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Thread: New Sawstop 3HP PCS or a used 5HP ICS?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Ventura CA
    Posts
    9

    New Sawstop 3HP PCS or a used 5HP ICS?

    I've decided to get back into woodworking after taking a long hiatus. This past Dec, I smashed the tips of my ring and middle fingers on my left hand in a work related accident. Surgeries and pins to reattach my broken finger bone tips to go along with weeks of serious pain got me thinking. I've been out from work for months and looking at my wwing machines gave me a bit of anxiety, knowing now the pain and damage, physically and financially, a hand injury can cause.

    That said, I started taking a hard look into buying a brand new PCS 3HP for about $3300 w/tax. Through a friend, I came across a used Industrial CS 5HP single phase for $2500 from a cabinet shop that went out of business. When I went to check it out, the brake cartridge was activated and the saw was definitely used daily. We did end up replacing the brake and got it running. It definitely needs some TLC. Using a dial indicator, it measured .017 across the blade (a good blade) which I'm sure I can get closer to .000 by adjusting the table. With all the shop chit chat with the shop owner, I forgot to measure rotational run-out of the arbor....I'll measure it tomorrow.

    I called SS and given the serial#, it's an older model that uses the clear brake. The tech said the older models of the ICS are way over-built...even more so than the current model. Also said the ICS is a whole nother level of a machine.

    So I need a little help as I'm undecided....get a shiney new 3HP PCS 36" fence with a warranty for $3300 or get a used 5HP ICS 52" fence for $2500 needing a little love? What would you do?

    Thanks in advance for any input

    Hopefully you can see the pics in the attached google pics link. BTW, if you see the label on the saw, it says it's a Professional.....early model ICS saws were called the Professional

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z5ss2TxGSrtLW2C29

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    2,497
    I would buy the new PCS. But that is just me. If you like the idea of completely going thru the ICS, then buy it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    458
    Do you want to work on the machine or work using the machine? I enjoy repairing/refurbishing a used machine, if I can purchase it for a price that is commiserate with the work needed. Lots of people don't.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    1,285
    Is power demand a factor? 3hp runs on 20amp. That 5hp really needs 30amp for what it’s worth.

    unless you Just want a project and are going to run it hard, all day long, Id prob just get the new one too for the difference in price. You’d get warranty, new arbor and bearings, new belts, etc. and ready to work right away.
    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 04-30-2020 at 7:15 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    1,889
    [QUOTE=Greg Parrish;3016081
    You’d get warranty, new arbor and bearings, new belts, etc. and ready to work right away.[/QUOTE]

    I don't know if this true or not, but I would also worry about finding those older brake cartridges. Are they still available from SawStop? Will SS always have those cartridges in stock?
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    1,285
    Sure it's all true except maybe the "ready to work right away". It would take some setup of course, but you wouldn't have to rebuild, rework, or go through in the same way as if you bought one that had been rode hard in a cabinet shop. But good point about the cartridges. If the newer ones don't also fit, then that might be another issue to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    I don't know if this true or not, but I would also worry about finding those older brake cartridges. Are they still available from SawStop? Will SS always have those cartridges in stock?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    El Dorado Hills, CA, USA
    Posts
    58
    The older clear brakes are available (http://sawstop.3dcartstores.com/Tabl...l-CB_p_18.html), and since they still make and sell them, I can't imagine that the new ones fit the saw.

    I'd get the new 3hp PCS, if it were me, unless you have visions of actually needing the serious beef of that used one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
    Posts
    2,287
    The 5HP rating is 20.5amp. Chances are you can run the saw on a 20amp circuit without problem unless you start cutting really really thick and fast using the full 5HP (something you wouldn't be able to do with 3HP). Then it would trip the breaker. To replace the circuit to 30amp you would need thicker wire (most likely 10g) and a 30amp breaker.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Ventura CA
    Posts
    9
    I added a pic of my electrical panel to the link.

    Our house was originally pre-wired for an AC that was never used and he used that circuit for the table saw. It's a 30amp breaker.

    I am now leaning toward the new saw

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z5ss2TxGSrtLW2C29

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Brewster, New York
    Posts
    160
    I have an older ICS actually it is a CB model. This thing is built like a tank. As for the clear brake, Sawstop still sells them and has no intention of stopping. If that is still a concern, Sawstop sells an upgrade kit to retrofit the saw to the newer blue brake. At almost 700lbs the saw is more stable than my unisaw. I too bought my saw from a cabinet shop going out of business. Aside from disassembling it to bring it home. It really wasn't anymore work than setting up a new saw and dialing it in. I have had the saw for about 6 years now and haven't had to do anything besides maintainance. If it were me and the saw didn't really appear to be abused, I would by the ICS and save the money.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    152
    I also have an older ICS 5HP and love it. There have been many times I was glad to have the extra power. I would chose the ICS between the two.

  12. #12
    Where is your shop? If you need to get the saw up or down and steps or similar, you might not be as happy moving a super heavy ICS in there. If you can back a trailer in to drop the saw off of, I'd save the money and get the ICS. A little elbow grease and it'll be good to go.

  13. #13
    Having just gone through the assembly and setup of a new PCS, I don't think checking and adjusting the ICS will take any more time than assembly and setup of a new PCS. You will save the assembly time, which is not insignificant, and either way you need to go through all the steps of checking all the alignments and making any necessary adjustments. If you have room for the bigger saw, and can check that the tables are flat and there isn't a lot of runout on the arbor, you'll end up with very nice saw and save some money that can go toward accessories or other tools.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  14. #14
    I would go with the ICS unless it was abused.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    809
    The money you save on the ICS, you could buy the refit kit for the safety brake or a couple of the older style safety brakes and then you'd have the best of both worlds.

    I recently had my friend, an electrician, swap out a 50A GFCI breaker for a normal one in my main panel, as my new lathe with VFD was tripping it. He put a tester of the line and had me turn on various power tools. I wanted to know if I could run multiple 220v tools, at the same time, on that breaker.

    So his load testing showed my 3HP SawStop pulled just shy of 4A, my Hammer A3-31 around 5-6A. Both of these were on the same 20A breaker in the sub panel that's fed from the 50A circuit. Combined the two machines are 7HP. I don't think you will have an issue with the ICS on a 20A circuit.

    The A3-31 had a momentary hit of about 60A as it started.

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