Question on Saw Stop quality

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Forum topic by Dan posted 07-23-2015 03:43 AM 28948 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dan's profile


688 posts in 1888 days

07-23-2015 03:43 AM

I am interested in hearing from anyone who has purchased a Saw Stop cabinet saw and is not happy with its performance. Particularly any feedback on alignment problems.

All of the reviews I can find on the internet talk about how it’s perfectly aligned from the get go, so they don’t mess with alignment.

Has ANYBODY here ever actually worked with aligning one of these things. How can people give these saws such flowery gushy reviews when they haven’t even checked out the alignment process?

I ask because I recently purchased the Saw Stop Professional 1 3/4 HP saw. I can say that it DEFINITELY did not come aligned. My experience is with an old Jet contractor saw which I bought new in the 90’s. I could cut near perfect 45 bevels on my Jet using sleds of course. And I would buy like 1 1/4 1 1/2 wood and quickly resaw easily with little burning with the Jet. (doing it with mutiple cuts of course) The Saw Stop does not come near this performance YET.

I have it better than it was (Saw Stop) and am still getting the feel of it. Have yet to mess with the alignment at 45, that will be this week.

I bought the saw because of the ability to make refinements in alignment, so hopefully it will eventually get there.

-- Dan

31 replies so far

View Woodmaster1's profile


957 posts in 2583 days

#1 posted 07-23-2015 03:58 AM

I had a problem the with pcs 13/4 at school. When setting the blade at a 45 the whole trunion went to 45 on it’s own. The worm gear was not adjusted properly from the factory. Easy fix, just should not have happened. My new delta unisaw came perfectly set and has stayed that way for three years.

View iminmyshop's profile


284 posts in 1990 days

#2 posted 07-23-2015 05:08 AM

Have you talked with their customer service dept.? I have generally found them exceedingly helpful.


View Woodmaster1's profile


957 posts in 2583 days

#3 posted 07-23-2015 05:35 AM

No need, it took about 10 minutes to fix.

View Andre's profile


1829 posts in 1802 days

#4 posted 07-23-2015 05:56 AM

So on a $3000 saw you have to Fix it to use it? I’ll stick with my Made in U.S.A. Delta. LOL!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View AHuxley's profile


653 posts in 3317 days

#5 posted 07-23-2015 06:40 AM

So on a $3000 saw you have to Fix it to use it? I ll stick with my Made in U.S.A. Delta. LOL!

- Andre

Why the need for a drive by snide comment that contains no benefit to the thread? Plus it is based on a fallacy, that being you are suggesting fewer or no USA made Delta machines came to the end user needing adjustment… that is laughable. It happened with plenty of US built Delta and Powermatic machines and industrial machines that made PM and Delta look like they were made of tin foil. Now for a counter snide ” at least the OP can get parts for his”.

To the OP, I am not sure the people you discuss never checked the alignment, I have seen plenty who shared their alignment process and found the various SS saws to be well within tolerance for a woodworking machine, I say that since perfect is beyond our ability to measure.

SS has a good reputation of coming to the end user in good alignment that said every woodworking machine needs to be gone through before use and aligned to a person’s (and their testing equipment’s) ability. SS and even Martin or Format 4 has their imperfections and given each is common carrier delivered at some point in the chain things can also happen in transit. Break out the dial indicator and the manual and do a full alignment, if that fails call the SS tech support they do as good a job as any and better than most.

It is frustrating to get a machine that needs lots of alignment but reality is most need at least some, even ones 10 times the price of a SS.

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3371 days

#6 posted 07-23-2015 09:38 AM

Even the most expensive saws take a slow boat from China, then a fast truck from Hoboken…. a lot can and does happen during shipping. It’s not necessarily the manufacturer’s fault, though it’s ultimately their responsibility. Always give them a chance first.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View johnstoneb's profile


2914 posts in 2168 days

#7 posted 07-23-2015 10:48 AM

I just bought an SS contractors saw. The blade was within .001 of square to the miter slot. Using a Wixey the blade angle read 44.9 took longer to read the book on adjusting the stop than it took to actually adjust it. At 90 it was dead on. Had to adjust the fence slightly for square. I’m extremely happy with the way it came and the ease of alignment.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2280 days

#8 posted 07-23-2015 11:36 AM

I have the PCS and it was .001 to the miter slot. The back of the blade was toward the fence, so I adjusted it to +.0005. Took maybe 10 minutes. The 45 angle was 45 and left that alone. The out of box alignment was within, just wanted it better.

-- Bill R

View Dan's profile


688 posts in 1888 days

#9 posted 07-23-2015 12:37 PM


I purchased a Forrest WW2 in order to have an unused flat surface for calibration. I have taken hundreds of measurements using different techniques and and repeating the same process over and over to get it consistent. For example in the second picture the indicator is at an angle so some people will say it is not accurate. Well, it is consistent and I’ve gotten the feel down for using the indicator, Plus I am not unfamiliar with this type of equipment.

It will be off more than .009 and unfortunately the low point is not directly across from the high point. By finding the high point on the flange .0007 and matching it with different points on the blade then adjusting table I can get it down to about .0035 which is unacceptable to me. Also, the arbor shaft in front of the flange is off .0005 the low point being directly in line with the flange high spot.

I am thinking of using a diamond stone to even out the flange but with the arbor being out I’m not sure how that would affect the end result.

The factory had the straight up stop set at 89.8. I reset both stops beyond limits because I use a wixie on every angle change.

I talked with customer service. They strongly downplayed the tolerances given in the manual and said they were rewriting it. Again unfortunate, because I bought the saw precisely because I studied the manual online and wanted the most accurate saw I could get.

-- Dan

View johnstoneb's profile


2914 posts in 2168 days

#10 posted 07-23-2015 12:50 PM

You are working with wood here a substance that can move way more than the tolerances of your saw. The wixey gage itself can be off more than .2 of a degree between guages. .2 off of 90 takes about a minute to adjust out and then it is at 90 with your wixey only mine might have it at 90.2.
I checked runout on my blade just for my own curiosity and had about .007 well within tolerances for the substance you are working with.
This post is beginning to remind me af another one on tolerances from a few months ago.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View jonah's profile


1696 posts in 3294 days

#11 posted 07-23-2015 07:15 PM

You are unhappy because the arbor on your saw is out 5 ten-thousandths of an inch?

That is such an unbelievably small amount that breathing on the thing wrong could result in that kind of a measurement. I wouldn’t worry about it. Wood can move more than 0.0005” in ten minutes.

View Dan's profile


688 posts in 1888 days

#12 posted 07-23-2015 07:38 PM

I guess I obsess a bit. I just did the simple test with the square and feeler gauges. It’s off less than a .002 straight up and at 45.

One thing I really like is cutting lids off boxes you can adjust the fence until you get the cuts dead square.

-- Dan

View Jerry's profile


2634 posts in 1644 days

#13 posted 07-25-2015 10:36 PM

Sawstop claims they are made in USA. That, if it’s completely true would eliminate a lot of the poor quality and alignment problems you see in Chinese made saws. Apparently the only thing the Chinese can do perfectly straight is a cyber attack :-P

That being said, I think the old saying, “If it were perfect, it would cost a whole lot more” applies here. Personally, I would not expect even the best US made table saw to meet my criteria, which at this point is a deviation of + – .0005. That is why the William Ng 5 Cuts to a Perfect Cross-Cut Sled is an important thing to know about. Have faith my friend, what God didn’t give you, he gave you the tools to get.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View bonesbr549's profile


1546 posts in 3063 days

#14 posted 07-25-2015 10:48 PM

I have the ICS 5hp SS, and it was dead on out of the box. I had to align the fence but it was only a few thou out and that was with me assembling it,. Been running now for a good while, and zero complaints. Best saw I ever used. The only machine I’ve used that i like better but does not have the safety feature is a Felder.

For those that don’t own, well all I can say is bless their hearts.

I don’t thing any machine company has zero machines perfect out of the box. All kinds of things can happen from transportation to jostling by the delivery company.

The important thing is how is it handled when you do have an issue. They are top notch

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View jonah's profile


1696 posts in 3294 days

#15 posted 07-26-2015 12:29 AM

I think most precision metalworkers would laugh at you if you wanted + – 0.0005”, never mind working with a substance that can move tenths of inches per day with changes in temperature and humidity.

The obsession with perfect precision in tools meant to work with an inherently imprecise material continues to amaze me.

Starrett calipers, which are just about the best around, can only resolve to accuracy of 0.001”. If something is a thousandth or two out in one direction or another, don’t sweat it because your precision measuring tool isn’t accurate enough to measure the inaccuracy.

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