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Thread: Help me decide on a table saw

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by John Terefenko View Post
    Mike you are lucky you had the safety system on. How many times people shut it off and still use the saw. How did you cut the thumb?? I bet it was a dumb thing on your part and had nothing to do with the saw. Most accidents are sooooooooooooooo preventable and many times people operating tools should not even be in a shop. A shop full of tools has danger lurking around every corner. Just walking into a shop which for most times is a crowded jammed packed shop because we all lack the room we all want. Trip and fall and an accident happened. Bend over and hit head on corner of work bench and an accident happened. Just saying SawStop can not prevent all accidents. If Sawstop is extra cost of an insurance plan what have you done with the rest of the shop to prevent injuries. ??? I just see these arguments over and over. Tell the whole story not just the tablesaw story. tell us have you been injured with any other tool in the shop since you have been working in one. It is not a one time payment. Every time you trip that brake it cost you a blade plus the shoe. So add that to the payment.
    I don't even know how to turn the safety system off. I'd have to go read the instructions if I wanted to do that. And even if you do that, my understanding is that it's reset next time you turn the saw on.

    About the only reason I could see for turning it off is if you're cutting wet wood.

    Regarding my accident, I made a mistake. And that's what SawStop is good for - when you make a mistake you don't pay for it with one of your fingers. And just because there's no additional safety feature on other tools is no reason not to have a safety feature on your table saw. I'll take all the safety features I can get.

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

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy D Jones View Post
    If the SS never discharged for nuisance contact with metal or wet wood, destroying a (replaceable at cost+profit) part of itself and the saw blade in the process, then it could be called a one-time insurance payment.

    I haven't counted, but I'd say the number of nuisance discharges outnumber the limb-saving ones ~10:1. So add the cost of 10 cartridges and 10 saw blades to that "insurance" cost.

    Add to that, the SS's incompatibility with the best dado sets (because SS didn't bother to beef up the arbor to handle the momentum). Did somebody say SS was a well-built machine?

    If you want that kind of insurance, you're more than welcome to it.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX
    Sorry, need to disagree with the assumption. Assume for the moment that there is a 10 to 1 non-limb-saving discharge ratio. It is very unlikely that you personally will have 10 accidental discharges. Most accidental discharges are from obvious mistakes such as running wet wood or cutting aluminum (intentionally or not). I only ever remember hearing of one person who had two of these discharges before he figured out what he was doing wrong; and I do not remember the cause off hand. In general, the brake does not just randomly fire unless the saw is broken. It means that the user did something wrong and they usually learn from that mistake. In over 10 years of saw use, I have never had a discharge, so, it does not seem to be firing randomly.

    I knew a guy who owned a place where they taught woodworking classes. He said that they never had an accidental discharge, but it saved one finger over the course of a few years. He supplied the wood so they never had wet wood and were probably not trying to cut metal or performing cuts that would place metal things near the blade, but I have seen that happen (not in person, but on forums).

  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by John Terefenko View Post
    Mike you are lucky you had the safety system on. How many times people shut it off and still use the saw.
    Not buying a SawStop because one has philosophical objections to the early history of the invention is the right of an American consumer.

    But, as the saying goes, we're entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts.

    Fact: To deactivate the blade brake, you have to turn a key and hold it in that position against spring tension for several seconds while simultaneously activating the power switch. It takes two hands to do this (one hand on the key, one on the power switch), so there's no way it can happen unintentionally. As soon as you shut the saw off, the system reverts to standard condition (brake on). So there is also not a way to leave the brake off unknowingly.

    It seems clear that SawStop made the procedure mildly convoluted specifically to prevent people from having the brake deactivated unintentionally.

    Best,

    Dave

  4. #49
    Love my sawstop PCS. Would buy again. The only thing I would do differently would be to have purchased the 220V/3Hp version in the beginning. I started with the smaller 120V motor and two years in bought the larger motor from SawStop and installed it myself. I have had two discharges in five years - one when I grabbed a metal ruler to use as a push stick and it got too close to the blade and the other when my metal miter fence went into the blade. There are some minor issues with certain blades and dado sets...you are not supposed to use a coated/insulated blade since this could inhibit the safety system. As far as dado sets, the limitation is that you are not supposed to use a dado set with full-plate chippers. However, most dado sets do not use full-plate chippers. I have used dado sets from Freud and most recently the Ridge Carbide dado stack - both work great. In fact, the second safety brake trigger was with my Freud dado set, which is why I bought the Ridge Carbide. I would use the Ridge Carbide no matter what saw I had.

  5. #50
    I have had no accidental cartridge activations. It is a little complicated to turn the system off and you have to do it for each cut. I'm glad mine was on when i messed up.

  6. #51
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    My two car garage is my shop. I have graduated from a variety of tools to new and better tools over the past twenty years living in this house. All the while day dreaming about building a dedicated wood working shop.

    First, I would highly recommend you have an electrician swing by and see how difficult it would be to run 220V to an outlet in the garage. It may not be that much of an effort if the panel is in the garage. My first TS was a Rigid machine. Nice little TS, up till I got a cabinet saw with 3hp motor, then I realized just how much the contractor saw sucked.

    If I were looking at new saws, and budget wasn't a big deal, I'd probably get one of SawStops. Not for the safety as much as quality. But I might just get the PowerMatic. I dunno, I'm not looking.

    If you don't mind used, I suggest you look for one of the older, US made Unisaws. They are a solid machine. You can add an aftermarket fence, riving blade, blade guard, etc.... That's what I did, and it's not all that scary to operate. I am extremely careful though. I make sure my mind is in the right place before I hit that power button. Stop - think - grab the safety glasses - go to work. But I do that with all my power tools. Spinning/rotating things designed to cut wood or metal don't discriminate against, or for, human tissue.

    I also might add that I use my plainer and joiner almost every single time I make something. I buy S2S hardwood to save some time, but almost always end up re-machining it anyway. The plainer and joiner make projects sooo much more enjoyable. I can't imagine not having either.
    Last edited by Michael Drew; 06-19-2020 at 12:05 PM.

  7. #52
    I grew up in a family where if we got something for nothing we still thought we’d paid too much, so I’ve spent my entire life trying to overcome the urge to cheap-out on stuff. However, as my wife pointed out, even if I paid $1500 more for a SawStop than a competitor’s saw, it doesn’t amount to much when amortized over ten or twenty years. Even if a SawStop doesn’t provide perfect protection, she’d rather I reduced the possibility of serious injury as much as possible. So when I buy a table saw (soonish), it’ll be a SawStop.

  8. #53
    It seems like the consensus is Sawstop. Having lost a finger on a table saw I can appreciate that but I still use a conventional table saw though but I am extremely careful now. I find the older table saws are way better built. I had a Unisaw and found it very light weight and flimsy compared to the original design.I currently use a General 350 made in Canada and it is a tank compared to the newer saws. I would guess the older Powermatic saws are similar.

  9. #54
    Another vote for the sawstop. Also another vote for asking an electrician to install 220V. Thirdly, another vote for being safe with all your tools; working slowly and diligently. I think working safely is an active process; think about each operation from the beginning to the end. With new techniques or operations I do not do often, and will rehearse my hand motions with the machine off...try to anticipate issues and how to avoid them. Keep your hands away from spinning blades! Whatever tools you end up with, learn proper techniques.

    I started with a shop vac dust collector, bench top table saw, and the DW735 planer. I quickly added a 6" jointer, drill press, and 1.75hp SawStop 36" PCS since I did not yet have 220V outlets. Within 12 months of purchasing the 6" jointer and 1.75hp saw I had outgrown them. They both worked well, but as my projects advanced I wanted more flexibility with the type and size of lumber I wanted to use. I would frequently trip the 20A breaker on my dedicated table saw circuit, and there was always issues with burning and such. And I did use thin kerf ripping blades, which helps, but when cutting 12/4 hickory, for example, you just need lots of power. I finally called in an electrician to install a 220V outlet, which turned out to be pretty straightforward since the main breaker box is in the garage and we have lots of open circuits. I was able to add two more 220V circuits myself. My first "big" tool was a 220V 3hp Laguna Bandsaw which is a wonderful saw, I then converted my 120V sawstop to a 3hp 220V PCS by swapping out the motor (slightly more expensive than buying the 3hp version to begin with, but the company will sell you the new motor and other parts you need, plus send detailed instructions on how to do the swap). The saw upgrade was followed quickly by a new 16" jointer-planer combo. Lastly I added a 5hp cyclone. I would like to tell you that if you go ahead and splurge on big tools now you will save lots of money in the future (by not buying all the smaller tools first)...and that is definitely true. But I think it is better to invest and learn on smaller tools, working your way up the food chain to more capable tools. I think I would have been quite intimidated as a beginner by a 16" jointer or 3hp table saw.

    Good luck!

    Admittedly, most of the tools I now have are a luxury in a hobby shop, but hopefully I will be using these tools for decades...

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    Sorry, need to disagree with the assumption. Assume for the moment that there is a 10 to 1 non-limb-saving discharge ratio. It is very unlikely that you personally will have 10 accidental discharges. Most accidental discharges are from obvious mistakes such as running wet wood or cutting aluminum (intentionally or not). I only ever remember hearing of one person who had two of these discharges before he figured out what he was doing wrong; and I do not remember the cause off hand. In general, the brake does not just randomly fire unless the saw is broken. It means that the user did something wrong and they usually learn from that mistake. In over 10 years of saw use, I have never had a discharge, so, it does not seem to be firing randomly.

    I knew a guy who owned a place where they taught woodworking classes. He said that they never had an accidental discharge, but it saved one finger over the course of a few years. He supplied the wood so they never had wet wood and were probably not trying to cut metal or performing cuts that would place metal things near the blade, but I have seen that happen (not in person, but on forums).
    Sorry, been a while since I last checked in on this thread...

    I never said that SS cartridges randomly fire for no reason. In all cases of which I am aware, they sensed a potentially unsafe condition. SS cannot tell what is causing their sensor to trigger (blade contact with human flesh, or some other mildly conductive material, etc.)

    While you are likely correct in that the same person is not likely to falsely trigger it the same way more than once, SS still makes a profit off of the replacement cartridges that the other 9 users buy, without ever having saved injury to anyone.

    I wonder what the ratio is for users who have never cut themselves on a table saw, to those who have cut themselves (or truly would have, if not for a SS)?

    I would suspect it is much higher than 10:1. Probably over 1000:1. After all, lawn darts were made illegal for much higher odds than that.

    And when you add up all the other machines in the shop that don't have this feature (router table/shaper, miter saws, jointers, etc.), and are probably just as likely to seriously injure you (I had a great uncle who lost most of three fingers to his jointer), just how much of our shop risk is actually avoided for the cost?

    I'm sure there are many cases for which the peace of mind is well worth it. In all cases (either way), it depends on the mind.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy D Jones View Post
    Sorry, been a while since I last checked in on this thread...

    I never said that SS cartridges randomly fire for no reason. In all cases of which I am aware, they sensed a potentially unsafe condition. SS cannot tell what is causing their sensor to trigger (blade contact with human flesh, or some other mildly conductive material, etc.)

    While you are likely correct in that the same person is not likely to falsely trigger it the same way more than once, SS still makes a profit off of the replacement cartridges that the other 9 users buy, without ever having saved injury to anyone.

    I wonder what the ratio is for users who have never cut themselves on a table saw, to those who have cut themselves (or truly would have, if not for a SS)?

    I would suspect it is much higher than 10:1. Probably over 1000:1. After all, lawn darts were made illegal for much higher odds than that.

    And when you add up all the other machines in the shop that don't have this feature (router table/shaper, miter saws, jointers, etc.), and are probably just as likely to seriously injure you (I had a great uncle who lost most of three fingers to his jointer), just how much of our shop risk is actually avoided for the cost?

    I'm sure there are many cases for which the peace of mind is well worth it. In all cases (either way), it depends on the mind.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX
    No worries Andy

    I think that we are in agreement that most discharges are not related to saving a finger. I was reacting to what I thought that you were implying (which might not be correct). I thought you were stating that a single individual would likely have numerous false triggers (ie, not a finger) before they had a digit saving trigger. Your current statement seems to be a cumulative thing not for a specific individual!

    For sure they make money on those cartridges. I think that Bosch developed a system with a different kind of brake that was good for like three discharges and was less likely to destroy the blade. I also think that SawStop was able to shut them down based on an overly broad patent, but I surely did not spend time looking into it. It might have used the same sensing technology, but I don't really know. If the time limit is out, then Bosch should be able to re-release their saw, but again, i have no idea.

    Cheers!

  12. #57
    Sawstop is not too far out of line if you compare it to similar saws with similar distribution. Anything distributed by dealers like Sawstop, Powermatic, Shop Fox etc is always higher. Grizzly makes some good stuff that is much less because there is no dealer network. Direct to the customer. Last time I compared pricing the Sawstop PCS wasn't far off of a Powermatic PM1000. I've seen a lot of people say the PCS and PM100 are very comparable. But Sawstop and Powermatic are MUCH higher than a lot of saws. Did anyone mention anything about ease of riving knife and blade guard removal and installation? I've heard it's a bear on some saws.

  13. #58
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    You will get the most saw for your money finding an old Unisaw or pm 66, or ever an old contractor saw, delta/Rockwell or even pm, jet etc.. meaning, for $100 to $1000 more saw than it sounds like youíd ever need.

    or, if you have the $2/3/4K just buy the SS like all these people are saying. Really, as long as you donít get a job site saw or similar piece of crap, you really canít go wrong. Donít over think it, and donít let all these responses cause you to over think it. Really, your next project is not gonna go better or worse because you chose saw A over saw B.

  14. #59
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    In my sometimes not-so-humble opinion, the most important safety feature are the riving knife & blade guard. The SawStop has the best implementation of those that I've seen. It takes about 10 seconds to change add/remove them and the process is tool free. Because of that convenience they tend to get used more. The old PMs & Unisaws are great machines, but with out a good guard & riving knife, I wouldn't have one even if it was free.

    Regarding the PM1000 & SawStop PCS, the 1.75 HP SawStop is quite comparable, but better quality than the PM. And PM's customer service can be very spotty.

  15. #60
    what is the reason to "upgrade" from the dewalt to the laguna? is there something the laguna will do that the dewalt won't?

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