Purchased a used SawStop

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Forum topic by Craig Brown posted 04-09-2015 04:03 AM 1484 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Craig Brown

18 posts in 1192 days

04-09-2015 04:03 AM

I just bought a used SawStop Contractor saw (couldn’t pass up the deal, $950!). Supposedly, the guy won it in a drawing. It was (again supposedly) only used for the hot dog demos during a store event. The guy did not have a place to put it and it was moved around a few times. His buddies were not gentle and it has some strange cosmetic damage.

Anyway, I am trying to sort out what might be damage from what I am doing incorrectly. Please see photo of insert. I turned the screws so that it no longer rubbed against the blade. But now it is not level. Part of the locking “hooks” was bent (and I bent it to match the other hook). Should I buy a new insert or is this just adjusted incorrectly.

He moved it while it was raining and there is rust on the table. I assume some wd-40 would be OK to remove the rust. Then a coat of Renaissance wax. Is this correct?

In the second photo: Above the blade guard are “pointy things” what are these things for?


BTW: The documentation bag was sealed. It also came mounted to the job site cart. I really don’t need it, but it is nice for moving the saw around in my basement (a bear to get it down my bulkhead into my basement).

15 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


6764 posts in 2222 days

#1 posted 04-09-2015 04:09 AM

Contractor or job site saw (you mentioned the job site cart, so I’m guessing it’s the job site saw). If it’s the contractor saw, that’s not a bad deal for a slightly damaged and cosmetically challenged machine.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2465 days

#2 posted 04-09-2015 04:44 AM

The “pointy things” in the second photo are the anti-kickback pawls. When they’re in the down position, the teeth are pointed in such a way that any reverse movement causes them to dig into the stock and reduce the likelihood of kickback.

@MrUnix… it’s the contractor saw. You can see the motor hanging off the back in the second photo. Sawstop makes a mobile base for their contractor saws as well.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2465 days

#3 posted 04-09-2015 04:49 AM

As far as the insert goes, if it’s level with the table and you can slide wood across without any catches, it’s probably okay to use. Just make sure that the metal piece in the front isn’t catching anything and you can still use it to remove the insert. Also make sure that it’s still secure in the table. With the rubbing… could be caused by some damage to the insert, but it’s not a big deal. Start the saw with the blade below the table and raise it up. It will just cut through what it needs to.

New ones aren’t expensive, but they’re not exactly cheap either, in the neighborhood of $35.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2994 days

#4 posted 04-09-2015 05:04 AM

Wait a minute.
If something metal is touching the blade and that has not triggered the brake sounds to me like something is wrong.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2516 days

#5 posted 04-09-2015 10:49 AM

I think I’d just get a new insert. But like GT buzz said, if it’s level with the table, you’re good to go. Cleaning with WD 40 should work just fine, get a Scothbrite pad to work it in, that should take care of the rust. I use Trewax, but any of the flooring type waxes should work (Johnon’s Paste, Briwax, that stuff you named). If you’re interested in a ZC insert (besides the one SS sells) Infinity has one with replaceable strips; it’s pretty expensive but really nice. No locking hook on it, but it latches onto the back of the saw with a finger, much like other saws do. Good deal on that, congrats!

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

View HarveyM's profile


106 posts in 2046 days

#6 posted 04-09-2015 11:58 AM

Have you checked the saw’s alignment? I’d align the miter slots to the blade first. My insert also touched the blade- I just dropped the blade and slowly raised it with the saw running. If your basement is humid you’ll need something more than wax for rust prevention. Fine Woodworking tested rust prevention in Aug 2012 and liked CRC Industrial 3-36 the best. Enjoy your new saw!

-- Just a Duffer

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2133 days

#7 posted 04-09-2015 12:51 PM

Metal by itself touching the blade will not activate the brake. I’ve cut many a brad nail, and even some brass and aluminum, with no activations…

Metal that is a similar electrical potential as an operator’s body WILL fire the saw. For example, an aluminum miter gauge fence that is also touching the operator’s hand.

If the saw passes the power on self test, ending with a solid green light, and the red light flashes if you touch the blade while it’s not spinning, there is nothing wrong with the system.

View Kazooman's profile


1024 posts in 1975 days

#8 posted 04-09-2015 01:03 PM

The insert is not metal.

View Craig Brown's profile

Craig Brown

18 posts in 1192 days

#9 posted 04-09-2015 01:21 PM

It’s the contractor saw + the $200 cart.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2465 days

#10 posted 04-09-2015 01:21 PM

Wait a minute.
If something metal is touching the blade and that has not triggered the brake sounds to me like something is wrong.

- crank49

Just touching metal by itself isn’t enough to make the cartridge go off, you have to be in contact with the metal as well. These plates are all just some sort of phenolic, except for the leveling screws and the insert handle. If the blade happens to be touching any of these… then yes, absolutely replace the insert!

Crank does bring up something else interesting though. With a SawStop, the brains behind the safety mechanism is contained on a microchip within each individual cartridge. Every time you power up the saw, the cartridge goes through a diagnostic check that checks itself as well as the electrical components of the saw. If the cartridge is bad, you can’t start the saw. Easy way to do that is just make sure you have all green before starting the power. One additional check I always do when installing a new cartridge (I’ve never fired one, just when i’m switching between dado and regular and when I bought my backup cartridges, just to check), is with the main power on BUT THE SAW OFF, just touch the blade to make sure that the control panel registers you. It’s just an additional “check” I do. Again, should go without saying, but in this litigious society, DO NOT DO THAT WITH THE BLADE MOVING AT ALL!!!

View BroncoBrian's profile


535 posts in 1982 days

#11 posted 04-09-2015 02:03 PM

You can bend that metal back into place so the insert lines up. You can also pull it to the blade and trim it a bit so you don’t hear is anymore. If the blade and fence are in parallel to each other, you are good. Clean it up and enjoy it.

Seeing that table, I would bet the guy did win it or at least had no business owning it… or it would be been unknowingly borrowed from someone else :(. Not likely though. There are lighter things in peoples garages to “borrow”.

The only other possibility is that your table might no be square to the base. There are 3 (I think) bolts, two in front, you might be able to shift the whole table 1/16 of an inch and the align the fence with the white screws. Pretty quick job, maybe 5 minutes. Your insert looks more bent than anything so this is the last project if still needed.

-- I think foosball is a combination of soccer and shish kabobs.

View Craig Brown's profile

Craig Brown

18 posts in 1192 days

#12 posted 04-09-2015 03:21 PM

I work in Information Security and spend a lot of time figuring out to what degree people are telling the truth (rarely 100%). This guy did not steal this from a SawStop owner (could have “fallen off the truck”) but I could guess the serial number would reveal that. Small guy, 20-something. I’d be surprised if he (or a single big guy) could grab a box and stuff it into his car very quickly.

I would guess that his girlfriend did kick him out; he had to move out fast; and was in a bad mood by the time he had to get the saw into the storage box which had an opening smaller than the width of the saw + motor (see attached photos of other damages).

The storage box was free for one month. After that, $125/month. He had to sell. I knew I could get him down at least to $800. But the poor guy just got kicked out of his hose. To me, it was worth $950 so that is what I paid him. I’m in my 50’s and have been “kicked when I’m down” many times (Google me). My attitude is that just because the world is full of A—Holes, becoming one is optional.

Though in his ad, he claimed this saw to be “like new” and said he had not noticed any damages …

Any thoughts on how the heck that gouge could have happened? The scraping of “Saw Stop” on the fence could have occurred during the move.

View Craig Brown's profile

Craig Brown

18 posts in 1192 days

#13 posted 04-09-2015 04:46 PM

I was going to pay the guy $1100 until I saw this damage to the motor. The deal was “as is” and there was no way to test it (no power at storage facility). I assumed that the casing had a little extra space between it and the motor parts, but still, this mother had been slammed around. So it was like that TV show where you buy the storage locker and hope for the best.

It seems to run fine. Though when you turn it off, it makes kind of a “clang” sound as it slows down. I don’t know if this is normal. I was saving for the cabinet saw but I figured that at this price I can safely (as safe as possible, anyway) learn about table saw operation and upgrade later. Probably recovering my full cost once I clean it up.

View JayMnKato's profile


8 posts in 1201 days

#14 posted 04-09-2015 06:33 PM

I would say its a decent deal as long as it runs well and the diagnostics all pass. After some good use there will probably be some other minor scratches here and there as well. Now at least you don’t have to fret about that first one occurring since it is already there!

If you do decide to get a new insert take a look at the infinity tools zero clearance insert with the sacrificial center section before getting another oem one.

I am very happy with it and just keep a number of different replacement inserts for multiple dado setups. You do lose the locking lever but it has set screws to adjust the x/y fit and the leveler screws on the saw will ensure you are even with the top.

(Edit: just realized Fred Hargis mentioned the infinity insert above with many of the same remarks…oh well, something something great minds.)

Enjoy your new sawdust maker!

-- --Jay

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2516 days

#15 posted 04-09-2015 06:44 PM

It would speculation to come up with a reason for the motor damage, but if it runs smoothly, don’t worry about it. Worse case would be to buy a new motor from SS (maybe $300 +/-), but you’re no where near worst case. The “clang” may be a problem and probably deserves some attention. Still a good deal, and I like your thinking about a learning saw….you will likely recoup all your cost when you go to sell.

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

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