Tobykanobe

Table Saw! Powermatic vs. SawStop vs. your favorite!

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I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a new table saw and want some input  from owners.  My budget is about $3500 and I hope to find a CA retailer I can drive to and just pick it up so I don't have to ship it.

I have about 7.5 years left until I retire and I've decided my second career will be wood working weather for pleasure or profit.  Probably cabinets with dabbling in some furniture.  I'm setting up my workshop and two pieces I've been saving up for is a new table saw that will last me the rest of my life (I'm 42.5, will retire at 50) and building the split top Roubo work bench.  My workshop space is large and virtually limitless.

Setting the SawStop's brake cartridge aside (very cool), I'm interested in your takes on the pros and cons of both.  I'm open to other brands as well.

The professional grade SawStop I priced out came to $2,668.  1.75hp, 110V (I could go 230v but that price jump is hefty), the 36" T-Glide fence/rail/table, the PCS Integrated Mobile Base, and no blade dust collection (unless you convince me otherwise).

For Powermatic, I was looking at the PM1000 for $2,250 with 52" Accu-Fence system w/ riving knife, 1.75hp, 115v.  This comes with free shipping from some retailers, so I'm wondering if I find a place to pick it up at, if I can't afford a nicer Powermatic since that free shipping is likely built in to the cost.

Again, my top end budget is $3500, but I would rather be sub 3k if I can.

I look forward to your replies!

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In my opinion its not even a choice the Sawstop wins hands down. I had a PM66 for about 14 years it is a great saw but the Sawstop is just as good and in some ways better. I currently have a SS professional 3hp its quieter and smother better dust collection and great fence. The only thing I would have done different is gone with the Industrial for the bigger top in my case the SS top is about three inches shorter front to back then my PM66 was and that took some getting used to. 

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The saw blade dust collection on the SawStop is probably the best I have ever seen. The safety feature is a personal choice . Go 240v 3hp you won't regret it.

The Powermatic is also a very well made machine, still 240v & 3hp strongly recommended.

Its way to easy to bog down a 110/120v 1.5 -1.75hp motor when ripping 8/4 stock.

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I don't think you'll get any discounts from not needing the "free shipping," but I could be wrong.  You should consider sales tax though, if that's a factor in your state.  I make big tool purchases online with free shipping because it saves me ~10% sales tax.  

I'd vote Sawstop, but if you take the safety out of the equation...potato, potato. Pick the better deal or which color looks best in your shop. 

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I'm going out on a limb here, since I have neither. If you want a saw to "last the rest of your life", then go with PM, or some other brand that has been in the game for many decades. Sawstop hasn't been around all that long, and electronics tend to have a shelf life far shorter than plain old cast iron.

If you REALLY want a "forever" saw, get a Northfield #4. :lol:

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Good opinions here. I agree that both companies make very good to excellent saws. I also agree with Steve that you should "buy once, cry once" when it comes to the 1.75 vs 3 Hp option regardless of which brand you decide to go with. No contest, it's worth the money.

I'm in the market for a good rabbet hole, er, lathe. I went about 30 years without turning until this fall. The new variable speed lathes with VFD controls make speed control, which I fine tune about 80 times per piece, a breeze. I'm not afraid of the technology the way I was 15 years ago. It's reliable and pretty cheap to replace. Sawstop is the best selling cabinet saw in the country and will be around for a long time. They are owned by the same folks that own Festool.

Accidents are not always the fault of poor habits. I have a SS PCS 3 Hp. My wife watched the hotdog video and ordered me one on the spot. Shortly after I got it, we were having our house painted. It was summer and I had the shop doors open cutting some cabinet door parts. The painter came in the door behind me and, unable to get my attention, yelled my name over the saw, dust collector and stereo. No accident but needless to say, he never came into my shop again.

I'll say again that Sawstop's manuals and assembly instructions are an example that should be copied by every other manufacturer I've dealt with.

Whichever saw you go with, you will be very happy.

 

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I prefer the PM2000 for the budget you listed. I have a PM1000 and it's a great saw. I haven't used the older PM saws so i can't compare them. I'm not a fan of the sawstop inventor.

Do me a favor if you compare saws make sure to compare apples to apples. The PCS and the PM100 are the direct "professional level" competitors and the PM200 and the ICS are direct "Industrial level" competitors.  Comparing the PCS and the PM2000 is not fair to the sawstop nor the Powermatic. The table size, weight, and build quality of the "industrial" saws is far above the "professional" level saws.

It sounds like your starting a shop. In my opinion I'd wait for the 10% sale on powermatic that will be around the black Friday time. If it were me and i didn't have a band saw or track saw i'd do either of the following. I'd grab the PM1000 and a 14" band saw from laguna or jet. It should put you in the ~$3,000 range. Rip cuts in 6/4 or thicker go on the band saw. You mentioned cabinets and when cutting sheet goods ect. if you know you won't need a band saw or have other budget. Use the extra $1,000 and get a track saw. Don't break down full sheets on a table saw it's just miserable. I'd also get the 30-36" saws, this is because i'd rather work large material with a track saw.

The above is my opinion for my work flow. It may not work for everyone more details about what tools you have in your shop and how you work in it could narrow it up some. Also consider the euro saws from hammer or the likes. Not sure what they have.

Edited by Chestnut
Yep never mind they are expensive.
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Thanks for the input thus far.  I'm starting to lean toward the PM2000 with the increased power after reading up on it and pricing it out.  I have a friend who is  a retired commercial electrician and he can get me all squared away.  Also, I can wait until that sale.  Thanks for the heads-up on that.

I do have a band saw, which is a Jet.  I'm covered there.  No track saw yet, but it's on my list.

I'm also in the market for a drill press, but I think I'll just keep out an eye for a nice used one.

I have PM's bench-top mortiser.  Came across a deal I couldn't pass up on Craigslist.  Also have a 6" jointer.

I'm well on my way!  Keep the suggestions coming!

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By the way, with black Friday approaching and me having a cart full of Benchcrafted Roubo bench items, does anyone recall if they have a discount this time of year?  I also noticed there is a coupon code field upon checkout.

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15 minutes ago, Tobykanobe said:

By the way, with black Friday approaching and me having a cart full of Benchcrafted Roubo bench items, does anyone recall if they have a discount this time of year?  I also noticed there is a coupon code field upon checkout.

Never head of one but if you find out post something on the forum so i can take advantage of it.

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Jet makes a fairly decent drill press. 90's to current Delta drill presses aren't so great. 60's and earlier Craftsman drill presses are pretty good.

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2 hours ago, Tobykanobe said:

By the way, with black Friday approaching and me having a cart full of Benchcrafted Roubo bench items, does anyone recall if they have a discount this time of year?  I also noticed there is a coupon code field upon checkout.

Wood whisperer guild has a 5% discount if you have the roubo plans.   

 

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First, let me say I'm a big fan of Powermatic,  I have the PM 1500 BS, and PM60HH and PM 15HH jointer and planer.  But, I have the Sawstop PCS 3 HP.  As others have said, go for the 3 HP.  There is a world of difference between the 1.75 and 3 HP saws.  I have had my SS for about 5 years now, and can say the customer service is great (so is PM's) and the saw is really top notch.  I almost went ICS with 5 HP motor, but couldn't really justify the extra $1000 and truthfully, I can rip 8/4 hard maple, oak, Sapele, all day long, and never even think of bogging it down.  While this is probably heresy on this forum to admit, I've even ripped a fair amount of Pressure treated lumber for outdoor projects, and even that was no problem (did disable the blade sensor to do the ripping though).  I'm sure either way you will get a great saw, but even with a shop full of mustard yellow, I still won't replace my SS.   

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At this point in time it just doesn't make sense to me not to go with the best safety technology available.  Current pricing between SS & PM really isn't all that significantly different if it's intended to be a forever tool and it's going to be used a lot.  If money is that big of a factor why even be comparing PM & SS ??   Grizzly is the value leader and certainly has their fair share of fans plus the money difference is much more significant especially if comparing to the ICS and PM2000. 

PCS 1.75hp 36"  $ 2469

PCS 3 hp 36"   $ 2899 

ICS 3 hp 36"   $ 3899

PM1000 1.75hp 30".   $ 2150 

PM2000 3hp.  $ 3299

Grizzly 10" 3hp G0690   $ 1595 

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My favorite is the SS PCS 3HP...because that's what I have in my shop :)  The other saws are very nice too,  and PM and Delta were on my final list of candidates.  I went with the SS for reasons that are my own, and the saw has been fantastic.

I would +1 going with 3HP

 

 

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I think I'll be going with that 2000B when it goes on sale here in a few days.  I'm going with the 230 3hp 50" and was wondering if any of you can talk me into that workbench as well, being that it's on sale OR forget about it and put that towards my Roubo build.  Anyone have it?  What do you think?

Another consideration: I recently became the new owner of these tables that were used at a 911 call center.  So that the dispatchers could stand or sit, these tables plug in and raise and lower to a variety of heights.  I was thinking about slapping some melamine on them and use them as cut off supports for the table saw.  This probably negates the need for that powermatic workbench.  I invite your comments.

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Your tables may be different, but we have similar powered elevating desks at work. Pretty light duty and wobbly at the max extension. But as infeed/outfeed supports, they might be really useful.

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I wouldn't get the workbench have a dedicated workbench.

I went into Acme tools Friday and played with the SS and PM2000 a bit and i don't mean this to invite argument but the PM2000 seemed a lot better built in the fence area. The locking mechanism was nicer to use and the fence slid far easier side to side. The low end fence on the 30" SS deflected a LOT with little pressure. Also the blade raising and lowering mechanism was buttery smooth on the PM and was a bit rougher on the PCS but almost the same on the ICS. It just left me a little confused on how everyone thinks the SS is objectively leaps and bounds better than the PM2000 or Pm1000 for that matter, excluding the hotdog detection system.

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2 hours ago, Chestnut said:

I wouldn't get the workbench have a dedicated workbench.

I went into Acme tools Friday and played with the SS and PM2000 a bit and i don't mean this to invite argument but the PM2000 seemed a lot better built in the fence area. The locking mechanism was nicer to use and the fence slid far easier side to side. The low end fence on the 30" SS deflected a LOT with little pressure. Also the blade raising and lowering mechanism was buttery smooth on the PM and was a bit rougher on the PCS but almost the same on the ICS. It just left me a little confused on how everyone thinks the SS is objectively leaps and bounds better than the PM2000 or Pm1000 for that matter, excluding the hotdog detection system.

I have a SS PCS, and I wouldn't say it's better...   It's just comparable to the pm1000, but with the hotdog sensing technology.

The 30" SS fence is not very good, it's the 36"/52" that is a biesemeyer style. 

 

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3 hours ago, Chestnut said:

The low end fence on the 30" SS deflected a LOT with little pressure.

That "premium" fence is just terrible & I can't believe SS would offer it on anything except maybe the job site saw. Not much stiffer than a wet noodle.

When I was saw shopping I had a real good look at the PM1000 & it sure seemed to me that the PCS was significantly better. The PM2000 is a very solid saw though.

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33 minutes ago, drzaius said:

That "premium" fence is just terrible & I can't believe SS would offer it on anything except maybe the job site saw. Not much stiffer than a wet noodle. 

When I was saw shopping I had a real good look at the PM1000 & it sure seemed to me that the PCS was significantly better. The PM2000 is a very solid saw though. 

Is there anyone in town that even sells Powermatic gear? I would like to consider a new PM2000B but it's hard to find to compare when I can get a PCS at Lee Valley or KMS.

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