|Review by Rockfoot||posted 09-08-2015 02:48 PM||16439 views||0 times favorited||27 comments|
- SawStop 3HP 10-inch Cabinet Saw with 36" T-Glide Fence
- Brand: SawStop | Category: Tablesaws
I’ve been woodworking since my 8th grade wood shop class back in 1982, but I didn’t purchase my own table saw until about 12 years ago. I bought a Rigid contractor saw from Home Depot and it served me well for many years. Since then, I’ve added many other large tools like the jointer, planer, bandsaw, router table etc… to complete my shop.
A few months ago, I decided it was time to upgrade my old table saw to a 3HP professional grade cabinet saw. I narrowed down my choices to the Powermatic PM2000 and the SawStop PCS31230 w/mobil base. Without the obvious safety feature, both saws were very close in cost, quality and configuration. I ultimately chose the SawStop because I felt it was every bit as good a saw as the PM2000, but it included the safety feature at no extra cost. In fact, the SawStop was a couple hundred bucks cheaper. I also like the mobile base on the SawStop better. Just a couple foot pumps, and the saw is up on casters and moves easily all over my shop. A light tap of the release leaver and the saw is lowered gently back down and does not move.
The quality of this saw is just as you would expect for a $3000 “professional” saw. The dust collection is pretty good and I think once I get the over head collection on the blade guard, it will improve considerably. The blade guard is very practical and I find that I use it all the time since it’s so easy to remove and reinstall when necessary. The fence works very smoothly and was spot on right out of the box. I never use a ruler to set the fence anymore. The wheels for adjusting the blade height and angle are heavy polished iron, but work incredibly smooth.
With all that being said, there are a couple things that really annoy me about this saw. First, for a “professional” saw at this price point, I should be able to install my dado set and cut dados right out of the box. But instead, I have to buy a $40 insert plate and a $90 brake cartridge for the dado blades. Not a big deal, but I think they could charge an extra $130 for the saw and include them with the saw. It’s just annoying that I have to purchase those separately.
The second and biggest annoyance, is the fact that you can only use a 10” blade (not counting the 8” dado). Because of the breaking feature of this saw, the break has to be between 1/8” and 1/16” from the blade. If it’s too far from the blade, the saw will not start. I build guitars and use a very thin kerf 6” blade to cut the slots in the fret board. To my dismay, when I installed the blade one day to cut some fret boards, the saw would not start. It just blinked at me indicating the break was too far from the blade. You can disable the safety feature temporarily, but the saw still has to be setup correctly. It simply will not start if the break is further than 1/8” from the blade. My only option now is to buy a $200 fret saw and special miter box to cut the fret boards by hand.
Over all, I’m still pleased with my decision. Once I finally break down and buy the dado insert and break cartridge, that minor irritation will be gone. I usually cut dados on my router table anyway. Also cutting fret board slots by hand really doesn’t take much longer than on the table saw and it’s not something I do all the time.
This is my opinion of the SawStop, hope it was helpful. If you need to use a smaller blade and have no other options, you may need to consider a different saw. Otherwise, this is a great saw and I think you will be happy with it.