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Opinion poll 3hp v. 5hp for home shop

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23 hours ago, Chestnut said:

I think a good blade that is designed for the work your doing is as if not more important than the power of the saw after a point. a 50T combo blade is not meant to rip wood thicker than 1" no matter the power of the saw.

Good info!

Another thing I had to get used to was not being able to use most thin kerf blades on my SS. The safety technology requires a certain thickness blade and most TK are not thick enough. I know you can bypass the tech but then what's the point? I am past that now but I used a lot more TK blades on my PM66 now I still have a couple but only use them for very specific tasks. 

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22 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

Good info!

Another thing I had to get used to was not being able to use most thin kerf blades on my SS. The safety technology requires a certain thickness blade and most TK are not thick enough. I know you can bypass the tech but then what's the point? I am past that now but I used a lot more TK blades on my PM66 now I still have a couple but only use them for very specific tasks. 

This is interesting. I don't use thin kerf blades because they always seem to warp on me. My thin kerf woodworker has a wobble as does one of my Freud thin kerf blades. I started to use full kerf and don't get the wobble. I assumed that the TK blades couldn't handle the heat as well and warped slightly as a result. I know it's not the saw because i have blades that don't have any run out what so ever.

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1 hour ago, Chestnut said:

This is interesting. I don't use thin kerf blades because they always seem to warp on me. My thin kerf woodworker has a wobble as does one of my Freud thin kerf blades. I started to use full kerf and don't get the wobble. I assumed that the TK blades couldn't handle the heat as well and warped slightly as a result. I know it's not the saw because i have blades that don't have any run out what so ever.

I always used a Forrest blade stiffener with my TK blades which can't be used on a SS with the brake, having said that they worked well on my PM66. Currently on my SS the only time I use a TK blade is when I am matching grain like 45's on a small box where I am grain matching around the entire box. In those cases I turn off the SS brake and use a TK blade and stiffener.

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Havent been on here in awhile, but im actually in the process of selling my 3hp unisaw and stepping up to a 7.5 PM72. Granted, that is a 12-14" saw with significantly bigger arbor and build, but 3hp is the bare minimum id want for cutting 1.5"+/- thick hardwood. I have stalled out a 3hp baldor motor when ripping 8/4, and that was using a 24 or 30t forrest WWII. Its not unusual to notice slowdown midcut and adjust my feedrate. If you cut mostly sheet goods and thin solid wood, then i think 3hp will be adequate. If you are ripping thicker hardwoods, then more power is called for. I really only use my cabinet saw for ripping and dadoes now. To upgrade is easy for me to say, the price difference on this saw rebuild between 3hp, 5hp, and 7.5hp is only a couple hundred bucks. I have no idea what the upgrade would cost you, but i imagine 3hp will be adequate for you needs. Go in knowing 3hp isnt infinitely powerful, and you should be fine. 

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2 hours ago, pkinneb said:

I always used a Forrest blade stiffener with my TK blades which can't be used on a SS with the brake, having said that they worked well on my PM66. Currently on my SS the only time I use a TK blade is when I am matching grain like 45's on a small box where I am grain matching around the entire box. In those cases I turn off the SS brake and use a TK blade and stiffener.

There should be no need to disable the brake when using a thin kerf blade. SawStop only recommends against using them because the brake won't be as effective. Some brake is better than none.

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I just moved into a new house and had the builder wire the shop for 10 ga wire with 20 amp breakers and plugs.i only have 3hp machinery now but, If I ever have the need, I can just swap outlets and breakers.

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4 hours ago, drzaius said:

There should be no need to disable the brake when using a thin kerf blade. SawStop only recommends against using them because the brake won't be as effective. Some brake is better than none.

Fair enough. Since I am using a stabilizer and only use it for specific cuts that typically have a sled involved I just bypass it.

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I've had my 3hp sawstop fro ~3 years now. I've never felt like it was even hinting at being under-powered and I have shoved alot of different woods through it. I really dont know what you would need a 5HP saw for other than huge slabs, and in that case you should really be looking at a sliding saw. 

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When I use my power feeder on my 1 1/2 hp 120v UniSaw (which is only rarely) it does ok with 4/4 basswood at any speed, red oak at the slower speeds and isn't practical with 8/4 stock at any speed. 

My 3hp 240 v UniSaw has cut 8/4 red oak, rip and crosscut, all day with no problem.  

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48 minutes ago, Tpt life said:

Often HP is about feed rate. 5 HP and a power feeder makes for easy all day quick ripping. 

I was wondering myself whether a good point of differentiation between a 3HP & 5+HP saw would be whether or not one envisioned themselves incorporating a power feeder into their work on the tool at some point. 

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