Author Topic: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)  (Read 2978 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JonnyBBravo

  • Posts: 49
  • Amor Fati!
I was able to obtain a paid for SawStop PCS 3HP Model. My question is there a massive improvement in the ICS models 3/5HP 1 phase 230Volts that I should spring for an ICS over the PCS model I have now. I found one YouTube video but feel a lot of it’s biased or hyped for Marketing purposes. I have the saw brand new in the box and just wanted to see what the fields perspective on these are. As in I’ve used both saws and I would personally purchase this model for a lifetime and why. Feedback and input is appreciated.

Note: I’m just a very analytical person with my choices and the feedback helps quantify the dollars I spend on what I purchase. I’m not rich, but I rather spend the money the best the first time because of real person use and the infamous cry once buy once mentality.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3471
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2021, 09:12 AM »
The short answer is that the PCS 3HP is good enough for any typical hobby woodworkers unless you want a marginally bigger and thicker table top. I've used the ICS (5HP) and PCS (1.75HP, upgraded to the same fence as the ICS) since 2007 and 2015 respectively. I find the PCS (owned) a better fit for me because of the accessories such as the Jessem stock guides that have been installed on my saw. I do wish I had a 3HP model of the PCS.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 09:38 AM by ChuckM »

Offline JonnyBBravo

  • Posts: 49
  • Amor Fati!
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2021, 10:35 AM »
@ChuckM Thank you for the response. I appreciate the insight. I spoke to a local wood worker as they have both PCS and recently got a ICS and there opinion was the ICS they were told by the Rep was it could run 24 hours for 50 years before an issue. But the main thing that they said was the dust collection on the PCS was a slight hedge better. An that either saw was good. There opinion of the blades though they said they didn’t feel where the best but that again could just be a bias based on experiences etc.

I’ve pretty much used a Powermatic industrial saw with a 12” blade so for myself this is my very own first table saw purchase. Long story short I was a apprentice/helper to a KCMA certified cabinet maker a little while ago which lead me to Festool products and his plethora of knowledge on woodworking. I’ve also used a Jet that I helped him source for a really decent price which he pretty much dedicated for use with Dados with a besmeyer fence on both. Good to know on the HP front that the model I was able to obtain a good choice. Our friend ship as veterans deteriorated due to his vices. Which has lead me to venture out on my own to build my own shop.
 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 10:37 AM by JonnyBBravo »

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3471
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2021, 12:42 PM »
About the blades.

The stock blade that comes with the SawStop is not good for furniture-grade work. I don't use it anymore.

Even its Titanium blade which I also have is not a good value alternative given its price. I use mostly two Woodworker blades (30T & 40T), one for ripping (8/4 and thicker stock because my saw is underpowered for that), and one for standard operation. I use the SawStop Titanium when the WW 40T blade needs a cleaning.

For dust collection, I hook up the overarm dust collection/blade guard to a shop vac directly. The 4" T-connector is a poor design, so I don't use it.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 12:45 PM by ChuckM »

Offline JonathanJung

  • Posts: 252
  • www.timberlightdesigns.com
    • Timberlight Designs
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2021, 12:08 PM »
@ChuckM Thank you for the response. I appreciate the insight. I spoke to a local wood worker as they have both PCS and recently got a ICS and there opinion was the ICS they were told by the Rep was it could run 24 hours for 50 years before an issue. But the main thing that they said was the dust collection on the PCS was a slight hedge better. An that either saw was good. There opinion of the blades though they said they didn’t feel where the best but that again could just be a bias based on experiences etc.

I’ve pretty much used a Powermatic industrial saw with a 12” blade so for myself this is my very own first table saw purchase. Long story short I was a apprentice/helper to a KCMA certified cabinet maker a little while ago which lead me to Festool products and his plethora of knowledge on woodworking. I’ve also used a Jet that I helped him source for a really decent price which he pretty much dedicated for use with Dados with a besmeyer fence on both. Good to know on the HP front that the model I was able to obtain a good choice. Our friend ship as veterans deteriorated due to his vices. Which has lead me to venture out on my own to build my own shop.

From what I've heard from Sawstop, the dust collection is better on the ICS due to a more complete shroud around the blade under the table.

I have a 3hp PCS. Occasionally I wish it had a larger top, but I do lots of sleds and awkward jigs and cuts...just last week I was up on the saw on hands and knees, crouched on the outfeed side, pulling a part through the blade towards me...

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3471
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2021, 02:13 PM »
The SawStop brochure lists both the ICS and PCS having the same 99% dust collection effectiveness. I can't say how correct the statement is that the ICS works better in dust collection because a lot depends on the dust collector/ pipes itself.

My PCS performs much better than the ICS that I have access to because mine has the overarm dust collection blade guard while the ICS uses the overarm tube system which leaves a gap between the shroud and the workpiece. That's why when people ask which one to get for their SawStop: Overarm dust collection /blade guard or overarm tube (which is much more expensive), I always recommend the blade guard version.

When I need a larger table top (even larger than the ICS's), I use an extension jig that has been built based on this tip: https://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/woodworking-101/tips-tricks/how-to-extend-your-tablesaws-crosscut-capacity/

On the outfeed side, I have installed a hinged top that is lifted up when ripping long stock.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 02:29 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3757
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2021, 02:28 PM »
I looked at the Powermatic , the PCS, and the ICS and bought the 3HP ICS. The ICS is heavier than the PCS and has a larger table area. Mine is so smooth that it is hard to tell it’s running except for the sound. I modified the overarm dust collector by dedicating a Festool vac to it. Great dust collection even on trim cuts. The mobile base is a good idea. Works well. I run only Forrest blades on my ICS. I did buy backup cartridges for both the regular blade and for the dado blade. I did trigger the cartridge once. Just barely touched a steel tenon jig. Scared me, but gave me confidence the thing worked.
Birdhunter

Offline bcrawley

  • Posts: 11
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2021, 03:27 PM »
How difficult is it to put in a 220 V service? I'm looking at a Saw Stop, maybe a Felder jointer/ planer. I had a 20 amp line run to the garage from an old dryer hookup, in my new to me, quite old house. The line stops at a box and hasn't been run to outlets yet. (There are a few 15 amp outlets and lights in place already.) But I suppose the 20 amp line is 120 V-- so would I need a new line from the service? I'd have an electrician do it but wonder about the level of trouble and expense it might involve. Sounds like the 3 HP motor is preferable if possible?

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3471
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2021, 04:43 PM »
Codes and standards vary depending on locations. 5 or 6 years ago, I had an electrician install a 220V outlet for a heater in my shop (the panel is located in the basement) at a cost of $450Cdn. The job was straightforward: run a cable from the panel to the shop, and install the circuit breaker, a junction box and a wall outlet.

So straightforward that this year, I obtained an electrical permit (as a home owner) and ran two 20amp 110V outlets to the shop by myself. Because of the pandemic, all inspections were done virtually.

Check your local authority to see how you can do it yourself. As always, electricity can kill, and exercise caution and care...and if you aren't sure, hiring a qualified person to do the job is always the best route to go.

I could upgrade my 1.75HP to 3HP with a kit, but I've resolved my ripping issues for thick stock by using a rip blade.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 04:50 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3757
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2021, 05:22 PM »
My 3HP ICS routinely cuts 8 qtr hardwood no issue. It bogged down once when ripping a long 8 qtr oak board. Changed to a Forrest rip blade and had no problem. I had an electrician run 220 throughout my shop. I think the cost was about $150. Long time ago though.

I’ve had the ICS for years and it still amazes me with its engineering and quality. I’ve never had to make any adjustments to the table or fence. I check the fence alignment with a sliding micrometer about every 6 months and it’s always been right on.
Birdhunter

Offline JonnyBBravo

  • Posts: 49
  • Amor Fati!
Re: SawStop ICS VS PCS (230 Volt Models / 3-5 HP Single Phase)
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2021, 05:46 PM »
@ChuckS @Birdhunter @JonathanJung @bcrawley  Thank you everyone for the input. I am awaiting a quote from a electrician to run the sub panel to my garage will have that in a few weeks as apparently the company I am awaiting a quote from is quite busy with current work. Could you do this yourself; Yes, but I highly rather let an electrician do the work for me and ensure my safety and overall structure. I plan to ask that they use 10 gauge wire for a little more stout wire that can handle the load. Not that I’m running production but kinda just future proofs any electrical changes in the future or overall load. An figuring out my layout with an electrician allows me to ensure codes are met etc for my area and my house is safe with the possibility of future upgrades etc.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 07:22 PM by JonnyBBravo »