powermatic 66 VS. Delta X5 series

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Need help on deciding between a 3hp/ 5hp Powermatic 66 Vs 3Hp/ 5 Hp Delta X5 series cabinet saws? Does anyone have good or bad experience with either? I've only read good about Powermatic and motor problems with Delta, is this true? Fine woodworking mag gave top scores to Delta. I'll be doing cabinet work, remodelling house, furniture with this saw.
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I just spent 2 months comparing the PM66, X5 Unisaw, Jet JTAS-10, Grizz 1023, and a General 350/650. I compared them in person, not simply via statistics.
I bought the General 650, at a price that fell in between the PM 66 and X5.
Finger them all, I think all are serviceable, with the PM66, X5, and General being top notch, with an almost imperceptible step down to the Jet. The Grizzly was a decent saw, but clearly not up to the quality of the other 4. You may feel one is better than the other, or get a decent used deal on one of them. Buy that one! <G>
I bought the General because I really liked the cut quality of the one I tested, the complete lack of negatives, and the all metal construction of the saw. New Generals now include a chute that directs the dust towards the DC outlet.
Barry
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I have the Right Tilt model of the General (the 350) it's about 8 years old and boy oh boy do I like that saw... I picked it over both the PM and the Delta, due to positive reviews, no negatives *at all* that I could find in Newsgroups.... and it's GREEN.... Every group of reviews for the PM/Deltas always seems to have this subcurrent of some dissatisfactions... Not something you want when you're going to drop some LARGE dollars on cast iron... I couldn't find a bad word about the General.
Also, I called several dealers while researching saws, and Delta/PM dealers mentioned problems w/Arbor brgs, gear slop, bad castings, etc..... The General dealer said that he couldn't remember the last time he'd had anyone that had trouble with a General saw.... He also carried PM and Delta, so it wasn't like asking the barber if he thought you needed a haircut. The best part - arbor bearings $8 each... Arbor shaft.... $13....
As for power, do you really need 5 hp? 3 hp is fine for just about anything a rec'r or contractor would throw at it, and perhaps a more perverse way of putting it might be to ask.... If you ever have a kickback and get the "fast pitch" from your table saw, would you rather have 3 hp or 5 hp behind that spinning chunk of maple, oak, pine, or plywood coming at you at sub-light speed? Also, think about your power consumption....
HTH,
John Moorhead Lakeport, CA
PS: If it's strictly between X5 and PM66, I'd take a PM66... Lurk around and look for used saws - 3 phase units come up much more frequently if you have three phase available.... Must be all those cabinet shops closing here and opening up in Kandong Provence, China...
in message wrote:

X5
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anything
of
"fast
Speaking from the contractor point of view, I have a delta cabinet 3hp and constantly wish I had more power. I rip alot of lumber (green and dried) and will often bog the saw down with a perfectly sharp rip blade (specially the green stuff). From my perspective, I wish I would have shelled out the cuppla hundred bucks for the 5hp model. Just my 2 cents. SH
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in message wrote:

X5
I think that Barry gave some great advice.
I think that you will be fine with a 3 Hp. motor. I have the Unisaw with a 3 Hp. motor and never have any problems cutting 12/4 maple or cherry. I would also look at the regular Unisaw unless you have a need for one of the tools in the package.
If you are going to be cutting a lot of sheet goods, and have the space, I think that a sliding table is a wonderful addition to the saw. I work alone so I purchased the Laguna large table and would not want to work without it. There are other brands that I have also heard good things about but have not used.
Bob McBreen - Yarrow Point Washington
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Now that is the Best unbiased review on a set of machines that I have ever read, And the most truthful I have never touched a General, have only heard good about them For for 40 odd years Powermatic has had it over the Delta, IMHO I think Jet has come a long way since its entrance to the market, was real crap when it first came out, Griz is okay for the money but should really not be mentioned in the same sentence or breath. I do have a Unisaw because thats the Deal that came my way when I needed it. It is a 5 HP right tilt but would prefer a left tilt. I have had 3 HP but prefer not to use anything less than a 5 HP What I really want is my sliding table saw. 16" Blade 9.9 HP 120 Inch stroke. Whoooowe How I miss that baby Oh well, As they say you never miss what you never had, Well I had one and I miss it sooooo Much. If anyone here has been in front of the blade on one of these then you know what I Mean Well one Christmas Santa may bring one as soon as he gets about 12 K to Piss away.
in message wrote:

X5
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I have a 5 HP Powermatic 66. I love it.Go for the Powermatic..

X5
this
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In addition the Powermatic has a left tilting blade. The woodworking mags are always making a big deal of this since the cutoff portion in a rip won't get caught between the blade and the fence. I bought the 5 hp three phase 66 and had the dealer replace the Biesemeyer fence with the Excalibur as part of the deal. The beast is heavy duty and very well made. It's about 10 years old so I don't know if they are still making them as well or not.

Delta
either?
cabinet
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Wayne Weber said:

I've always wondered about this statement. To me, the best reason for having a left-tilt is that when cutting miters on veneered sheet material, using the fence on the 'proper' side - you know, the long side with the ruler - the tear-out is on the backside.
Maybe I'm just slow... <g>
Greg G.
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 22:33:22 GMT, "Wayne Weber"
All good table saws are available with a left tilting blade.
Barry
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won't
I respectfully disagree. Go with what you are used to. Each tilt has its advantages and disadvantages. Having used a right tilt since my shop days in high school as well as dad having a right tilter, I 've grown up with the right tilt and have gotten used to working with that tilt. I have also used the left tilt quite a bit. I'll also have you know I've been hit with kick backs from both! So to say one is safer than the other is hog wash. Both tilts need your undivided attention when cutting at any angle.
Now if you are a newbie and getting a saw for the first time and are not used to a certain tilt, I would try to find both a right and left tilt to demo and decide for yourself which is better. A cabinet saw is a big expenditure and is one you should definately be comfortable with. Just my 2 cents. SH
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mags
the
used
kick
2
Sage advice, all!

PB
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Hello everyone,
I am very opinionated on this and I am happy to debate anyone on this topic as I am very secure in my point of view.
Once you have decided you are going to spend $1500-2000 for a table saw, there is only one to get, a General 350.
I work at a very large machinery dealer in Canada, we sell Delta, Powermatic, General, General International as well as a few offshore brands very few of you will have heard of. I don't get nearly the same level of complaints about General 350's as I do about Uni's.
General is the only company who still controls *every* aspect of manufacture of their equipment. Iron ore pulls up at the back door and finished machines go out the front door. They are the only company who still uses Meehanite castings ( http://www.meehanite.com/ ), they are quite proud of this and have the certification plaque displayed quite prominently in the foundry. When Powermatic still owned a foundry, they were a Meehanite certified foundry. When Delta Canada still had a foundry (the Callander foundry in Guelph Ontario) it too was a Meehanite certified foundry. When I asked what happened to the millings, if they went back into the furnace, I was told quite plainly "No", all materials in the furnace are virgin, offcuts could not be recycled. We were (our company) packing up from a trade show last year when a light rain caught a couple of our machines outside. The Taiwanese stuff rusted and pitted almost immediately, with the Canadian made General equipment, all we had to do was wipe the water off, no marks on the tables!
When you operated the tilt and height wheels on a 350/650, there is *no* lash, I don't mean very little, I mean *no* lash. The saw comes assembled in a crate, you have very little to do to fire up the saw when you get it home. When the top is put on the saw, it is checked with a 4' strait edge, shims may have been put under the corners of the main table between the top of the sheet metal cabinet and the cast top to ensure it is flat (the flange at the top of the sheet metal cabinets are not faced, this is the only way to ensure every table top is flat, who else shims the tops?). The trunions are much beefier than either a 66 or a Uni. The motor is an off the shelf mount Baldor. The mitre slot measures out at 0.0750" and the mitre gauge bar is 0.0749" (yes, I have measured them with a digital micrometer). There is no side to side play between the mitre bar and the slot, the mitre bar is a piece of milled steel, not a piece of off the shelf bar stock. The mitre gauge head is cast iron, not pot metal or aluminium.
I was very disappointed the first time I saw a 66, it has a unique drive pulley, double bearing, arbour arrangement, rather than the usual bearing, drive pulley, bearing, arbour face arrangement like a General or a Delta Uni. While I know the 66 is a good saw, it would seem better to support the drive pulley on both sides with a bearing rather than just on the inboard side.
I visited the foundry and machine shop in Drummonville Quebec last year and I was totally impressed. It is a strange mixture of new and old. CNC machines spitting gears all day long, but the final assembly and fitting of the each saw is still done by hand. The assembly line consists of three stations with four or five guys. The trunion is hoisted into the saw and bolted in, the tags are hand riveted on (as in manual riveter!). The top is lifted on, aligned to the blade with a dial indicator and torqued down, shimming where necessary to ensure the table is flat. The last station a guy slops cosmoline on the top and all exposed cast iron surfaces, wraps the saw in plastic and air nails a crate around the saw.
When you buy a General 350 you are buying the best saw made today for under $3000, Hell, even Keith Bohn (aka UA100, UniNut, etc.) said if he were buying a new saw he would buy a 350.
BTW, I am not a fan of left tilt saws. All the arguments for them are meaningless. If you dado a lot, you are going to want an accurate scale for your fence rather than having to do math each time you make a cut to account for the blades stacking on to the arbour backwards to a right tilt saw, for me anyway, that out weighs all the "merits" of a left tilt. If you put a sliding table on your left tilt, the point is at the bottom for bevel cuts, which is one of the arguments people make against right tilts oddly enough.
Anyway, I can go on and on as to why the General 350 is the best saw made today but I have things to do...
Thanks,
David.
Every neighbourhood has one, in mine, I'm him.
Remove the "splinter" from my email address to email me.
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On Thu, 25 Dec 2003 15:48:22 GMT, "David F. Eisan"

Bull!
I bought the 650! So there! <G>
Barry
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IMHO, the PM 66 is nearly equal to the General 350. Since I'm in the USA, I got the more-readily available PM 66. Excellent table saw, and recommended by many woodworking professionals. I were to get a Delta tablesaw, it would be one built 20 years ago after seeing a new and old one side-by-side. Since you are in Canada, the General 350 would be the best choice for $2000. I bet there are many more PM66s than Generals 350's, so more complaints about the PM.
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I'm still trying to figure out your statement about more PM66's equates to more complaints ?
Here is a simplified point of view. General 350, 100, 1000, or 10,000 units very few complaints if any. Yes, I know its Canadian made, we do have a few good products worth mentionning.
D.Martin

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If you google a search, you'll find more complaints postings on the PM66. You'll also find more postings about the PM66. It is a statistics thing, rather than a statement about quality. There are more PM66s manufactured/sold than General 350s manufactured/sold. Maybe it is due to more woodworkers in USA than Canada, availability, or effective advertisement, I don't know. If anyone chooses a General 350 or PM66, they have made an excellent choice for their shop and it may be the last tablesaw you ever buy.

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If you're going to compare complaint amounts (god knows why you'd want to, but) then start using percentage of those sold, not just comparing total amounts.

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Yeah, but all we really want to know is how it compares to the Grizzly 1023.
Montyhp

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Davey, Are you trying to start a cross border war or a brand war?! I do agree though, being the very happy owner of a 350 myself. I had always thought bout getting a Uni, till I saw the saws side by side at House of Tools. Really no comparison (except the dust extraction). I worked with big machines in the oil patch and when you are used to well made heavy iron, you notice things right off. Happy sniping Delta PM fans

topic
brands
manufacture
machines
what
made
the
in
home.
the
the
are
mount
the
and
of
is
guy
saw
under
for
account
for
cuts,
enough.
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