To SawStop or nay?

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Forum topic by tbreland posted 04-18-2010 01:14 AM 3788 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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60 posts in 3250 days

04-18-2010 01:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop bosch 4100 quality question table saw

Okay, this is something I never thought I would say: I am about to come into about $10,000. I assume I will be making some shop upgrades. My question is this: Should I go ahead and buy a SawStop or will the Bosch 4100 suffice? I guess I just need to know if a SawStop really is all it’s cracked up to be? Or will I be paying an extra $1000 for the brake? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks, -Thomas

-- Come down off the cross, we can use the wood. -Tom Waits

40 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117094 posts in 3577 days

#1 posted 04-18-2010 01:21 AM

Hey Thomas
How much are fingers worth now days. If I had the money I would go Saw stop in a New York Minuet even though my Powermatic has been a great saw for years.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3288 days

#2 posted 04-18-2010 01:21 AM

I think the later ”$1000 for the brake” i would go with a powermatic and now you can make your own like change the colors and some other stuff. I want one but i just got a delta and really don’t have the dough but i just like the look of the PM.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View ToddTurner's profile


144 posts in 3323 days

#3 posted 04-18-2010 01:40 AM

Well, what are your body parts worth? Ever been hurt before? Your fingers are no good if not attached to your body. However, being careful and proper setup and knowing your machine is the best place to start. I have heard of these machines engaging the stop on wet materials. Dont know how true it is but moisture is moisture. If it has a bypass, it would be nice but defeat the purpose.
I just got a Powermatic PM2000. To me this machine cant be beat for about the same $. THe weight of the powermatic makes it unbeleivable by reducing the vibrations, which increase safety.
Again, proper setup and knowing where your fingers are during the cut is paramount. I think maybe having the sawstop may make you decrease your awareness of your machine, which will increase your risk. Let us know what you go with.

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3822 days

#4 posted 04-18-2010 01:48 AM

Tom, this would really depend on what type of woodworking you are/want to get into. For example, I really enjoy cabinetry and this usually entails handling sheet goods. I fought to get a good cut out of my Craftsman contractor’s saw for over a decade. Handling sheet goods on the saw was an adventure in itself, since it had such a small footprint.

Finally I just decided to give up the battle with the contractor’s saw and waffled back and forth between a PM2000 and the Sawstop PCS. I can honestly say that once I committed to the Sawstop and put it in my shop it was a real pleasure to just turn it on and make some cuts with it. I have had mine for just over a year and have never regretted spending the money for the saw and it is still fun just to turn it on and make some cuts.

If I had the opportunity to buy the Sawstop again, would I? In a hearbeat!!

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Lenny's profile


1593 posts in 3527 days

#5 posted 04-18-2010 02:05 AM

Hi Tom. My position is the opposite of Todd’s. I bought the PM2000 about a year ago and I love it BUT…
If I had it to do over again, I think I would go with the SawStop. I too had concerns about “false triggers” of the brake mechanism but a year later, I have not heard any accounts of such triggers. Have they happened? I am sure they have but I haven’t seen posts by any LJs that it has happened to them and I suspect such occurences are very rare. As to whether you are spending $$$ just for the brake system, from all camps, this saw is as good if not better than a PM2000 and I think Todd, Jim and I would all tell you, that’s saying something. If you want a really good view/review of the SawStop features other than the brake mechanism, take a look at this you tube video that Charles Neil did. He’s quite a well-known woodworker (and LJ) and doesn’t mince words. He gives raving reviiews of the quality of this TS:


-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Ingjr's profile


144 posts in 3016 days

#6 posted 04-18-2010 02:05 AM

I’d say get the SS. Not only does it have the safety features but it’s a heck of a nice looking saw and looks to be amazingly built. JMO

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View woodman71's profile


162 posts in 3324 days

#7 posted 04-18-2010 02:31 AM

Hi there i will say this land if your going to buy a new car you would want all the safety you could get like airbags you wouldn’t buy a car that didn’t and you would want the piece of mind that your family would be safe in that car if it were me i would buy the saw stop some one said it all about set up and know your saw and how to use it that plays a part yes but how many people do you know that can plan for the unexpected to happen if i had the money I get it in heart beat at this time I cant afford one and five years ago i bought delta x5 table saw love it but had i heard of saw stop i have one right now just for the safety feature alone if it were me I would never had to ask this question do your self some good and get the saw stop and be ready for the unexpected

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3168 days

#8 posted 04-18-2010 02:58 AM

I would get the SawStop, what a lot of people don’t realize is that you’re not just paying extra for the brake… The SawStop is just a better saw (in my mind) all around. I have had the pleasure of using a SawStop this year while I was in school for Cabinetmaking/Wood Manufacturing. We have three Generals there and one SawStop, given the choice between the four, I always gravitate toward the SawStop, not only for the safety of the brake but because of the quality of the saw. Also, I have a Delta at home and if I was given the option to turn back the wheels of time, I would do that and get a SawStop.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3010 days

#9 posted 04-18-2010 03:12 AM

If you buy the contractor model, yes, you basically will be paying an extra $1k for the brake. Yes, it may be a very justified $1k as your fingers are worth a lot more than that, but you can get a similar saw for a lot less.

On the other hand, if you go for a PCS, you’re spending the same amount as a Unisaw. The two saws are frequently compared and considered to be very close in performance and user experience. They are considered at the top of the cabinet saw market. In that case, your brake system is practically free.

It’s that line of reasoning that led me to ultimately choose the PCS over the CS. Going to be pulling the trigger in about a week.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Brian's profile


79 posts in 3712 days

#10 posted 04-18-2010 11:34 AM

Frankly, imHo you’d be stu……very unwise to not get the SawStop.


View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3115 days

#11 posted 04-18-2010 12:47 PM

I think you shuold go for Sawstop
there has been some failbrakes if you use daoblades with the wrong saftycatrige

if you are in doubt look here at this blog series Don made

then I just have to say YOUR BODY HAS NO SPAREPARTS


View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3774 days

#12 posted 04-18-2010 01:01 PM

If you have the money, go for the SawStop. What do you have to lose other than a finger. That being said, I own a Powermatic 2000, but when I bought mine I had a whole new shop to equip and the price difference was quite a bit higher. I also have been running table saws for over 40 years and still have all my fingers, so I must be doing something right. Good luck!

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Chasmo's profile


2 posts in 2960 days

#13 posted 04-18-2010 06:39 PM

This is a no brainer. When they put seatbelts in cars did they think it would make people drive more dangerously? No, then what about air bags? Get a Saw Stop, be at the smart end of evolution. Ok try them both, they are both great saws, then buy the SS.
Kind Regards,

-- Kind Regards, Charlie Moore Port Townsend

View dragonnotes's profile


72 posts in 3032 days

#14 posted 04-18-2010 06:52 PM

YIKES. Lots of opinions. I cut the tip of my finger off on a table saw and luckily it was sewn back on. I did permanently lose my fingernail though. Just take a look at some pics of even what a 1/4 of a second of a finger touching a spinning blade will do. That should make your decision. I own a SawStop contractors with the upgraded beis style fence and 52” rails. It is an awesome saw. Changing brakes and blades are a snap. The riving knife is great too. It was pricey, but the memory of blood and how bad it could have been, made me just pay the money. It really is a great saw even without the brake.

View Gary2's profile


27 posts in 2960 days

#15 posted 04-19-2010 06:16 AM

I recently had a tablesaw accident that thankfully only caused me to have a few cuts which required stitches – no serious damage. What I can tell you is that to this day I do not know exactly what happened. I felt the impact of my finger on the blade, and suddenly there was blood on my project and the saw table top. The next day I ordered a Sawstop, which I had been thinking about for a while. I used a SS in a volunteer capacity for a year and they are great pieces of machinery. Nothing is idiot proof, but coupled with the brake, there is no choice as far as I am concerned.

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