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Thread: Purchasing new cabinet saw 3hp vs. 5hp?

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Turner
    For $200, I'd go for it. But, if you don't cut much thick stock, there would not be a need for it.
    Alan, for the premium charged for any 8/4 or 12/4 stock, it seems like a prudent investment of $200 up front, just in case one does end up cutting that type of thicker stock. My $0.25 (inflation, doncha know? ) This is coming from someone with a 1 1/2 HP table saw, who does cut 8/4 stock with it and just feeds it slowly.
    --
    Life is about what your doing today, not what you did yesterday! Seize the day before it sneaks up and seizes you!

    Alan - http://www.traditionaltoolworks.com:8080/roller/aland/

  2. #17
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    My first table saw was a unisaw many moons ago. Hmmm, did I say my first table saw? Yup! Then I got a 1950s vintage Northfield #4 followed by a 1968 northfield #4 slider. The uni had 3 hp and the northfields had 5 hp but these were louis allis ponies and that does make a difference. More brute torque.

    Then I sold the norhfields and got a martin T-17 from about 1976. It has 6.6 hp followed up with an oliver 88 which has 7.5 hp from 1968.

    All these machines except the unisaw were bought used and in dire need of new paint.

    About two weeks ago, I was at an auction and was offered a vintage unisaw from a guy who bought the thing just for the extended fence assembly. I declined because I had forgotten how small the unisaw really is. Uncomfortably small!

    Once you get spoiled to using beast heavy, large format industrial saws with at least 5 hp and often more, you will notice how tweenie the other saws actually are. I can run 3.5 inch thick oak or maple and feed it as fast as I can push. Slices through this stuff like its balsa or paper.

    Personally, I find the saw stop inordinately pricey for what it is. For that money, I can buy a super late and super clean oliver 232 or oliver 270.
    Had the dog not stopped to go to the bathroom, he would have caught the rabbit.

  3. #18
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    I just faced the same decision

    I've had a 3HP cabinet saw for 22 years. First a Unisaw, and then a PM66 for 15 years. The only time I needed more HP was when I used the table saw to cut full blade depth bevels on red oak for raised panels. The saw could only take the wood so fast, and at the speed the wood burned. If I pushed faster, the saw would stall, ( hard to push this hard). So, I just bought a SawStop and I ordered the 5HP. I also assume this is my last saw, and I didn't want to be lacking the HP in the future. But, now I have to rewire my panel in the garage to handle the 5HP, and from what I read, you really shouldn't use plugs on cords that handle a 5HP saw...joe

  4. #19
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    Dev, if only I had the room for a large saw

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dev Emch
    Personally, I find the saw stop inordinately pricey for what it is. For that money, I can buy a super late and super clean oliver 232 or oliver 270.
    Well, try and buy a finger back someday...in some cases it's not so easy...
    --
    Life is about what your doing today, not what you did yesterday! Seize the day before it sneaks up and seizes you!

    Alan - http://www.traditionaltoolworks.com:8080/roller/aland/

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Jensen
    Dev, if only I had the room for a large saw
    I used to believe the same thing until I proved to myself its nonsense. You see, the table top on these is only about 8 to 10 inches wider if that. By the time you install those hunkin rip extension tables and 54 inch beismyer fences, your up to the same foot print. Also bear in mind that the major space used by saws is often the entry and exit zones and not the machine itself. If all you can squeeze into your shop is a basic unisaw, well then your not ever going to be able to cut 4 by 8 sheets of plywood or rip 7 to 8 foot long boards.

    As to fingers. What about the other machines in the shop? I would think the most dangerous machine would be the freehand template router or shaper doing tombstone doors. The fact remains that the saw stop is a pretty good saw in its class but that class is based on an average suggested retail price of about $1800 to an upside of $2000 dollars. Grizzly is really pulling this price average downwards as well. Given the extra feature set including the stop, this is a $2300 dollar saw. That is more then plenty above and beyond the ubiquatous unisaw for the additional feature set. At about $3500 dollars, it strikes me that Saw Stop is taking advantage of the inate fear of some woodworkers and taking this fear straight to the bank.

    But more importantly, I used the adjective PERSONALLY in my previous post. I personally would rather buy a mint condition oliver 232 or 270 in lieu of the saw stop. That is me. Others are more than welcome to do anything they please and I encourage them to do so.
    Had the dog not stopped to go to the bathroom, he would have caught the rabbit.

  7. #22
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    #8 awg and 40 amp breaker minimum.

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Dev Emch
    As to fingers. What about the other machines in the shop?
    Sure, most any machine that cuts wood will cut flesh. I'd love to have the chance to use either an Oliver or a SS.;-) In the meantime my little contractors saw is chuggin' along. Maybe some day I'll find a nice upgrade. Maybe I'll plop down the $$$s for a SS, I don't know.

    So far, my contractors saw (Ridgid 3612) does what I throw at it. I'm certainly not going to stop throwing wood at it, and I will be careful as much as I can, because fingers can't be bought back so easily.
    --
    Life is about what your doing today, not what you did yesterday! Seize the day before it sneaks up and seizes you!

    Alan - http://www.traditionaltoolworks.com:8080/roller/aland/

  9. #24
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    First let me say I am probably the most conservative person on here when it come to money. No I am not cheap, I guess I am frugal but not cheap. Even thought you didn't ask this I have to agree with Dev. But, to answer your question if I were looking at the SS I would probably spend the extra $200. Why?

    Because I have never regretted by a better quality tool but I have regretted buying cheaper ones. (not exactly the same analogy). Unless you are going to be doing some big wood, I seriously doubt you will ever need the extra HP. But when you look at what you are about to spend the extra $200 is really very small amount. Even to someone who is as careful with his money as I am.

    Now, with that said:
    • If I knew what I was going to use the saw for and knew I would not need the extra Umph 90% of the time then I wouldn't spend it.
    • The extra HP is going to cost you virtually nothing extra to own/operate it and it won't hurt anything having the extra HP. It maybe rare but there will be times your glad you have it.
    • I am assuming your not going to have any other expense just to own the saw. Such as wiring the shop, buying high dollar blades, large arbor dado's etc. because of the larger motor.
    Of course if it were me, I would be buying an old saw and restoring it.

  10. #25
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    I don't see the need for 5hp in a 10" cabinet saw. I can run a 3/4" dado 1" deep as fast as i care to push it without slowing mine down. If you push hard enough to stall a 3hp motor, what will a 5hp do for you except make it more dangerous.

    I work as a machinist and our saw room has an older cabinet saw with a 3hp 220v motor that cuts 1 1/2" aluminum plate with little effort and has been doing so for 20+ years.

    Brian
    The significant problems we encounter cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

    The penalty for inaccuracy is more work

  11. #26
    There are only 2 reasons not to go with the 5 hp. Money, it is only $200 and it sounds as though it is not a major concern, and available amps from your service. If you have both to spare then by all means get the 5 hp. You will never wish that you bought the 3 hp.

  12. #27
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    Alway frustrated with some of my earlier purchases I've been over kill ever since.(SMC).
    I went 5 with my PM 66
    TJH
    Live Like You Mean It.



    http://www.northhouse.org/

  13. #28
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    It seems to me, all things being equal, that it would not not be very smart to spend a good deal of money and get three HP when you could spend only $200 more and nearly double the horsepower. I know because that is what I did and I think about it every once in while. I have not used my saw very much yet so have not needed the extra but if I ever do I will really be cussin' thinking how little the extra HP would have cost me.

    The reason that I went that route was that I was under the impression that a 5HP motor needed to be hardwired to meet code and I knew that I would have to move my saw from time to time and wanted to be able to plug it in to a new outlet to keep the cord at a reasonable length and keep it away from the walking areas.

    I do not know if the above electrical thing is true or not so maybe someone that is up on the code could shed some light on that situation. For me personally, I really hope that it is true so that I do not feel so stupid.

    Allen

  14. #29
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    Our pattern shop had an 18" tablesaw with 15HP. If you're looking for overkill that''ll do it!

  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hale
    I don't see the need for 5hp in a 10" cabinet saw. I can run a 3/4" dado 1" deep as fast as i care to push it without slowing mine down.
    Me neither, I can use a 3/4" shoulder plane to do the same thing, and while it takes a little longer, it's much quieter and accomplishes the same thing. but in regards to the motor on the TS, I don't see how it would hurt to have more HP. And no, I don't see more HP as being more dangerous, I see it as being safer as it will be able to handle a faster feed. If you're feeding too fast on a lower HP motor, that's the danger, not the other way around.

    Any of them will cut fingers and hands off, even a 1 1/2 HP contractors saw motor will do that, and pushing 12/4 stock into a 1 1/2 HP blade takes some patience, IME.
    --
    Life is about what your doing today, not what you did yesterday! Seize the day before it sneaks up and seizes you!

    Alan - http://www.traditionaltoolworks.com:8080/roller/aland/

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