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Forum topic by Mcnervy posted 04-24-2011 04:13 AM 3495 views 2 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mcnervy

93 posts in 1755 days


04-24-2011 04:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop tablesaw safety value

Hello fellow lumberjocks. I am coming into a small amount of money, and I really trust this woodworking community. I really want to buy a Sawstop but they cost a lot of money and I have very hard time spending that on my self. But a serious injury is not acceptable and with three kids the only time I can work is after 8:00 pm. I have 2 questions for current owners. if you could answer it would be helpful.

1. Do you ever regret the purchase (omitting cost), and would you buy it again even with cost?

2. Have you ever been saved by it? or had a false trigger?

Thanks and please no politics

-- Bennett; If it can't be fixed with a hammer its an electical problem


51 replies so far

View rance's profile

rance

4132 posts in 1812 days


#1 posted 04-24-2011 04:20 AM

I don’t own one, but I use one in the shop I teach at. 1) N/A, but buying it only hurts once, in the wallet. And its not that much more money, if any, than other nice cabinet saws. 2) No, No.

Hope this helps.

Edit: Also, even without the safety mechanism, the saw is a dream to use, both the commercial, and the professional models. I’ve used them both. I’ve turned the safety off when cutting green or suspect wood.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1166 posts in 1511 days


#2 posted 04-24-2011 04:21 AM

Bennet,

I don’t own a SawStop. But as my first blog post describes, I have experienced the effects of an accident on another saw. If you are buying a new tablesaw I think it would be worth the money to buy the SawStop. Lord knows I wish I had been using one that day.

Good Luck and no matter what you decide…

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Beeguy's profile

Beeguy

173 posts in 2288 days


#3 posted 04-24-2011 05:35 AM

The quickest way to start a range war among woodworkers is to ask about a SawStop. I don’t own one but I have thought about getting one for a few reasons. I used one during a demo and it was a nice piece of equipment. I was also told because the safety device really slams the system, this saw had to be constructed to handle that force. Don’t know if it is true or not.

I don’t like the way the company is managed but I also think the CEO of the company where I work is overpaid and pretty ineffective and I still work there so leaving that out of the discussion, I don’t think you would make a big mistake in buying one.

If I have to question anything with regards to the entire blade brake safety system in general it is because of something I read a while back. The comment came from a high school shop teacher. He said since using the SawStops in the shop class it was activated a few times in the first year. And in the previous 20+ years they had but I think two small accidents. So does using this saw actually cause you to be less cautious, thus developing bad habits? Not sure, but I can say this. Years ago I used to train hazardous material responders. We found when people wore PPE they were not as careful and relyed on the clothing to protect them. I used to pour honey or chocolate syrup over a container to simulate a leak. You would be surprised all the things they ended up contaminating, that they later would touch without protection. It was a way to teach them that a pair of gloves is not a pass to be sloppy.

Just my thoughts. Good luck with your decision.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

View tedth66's profile

tedth66

458 posts in 1841 days


#4 posted 04-24-2011 06:31 AM

I’m a proud owner of a Sawstop and love the saw for it’s quality of cut and of course the safety feature. A comparable Delta saw is about the same cost, I know this because I researched before I bought. I really don’t know why people think it cost a LOT more than other brands with the same features. I also know that Sawstop’s customer service is as good as it gets. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried contacting other tool manufacturers but I have and I’ve had zero success with Delta, Dewalt, Makita, etc.

I’ve used the Sawstop for nearly 2 years now and it’s never tripped. I’m as cautious with my Sawstop as I was with my Dewalt jobsite saw that I had prior. The fact is, the Sawstop is no safer than any other quality tablesaw. I’m as likely to get a kickback with the SS as I am with any other equivalent saw. There are a lot of people that think Sawstop owners are less cautious with the saw and that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Keeping the saw tuned up is still a necessity for quality cuts and safety.

I highly recommend the Sawstop (cabinet or even contractor). If you decide to buy a SS I’m betting you’ll be in awe the second you open the first box. I mentioned these guys are top notch in their customer service; this will show when you open the first box. They’ve color coded everything and putting the saw together couldn’t be simpler. The Sawstop is the only saw for me.

BTW – I have both the standard blade brake and the dado brake and changing blades only takes a couple of minutes longer on the SS than it does on other saws.

-- Ted

View Darell's profile

Darell

421 posts in 2246 days


#5 posted 04-24-2011 07:07 AM

I bought the SawStop Contractor table saw shortly after they came out. I do not regret buying the saw. It’s head and shoulders above my old Craftsman. It’s a pleasure to use, very well constructed. I agree with everything Ted said above. Customer Service is second to none, and in my opinion, so are the SawStop table saws.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

View mcase's profile

mcase

438 posts in 1781 days


#6 posted 04-24-2011 07:21 AM

Regret?

Whats to regret? The industrial version has a massive post and trunnion system styled after the German made saws. Everything on it is heavy and precisely made. I owned a later model Powermatic 66 and the SS industrial makes it look flimsy. I’ve had it for fours years and still love seeing it in my shop. You only live once and you only have ten fingers so buy it, use it, and enjoy. I will also add that if your working at 8 pm after a long day you really want the extra safety.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2473 days


#7 posted 04-24-2011 01:33 PM

Bennett, like Darell I upgraded from a Craftsman contractor saw to the Sawstop (PCS version). After two years of use it still is a joy to turn it on and make sawdust. With the Craftsman saw I was constantly fighting with it to make a decent cut. With the Sawstop I have not had to perform any adjustments to the fence, blade alignment, etc. in over two years of use. This is a tool that I initially had a hard time justifying (in my own mind since I am cheap) but ending up wishing I had done sooner after using the saw for the first time.

As Darell mentioned their customer service has always been excellent and I have received same day responses to any questions that I have had regarding the saw.

I have had one false trigger when I was setting up a dado cut on a piece of scrap that had a brad hidden in it. Apparently even this can be averted by simply putting a packing tape over the aluminum brake shoe to prevent the cut brad piece from making contact with the brake sensor. This does not interfere with the braking system but it does prevent bits of metal from activating the brake.

Would I buy the saw again? Without a doubt.

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

View Gator's profile

Gator

377 posts in 2328 days


#8 posted 04-24-2011 07:51 PM

I too do not regret buying my ISS. I researched saws, and was tossed between the SS and the Unisaw. They were the same price. They are both very good saws. Regardless of what you buy, if you are stepping up to a quality cabinet saw, you will be very happy no matter what one you buy. I personally feel I made the right choice buying my Sawstop – it is a great saw on its own, and the safety feature is just an added bonus.

Gator

-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View Minorhero's profile

Minorhero

225 posts in 1256 days


#9 posted 04-24-2011 08:29 PM

I don’t own one but I’ve looked into the sawstop before.

The cons are that the safety feature can misfire and that the safety feature has an off switch.

The pros are that compared to similar new saws it is just as well built and some say better built.

If you are upgrading from a flimsy contractor saw or even worse, a portable plastic saw, then any decent saw (especially a cabinet saw) is going to be light years ahead of your current saw.

Is the saw stop fit and finish, vibration, and cut quality really 3 times better then a grizzly cabinet saw (since it is 3 times the price)? I don’t know, but I doubt it.

To me the safety feature is overrated. But I also don’t buy organic vegetables either. Some folks say “why take the chance?”

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1577 posts in 1943 days


#10 posted 04-24-2011 09:50 PM

I have an early (no dust collection upgrades) Industrial model. I wanted the “best” cabinet saw I could get, and I liked that they designed it from scratch, rather than just copying an existing design. In addition to the brake, it has a designed-in riving knife, linear raise/lower, bigger arbor bearings, etc. Everything is massive. To answer your questions:

1. No and yes. If there’s anything to regret, it’s that on the Industrial model, the motor cover is on the right side of the cabinet (under the table), which means you can’t build as wide an accessory cabinet under there as with the Professional model, and you have to wheel it out of the way whenever you want to open the motor cover. You can minimize the need for this if you learn to change the brake cartridge from above the table.
2. No and no. Still on my first brakes (one regular and one dado). I’ve never used it in “bypass” mode (never cut treated wood, plastic or metal).

-- "Sorry I'm late. Somebody tampered with my brakes." "You should have been early, then."

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1662 days


#11 posted 04-24-2011 10:16 PM

Have the 3hp PCS. Don’t regret it at all – best present my wife ever got me. Never had a trigger, and I haven’t used it in bypass mode.

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

View PCTNWV's profile

PCTNWV

99 posts in 1456 days


#12 posted 04-24-2011 11:45 PM

I own one and have for over 2 years. It is contractor version and I re-wired if for 220. It is a great tool. I as most did a lot of research before buying it and do not regret it one bit. It gets used constantly and has never give me a minute of trouble. I did fire it once, when cutting it his the metal fence on my miter gauge but that was my fault for not adjusting it better to accommodate the tilt. I called them and their customer service was excellent. They were very helpful and even recommended I send the blade to forest (it was a WW2) and have them check it before just throwing it out. They checked it out and all it needed was sharpening.

Having grown up in a family of woodworkers (professionals that made their living at this craft I do for a hobby) I know accidents happen even to the most careful. The peace of mind that this also provides is a plus. It does not in any way lessen my resolve to follow all safety procedures but I look at as an added plus. I have used it in bypass mode to cut treated lumber and find that a nice feature on the few occasion is has been needed. Putting it into bypass mode is an involved procedure and resets to normal mode when you turn the saw off.

I cannot say enough good things about the saw and would and do highly recommend it to all.

Enjoy whatever you buy!

-- Troy, Virginia

View Mcnervy's profile

Mcnervy

93 posts in 1755 days


#13 posted 04-25-2011 12:40 AM

Thanks so much and please continue to comment but please remember I am seeking info from sawstop owners
Thanks
Bennett

-- Bennett; If it can't be fixed with a hammer its an electical problem

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1940 days


#14 posted 04-25-2011 12:51 AM

I like the color that is the only reason to get one for me

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View Paul Lajoie's profile

Paul Lajoie

115 posts in 1756 days


#15 posted 04-25-2011 01:18 AM

I bought a Pro just over a month ago to replace my shopsmith, and am VERY happy with it. When I told my wife a couple years ago I really thought I needed a true tablesaw she agreed but didn’t seem very happy about it, till we went to a woodworking show and saw one, she was hooked. I then explained to her the cost of replacing the cartridge and blade each time it triggers, she says I would rather spend that amount then see you loose a finger and time from work so if you want a tablesaw then thats the one your getting she says. Who am I to argue. I hadn’t really thought about getting one, thought the cost would be to much. But I started researching them and others and read several reviews, the Sawstop was at the top on all of them, some saying just because of the safety device thru it over the rest. So now I’m a very happy owner of a Pro 1.3/4HP Sawstop. The fit and finish is is great, the miter slots, miter gauge, and fence were right on out of the box! I had to adjust the fence a 1/16th but thought about it later I had at least that amount of play in the rails. Would I but one again, absolutely! Do I find my self not paying as close attention to using the saw, absolutely not! I pay as much if not more to what i’m doing for the simple reason I don’t want to tell my wife I was goofing off and need to spend$65 for a new cartridge and $100 or more fro a new blade! So IMHO you can not go wrong buying a Sawstop. Other woodworkers have always told me to buy the most tool you can afford.

Paul

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