SawStop table saws 5/10/16 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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SawStop table saws 5/10/16

We've got into a little discussion on the SawStop table saws through other topics. I think this deserves more discussion and this separate post. I'd like to hear more thoughts regarding the SawStop. I've already learned that several of you think this is the greatest thing since a/c current.
Please let us know the pros and cons as you see it.

I have said I'm a skeptic. For every example of a near miss (slight cut) on a SawStop, I could probably find 100's of near misses on standard table saws.
I'm certainly not opposed to safety. Safe practices must be followed in all aspects of woodwork.
Looking forward to your responses.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #2 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 10:41 AM
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I just purchased a 3 hp, in the process of putting together and setting up, excellent instructions. Will offer more after I get it up and running. The reason I bought it, getting older needed a little extra safety, and it got great reviews.
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post #3 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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RJ
I think there is more attention and more advertising/ marketing on the SawStop than on all other table saws combined.
I have no doubt that the SawStop is a high quality saw.
I'm looking for many more responses. Pros and cons.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #4 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 12:24 PM
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You really need more discussion about that saw, seem like just about everything that could be said about it, good or bad has been posted a hundred times before.

ďEverything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.Ē
― Marcus Aurelius
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post #5 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 01:49 PM
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It's important to be specific about model numbers, as opposed to grouping all SS saws into the same pile. The last I knew they offered 4 models...a jobsite saw, a contractor saw, a professional cabinet saw (PCS), and an industrial cabinet saw (ICS).

The PCS and ICS are outstanding saws even without their safety techology. The stock fence on the PCS is their "Premium fence", but I'm not a big fan of it....it's lighter duty construction throughout than a steel welded t-square like a Biesemeyer. Fortunately they offer the T-Glide fence as an option, which is a very good fence, and is the choice I'd make for a saw in this price range. If you have 220v, I'd definitely opt for the 3hp motor over the 1.75hp. IMO the PCS is not quite at the same level as a PM2000, but with the 3hp motor and T-Glide fence, it's pretty competitive. A fully loaded PCS gives you a lot of saw with the safety brake feature for not much more than a PM2000. The ICS is more substantial than either, and is obviously more expensive than either....definitely geared for an industrial setting. IMHO institutions and professional shops leave themselves wide open for lawsuits if they don't implement one of these, because accidents seem inevitable in these environments.

The SS contractor saw is well built for a contractor saw, but the steel wings and cheapy fence don't impress me at the $1600 price point. Adding the T-Glide is a big step in the direction, as are the cast iron wings, but you're still paying a hefty premium to get the safety feature. I also can't help but think this model should have never incorporated the outboard motor....all the other outboard motor contractor saws were being phased out when this was introduced.

The jobsite saw is the lowest cost SS saw. There's undoubtedly a large natural market for contractors and assistant's where the jobsite saw will save a lot of injuries and law suits, but it's a pretty expensive and it's still has the drawbacks of a jobsite saw.

IMO the bottom two models don't offer the most saw for their respective price ranges. The Grizzly G1023RL at ~ $1500 is pretty stout competition from a perspective of just the saw, without considering the safety brake. However, it's hard to overlook the value of the safety brake in the event of an accident, which I'm sure is a big selling point.

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post #6 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 02:24 PM
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+1 on notskot's great summary. While I have no experience with PM's to allow comparison, the PCS with the T-Glide fence is the "sweet spot" of price/value in SawStop's product line. I assembled and have used the 1.75 hp PCS. Fit and finish are perfect, and alignments were dead-on out of the box. Assembly instructions and parts layout are a model that others should follow. For my son's needs, the 3 hp would be overkill, and I find the 1.75 has plenty of power, though your needs may vary.
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post #7 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by notskot View Post

IMO the bottom two models don't offer the most saw for their respective price ranges. The Grizzly G1023RL at ~ $1500 is pretty stout competition from a perspective of just the saw, without considering the safety brake. However, it's hard to overlook the value of the safety brake in the event of an accident, which I'm sure is a big selling point.
There are several very good quality table saws on the market. I've read several posters comments that they would buy the SawStop even if it didn't offer the safety brake. They think it's the best saw on the market, brake or no brake. But I agree with you, the safety feature is the primary reason to purchase the SawStop. Without the brake, the saw would be overpriced to the competition.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #8 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 08:36 PM
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There are several very good quality table saws on the market. I've read several posters comments that they would buy the SawStop even if it didn't offer the safety brake. They think it's the best saw on the market, brake or no brake. But I agree with you, the safety feature is the primary reason to purchase the SawStop. Without the brake, the saw would be overpriced to the competition.
The value varies by model IMO, and I'll reiterate the importance of differentiating by model. I think the jobsite saw and contractor saw would be overpriced on just the merits of the saw without the brake.

A loaded PCS 3hp in the $3300 range without the safety brake is fairly competitive with a new Unisaw, PM2000, Laguna Platinum, Jet Xacta, etc....the safety brake is certainly a nice tie breaker against those saws.

Not sure what else the ICS would compare to, as it's heavier duty than the other cabinet saws mentioned, and IMO would justify some premium over them without the brake. I'd guess it'd put you into the range of some nice commercial grade sliders.
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post #9 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 10:06 PM
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I guess I just don't understand what there is to be skeptical about on the sawstop. I don't believe there's ever been a known case of the technology failing, and if it ever had, don't you think the detractors would have taken out a full page ad in a woodworking magazine?? If you agree that safety is important, is there any doubt that this saw technology has a proven feature that NO one else has?

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #10 of 41 Old 05-10-2016, 11:46 PM
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Reasons to buy a saw stop
(1) Desire for additional safety
(2) By all accounts its a great saw regardless of the safety feature

Reason not to buy a saw stop
(1) Cost

For me, I'll be buying a SS when my desire for additional safety overcomes my inability to pay for the SS. This may mean that I'm purchasing a used SS at some point in the future. I honestly think its only a matter of time until all the manufacturers are including some type of brake. Bosch already has their REAXX (sp?) out there, the other manufacturers can't be far behind. Obviously the patent attorneys of the world will slow this down somewhat, but its only a matter of time before the brakes are standard issue on every saw. Its similar to various vehicle safety technologies. Things like front collision warning, lane keeping, and blind spot monitoring used to be restricted to the premium car market, they're now making their way into mainstream vehicles.
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post #11 of 41 Old 05-11-2016, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Craig
I have to agree with you that when something good is invented, it's only a matter of time before it goes mainstream.
My first Delta miter saw had a wooden table. You actually cut through the table on each cut, so after several months use, you had to replace the wood table.
My 2nd miter saw (Makita) had a steel table that moved with the blade and a blade brake. Big improvements.
Using your analogy of new car technology, as we add more technical, we add more things that can go wrong and costly repairs. (Back up cameras for instance).
We have to weigh the benefits and each decide what we are willing to pay for.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #12 of 41 Old 05-11-2016, 01:20 PM
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I understand the "just more stuff to break" mentality, and in my personal opinion it's a bit of a false argument. My father gave me the devil's own to no end about the "extravagant" choices I made in purchasing a pickup truck that had...GASP...power windows, power locks, and cruise control, telling me that I'd done nothing but "buy problems when they break". 10 years and 100,000 miles later truck is still running like a top with never an issue from the windows, locks, or cruise control. Many technologies were once "just more stuff to break" and now are so commonplace you nearly can't buy a vehicle without them in it (granted, the car manufacturers have had some help in that from government regulation, but I don't want to get into the politics of that) and by and large these technologies do not present maintenance issues at any higher rate than other components of the vehicle. The same concept will apply here. First, I personally know of zero instances of the Sawstop brake malfunctioning, this is a testament to their R&D in designing a quality reliable product, and as stated here with the polarizing nature of Sawstop and some of their legal actions I guarantee you that had there ever been an instance of that brake malfunctioning and injuring someone or causing someone to have to come out of pocket for equipment repairs it would have made front page news in the woodworking world. I don't want to turn this into a debate of economics, but at some point the opportunity cost of not having the brake technology (read: missing body parts and medical bills) will outweigh the financial risks of having it (potential increased maintenance and repair costs are less than the cost of missing body parts and medical bills). At this point nearly everyone I have talked to regarding the Sawstop has said their only roadblock to buying one is the cost. As other manufacturers come to market with competing technologies at lower prices points the momentum will be unstoppable and I would say that inside of a decade you will not be able to new table saws on that market that do not have some form of brake technology.

All that said, if you personally have done your analysis of the risks and costs associated with buying one or not buying one and you've decided that its not for you or not worth it to you, that's fine. Other folks will do their own analysis and determine that it is for them, and that's just fine too.
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post #13 of 41 Old 05-11-2016, 01:33 PM
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Here is how I see it....
Just talking about cabinet saws.
Saw Stop PCS 3-HP 52in fence system.................................3,249.00
Powermatic PM2000 50in fence system................................3,059.00
Delta Unisaw 3 HP 52in fence system.................................2,799.00


Now all 3 of these companies in my opinion are the TOP 3 in making cabinet style cabinet saws hands down. Only one of these companies offer a safety feature that will protect you in the event of a major injury...... So is the 450.00 more worth it to you???? Only you will know the answer...................Gary
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post #14 of 41 Old 05-11-2016, 02:59 PM
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Having gone to the emergency room for a glass cut on my right palm, I can't imagine what a lost finger would cost...
My bill was $1100 for 7 stitches, and I only had a couple of weeks of discomfort....A lost finger(s) will affect you forever....
My wife insisted on going the extra $300 for a 1 3/4 hp PCS over a Powermatic 1000 ....
I went with a 36 inch (a better fence), and the mobile base....
I've had it for a year, and am still impressed with the fit and finish quality, and how beautifully it runs.....
I also bought a spare cartridge, just in case... But, so far, has only been used for show and tell ....
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post #15 of 41 Old 05-11-2016, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Kansas Gary View Post
Here is how I see it....
Just talking about cabinet saws.
Saw Stop PCS 3-HP 52in fence system.................................3,249.00
Powermatic PM2000 50in fence system................................3,059.00
Delta Unisaw 3 HP 52in fence system.................................2,799.00


Now all 3 of these companies in my opinion are the TOP 3 in making cabinet style cabinet saws hands down. Only one of these companies offer a safety feature that will protect you in the event of a major injury...... So is the 450.00 more worth it to you???? Only you will know the answer...................Gary
I went trough this a month ago when purchasing a new saw. The PM 2000 and the Unisaw are both steps above the PCS. The ICS would be more in line with them. So price made a big deciding factor when getting my new Unisaw.
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post #16 of 41 Old 07-08-2016, 01:46 AM
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I went trough this a month ago when purchasing a new saw. The PM 2000 and the Unisaw are both steps above the PCS. The ICS would be more in line with them. So price made a big deciding factor when getting my new Unisaw.
They all are close. I spent 1500 in deductibles when I filleted my finger on my current saw. It was just a moment that I took my eyes off the prize. All healed OK and a scar and little deformation not really noticeable. They kept wanting to do surgery on me and that would have been 2k more. So SS would have been a savings.

I just got done assembling my 51 inch 3hp SS. It is a dream.
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post #17 of 41 Old 08-21-2016, 09:38 PM
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RJ
I think there is more attention and more advertising/ marketing on the SawStop than on all other table saws combined.
I have no doubt that the SawStop is a high quality saw.
I'm looking for many more responses. Pros and cons.
Don't really have any cons. Tech support is the best I've ever talked to.
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post #18 of 41 Old 08-23-2016, 11:26 AM
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I guess I just don't understand what there is to be skeptical about on the sawstop. I don't believe there's ever been a known case of the technology failing, and if it ever had, don't you think the detractors would have taken out a full page ad in a woodworking magazine?? If you agree that safety is important, is there any doubt that this saw technology has a proven feature that NO one else has?
Define failure. I know several guys running saw stops who, fortunately, are not the typical rabid owners. They have given candid and honest appraisals of the saw. All but one wouldn't buy again. There have been numerous reports of misfires, I witnessed one myself. As soon as the saw was turned on the cartridge failed, destroying a very expensive blade in the process. Another failure occurred overnight. They went to start the saw and it wouldn't start. They noticed the blade was down and wouldn't raise. Sometime during the night the cartridge had failed, destroying an expensive blade.

The technology comes at a price, and one area to consider is the cost of replacement cartridges and blades. May not be any big deal for a hobbyist to be down for several days waiting on replacement parts, but it will certainly affect production on a professional level.

If I were to buy another cabinet saw today, saw stop would be third on the list.

The tools don't make the craftsman......a true statement often overused by individuals who haven't a clue about quality tools or true craftsmanship.
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post #19 of 41 Old 08-23-2016, 10:48 PM
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If I were to buy another cabinet saw today, saw stop would be third on the list.
What would the first two be?
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post #20 of 41 Old 08-23-2016, 11:24 PM
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I don't think any of us are against the concept of the saw stop but I really doubt if it costs that much more to manufacture. I think they are just lining their pockets at the expense of peoples fingers. I think a lot of people unless they are accident prone would pass on the saw because of the price. If I had to purchase another table saw I don't have a clue what I would get. Several years ago I bought a Unisaw and have never been satisfied with it. Powermatic might have been my next choice but I've heard feedback from several people that the new ones are junk. If I had time to shop more than likely I would look for a vintage cast iron saw perhaps Mattison Machine Works.
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