View Full Version : GE vs. Leeson Bandsaw Motors

01-31-2003, 11:17 AM
I’m trying to decide between two new motors for my walker turner 16”; a GE 1.5hp and a Leeson 1.5 hp.. the dilemma is the leeson draws 17.2 amps at MAXIMUM capacity and the GE draws 14.4 at max.

I’m not sure where my shop is yet because I will be buying a house and setting up shop in the garage. Most houses around here would have an older 15 amp circuit. But I would mostly likely upgrade the circuit to 20 amps.

The question is has anyone used either a GE or a Leeson (both 1.5 hp farm duty motors) ? how is the quality from one vs. another ? have you used the Leeson for normal cutting (vs. heavy resawing) without tripping a 15 amps house circuit ?

Alan D. Hyde
01-31-2003, 11:42 AM
My father & I just put a new 1 1/2 hp Leeson motor on his Rockwell table saw, and it's working well.

It's on a 20 amp circuit, wired with #12 wire.

I can't understand why anyone would put in less than 20 amp circuits, or use smaller than #12 wire.


dale o
01-31-2003, 04:07 PM
Alan is right. You should run your saw on a 20 amp circuit. There's more to motor selection than just the hp and peak amperage. The inrush current is higher than the rated max when you start the motor across the line. A 15 amp breaker may trip on starting either of these motors. Be sure you compare frame size, service factor and rpm's before switching from the saw manufacturer's recommended motor.
If you move into an older shop, be sure to check out the breaker (or fuse box) and wire size and that you're properly grounded. If you have a fuse box, watch out for the wrong size fuses! (Like a 30 amp fuse in a 15 amp circuit)
Best wishes.

Bob Adams
01-31-2003, 04:16 PM
Both are good motors, but I would go with the GE. Less amperage means the motor is more efficent, also, less amperage=less heat.

steve sparhawk
01-31-2003, 06:33 PM
As farm duty motors, they offer more durability than the run-of-the-mill motor. They are probably totally enclosed to prevent dust explosion as well. Both would rate well.

gary porter
01-31-2003, 07:05 PM
Not to confuse to choice but I'd look at the Baldors as well. I have several them and am very happy with all. whatever you buy you might want to see if it can be wired for 220. Most can and there are some 220 motors, the cheeper ones, that can not be wired for 110. You'll get better performance running your saw on a 220 circuit if you have that available in your shop. At 220 the 1-1/2 hp doesn't push the limit of a 20amp circuit .
Good Luck

01-31-2003, 10:42 PM
I gotta agree W/ Gary Porter. Look at Baldor, or Leeson. If your house is only wired for 15-20 Amps, you might want to upgrade to a 100 amp service so your refrigerator and well pump don't kick the circuit. I have Baldor, Leeson, and some Korean sounding motors. The Baldor and Leeson never whine.

02-01-2003, 10:55 AM
Dale o- you’re right, at start up, it will spike 2 to 3 times the rated amps. But for a split second, so most buss-type house fuses will be able to take that load. I’m not planning on running on a 15 amp circuit. It doesn’t sound safe

These are totally enclosed, fan cooled units. Nice !

I think these can be wired for 220. I have to look into that.

Does 220 = 3 phase ??? or can you still have single phase on 220 ???

Ron Williamson
02-01-2003, 12:44 PM
220 does not mean 3phase.
Your dryer and stove are likely 220 single phase.They have 2 hots(110 circuits)per appliance.Look at your electrical panel,the 220 circuits have double-pole(linked together)breakers
3 phase is normally 208V or 440ish or in Canada 550/600V.

Bryan Mehus
02-02-2003, 03:04 AM
It's kind of odd that there is so much difference in the fla of the two motors, are they both the same rpm? 1200 rpm motors draw more than 1800 rpm, which in turn draw more than 3600 rpm.

Most induction motors of that size can be wired for 240V, which would be the preferred method, but makes the tool less portable.

If you plan on using 20Amp circuits, you must size the cable accordingly, and use a 20 Amp receptacle. It is acceptable in some locations of the U.S. to use a conbination 15/20 Amp receptacle.

Actually there is a pile of considerations that come to mind when wiring for stationary tools that the home shop owner should know about if they are going to do it themselves. Such as, the circuit for that 17.2 Amp motor actually requires 10 awg cable, and the 14.4 Amp motor requires 12 awg. because the code requires the conductors to a motor load to have an ampacity of 125% of the motor full load amperage. Also most residential breakers are only allowed to be loaded to 80% of their rated current i.e. a 15 Amp breaker should have no more than 12 Amps on a continuous basis. This of couse doesn't mean you can throw 20 amp breakers in the panel for circuits with 15 amp outlets, even if you do have 12awg cable going to them.