1.75 vs 3 hp table saw

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Forum topic by jonsprague0000 posted 03-18-2014 02:04 PM 28229 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jonsprague0000's profile


104 posts in 2671 days

03-18-2014 02:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop table saw cabinet saw tablesaw

I’m considering buying a SawStop professional cabinet saw and trying to decide between 1.75 and 3 hp. The difference will be roughly 500 dollars so I’m trying to determine if I really need the extra HP. I keep seeing people recommend the 3 hp because it cuts easier and lasts longer, but I would like to know what this really means.

Can people with experience give me specific examples and thicknesses of what they can cut with a 1.75 vs 3 hp? What are some restrictions on things that can’t be cut with a 1.75 hp saw? I’ll be using it for rips and dados.

30 replies so far

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 3152 days

#1 posted 03-18-2014 02:09 PM

Ive been eyeing the 3hp for cutting 2-3 inch hardwood slabs on a regular basis. My research indicates that 1.75 will not provide the type of clean cut I am after. My little ridgid will go through 2-3 inch, but its a nasty cut.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View NiteWalker's profile


2742 posts in 3658 days

#2 posted 03-18-2014 02:15 PM

What The Box Whisperer said.
If you’ll be ripping thick stock on a regular basis, go for the 3HP.

If I had 220 in my shop, I would’ve had a 3HP cabinet saw a longtime ago.

a 3HP sawstop will likely be the last saw you buy, so why not spend the extra now for the bigger motor in case your needs dictate it later on?

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3523 days

#3 posted 03-18-2014 02:41 PM

If you’re routinely ripping 12/4 hard maple, then yeah, you’ll see a nice benefit, however if most of your stock is 4/4 or less, there’s not gonna be a huge difference. That’s also not to say that you can’t cut thick hardwoods on a 1.75hp saw, you’ve just got to use a nice sharp blade, the right blade for the job (ie don’t use a fine crosscut blade if you’re ripping), and watch your feed rate.

If you can swing the extra money though, I’d do it, simply for the fact that you’ve never heard of someone getting a 3hp saw and saying, gee I wish I had gotten a 1.75 HP saw. I’ve got the 3HP PCS and absolutely love it. Do I need it? Hell no. Am I glad I have it? You bet.

View TheDane's profile


5962 posts in 4745 days

#4 posted 03-18-2014 02:48 PM

I have a 1.75hp PCS … been using it for about 2 years now and I am happy as a clam.

So far, I haven’t run into anything I can’t do with it. I have cut some 8/4 with it (red oak and maple) without any problem, but most of my work is with 4/4 or nominal S4S.

I do switch blades depending on what I am doing.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View ScottStewart's profile


120 posts in 3214 days

#5 posted 03-18-2014 03:43 PM

With my 3hp, I can push anything through I want to cut, have seen absolutely no restrictions on it. Do you have 220 and the type of plug the sawstop uses? (mine uses 2 hots and a ground, no neutral). If I had to do a bunch of rewiring, that might make me move one way or the other.

View retfr8flyr's profile


386 posts in 2750 days

#6 posted 03-18-2014 04:01 PM

It basically depends on if you are going to use 110v or 220v. If you have 220v available then the 3hp is a no brainer. By the time you add the better fence and the 220v wiring kit to the 1.75 saw it’s only a couple hundred less then the 3 hp version. So are you going to stay with 110v for the saw?

-- Earl

View Andre's profile


4525 posts in 2888 days

#7 posted 03-18-2014 04:21 PM

I upgraded to a 1.75 Delta Cabinet a few years back and found that with the right, thin Kerf blade I can cut anything I want and have a great finish. That being said, last year I picked up a 14” Delta Band Saw that does all my ripping now! Thinking about getting a newer and bigger band saw, much easier and safer to work with.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 3965 days

#8 posted 03-18-2014 04:41 PM

I had a 1.75hp Sawstop; it was great for most wood thinner than 6/4 but as I started working cutting thicker slabs it really bogged down. I upgraded the saw to 3hp for about $600; the conversion was pretty easy but I should have just bought 3hp from the start.

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

View Stoli's profile


57 posts in 4449 days

#9 posted 03-18-2014 05:02 PM

I just decided to go for the 3HP version. My logic was that I already have 220 available, and this is the last saw I plan to purchase, so I wanted have the “pain” once in the initial price, instead of repeated for the life of the saw.

BTW, while the price difference is about $400, you are also upgraded to the dust collection blade guard, which is a $100 adder on the 1.75HP version. Combine this with the current special where you can get the overarm vac setup for free, and your are only talking about a $300 increase.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 3030 days

#10 posted 03-18-2014 05:35 PM

I have a 3hp PM66 and I just ripped a 8/4 RO slab with the 60 tooth blade that was in it without any problems. Infact my usual ripping blade is a 50 tooth oldham signature series. I do have an old 24 tooth junker, but I only use it when ripping 3”.

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 3687 days

#11 posted 03-18-2014 06:04 PM

Quality of cut is determined by your blade, speed and thickness of a cut is determined by hp. My 1hp 1950 unisaw makes a very clean cut on 6/4 stock I regularly run through it, but it is a lot slower at making the cut then the 5hp sawstop at the woodworking club. The unisaw still cuts and we are not talking about it taking all day, more like a matter of 15 seconds to cut 2 feet of 6/4 oak instead of 7 seconds on the 5hp saw.

View knotscott's profile


8418 posts in 4457 days

#12 posted 03-18-2014 08:57 PM

You shouldn’t ”NEED” a 3hp saw for most hobby work, but it is certainly a very noticeable improvement. If you have 220v, $430 additional (according to their website) is a fairly small percentage increase for > 70% increase in power. 3hp allows you to dictate the feed rate…1.75hp dictates it for you. Once you reach a certain price point, it’d be a shame to not end up with a top shelf saw that blows your mind every time you use it….I’d also opt for the T-Glide fence.

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

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 3030 days

#13 posted 03-18-2014 10:02 PM

Knotscott you have such a well spoken way to put things. +20 for what you said.

View jonsprague0000's profile


104 posts in 2671 days

#14 posted 03-18-2014 10:15 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I do have a 220V available if I need one. Mostly I do hobby work with hard maple, mahogany, walnut, etc and do not go above 8/4 often. It sounds like I should just invest in the 3hp once I save up enough money so I have the power if I ever get the chance to make a slab table or something else that needs thick stock.

View darthford's profile


704 posts in 3006 days

#15 posted 03-19-2014 12:04 AM

Buy this instead, 5HP 12” with 1” arbor and 48×30 two inch thick cast iron top. Then spend the money you save on saw blades or wood.

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