Help Choosing Table Saw HP

Hello all,
I have a home shop and am I'm in the market for a new cabinet saw. I've narrowed down the choices to a Delta Unisaw. There are a few models I have in mind, but I'm having trouble deciding on what horsepower to get. I'm sure I only need 3 HP for my needs, but I can't help noticing that for only about $200 more, I can get a 5 HP. I plan to keep this saw for many, many years. If $200 didn't make a difference to you, would you go with the 5 HP instead of the 3 HP? Are there any other differences beside the motor?
I believe that it's probably the application that should dictate the motor's power, and I've read some opinions that 5 HP should be considered for production needs only (which, again, I don't have). But I'd really like to hear your opinions either way.
TIA...
-m
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<< I have a home shop and am I'm in the market for a new cabinet saw. I've narrowed down the choices to a Delta Unisaw. There are a few models I have in mind, but I'm having trouble deciding on what horsepower to get. I'm sure I only need 3 HP for my needs, but I can't help noticing that for only about $200 more, I can get a 5 HP >><BR><BR>
I had a 3 hp Unisaw for 12 years (I've just sold it because the Felder is coming--end of gloat). I used the 3 hp for ebony, rosewood, 8/4 white oak, maple, ash, you name it. I now someone who has the 5 hp, and he has yet to give me a reason, unless you are going to 3 phase, whhic I doubt.
When I got the saw, it came assembled, and dead accurate. Now a buddy got one this year, and he had to assemble it himself, and a number of things were misaligned. So by all means, go with the 3 hp. BUT
I chose the Unisaw over the Powermatic 66, figuring there would be more widgets I could buy that would fit a Unisaw but not a 66. Turned out not to be true, and the 66is a better saw. Heavier, better castings, much better top.
My ideal saw for that type of unit is a 66, but with the Unifence (which I likemore than the Biesmeyer), plus a Biesmeyer overarm guard.
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But I'd really like to

I have a 3HP Cabinet Saw. I've never been able to bog it down. Plenty of power. You could go 5HP, but I don't like the idea of a kickback of a substantial chunk of wood with 5HP behind it :) 3HP is a scary thought in itself.
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Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com Over 50 woodworking product reviews online! ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 6 Reviews: - HyLoft Overhead Storage System - Lumber Wizard Metal Detector - Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book - Kreg Universal Bench Klamp - GRR-Ripper System & MJ Splitter - Spaceage Ceramic Bandsaw Guides ------------------------------------------------------------
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I can resaw 6" wide Ipe with the blade all the way up buried in the Ipe with no noticeable reduction in performance with 3hp. If it were only $50 more for the 5hp I would still get the 3hp.
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hey mike,
i just recently went through the same decision process. i settled on the 5 hp General 650 - i got the 5HP because i figured i was spending that much already, i might as well spend another $200 to get the larger motor.
IMHO, a mistake - here's why:
1)    bigger amperage requirements means a larger breaker and larger wire. you might think that's insignificant, but it wasn't - running 60' of wire capable of carrying 40 amps on a proper breaker was harder and more expensive than running for 30 amps, especially given that my other 220 equipment is 30 amp. so... i had to get a special breaker, heavier wire, etc. not a big deal, but an additional expense and inconvenience.
2)    it's overpowered. during a big shop day my saw may run for 3 hours, maybe 4, and maybe i'm cutting 12/4 hard maple. would a three horse go through it? i'm certain. does the 5HP make a difference? i doubt it. get a good, sharp blade and you're fine.
3)    motor cover - the motor cover is larger (duh) on the 5HP saw, and for me that proved to be a serious issue. i put a sliding table on the saw, and the brackets interfere with the larger cover and i cannot open the cover while the table is attached. that is a serious pain in the ass, and the manufacturer has no solution.
that's all i can think of off the top of my head. my advice is save your $200 and get a good set of blades. also, consider the general - it's a great machine.
--- dz
Mike P wrote:

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Mike,
When I made my decision earlier this year, I was thinking that the 5 hp models tend to be heavier, have less vibration, and cut more accurate lines. With the similar reasoning, I did select 12" over the standard 10". By purchasing the saw from Grizzly (5959Z), the price was significantly lower than the smaller saws from PM or General.
So far I have been happy with my green monster. You should not save money in the blade. Based on the recommendations in internet, I purchased Forrester 12" blade. With the 4" cutting depth, I have been using my table saw as a poor man's jointer and planer for smaller objects. The surface is not like a mirror, but with little sanding it is ready for finishing.
Cheers, Ollie

have
only
HP
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<snip> Spend the $200 that's burning a hole in your pocket on a decent miter gauge, a couple of better blades, an upgrade in your dust collection methods, or a really spectacular load of wood.
Or a weekend with your significant other. She's not going to see as much of you, what with the new shop toys, and all.
It ain't pickup trucks. More power ain't better.
Patriarch
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Mike -
I have a General 350 w/a 3hp single phase motor. I was on the same fence last December when I was SERIOUSLY looking for new/used etc.
At the risk of saying "me too!" to all the other posts, I decided that 3hp was enough when I asked myself about the kickback question... I did have ONE bad one, and believe me... 3 hp was scary enough. The other remarks about wiring and the like hit it on the head. Spend the bucks on a good dado set, safety gear or Forrest blades - THAT's where you'll notice a difference - clean cuts, and counting to TEN at the close of the day.
John Moorhead

have
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motor's
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My Unisaw has a one horse motor.
So far so good.
UA100
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"Unisaw A100" wrote in message ...

By one horsepower, you mean "real" horsepower as it was meant to be. Not the current measurement by S**rs et al, which is either "rocking" horse or "sea" horse power, I forget which.
You need to modernise Keith and use today's language, it's probably really a 5hp by now, they improve with age; no really, they do.
Oh yes, I have a 2400w (31/4hp) saw. But the weight behind the spinning bits is nothing like the older motors.
--
Greg



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GM:

I'll have to dig through the ancient text and find the blurb from the 1939 catalog where Delta graphs out the Break Down horse power rating of the old R/I motors. Shades of Craftsman to come it is.

I'm guessing it's more truer to being similar to a horse anna half but with the torque of a Caterpillar tractor.

Ya see, this is were the Your'eAPeein' types have missed the boats with stating everything in watts and kilowatts. No room for fun with fudging.
UA100
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Yabut - isn't it repulsive?
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PC:

And inductive.
UA100, compulsive...
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reactive, not inactive.
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