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Are SawStop's electronics reliable?

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Forum topic by Chopshop posted 02-27-2017 06:52 PM 1260 views 0 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chopshop

12 posts in 290 days


02-27-2017 06:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop electronics reliability

Hi all. I’ve decided it is finally time to say goodbye to my 1950’s Craftsman table saw that was passed down from my dad and get something a bit more modern; so I’ve been researching saws, plus lurking on the forum seeing what member’s experiences are. I’ve narrowed my choices down to either the SawStop PCS 1.75hp or the Powermatic PM1000. I know there are other great alternatives out there but these are my two finalists. They’re both clearly great saws and either will more than meet my needs.
One of my concerns, however, is the reliability (and potential obsolescence) of the electronics on the SawStop. The mechanical parts of any good quality table saw should last dang near forever…but the electronics… who knows. There is endless discussion relating to SawStop’s safety mechanism, which certainly a nice feature, but my main concern relates to the totality of the electronics. I haven’t read about problems with their electronics, other than a couple of potentially random brake firings, so that is encouraging; but there’s got to be a lot of electronics in there to control the start-up sequence, the various sensors that supply the data, there must be a circuit board and a microprocessor in there, not to mention software, etc.; and my experience with a multitude of other products is that the electronics are the frequently the weak link.
So I was wondering what experience those of you that own SawStops have had.


44 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile (online now)

Redoak49

2891 posts in 1824 days


#1 posted 02-27-2017 07:01 PM

I have mine for about 5 years without problems at all.

Early on they had an issue with some cartridges, but that was awhile ago and resolved.

If you want an iron clad guarantee, you will not get one. However, so far it has very good reliability.

I am certain there are some that post in every SawStop thread that will tell you not to buy one because this or that on it will fail. You are going to end up making your own decision..

My PCS is a fine saw and reliable.

View clin's profile

clin

751 posts in 831 days


#2 posted 02-27-2017 07:15 PM

I have had a PCS for a year and a half. One user, short time, means nothing concerning reliability. So I’d look at it in the more general sense. It’s more complex and therefore has more things that can break. Therefore, it is inherently less reliable. Just as your car is less reliable than a little red wagon.

Have a car without air bags, you can’t have an airbag problem.

I obviously chose a SawStop and decided I was okay with the greater chance for something to go wrong. SawStop has been around awhile now, and there is no indication they are going away. They have a reputation for great service. So I think that’s about as good as you can get.

Now, worst case, the electronics go south and SawStop is no longer in business and there is no way to fix the electronics, then you can simply bypass the electronics and connect the motor to a switch, just like every other saw.

So the risk is not having a useless saw, but of having one that no longer has the finger saving tech.

You a pay a more for the saw to have the extra protection. If you’re considering it, it’s worth it to you. Obviously not worth it if the safety feature won’t work after one day (an unrealistic extreme) and already it is worth it to you so is worth it if it lasts your lifetime (the other extreme).

So how many years of finger saving is it worth to you? My gut tells me SawStop will be around in 10 years. Is 10 years worth enough for you. It is for me.

-- Clin

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Manitario

2556 posts in 2718 days


#3 posted 02-27-2017 07:25 PM

I’ve had mine for 6 years and zero problems but the electronics probably have a shorter shelf life than the mechanical parts. That said, I’m not too concerned about SS going out of business in the near future, so for me the lifetime survival of the electronics is a non-issue.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 1946 days


#4 posted 02-27-2017 07:45 PM

About 6 years of perfect operation for me, and 10 for three other local examples I’m familiar with…

There are tons of SS machines out there, and I can’t ever remember hearing anything bad around electronics from a person who personally had a problem, locally or online. I think that says something, because in today’s world bad news seems to be amplified exponentially online.

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2316 posts in 1680 days


#5 posted 02-27-2017 08:08 PM

I’ve had mine for 2 years without any issues.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1051 posts in 1871 days


#6 posted 02-27-2017 08:17 PM

We’ve had ours for four years with only one small problem. One of the cartridges fired while the saw was idling. SawStop replaced the cartridge at no charge. They test each failed cartridge and replace it if you didn’t hit anything.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4756 posts in 2329 days


#7 posted 02-27-2017 08:59 PM

It’s what Clin said, worst case, you strip the electronics out (or just wire around them) and you still have a very well made saw…with some money wasted on the electronics. It’s a fair question, and one I wondered about while I was pondering the purchase. In the end, I went with the SS anyway. The company looks to be on solid ground for the foreseeable future so it’s a long term question, but one you’d have to decide for yourself. They are selling a fair number of saws, so I suspect that even if they went belly up we would have alternate parts available for the electronics.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View RJweb's profile

RJweb

112 posts in 2468 days


#8 posted 02-27-2017 08:59 PM

i have had mine 3 hp pcs for over a year, no problems, even if it didn’t have the safety feature, it is a fine piece of machinery, RJ

-- Life Begins @ 190 MPH

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

116566 posts in 3413 days


#9 posted 02-27-2017 09:22 PM

I’ve had mine for a couple months,Coming from a big PM fan I guess the real question might be If the PM1000s safety device is reliable ??? Oh I forgot it doesn’t have one :))

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5461 posts in 2649 days


#10 posted 02-27-2017 09:26 PM

1+ what A1Jim and Clin said above.
Go for the PCS. I have no regrets with mine.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Underdog

1051 posts in 1871 days


#11 posted 02-27-2017 09:29 PM



I ve had mine for a couple months,Coming from a big PM fan I guess the real question might be If the PM1000s safety device is reliable ??? Oh I forgot it doesn t have one :))

- a1Jim

That got a guffaw outa me…. :-D

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View WoodwolfAtl's profile

WoodwolfAtl

34 posts in 1441 days


#12 posted 02-27-2017 09:54 PM

Had mine for 9 years zero problems

Love the saw. Great customer service

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2556 posts in 2718 days


#13 posted 02-27-2017 09:59 PM



I ve had mine for a couple months,Coming from a big PM fan I guess the real question might be If the PM1000s safety device is reliable ??? Oh I forgot it doesn t have one :))

- a1Jim


lol Jim!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Chopshop's profile

Chopshop

12 posts in 290 days


#14 posted 02-27-2017 11:47 PM

Thanks for all the feedback and Clin’s got a good point about just jumpering around it all if for some reason something couldn’t be fixed. You’d still have a working saw.


I ve had mine for a couple months,Coming from a big PM fan I guess the real question might be If the PM1000s safety device is reliable ??? Oh I forgot it doesn t have one :))

- a1Jim


Shoot, a1Jim, they all have safety devices…except the eyesight on mine is going and it is easily distracted…another reason the SawStop is attractive.

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

331 posts in 795 days


#15 posted 02-28-2017 12:11 AM

YES and no. Work as expected but can be tripped cutting a screw or nail….

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