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Just wondering: SawStop opinions wanted

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Forum topic by Doss posted 699 days ago 1490 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Doss

779 posts in 848 days


699 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop tablesaw

First, if this this is not the right section, let me know.

I see a lot of discussion about SawStop on here. Is SawStop a great saw and lust-worthy for being a great saw or do people just want and praise it because of its special feature (the ability to stop a sawblade cold before major injury)?

In other words, if SawStop did not have that feature OR if all saws had the same feature (the blade brake) as the SawStop, would it still be a saw a lot of consumers would want over its competitors?

Updated:
What I am really trying to figure out is if SawStop did not have a blade brake, is it still as good of a saw as others in its price range?

Thanks.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss


33 replies so far

View GregD's profile

GregD

605 posts in 1720 days


#1 posted 699 days ago

I have the 3hp PCS cabinet saw. I think this saw is competitive with similarly priced saws even without the blade brake feature. I like working with it.

-- Greg D.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3323 posts in 1554 days


#2 posted 699 days ago

I don’t have one, but I wish I could afford one.
I have a $500 hybrid saw and there is no Saw Stop available in that price range.
If I could afford a $3000 saw, Saw Stop would be at the top of my list.

For me, it is not that much more than comparable saws by PM, Delta, Etc.
Given that it sells in line with the premium brands, price wise, I think it has an advantage over those saws because of its blade brake.

The more expensive the base saw, the more the SS makes sense. By that I mean the blade brake seems to add about $200 to the price of the saw. So, adding $200 to a $1300 saw hurts more than adding $200 to a $3000 saw.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 848 days


#3 posted 699 days ago

crank49, thanks for your input. I updated my original topic to reflect more of what I’m searching for.

If the SawStop didn’t have the blade brake, is it just as good of a saw as its competitors (not necessarily on price alone, but features and build quality)?

Thanks again.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Roadster280's profile

Roadster280

23 posts in 703 days


#4 posted 699 days ago

I just bought a 3hp PCS, with 52” rails. To fund it, I sold a 3HP PM66, a 7.5HP PM72 and a 10HP RPC. The PM’s needed to be restored. I took the view that I would too long restoring the PMs, and even then, they wouldn’t have even a riving knife, and the blade guard/splitters weren’t anything like the more modern designs.

So it was new saw time. I’ve seen the Unisaw and the PM2000 before, and knew they were both good. I looked at the Sawstop, and the construction seemed equivalent, if not superior. I just finished assembling the SS last night, and so far, it’s been excellent. I cut up quite a lot of 3/4 plywood to make brackets to hang my DC ducting on, and deliberately used the RIDGID 50T blade from my old RIDGID TS3660. It’s like night and day. Lord knows what a WW2 will be like. I bought one of those for the new saw, but I’ll save that for some decent wood.

I was a little disappointed when I unboxed the SS, and stood the main cabinet up. It looks quite small, and in comparison to the 72, it’s a dwarf. But then my 72 wasn’t operational, and this one is. Short of cutting railway ties, I think I’ll be OK with it. Once the wings, fence and extension table go on, it doesn’t seem small. It’s a bit short, so I’ll be building a roll-around cart for it to raise the height more than anything, but it’s what I need, and what I had was more than I need.

For 3 grand, if one saw will cut your fingers off, and the other won’t, all other things equal (which they are, to me), it’s a no-brainer. Now I can do some woodworking, once I have the DC hooked up.

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2824 posts in 832 days


#5 posted 699 days ago

I look at it this way. I don’t buy a car because of the number of airbags it has or it’s accident avoidance feature. The sawstop brake technology is nice, but also flawed. There is no denying it. I’ll be honest and say if I owned it, it would be in bypass mode 90% of the time. I wouldn’t feel like changing the cartridge when I am using a dado blade, and I don’t want to take a risk in a false positive trigger if I nick a stable I didn’t see or cut some wood with a high moisture content. If you think they are rare, talk to people who sell the cartridges.

As with a car, I know I could have an accident at any time. I also know that the more safety equipment that is there, the better I will come out of it. Because I am willing to accept certain risks in the name of performance or price, I make sure the safety equipment I am getting is all it can be. Yes, I am very concerned about laceration hazards on a table saw, but like with some cars ability to brake or steer for you, I think I’ll pass.

In that market segment, I would easily take a JET, Unisaw, or Powermatic over a saw stop.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 848 days


#6 posted 699 days ago

Thanks again Greg, crank, Roadster, and Joe. I enjoy the discussion so far. I’m not in the market for a SawStop really, but I like to be informed so when the time comes to buy a larger tablesaw I’ll know my options.

I am just trying to make sure I’m not missing something about the Sawstop that makes people buy it besides the brake. I mean, it’s great and all, but I’m cautious enough with a tablesaw that I don’t see myself getting cut (and yes, I am fully aware that because of that mindset it may be the reason that ends up getting me cut).

That’s why I was trying to equalize the field in my original topic as without the brake as its selling feature… what else does it have to compete with similar saws?

Joe, some of your reasons for not liking that brake are some of the reasons I have too for not liking it.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5353 posts in 1959 days


#7 posted 699 days ago

Obviously there’s a bit of a premium to be paid for the safety feature, and its value is subjective, but the PCS and ICS are really good saws that don’t seem too out of line with the competition IMHO.

You definitely pay a larger premium for the safety feature on the contractor saw….they’re well made but still have the disadvantages of an outboard motor (and smaller motor), lighter weight, less robust under pinnings, plus the basic model comes with steel wings, and an unremarkable fence….all for more than a good 3hp cabinet saw would cost without the safety feature (Griz, Steel City, Jet). The contractor saw minus the safety feature just wouldn’t equate for me….

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

View danr's profile

danr

149 posts in 1768 days


#8 posted 699 days ago

Hey all of you SS owners, I am just curious, does the blade breaking / stopping system in any way prevent or reduce kick-back? I know that the riving knife is there to help reduce kick-back but I am curious about the blade braking system relative to kickback. Thanks for your feedback.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 848 days


#9 posted 699 days ago

danr, from what I understand, “No, it does not.” That is unless you happen to complete the circuit to fire the brake at the same time a kickback is occurring… which I doubt can happen in any reasonably expected set of probabilities.

Scott, I was hoping you’d comment some time soon since I usually read your insight into all the different tablesaws on the market. Thanks for dropping in.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2824 posts in 832 days


#10 posted 699 days ago

The brake does nothing to avoid kickback, however a a kickback can have the nasty side effect of you sending your hand into the blade instead of pushing the wood (that was there) through it, so it helps with that. If I got a good deal on one, it’s definitely something I would consider, but as of right now it’s not even on my list.

I do see a lot of the pros using them in videos, but I’m sure that is clever product placement as much as it is personal preference. The Unisaw and PM2000 are proven performers that have been around for a looong time. Honestly if I were to upgrade, I would get a euro style slider like the Hammer K3 winner and just eliminate pushing wood with my hands all together.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 848 days


#11 posted 699 days ago

Joe, (not to get off topic) what I wonder about that Hammer (which is no doubt a really nice saw) is what makes it so different than a standard cabinet saw with a sled and outfeed table? Yes, I realize it’s integrated into the design and there are some really nice extra features with the saw in general, but functionally, does it hold an advantage over a well-designed sled and outfeed (besides possibly alignment and a slightly deeper cut)?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Roadster280's profile

Roadster280

23 posts in 703 days


#12 posted 699 days ago

I will say that the dust collection/guidance off the SS’s blade guard (without a vacuum attached) is very good indeed. I’ve noticed that with more recent tools (eg Bosch GCM12SD gliding miter saw) that the designers have started to put more thought into this aspect. As I understand it, the kinetic energy of the chips themselves is used to good effect and the dust is channeled to the DC port. I can’t wait to get the cyclone attached.

One area where the Unisaw scores well is the dual front elevation/bevel controls. I would much prefer that to the side arrangement of the SS. In fact that is the reason I didn’t buy the SS ICS. The dust door is on the right on the ICS, and it would get in the way of the cabinet I want to build there. The PCS has the bevel control there, but is much less space-consuming than the ICS’s dust door.

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2824 posts in 832 days


#13 posted 699 days ago

you can’t rip with a sled. the massive k3 has a 79”x48” capacity – that means the slider has a 79” stroke. You can also lock the sliding table and rip like a traditional saw if you wanted to. It’s also not THAT expensive. The huge one goes for about 5 grand and comes with the outrigger table. As I mentioned, you push the table, not the wood. unless you are ripping super long boards (bad idea anyway) or do something stupid, your hands are nowhere near the blade. Also your body is never inline with the blade, so kickback injuries are a little more avoidable.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8475 posts in 2232 days


#14 posted 699 days ago

while the SS seems to be a solid TS on it’s own (unrelated to safety device) if I was in the market for a 3K+ saw I would be looking at european style sliders and not american saws. (but that’s just me… and a few others).

just my $0.02

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 848 days


#15 posted 699 days ago

Roadster, Joe, and PurpLev, good points and what I was looking for.

If you’re a cabinetshop or other pro, yes, $5000 isn’t that much. If you’re a hobbyist or craftsman or similar, $5000 is a lot (maybe). I think a majority of us are in the $500-2000 tablesaw market on this forum. I may be wrong on that, but that’s what I think. So, in that context I’ll try to remain.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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