The advantage of a cabinet saw is that they are generally heavier and are
usually equipped with heavier wings, more powerful motors, multiple belts
and heavier trunions. This would tend to make them vibrate less and they
should be better at producing high quality cuts. On the other hand, they are
heavier and have a flat base instead of legs so if you have to lift the saw
or roll it on uneven surfaces a cabinet saw is not a good choice.
Contractors saws are generally designed to be mobile enough to take to a
jobsite. Cabinet saws are meant to stay in the shop.
For me the choice was pretty clear. I got a grizzly cabinet saw which
arrived yesterday - at least most of it arrived. The fence is still in
transit. Although cosmetically the finish of some of the parts is not to the
highest standard, mechanically it seems to be pretty solid and precise.
Tonight I'll spend some time checking the alignment to be sure.
This is a common thread.
The cabinet saw is superior: II has all the power you would ever need. The
trunnions used for tilting and raising the blade are separate, lockable,
smoother and hold their settings.
The Shop Fox "classic" or "standard" fence work well. There may be
advantages to a unifence or Beis, but I don't know what they are.
As for mobility, either type of saw is a handful. I own the Grizzly 1023S
with a sliding table (~550 pounds) which resides on a Shop Fox mobile base.
My shop floor is very uneven. Even so, I move the saw around with ease.
I would certainly not trade the 1023 for a contractors saw.
Bob, it sounds like you and I have a similar setup. I have a left tilt
Shop Fox, classic fence, and an Exaktor sliding table. I have cut a lot of
plywood as well as hardwoods using a WWII blade. I don't know how any saw
could perform significantly better than this one does. I use it every day,
fairly hard, and it just keeps on ticking.
I appreciate comments. As I understand the consensus, I would summarize
Despite Delta or Jet perhaps having somewhat higher or more consistent
quality, the advantage of weight/stability/smoothness of a beefier Grizzly
cabinet saw over a Delta/Jet contractor's saw makes the Grizzly cabinet saw
the better choice. That said, the preference seems primarily a 'pleasure'
issue attributable to the smoothness and ease of cutting because (as Bob
Griffiths said, and no one else claimed otherwise) there is no material
difference in the accuracy of cut if both saws are set up true ("on the
Agreed somewhat. The cabinet saws have the power to cut just about anything
you throw at them, including stacked dado blades. Contractors saws will
reach their limits sooner, especially in thicker hard woods. Also, the
cabinet saws are more likely to stay in tune better than the lighter weight
contractor saws. A smoother running saw is going to translate into smoother
cuts regardless of how well set up 2 different saws may be. That is not a
That said, a Yugo and a Mercedes will both get you to the same place.
Regarding preference, a cabinet saw is preferrable due to the HP
availability and inherent greater stability (ie weight) which dampens
vibration allowing cleaner cuts. I bet I could tell the difference
between 5 cross cuts on wide stock with a cabinet vs contractor saws
by simply using my square.
That being said, you must also consider your capacity to support 220v
AND the amperage load of the saw. The Grizzly wants 220 with 18 amps
but a typical contractors saw is/can be 110 and probably only 15 or
Having a beefy saw with two few amps in the circuit (or a skinny
extension cord) is a problem for the motor causing heating and lower
performance and or/ blowing circuits (or worse).
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.