Choosing a tablesaw

Quite the tough decision really – almost worse than buying a car, because you’d expect to have the same tablesaw even after buying, and selling a number of cars! So it is a purchase that you want to get right, and be happy with. Any purchase is always a compromise – a trade-off between quality, features and price.

As I eluded to earlier, this is a list of features I’d want to see on a new saw, in no real order, and not necessarily with any locked in – after all, everything is a compromise!

10″ blade (minimum). Upgrading from the Triton, which runs a 9 1/4″ blade which on the Triton gives a maximum cutting height of 64mm. Having a 10″ blade doesn’t add much to that, but passing the magic 75mm mark is a good start (means I can split a 150mm post in half in 2 passes)

Dado blade capable. Not quite sure whether I need this, but I see dado blades used all the time on woodwork shows, and I do have one so would be good to see it being used!

Decent motor 2.5HP or greater. I rarely need all that power, but using a Triton saw (3.25HP) for so long, and you get used to all that grunt. There is a reason why some people opt for 3 phase machines, and one is power. A saw that comes out in a 1 phase model could have 3HP, the 3 phase version is 5HP. Seeing as I would be extremely hard-pushed to justify the expense of installing 3 phase power.

Full cast (cast iron) top, with 1 and preferably 2 mitre channels.

Quality fence

Riving knife, which is easily removed, and rises and falls with the blade. To this (ideally) there would also be the blade guard.

Left-tilting blade. Lots of controversy here, but after seeing some photos of ripping with the blade tilted over to the right, I can see why left-tilt wins some friends. Granted that you can move the fence to the other side of the blade, I’d rather not have to.

So, where does that leave us?

Gabbett Machinery: Saw Stop

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 20mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 79mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 57mm
Direction of Cut: Left
Motor: 3HP (1 Ph 230V 13A)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size:1118x762mm
Weight: 240kg
Price: $5500

Other features: Saw Stop, heavy duty castings

Carbatec: TS10L

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 15mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 78mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 54mm
Direction of Cut: Left
Motor: 3HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size: 1075x740mm
Weight: 230kg
Price: $2200
Other features: Heavy duty trunnions, quick release riving knife, spindle lock

Carbatec: TSC-10HB

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 15mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 77mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 58mm
Direction of Cut: Right
Motor: 3HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size: 1015x685mm
Weight: 190kg
Price: $1700
Other features: includes router table extension wing

Woodworking Warehouse: Jet SuperSaw

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 20mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 84mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 54mm
Direction of Cut: Left
Motor: 1.75HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size: 705x685mm
Weight: 210kg
Price: $2475
Other features: sliding table

Woodworking Warehouse: Powermatic PM2000

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: 20mm
Depth of Cut 90°: 79mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 54mm
Direction of Cut: Left
Motor: 3HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 16mm
Table Size: 1067x775mm
Weight: 210kg
Price: $3415
Other features: (shown with extension table- other tables also have this), spindle lock, quick release riving knife, cast iron base w built in raise-able castors.

Ledacraft MJ-2325CB 10″

Blade Size: 254mm (10in)
Dado: ??
Depth of Cut 90°: 75mm
Depth of Cut 45°: 60mm
Direction of Cut: Right
Motor: 2HP (1 Ph)
Arbor: 25.4mm
Table Size: 1170x800mm
Weight: 189kg
Price: $1232
Other features:

(I’ve not listed 3 phase motors as it is not in most sheds)

I’ve amended this list with a couple more models – there are just too many saws out there to provide a comprehensive list, and there are still all the 12″ saws etc that I haven’t tried looking through.

Where possible, I have listed the price of including a Biesemeyer Style fence.

16 Responses

  1. Stu,

    I like the series of posts you are doing on choosing a tablesaw. Good stuff.

    I’m wondering why you are considering a Sawstop and not a Powermatic PM2000? I’m not an expert in these things, but I thought that the PM2000 was much cheaper, and also had lower running costs. The one thing I’d be worried about with the Sawstop is replacing the Sawstop mechanism all the time. If you watch the Wood Whisperer’s podcast where he visits FWW, they said their Sawstop mechanism goes off a LOT.


  2. Thanks for the input James, and the prompt. It’s too big a job to list every single machine out there (unfortunately), and I’m not even going near the 12″ range! But the Powermatic should be there, and I’ve included a Leda for good measure.

    Amazing price range if you consider all these machines are examples of 10″ table saws, and not one is a contractor’s style saw.

  3. Stu, I think the TSC’s dado ability is more than 15mm. I haven’t actually put my new blade on my 10HB, but I recall online people saying that they could go to around 3/4″ (19mm?).


  4. The model numbers and pics of the ledacraft saws look a lot like the Sherwoods Timbercon sells.

  5. I know this is an old post, but is anyone selling the TS10L or perhaps a superseeded version of it?

    • Carbatec have a heavy duty left tilting saw that looks to be of similar quality to the TS10L. Don’t know anything more about it other than what I’ve seen of the photo, and the price (which is generally a reasonable way of comparing quality of the saws). I’m still very happy with the TS10L, so if you are really sold on it, I’d be contacting Carbatec and seeing if they have any stock left.

      Just because it isn’t in their cattle dog doesn’t mean they don’t have any – just not enough to actually bother advertising – but it may also be that there are none left too….. good luck!

  6. Carl, Stu, Was at Carbatec Melbourne this morning and they showed me the TS10L out in the warehouse. They currently have three – two in boxes and one with a broken trunnion. I got a special price and am deciding over the next couple of days whether to get one.

    • Sounds good Darren. How “special” was the price?

      I’ve had them put one on hold for me and will make my decision after I see one in the flesh tomorrow.

      • Carl, They gave me a price of $1950

        • That’s a bloody good price, especially considering so many tools / import prices are going through the roof at the moment with the state of the dollar.

          Mine was (as listed above) $2200, so amazing it has actually dropped recently – I love mine, and my suggestion would definitely to grab one at that price (or even if it was more – as Carl will see tomorrow when he has a play with mine!)

        • Great price. On the phone with them now. Mentioned you got it for $1950 but they didn’t believe me! They needed your surname to look up the deal. Oh well.

          I got some discounts on a mobile base and blade so I’m happy with that.

          • Glad it worked out for you, I’m a bit surprised that it isn’t a little more obvious that one of the saws hasn’t been sold and awaiting pick up. I hope they don’t sell mine to someone else.
            Stu, did you get the additional table or make one up? I expect that I’ll do that and also put the triton sliding table on it as well.

          • That was my thought too – Stu’s Shed must sell a lot for them then 😉

            No, I didn’t go for the extra table – would have if it had been cast iron or something!

            I’m going to infill the area with my old router table (it is 1&1/4″ thick laminated MDF and masonite, with mitre slot, incra rails, and a area for the router plate (or router lift), so seems to be ideal for that purpose – more than a bit of melamine or whatever they were offering!)

            I was thinking about using the Triton rails as you mentioned, but as I hadn’t missed using them for over a year, they got sold on eBay instead. More money for shed upgrades!

  7. […] Archive » SawStop: Safe For Wieners SawStop Industrial Tablesaw « New Tool Reviews Choosing a tablesaw « Stu's Shed Powermatic 1791270K Model 64 Artisan 10-Inch Left Tilt 1-1/2-Horsepower Con.. Wood Talk Online #42 […]

  8. Ahhhh, the much awaited and very controversial SawStop tablesaw. There is so much good to say about this saw I’m not sure how to get it all in, but there are some issues that I’ve run into that are worth mentioning here. Even the best can have issues afterall!

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