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Thread: Hammer slider vs. Minimax

  1. #1
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    Mar 2017
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    Hammer slider vs. Minimax

    I have decided to sell my sawstop and get a sliding table saw. I have narrowed it down to hammer k3 79x48 and minimax. I have the SC2 and the SC4 in mind for minimax. Also adding in the SC3 to the mix. I mainly make end grain cutting boards so not sure if a full 8ft is necessary for me but I know myself and I tend to want the best. Any help would greatly be appreciated.
    Last edited by Ryan Pappas; 03-30-2017 at 9:34 PM.

  2. #2
    I have the Hammer 79 x 48, and it is a fine saw. The slider is a little long on the left side of the saw when you rip between the fence and blade, think if there had been a showroom close by, would have looked at the 48 x 48. The outrigger is very important, but if you get really good blades, and work with solid wood, the scoring blade is not important. Plywood is much more brittle than solid, as the finish layer is so thin.

  3. #3
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    What sort of help are you looking for? Any of the saws in your list are more than capable for what you are building. If you have the space for a long slider, general feedback I've seen from users is the longer slider is better - but you do need the real estate in your workshop

  4. #4
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    I have a Hammer B3 Winner, I've had it for 7 years now.

    I have the 48" long slider, the ergonomics on it are like a cabinet saw.

    If you're making cutting boards, the ergonomics for ripping are going to be a lot more important than slider length, in your case bigger will be worse.

    You can't go wrong with either machine.

    Do you have a shaper? If not then I would consider buying a combo saw/shaper for edge treatments, nothing beats a shaper with a stock feeder for profiling cutting board edges.
    Boards Prior to Finishing.jpgView of Profile.jpg

    Regards, Rod.

  5. whats the best brand for combo shaper?

  6. #6
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    I have the SC4 Elite and like it. I'm not good on "this vs. that" threads because I find that people have different criteria. What I did when looking for saws was put a detailed spreadsheet together that showed each key feature I was interested in. (HP, dimensions, blade changing, price, country of build, etc...) One of the reasons I went with MM was availability as they had their saws in country vs. a several month wait from Felder/Hammer. Also (in my opinion), I thought quality of MM was more in line with Felder than Hammer. Happy to give you any details about my experience.

  7. #7
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    Compare the builds of the various models of each mfr first. That will give you an idea of what each machine has as an improvement over the other. Then you can start to compare each manufacturer. As the slider gets longer, the build becomes more important. Thickness of the extrusions and how flat they are ground. How stout the base is to support the extrusion. Look at the blade and arbor assembly and see how it is built and how it moves. Dovetails with adjustment, rods with bushings, etc. While you make the machine stationary or do you plan to move it around? A machine that is moved needs a much stouter base than one that is leveled and planted. If the internals are hung off the cast iron table ( done more often now that base steel is thin ), how thick is the cast iron and how heavily ribbed? Some machines develop a hollow where the weight pulls them down. Do your homework and go online and look at drawings and schematics of industrial saws as well as what you are considering. Knowledge of the differences and similarities will help with your decision. Dave

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Koons View Post
    I have the SC4 Elite and like it. I'm not good on "this vs. that" threads because I find that people have different criteria. What I did when looking for saws was put a detailed spreadsheet together that showed each key feature I was interested in. (HP, dimensions, blade changing, price, country of build, etc...) One of the reasons I went with MM was availability as they had their saws in country vs. a several month wait from Felder/Hammer. Also (in my opinion), I thought quality of MM was more in line with Felder than Hammer. Happy to give you any details about my experience.
    The SC4 is what I keep leaning towards but the price is a little out of my range. The mm rep told me that an SC2 would be about the same quality as my sawstop and that the sc4 is a lot beefier built. I don't want to get something that is not as good of quality so that has me a little concerned about hammer. Though I have found a used one for basically the same price as I could sell my sawstop. Part of me says(and my wife too) just buy what I want now and be happy.

  9. #9
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    I don't have a shaper but keep seeing how it can benefit me. My only problem is the price of the combo machines. I would love a bigger jointer but I have a 20" planer so I would be paying for a tool I would never use.

  10. #10
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    I was worried about that with both Hammer and MiniMax when I was going from a General cabinet saw.

    I looked at both in cabinet shops and realized that any differences were of absolutely no bearing on how well the machine would perform or how long it would last.

    Both manufacturers make a great machine, that will do what they're supposed to do when we're all dead and gone.

    A contractor saw will probably still be here when we're all gone as well.

    As for the comments on mobility, both are built to be moved, mine is moved everytime it's used.

    There's far too much worry about whether the steel is 3mm or 3.5mm. No matter what it is it will do what it's designed to do, and 3.5mm won't make the machine any better, or last any longer.

    When was the last time you heard about a cabinet failure on a cabinet saw?

    The most important thing is to pick a machine with the accessories and options you want, and has good dealer support.

    I live in a town with an actual Felder factory dealership, SCM/MiniMax have much poorer support in my particular location, which steered me to the Hammer product.

    I would have been just as happy with a MiniMax or SCM product.................Regards, Rod.

  11. #11
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    Sep 2007
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    Ryan,
    I bought a used 2000 model Hammer C3-41 combination machine. I have the a short slider, shaper, 16" jointer/planer and mortiser. I could not be happier. Space savings and quality. I had the Sawstop PCS and a Powermatic 60 jointer and frankly there is no comparison in quality and function. I can still rip out to about 40". I have 3 4hp motors. I did find a Delta Unifence on CL which is a real upgrade to the Hammer fence of the the 2000 vintage. I have added a power feeder and am looking forward to using the shaper. I don't know how much better the Felder or higher level Minimax machines are but I cannot imagine much difference for a hobbiest.
    Dan
    Last edited by Dan T Jones; 03-31-2017 at 10:16 AM.

  12. #12
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    These are all excellent machines.

    I personally wouldn't want to have less than the 8'6" wagon that I have now, even if it didn't get used a lot. I don't work with boards longer than 8', but regardless of length, I straight line rip them clamped to the wagon and use a parallel jig to rip them to width if they are over 3-4" wide. That totally eliminates "edge jointing" at the jointer.

    For the cutting board work you cite, you're going to love the repeatability. Be sure you get the smaller miter bar for whatever machine you choose as using the larger table can be cumbersome for smaller workpieces.

    For the record, I have a MiniMax slider and am extremely pleased with it.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 03-31-2017 at 11:55 AM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pappas View Post
    I don't have a shaper but keep seeing how it can benefit me. My only problem is the price of the combo machines. I would love a bigger jointer but I have a 20" planer so I would be paying for a tool I would never use.
    I think Rod was referring to a saw/shaper combination, not one with a planer jointer.

  14. #14
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    My point about the base build had nothing to do with saw failure, but about the machines ability to hold settings over the entire travel length of the slider. That isn't nearly as critical with just a saw, but when you add a shaper, the up and down variation can become a larger issue. Hanging a quill, blade flask and two or three motors off the cast iron also means the table must support it. I'm not saying any one machine here is superior, just what to compare. I follow both the MM and Felder groups and problems pretty much follow the price point.

    Again, I'm not advocating one over the other, just pointing out what I look for when comparing. I've read too many threads about slider problems to believe all will be risk free. I own seven myself so I have pretty specific likes and dislikes. Dave

  15. #15
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    I recently purchased a MM SC4 Elite, which I absolutely love. The repeatability and power are a joy, as well as the ability to lay a full sheet of plywood on it and cut it precisely with little effort. It is a very solid machine - about 1500 pounds, IIRC - and I have seen no evidence of anything going out of alignment as the table moves. The SC4 Elite comes with the big outrigger and the smaller miter gauge that Jim mentioned.

    Another thing you're going to love about these European machines (I assume the Hammers are this way) is the ease with which you can align things - all adjustments are easily accessible and intuitive. My two euro machines required almost no adjustment at all, and the few minor tweaks I made took about 30 seconds each - I spent more time looking for my allen wrenches than making the adjustments. I also didn't need to look at the manual or parts diagrams to figure out what to do.

    I thought very seriously about getting ST4 Elite saw/shaper combo but it was WAY out of my price range - would've been nice, though.

    I have no experience with Hammer/Felder, so I can't offer any comparisons.

    Good luck with your decision.


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