posted 03-17-2013 08:35 PM

As a medical professional myself here is my opinion. Your fingers are you livelihood, especially as a surgeon…If you can’t work think about all of the other people that can’t work as well. I have seen this first hand.

I know you want a slider but you won’t be able to afford anything without your fingers and I’ve heard good things about SawStops as far as being a good saw even without consideration of it’s flesh saving capabilities.

-- Grant - N Dakota

View BBrown626's profile


37 posts in 2503 days

#13 posted 03-17-2013 08:36 PM

I have a Mini-Max in the shop and the Bosch portable for installation.
I am setup for cabinets and perform some woodworking. What will you do with your saw?
My saw does not have a 8-foot stroke and I wish I did have it, but I didn’t have the room in my shop/garage. Otherwise I am very happy with the MiniMax. They are super versatile. You will see you can loose some of the jigs and techniques that many discuss on here, as a slider makes things like edge jointing or tapering super easy.
I bought mine to make cabinets, so the scoring blade is fantastic with melamine or ply. Of course you can drop it out of the way for most woodworking.
The one drawback I find with it is minor. The riving knife is too thick for your typical blades and good blades are not very cheap. I intend to find some metal and make a new knife for thinner blades.
I have had it for seven years now and paid right about $7k for it new. In this market you might be able to find a great used machine.

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3017 days

#14 posted 03-17-2013 08:38 PM

Loren, so you are happy with the Felder? BTW why don’t you show us the panel cutter you built?

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4190 days

#15 posted 03-17-2013 08:44 PM

Sure, Jorge. I like the Felder, but understand I got it used
for about half list and part of my decision to buy was based
on the fact that at some point I can probably more or less
trade the Felder in for a used full-sized Altendorf if I get
into a much larger shop.

Video of my shop built Euro stylevertical panel saw here:

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