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Thread: New Powermatic 3hp PM2000 or 1997 5hp 66?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    New Powermatic 3hp PM2000 or 1997 5hp 66?

    I would say I'm torn on this decision, but "ripped" might be the better pun

    So, a barely used 1997 Powermatic 5hp 1ph 66 has come to my attention. I'm enamored with the idea of going for the older all-America thunder of the 66 over buying a new PM2000 with 3 horses. But I'm split over the lack of a riving knife on the old 66.... this thread helps that argument though: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...sing-something

    I'm intentionally not stating price to keep the discussion more about the merits of the two saws. And please please please don't bring up SawStop.

  2. #2
    I would choose the 66.

    If I ever need a TS in a pinch, be the first one I would look for.

  3. #3
    I have a somewhat older 66 that is a pleasure to use. Very fast set ups.

    Mine is 3hp/3ph and has enough power but if I had been given a choice 5hp would be better.

    I use a splitter installed past the blade in a zero clearance insert whenever possible.

  4. #4
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    Alex I have no personal experience with powermatic saws but would lean towards the older 66 5 h.p. As for the issue of no riving knife ,check out options for aftermarket guards like a shark guard. Good luck in your decision, mike.

  5. #5
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    If the 66 is in good condition and the price is right, I'd get that given the two choices. Its a close call for me because I'd want the riving knife and the other safety feature on the saw we cant mention.

  6. #6
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    I'm kind of mixed but I think I'd pick the 66.

    PHM

  7. #7
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    Basically the saws are the same. The insides are setup the same so the extra hp is worth it. As long as everything is the same, fence, extension table, etc you should be able to get the 66 much cheaper.
    Don

  8. #8
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    I'd also vote for the PM 66 if prices were similar. A lot of saw.

  9. #9
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    Technically the PM66 is a smaller saw having a smaller table but it is a very good saw. I replaced my 66 with a 2000 right after the 2000 came out primarily for the riving knife and I haven't regretted it. IME the 66 vs the 2000 is a lateral move with the riving knife advantage going to the 2000, now the PM72/74 is a different story and is a honest step up.

    I personally see the 66 as the budget approach to getting a very good cabinet saw but I honestly can't think of a single thing I liked better about the PM66s I had over my 2000 except the cast iron extension wing (it is rare to find them) and and there are several things I prefer about the 2000 the biggest of which is the riving knife. One other thing about the PM66s they weren't all built to the same standard so year and paint color have an impact on desirability.
    5,306 miles from where the greatest things with 4 wheels are born
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Snyder View Post
    So, a barely used 1997 Powermatic 5hp 1ph 66 has come to my attention. I'm enamored with the idea of going for the older all-America thunder of the 66 over buying a new PM2000 with 3 horses. But I'm split over the lack of a riving knife on the old 66....
    I had the same question when buying my saw. For me it was between a new PM66 with an established reputation, and the just released PM2000 with a lot of unknowns. I picked the PM66 and I've been very happy with it. The riving knife would be good but I use splitters. I also attached a used cast iron Robland sliding table to mine. Very handy.

    JKJ

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    One other thing about the PM66s they weren't all built to the same standard so year and paint color have an impact on desirability.
    This is the most important thing when buying a 66. They aren't all the same.

    I have one I bought new in 2004. It's a piece of crap.

    I have another one I bought used that is a 1998 model I bought in 2010, it a decent specimen of a 66.

    I personally would take the 66 over the 2000

  12. #12
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    I own a Powermatic 66 after having many others including Delta models. It surpasses all other cabinet saws I owned. You won't be disappointed.

  13. #13
    I'd take the PM66 also. Mine is a 1972 model.

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...58#post2562858
    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 01-08-2017 at 10:15 PM.

  14. #14
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    There is a good thread in this forum about the difference between splitter and riving knife.

    I had not used one until recently when I setup the splitter/riving knife on my euro slider. I'm actually amazed and impressed with the safety factor. More about keeping the hand away from the back of the blade during solid wood ripping than kickback, which (knock on wood) I haven't had happen in 30+ years. Obviously there are situations where the knife doesn't work.

    That said, the PM66 has well documented challenges with mounting a splitter. Whereas the PM2000 has a variety of knives available. I guess to some extent it depends what the saw is going to be used for. I have a Unisaw dedicated to rabbets, dadoes, finger joints and cuts of such ilk. The knife wouldn't be missed. As others have mentioned, the older PM66 is a very fine piece of equipment (I have coveted often) and I'd probably go that route.
    "the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius

  15. #15
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    I don't own either PMs . I sold a vintage Uni and bought a new saw with a riving knife. I have never regretted that decision.

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