Sawstop - contractor vs pro

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merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
So I was in Woodcraft today ready to buy the Sawstop contractor saw. If I bought the contractor saw, I'd get the cast wings. I then discovered that the pro (with the 1.5hp motor) is only $500 more. I expected it to be more...which made me walk the out of the store to think about it more (I'm the extreme opposite of an impulse buyer...whatever that is called...obsessively cheap?).

Now for reference, in 15 years I've never once felt a need to upgrade my Delta contractor saw for a cabinet saw. The only time I had trouble ripping big thick walnut, it was just telling me the blade was dull. The contractor saw does everything I need - this is strictly a safety upgrade. The fact that the sawstop contractor has better dust collection and beefier construction makes the pill easier to swallow...but part of me would still rather spend the money elsewhere.

Has anyone looked at these two in greater details that can comment on if/why I should choose one over the other?

TIA!
Chris
 

bobby g

Bob
Corporate Member
I have tried to use the contractor saw on a Habitat for Humanity work site and had to give up due to the flimsy motor mount that kept allowing the belt to come off. We inserted a wooden wedge for a while and it helped. I was shocked to see this weak element on such an expensive machine. My only other experiance with a SawStop saw was with my industrial model which I am totally satisfied with. I'd compare the motor mounts between the two saws that you are thinking about.

bobby g
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Interesting - I did look specifically at that today at WC. I noticed that the SS CS has a spring pushing the motor out - tensioning the belt. Do you recall if that was present on the HforH saw? I was expecting the motor to tension the belt like my CS, so perhaps someone forgot to install that spring...or it got knocked out?

The trunion on the SS CS seems beefier than that on my Delta CS. I did look inside the SS Pro Cabinet saw and it is a completely different beast...and honestly I've never looked inside a cabinet saw before, so I really don't have anything to compare it against. I'm assuming that the industrial model is yet another different mechanism, since it can handle the 7.5 hp motor.

I have tried to use the contractor saw on a Habitat for Humanity work site and had to give up due to the flimsy motor mount that kept allowing the belt to come off. We inserted a wooden wedge for a while and it helped. I was shocked to see this weak element on such an expensive machine. My only other experiance with a SawStop saw was with my industrial model which I am totally satisfied with. I'd compare the motor mounts between the two saws that you are thinking about.

bobby g
 

Bryan S

Bryan
Corporate Member
Chris, while I can not comment specifically on the sawstop I can comment on upgrading from a contractor saw. I had initially planned to buy a new contractors saw. Like you, am not a impulse buyer, especially on large ticket items, and had a tough time justifying the extra cost for the hybrids. I do not have 220 so the 3 hp cabinet saws were not a consideration and I kept going back and to between the contractor and hybrid saws.

The short version is, I stopped in the Raleigh Woodcraft to look at the Steel City, did not know that the grand opening was that day, and ended up going home with a Delta instead. That was 3 years ago and I am still glad I spent the extra. I tend to think that you would feel the same way, but we are each different and have to decide for ourselves. I have not second guessed my decision at all and the only thing I wish was different was that the riving knives were out then.
 

bobby g

Bob
Corporate Member
Interesting - I did look specifically at that today at WC. I noticed that the SS CS has a spring pushing the motor out - tensioning the belt. Do you recall if that was present on the HforH saw? I was expecting the motor to tension the belt like my CS, so perhaps someone forgot to install that spring...or it got knocked out?
The trunion on the SS CS seems beefier than that on my Delta CS. I did look inside the SS Pro Cabinet saw and it is a completely different beast...and honestly I've never looked inside a cabinet saw before, so I really don't have anything to compare it against. I'm assuming that the industrial model is yet another different mechanism, since it can handle the 7.5 hp motor.

Chris,

I don't recall seeing a spring. As I recall, it was the typical motor hanging on the belt setup and the motor pulley would go out of alignment with the trunion pulley.

bobby g
 

Splint Eastwood

New User
Matt
You say you had your Delta for 15 years.

If you spend an extra $500 and keep for 15 years, thats a whopping $33.33 per year!

Spend the $ and be as satisfied with the SS Cab Saw as you are with your Delta!

My whopping .02 Cents :gar-Bi

Matt
 

Matt Furjanic

Matt
Senior User
Hi Chris, I had the same delimmea several months back, and I made the choice for the 3 HP pro. I was really considering the contractors saw since I have to frequently move it. With the mobile base, the pro moves effortlessly. I have not regretted the choice. The saw is not only safer, but this is a very high quality machine. Other than the flimsy extension table, I have nothing negative to say about this saw. The dust collection is fantastic, and right now they are offering the overhead dust catcher assy for free with the pro. As far as 220 volt requirement. I didn't have it either, but this is much simpler than many people think. I did my own in a matter of hours, but an electrician can probably install 220 reasonably cheap. My saw with the mobile base and the upgraded fence (the fence performs flawlessly) Was $3100, so it ain't cheap!

Matt...
 

eyekode

New User
Salem
The diffence between a cabinet saw and a contractor's saw is the trunion assembly and the possibility of better dust collection. I am not sure how the two compare in DC. But a cabinet saw trunion is a big upgrade IMHO. It actually makes the saw more compact. And it is a more reliable way of keeping the blade straight. My experience with contractor's saw was different then yours. The trunion's would not keep their alignment. If you grab the motor and pull it you could make the blade deflect and would mess up the blade alignment. Adjusting them is a royal pain too.

Also the beefier mechanism means the angle stops are typically more reliable. I can crank my motor back and forth against the stops and every time the angle is the same (grizzly G0691). With my old jet contractor's saw this was not the case.

In your case I would ask if the trunion is the same for the 1.5, 3 and 5 hp versions. Or better yet ask sawstop diretly. Good luck!
Salem
 

golfdad

Co-director of Outreach
Dirk
Corporate Member
I just upgraded from my contractors saw that served me for 19 yrs to a Grizzly cabinet saw.....I think Im in love...lol...make shift dust collection on old saw kept me from doing angle cuts without dismantling the dust collection.......gonna clean up old one an sell cheap...hopefully to another just starting out...Happy New Year:gar-Bi
 
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