Saving for a cabinet saw... Which one?

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Forum topic by MikeDVB posted 03-16-2015 12:43 AM 2342 views 0 times favorited 70 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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180 posts in 2266 days

03-16-2015 12:43 AM


I’m going to be saving up about $5,000 that I can use towards really anything I want but I want to get a nice cabinet saw.

I really need something that can have a mobile base attached – it doesn’t have to be included so long as it is available. My shop is in a 3 car garage but I only have regular access to 1 car worth of space. I can get access to all 3 spaces if I need it so the mobile base is ideal so I can make maximum use of the space.

I imagine I need something that runs on 230v as I would want 3HP at minimum – I do have two 230V outlets in my shop.

I would like to stay around $3,000 if possible but I can go up to the full $5k. If I go to $5k I don’t have any money for extras though like a mobile base, etc.

What would you get?

P.S. It is worth noting that I am also currently looking for used cabinet saws – if I come across one I’ll likely go used but if I don’t find something worthwhile I will be buying new.

-- Mike

70 replies so far

View Garbanzolasvegas's profile


356 posts in 2311 days

#1 posted 03-16-2015 12:45 AM

If you have the loot, SAWSTOP… If not if I had it all it all over to do again and under $1000 grizzly

-- If you don't Play, you can't win

View TheGreatJon's profile


348 posts in 2317 days

#2 posted 03-16-2015 01:57 AM


$3000 will buy you a ton of saw on the used market. I saw a fully loaded 5hp sawstop (with extra blades and stuff) go for $3000 at an auction.

I was on more of a budget than you and I ended up with a 5hp powermatic 72 for $700. I absolutely love it. For performance I would rate it above almost any saw on the market today. For safety… it is a little behind the pack. Haha. I don’t mind though, I pay attention and I’m used to older machines with limited safety features.

With your budget though, there is no reason not to have the performance and the safety features.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

View MrUnix's profile


8563 posts in 3283 days

#3 posted 03-16-2015 02:02 AM

Any saw can be put on a mobile base. And they are pretty cheap.. around $200 or less depending on configuration or you can even make your own.

$3000 will buy you a ton of saw on the used market.

Ain’t that the truth.. for $3K, you could get one for every day of the week.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2570 days

#4 posted 03-16-2015 02:09 AM


-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Shadowrider's profile


183 posts in 2293 days

#5 posted 03-16-2015 02:18 AM

Buy a new Grizzly G1023 and use the other $3500 for an Incra combo package for your new saw. Along with routers, a jointer, a planer, clamps, featherboards, blades, cutters…...

$5K will setup a real nice home hobby shop quite well even buying a lot of the stuff new. Patience and Craigslist will take you far down the road to an awesome shop with that amount or the $3K.

View MikeDVB's profile


180 posts in 2266 days

#6 posted 03-16-2015 02:27 AM

I have a Grizzly Jointer as well as a Lie-Neilsen No. 7 and No. 62 1/2 and a decent planer.

The up to $5k is for the TS and TS accessories only. Everything else is pretty much already available to me.

-- Mike

View levan's profile


472 posts in 4063 days

#7 posted 03-16-2015 02:56 AM

Just a couple more sights you might want to watch for used.
Nothing in your area right now, but there has been and probably will be again.
best wishes Lynn

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View bigblockyeti's profile


7258 posts in 2804 days

#8 posted 03-16-2015 02:58 AM

Unisaw or PM66

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Robert's profile


4556 posts in 2564 days

#9 posted 03-16-2015 11:03 AM

You’ll never spend $5K on a TS unless you go with a 5HP PM or something like that.

I think the SawStop is a good saw, even aside from its finger saving ability.

Sorry to offend someone, but I wouldn’t spend the extra money for the yellow machines. They’re made in Taiwan just like several others. In fact, if you look closely you’ll see a strange resemblance between some of the green stuff and the yellow stuff. (or vice versa). That’s because the castings a are alll made in same factory and then get shipped to Grizzly and PM for finishing, electrics, etc. My Grizzly 20” planer is identical to the PM except mine has infeed/outfeel bed rollers instead of cast iron table.

Just because you have that much to to spend doesn’t mean spend it all on one thing. I have an older model Jet Xacta saw and I think its as good as any others.

But I would definitely take a close look at Grizzly. I have several Grizzly machines and so far the only one I’ve been a little underwhelmed with is a drum sander.

Pro quality cabinet saws last forever, so I wouldn’t be too hesitant on a used one. Just make sure the fence slide ok and there’s nothing cracked in the cast iron.

If I had a pot of money to spend like this, I would budget $2500 for a TS and then look at a jointer, a planer, and upgrading some of my hand tools to top of the line stuff (because I’m a hand tool guy).

Definitely invest in a high quality mobile base like HTC.

Good Luck.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View knotscott's profile


8418 posts in 4459 days

#10 posted 03-16-2015 11:14 AM

I’d be inclined to go in one of two directions…..Grizzly for value or Saw Stop for safety. It all boils down to what’s most important to you. Blade and setup are the determining factors in cut quality with all of them.

IMO, Grizzly tends to offer the most bang for the buck in an industrial style cabinet saw, if you’re willing to serve as your own middleman. The quality is competitive with many brands that get a $300-$500 premium for comparable saws with longer warranty and good dealer support. The money saved can go along ways toward some great accessories or other tools.

Saw Stop offers a very high quality cabinet saw that has a distinct safety advantage. The PCS 3hp with the T-Glide fence would come in at just over $3K with a mobile base.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6987 posts in 3577 days

#11 posted 03-16-2015 11:39 AM

You seemed to make a point about the mobile base. So, while I think the used market is full of good deals (if you’re patient) if you go new I would suggest Sawstop as well. But if you get the PCS, I would suggest you get the ICS base to go with it. The ICS base uses a hydraulic lift to jack the saw up onto 4 swiveling casters, this thing (it’s pricey, at $300) is a work of art and the best mobile base I’ve seen. As for quality, the Sawstop is as well built as any you’ll find, and the CS is setting a new standard.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View mark4345's profile


71 posts in 3507 days

#12 posted 03-16-2015 11:46 AM

Sliding table saw might be something you want to look into. Hammer has a couple options that fall into that budget.

View Putttn's profile


144 posts in 3362 days

#13 posted 03-16-2015 12:53 PM

I have the Sawstop PCS and the Festool TS55 & MFT tables in a 3 car garage, all on mobile bases and it works fantastic. Also found a Shopsmith with Bandsaw on mobile base so with those three I’m pretty mobile.

-- Bill eastern Washington Home of beloved ZAGS

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 4151 days

#14 posted 03-16-2015 12:57 PM

If you want the safety feature, then as I did , get the sawstop ICS, you have plenty of budget at 5k. The PCS would be ok, but I stepped up to the ICS to get the 5hp motor. Dorn’t regret it. Top of the line quality, and the piece of mind. It will not change the way you work, which I hope is safe, but then you never want to try air bags but it’s good to know they are there.

Have a good one! Cheers.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View MrRon's profile


6023 posts in 4327 days

#15 posted 03-16-2015 04:54 PM

Are you looking for quality first or safety? If the latter, Sawstop. If quality is the most important (real industrial quality), then Look for a used Oliver or Northfield. For a consumer grade saw, look for a used Delta Unisaw or Powermatic or even a Jet. At least with a used saw, there is a trail of performance that you can check out, unlike a brand new saw that can come with unforeseen issues and problems. You might also consider a sliding table saw like Hammer, Felder or other Austrian/German made saws, but they may be beyond your budget.

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