Table Saw Power Questions

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danst96

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I currently have a Scheppach 2500ci Table saw which is 3.75hp so has more than enough grunt for anything I throw at it.

I am going to be selling this saw shortly (PM if you are interested, i will be advertising it in the coming weeks) as I am moving to Canada very soon. I was originally going to take it with me but due to container space, I decided I will just a buy a new saw when I get to Canada.

My main question here is, what power is enough? I jumped from a rubbish Clarke 1kw cheapo saw to the Scheppach. The Clarke was nowhere near powerful enough for what i was asking it to do (before we start on accuracy). I would ideally like to go for a 3hp saw but I was thinking if i could save some money and go for a 1.75hp saw would that still be ok? I make a wide range of furniture and I work primarily with hard wood and would use the saw for ripping, cross cutting as well as general cabinetry. Some projects I plan on doing in the next 12 months for example are a walnut or oak dining table and a full bespoke kitchen to give you an idea of what the saw would be used for. So from a power perspective, what would you all recommend? Go for 3hp min or will 1.75hp be more than enough? Being in NA, i will likely fit it with a dado etc.

That brings me to another question and I dont know whether it bares much relevance here but to just test the waters, out of the following 3 saws, which would you choose? There seems to be little and nothing between them apart from price, brand reputation and the little safety feature on one of them. They are listed in my order of preference but im keen to know what others think as I am still relatively new to the world of woodworking.

- Laguna F3 seems to be best value for money and has generally great reviews around. My question above may make me sway towards the F2 from a price point
- Grizzly G1023RLX Grizzly get decent reviews on YT and have great customer service it seems but also seem a bit rough and ready
- Sawstop PCS31230 nice safety feature but the most expensive for the 3HP option. If 1.75hp is generally considered enough power, it may make me move this up the list.

They are all far east built and made, a step away from my German Scheppach but all seem adequate. One thing i dont like is Grizzly just wacked their price up by about $500 last week.

Be glad of anyones thoughts, particularly around the power.
 

recipio

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I have a little experience in this area as I imported a DeWalt 746 from the US about 20 years ago. I wanted to use a dado blade and DeWalt offered a dual voltage option. The Americans/Canadians have a different attitude to Europeans - they regard the tablesaw as a multifunction tool. I now have a dado blade, a magic molder ( a high quality moulding head ) and a Mitre fold dado blade which are all designed to work on saws with a 5/8 " arbour.
The saw is 1.75 HP and cuts everything up to 3" with ease. I think if I were ripping down 4" oak however I'd prefer a 3HP motor. Sawstop sell a big 5HP version but of course a lot depends on having a 220 volt supply so talk to an electrician over there !
Browsing on this side of the Atlantic is fine but when you see the range of options over there it puts a severe strain on the wallet. Check out the 'General' brand as well - the only saws actually made in Canada as far as I know.
 

danst96

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I have a little experience in this area as I imported a DeWalt 746 from the US about 20 years ago. I wanted to use a dado blade and DeWalt offered a dual voltage option. The Americans/Canadians have a different attitude to Europeans - they regard the tablesaw as a multifunction tool. I now have a dado blade, a magic molder ( a high quality moulding head ) and a Mitre fold dado blade which are all designed to work on saws with a 5/8 " arbour.
The saw is 1.75 HP and cuts everything up to 3" with ease. I think if I were ripping down 4" oak however I'd prefer a 3HP motor. Sawstop sell a big 5HP version but of course a lot depends on having a 220 volt supply so talk to an electrician over there !
Browsing on this side of the Atlantic is fine but when you see the range of options over there it puts a severe strain on the wallet. Check out the 'General' brand as well - the only saws actually made in Canada as far as I know.
I am quite a heavy table saw user, it gets used in all of my projects and I guess i may have a bit of a Canadian/US approach to it. Most 10" saws cut depth is max 3" so 1.75 should be ok? I dont really see myself cutting much thicker than that but i guess you never know and I would rather buy something that I will have for the rest of my life than worry about upgrading later. The other thing, looking at Laguna, the features that come on the F3 are nice step up from the F2 whereas with the sawstop it seems there less difference between features other than the motor.

The 5hp Sawstop and also Grizzly look like beasts but unnecessary for me and also a little to much $$$$. 240v wont be an issue though as most if not all Canadian homes have 240v in already for appliances like ovens etc. which you can loop off for a workshop.

Maybe @Inspector would have an opinion on the saw & power comments?
 

recipio

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Certainly if you limit cuts to about 3" hardwood and sheet goods then 1.75 HP is plenty. You can always flip thick boards over and do two cuts. I'd also look for a sliding table arrangement - crosscut sleds are all very well but not as efficient as a sliding table. My only quibble with the DeWalt is that the right side of the table does not fold down so it takes up a lot of room but this is a feature of all North American saws - they have bigger workshops than we do !
 

danst96

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Certainly if you limit cuts to about 3" hardwood and sheet goods then 1.75 HP is plenty. You can always flip thick boards over and do two cuts. I'd also look for a sliding table arrangement - crosscut sleds are all very well but not as efficient as a sliding table. My only quibble with the DeWalt is that the right side of the table does not fold down so it takes up a lot of room but this is a feature of all North American saws - they have bigger workshops than we do !
ah the Scheppach i have has the sliding table. I havent been able to use it as much id like due to space constraints so wasnt sure i would miss it... Not many NA options come with a sliding table, you can specify them for Grizzly and Sawstop but they are pretty expensive.
 

Inspector

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Since you asked nicely. :)

I've used 1.75hp table saws and you can get by with them (feed slowly and fit the right blade) but unless you have an old place that doesn't have the wiring to support bigger then I would go for the 3hp saw and a 5 if you are going to do a lot of heavy work.

I have 2 table saws. My first a Taiwanese made machine with arbors you can change out. She has a 5hp motor and was unstoppable, even with a 10" dado cutting full depth (3") in Maple. I don't use it much anymore because I bought a 3hp, what they now call an industrial SawStop. It was the only model they had when I bought it. I bought the 3hp because I didn't think the wiring would handle the 5hp. After, when setting up the new saw I realized the first was a 5hp. I haven't really missed not having 5hp in the SawStop but would have sprung for it had I known I could have. At that time the 5hp wasn't all that much more than the 3hp. My SawStop has done everything I could have asked of it and wouldn't hesitate to get another. I don't have a sliding attachment but never having used one don't know what I am missing. I do fine with a sled if needed. The only place you will find sliders here are in cabinet shops using lots of sheet goods and they are spendy. I do have one friend with a Hammer or Feldor combination machine but it is a short stroke and he paid more than double what I paid for the SawStop and it was used. The SawStop has a brilliant riving knife/spliter changing mechanism. You can switch over in a minute by flipping a lever, make the change and then flip the lever back. Saws up until then had to have bolts removed if they even came with a riving knife at all and the splitters were poor, hence the culture of not having any of either on the saws. Market and legislation is demanding more so the makers are improving them to stay in the running.

I have used Unisaw and General table saws and while very good saws the SawStop doesn't give up anything to them. General was made in Canada but they no longer make woodworking machines here at all and the General International line was made in Asia and they folded too. Unisaws haven't been made for a long time so both brands are only available used.

Grizzly can be bought and shipped over the line and I have no idea what that will cost and you will have to pay the Canadian taxes (varies for each province 7% to 18%) brokerage (??) and exchange which is about $1.30Can to $1.00 US. If you live near Vancouver you can cross over the border and get it yourself, well until Covid you could. By the time you get here those restrictions will be lifted, fingers crossed.

Busy Bee is owned by a brother/cousin of the Grizzly owner but the tool selection range is smaller and not always the current Grizzly equivalent (might be a few years behind). There are some other sellers that have saws made in Asia under their own house brand or selling Laguna, Jet, King etc. Where you live might influence your choices (shipping/availability). The links you provided are US so be prepared for bigger numbers here. Laguna is in the $3,500 Can range where the SawStop is about $4,200 and the Grizzly would be in the neighbourhood of $3,000 plus the shipping/brokerage.

We don't do wiring like you do with you rings and breakers at each plug. There will be a central panel where the power comes in with all the breakers, each big item having its own breaker and wiring so adding power for new stuff can be more difficult. There can be sub panels where a big breaker covers the wire to the sub panel that has the properly sized breakers for the circuits it serves. I have a 200amp main panel for the house with a 100amp panel in the garage serving it (milling machine, metal lathe, 5hp air compressor) and the woodworking shop above. The sub panel has about 5 or 6 220V breakers and another 8 or 10 110V breakers. The reason I mention it is it isn't always easy or inexpensive to run a bunch of other circuits for extra stuff. I did rent where I would unplug the stove and use it to plug in a table saw but I was single and didn't cook while sawing. It is generally frowned upon and insurance companies get in knots if they find out about it.

As you can see I am a SawStop devotee and my bias shows. If a hobby user the 3hp Professional will make you happy but if you are running a business then swallow hard and get the industrial. For what it is worth all the schools that still have woodshops have gotten rid of of all their table saws and replaced them with SawStops.

Pete
 

danst96

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Thank you Inspector and my apologies for not saying please earlier, your reply is massively helpful.

I am moving to Regina so wont be too far removed from where you are. Everyone who has a Sawstop are very passionate about them and i guess that can only mean that they are very good!

In Canadian, the 3 options are:

Grizzly - CAD 2900 however i didnt think of import duties so that may well write that off
Laguna - CAD 2999 - in stock in Canada. May be a delivery fee on that.
Sawstop 3HP Professional - CAD 4200 with the T fence as opposed to the cheaper fence.

The Sawstop Industrial is out of my price bracket and I am a bit of a weekend warrior (and most evenings in the week tbh) but its not my livelihood so i cant really justify such a saw. Likewise the 3HP sawstop I am struggling to justify the price difference between it and the Laguna as it shares most of the features the Sawstop has bar the safety feature. If I am to be swayed by the sawstops safety feature then it will likely be down to deciding whether to go for the 3HP Laguna or 1.75HP Sawstop. In reality, my woodworking today, the 1.75hp would be adequate but I dont want to be in a position of needing to upgrade later. On that note though, I guess its safe to assume the sawstop holds its value better than other saws on the market in Canada.

Useful information about the electricity, I am looking at doing a new build to be honest hopefully should have some flexibility with the wiring. But just in case not, this does help a lot, thank you.

I think I am leaning towards to the Laguna at the moment but I will do some shopping around when I arrive in Regina and will see if I am able to see either or both in person as this may sway me. I was leaning towards the Grizzly but just last week they jacked their prices up massively for machines that are currently in stock, I dont like that. I can understand for machines which are not in stock and are coming in and are due to be hit by increased freight costs and raw material costs but to wack a 30% increase on something that is in a warehouse from before seems a bit rich.

Thanks again for your comment, very useful!
 

Inspector

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I don't know if anyone sell cabinet table saws in Regina so you will need to travel to look at one in a showroom unless the locals show you what they have. Lee Valley have the SawStop and Great West Saw did/does too with Great West moving to bigger premises and already selling Laguna Lathes and DCs they may get the table saws. KMS sell King and their own brand and will ship, they are in 4 cities in Alberta. There is Canadian Woodworker in Winnipeg has SawStop and some sliders from China with their own brand on them. Busy Bee also ship and I think they have a store in Calgary, possibly Winnipegb(don't feel like looking 🙄). You have lots of time before committing to anything and the choices may change by the time you are ready.

SawStops don't come up for sale very often and do tend to hold their value because of it. One thing I will mention is that their hydraulic mobile base is the nicest one around. Pump up the saw with your foot, roll it to where you need and touch it with your toe and it lowers back to the floor nice as can be. 👍

As for Papa Grizzly raising prices. They do have to draw the line at some point so for a while they eat the losses while their cost goes up and then make the change when they have too. Buy at the right time and you save because they are loosing but wait too long or come in late you pay the going rate. When there is a drop in price they lower all the prices, including the ones that were bought when costs were up. Nobody that I know of, probably you too 😉, volunteer to pay the old more expensive rate.

Pete
 

heimlaga

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My experience is that anything less than 2,2 kW /3 hp will struggle and ultimately burn itself out when ripping two inch thick timber.
If you are very good at sharpening old style carbon steel or HSS blades and have a saw with a low enough RPM for those blades you could make do with a bit less though.

I rekon that those who claim that motors under 2,2 kW are the same people who buy pretty much all their timber ready planed and design everything around the dimensions of timber available. That is certainly a feasible way for some but it puts strict limitations to what you can make.

At present I am outgrowing both the cutting depth and the power of the table saw on my Stenberg KEV 600 combination. It has a 3,7 kw (5hp) motor and a 400mm blade. The plan is to set up an ancient cirkular rip saw for the heavy ripping. With 600mm blade and a motor somewhere in the rage from 5 to 7,5 kW I hope it will suffice. I am a part timer but tend to lean towards the heavier side of woodworking.

So.....what is the conclusion...... what a person thinks is large enough is purely a reflection of the work he or she does.
 

danst96

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I don't know if anyone sell cabinet table saws in Regina so you will need to travel to look at one in a showroom unless the locals show you what they have. Lee Valley have the SawStop and Great West Saw did/does too with Great West moving to bigger premises and already selling Laguna Lathes and DCs they may get the table saws. KMS sell King and their own brand and will ship, they are in 4 cities in Alberta. There is Canadian Woodworker in Winnipeg has SawStop and some sliders from China with their own brand on them. Busy Bee also ship and I think they have a store in Calgary, possibly Winnipegb(don't feel like looking 🙄). You have lots of time before committing to anything and the choices may change by the time you are ready.

SawStops don't come up for sale very often and do tend to hold their value because of it. One thing I will mention is that their hydraulic mobile base is the nicest one around. Pump up the saw with your foot, roll it to where you need and touch it with your toe and it lowers back to the floor nice as can be. 👍

As for Papa Grizzly raising prices. They do have to draw the line at some point so for a while they eat the losses while their cost goes up and then make the change when they have too. Buy at the right time and you save because they are loosing but wait too long or come in late you pay the going rate. When there is a drop in price they lower all the prices, including the ones that were bought when costs were up. Nobody that I know of, probably you too 😉, volunteer to pay the old more expensive rate.

Pete
Laguna Nick on here advised that Great Western Saw has Laguna available so I think I may pay them a visit early on. As you say, a bit of time will transpire between now and when I get the new saw and maybe something will come up but for now I am going to keep the Laguna top of the list, thanks for your help.

As for Grizzly, fair point you make RE covering the losses however I dont quite totally understand what they have done though as they had 2 similar saws on with a few slightly different features but now one is a very different price to the other but could just be a result of the costs changing. I still think Grizzly seem to offer good value considering they get very good reviews and their machinery is generally priced way below the competition.
 

danst96

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My experience is that anything less than 2,2 kW /3 hp will struggle and ultimately burn itself out when ripping two inch thick timber.
If you are very good at sharpening old style carbon steel or HSS blades and have a saw with a low enough RPM for those blades you could make do with a bit less though.

I rekon that those who claim that motors under 2,2 kW are the same people who buy pretty much all their timber ready planed and design everything around the dimensions of timber available. That is certainly a feasible way for some but it puts strict limitations to what you can make.

At present I am outgrowing both the cutting depth and the power of the table saw on my Stenberg KEV 600 combination. It has a 3,7 kw (5hp) motor and a 400mm blade. The plan is to set up an ancient cirkular rip saw for the heavy ripping. With 600mm blade and a motor somewhere in the rage from 5 to 7,5 kW I hope it will suffice. I am a part timer but tend to lean towards the heavier side of woodworking.

So.....what is the conclusion...... what a person thinks is large enough is purely a reflection of the work he or she does.
Ok this is helpful. When working with hardwood, i am almost exclusively using raw unplaned, undimensioned timber so I think I will stick to the 3HP machine. The 1kw clarke nearly blew up with 1.5" walnut.
 

pe2dave

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Different perspective on power. Max you can get out of a 'normal' mains outlet? E.g. 3kW in UK? Stops messing with new wiring, fuse boxes etc?
 

danst96

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Different perspective on power. Max you can get out of a 'normal' mains outlet? E.g. 3kW in UK? Stops messing with new wiring, fuse boxes etc?
Good point however I would rather pay to have new wiring put in to have a 3hp saw than something that is going to be a PITA to use long term.
 

Sideways

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In the UK, my experience is that a saw with a 1.5 to 1.75kW max (induction) motor will reliably run off a 240v 13A plug.
2.2kW may work but are at the limit. Anything bigger, no chance. Often fuses blow immediately, one at the higher end of the tolerance range may last a few weeks but will age so you will be replacing fuses regularly.
For personal preference I'd want a 3hp/ 2.2kW saw over anything smaller so worth putting in the circuit.
Can you ever have enough ? My 3kW saw is great (full depth cuts on a 14" blade no bother) but my buddy's 6kW version of the same thing is so strong that I can't physically push wood into it fast enough to choke it ...
 

sploo

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3hp is (give or take) 2300w, which is only 10A on a UK 230V supply; but the inrush current on startup is what kills the fuses.

A 3hp 3 phase motor with a VFD can be programmed to spin up over a couple of seconds, and I've never had a problem with that (on saws or planers).

However, it may be cheaper to just install a 16A socket if a single phase 3hp saw is easier to acquire.
 

danst96

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My current saw is 2.7kw and i run it on standard UK plug on UK 230v supply. I have blown the fuse twice when there has been something that has created the slightest drag on the blade when turning on (it bound with my sled a couple of times). I think it may blow the main fuse as well if i had it starting at the same time as my dust extraction and having oil heater running at the same time so I usually wait for the extractor to spool up to speed before starting the saw. makes everything go a bit dim for a few seconds.

My question though was more relating to what power is necessary and is 1.75hp considered too little for someone working with unplaned hardwood a lot of the time. Im less concerned about the electrics, i will get that sorted as i need to. It appears that I should go for the 3hp saw as a minimum.
 

Fitzroy

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I have a 2hp wadkin AGS. With a brand new blade it pretty much chews trough anything up to the max 80mm cut depth. Where it can bog down is with an older blade and at the same time cutting timber that is not completely flat, so the blade is doing more work or getting some lateral deflection. If I were regularly ripping/edging rough boards over 50mm then I think I would want more power.

I run a 250mm 40T freud blade, and would likely see better performance with a lower tooth blade, but I don't want to be changing blades all the time.
 
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