Here’s a recent question we got from a guy who runs a small wood shop and wanted to know what his best bet was for a cabinet saw:
Thus far I have my choices down to two saws: Powermatic 2000 or Jet Xactasaw. I’m leaning more towards the Powermatic 2000 but I know it’s just for ego. I’m hoping not to spend over $2500.
The main job for my cabinet saw is ripping from 4 1/4 to 10 1/4 hardwood lumber and occassional dadoes. I run a small shop and do a gambit of projects from building custom made furniture to restoring antiques.
We asked the regular suspects in our three favorite woodworking communities what kinds of cabinet saws they would recommend this woodworker.
WoodNet, FamilyWoodworking, LumberJocks on Cabinet Saws:
Best Cabinet Saw? Powermatic, Jet or Delta? (WoodNet)
Cabinet saw for small shop (FamilyWoodworking)
the cabinet saw face off (LumberJocks)
Off the top here are a couple of recommendations (without any context in case you’re in a hurry):
TheWoodWhisperer spoke up in the LumberJocks forum saying “I’ll tell ya, the extra features on that PM2000 are pretty hard to beat.”
PanamaJake, also from LumberJocks, linked to a FineWoodworking cabinet saw comparison article (link in resource section below) that gave this final recommendation: “Laguna, Powermatic PM2000, SawStop.”
Now, to dig into the votes from the guys in the forums… One thing to note here is that we’re not taking into account whether these folks are hobbyists or professionals in their voting.
And, as many folks pointed out, it’s tough to do cabinet saw comparisons as many of these folks have ever used only one type of saw.
Finally, I included as “votes” what some people said they would buy with $2,500 if they had it, not what they had used and tested. That was rare, but their opinions are represented in the numbers.
It’s interesting to note how closely their opinions matched the FineWoodworking recommendations with the exception of the missing #1 Laguna.
Top Cabinet Saws From 3 WoodWorking Forums:
SawStop ———- 4
Powermatic 2000 — 4
General 650/350 — 3
Delta Unisaw —— 2
Used Unisaw —— 1
Northfield ——– 1
Powermatic 66 —- 1
Jet ————– 1
Felder ———– 1
The Generals were a new brand on me… we don’t sell them presently and you can learn more about them if you’d like at FineWoodWorking.
Cabinet Saw Resources:
FineWoodworking Cabinet Saw Comparison (PDF)
cabinet saw candidates: round 2 (long forum thread)
Cabinet Saw Versus a European Saw
Choosing A Tablesaw Contractor Or Cabinet?