Wow! SawStop Jobsite is a really nice saw to use! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-11-2016, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! SawStop Jobsite is a really nice saw to use!

I recently bought a SawStop Jobsite saw, new in the box from someone who got it as an unappreciated gift. I had run tested it, but until very recently had not yet really USED it to do anything.

I HAD already previously checked all the key settings on the saw, and found, like Ron Paulk on his SawStop Jobsite video series had, that my saw came from the factory with the cutting scale right on, the fence perfectly square to the table's T-slots, the fence adjusted for just the right locking tension, and the blade absolutely vertical at zero tilt. The ergonomics had, and continue to, impress me.

But, now I have actually used it, and I am much more impressed even than when I bought it based on its specs, weight, size, and ergonomics. It was remarkably pleasant to use.

This first project wasn't even a good one to use this saw on. I am building a compact, "box beam" type of workbench, 48" long by just 14" deep and 24" high which will roll on 6" casters (giving me a 30" bench height), and is, other than casters, glue, and screws, entirely made out of one 4x8 sheet of 3/4" plywood.

I had been unable to find a decent looking 4x8 3/4" BC Exterior sheet at Lowes, so motored over to Home Depot. Home Depot's selection in 4x8 BC Exterior was also pretty seriously ugly, but its 4x4 selection was actually quite nice. So, despite the steep price penalty, I picked through the 4x4 sheets to find the 2 very best ones, and brought them home.

Now the Jobsite saw is nowhere even near the "right" saw to cut sheets of plywood. It's very compact sized (table at full extension is 36" wide), very lightweight (108 lb including rolling foldup cart), and runs off a standard 120V outlet. Ripping plywood on it is sort of like using a compact sports car to pull an RV. It's technically possible, but far from an ideal usage.

I needed to make 5 rip cuts, each of them 48" long, and 2 of them starting with 48" x 48" sheets.

The table on the Jobsite will handle up to a 25-1/2" rip cut to the right of the blade with its slideout table extended, but the table is also quite short along the cut direction. And a 4'x4' sheet of 3/4" BC Exterior weighs around 36 lb and is a bit unwieldy. But, I have 2 of the Lowes 3-way (stop, roller, or ballbearings on top) compact folding stands, and used them as "out tables", one for the good piece and one for the cutoff piece.

First, all 5 rip cuts were completed safely. The blade guard did not inhibit my work at all, and the riving knife and the anti-reverse pawls did their jobs without their presence even being noticed. And, my knee found the "off" switch easily after each cut was completed.

But what was truly impressive was the sheer EASE, SMOOTHNESS, and QUIETNESS with which the saw made the cuts.

Now I'm sure that the Tenryu Gold medal 25540 I installed, with its good factory balance, its deliberately quiet design, and somewhat thin 0.111" "intermediate" kerf, has to get some of the credit, but man, were those 5 rip cuts ever smooth and ever easy. The saw absolutely made it feel and sound like a stroll on the beach, and the resulting cut surfaces were perfect. And, I always felt like I had perfect control.

I started using table and radial saws when I was about 11 years old (My Dad was a carpenter, cabinetmaker, and then contractor), so I've used a LOT of saws over the decades. This SawStop Jobsite saw impresses me. The price is a premium price for sure, but I can't think of any saw I have ever used that was more of a pleasure to use.

Jim G
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-12-2016, 03:58 PM
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Very nice review of the saw. I've been debating on getting a portable saw and was thinking the Bosch. Now you have me thinking.

Cut it twice, measure once and it's still too short.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-12-2016, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by unclefester View Post
Very nice review of the saw. I've been debating on getting a portable saw and was thinking the Bosch. Now you have me thinking.
If you possibly can, try to do the following:

- Go to a store that sells both, and simulate common tasks such as:
Installing & removing the fence, & storing the fence on the saw
Using the fence - including sliding it, locking it
Using the dual scales on the saw (1 for table unextended, 1 for extended table)
Using the provided tool kit items (in a toolbox under the sliding portion of the table on the Jobsite)
Tilting the blade
Raising and lowering the blade
Fine tuning the blade angle (special knob on the Jobsite for doing that!)
Changing the blade
Removing and re-installing the blade guard
Removing and reinstalling the riving knife

- If at all possible, try to get a chance to make a few actual cuts on each of the 2 saws, at a job site or at a couple of working shops. You might be surprised at the ergonomic and smoothness differences

I was really surprised the other day when I actually used the Jobsite to do some actual work. It rocks.

The price difference is substantial, but so is the performance. I don't throw my money around, but I do look at best value for the money and how pleasurable a piece of equipment is to actually use.

Jim G
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-14-2016, 06:51 AM
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Jim,
Thanks for the great review. I am in the market for a new job site saw. This is going to be my last one. Since, I am towards the end of my career. My concern is getting it in and out of the trailer and since I do have to go to the second floor more times than I would like to. I am going to take a serious look at the Sawstop contractors saw based on your review. I also want to try the new Skil saw worm drive small saw. Size wise that seems more appealing to me. But, I am going to head over to Acme Tool this Saturday and check things out.

Marty
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-14-2016, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty View Post
Jim,
Thanks for the great review. I am in the market for a new job site saw. This is going to be my last one. Since, I am towards the end of my career. My concern is getting it in and out of the trailer and since I do have to go to the second floor more times than I would like to. I am going to take a serious look at the Sawstop contractors saw based on your review. I also want to try the new Skil saw worm drive small saw. Size wise that seems more appealing to me. But, I am going to head over to Acme Tool this Saturday and check things out.

Marty
Given your situation and near-retirement physique, be sure to actually try moving any saw you consider up and down some stairs before you buy. That was one of the things I wanted to do, but couldn't, because at the store, they HAVE no stairs, and when I went to see the new-in-box one I found on Craigslist, it was still in a sealed box, AND the owner had no stairs either anyway!

I figured that the large wheels on the SawStop Jobsite saw would be a huge plus on stairs and I was right - they make pulling the saw up each stair,or letting it go down each stair, pretty easy. That is not the case with some other "portable" saws. To me, a portable saw that can't go up and down stairs easily, and that cannot be loaded and unloaded easily from a pickup truck or ramped trailer, does not qualify as "portable"! This is especially important when, like me, the owner has a back issue that flares up when carrying, pushing, or pulling.

Try some stairs that have a 90 degree turn if possible. Some saws, even when the cart is folded, are a bit big to comfortably go around corners with adjacent walls or railings. Again, the Jobsite saw handled my convoluted porch stairs fine, despite 3 90-degree turns and an OUTWARD-opening screen door that stuck out into the turn area.

Any pay attention to weight. The 108 lb combined weight of Jobsite saw (79 lb) and cart (29lb) is no problem when rolling it, but if you have to lift it up into a pickup truck bed, rather than roll it up a trailer ramp, it could be an issue for someone who cannot, or should not, handle 108 lb lifts. Yes, you can lean one end of the cart on the tailgate while lifting the other end, which reduced the lift weight a LOT, BUT if you don't have a liner on the interior surface of the tailgate, you could scratch the tailgate paint.

The point here is that before buying, try to simulate doing everything you might have to do with moving that saw.

In my case, I COULD have bought lighter and/or smaller portable tabel saws, but light weight and size are only 2 factors out of a number of factors on my "score card" for a saw, and the SawStop Jobsite scored "acceptable" on those, while scoring very,very high on other important criteria.

And, in hindsight, I did not put enough weight on things like smoothness and pleasure to use. Both of those very pleasantly surprised me, and make me eager to use the saw more. That counts for a LOT once you experience how good a saw CAN feel to use.

Jim G
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-14-2016, 07:45 PM
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In and out of the truck is the key

Jim,
Your points are well taken. I just sold the Ridgid saw that was on the cart because it was a PIA to get in the back of the truck. The trailer is not the issue because it has a ramp. I don't take the trailer to every job. Small jobs just don't warrant the hassle, you know what I mean.

Like today I was tapping a bathroom and bedroom. Trailer stayed parked. Just bought the taping cases and we were good. But, in a few days I will be trimming that job so we are going to get everything upstairs. I use a scaled down Paulk workbench mine is 6'x4' so the saw will work with that either way I go. I have a 78" truck box so I just scaled down things to suit my equipment.

Yeah, I got a list to what is important and that list is ranked.

Marty
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