May 14, 2022

Difference between Powermatic 64a and 64b | A Detailed Contractor Table Saw Comparison

Choosing between the Powermatic 64a and 64b isn’t as straightforward as you think. They share some core features and functions. The average user may not be able to tell the difference between them. This article looks at each of these two contractor table saws. Understanding what each one offers will help you match the right one to your needs.

Overview of the Powermatic 64A

That is one of the best contractor-style saws out there. It is not a cabinet saw hybrid as the Dewalt saw, but it comes with unique features not found on most affordable contractor saws. The saw tool features a large 3-piece cast iron top, separating other table saws. The stamped steel or cut-out shapes do not provide a surface to slide your wood along.

It’s durable, and the fence rail system is solid. It is complete with a precision ground cast iron table with a beveled front edge. This facilitates the smooth transition of the miter gauge as it moves over the front edge of the table. 

The T-slot miter gauge has positive stops for accuracy on the stock. This machine has a lockable push button switch with a removable safety key. It comes standard with the Accu-Fence system available in a 30 or 50inch rip capacity to the right of the blade. Two cast iron wings and an independent leaf safety guard are standard features of this heavy-duty contractor table saw.

Pros

  • Unique
  • Affordable 
  • Durable
  • Solid

Cons

  • The poor dust collection system

Overview of the Powermatic 64b

The Powermatic 64B table saw has a left tilt arbor, 1-3/4 horsepower in dual voltage. That is how it manages to meet the demands of a professional contractor. The transparent blade guard has independent leaves, and the quick-release riving knife reduces the chance of kickback. 

The T-slot miter gauge has a rack-and-pinion angle setting, positive stops, and an extension plate for expanded workpiece support. It features a low-profile riving knife for non-through cuts. An arbor lock is from above the table, as it eliminates the need for dual blade wrenches. 

The Powermatic 64B has a cast iron table and wings with a front edge bevel and a larger working area with the melamine-surfaced wood extension table. Storage hooks on the stand keep your accessories within reach. The exclusive Accu-Fence system is available in 30 or 50-inch rip cut capacity.

Pros

  • Large working area
  • Visibility
  • Stationary
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Not suitable for small workshops.

Powermatic 64a and 64b Feature Comparison

Powermatic 64A

Stand

Start assembly in the area. This area should be clean and tidy to make it easy to find any dropped fasteners and tools.

Except for the rubber feet, finger-tighten all nuts. Tighten stand assembly nuts only after the saw is attached to the stand. If you are using a mobile base, tighten after placing the saw in the mobile base. 

If you struggle to assemble the tool,  assemble the stand in an upside-down position. Use carriage bolts, (32)5/16 hex nuts, and (32) 5/16 flat washers for the stand.

Blade Guard 

Disconnect saw from the power source when attaching blade guard. Attach splitter mounting bracket to saw trunnion using pin, nut, and washer. Insert the pin into the trunnion hole until it is flush on the other side. Hold a wrench on the pin to stabilize it while counterclockwise. 

Router Table Insert

The router table insert is on the right side of the table saw. It is so small that it saves space in your small shop. The router lift also works with the rip fence, and it is one of the useful tools. It comes with fine adjustment.

Although the router lift works great, the melamine-covered particle board is difficult to line up with the rest of the saw. The fence often catches when you take it over the table. Make sure the legs are sturdy.

Fence

The fence is one of the main selling points of this saw. The biesemeyer style is a time-tested design.

Blade Guard and Splitter

These are helpful when you do a lot of crosscutting.

Motor

The saw comes with a 15 amp induction motor. The motor is powerful enough for complicated projects. It rips just any wood if using a ripping blade. Although this feature does not reflect the quality of the saw itself, adding one to your saw makes it competent enough.

Powermatic 64b

Fence systemPowermatic Accu-Fence is for accurate, repeatable cuts.

Accu-Fence locks to rail without increasing safety and precision. The fence is straightforward. It makes use of a simple lever to lock and unlock it. Moving the lever to the top position allows you to remove the fence system.

Fences are not always properly aligned, and therefore any fence system has to be fully adjustable. Unlike cheap fences, the Accu-Fence can be finely adjusted and set up to be parallel to the miter slot and blade. Powermatic provides detailed instructions for this in their manual. 

Blade guard

Blade guard and riving knife have quick release for tool-less mounting and removal. Its transparency gives you more visibility during operation.

Dust port

A built-in dust port increases dust collection efficiency.

Trunnion

Cast iron trunnion ensures smooth blade positioning, heavy-duty box trunnion, and concave teeth on the trunnion gears promote easier raising and tilting of the saw blade (thewoodturningstore.com).

Handwheels

Chrome-trimmed handwheels are ergonomically designed, making the lathe tool comfortable to use. 

Miter-gauge

Micro-adjust miter gauge with extension plate offers wider crosscut support. The ironwork surface features a beveled edge for smoother operation.

Riving knifeRiving knives are for safety when operating a table saw.

The Riving knife maintains close blade proximity to reduce the chance of kickback. However, standard riving knives do not allow through cuts because they stick out above the saw blade.

 The Powermatic 64B is different because it comes with two riving knives: a standard one which the blade guard mounts and a low-profile one. They rise and fall and tilt according to the blade.

Cast-iron Tables

The tables of the 64B are from solid cast iron, which makes contractor-style table saws. The edges are beveled to allow workpieces to slide across the table. Cast iron tables are more likely to stay flat. They also do not suffer much from wear and tear, and they add extra weight to the saw, making it more stable. When they arrive at your shop, always check this when you first get your machine.

Similarities

  • They are stationary.
  • They are powerful.
  • They come with the Accu-fence system.

Differences

  • Powermatic 64b is more innovative than 64a.
  • Powermatic 64b is lighter than 64a.

The verdict

Powermatic 64B has cast-iron tables, a good fence, and is adjustable. These features hardly come on other competing models. Combined with the other mentioned features above, it comes at an affordable price, making it a potential tool.

David D. Hughes
Latest posts by David D. Hughes (see all)

Leave a Reply