Beat to death discussion: SawStop

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Forum topic by dakremer posted 01-17-2015 09:10 PM 3309 views 0 times favorited 102 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2583 posts in 2512 days

01-17-2015 09:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop table saw

Alright guys. I’m sorry for this… (I’m sure this has been answered MANY times before, but….)

We just moved in to our first home and I finally have my own shop space – I’m starting to accumulate some tools to fill my shop..

I have been saving my nickels and dimes for a while now to purchase my “forever” table saw. When it’s all “said and done” I’ll have about $2500-2700 to spend. Here’s the question….

Forgetting about the Sawstop’s Safety feature, and just focusing on the quality of saw – Is it worth it to spend the $2500 on the entry level Professional SawStop, or is there another saw out there for a similar (or less) price that is just as good, if not better?

I want this saw to be my “forever” saw – so I want a good one (cabinet saw). I’m sick of using Contractor Saws with no repeatability, etc.

Do I spend that money on the Sawstop? If there’s a table saw out there (quality wise) thats just as good as Sawstop but for less money, my extra money could go towards a good bandsaw or something else….


-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

102 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#1 posted 01-17-2015 09:16 PM

If you have real green, you can acquire a vintage industrial
saw in the 1200lb plus class. Those saws out-class any
cabinet saw. My Tannewitz has a format-style sliding table,
weighs 1800 lbs, direct drive and the miter gauge is about
a foot wide. I have less than $1000 into it. A saw in that
class is a “forever saw”, or at least until one tires of moving

For that matter I wouldn’t want to be building furniture with less
than a 12” table saw, but that’s me.

View dakremer's profile


2583 posts in 2512 days

#2 posted 01-17-2015 09:18 PM

Loren, If I come across a saw like that on Craigslist or something, I’ll make sure to send the info your way for your opinion – I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea of what to look for….

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#3 posted 01-17-2015 09:21 PM

They are built like tanks. Tannewitz, Oliver, Yates American,
Northfield are the more common makes. Then there are
the English beauties, rare on these shores.
is a good place to learn about them. Some of the guys
can’t resist buying them at auction… there’s sort of a hidden
market there of people who acquire more machinery than
they can store. They also “rucker” (help each other move)
machines long distances at minimal costs.

View degoose's profile


7193 posts in 2775 days

#4 posted 01-17-2015 09:25 PM

Be thankful that the SawStop in the US is so cheap… compared to the price we have to put up with in Australia…
If I could afford it …. the SawStop would be the one I go for….altho that said some of the pre owned professional sliding saws have much going for them at a similar price…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


4030 posts in 1619 days

#5 posted 01-17-2015 09:25 PM

Quality wise, there isn’t much difference between the top tier cabinet saws. My preference would be to find a nicely setup Unisaw or PM66 that already has much of what you would want to add to any new saw anyway, for significantly less cash. For $1200-$1500, nice 3hp Unisaws with bies fence, outfeed and table extensions, roller base, and lots of other extra goodies show up all the time in my area. If you purchase new, you need to add in all the ‘extras’ that can usually be found already included on a used machine. YMMV.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3844 posts in 1914 days

#6 posted 01-17-2015 09:27 PM

Staying with the new offerings, I’ll offer this: the Sawstop cabinet saws are as well built as any of the ones available right now (IMHO). It seems with the Unisaw being moved to China, all the models are Asian imports. I think Sawstop got their version of the import business set up very well. The price is very close to what the other models cost, so I’d look each of them over and see if one offers something that’s more appealing than the others to your personal tastes. I also like the PM2000 real well and I’m sure some of the others are quite nice.

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

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 757 days

#7 posted 01-17-2015 09:52 PM

2700 bucks is a lot of mula for a cabinet saw. For half of that you can get a 3 HP Grizzly cabinet saw. For about 800-1000 I’ve seen cherry US made Unisaws with biesemeyer fences. I’ve looked at the Saw stop and they are well built and trunnions look if anything sturdier than PMs or unisaws. If money isn’t an object I do like the peace of mind of the saw stop safety device. But I can’t afford spending 2700 for it. I am very careful with my unisaw and knock on wood. Just can’t afford it. If I chop off some fingers on my unisaw then it is on me. I suppose I can’t afford to chop off fingers either.

Update: between a new Unisaw and a sawstop I would definitely buy the saw stop. Prices seem comparable.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2997 days

#8 posted 01-17-2015 10:27 PM

I’ve used the Saw Stop 5hp ICS and the 3hp Saw Stop both are quality saws. I have owned 5 hp PM 66 for years and paid around 3K for it 20+ years ago ,its a great saw ,if I were not concerned about the saftey factor(and I think folks should be concerned safety ) I would still trade up to the ICS .The ICS has the a goodsolid feel like my PM66 and has other good features other than it’s safety features.

-- Custom furniture

View Woodbridge's profile


3451 posts in 1838 days

#9 posted 01-17-2015 10:35 PM

Having spent the last part of my career in the safety field its hard to put aside the safety features of the Sawstop.

I’d suggest that even if you look at 50% price premium of the saw stop due to the safety features of say $1400 and consider the life of the saw at 25 years that amounts to a $56.00 a year finger insurance premium. I suspect a fingerless chiropractor may have a challenge and I’m sure your wife who is in you post picture would opt for the SawStop if you asked her.

Go for the Sawstop!

I do’t have room in my shop for the cabinet or the contractor saw. I’m eagerly awaiting the introduction of the smaller jobsite Saw Stop later this spring.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View dakremer's profile


2583 posts in 2512 days

#10 posted 01-17-2015 11:40 PM

Thanks for all the responses so far. I’m not really one that enjoys fixing up old machinery. I’d rather buy brand new and be done with it

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Minorhero's profile


372 posts in 2025 days

#11 posted 01-18-2015 12:27 AM

The reason to buy a sawstop is for the safety feature. There are no ifs and or buts about it.

If for whatever reason you don’t care about the safety feature then you should probably be going with a new unisaw. Of the top tier of saws they are the cheapest. Powermatic is basically the same price as the sawstop, the quality is the same and they don’t have a brake.

I will say this, I do not like the sawstop fence as much as I like bessy or other bessy clone fences. However, this is a minor issue and I use a sawstop with the original fence on a regular basis without any problems.

View knotscott's profile


7146 posts in 2796 days

#12 posted 01-18-2015 12:41 AM

Your budget would get you a PCS 1.75hp with the 36” T-Glide fence upgrade, and a mobile base. Very nice saw with the safety feature, but it won’t behave like a 3hp saw when under load….1.75hp should be “fine” most of the time, but if it’s truly the last saw you’ll own and you have 220v, it’s a pretty nice step up to the 3hp….it won’t flinch, should never work too hard, and will allow you to dictate the pace. The PCS 3hp with the stock fence and no mobile base would run you $2728….guts are the same, motor is bigger, stock fence is fine, but not as nice as the T-Glide IMO. I’m not up on any other charges that might apply….

The Grizzly G0690 or G1023RL both offer similar power as the PCS 3hp…not quite as nicely made as a PCS, but a lot of saw for the money.

The PM2000 is $2684 shipped. ....very nice saw, but my honest opinion is that if you’re going to spend that much, save another $400 and get the PCS 3hp and get the safety feature. You’re so close….is it possible to save a little longer and get the loaded PCS 3hp?

You can get a Jet Xacta for ~ $2300 shipped. Nice saw….not sure how much better it is than a Griz, if any.

It’s really a call only you can make….good luck!

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

View Bothus's profile


439 posts in 2597 days

#13 posted 01-18-2015 01:03 AM

First my opinion. Buy the Sawstop.

Second, my reasoning:

I have been running our 12 man shop for a little over 2 years (before that I was just a designer with an upstairs office and a home workshop).

Years ago for my home office I bought an old Unisaw and refurbished it. I posted the project here if you interested (I know you said you don’t want to that but it will show you what is involved).

I loved that saw and it worked great. I bought from our company when they replaced it with a Sawstop.

Besides the safety features of the Sawstop and the fact that it is well built it really isn’t as expensive as you think.

The reason I say that is not just because it has saved several fingers over the years but also because in my experience Sawstop has the best customer service of any company out there. Hands down.

If the brake trips it costs $75 to replace. Except every time one trips Sawstop asks you to send it in for evaluation and if it trips because of contact with skin they will send you a free replacement (you just need to fill out a “save report”).

The thing is Sawstop has always sent us a new brake regardless of the reason for it tripping. They just offer to do it no questions asked.

But it is not just that. We were have a problem years ago (don’t remember what exactly) but when I talked to Sawstop they said “Oh that is a older model we have redesigned the trunion, we’ll send you an upgrade kit free of charge”.

Then, just about a year ago we had a problem the brake tripping every couple weeks even though no one was touching the blade. Sawstop’s analysis was that we had a grounding problem but they sent us another brake anyway every single time it tripped.

Before long they contacted us and said that they didn’t think it was a grounding problem after all and they would like to upgrade us to an Industrial Cabinet Saw at no charge.

Go with Sawstop and I know you will not regret it.

-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View Garbanzolasvegas's profile


356 posts in 647 days

#14 posted 01-18-2015 01:11 AM

It has been my experience that any higher quality Table saws have higher threshold and more accurate machining capability than the operator.

-- If you don't Play, you can't win

View Woodmaster1's profile


732 posts in 2007 days

#15 posted 01-18-2015 01:24 AM

I chose the 5hp unisaw when I bought my new tablesaw. I love it. Your profession dictates you get the 3hp sawstop PCS. You will always be buying new equipment for your shop as long as you are woodworking. I have 45years of woodworking and I am still buying things to use. So get the best and wait until you can.

showing 1 through 15 of 102 replies

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