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Sawstop PCS owners: talk to me about the overarm dust collection

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Forum topic by jonah posted 05-11-2017 10:24 PM 2661 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jonah

992 posts in 2990 days


05-11-2017 10:24 PM

I’m likely to order a Sawstop 1.75HP PCS early next month, and I’m going back and forth on whether or not to go with the dust collection guard and the overarm dust collection attachment or to just stick with the stock guard. I’ll be hooking the thing up to a Delta 1.5HP dust collector that’ll sit a few feet away from the machine and be connected by flex hose. Is it worth the extra ~$350 for the overarm dust collection attachment (which is $200 but requires the $140 dust collection guard)?

$2600 sounds a lot better than $3000, especially since I need to add on a dado brake cartridge, dado insert, et cetera.


21 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

797 posts in 1644 days


#1 posted 05-11-2017 10:32 PM

I cannot answer all of your questions, but can offer a few comments. When I purchased my 3hp PCS, they had one of their frequent freebie offers going and I chose the dust collection. That was four+ years ago and I do not recall having to spend anything extra for the necessary blade guard. Times may have changed. The guard/collection system works fine, but, like most, it is not a panacea and it will not capture every last bit of dust above the table.

I recently made a post about some upcoming offerings from SawStop. One of the new products is what appears to be a better overhead dust collection / blade guard system. I would suggest that you explore that before you pull the trigger.

You will absolutely love your SawStop saw.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5216 posts in 3354 days


#2 posted 05-11-2017 11:51 PM

I had pretty much the same experience as Kazooman when I bought my PCS 5 years ago … I got the over-arm dust collection and mobile base during April of that year when SawStop has their freebie deal.

As for the over-arm itself, I like it. It does a decent job of collecting dust so long as the blade is buried in the workpiece. The exception is when I am trimming the edge off a board (e.g. trimming a 6-1/8” board down to 6”) ... then it makes the same sort of mess my old Jet used to make.

FWIW, I have never even mounted the stock guard (it is still in the plastic wrapper).

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View josephf's profile

josephf

154 posts in 1788 days


#3 posted 05-11-2017 11:59 PM

i have overarm deal – i am bummed ,seems a bit lame to me .i think for that money you can get a better one . i use it .put a separate vac on it and still with the little hole it has it is only good for small dust . seems like it could be so much better with a bigger hole . i have never used any others so not much to compare it to . my advice would be get an after market one ,or look into it anyhow .
love the saw .

View jonah's profile

jonah

992 posts in 2990 days


#4 posted 05-12-2017 12:14 AM

My understanding is that the 3HP PCS comes with the dust collection blade guard but that the 1.75HP does not. I saw the announcement of the new dust collection guard but they said “late summer” for release of those new products, so I don’t think that’ll be an option. At least not right away.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

296 posts in 280 days


#5 posted 05-12-2017 12:58 AM

Overarm dust collection should not be needed on a well tuned saw. Buried cuts and full rips shouldn’t be throwing much dust at all. If they are, try to figure out why instead of bandaiding the problem.

Any overhead ‘guard’ should be lighted and allow you to clearly see the leading edge of the blade.

M

View clin's profile

clin

695 posts in 687 days


#6 posted 05-12-2017 04:37 AM

I have a 3HP PCS with overarm dust collection. I think mine came stock with the higher end blade guard.

TheDane describes it pretty good. Like most saws, if the off cut is large enough that the blade guards seals on both sides of the cut, there is very little dust. But if trimming just a small amount off, it will spew out the side becasue the guard isn’t able to seal against the off cut.

I think that is pretty typical of any saw and I’d be surprised if anything could prevent that.

I find there is something about the design of this guard that causes dust to go out the back port all on it’s own. I guess something about the way the blade moves air around. The overarm part just moves it along to the dust collector.

The $200 for the overarm is a bit much for little more than some steel tubing, a piece or two of flex hose and a fitting. You could no doubt DIY for a lot less. But if you don’t want to mess with DIY, $200 gets something that takes minutes to install.

And yes, SawStop has announced some new goodies and one is one that hangs over the table. But it appears similar to other, after market guards and I see no reason to buy the SawStop version.


Any overhead guard should be lighted and allow you to clearly see the leading edge of the blade.
- Madmark2

Um. I can’t remember the last time I looked at my blade making a cut. Just like I have no reason to see my planer blades. I either set my fence as needed or align my stock to the slot in my sled. Or using a miter gauge I align to marks on the top of the table. But everyone works differently.

-- Clin

View jonah's profile

jonah

992 posts in 2990 days


#7 posted 05-12-2017 02:05 PM

So do you think it’s worth it to get the dust collection guard without the overarm setup? The dust collection guard is $130 but comes included with the 3HP PCS. I’d be getting the 1.75HP PCS which doesn’t come with it. Do you think it’s worth the extra if I’m not getting the overarm dust collection apparatus?

I guess it boils down to: does the dust collection guard do anything without the overarm setup?

View them700project's profile

them700project

115 posts in 710 days


#8 posted 05-12-2017 02:30 PM

I would take the mobility over the overarm. I have both on my 3hp but rarely have the overarm hooked up. For my uses I will hook it up if im ripping down Ply or large pieces but the majority of what i do is smaller stuff so I generally just have it off.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5302 posts in 2505 days


#9 posted 05-12-2017 03:26 PM

I haven’t used either the stock guard or the overarm, but I’m quite happy with the saws dust collection (with a 2hp cyclone connected to 30 feet of rigid pipe).

Two things to help…
1. Try not to make skim cuts where you trim less than the width of the blade.

2. On the dado ZCI, only raise the blade high enough to make the cut (maintains a tight clearance between the dado set and insert). If you do need to make a tall dado cut, dedicate a second dado insert for that.

Good luck.

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

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

296 posts in 280 days


#10 posted 05-12-2017 08:03 PM

Clin,

Nothing personal but if you don’t watch the blade you’re a fool. You don’t need to see you planer blade because they’re buried. But if you have 3” of carbide blade sticking up on your table your eye damn well better be. Safety rigs are a backstop and not your primary feed controls. The is no point in worrying about hand / finger position if you’re not watching the blade! This is the path to amputation.

m

View CL810's profile

CL810

3633 posts in 2680 days


#11 posted 05-12-2017 09:50 PM

Mark,

Nothing personal, but you sound mad.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2480 posts in 1717 days


#12 posted 05-13-2017 12:26 AM

Just feeling a bit mischievous, and wanting to tweak some SS chains: Why does a Saw Stop need a blade guard? (I can think of one reason, but curious what you users think).

I’m thinking about the fact that so many (myself included) of regular TS users threw the blade guard away years ago. Why would you accept the aggravation of a guard when the brake should provide all the safety you need?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View marc_rosen's profile

marc_rosen

120 posts in 2872 days


#13 posted 05-13-2017 01:00 AM

RWS scribed;


Just feeling a bit mischievous, and wanting to tweak some SS chains: Why does a Saw Stop need a blade guard? (I can think of one reason, but curious what you users think).
I m thinking about the fact that so many (myself included) of regular TS users threw the blade guard away years ago. Why would you accept the aggravation of a guard when the brake should provide all the safety you need?

- runswithscissors

The only reason Sawstop owners use a blade guard is to minimize buying numerous blades and replacement cartridges. If it wasn’t for the extra expense, we’d drag our fingers across the moving blades daily just to prove that it is the safest saw in the world. Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2675 posts in 3129 days


#14 posted 05-13-2017 01:20 AM

I recently got the 3hp professional. It came with the blade guard. I just used some 1.5” hose I had around and connected it overhead to my dust collection system. The verdict…. It collects some, it loses some. None are perfect.

And, even though I didn’t use the blade guard on my old saw, this one stays on. It’s visible for the blade and flips up and down in half a second. And to answer those who seem to have some kind of argument that with a sawstop why use a blade guard? Well, I save the lives of lots of hotdogs that way. (dumb question).

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View clin's profile

clin

695 posts in 687 days


#15 posted 05-13-2017 02:26 AM



Clin,

Nothing personal but if you don t watch the blade you re a fool. You don t need to see you planer blade because they re buried. But if you have 3” of carbide blade sticking up on your table your eye damn well better be. Safety rigs are a backstop and not your primary feed controls. The is no point in worrying about hand / finger position if you re not watching the blade! This is the path to amputation.

m

- Madmark2

There is no reason at all to be able to see the blade through the blade guard. I don’t need to see the blade to keep my fingers out of it. I’m pretty sure it’s always going be right where I left it. Under the blade guard.

-- Clin

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