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Tool review: 3-HP Tablesaws

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Some miter gauges stand out
Delta miter gauge detail
Enlarge Image
Delta's miter gauge has a spring-loaded
lever with a pin that slips into nine detent
notches to accurately set common angles.
Powermatic miter gauge detail
Enlarge Image
Besides having five miter detents,
Powermatic's miter gauge features
a rack-and-pinion microadjuster for

Some miter gauges stand out

Here we saw real differences. A couple saws come with old-school, ho-hum miter gauges with three miter stops and no frills. Four others add width adjusters on the bars to remedy a sloppy fit in the miter slot. The remaining saws include upgraded miter gauges with extra detent stops (top photo), additional adjustments (center photo), and large, comfortable handles.

SawStop dust collection
Enlarge Image
SawStop's blade guard hooks up to a
small dust hose that effectively sucks
up all the debris that normally would
spew out the top.
Other points of interest

•Cut quality. An expensive saw won't make a bad blade cut better, so it makes sense to outfit the saw with a high-quality blade. Four machines come with a blade, but only one made furniture-quality cuts in our tests. When we outfitted the others with a new, premium blade, we saw improvement with each one.
•Dust collection. These saws fall into three categories for gathering dust: those with only a dust port at the bottom of the cabinet; those with a blade shroud that connects directly to the dust port; and those with a blade shroud and a blade-guard mounted dust port (bottom photo). Generally, saws with blade shrouds outperformed those without; guard-mounted ports proved a mixed bag.

Continued on page 5:  If we had to write the check...


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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