View Poll Results: Which tablesaw?

30. You may not vote on this poll
  • Sawstop PCS31230-PFA30

    12 40.00%
  • Minimax SC 2C

    6 20.00%
  • Hammer K3 Winner

    12 40.00%
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Thread: Help me decide: Sawstop PCS31230-PFA30 vs Minimax SC 2C vs Hammer K3 Winner

  1. #1

    Help me decide: Sawstop PCS31230-PFA30 vs Minimax SC 2C vs Hammer K3 Winner

    Key factors in my decision:
    1) Safety - I value my fingers a lot. I am also very much an apprentice woodworker. I have been hesitant to purchase a table saw because of this and have been getting by with a makita track saw. My only real experience with a table saw is from high school shop class and that was many years ago. I familiar with general table saw safety practices of using push sticks, riving knives to avoid kickback, cross cut sleds and other jigs (fritz/franz jig etc) to avoid getting your hands close to the blade, but I do not have a lot of hours practicing these techniques.
    2) Fits in my shop - My shop is 20x20, but has a center support pole. It has dual overlapping barn doors - e.g. half of 20' can be open at any time and I am ok having to open the barn door to use the slider.
    3) Features - I lean towards a slider over a traditional panel saw with respect to features. Ideally I would love to be able to straight line rip a full 8ft board and get into dimensioning rough lumber, but there is no way a full 8ft slider would fit my shop or budget. Current in flight projects are a GFRC concrete + live edge night stands and coffee table. This has involved cutting laminate sheet goods into molds for the GFRC and dimensioning a rough slab of walnut (inspired by this:
    4) Within my budget - ~5k - its not a 100% hard budget

    I already own a Minimax FS 30 classic J/P and its been great (bought it used).

    Sawstop PCS31230-PFA30

    Minimax SC 2C

    Hammer K3 Winner

    Although I think in the long-term I would prefer a slider - given my lack of experience, desire for safety, and cost price point... the Sawstop is seeming the most appealing.

    I am having a hard time getting footprints for how much floor space these sliders would require (with or without the support tables).

    Im really just looking for others opinions, particularly those that have used both (sawstop vs a slider) and those with experience with these specific slider models. Thanks!
    Last edited by ADRIAN MACEIRAS; 04-21-2020 at 9:43 PM.

  2. #2
    I have a K3 in the same configuration as you are considering (I think). The sliding table travel maximum footprint is about 14 feet (with the six foot table). This might sound like a lot, but in practice this space needs to be clear of other machines and junk anyway, since it's largely the same real estate your body or work piece will occupy when pushing sheets of plywood and long boards through the rip fence. The minimum side-to-side footprint with the outrigger attached is determined by the length of the crosscut fence, which is about 4 ' on mine. My goal is to be able to crosscut things up to seven-ish feet without having to rearrange the shop, so in practice I keep six-plus feet to the left of the saw body clear for the outrigger's travels. I personally leave the outrigger on 95% of the time, but it takes just a minute or two to attach or remove, so it's easy to reclaim that space if/when desired.

    My main shop space is 12 x 20' and the saw lives next to one of the long walls: it's a reasonably workable arrangement even in that small area, and I'd imagine the footprint of this saw, or the alternatives you're considering, should be a non-issue in the larger area you've got.

    ... As far as small entry-level sliding table saws like the K3 vs. the SawStop cabinet saw, there are countless threads here on that, so I won't opine except to say I think both are really good choices for most hobbyists, you can make anything with either, and having a genuine basis for strongly preferring one over the other in a hobby setting requires knowing one's own methods of work and the nature of what one tends to build--knowledge that, by definition, few of us have when we get into the hobby.

    ...Anything else specific to the K3 you want to know?
    Last edited by David Stone (CT); 04-22-2020 at 9:00 AM.

  3. #3
    I just delivered my SCM st3c a few days ago.

    I would recommend a slider every day, of course it has a lot to do with living in Greece where cabinet style saws are not many.

    I was between the Hammer and SCM myself. I decided to go with the SCM after I checked both, I believe that the slider construction is better and the optional attachments available suited my needs more.

    I don't think that the sc2c will be much different in quality from mine st3c

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    All of your three stated options are worthy. I'm a slider fan and user and wouldn't go back to a North American style cabinet saw. SCM/Minimax is in my shop, but the Felder/Hammer products are equally nice.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Okotoks AB
    If you choose SawStop, do not get the "premium" fence. It's a really light weight flexible (in a bad way) fence. The T-glide is a Biesmeyer clone and is very good. I can't figure out why they offer that on a cabinet saw when it's more like something you'd find on a job site saw.

    Personally, if my shop situation were different and I had the budget, I'd go with a slider.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Perth, Australia
    I went through this choice 3 years ago.

    My initial preference was for the SawStop because it was similar to my existing saw. It was familiar and comfortable. However, the more I read about sliders, the more it became evident that they were the future and offered much more options.

    I went with the Hammer K3 as I knew Felder (already had 2 other Hammers), and their service was top class.

    I would go with the manufacturer (of a slider) who will give the best backup and service.

    Regards from Perth


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Lebanon, TN
    Of your 3 choices, for me, the short stroke sliders don't have any significant advantage over the cabinet saw to justify the price difference.

    If I'm going to give up space, for a slider, it's going to be a slider that will rip a minimum of 8', otherwise, if I'm buying a slider for cross cutting, I'll save the $2000 and use a sled on the cabinet saw.

    I have this debate with myself all the time. I have a nicely setup SawStop, pretty much in a dedicated location, even though it sits on the ICS mobile base. It's location gives me 9' of outfeed, so I've almost set aside enough room for a slider, but when I look at the few operations where a long'ish stroke slider would be an advantage, I can overcome those fairly easily using other methods to achieve that cut, i.e. breaking down sheet goods with a track saw, using a straight edge jig on my cabinet saw.

    Yes, a slider is in my future, but most likely it will be a used, slightly larger unit than you listed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Upland CA
    I'll be back. Gotta make some popcorn.

    This might go long.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  9. #9
    Hi Adrian, I emailed you from my company account. Let me know if you want to talk to any local Austin Hammer owners. There are a bunch.

    Last edited by Erik Loza; 04-22-2020 at 12:21 PM. Reason: fixed typo
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Fairfax Station, VA
    I have a SawStop and love it. I'm a retired orthopaedic surgeon and bought mine about 10 years ago after a long night repairing another woodworkers damaged hands. I can personally vouch that the mechanism works, since I've set it off myself (stupidly ran it into a piece of aluminum miter gauge).

    The saw fits my shop and my work style. I don't do much with large sheets, and I can break those down on the rare instance I need to with a track-saw set up. I have several sized cross cut sleds which work well for me, and I feel secure with the knowledge that if I do anything extra stupid the saw will protect me. I remain diligent against kickback at all times of course. The saw is extremely well made, sturdy, with a solid mobile base. I have the Beisemeyer clone fence and it has been great.

    I can't speak to the European saws, though I have a friend who has one and adores it. But with the hobby type work I do, I don't see any need to ever switch at this point. I'm set in my ways. As you are just starting out, and you have a good budget, you will be happy with whatever you get. I just wanted to say you won't be unhappy with the SawStop if you decide to go with it. Be sure to get the 3 HP and the better fence. There is a sale on now, you can get a free overarm dust collector arm or a mobile base. SawStop prices are fixed everywhere, so buy from a trusted local dealer as opposed to online.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Western PA
    I certainly think the slider options are more capable machines than the sawstop, but i dont know if i agree that they are as safe. I think the slider safety argument is misconstrued via marketing--mostly silver-tongued Harry from Felder--and applied universally to all sliders. If you are ripping off the slider wagon, then yes, they are definitely safer than conventional ripping at a cabinet saw. Your hands can be feet away from the blade with your material clamped to the wagon. This is accurate for 8-12' machines. I dont think it applies to short-stroke machines. You will primarily be ripping using the rip fence in a similar manner to the sawstop. Assuming most of your rip cuts are greater in length than 48"+/-, which the majority of my own are.

    How much do they weigh? Why is that info not readily available? I just spent 5 minutes of my life on Felder and SCM's sites and went through the PDFs too. Im sure i could find it if i dug up the felder book i have somewhere in the house. Beside the basic specs, the sliding tables on the euro models will be far above the quality of the sawstop sliding table accessory(if you go that direction). I had a jessem slider attachment on my unisaw for years. It was a very nice thing, but not the same quality or accuracy. On top of the quality, the sliders were meant to operate with the sliding table. Thankfully, my unisaw was right tilt and had a unifence, but the sawstop will be left tilt and with a bies fence. This means you cant easily slide the fence extrusion back before the blade to use as a stop with the sliding table. It also means the blade will potentially cut into your sliding table fence at a full 45. I think the sliders take 12" blades, so you gain some cut capacity. I find a 12" blade to be big enough to cover most bases. Ive been happy for my 13.75" capacity on the felder a few times for thick crosscuts and thick 45 bevels.

    Fun purchase either way, enjoy!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    Hi Patrick, it all depends what you’re making of course.

    Mainly I make solid wood furniture on 49” stroke slider so most ot my pieces are short enough to rip with the sliding table.

    Longer rips of course use the conventional fence, however for me they’re rare. If I do that I can always use the stock feeder if I have a lot of them.....Rod

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    San Jose, CA
    If I had the room, I'd go MiniMax or Felder/Hammer without a doubt. I've owned both brands of sliders, fantastic machines and very safe. Only reason I'm going with a portable saw now is because I don't have the room. But I do miss my sliding table!


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Arlington, TX
    I've had my Unisaw for almost 30 years, and I wouldn't consider "upgrading" to any other table saw.

    But I might be tempted by a slider, though perhaps with a longer slide than you are considering. And a shaper.

    You may want to consider how you could orient your saw diagonally in your space, to work around the column.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central WI
    While a long slider is my fist choice, a short stroke does have benefits. The subtable needs to sit flush with the front of the saw to allow for traditional ripping, and the machine needs to be stout enough for a feeder. DaveDSCN3691.jpg

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