|Review by Craftsman on the lake||posted 04-12-2017 01:48 PM||1595 views||0 times favorited||20 comments|
There are a lot of Sawstop reviews both here on LJ’s and on Youtube and other places. Everyone says that it is a quality item and has the infamous safety feature. I’ve only had my new Saw for a couple of weeks and made a few dozen cuts with it and you already know about the saw in general having seen the hotdog videos I’m sure, but there’s more to point out.
Some companies have a different philosophy. What comes to mind are companies like Tesla. Get the best engineers together and let them work together to make that thing we drive with 4 wheels a motor and brakes be reimagined to make it better. Another is Apple computer. Or at least in the time of Steve Jobs. Don’t worry about the sales. Just make an “insanely great” product, as Steve used to say, and they will come. It’s attention to the details.
This saw has a reputation for safety, granted that’s great and a major reason to consider the saw. Most people who own one and in reviews will also tell you about the fit and finish as being good. And it is. When you thread a bolt into a wing, you don’t have to fidget to make it get started. It’s milled correctly and screws in cleanly and without trouble. It screws in without any play and goes in easily by hand until you decide to put a wrench to it at the end. I’m sure a lot of other high end saws might be like this too. I don’t know I’ve only had an ealry 90’s Delta/Rockwell contractors saw that was replaced by this one.
So, you don’t need to hear about the quality or the safety features There are some items though that are very creative and/or unique. Since I’ve only had that old saw before, I think they are unique. Other brands may very well have some of them too. I don’t know.
The Small things:
The fence slides like it was on ice. And the bubble for the fence rule is magnified. The fence is accurate and the gauge marker is adjustable. With my old saw I was a stealth measurer. Since the saw’s fence couldn’t be trusted to be right I used to cut items a little larger then recut them a few times sort of ‘sneaking’ up on a good fit. With this saw I can measure and cut once and it’s right. Now I need to get some better measuring items. The retractable rule no longer suffices.
The blade cover has some nice features.
Wings on the sides of it drop and hit the table to better keep the sawdust from getting out. The shroud is made so that sawdust is removed through a built in conduit from the nose of the shroud over the blade to the collection hose. It doesn’t just suck it up from the top. This small opening increases the suction by not spreading it out.
There are some small kickback pawls on each side of the blade guard. (first picture lower middle). And there are some larger ones that flip up and lock out of the way and lower when you want them in place (second picture)
There is a long feeler at the front of the blade guard. It flips up and out of the way when you don’t want it there. It moves up and down with the blade. When it touches the wood you’re cutting, then the blade is the correct height for the wood.
The crosscut sled has a washer in the front end that fits into a T slot instead of just a groove. You have to insert it from the front of the saw and not just drop it in. This seems to minimize any play in the slot.
A small thing, but beyond the other switch that sets up the safety mechanism, the on/off paddle switch has about an 1/8th inch movement. It flips on and off with minute pressure and movement.
The mechanisms inside the cabinet is impressive. Maybe I’m just used to a motor hanging under it’s own weight out the back of the saw with a V belt and many other saws are made like this. But the pulley mechanisms and wide stranded belts like on the fan belt of my car seem like a huge improvement over what I’m used to.
There is a partial shroud under the blade inside the saw that diverts a lot of the sawdust via a dust collection hose to the dust collection port out the back of the saw. With a little cleaning once and awhile I can avoid the hard turning screws of my old saw as the mechanism shouldn’t get clogged.
There are little tool storage areas around the outside of the saw. One side has a hook for the wrenches and you can see the yellow feeler gauge to adjust the blade to the safety mechanism. It has two rare earth magnets embedded in it so it sticks to the saw. The other side of the saw has a plastic holder for the riving knife and the sled.
The insert plate has a lift up hoop that locks it into place both in the front and the back. The plate is also has a very thin blade line entry. So, it’s effectively a zero insert plate. And the saw still tilts full measure with it in.
When changing the shroud or to the riving knife, there is an easy to get to lever that flips down to lock it into place and lifts up to remove it. Two flat plates hold it in place with two alignment pins to make sure it is exactly the right position. 10 second remove and replace. Nice.
Well that’s all for now. I am loving this machine. The safety feature adds about $700 to it but I’m sure glad that I was also able to get a beautifully made saw at the same time.
-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.