Well, within the next year I'm going to take the plunge and buy a new table saw. I don't think I can go wrong with any of the following (all 10") Delta Unisaw, Grizzly 1023slx 3hp with 50+" extention, PowerMatic 66, Bridgewood 3hp with 50+" extention. Grizzly is quoted at $1250, Bridgewood is $1550, PowerMatic is around $2000.
The bridgewood and Powermatic both weigh a good 130 lbs more than the Grizzly. Otherwise, I don't see a huge difference. Right now I'm leaning toward the Bridgewood or Unisaw. Plus, I like the customer support that the Wilke's guys offer.
Keep an eye out for the newest powermatic - i think it's called the PM2000. It has a true riving knife, a usable blade guard, shrouded dust collection around the blade and a built in mobile base. They're rumored to run about 2100-2300.
If (when) the day should come (it will) to upgrade my PM 64a contractor saw, that's the one i'm going to take a real close look at.
Also, take a look at the Sawstop saw - www.sawstop.com - i'm curious to see how well they stack up to the mainstream crowd of table saws.
The Sawstop is neat. I saw the hotdog demo and it seems to really work. Of course the blade is destroyed, but that seems a bit nicer than a finger.....
I remember reading an article a year or so ago about how they tried to market it to several saw manufacturers but couldn't work out a deal so they decided to build the thing themselves. I think they have a winner, and will confess to looking at it for myself.
I'm sticking with the Grizzly though.
If you really want a high-end saw, I'd look at one of the European saws with the sliding tables. I've been drooling over the Felder's for quite awhile. Now you do lose the ability to use dado's on some models, so you might want to watch that, but they are some nice saws.
I have a unisaw and while i'm not replacing it i checked out the sawstop at a woodworking show this past year. The safety features certainly work and the build quality seemed to be excellent as well. It'd be worth considering.
If you want high end, then either the General or the Powermatic 66 get top ratings. Both are still North American products. The Unisaw has slipped, lately. All the others are from the Far East, including the newer Powermatic offering.
If money wasn't a concern, I would go with the proven 66. The General aint bad either. These two saws are the best of your list, by far.
I was going to suggest looking into the Canadian made General 350 or 650 (right tilt - left tilt). Wood Mag rated it #1 in their last cabinet saw review, and many folks view it as tops regardless of the review. FWIW, the General is slated for a price increase effective Feb 1.
If you're considering an Asian made saw, I'd also include the General International 50-250 or 50-260 @ ~ $1300.
My General 350 is a dream to use. The accuracy is beyond my measurin and the 5 ponies never even hint at worken hard. I figured my real test would be loads of dove tail slots in brace boards for a desk I recently finished. With a tennoning jig in hand, I hit nearly every angle between 20 and 40 and the blade was rock solid and perfectly aligned at every increment. This is likely common of any cabinet saw - but sure made me smile.
Another General owner here. A 650 (so the left tilt as oposed to Ry's Right tilt 350. It was flawless in every way.
Owned a poor example of a PM66 for a short time with every problem under the sun that was later accepted back, but it's very much sullied me on their products due to the severity and long list of issues I was having, and also their ways of handling it.
I know they sell a lot of saws and therefore are naturally prone to have more dud saws than a lesser manufacturor, but I've since heard some terrible horror stories regarding some of their products.
Word seems to get around and people exchange horror stories as they do but at their prices it does make me puzzle over it. Theres a good review floating around somewhere from a guy who bought two 66's and one was fine and the other was a shambles.
I don't think I'll be purchasing a powermatic product again (not a new one anyway) but I *DO* know those who love theirs, but my experience wasn't a good one.
No matter who you go with, always cover yourself with a reputable seller and use a credit card with fraud protection for your larger purchases because some strange things happen from time to time.
Lovely job! It looks like the project came together really nicely! What have you been storing in the pullouts and are the drawers which are further in difficult to access? If you're wanting to start...