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Sawstop 30" Premium Fence: Seeking user opinions

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Forum topic by DadoDog posted 03-11-2015 01:14 AM 1240 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DadoDog

7 posts in 636 days


03-11-2015 01:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop 30 premium fence 36 t-glide tablesaw

First time post here at LumberJocks in at attempt to get user opinions of the Sawstop 30” Premium Fence. I’ve found bits of info here and there, but it’s usually in discussions about how much better the 36” T-Glide is, the consensus being that if you’re getting a new Sawstop cabinet saw, then by all means equip it with the superior T-Glide. That’s all fine and good for those with sufficient floor space, but for smaller-shop guys like me I’m looking to preserve precious real estate, and don’t anticipate need for a large rip capacity.

So here I am, looking at my new and gleaming Sawstop 1.75 HP PCS, just unboxed and assembled except for the fence, and with a decision to make. Keep the 30” Premium? Or take it back to Woodcraft in exchange for the T-Glide and try to fine a way to deal with the size problem. Are there any experienced users out there who can vouch for the 30” Premium and say that they’re happy with it and have had no issues and/or regrets? I don’t expect accolades, but want to feel confident that it is a durable unit with no downsides.


11 replies so far

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1061 posts in 1990 days


#1 posted 03-11-2015 04:30 AM

Can’t comment on the Premium, as I have the T-Glide on my ICS. Just want to note that if length is an issue, you can always cut the rails down.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5764 posts in 945 days


#2 posted 03-11-2015 04:47 AM

It’s a sweet fence. It’s not a workhorse though. It’ll cut sheet goods without any measurable deflection but I had to set up saw horses with casters the same height as the table so I didn’t have to put a bunch of pressure on the fence. It is extruded aluminum after all, but it was worth every penny of the 146$ or so I won from the casino to buy it. it’s a solid accurate fence. It’s not a bies or a t-glide but they do cost more. And rightfully so.

Edit: one of my favorite parts was the rollers at the back of the fence. Silky smooth. I don’t have the saw with that fence but if I can answer any other questions just shoot me a pm.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

4202 posts in 1658 days


#3 posted 03-11-2015 05:01 AM

I don’t understand why you are asking others for their opinion, when you have the thing sitting in front of you to try out yourself and can form your own opinion by actually using it?!? Use it and see how you like it.. unless you really want to blow some more cash just ‘cause…

Cheers,
Brad

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

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7207 posts in 2835 days


#4 posted 03-11-2015 11:08 AM

I’ve never owned a Saw Stop, but have examined the fences in the store on several occasions. My concern with the “Premium” fence isn’t over the 30” rip capacity, but the construction of the fence tube itself. The tube of the premium fence is aluminum vs steel, and bolts to the t-square head as opposed to being welded. It’s lighter duty, and I worry about it flexing more in use, and coming loose over time.

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

View HarveyM's profile

HarveyM

92 posts in 1482 days


#5 posted 03-11-2015 11:33 AM

The 36” T glide is a $226 upgrade (from Sawstop’s website). I think you could pick up an aftermarket t-square fence (shop fox classic, super cool tools or biesemeyer) that would fit the 30” rails for $220-$275, if you aren’t happy with the premium once you’ve used it.

-- Just a Duffer

View tsdahc's profile

tsdahc

107 posts in 1811 days


#6 posted 03-11-2015 12:28 PM

I had the 30” premium fence for the PCS and purchased it for the same reason that you did, floor space. In retrospect though it only takes up about 7” less space so its not a ton of foot print difference as the 36” t-glide, but for me at the time the SS 30” fence setup was pushing my limits. As far as the performance of the fence, I never had any issues with how it performed, I came from a bosch jobsite saw and in comparison to that fence the premium fence is amazing. I now have the 52” t-glide and love it. The reasons I upgraded are I moved from a cramped 1 car garage to a 450 sq ft basement shop giving me the space, but the biggest reason was capacity. Like I had said I had no issues at all with the premium and made plenty of things with it, but carcass building becomes a problem with only 30” of capacity. My goal is to build my next kitchen, all cabinets will require larger then 30” cuts. I made one vanity in my old house with the premium fence and it came out just fine and I can say any issues in the build were not directly related to the fence, just became more challenging to make the side panels at 34” tall. If you are not doing much cabinet building or you have a track saw then that wont be an issue. If however you think you’ll ever want to upgrade it, do it now because its pretty expensive to go the route I did and try to sell the premium fence. Either way you have a great saw and a good fence that will serve you well.

View DadoDog's profile

DadoDog

7 posts in 636 days


#7 posted 03-12-2015 01:04 AM

Thanks for the replies!! This forum is a great resource. Sounds like I’d do well with the 30” Premium as a generally lighter-duty hobbyist, although this last comment from tsdahc got me thinking about cabinetry. We’re thinking about a kitchen remodel one of these days, and when looking into costs I was blown away upon learning that custom cabinets were well into the five figure range. So now I’m feeling a bit more ambitious with the new Sawstop, and maybe having that extra few inches of panel-cutting capacity would be nice to cut those 34” sides. Certainly would give me some options. My shop is 15×20 by the way.

View GT350's profile

GT350

352 posts in 1441 days


#8 posted 03-12-2015 01:19 AM

I have the 30” fence and the only complaint that I have is that it is a little shorter in height than the 36” fence. One advantage it has is that it seems to glide easier than the 36” fence does, I think it has a wheel under the tail end that the other one doesn’t. I can see how the extra capacity would be helpful but if you are going to be making cabinets you need an outfeed table also. With your shop size, working with plywood is going to be pretty difficult and the extra width does make a huge difference.
Mike

View EdfromEagan's profile

EdfromEagan

2 posts in 696 days


#9 posted 04-15-2016 12:33 AM

I’m a little late to this thread but if your concern is over ripping longer stock try Board Buddies. They hold the piece down to the table and into the fence until after the wood clears the blade. They also allow you to rip long pieces alone, safely. You can let go of the piece, walk to the rear of the saw and pull the piece from there (if that is needed). The rollers won’t let the piece move backwards, only forwards.

-- Ed from Eagan

View clin's profile

clin

510 posts in 455 days


#10 posted 04-15-2016 03:51 AM

So did you keep the 30” or get the 36” T glide?

I have the 36” on my PCS also in a 300 sq ft shop. A 6” smaller saw wouldn’t make much difference. What makes a huge difference is having the ICS mobile base (not PCS base). This allows me to move the saw around very easily. That’s a big help in a small space.

I’ve made a set of shop cabinets and was glad to have the 36” fence for use with my big cross cut sled. It’s great to be able to get cab sides nice and square that way.

I also built a folding out feed table that is very useful. Works well as a large, light duty assemble table as well.

I rough cut sheets in my driveway. Even with a roller stand for infeed, full sheets are just too hard to handle.

-- Clin

View DadoDog's profile

DadoDog

7 posts in 636 days


#11 posted 04-16-2016 12:16 AM

After much deliberation I ended up getting the 36” T-Glide. While the 30” is a decent fence, it does have a bit of deflection which I thought might affect accuracy when cutting cabinet panels. Having used the 36” for over a year now, I know I made the right call. It’s rock solid, smooth and razor accurate.

As for the space issue, I’ve made the sacrifice of parking the saw against a wall on the right. Sure, I’d much rather have the saw in the middle of the shop with all-around access, but so far it’s worked out, and when necessary I can move it around without too much trouble on the PCS base. Clin (above post) mentioned that he’s got the ICS base and likes it; I don’t know how much better that would serve me, but when buying the Saw Stop I was mindful of costs, and the PCS does well with the occasional move.

Some type of flip-up outfeed table, and a crosscut sled are two items on my project list!

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