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Tool review: 3-HP Tablesaws

With riving knives now required to earn approval by Underwriters Laboratories, manufacturers took the opportunity to freshen up their saws. We tested 9 of them.

Riving Knife Saws
Tablesaw power test
Enlarge Image
WOOD® magazine tool tester Bob
Baker uses a power feeder to drive
2"-thick red oak at a consistent rate

Riving Knife Saws

According to the old joke, every tablesaw made in the last 50 years came with a free dust collector: the combination blade guard/splitter that sits on a shelf collecting dust. That's because most of us reason that we're smart enough not to stick our fingers into a moving blade. However, kickback can surprise even the most seasoned woodworkers, and many tablesaw injuries caused by kickback could have been thwarted by a riving knife, a steel fin located immediately behind the blade that goes up and down with it and prevents a board from contacting the teeth at the back of the blade.

Our test of today's riving-knife-equipped cabinet-style saws reveals that you'll be glad to have most of them in your shop. As we discovered, it's the subtle differences and helpful features that separate the top performers from the pack.

Continued on page 2:  You'll like a riving knife


Comments (7)
donlknight wrote:

Just bought a new Delta 36-L552, why with a $150.00 difference between a 3hp and a 5hp would you go with a 3hp saw?

7/14/2015 12:53:18 PM Report Abuse
jakewith597 wrote:

I'm in the market for a new 10" table saw. A Delta 36-5152 can be delivered to my door for $1274.00. I've heard nothing but bad reviews about Delta though. Can anyone say anything good about the saw?

1/6/2015 12:44:18 PM Report Abuse
shelcom wrote:

I'll take a Canada Made General any day!

12/2/2010 02:17:44 PM Report Abuse
climbing123 wrote:

I bought a Sawstop four years ago. I debated between it and the PM2000, but couldn't be happier with the Sawstop. It is built so well and is so easy to use. I've never had an issue cutting 12/4 hard maple on it, while my old delta couldn't come close to handling it.

11/13/2010 12:22:52 PM Report Abuse
gilstebbins2328678 wrote:

You didn't indicate which brands of 3HP table saws were used in the review.

11/12/2010 04:16:43 AM Report Abuse
Tlotimothy wrote:

I once attended a power-tool event at the Hardwood Connection in Sycamore Illinois. Their shop foreman said he'd assembled hundreds of large-scale power tools "from the factory" over his career, and nothing came close to the fit & finish of SawStop.

11/11/2010 04:13:27 PM Report Abuse
hosford6 wrote:

I totally disagree. I have a SawStop ICS and it defiantly is not under powered. just finished cutting 50 BDFT of 10/4 White Oak no problem. The machining is excellent inside and out. Highly Recommended.

11/11/2010 12:18:39 PM Report Abuse

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