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Thread: Upgrade table saw worth it?

  1. #1

    Question Upgrade table saw worth it?

    I currently have a ts3650 with benchdog CI router insert. It works great. Runs smoothly. Have good blade guard with splitter. Probably needs to be re-tuned/aligned after 2 moves, but otherwise still very happy with it. Dust collection probably the only thing wish could improve, especially the router insert (dread using it due to cleanup afterwards).

    Been looking at SawStop (please, no negativity here) for many years. Key focus is on safety. I have never had a need or desire to stick my finger into a running saw blade, nor do I ever plan on doing so, thank you! But with that said, I have had a few kickbacks and accidents that makes me very safety cautious. Last was with the gripper in which I was VERY cautious with setup, double checked everything (I thought), but first time I used it the one thing I didn't consider was the opening in the insert (not zero-clearance...just changed out prior) was larger than thin strip, resulting in gripper tilting at cutoff went in and blade catching gripper and sending backwards, chewing bit off one side. That was closest and worst had. Prior, was kickback 10 years ago.

    So am very safety conscious, but accidents can and do happen to the best, thus my consideration to upgrade to SawStop. My issue and question is whether truly worth spending $3k for saw, plus more to re-setup router table insert (or buy SS new router insert). Given I am happy with current saw, is it worth the investment just from safety standpoint? I do this as a hobby and am in my garage only few hours each week (yes, need to increase that time). Project wise, I am slow to start and to finish projects, but lined up are some end tables, bedroom set, and bookshelves. The way my other projects have gone, this will keep me out of trouble for the next 3+ years.

    Looking for feedback on whether new table saw is worth it or not? Any additional benefit I am not considering?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    60
    The way I look at it is how much would it cost for an emergency room trip, surgery, months of physical therapy, and time off of work because of a table saw accident. Add all that up and $3k doesn't even compare. You're basically buying table saw insurance with the SawStop.

    Buy once and cry once.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    702
    In my opinion, Yes.

    Safety is worth the money spent. No matter how safe and cautious you are accidents can happen.

    Note: you can get cut on a SawStop but if you are moving slowly and deliberately SawStop should keep you from losing your finger/s.

    I'm sold on it enough to hold off on getting a table saw until I can afford a SawStop PCS.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    276
    So the only accidents you've had in 10+ years were kickbacks which a sawstop does nothing to protect you from that any other saw can't also do with the right equipment. You say you're already safety conscious. That's at least 95% of avoiding an accident right there. I'd put the money into something else.

    Once, maybe twice, in my life I've knicked my finger tip on a table saw blade. I was young, stupid, impatient, inexperienced, doing something I shouldn't have been (ripping small strips without a push stick), and using about as crappy a benchtop saw as you could find. Neither required more than a band-aid to patch up. A table saw accident is not necessarily the life changing expensive event some would have you believe. That's like saying if you have a fender bender you'll never walk again. Thousands of people die every year in car wrecks. Millions of people a year have car wrecks without any injury whatsoever. If cars were depicted as some depict table saws the roads would be empty.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
    Posts
    852
    Love Sawstop, own one myself, but its safety features won't help with things like your Gripper incident or the kickbacks.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Decker View Post
    Love Sawstop, own one myself, but its safety features won't help with things like your Gripper incident or the kickbacks.
    No, but given my hand was over the saw blade (gripper in hand), things could have gone worse. Even though gripper is a safety device, I still do not like my hand to be above or near saw blade, especially without blade guard. I'm chicken and even more so now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    276
    If you're "chicken" then I'd recommend a new hobby.

  8. #8
    Accidents happen to people who are very careful and who have been woodworking for years. Every now and then, someone will post here about a serious accident on their table saw and indicate that they have been woodworking for something like 40 years.

    Buying the SawStop is like buying insurance. You hope you never have to use it but you're glad it's there. And with the SawStop, you only pay the insurance charge one time.

    Weight the alternatives. If you have an accident without the SawStop, you could face a very large medical bill and lose full use of your finger(s) and/or hand. If you buy the SawStop you pay a bit more for the "insurance" that you hope you never use.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Dool View Post
    I currently have a ts3650 with benchdog CI router insert. It works great. Runs smoothly. Have good blade guard with splitter. Probably needs to be re-tuned/aligned after 2 moves, but otherwise still very happy with it. Dust collection probably the only thing wish could improve, especially the router insert (dread using it due to cleanup afterwards).

    Been looking at SawStop (please, no negativity here) for many years. Key focus is on safety. I have never had a need or desire to stick my finger into a running saw blade, nor do I ever plan on doing so, thank you! But with that said, I have had a few kickbacks and accidents that makes me very safety cautious. Last was with the gripper in which I was VERY cautious with setup, double checked everything (I thought), but first time I used it the one thing I didn't consider was the opening in the insert (not zero-clearance...just changed out prior) was larger than thin strip, resulting in gripper tilting at cutoff went in and blade catching gripper and sending backwards, chewing bit off one side. That was closest and worst had. Prior, was kickback 10 years ago.

    So am very safety conscious, but accidents can and do happen to the best, thus my consideration to upgrade to SawStop. My issue and question is whether truly worth spending $3k for saw, plus more to re-setup router table insert (or buy SS new router insert). Given I am happy with current saw, is it worth the investment just from safety standpoint? I do this as a hobby and am in my garage only few hours each week (yes, need to increase that time). Project wise, I am slow to start and to finish projects, but lined up are some end tables, bedroom set, and bookshelves. The way my other projects have gone, this will keep me out of trouble for the next 3+ years.

    Looking for feedback on whether new table saw is worth it or not? Any additional benefit I am not considering?
    I spent months researching my first table saw. Started wanting to spend no more than $500 on a jobsite/benchtop saw. The more and more research I did I came to the conclusion that I'll never use anything other than a SawStop and it was worth the up front cost to avoid cutting off my fingers or worse from THE BLADE. Yes, I know kickback can still happen but SawStop eliminates a large, high speed, spinning blade from cutting into your skin and ruining your day, year, life.

    One of the tipping points for me was watching a video by Jimmy Diresta where he talked about his table saw accident. That guy has been using power tools for damn near his entire life and in a half second lapse of judgement he made a ridiculously stupid mistake and mangled his hand, almost lost a finger, and is permanently disabled to some extent.

    Some people point out that other things can go wrong on a table saw to injure you that a SawStop wont prevent so it's not worth it. Well, you can also slice your finger off with a chisel or circular saw so why buy a SawStop then as well?

    Based on my research, when pricing fairly comparable saws, you're paying about $500, give or take, for the safety feature. I ended up with a contractor saw. Now, I don't know enough about saws to really say that a SawStop contractor saw is better/same/worse than a Powermatic or Jet contractor saw. For arguments sake, let's say they are equivalent saws (30" w/"premium" fence, cast iron wings, 1.75 hp motor) aside from the safety feature. The Powermatic is $1600, the Jet is $1400 and the SawStop is $2000. For me, the difference was money well spent.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pasadino, CA
    Posts
    821
    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Dool View Post
    I currently have a ts3650 with benchdog CI router insert. It works great.
    Try ripping some 2" oak at a 45 angle (really 3") and tell me how great it works.
    A decent cabinet saw will eat it for lunch. Make sure it has a riving knife.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Derryberry View Post
    So the only accidents you've had in 10+ years were kickbacks which a sawstop does nothing to protect you from that any other saw can't also do with the right equipment. You say you're already safety conscious. That's at least 95% of avoiding an accident right there. I'd put the money into something else.

    Once, maybe twice, in my life I've knicked my finger tip on a table saw blade. I was young, stupid, impatient, inexperienced, doing something I shouldn't have been (ripping small strips without a push stick), and using about as crappy a benchtop saw as you could find. Neither required more than a band-aid to patch up. A table saw accident is not necessarily the life changing expensive event some would have you believe. That's like saying if you have a fender bender you'll never walk again. Thousands of people die every year in car wrecks. Millions of people a year have car wrecks without any injury whatsoever. If cars were depicted as some depict table saws the roads would be empty.
    This is exactly why I bought a car without seat belts, air bags, antilock brakes with a one star crash rating. None of that safety stuff will ever help. I mean if the car is going to kill me nothing I do to mitigate injury will help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Derryberry View Post
    If you're "chicken" then I'd recommend a new hobby.
    This is exactly what I tell my friends who refuse to skydive without parachutes. Pansies.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    564
    I was 100% convinced of buying a Sawstop to replace my current cabinet saw. After viewing the following video I'm now 98% convinced. I was originally led to believe that the Sawstop blade would stop before any flesh was cut. Apparently that is not always the case. But on the plus side the guy in the video didn't lose the thumb.
    Last edited by Mike Null; 02-21-2018 at 10:28 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Crown Point, Indiana
    Posts
    1,984
    This post was destined to bring out the comments. Your description of the kick back was operator error. If you can operate a table saw 100% of the time safely, you do not need to consider the Sawstop.

    Only you can make the choice. I made mine and have a Sawstop PCS and am happy with the choice I made. Given your description of the kickback, you need one.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    5,698
    Clayton
    Get the Sawstop. If it makes you more comfortable, you will feel better and work better. Safety features aside, it's actually a nice saw.

    I do not own a Sawstop, nor have I ever used one. I don't have a dog in this fight.
    If you can afford it, always buy tools and machines you want to use.

  15. #15
    Thanks everyone for feedback. Sounds like the savings I have going for the SawStop will soon be put to it's intended use. Just waiting for promo from them. If nothing else, maybe it will be good incentive to start woodworking more.

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