Lie Nielsen No. 4 Bronze Bench Plane

Sawdust and Shavings

Woodworking Tools, Projects and Hardwood Information

Stanley Bedrock 605
Home Projects Hand Tools Power Tools Book Reviews Q & A Wood Info
 
 
 

Powermatic 64A

Specifications
Ripping Capacity: 30"
Blade: 10"
Accessories: Router Table Insert with Router Lift
Price: $1299
Rating:

 

Buy the Powermatic 64A Table Saw

 

 

 

Review

This is one of the nicer contractor style saws out there. It isn't quite a cabinet saw hybrid like the Dewalt saw, but it has some nice features not found on most cheaper contractor saws.

The top of the saw features a large 3 piece cast iron top. This separates this saw from many cheaper table saws because the stamped steel or cut out shapes don't provide surface to slide your wood along on.

Router Table Insert
The right of the saw has a router table insert. Originally I planned on making a router table but this really saves space in my small shop. I can also use the saw's rip fence if needed. The router lift is one of the most useful tools I've found. No more guessing when raising a bit, this thing has very fine adjustment.

Although the router lift works great, I don't have many compliments to shower on the insert itself. The melamine covered particle board is difficult to line up with the rest of the saw so my fence often catches when I bring it over the table. Maybe that is my own fault, but it definitely doesn't appear to have been designed with the saw from the beginning. However, the worst part about the router insert is the legs. Mine came too short for my saw. If you look closely you can see the feet levelers are all the way out. However, that didn't even cut it. I needed to put a block of wood on the underside of the table to get the feet to just reach the floor. After all of this, the legs are not as sturdy as you'd really want in a shop. I end up kicking the legs all the time and one of these days, one might just break off. At this point I'd say the legs are serving a mostly cosmetic purpose.

Fence
The fence is one of the main selling points of this saw. The biesemeyer style is certainly considered a good time tested design. My particular fence left me feeling that despite the similar looks, this is not exactly the same as a true biesemeyer fence. The plastic UHMW fence material wasn't exactly flat, a key criteria for a fence in my humble opinion. I think the slight bow developed due to the bead of the weld where the plastic fence material attaches to the saw. A little grinding fixed that issue.

Blade Guard and Splitter
I have not found this to be very useful. Since I do a lot of crosscutting, I really don't feel like taking out the wrenches every time crosscut with the sled. I've been looking for a suitable aftermarket splitter but I just havn't found one that I like that fits this saw. There is one that fits older Powermatic 64 saws but not my new one. If I find a good aftermarket splitter and guard I'll be happy to post it.

Motor
The saw comes with a 15 amp induction motor. I've found the motor to be powerful enough for my purposes. I don't cut 12/4 stock but I've cut 8/4 with a combination blade without any issues. I'm sure it would rip just about any wood if you used a ripping blade.

You may notice that I've added a two foot outfeed table to this saw. Although this feature doesn't reflect the quality of the saw itself, I would highly recommend adding one to any saw. I also enclosed the back of the saw. It really helps seal the saw so my dust collector can more efficiently remove the dust from my shop.

For the price of the saw, I wouldn't expect to find any issues with the fence or the table saw insert legs. Without those issues this saw could be a 5. I'm not rating my ability to fix design or manufacturing problems, so this saw only gets a slighly positive review.

Overall Rating 4 out of 6.

See all Powermatic table saws on Amazon.com

 

Power Tool Reviews


Powermatic 64A

Bosch 2 1/4 HP Router

Porter Cable 12V Drill
 
 
 
Home | Project Calculator | Rants | Board Foot Calculator | Woodworking School Finder | Links
 
Copyright 2004-2017 Sawdust and Shavings
SawDustandShavings.com
Woodworking Tool Sharpening
View Woodworking Sharpening Products