BUT THE DELTA UNISAW>>>> save the $$ on the delta and buy the
50" table ext. If i was you and can afford it buy the 6" pro jointer from delta then buy the 13" rigid planer. those are the tools I personally have and LOVE>>
The Powermatic comes with the solid cast Iron right and left extensions as a standard. 50 inches to the right.
It is lots of money but it is the best of class. Almost 700 LBS, largest and smoothest running of the pro saws. I have spent that much money (about $2000) over the years making my saw work, The top and arbor used to be a Craftsman 30 years ago. But if I had it to do over I would have saved and bought a used Powermatic 66.
The Powermatic has a slightly higher price, but is most dertainly a premium saw. The trunion is the largest in the 10" class and it is this mass that contributes to its legendary smoothness. Not to be dismissed is its cast iron top is ground to a near mirror quality, translating into less friction. And certainly not the least, it is Made in the USA. They have their own foundry and produce superb castings. And in my book, Made in the USA is worth the extra couple hundred bucks.
As for an 8" jointer, I personally own a Powermatic and recommend it wholeheartedly, particularly in light of its fence that provides a skewed position that allows a shearing cut on highly figured woods for virtually tear-out free jointing. However, General is also importing a quality 8" jointer these days for around $1150 or so. Given their long-standing reputation for fine and reliable machinery, I would give it preference over the similarly priced Jet and Delta machines.
I've had a Unisaw for about 15 years and love it. Would reccomend it to anyone. Also have friend who uses the Powermatic, it is also a great saw! You will not go wrong with either saw. If you have access to view these saw's, take the time to "touch and feel" them. That's the way I've baught tools for over 40 years and it's worked great for me. Good luck and enjoy your wooding.
I recommend the Jet before the Unisaw. Could have bought either but Jet was more saw for the money. The workmanship when compared side by side as I did has noticable differances. Jet seemed more refined. Deltas name tag wasn't worth $400. Don't rule out Jet.
I own and operate a modest residential "custom" cabinet shop and we run BOTH a Unisaw and a PM 66. The 66 is dedicated to ripping and is equipped with a 50" Biesemeyer, and the Unisaw has an Excalibur slide attached to it for crosscut and a 52" Unifence.
Both of these machines are 5 "horse" and sweeter than sugar.
Purchasing ONE or the OTHER... flip a coin? (I started with a Craftsman, then went to an ancient Rockwell/Delta Contractors Saw, which still performs in the dado capacity, then to a Unisaw, then the PM 66.) Mechincally, there are indeed a few differences between the two, but cut-wise? Nothing measurable, in my opinion. A 66 is a slightly more "beefy" machine, yet I'm still not convinced that the extra "beef" was worth the $500 difference. Tough call.
If pressed regarding the fence "systems" I'd have to say the Biesemeyer slightly edges out the Unifence in that it seems to stay true to the setting for a longer period of time; however, the counterbalance of that is the 2" of extra capacity, which has actually come in handy at times.
The bottom line to your TS question is: TIE ball game.
NOTE: We run an old Delta joiner, and I'm still pleased with it. It was second or third hand when I got it. I notice that Delta now offers 2 8" machines, with a price difference of about $400, although I can't make a recommendation regarding either.
I'm going through the same thing right now, trying to decide between the Jet, Delta Platinum or PM 66. I think I just made up my mind to go with the PM66 as they're having a $100 rebate offer until the end of March. I also like the Rout-R-Lift prebuilt into the PM66 table, the Jet also has this option though. I like the tradition and stability of the PM66, it'll be easier to get accessories and parts in the future. I really don't think you'll make a "mistake" by buying any of these saws. I have the extra oney right now so I think the PM66 is probably the way to go.
First I am a big Powermatic fan. This is the saw I wish I had or had the money to buy. It is built in the USA of high quality workmanship and materials.
The company was bought by Jet a few months ago. As a result it has improved the chances of both companies long term survival. I don't think that there will be a difference in any of the top brands in getting parts and accessories for the near term future.
I would expect to see some changes in the Powermatic product line and or its manufacturing location on some of their tools.
What ever happened to General? I have their 3hp model - with the Beismeyer fence system. Nice machne...acurate, smooth running.
Don't rule out a General either, if it's still available - I got mine from Wilke Machinery in York, PA.