Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 37

Thread: Considering a new tablesaw

  1. #1

    Considering a new tablesaw

    I am considering buying a new tablesaw this spring. I am about 7 or so years from retirement and figure if I want to get a new saw, I should do it before then as I have saved up the cash. I don't have 220 in the garage so am limited to a smaller motor, though this has never been an issue for the work I have done in the 10+ years I have had the current saw. I do a fair amount of work with sheet goods and some with hardwood; though I see the hardwood ramping up once I have more free time.

    My current saw is a Ridgid R4511 with the granite top and a Vega Pro 50" fence (though I have it set up for 36"). Things I like about my current saw: the granite top is great, not huge, but no rust. My Vega fence seems as good as any I have ever used. Downsides, I have to move my saw 15 feet to use it as we park a car and lawn/snow equipment in that third stall. Almost every time I move the saw, the top moves out of alignment and my miter slots and fence are off. So I have to spend 20 minutes realigning it each time I use it. I have the top's bolts as tight as they can go. It's not moving a lot, maybe 10-20 thousandths each time, but it can be towards or away from the blade, so I have to readjust the top. My saw has a Herculift mobile base, so it isn't like I am dragging it on the concrete, it is just rolling around. I would assume this isn't a problem with other saws but maybe it is. Also, the saws dust collection is not good, though I am sure I could improve it some with internal baffles and sealing.

    I am considering a Sawstop PCS with the 36" T glide fence. I would try to snag the free mobile base during the spring promo and hopefully convince one of the dealers to let me upgrade it to the ICS mobile base. Configured price $3467. All the reviews on the Sawstops are very positive and the added safety feature is a bonus. After having a granite top, I am not crazy about the cast iron top, as given our humidity and temperature swings, rust seems to start the moment I shut off the tools. Dust collection is supposed to be very good. Sounds like the customer support for Sawstop is great, which is a bonus.

    Another saw I am considering is the Harvey Alpha. The buzz has been strong on these and cheaper than a similarly equipped Sawstop (without the blade brake of course.) One nice thing with the Harvey is I could get the TN coated top and extension wings and in theory, rust won't be much of an issue. This seems like a huge bonus coming from a granite top. Of course, no flesh sensing blade brake. Depending on the ever-changing sales, the price would $700 or more less than a comparable Sawstop. The difference in cost isn't a deciding factor. Dust collection is supposed to be good as well. The miter gauge on these looks very nice but I already have an Incra so that isn't much of a bonus, though I could sell either the Harvey or my Incra. I doubt the customer service for the Harvey will match Sawstop. I would also have more concern about long term parts availability.

    Thanks for anyone's thoughts or suggestions.
    Last edited by Dennis Jarchow; 01-24-2022 at 8:08 PM.

  2. #2
    I have a PCS with 36" fence. So far it has been excellent. The glide fence is superior to anything I've ever had.

    Its the mental mistakes that get us and as we get older, our mental sharpness isn't going to get better, I'm 65 and I bought the SawStop for my wife as much as me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    60,590
    There is a recent thread relative to a community member asking about and talking about the PCS with a similar configuration as you mention including the 1.75hp motor. That member did buy it. There are multiple folks who have bought the Harvey, too, including one that ordered one in the last few days.

    I happen to have a PCS in my temporary shop right now and while I'm not a fan of North American cabinet saws, being more of a slider guy, I will tell you that it's an excellent machine that's well designed and well built. Mine is used but works and looks like new, for the most part, other than having a fence that was cut down by the previous owner for good reason. I may replace the rail to get it back to 36" as I'll be needing to use this saw for at least the rest of this year until I have a building up and have more space.
    --

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Central New Jersey
    Posts
    647
    I am on the saw stop front. $700 not being a factor means, get saw stop. As you will read all over in saw recommendations 1) cost of medical assistance is the insurance you pay up front to avoid having to pay to the surgeon 2) living life with permanent damage and 3) we all know as we get older we gain experience, which means we might work safer. But we also know as we get older, as much as we don't want to admit it, we get slower, sight isn't as good, etc. If the safer tool exists, use it. Right now, the only game in own for this kind of saw is a sawstop.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    598
    This last summer, I sold my Rigid R4511 to a friend and bought a SawStop. In my case I did have 220 in the garage, so kicked it up (thanks wifie) to a 3 HP unit.
    I don't know where you are, but in Vancouver Canada, I'm out there having learned the hard way at least once a week making sure I treat any incipient rust. I also cover the saw with plywood sheets so to lower the chances of damage.
    MUCH larger table, excellent fence, and better dust collection, but NOT superlative dust collection. Better, but if I had it to do again, I would get the PCS 4" overhead dust collector rather than the over the blade with the 2" hose.
    I treat my top with a light sanding, Bosheild T-9 and after it's dried, Minwax furniture polish. Not foolproof, but acceptable in the Vancouver winter with an unheated, unconditioned work space.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Rosenthal View Post
    I don't know where you are, but in Vancouver Canada, I'm out there having learned the hard way at least once a week making sure I treat any incipient rust...I would get the PCS 4" overhead dust collector rather than the over the blade with the 2" hose.
    I treat my top with a light sanding, Bosheild T-9 and after it's dried, Minwax furniture polish. Not foolproof, but acceptable in the Vancouver winter with an unheated, unconditioned work space.
    I'm just south of you in western WA state, smack in the middle of the rain forest. I have Boeshield T-9 on the cast iron tables at all times when not in use. When I need to use a machine I wipe off the Boeshield with mineral spirits and apply paste wax. When done I reapply Boeshield over the wax. Zero rust! I have the 4" overhead dust collector, which reduces to 3 inches, the end is telescoping. It works pretty well to meh depending on the cut. The shroud needs to be redesigned imo. There's not much suction out front where the sawdust is spewing, the shroud needs a better design. I have a 3hp cyclone dust collector driving it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    6,271
    I don't have 220 in the garage so am limited to a smaller motor, though this has never been an issue for the work I have done in the 10+ years I have had the current saw. I do a fair amount of work with sheet goods and some with hardwood; though I see the hardwood ramping up once I have more free time.
    If at all possible - see if you can swing putting a sub panel in the garage.

    At some point - sooner or later - every garage is going to need 220 to charge the electric vehicle(s) - so - you might as well get it over with and get something out of it for yourself.

    When I retired 10 years ago, one of the first things I did was have a sub panel put in my garage.
    I still run all 120V equipment - but - at least now I have the option to run 220V.

    The magnetic goodies cast iron brings to the table will offset the liabilities of cast iron (IMHO)
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    2,001
    I have a clicky thumb from a TS incident. Although the sawstop would not have prevented my injury, it reminded me how quickly unexpected things can happen. I now own a slider, but if I ever go back to a cabinet saw it will be a sawstop. It is a good saw (with safety features on top)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Center Valley, PA USA
    Posts
    141
    I have the Sawstop ICS. I love it.

    You wont regret getting a Sawstop.

    As Rich said, consider putting in a subpanel so you can have 220.
    ===========

    James Cheever
    Ga Tech NROTC - 1978
    Run Silent, Run Deep
    Commander, USN (Retired)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Jarchow View Post
    I am considering buying a new tablesaw this spring. I am about 7 or so years from retirement and figure if I want to get a new saw, I should do it before then as I have saved up the cash. I don't have 220 in the garage so am limited to a smaller motor, though this has never been an issue for the work I have done in the 10+ years I have had the current saw. I do a fair amount of work with sheet goods and some with hardwood; though I see the hardwood ramping up once I have more free time.
    I have a Sawstop PCS 3HP. I find it difficult to use for sheet goods at best, at least not if you want a perfect edge. There's not enough reference area on a big sheet. Perhaps if you have rollers or other support. My point is, you might want to consider using a track saw for your larger sheet goods; as you go into retirement, this will surely pay dividends. That aside, the Sawstop is a great saw and its best feature is the brake. That brake saved me a finger. Don't discount the safety feature.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Location
    Southwest WI
    Posts
    245
    +1 for the sawstop mainly for the safety feature. I know from experience that a ts injury can easily cost more then the cost of a new sawstop. I do think the harvey has some nice features and is probably a pretty decent saw although I have never personally used one

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    6,474
    Id put the money or do the work yourself to get 220 in your garage. It opens up so many more possibilities with larger tools.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    3,317
    Blog Entries
    1
    Another reason to have 240V in your shop is to run dust collection. A good DC will need 240V.

  14. #14
    I have no experience with a rigid table saw but I bought a 1.75 hp PCS shortly before retiring. No regrets. I would get the thinner riving knife and some thin kerf blades but a full kerf will work most of the time. I cut 3 inch deep in hardwood when I need to but I use a thin kerf rip blade, usually, when I do. I used a full kerf for months at first but I had an issue ripping long legs of glued up softwood for a bunk bed for my grandkids and decided thin kerf works better on this saw. I think the PCS with the 1.75 may be effectively a little weaker than my previous 110V saws because of how the motor protection circuit is set up. I tripped that breaker repeatedly and my guess is my previous saws would have done better. Wood warping into the blade as it was cut was the issue.

    To cut anything large (sheet or solid wood) I use my DeWalt track saw. I do not consider the DeWalt to be better than I suspect a Makita would be, probably a Kreig. There are also, now, cheaper options. I use a Evolution saw at church which has a 15A motor and takes 7.25 inch blades and it is less than $200. With a 60 tooth Freud Diablo it makes cuts as smooth as my DeWalt. So you can spend less than $500 for this tool, these days. It just makes sense to move the saw and not the wood when the wood is big. Cut quality is equivalent. Another thing I use my track saw for is getting glue up ready edges on boards. I made a 10 foot long dining room table last year and all the board edges were cut with my DeWalt. Wrestling with a sheet of plywood to put it through the table saw was never fun and it doesn't get easier with age. Much, much easier to just cut it up with the track saw - to finished size.

    You may already have a DC you like but if not, my experience with the "2hp" HF DC is also very good. I use only the motor and blower of the DC and mounted it to the wall in the corner of my 1 car size shop. It sucks through an Oneida super dust deputy and discharges outside. I essentially do not heat or cool my shop so the air loss is not an issue. I have a few drops on a 5 inch snap lock piping run and use the DC for my PCS, a Jet bandsaw, my 12 inch non-slider CMS, my 8 5/8 jointer, and an old 10 inch Ryobi planner. One tool at a time.

    I live in SC and it is very humid here in the summer. Rust will form on the PCS top if I have let it go too long between waxing. But a finish sander will quickly remove it and then I retreat it with Johnson's paste wax. There is no need to remove the paste wax before using the saw. I don't see rust as a big issue.

    One last point. I wired my shop myself. I had to add another 20A 120V circuit for the HF DC. It would not have been any harder to add a 220V line or two. I did not do it because it is not needed in my shop. I make some big pieces but I do this as a hobby. The tools which work on 120V will do what I need to do. I had done this around 50 years when I made this decision. I am still completely satisfied with my 110V tools. I am not saying there are no advantages of 220V tools, just saying I get along just fine with 110V.
    Last edited by Jim Dwight; 01-25-2022 at 12:06 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    N. Idaho
    Posts
    1,368
    I also have the PCS 1.75, which I found used. The price was such that I could upgrade to 3 hp (which is ~$650 for the motor, contoller and a gas shock) and still be way ahead price-wise. I have had the parts in a cart at SS at least three times but haven't been able to pull the trigger because I can't justify the expense for the marginal improvement for me. That said, I also have a 3 hp bandsaw for thick hardwood. Otherwise have been pleased the with SS.

    An upgrade to 220 now might make sense unless you are planning to move with retirement. If so, you could upgrade a PCS to 220v/3 hp then.

    Best of luck.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •