Looking to pull the trigger on a table saw


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Hello all,

I'm looking for suggestions for where to buy a Saw Stop unit.

I'm only looking to do hobby work. The saw will live in my shop & I don't plan to take it from here for work. I was originally thinking about a contractor saw. I have 240v available so I could go with a cabinet saw. I know that may be overkill for my needs, but I've been known to go that route before. 

I am not sold on the SS as of yet, but it is looking like a good candidate. Any suggestions are welcome. 

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The 3HP PCS won out of my $3K tier short list and that was regardless of the safety feature.  I posted somewhere recently about the look on a guys face making a cut on my saw.  He runs a tricked out 2HP contractor that does a very nice job but did not compare.  The smooth, effortless cutting on a cab saw tends to have that effect on a person.

I am currently between shops and using my old hybrid zip code saw and it does a nice job. I ran a tricked out contractor before the hybrid and it did well too.  There are economy cars, mid tier cars, upper tier cars and luxury cars.  Same with saws.

For me the 3HP PCS was a nicer saw than the competitors in the $3K range and just so happened to have that nifty safety feature.  If you move up in the money spent the next tier offers several benefits; more power, more table in front of the blade, large table surface, greater mass.

I tend to shop things beyond what I am looking for.  I then back down step by step until I lose a feature that I feel I cannot do without.  I then buy that machine or the one above it.  I've done this with stereos, cars and other major purchases and it has always served me well.

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When looking at the SawStop you don't necessarily need to be thinking 240v.  I have the PCS 175 which is 1.75 hp and runs on 120v.  I had this saw since 2014 with no regrets.  The only thing that has even come close to bogging it down is 8/4 Hard Maple, but all I need to do is slow my feed rate a touch.  Good quality & sharp blade should leave you happy.

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21 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

If you are still considering an ootion otger than SS, check out Harvey woodworking machinery. They have some really nice stuff and appear to be a good value. Full disclosure, I do not (yet) own any Harvey machines.

Yet.

Yea, I think this is a good option.

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I have owned three table saws in my life a Rigid Contractor saw, a PM 66, and now a 3hp SawStop PCS. Based on the fit, finish, & function of the saw I would not even consider another TS. Add the safety feature and IMO there is no other choice.

Having said that if Harvey makes their equipment as well as their miter gauge it might be worth a look if you are dead set against a Sawstop.

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A friend of mine just bought the SS contractor model and is very happy with it.  But for him the primary consideration was space, and the contractor model fits and can easily be moved.  

If you go with a contractor style, then I think SS would be the best choice.

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People are often confused by the fact that a cabinet saw takes up less room than a contractor saw. Unless you need to pick it up and take it somewhere a cabinet saw is going to be a more efficient use of your space.

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Whichever saw you pick, the companion tool is a jointer. Based on the saws you are looking at, 8"  or bigger. I have an old delta 3 hp. saw and jointer Works fine. Bought both new over 20 years ago. I'd buy a  Harvey today. If I had to.   If my jointer goes down it must go back up soon! The saw and the jointer are my central tools. If either one goes down, the shop is closed. The final tool for the trio is a decent thickness planer. 15". The planer can come later. A long time ago when I had a jointer and a saw I would size wood to 6", Clean up one face, and saw the board on edge to make the thickness uniform. Planer is much easier.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m a big fan of my 3hp PCS. It’s the 3rd saw I’ve owned over the last 18 years and I’ll never go back. I’ve never met someone who’s said, or thought to myself “I wish I had less horse power here”. If your budget allows it, i’d go 3hp PCS. I’m a hobbyist as well and when I have time for my hobby, I want to do it with no reservation and not worry about the tool. IMHO the SS will let you do that (as would the Harvey, but I speak only with knowledge of their reputation and not personal experience)

My $0.02

-glen

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When I bought my 6” jointer and was making decorative boxes, it was the cat’s meow and had no need for a larger one. My last several projects I find myself breaking down 8” boards to joint them. If I had it to do over again, I would have definitely started with an 8”. But would I now kick myself for not buying an even larger one? 

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