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Thread: Looking for new table saw/ sawstop contractor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Looking for new table saw/ sawstop contractor

    I would like to replace my delta 1HP direct drive TS and would like to get a sawstop. I would like to get the cabinet model but I didn't win the Popular woodworking or Wood magazine sawstop sweepstakes even though my wife and I and my brothers all entered everyday so I think the the cabinet model is out. My wife said she is going to get me the contractor model for our anniversary. My question is does anybody have the contractors model, I know a few of you have the cabinet model and love them. Like I said before my current saw is 1 hp and the sawstop is 1.75hp, is that enough? There aren't too many times when it isn't enough power, there have been some though, The current saw only has ~2.25" deep cutting capacity and that has been a pain at times. The sawstop has 3.125" capacity, which will be nice but do I need more than 1.75HP for that. Any thoughts on this, pros/cons?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Dave, look forward to the answers you find. I can't help you directly, but any information you gather will be utilized by me so in anticipation of good info, thanks for asking the question.
    I have told my girls I would have a sawstop saw in my woodshop by the time their kids (my grandkids) are old enough to be in the shop working. Like you, the cabinet is pricey, and have wondered about the contractor model. Although, after the youngest's wedding this coming spring, if I don't buy any (well so many) guns, I could swing it in a couple of years. Sorry I am no help.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
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    I've admired that saw since it first came out. I have given it a very good looking at and if I had the funds it would be in my shop.
    "Thereís a lot of work being done today that doesnít have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesnít have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Dave, look forward to the answers you find. I can't help you directly, but any information you gather will be utilized by me so in anticipation of good info, thanks for asking the question.
    I have told my girls I would have a sawstop saw in my woodshop by the time their kids (my grandkids) are old enough to be in the shop working. Like you, the cabinet is pricey, and have wondered about the contractor model. Although, after the youngest's wedding this coming spring, if I don't buy any (well so many) guns, I could swing it in a couple of years. Sorry I am no help.
    Small kids are one of the reasons I want one, I have a 1 year old and a 1 year old nephew that run around the shop.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    I've admired that saw since it first came out. I have given it a very good looking at and if I had the funds it would be in my shop.
    You are talking about the contractor model?

  6. #6
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    I have the "Industrial Cabinet SawStop" and I just simply love it, it is a very well built saw, lots of great little things that add up to a really well built and thought out saw, but yeah, it is not cheap.

    I'm sure you realize that they now have three versions of the SawStop for sale;

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    SawStop Industrial Cabinet saw

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    SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw

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    SawStop Contractor Saw

    I understand that the Pro cabinet saw is about $2900 with the 36" rails, but I wonder if there are not deals to find out there?

    The Industrial unit comes with a choice of motors, the 3Hp, 5Hp, or 7.5Hp, the Pro model comes with the 3Hp only and as you pointed out, the Contractors saw comes with the 1.75Hp motor, which is also the only one with a 110v power option. If you do not have 220v in your shop, you would have to have that upgraded to get the Pro or Industrial saw.

    When I bought mine, the Pro was not out yet, and as it was payment for the first aparto renovation, I did go for the best saw I could get, but, if I was buying one now, from my own pocket money, I'd look real hard at the Pro model.

    I see these prices online right now......

    Industrial 3Hp $3909 ($3449 + 36" rail and fence $370 ext table $90)

    Pro 3Hp
    $2900 that includes the 36" rails and table

    Contractor 1.75Hp
    $1780 that comes with the 36" rail and fence set up

    That is just an example of pricing, who knows what you can get by looking arounc, but I see the Pro model as being $1120 more than the Contractor saw.

    What you have to ask yourself is it worth that much more, and only you can really answer that question.

    I will say this, if you look at the $1120, and lets just round that up to $1200 to make it easier, over the next 10 years, that is really not a lot of money. I know that $1200 is nothing to sneeze at for any of us, but I would have to ask if you are really going to be completely happy with the contractor saw, you may well be very happy with it, but, for 10 bucks a month more (over 10 years) or about 33 cents a day, you could have the Pro model, which I'm sure you would never need to upgrade from.

    I know it is all down to the money, but if you buy the cheaper saw now, and down the road realize that the mid price saw is what you really wanted/needed, then did you really save any money?

    I will say this, I very much doubt you will find a better contractor saw than the SawStop unit, and if they say 1.75 Hp, it really will be that power rating, no some hyped up number that sometimes happens with other tools.

    Just my two cents worth!

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Stuart Ablett; 09-11-2009 at 06:24 AM.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Stu brings up valid points about amortizing the extra $1200 over the years. If there's a way to swing it, I think you'd be happier in the long run.

    That said, the difference you would see between a 1 hp direct drive and a 1 3/4 hp belt drive will be like night and day. (I also had the same or similar Delta saw before I got my Ridgid TS3650, so I know the feeling.) Unless you're cutting lots of thick hardwoods for hours on end, I doubt you'll run into any limitations with 1 3/4 hp. Personally, I hope I'll be able to get the Pro Cabinet saw for my next saw upgrade, but if the Contractor model is all I can afford, I'll be glad to have it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    i don`t own any of the sawstop offerings so can`t speak from firsthand experience about their equipment.....
    as far as horsepower and contractor type saws vs cabinet saws i do have quite a bit of experience......
    contractors saws are designed to be semi-mobile and are built to both price and weight points. a fellow can use them in a shop enviornment but i have found them to be both underpowered and lightweight..
    my last "contractors" saw was an older delta that i outfitted with cast iron wings, a 5hp motor and a 52" biesmyer fence....it did okay bolted to the floor but i had to replace the arbor bearings at least once a year, the bars that were used in place of a trunion would flex when severly loaded affecting the cut...
    i generally just offer the advice that there`s no substitute for horsepower and cast iron..
    from a pragmatic point of view a tool that is well made will perform better for longer and will retain more of its value on the used market, a tool that is "oversized" for the job will not stress its parts while working and as a rule will maintain its accuracy and dependability much longer than one that is "undersized".
    think of using an s-10 vs a 1 ton to pull a loaded trailer...both will pull the trailer.....
    i now have two saws in my shop, a 7-1/2 hp and a 9 hp and have tripped the thermal overloads on both of them when i get to slinging boards, but as a general rule neither is underpowered.
    my advice would be to buy the most horsepower you can in a cabinet saw for a saw to use in the shop, if you know you`re going to drag the saw out to jobs then look at the contractors saw but know going in that it will most likely be your spare saw in the future.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  9. #9
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    Tod, you really do know how to work your tools

    I know of several people who are the second or third person in their family to be using the same cabinet saw, most are the old cabinet Delta cabinet saws. Certainly there have been bearings replaced, motors too, not to mention fence upgrades, but the basic saw is still in use. I think that if you were to buy the Pro SawStop (or any other good quality cabinet saw) if it is taken care of, it will outlast you, and that, is real value.

    Has anyone here seen the new SawStop Pro cabinet saw in the flesh?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    We have replaced all the saws in our entire school district with the saw stop saws though they are a great machine I am still with the firm belief that nothing can replace plain old education and common sense when it comes to safety around machines after all it worked great for us when we were kids. It is amazing how we survived our youth without all the safety devices availible today. How many remember the pics of the lathe with the long hair wrapped in the wood? ( sorry mind just wandering, must be that age thing )

    I have been looking at cabinet saws the past year as I want to upgrade my old contractor saw and i am really interrested in the new delta that is coming out ( great reviews so far) . I also do like the powermatic2000 ( not readily availible in Canada yet) and it's mobile base idea. I agree with Tod that power is a huge issue when it comes to a saw and underpowered is not the way to go. If you can hold out, wait to get the better machine.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

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