|Review by Chris||posted 11-18-2012 07:34 PM||7345 views||2 times favorited||31 comments|
- SawStop 3HP 10-inch Cabinet Saw with 36" T-Glide Fence
- Brand: SawStop | Category: Tablesaws
For many years I have used a General 50-185 Contractor saw. It performed well over the years but my woodworking has advanced enough that I wanted something a little better. I have looked at the major cabinet saw brands but came back to this one because the others didn’t really trump it in any way plus it has superior safety features. I know that there are a lot of SawStop haters out there but my decision had very specific reasoning to back it up. My right index finger was severed by shrapnel while I was in the military and there was significant damage to the nerves in the hand as well. I was very fortunate, i’d say blessed, that the surgeons where able to re-attach my finger. It works but I only have about 5% of the feeling and almost no tactile feedback. So, that having been said this saw fit my specific needs very well. Now that I have completed a few projects on the saw I feel I can post an initial review.
I can honestly say that this is the first piece of machinery that I have assembled that required absolutely zero guesswork on my part. All of the hardware was separated into labeled blister packs; all tools that where specific to the saw are included and the detailed manual and assembly guide is outstanding.
The build appears to be what you would expect from a saw at this level. It seems to be on par with my Powermatic and Jet equipment that I already own
Stability / Noise:
This is my first tool with an integral mobile base; it is phenomenally easy to use. Lifting and lowering is a breeze and when it is lowered the saw is rock solid. I purposely tried to move it and could not get it to budge; keep in mind I am 6’4” and 240lbs. When operating, the saw is very very quiet when compared to my contractor saw.
Riving Knife / Blade Guard: This is the first saw I have owned that it was easy to install and remove the blade guard not to mention to keep it aligned. No excuses for not using it that’s for sure. With the flip of a single lever the entire blade guard/riving knife assembly can be removed. The saw also comes with a stand-alone riving knife for those occasions where you can’t use a blade guard (Think crosscut sled, etc..).
Blade Change: The best thing about the blade change operation is the the guard/riving knife removal. Other than that it’s not much different so far…
Dust Collection: Dust collection from the cabinet has been wonderful. My 1.5hp DC seems to pull nearly everything from the cabinet. The only issue I have had is that I did not purchase the Overarm Dust Collection Kit”. I will be soon though because that will improve the dust collection from the table itself which is the only place I could find fault with the collection.
Alignment: Right from the start the saw was aligned; I did not have to adjust for parallelism between the miter gauge slot and the blade. I did have to make a very slight adjustment to the fence but that was a very simple tweak that took about a minute. Also, the clearance between the brake cartridge and the blade was right where it should be according to the included gauge. The indicator on the front of the saw for the blade tilt was slightly off and needed to be adjusted but once again it was a very simple task.
Now, i’m sure that my next set of findings is common to almost any good cabinet saw but they where significant enough, in my opinion, to mention. Over time using less capable equipment we get used to little tricks to get it to perform as we wish. I always complimented General for the quality of the previous saw. However, I started to realize that some of the issues I was having with projects where not necessarily of my doing. The single biggest thing I realized was with my latest project; it was a batch of step stools for different family members. I decided to pay close attention to the consistency when batching out parts. I built several of these stools and they ended up looking identical. I mean height, width, every miter, etc…
This alone is impressive enough to warrant purchasing a cabinet saw…
-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein