Review of My Grizzly Sliding Table Saw (G0623X)

A few years ago, I was in the market for a new table saw. My decision was between a sliding table saw or a SawStop table saw (you can read more about my decision process in the three articles titled Why a Sliding Table Saw with a Scoring Blade?, Why Not a SawStop? and Benefits of a Sliding Table Saw – links at the bottom of this article).

In June 2010, I drove down to Grizzly’s showroom in Bellingham, Washington and had a good look at the G0623X 10″ Sliding Table Saw before ordering one for delivery. By the way, the sticker price on this saw was right around the $3,000 mark.

My New Sliding TablesawI have had the saw for four years and have been really happy with my purchase. The saw was larger than my contractor’s saw with a 30″ fence, but the sliding table saw used space so well that I barely noticed a difference.

What’s So Great?

The saw was nicely made and easy to assemble and adjust. Blade changes were a snap with the arbor lock pin.

The sliding table has proven to be very useful for large crosscuts as well as making straight, accurate cuts in both normally- and oddly-shaped parts.

On the occasion when I’ve had to work with sheet goods, the 60″ sliding table has been a clear advantage for material support (no infeed or outfeed support required for most cuts).

The five horsepower motor had plenty of power to rip thick hardwoods or cut dadoes and the scoring blade produced perfect cuts on the bottom of fine plywood and melamine. When done with the scoring blade, I simply removed it from the arbor, which was much easier than lowering it and resetting it for the next time.

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When dealing with many small parts such as when I made a batch of Time Warp Tool Works Moulding Planes, I was again able to benefit from the sliding table. I piled the uncut parts on one end of the sliding table, made the required cuts using the middle section of the table, then stacked the cut parts on the other end of the table itself. As I worked, all parts remained on the table which traveled back and forth as a whole, so parts were never in the way or out of arm’s reach at any point.

There were two T-slots in the top and one in the edge of the sliding table that allowed the attachment of the outrigger, mitre gauge, and other accessories such as a hold down or handle. They were also useful for storing pencils and rulers (and sawdust!).

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Because the sliding table extended to within a fraction of an inch of the blade, I could clamp even a small part in place for cutting, then push it through the blade without even being near the part or the blade. Furthermore, the long sliding table encouraged the user to stand to the left of the blade – out of the way of the path of kickback. And yes, the saw has a riving knife too.

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The outrigger was clamped to the table and could be slid forwards or backwards as desired. A pivoting arm attached to the back of the saw cabinet supported the far end of the outrigger and a threaded adjustment allowed it to be levelled.

The crosscut fence offered ample support for almost all cuts, and a pair of flip stops made breaking down stock efficient.

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The fence could be mounted at either the front or back of the outrigger, and a set of adjustable flip stops ensured that the fence could be set square time and time again.

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The blade tilt and height were adjusted with two well-made hand wheels with folding handles and centre knobs for locking their setting. They felt nice and worked well.

Handwheels

What’s Lacking?

The mitre scale on the outrigger was a decal with fat lines, so I couldn’t rely on it for accurate angles. Instead, I would use a bevel gauge to set the crosscut fence to the blade.

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Some of the higher-end sliding table saws had some useful features that this saw did not have, such as the option to lock the sliding table all the way forward for loading, or a switch on the sliding table.

Dust collection was fair. There was an additional provision for collecting dust in the blade guard, which I elected to not use. One thing I did find out was that if sawdust was allowed to accumulate between the blade access door and the blade shroud, it prevented the door from closing properly and contacting the microswitch which allowed the saw to run.

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The saw came with a mitre gauge which could be clamped to the sliding table. I always preferred to use the larger crosscut fence and the only time that I used the mitre gauge was if I had removed the outrigger for some reason. This wasn’t really a negative, just a “do I really need this?” accessory.

Modifications and Additions

When the saw arrived in my shop, I couldn’t figure out how to lower the riving knife below the crown of the blade, so I ground some metal off of the back top of the riving knife to allow me to perform non-through cuts.

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My shop was quite narrow, and the crosscut fence was long, with an extension to allow even wider crosscuts. I decided to cut the aluminum crosscut fence to end where the outrigger ends. When I needed to make cuts between 37 and 74 inches, I could use the extension. (When I cut off the end of the crosscut fence, I also removed the tapped hole for the knob that locks the extension in place, so I needed to drill and tap another hole.)

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The extension came with a ramped stock support, but since I never cut stock long or flimsy enough to warrant it, I removed it.

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The crosscut fence was secured to the outrigger with a long, threaded bolt and was tedious to wind in and out when I wanted to install or remove the fence. I solved that by making a simple locking device with a lever-action clamp that fit into a T-slot in the bottom of the crosscut fence.

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I was glad that I bought a cam-action hold down with the saw. The saw didn’t come with the hold down and they were not sold separately. However, the hold down was included with another saw which has the same size T-slots (1-1/4 x 1/2 inch) so I ordered all the parts and assembled it myself. It wan’t cheap, but it sure was worth the price!

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Additional resources about this saw are provided in the links below. If you have any other questions, please feel free to submit it in the comments box at the bottom of this article.

Links:

Use Tools Properly and Smartly

The table saw is probably one of the most feared tools in the shop.  It has a bad reputation of being a finger-munching machine that likes to kick back.  I believe most accidents are preventable.  At the table saw, using the proper safety equipment such as a splitter or riving knife, featherboard or push block is very important and not only makes the tool safer, but contributes to better quality cuts.

It is even more important to understand what the tool is designed to do, how to use it properly, and what it should sound and feel like in operation.  If unsure about something, ask somebody who has more experience.  Shoot me an e-mail if I can help.

There is an old saying that goes like this: “The woodworker’s mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop.”  I think this is absolutely true.  Never work when tired, distracted or hurried.

In this video, Red Green shows how not to use a table saw.  List the safety violations and mistakes you see in the comments section.  Let’s see how long of a list we can create!


Here are some related table saw safety articles I have written:

  1. Why Not a SawStop?;
  2. Benefits of a Sliding Table Saw; and
  3. Why a Sliding Table Saw with a Scoring Blade?

Benefits of a Sliding Table Saw

In Session 6 of the ongoing Maple Trestle Table build, I needed to cut two stretchers from a slab of maple and my sliding table saw was the best tool for the job.  Note that I used a riving knife for every cut.

Crosscut Fence

I first crosscut the slab to length using the crosscut fence and outrigger for support.  The crosscut fence, which was much longer and more solid than a mitre gauge, was secured to the outrigger and sliding table.  The workpiece sat directly on the outrigger and sliding table so I didn’t lose any depth of cut.  Together, the slab, sliding table, outrigger and crosscut fence glided past the blade on ball bearings.

Straight-Line Ripping

Once the stock was cut to length, I turned it length-wise to rip one edge straight.  I butted one end against the back of the crosscut fence and positioned a cam-action hold-down at the other end.  I positioned the workpiece where I thought it needed to be to rip a clean, straight edge (I could have also measured to be more accurate).  Then I secured the slab with the hold-down and pushed the sliding table and slab through the blade.  Because the slab wasn’t perfectly flat, I also applied downward pressure to the forward end.

Short Fence

With one straight edge established, I then needed to rip two pieces of the same width.  I positioned the rip fence the appropriate distance from the blade and retracted the fence to the short fence position.  In this position, the fence terminated where (or slightly before) the stock was parted by the blade.  This way, the material was never trapped between the blade and fence which could cause burning, binding, and/or kickback.

I recorded the whole process, including set-up, in this video.  (Duration – 6:11)

Thanks for reading!  I would appreciate it if you left a comment.

My Tall Workbench with Flair

This bench was inspired after the Joinery Bench that Shannon Rogers brought to Woodworking in America.  It was intended to simply be a taller workbench and I honestly did not know how useful I would find it (ask me in half a year).

This small bench was built taller than normal (39.5″) to allow joinery to be cut at a more comfortable height – no more bending over to see your scribe lines.  I built the base using drawbored mortise and tenon joinery.  The bench was made of Western maple.

Tall Workbench Assembled

All the joints were drawbored mortise and tenons.  I used my drill press and chisels to cut the mortises and cut the tenons with my bandsaw and tuned them with my shoulder plane and chisels.

Mortise and Tenon

In this video, I demonstrated how I shaped and installed drawbore pegs while discussing why drawbored mortise and tenon joints are effective.  Listen how the sound changes as the peg encounters the offset hole in the stretcher’s tenon.  (Duration:  1:27.)

To keep the build simple, I only did what was necessary.  The faces of the legs were left rough-sawn and the back of the bench top still bears a live edge.  The bench top was attached to the base with four lag bolts in oversized holes to allow for expansion.  No glue was used.

In this second video, I showed how I used my sliding table saw to straighten one edge, then crosscut the two adjacent edges square.  (Duration:  3:09.)

The bench itself required 13 hours to construct and the Moxon Vise with Flair required another two hours.

Tall Workbench

What do you think of my 13-hour Tall Workbench with Flair?

Quite a few other bloggers are documenting (or have documented) the building of their workbenches.  You can read about their benches by following these links:

(If I have missed your bench build, please leave a link in the comments section.)

Wall Brackets for Hollow Chisel Mortiser

Yesterday, at 2:05 pm, I decided that I needed to get my benchtop mortiser off my bench.  I documented the process of building and mounting wall brackets live on Twitter and what you see below are the updates.  This was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, the @ symbol indicates a username.  Every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username and they are the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you will see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you will see is #, which serves as a category.  I tried to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

@FlairWoodworks: I need a pair of brackets to mount my mortiser on the wall here. Follow along with #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:05 pm

@FlairWoodworks: This is my mortiser. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:06 pm

@FlairWoodworks: These are some hardwood scraps I had in the shop. The wood on the right is interesting but there isn’t enough. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:13 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I use a short fence on my sliding tablesaw to cut the parts to length. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:17 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I used the jointer to flatten one face, then used the bandsaw to make the other face parallel. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:22 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I used the smallest of my seven bench planes to clean up the bandsawn surfaces. This wasn’t really necessary though.
January 10, 2012, 2:34 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I dry-fit the bracket and marked the cuts for the cross-brace. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:38 pm

@FlairWoodworks: Some of the cuts for the cross braces were angles greater than 45 degrees. This is how I cut them. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:50 pm

@DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks great, simple strategy.
January 10, 2012, 2:50 pm

@FlairWoodworks: Here’s your first look at what they will look. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:52 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I’m using 8mm Dominoes for the joinery so I had to switch the bits from the last time I used the Domino Joiner. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:56 pm

@FlairWoodworks: To get this mortise accurately cut, I clamped a stop 10mm down from the centerline. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 3:08 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I forgot to readjust the depth setting for the angled ends. I’ll plug this cavity with a Domino and try again. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 3:14 pm

@FlairWoodworks: One glued up! #flairww
January 10, 2012, 3:26 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I use Extractor nail pullers to remove the Dominoes after dry-fitting. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 3:41 pm

@DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks good idea. I use pliers.
January 10, 2012, 3:55 pm

@FlairWoodworks: @DyamiPlotke The jaws of the Extractors remain parallel for a better grip.
January 10, 2012, 3:56 pm

@DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks yeah. I’ll try an extractor next time.
January 11, 2012, 4:00 pm

@FlairWoodworks: The glue is dry now so it’s time to continue making the brackets for wall-mount the hollow chisel mortiser.
January 11, 2012, 5:20 pm

@FlairWoodworks: The next step is to flush up the joints. #flairww
January 11, 2012, 5:22 pm

@FlairWoodworks: If the brackets are out of square, I use the tablesaw to cut them square. #flairww
January 11, 2012, 5:34 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I drilled two angled holes at the top and one straight at the bottom. #flairww
January 11, 2012, 5:45 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I attach one bracket at the measured height on the wall and use a level to determine the vertical placement of the second.
January 11, 2012, 5:58 pm

@FlairWoodworks: Finally, I hefted the mortiser onto the brackets and bolted it down. #flairww
January 11, 2012, 6:16 pm

@woodbard: @FlairWoodworks Well done, Chris! The mortiser has found a permanent home, out of the way of other tools. Support planned for long boards?
January 11, 2012, 6:20 pm

@FlairWoodworks: @woodbard And it only took two months! When I need outfeed support, I will probably just set up a sawhorse.
January 11, 2012, 6:24 pm

Why Not a SawStop?

First of all, if you are not familiar with SawStop technology you should look into it.  Basically, the saw detects when the blade comes in contact with something conductive such as your finger.  When that happens, the aluminum brake is rammed into the blade stopping the blade’s rotation, saving your fingers.  This video shows how it works and you can find additional information, including the owner’s manuals, on the SawStop website.

This seems like a logical follow-up to my last post about my sliding table saw which cost about the same amount as a SawStop Professional (the Contractor model is less; the Industrial is more).  When I decided to replace my under-powered contractor’s saw, the SawStop was the other saw at which I was looking.  I use a SawStop Industrial table saw at the Lee Valley Tools Ltd. shop where I work part-time so I have first-hand experience with their machines.  They are nicely built and there are many reasons to buy a SawStop:

  1. Peace of mind.  I am the only user of my table saw in my own shop and I trust myself to make smart, safe decisions.  I am comfortable with the saw and understand how to use it safely.  However, if I had someone else using the saw, regardless of their experience, I would feel badly if they had an accident.  For that reason, I am the only one who uses my saw.  If I had others using my saw, I would seriously reconsider investing in a SawStop.
    In writing this, I do not mean to say that I am immune to accidents.  I am not.  In a moment where I am not thinking, the SawStop could well be the difference between losing a finger or not;
  2. Excellent dust collection capabilities, especially when using the blade guard;
  3. The owner’s manual is very clear and well-written.  It is riddled with large, quality pictures.  The manual for the SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw consists of 104 pages and is coil bound.  There is a separate manual for the fence system;
  4. Adjustments.  The SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw allows you to adjust more than the 45- and 90-degree bevel stops.  You can also fine-tune the amount of backlash in the adjustments, elevation limit stops, and more.  There are 21 pages dedicated to adjustments in the Industrial Cabinet Saw manual;
  5. Changing between the riving knife (or spreader, as the manual calls it) with blade guard and low profile riving knife (sometimes called a “shark fin”) is quick, easy, and requires no tools; and
  6. They are well-made.  All the machining is fine and you won’t find any cheap plastic components anywhere.  I approve of their hand wheels, which are particularly nice!

Ultimately, a number of factors led to my decision to go with the European-style sliding table saw.  Here is a list of things that helped me decide:

  1. The biggest, of course, was the sliding table.  When I bought my saw, I commented that if SawStop made a sliding table saw, I would buy it.  The sliding table makes wide crosscuts easy and provides ample support for large panels without the need for roller stands;
  2. Though sheet goods are not my favourite, the scoring blade is a useful accessory.  SawStop does not offer a saw with one;
  3. My previous table saw was equipped with a Unifence which I’d gotten use to after learning on a Biesemeyer fence.  The two black knobs on the right side of the body can be loosened, allowing the aluminum fence to be slid forwards or backwards.  This is useful for repetitive crosscuts, as a short fence, or to allow long crosscuts without losing the rip fence’s positioning.

    Delta Unifence

    Fences on European saws are similar to the Unifence in appearance and operation, but may vary in how its position is read.  Rather than the hairline cursors we North Americans are familiar with, some European fences are read directly off the face of the fence.  This is not necessarily better – just different.  You have to make sure you are sighting directly down the fence for an accurate reading.  If you have an auxiliary or sacrificial fence installed, you don’t need to factor in its thickness;
    I prefer the type of fence that can be slid forwards and backwards along the body.  The SawStop comes with one of two models of two T-fences.  Of course, you could always retrofit the SawStop with an aftermarket fence.

    Reading the Position of a European Fence

  4. SawStop table saws tilt left.  Right-tilting arbors are not available.  I prefer a right-tilt saw for the one reason that the arbor flange is on the right side of the blade.  This means that when you put a dado stack on the saw, the additional blades are built away from the fence so the fence’s scale remains accurate.  The opposite is true for a left-tilt saw;
  5. Separate brake cartridges must be purchased for 8″ dado blades.  There is no brake cartridge available for other sized dado blades;
  6. With the exception of 8″ dado stacks, blades other than 10″ may not be used.  I sometimes find a 7-1/4″ blade from a circular saw really useful because it has a thinner kerf.  It’s not often when I need to make a very thin groove, but when I do, a circular saw blade usually does the trick.  They are also cheaper so I am not hesitant to cut dirty lumber with them;
  7. The brake must be checked and set for the proper distance to the blade.  All 10″ blades are not the same.  Sharpenings can have an effect on the size of the blade so if you have a brand new crosscut blade and a thrice-sharpened rip blade, you may need to adjust the brake when switching blades;
  8. When theSawStop’s main power switch is turned on, the saw must do self-diagnostics which takes about 5-10 seconds.  This switch does not need to be turned off every time the saw is turned off;

    Photo from SawStop Manual

  9. The SawStop’s paddle switch used to start and stop the blade just like on a regular saw is easy to bump into accidentally.  I have no issue with that.  However, unlike conventional saws, if the SawStop’s switch is bumped off it cannot be turned back on until the blade has come to a stop.  I find that to be a nuisance; and
  10. The SawStop cannot be run without a brake cartridge installed.  If you don’t have a spare, you can’t use the saw.

While researching for this article I learned something about the saw that surprised me:  in most cases, nails and staples are not large enough to trigger the brake.  However, if the nail or staple is grounded (in contact) with a larger conductive body such as a metal miter gauge, table top, or your fingers, the brake will be triggered.

And according to their website, counter to what seems to be the “general knowledge” most wet or green lumber can be cut on the SawStop without overriding the safety feature.  The SawStop website states that “if the wood is very green or wet (for example, wet enough to spray a mist when cutting), or if the wood is both wet and pressure treated, then the wood may be sufficiently conductive to trigger the brake.”  If you have material this wet, you can either set it aside for a day or so to dry out or set the saw in bypass mode to disable the brake.  By the way, you cannot run the saw in bypass mode without a brake installed.

The brake cartridges record information about an accident.  If the accident involved contact with skin, send the cartridge back to SawStop and they will send you a new one free of charge.  When the brake fires, usually one or two teeth are damaged.  The blade can be either repaired by a blade sharpening service or replaced.  Your choice will likely be dependant on the cost of the blade.

It’s important to note also that the SawStop brake alone does not make for a safe table saw.  Kickback is still a threat, though the included riving knives go a long way to prevent that.  As advanced as table saw safety has come, there is still no substitute for training, experience, good judgement and alertness.

Why a Sliding Table Saw with Scoring Blade?

Most hobbyist woodworkers are impressed when they see my saw.  It’s a big piece of machinery, especially with the 5′ sliding table and outrigger.  And for many of them, it’s something they’ve never seen, or even imagined before.

When I tell someone who has seen this type of machine before, they nod in approval and assume that I work with a lot of sheet goods.  That’s a fair guess, as the saw does excel at cutting up plywood.

If you’ve ever tried to break down a sheet of plywood on a table saw, you’ll fully understand the benefits of a sliding table saw.  When ripping, instead of fighting the plywood across the saw, trying to maintain an even feed rate while keeping the edge against the fence and struggling to support it throughout the cut, it’s a simple matter of loading the plywood on the sliding table, setting it against the fence, and pushing the plywood and sliding table past the blade.  It’s almost effortless.  Need a 4′ wide sheet cross-cut?  No problem.  Set the plywood against the cross-cut fence and push it through.  Here’s a short demonstration of breaking down a sheet of plywood.

The sliding table is half of why this type of saw excels at working with sheet goods.  The scoring blade is the other half.  A scoring blade is a small blade located in front of the main blade.  It cuts a kerf slightly wider than the main blade and is installed so the teeth point backwards and it counter-rotates, or turns the opposite way.  It is set very low, just low enough to nick, or score, the bottom surface of the material being cut.  It counter-rotates to ensure a clean cut on the bottom edge of the plywood – the face of the plywood is supported by the core so there is no tearout.  Of course, having a blade rotating in the wrong direction, trying to pull the stock forward could be very dangerous in theory.  However, because the blade is taking such a light cut, the weight of the material it is cutting is enough to keep the scoring blade from pulling it forward.  Here is a very short clip of the scoring blade in use.

Yes, sliding table saws with scoring blades are great for plywood.

But that’s not why I bought mine.  Plywood is great for some things, but my designs don’t have much use for plywood.  Besides, my workshop is not large enough to easily manage a full sheet of plywood.  Most of my work uses solid wood, and I feel my saw is equally advantageous.  The sliding table is great for straight line ripping.  That’s when I have a rough piece of lumber with no straight edges.  Without this saw, I would joint one face and one edge, then rip the other edge.  But now, I just clamp the piece of lumber to the sliding table and push it past the blade for a straight cut.  Then I turn it around and use the fence to get the other edge straight and parallel.  I’ve rarely used my jointer to edge-joint since I got this saw.  It’s a big time saver – especially when the edge isn’t close to being straight.

Straight line ripping is half of the reason I bought this saw.  The other half is to do wide crosscuts.  With my old contractor’s saw, small cuts were easy with the miter gauge.  Crosscuts up to about a foot or so were manageable with a sled, but wider cuts required a circular saw.

A few advantages that I hadn’t thought about when choosing a saw include cutting tapers and small parts.  Tapers are a simple matter of clamping the stock to the sliding table at the intended angle and making the cut.  With a conventional table saw, small parts can be a challenge to cut safely, but with the hold-down clamp I just position the part, clamp it down, and can safely cut the part while standing at the end out of the outrigger, a full 3′ away from the blade.  I am very glad that I ordered the hold-down.  Another advantage is that all the clutter that sometimes ends up on the table doesn’t get in your way… as long as it’s on the sliding table.  Instead, it just moves with you.

A couple other niceties that this saw has, but aren’t exclusive to a sliding table saw include the european-style fence (similar to the Unifence) which can be used in the short configuration where the fence is slid forwards so that it at the leading edge of the blade.  This virtually eliminates any chance of stock getting trapped between the fence and blade.  I use the short fence a lot for ripping cuts and repetitive cross-cuts.  The 5 HP motor is certainly nice too.  Blade changes are made easy thanks to an arbor lock and a single wrench after moving the sliding table to the forward-most position.  This video was taken soon after I got the saw; I am now more efficient at changing blades but the procedure remains the same.

An Overview of Table Saws

Benchtop saws are the most portable.  Most come with a folding stand of some sort and can be carried with relative ease.  These saws are ideal for job sites because they are easy to transport but are good for a shop too.  The tables are usually cast iron and may have stamped steel, aluminum, or cast iron wings (side tables).  The fences usually have a maximum ripping capacity of about 25″.  Benchtop saws tend to lack the table surface and power sometimes required when cutting large sheets of plywood or ripping thicker lumber.  Because they are light, they are less stable – more tipsy than bigger saws.  The universal motors (same as a circular saw) are loud and connected directly to the motor.  Dust collection on the better benchtop saws is usually excellent.  If you plan to use a dado head on your saw, check the length of the arbor.

Contractor saws are the next step up.  They come with a non-folding metal base and have a bigger table surface, usually cast iron.  These saws feature a bigger motor with capacitors (1 or 2).  The motor hangs out the back of the saw and is connected to the arbor with a single belt.  The fences on contractor saws are a big step up from a benchtop – beefier and with greater ripping capacities.  To help move these saws around, you’ll want a mobile base.  It takes at least two people to lift one.  Dust collection is not great with a contractor saw.

Cabinet saws are the pinnacle of table saws.  They often boast 3 or 5HP motors which are tucked away in the cabinet base.  A series of belts connects the motor to the arbor, reducing vibration.  Coupled with the mass of these saws, they are very quiet.  Dust collection is excellent because of the closed cabinet.  The fence systems are the same as contractor saws and you will need a mobile base to move one of these saws.  The trunnions which hold the saw arbor are mounted to the base, rather than the bottom of the table, making blade-table alignment much simpler.

Depending on your expected use, you can decide which level of saw suits your needs best.  For light duty use, a benchtop saw may be all you need.  But if you intend to cut a lot of thick lumber (hardwoods especially) and plywood with the table saw, have a good look at a contractor or cabinet saw.