Sawstop vs Powermatic: Which Brand Produces Better Cabinet Saws?

Sawstop vs Powermatic: Which Brand Produces Better Cabinet Saws?

Taking your woodworking skills to a professional level requires you to have the tools that can process lumber with a high level of accuracy. While searching for a cabinet saw you will inevitably have to consider the Sawstop vs Powermatic comparisons as either brand offers several powerful models.

For the purpose of this article, we are going to take a closer look at the Sawstop PCS175-TGP236 and Powermatic PM23130K models and take you through all of their most distinctive features.

Both of these power tools can cut through high-gauge stock with ease, which makes it difficult to decide which one is better. Our Sawstop vs Powermatic comparison will examine the features of these woodworking tools and provide you with several alternative solutions.

Our table saw vs cabinet saw comparison can help you understand better the differences between these tools.

Better Rip Capacity
SAWSTOP PCS175 Cabinet Saw
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More Powerful
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Main Differences Between Sawstop vs Powermatic Cabinet Saws

The main differences between the Sawstop and Powermatic cabinet saws are:

  • The Sawstop PCS175-TGP236 has a 1.75HP motor, whereas the Powermatic PM23130K is equipped with a 3HP motor
  • The Sawstop PCS175-TGP236 cannot develop arbor speeds larger than 400RPM, whereas the Powermatic PM23130K has a maximum arbor speed of 4500RPM
  • The Sawstop PCS175-TGP236 utilizes V-Ribbed belts, whereas the Powermatic PM23130K features the Poly-V drive belt system
  • The Sawstop PCS175-TGP236 weighs 426lbs, whereas the Powermatic PM23130K weighs more than 600lbs

These cabinet saws have a lot in common, as they both utilize 10-inch blades, feature efficient dust collection systems, and have large iron-cast tables.

Key specifications

  Sawstop PCS175-TGP236 Powermatic PM23130K
Motor 1.75HP TEFC 120V, 14A 3HP single phase 230V 20A
Blade size 10 inches, 40 blades 10-inch
Maximum rip capacity 30 inches 30 inches
Miter slots T-Shaped T-Shaped
Dado blade diameter 8 inches 8 inches
Dimensions 69-1/8 x 33 x 34 inches 66.75 x 39.13 x 40.38 inches
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The most important features of Sawstop vs Powermatic cabinet saws

Let’s take a closer look at the features Powermatic and Sawstop cabinet saws offer.

Sawstop PCS175-TGP236

sawstop vs powermatic

In the last couple of decades, Sawstop became one of the leading manufacturers of table and cabinet saws. Although the company offers only a handful of products, each of them is capable of performing at a professional level.

It is hardly surprising that the PCS175-TGP236 is among the best cabinet saws on the market, since all of the models the brand offers are built to match the expectations of seasoned woodworkers.

What’s more, you can customize a cabinet saw or any other Sawstop product in accordance with your needs, as you can choose how powerful the motor is going to be or select the fence length that is best suited for the stock you will be working with.

However, you should keep in mind that Sawstop’s products are not cheap, since you have to spend a few thousand dollars on a cabinet saw like the PCS175-TG236.

Key features

  • 1.75HP TEFC 120V, 14A motor
  • 36-inch T-Glide fence system
  • 4000 RPM maximum blade speed
  • 20 x 27 inch cast iron table
  • The 4-inch dust collection port
  • Sawstop safety system
  • 5/8-inch arbor diameter

Motor and rip capacity

The PCS175-TG236’s 1.75HP TEFC motor isn’t among the most powerful cabinet saw motors on the market, but it still ensures that the blade can reach the maximum speed of 4000RPM.

This is more than enough to cut through stock that is 3-1/8 inches thick, which means that you can use this tool to process planks, boards, and other types of lumber with ease. The cabinet saw is compatible with all 10-inch blades that have 40 teeth.

The V-Ribbed belt ensures efficient transmission of power and dampens the vibrations that can make it difficult to maintain control over the material you are cutting.

Also, the PCS175-TG236 has a 2-1/4-inch cut depth capacity at 45-degrees, while the compatibility with 8-inch dado blades enables you to create trench cuts.

This model comes with a T-Glide fence that eliminates the chances of kickback and allows you to perform straight or angled cuts with a high level of accuracy.

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SAWSTOP PCS175 Cabinet Saw
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Table size and dust collection

Opting for the Sawstop PCS175-TG236 will ensure that you have enough space to work with large pieces of wood. The cast iron table has dimensions of 20 x 27 inches and the extension wings are 12 inches wide and 27 inches long.

Consequently, you will have a 36-inch rip capacity to the right of the blade and a 12-inch rip capacity on the blade’s left side. The maximum gap of table flatness is 0.010-inches measured diagonally, while the maximum elevation of the table in front of the blade is 10-1/4-inches.

This cabinet saw is equipped with advanced dust collection features that remove 99% of sawdust as you make during a cut. The PCS175-TG236 has a 4-inch dust collection port and a micro polycarbonate blade guard that extends up to 1-inch to the right of the blade.

These features keep your work environment clean and safe and ensure that you have a clear view of the piece you’re cutting at all times.

Assembly and portability

Cabinet saws are not designed to be easily portable, as they usually weigh several hundred pounds. This Sawstop’s model is not an exception because it weighs 426lbs, but despite its weight assembling this machine can be completed relatively quickly.

Adjusting the blade height or tilt angle as well as switching between blades won’t take much time which enables you to adapt to the piece you are cutting midway through the cutting process.

sawstop vs powermatic table saw

The PCS175-TG236 comes with an integrated mobile base that features two wheels and two casters that can rotate for 360-degrees. Moreover, the mobile base can lift the saw for up to one foot, so that you can adjust the tool’s height to your needs.

Although the base makes this cabinet saw portable, you will still need assistance if you want to move it around your workshop since the tool is too heavy to be moved by a single person.

Other noteworthy features

Industry-leading safety features are the reason why Sawstop cabinet saws are so highly appreciated by professional woodworkers. The PCS175-TG236’s blade produces an electrical signal that changes as soon as the blade comes in contact with human skin.

The safety system is activated once the blade’s signal changes, prompting the aluminum brake to prevent it from moving and shutting the motor off. Changing a damaged blade or a worn-out blade brake is a straightforward process that can be completed in just a few minutes.

Moreover, the PCS175-TG236 utilizes the blade’s angular momentum to drive it beneath the table, which prevents you from touching the blade accidentally.

Reliability

The sturdy design and high-end features make this Sawstop’s model capable of withstanding heavy-duty usage for years. Regular maintenance checks will extend the tool’s lifespan, which is why it is important to check if any of its parts look worn.

The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty for their PCS175-TG236 model, but you can expect to use it for much longer if you take proper care of it.

You will be able to process different types of stock with ease if you opt for this Sawstop’s cabinet saw, but bear in mind that its cost makes it a poor choice for hobbyists.

Powermatic PM23130K

Powermatic PM23130K

Unlike the Sawstop, the Powermatic brand manufactures band saws, lathes, and various other types of woodworking machines.

That’s why the PM23130K is just one out of numerous cabinet saw models you can choose from that have the capacity to cut through high gauge stock. For instance, the Powermatic PM1000 is one of the best options for small workshops despite its relatively steep price.

High blade speed, powerful motor, and a large cast-iron table make the PM23130K model better suited for industrial settings since its features exceed the expectations of most DIYers. Despite having a safety switch the safety features of Powermatic’s woodworking tools are far from impressive.

Moreover, these machines are very heavy and you won’t be able to move them easily, which is why it is important to know where the cabinet saw is going to be placed before you purchase it.

Key features

  • 3HP single-phase, 230V, 20A motor
  • 30-inch rip fence
  • 10-inch blades
  • 4500 maximum blade speed
  • 3-1/8-inch maximum cut depth
  • Integrated digital readout
  • Utilizes Accu-Fence™ system for precision cuts

Motor and blade

The Sawstop PCS175-TG236 and the Powermatic PM23130K are compatible with 10-inch blades, but the Powermatic’s model has a more powerful motor. The tool is equipped with a 3HP to single-phase 230V motor that can develop blade speeds up to 4500RPM.

Both models ship with a riveting knife that prevents kickback, and they have the same maximum cut depth. However, the PM23130K has a 2-1/8 maximum cut depth at 45-degrees which is slightly less than what the Sawstop’s cabinet saw offers.

You can use the Powermatic PM23130K to perform dado cuts, but the maximum width of a dado cut is limited to 13/16 of an inch. This model also utilizes the Accu-Fence system that adds accuracy to each cut you make and enables you to track the piece you’re cutting along the rail.

The integrated digital readout simplifies the process of making bevel cuts at different angles.

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Powermatic PM23130K Cabinet Saw
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Table size and dust collection

The iron cast table is designed with precision in mind and it features both front and rear edge bevel. Its dimensions are 22 x 30 inches without extensions or 42 x 30-1/2 inches with extensions.

The PM23130K has just 30 inches of rip capacity on the right side of the blade but it offers 13-1/2 inches of rip capacity on the blade’s left side. Despite having a smaller rip capacity than the Sawstop’s model this cabinet saw is still capable of handling large pieces of lumber.

The standard 4-inch dust collection port enables you to collect nearly all dust the PM23130K produces but you must secure at least 400CFM of airflow. Also, you can access the inside of the cabinet saw quickly which simplifies the process of removing the collected sawdust.

Assembly and portability

Although assembling the Powermatic’s cabinet saw isn’t difficult, you will still need some previous experience to install the fence or different types of blades.

The tool features a quick-release riving knife lever that lets you change this component quickly but you should keep in mind that you must purchase additional riving knives separately. The PM23130K’s table is 35-inch from the floor and you cannot adjust its height.

However, the hydraulic castor system makes it easier to move the cabinet saw, but this machine weighs more than 600lbs so it may be difficult to change its position in your workshop by yourself.

Other noteworthy features

This cabinet saw doesn’t have advanced safety features, like the Sawstop’s model, but you won’t experience kickbacks while you are using it. An emergency switch that is equipped with the magnetic interlock is located at the knee level which enables you to reach it quickly if an accident occurs.

sawstop vs powermatic

However, the cabinet saw’s blade won’t stop rotating as soon as it comes into contact with skin which increases the risk of injury.

The PM23130K’s box trunnion design makes the tool stable which allows for high cut accuracy and eliminates the chances of an accident occurring because the cabinet saw is off-balance.

Reliability

Each component of the Powermatic’s cabinet saw is built from sturdy materials that are designed to handle demanding cutting tasks on a daily basis. Besides, the manufacturer issues a 5-year warranty for all their woodworking tools.

Zero clearance and dado inserts, a pair of riving knives, or an extension table are among accessories that are compatible with the PM23130K but each of these accessories must be purchased separately from the cabinet saw.

Sawstop PCS175-TGP236 vs Powermatic PM23130K – Pros and Cons

Sawstop PCS175-TGP236

Pros

  • Excellent safety features
  • The quick blade replacement process
  • An efficient dust collection system
  • Spacious iron cast table

Cons

  • Two-year warranty period
  • The motor has just 1.75HP

Powermatic PM23130K

Pros

  • High blade speeds
  • The V-belt system eliminates noise and vibrations
  • Long warranty period
  • 13/16-inch dado cut capacity

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Safety features can be improved

The best alternatives to Sawstop vs Powermatic cabinet saws

Powermatic and Sawstop are undoubtedly among the industry-leading brands but companies like Grizzly Industrial, Shop Fox, or Jet all offer powerful cabinet saws that are capable of cutting through all types of lumber.

Models produced by either of these manufacturers are a welcome addition to any workshop, but their price may be too steep for non-professional woodworkers. Here are some of the best alternatives to Sawstop and Powermatic cabinet saws.

Jet 708675PK

Jet 708675PK XACTASAW

A 3HP motor, 50-inch rip fence, and 29 x 20-inch work table are among the reasons why Jet 708675PK is one of the best cabinet saws on the market. This model utilizes a V-belt system to transfer power to the arbor which reduces vibrations and enables the tool to operate quietly.

The cabinet saw arbor features a lock that allows you to remove or insert a blade in seconds, while an independent leaf safety guard protects you while making cuts at 45-degrees. This Jet’s model has a 4-inch dust collection port that requires just 350CFM to collect all sawdust you produce.

Shop Fox W1820

Shop Fox W1819

It is hard to think of a straight, dado or angled cut you cannot perform with the Shop Fox W1820. This model has a 50-inch rip fence and it is compatible with a broad range of 10-inch blades that can make cuts within a 0 to 45-degree radius.

Adjusting the cutting angle requires you to just loosen the blade using the tilt lock and then rotate the tilt handwheel to the preferred position.

The miter fence features a flip stop that enables you to make multiple cuts of the same width, while anti-kickback pawls and polycarbonate guards protect users from injury.

Grizzly Industrial G1023RLWX

Grizzly Industrial G1023RLWX

A 5HP motor the Grizzly Industrial G1023RLWX uses enables the tool to rotate the blade at 4200RPM. As a result, this cabinet saw can cut through any type of lumber regardless of how soft or hard it is. However, its maximum cut depth capacity is limited to just three inches.

The maximum rip capacity on the right side of the blade is 32 inches, but just 8 inches on the blade’s left side. The large iron cast table features two extension wings that provide you with additional space when you’re working with large boards or planks.

FAQs

Question: Are Sawstop vs Powermatic cabinet saws difficult to maintain?

Answer: Although their components don’t break down quickly, keeping these machines in perfect condition can be challenging if you don’t have a lot of experience.

Question: Which types of lumber can I cut with Powermatic and Sawstop cabinet saws?

Answer: You can cut all stock with widths up to 3-1/8 inches with the PCS175-TGP236 and PM23130K cabinet saws, but the maximum cut capacity of a Powermatic or Sawstop cabinet saw depends on the model.

Question: How long do Sawstop and Powermatic cabinet saws last?

Answer: These tools are designed to withstand years of heavy-duty usage, and chances are that you won’t have to replace them more often than once in a decade.

Question: How much do Powermatic and Sawstop cabinet saws cost?

Answer: Models offered by these two manufacturers are not cheap, and you must spend several thousand dollars to get a cabinet saw like the PM23130K or PCS175-TGP236.

Sawstop vs Powermatic Verdict: Why Choose a Sawstop Cabinet Saw Over a Powermatic Cabinet Saw?

Sawstop and Powermatic produce some of the best woodworking tools you can find on the market, and each of their products is capable of stunning performances.

If you opt for the Sawstop PCS175-TGP236 you will get a cabinet saw that offers more rip capacity than the Powermatic PM23130K, but its motor has just 1.75HP and its maximum blade speed is 4000RPM.

On the other hand, has just a 30-inch rip capacity on the right side of the blade, but its 3HP motor enables it to rotate the blade at 4500RPM. Hence, Sawstop’s model gives you a larger work surface, while Powermatic’s model delivers more power.

Safety features are the reason why the Sawstop’s cabinet saw is a slightly better option, but either model is capable of stunning performances.

Did you find our Sawstop vs Powermatic comparison useful? Leave a comment and let us know or check out our Dewalt DW745 vs DW7480 comparison.

Better Rip Capacity
SAWSTOP PCS175 Cabinet Saw
Check Price Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
More Powerful
Powermatic PM23130K Cabinet Saw
Check Price Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

David Borgogni

David is passionate about sharing his insights on top trending and mainstay products for the home. As an avid renovator, he has become well accustomed to the tools used to build houses, which in turn allows him to help others make better purchasing decisions when choosing which tools and equipment to use to renovate their homes.

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