I have a Delta hybrid table saw with 1-3/4 hp motor. My motor is going south. Can I replace it with a 3 hp motor? I could get my current motor rewound to a 2 hp, but I would rather have a 3 hp. I am just wondering if the shaft and bearings will stand the 3 hp motor. – Ned Woodard
Rob Johnstone: The answer to whether the drive components will hold up to a larger motor is “maybe.” If you are asking for my advice, I’d say go for it. You would, of course, need to step up to 220V circuit, as 120V will not power a 3hp saw. If you ask the manufacturer I am sure they would say don’t do it, but over the years a lot of folks have switched motors on saw and machines. You just need to accept the possibility that the larger motor may cause problems. For example, a saw designed for a larger motor will have more than one drive belt to transfer the motor’s power to the arbor. A single belt (which is what you have on your hybrid saw) will not be as robust and is not going to perform as well. (It may break, get worn out in a hurry, etc.) Then consider the pulleys that the belt runs in — they, too, might not be up to the task and may fail at some point.I guess what I want you to know is that you won’t be getting the performance of a $2,000 Cabinet Saw by upgrading the motor on your hybrid.
Chris Marshall: Ned, for the reasons Rob points out, I’m not sure I’d trade up to a significantly larger motor. If you were retrofitting an old cabinet saw from 60 years ago that was built like the U.S.S. Nimitz (and they all were!) those saws could handle it. Today’s lighter-framed models might not fare as well, and why risk ruining your machine? I’d keep the “super-charging” to a minimum. If the saw has underperformed for you, maybe installing an appropriate-sized replacement motor and selling your hybrid, then stepping up to a heavy-duty cabinet saw, might be the better investment in the long run. Something to think about. Or, use a smaller, lighter dado set (a 6-in. rather than an 8-in.) and a thin-kerf blade to get the best performance from your moderately powered hybrid.