Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Huntington Beach, California
As George says, whether it is sitting in the next town, next door or the store; nobody "Needs" a 5 HP table saw. But when it is sitting in your garage or shop it is nice to have a 5 HP saw.
If it were me, I would replace the motor with a 3 HP, single phase motor. For everything that we do in home workshops, I've never noticed the need for the two additional horses. I will admit that when I bought my UniSaw, I would have bought a 5 HP model but the marketing deals were only on the 3 HP version at the time. A 5 HP model would have cost me almost double what the 3 HP did.
And like George, I built a lot of cabinets using a 1½ HP Jet contractor model.
I can say this about the Power Matic saws. They are very solid and top quality. At school I used a PM that was in the 25 to 30 year old range. Absolutely NOTHING wrong with the saw. It had been serving students well for all those years. It seemed that the PM was a bit clunky when compared to the UniSaws. It is hard to describe but it was the longevity that was designed in to take the abuse of students.
In furniture 1/32" is a Grand Canyon