|Review by TrentFysty||posted 04-11-2012 06:44 PM||12040 views||1 time favorited||21 comments|
- SawStop 1.75HP Professional Cabinet Saw with 30" Premium Fence
- Brand: SawStop | Category: Tablesaws
Let me first say that I am writing this review to provide potential buyers with a first hand experience, not to open up the ever growing debate of madating the safety technology or what kind of person the founder is. With that said, on to the review.
Let me start out by saying this is the 4th Table Saw I have owned. I started with a Delta job site saw that wasn’t good at all. It was mostly plastic and while it cut wood, it wasn’t much more then a circular saw turned upside down and bolted to the top. The second was the top of the line Dewalt job site saw. This was a good saw. It was direct drive and I found it cut pretty much everything I wanted to cut. It was relatively light weight and it worked well for the work I was doing. The third saw was a Grizzly G1023 SLWX3 5HP saw. It was three phase and a beast in its own right. I have no complaints with the Grizzly and I would highly recommed their products. The reason for moving to a SawStop was that I cut the top of my left middle finger in January of this year. I was following all safety precausions and the wood kicked back and I got cut. The Grizzly didn’t have a riving knife which would have helped to eliminate or drastically reduce kick back so I can’t say that my accident is only preventable with a SawStop, but none the less I decided to go with SawStop for peace of mind going forward.
How I chose the SawStop:
At first I was looking at going with the contractors model of SawStop. I am in the process of selling my house and moving to something smaller. I wanted something that would be fairly easy to transport and could also be used with a 110 outlet. Given that I don’t know exactly where I will be living I didn’t want to go with a saw that required 220 as I can’t guarantee the new place will have it or that I can put it in reasonably. The contractor saw seemed to fit what I was looking for. I read all the reviews I could get my hands on and felt like it was the way to go. Off to the store I went so I could see one face to face. That’s when my decision changed.
Comparing prices and knowing that I could get the mobile base or overhead dust collection for free with a mail in rebate the price between the contractor and the 1.75HP Professional Cabinet saw was minimal. Comparing the two side by side the decision was made easier. The motor on the contractor saw sticks out the back by a foot or so. That means you can’t place it tight agains a wall for storage. That wouldn’t work for me. Second, by the time you add in the upgraded fence, cast iron wings and mobile base the price difference is so small that it just didn’t make sense to go with the contractor saw. The mail in rebate sealed the deal and I purchased the PCS175 with the 30” Premium Fence.
Why not upgrade the fence? The extra 6” would make storage that much more difficult in my current setting and probably even more difficult in the future. I don’t understand why SawStop does not offer the top fence in a 30” length or even smaller and get rid of the black top insert. I don’t spend a lot of time breaking down sheet stock on my table saw so fence width isn’t an issue for me. So I went with the 30” fence and after playing with it in the store I felt confident it would meet my needs.
The saw is 1.75HP. Going from a 5HP to 1.75HP was a big leap of faith for me. While I didn’t think I needed the 5HP again, I wasn’t sure 1.75HP would do the trick. So far I have been pleasantly surprised. I have cut 8/4 maple and oak with no problem. I do keep my blades sharp and don’t slam the stock through the saw. I haven’t noticed a lack of power yet. If I do end up in a location with 220 I will order the parts from SawStop ($40 plus shipping) and convert to 220 to extend the life of the motor. I also understand I can purchase the 3HP motor and convert the saw over that way.
The overall quality of the saw is excellent. I’ve used the top of the line Delta, Powermatic, and General and this saw is right up there. The top is flat, blade aligned to .001 and the fence was easy to adjust. The assembly was easy and I was able to do it by myself. The instructions are clear and easy to understand and the packaging was excellent.
The safety features is what sold me on SawStop. Simply put, there is no other saw on the market that offers the safety of SawStop. I hope that other manufacturers take the steps to incorporate something similar on their saws. I won’t get into the politics of it or the ethics of Mr. Gass business practices. All I will say is they have a corner on the market and when there is only one option, I bought SawStop. The issue of false activations has been brought up many times. Reading the manual it clearly states what you need to do to reduce the chances of this happening. Remove all conductive material. So no staples, no nails, no metal of any kind. That’s easy, I don’t want that hitting my expensive blades anyway. Use dry wood. Use the bypass when appropriate. All of this makes sense to me. If it does trip because of contract with skin then you send it to SawStop and the replace the cartridge for free.
Fence options are limited. The dust collection is strange in that it goes from a shroud around the blade through a 4” tube to the bottom of the cabinet and exits. You have to have a dust collector for this or dust will go all over the place. My Grizzly just dumped into the cabinet so if I for got to hook up the dust collector, no problem it just stayed in the cabinet. Other then these two issues I really don’t have any gripes.
If you want the safety features of a SawStop then the choice is simple as there is no competition. If you want a quality saw and aren’t concerned with the safety features SawStop offers then I would look to the other manufacturers as you can get more options for the same or less money. For me, the rest of my fingers are important. I don’t want to have another trip to the ER, rehab time or other complications that come from cutting the tip of a finger off. SawStop gives me that peace of mind. While I hope that I never need that safety feature, I am glad that it is there.
I faxed in the rebate form on Monday and ad the mobile base delivered on Friday, 5 days total. Pretty impressive response in my book. The mobile base works very well and I like being able to “lock” the saw in position. When putting together the mobile base I did discover an issue that I will be sending on to SawStop. The bolts that hold the two fixed casters are powder coated as are the holes they bolt in to. I ended up using a tap and die to clean both of them as I was afraid I would break the bolts otherwise. I just happened to have the correct metric tap and die. Just a little tip for those assembling their own mobile base.
Otherwise the saw continues to perform very well. Switching blades and dados is really quick. I still have no issue with power.