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Thread: Before I buy the SawStop???

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Grantham, New Hampshire
    Doe SS offer extended warrantys like the computer peopld and other electroncs manufacturers do? This might be something to think about.

    I might have bought a SS except for one thing, it took about 5 year for them to get a product to market and I jumped before then. Still might down the road.

    Most important, think about what Mark Singer said. What is the price of safety?


  2. #17
    Hey Guys thank you please keep 'em coming. Great feedback and I am feeling better all the time hear. (watch for my new thread trying collect the dough) just kidding. One note on the warranty PM carries a 5 year not 1. I am glad to hear so far that no one is had any remorse on the SS purchase. Looking forward to more feedback here. Thanks

  3. #18

    Other saws?

    I'm comfortable with my tablesaw. I've moved through 3 tablesaws over about 35 years and before I had my own saw I worked in a shop where I received good training on using a saw safely. I have not had a saw accident but I realize that I could.

    I've also had a number of chop saws over the years and recently got a sliding compound miter saw. I'm far more uncomfortable using this saw than my tablesaw. It bevels left and right, it miters left and right, it does both at the same time and the blade travels over 12 inches. I find I have to stop before each cut and give it all a good think. Where does the blade start, endup, where could the workpiece move to, and the cutoff, and where should my hands go? Sometimes I do the cut on the tablesaw where I'm more comfortable.

    We hear there are a lot of saw accidents - I wonder what the percentage of these accidents are on saws other than tablesaws.

    I also wonder when Sawstop technology will come to other saws.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Laguna Beach , Ca.
    I will say it again....if you get the other model and have an accident will say "Shoulda"...everytime you shake hands with someone
    "All great work starts with love .... then it is no longer work"

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Singer
    I will say it again....if you get the other model and have an accident will say "Shoulda"...everytime you shake hands with someone
    I 2nd that.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Sterling CT
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Moore
    You are right that the riving knife will reduce the injuries most of the time but that is not the point. The point is to make the safest saw possible and if the worst case scenario occurs then reduce the injury to a scratch rather than lost fingers or a mangled hand.

    Similar to saying: I don't think I need an airbag since most of the time the seatbelt by itself (if worn) (the riving knife is removable) will save my life or reduce my injuries 100% of the time. We know that is not true.

    It is obvious that SS did not set out just to build a saw with only its safety technology. They set out to use all the safety features found in saws today and add their technology as well. It is by far the safest cabinet saw on the market. If you do some searching, it is well known that kickback can cause your hand to move into the saw blade. Will the riving knife reduce the chance of this occuring. Absolutely, but will it stop it 100% of the time, no. So in that case the brake does its job. This is just the same in a car. The airbag is a complement to the seat belt. One without the other is less safe no matter how you look at it.

    Take a look at the testimonials on SS's website. Proof that with or without the riving knife the worst case scenario does occur and the SS kept the injury from being serious. Just a bandaid is needed in most cases.

    I would agree that the SS is the safest cabinet saw on the market. There is a balance between safety and function. If I were buying a cabinet saw or, as I said, if I were continuing to teach in my shop, I would probably buy a SS. There is much to be said for the European sliding table saws, both in regards to safety and function that I believe should also be considered when evaluating a "saw". I would say that some combination of a SS blade brake and the European sliding table saw technology, would constitute the "safest" saw on the market.


  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Hubbards, Nova Scotia, Canada

    From SS Owner's Manual


    I'm not interested in entering the SawStop debate, but I was motivated to go to their website and read some warranty information.

    Tag end of warranty statement:

    SawStop disclaims any and all other express or implied warranties, including merchantability and fitness for a
    particular purpose. SawStop shall not be liable for death, injuries to persons or property, or incidental, consequential,
    contingent or special damages arising from the use of the saw.

    I doubt if Volvo guarantees that you can't be injured in one of their cars, either.

    From the maintainence section at the back:


    1. SawStop Safety System:
    The safety system in general requires little maintenance. The system performs continuous self-checks both
    before and during saw operation. If a problem is detected, the appropriate status code will be displayed on the
    LEDs on the switch box.

    Brake Cartridge:
    Although the brake cartridge requires no maintenance, the condition of the cartridge should be checked
    after approximately every 10 hours of saw use. The cartridge is sealed to prevent the entry of dust or other
    contaminants into the housing. While a small amount of dust within the housing will not effect its operation, you
    should replace the cartridge if a significant amount of dust is visible inside the clear plastic housing. This would
    indicate that the cartridge housing seal has been damaged.

    WARNING! Never use a brake cartridge if more than a small amount of dust can be seen
    inside the clear housing. If sawdust becomes packed inside the housing, the brake make fail
    to activate or may activate more slowly, thereby resulting in a serious personal injury.

    Again, nothing shocking here, IMO. To use the car analogy again, don't expect your brakes to work after 10 yrs if you've never maintained them.

    I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons -- Leonard Cohen

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Willowbrook, IL
    My SawStop has been in the house about two weeks now. It is a fine machine. Unless you are taking milk from the baby to pay for it, you won't regret getting one, in my opinion.

    As far as safety is concerned, I don't think of safety as a "black or white" situation, that is, something is safe or unsafe -- one or the other. I think of it more like a continuum with degrees of safety. Some things are totally unsafe. And some things are totally safe -- the safest thing is to never turn on a power tool (or, I guess, handle a sharp hand tool). But everything else is somewhere in between. In my opinion, SawStop greatly enhances safety with the riving knife, and the brake technology. You have greatly increased your odds of remaining safe while using a table saw. Is this increase of safety (not a guarantee of never any injury) worth the price? Well, that is up to everyone to decide for themselves.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Petoskey, Michigan
    I, too, have that thought in the back of my head questioning the long-term ability of Sawstop to remain in the market. They are going up against an entrenched lineup of reputable companies, which is a tough way to enter an established market. I assume they are succeeding at the moment due to their competitive advantage. However, that competitive advantage will eventually be eroded away as the competition adjusts, or they are bought out by the competition. (Holy cow, all that edumacation actually applied to a woodworking thread!! Go figure).

    With that being said, I would buy the Sawstop today if I had the funds. My logic goes like this:

    Buy the saw and enjoy the saftey benefits as long as the saw remains functional, even if the parent company goes away;

    Buy a couple of extra cartridges "just in case";

    Remember that even if someday I can't buy replacement cartridges and the electronics goes haywire, the basic machine is still competitive with other similiar brand saws even without the saftey mechanisms. I will still have benefited for MANY years from the electronic saftey features, assuming there is no way to retrofit to a new or upgraded system.

    Now this is a worst case scenario, and I am not anticipating nor wishing bad things for Sawstop. This is just the process I have gone through in deciding to put off buying a couple of other nice tools in order to replace my current tablesaw with a Sawstop saw as soon as possible.

    Good luck in your decision! One thing I think is pretty certain, is that the next five years will likely be VERY interesting in the tool business as the competition heats up. I think us woodworkers are going to benefit greatly due to Sawstop's decision to enter the market, because other companies are going to either innovate, lower price, or face losing market share. I think this means bigger, nicer, shinier woodworking toys at good prices!


  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Seabrook TX
    After two years, no regrets at all. And I'm prone to second guessing my tool decisions. The saw operates in a high humidity, dusty environment without any problems. Very well made, flat tables, no wobble from the arbor. I'm ambivalent about the brake cartridge because I don't ever plan to touch the blade, but the riving knife is a great safety feature.

    If SS ever goes out of business and their cartridge supplier doesn't offer aftermarket cartridges, I'll just rewire the motor to the switch bypassing the electronics. How hard can it be?

    The SS isn't for everybody, but if you've decided that it works for your situation, you won't regret it in two years. Unless you decide to trade it in on a Minimax slider!

    As a side note, I'd avoid additional cartridges. I think SS makes continuous improvements in the electronics and Fedex is a wonderful way of getting a new one tomorrow. But a couple of spare ZCI are worthwhile.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Ted and everyone,

    I wonder if you had a PM2000 with the riving knife and had an overhead blade guard/DC that you ALWAYS used, would you basically eliminate kickback and also the chance of ever touching the blade? At least to the point of saving the $1500 which you then could spend on a better, safer jointer or some other safer piece of equipment that combined with your PM2000 would make your overall shop safer than just buying the Sawstop.

    Regarding the salesmen, I agree with all the other posts on his motives that money might be driving his comments. But he might truly believe that the PM2000 is a better value. In fact, he might even make a greater commission on the Sawstop since it is a more expensive machine.

    BTW, I have no connection to Powermatic and in fact do not own any of their machines.

    I also like the previous suggestion to go with what your gut is telling you. Good luck!


  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Schubert
    Ted and everyone,

    I wonder if you had a PM2000 with the riving knife and had an overhead blade guard/DC that you ALWAYS used, would you basically eliminate kickback and also the chance of ever touching the blade? At least to the point of saving the $1500 which you then could spend on a better, safer jointer or some other safer piece of equipment that combined with your PM2000 would make your overall shop safer than just buying the Sawstop.
    Well the issue I have with this is there are scenarios where both the riving knife and the blade guard may not be used.

    I liked the analogy of safetey being on a continum. With each safety device (guard, riving knife, sawstop, feather board, etc) the tool gets a little safer. The SawStop takes safety to the highest level possible for a cabinet saw. If the money is available, I just don't understand why our digits are worth so little in the grand scheme of things.

    That $1500 difference will be blown in a heartbeat on all kinds of stuff. Why not blow it on safety. We are willing to spend thousands to keep our floor clean of dust and keep fine dust out of our lungs but forget the fact that if we touch the blade we may not have any fingers left so we scimp and save.

    It is no different than being in the market for a car, looking at one car with an airbag and another without.. .other than that, they are virtually the same car. You have the money for either one but the one with an airbag is $1500 more. You think to yourself. The chances of me ever getting into a car wreck are slim to none and I don't think it helps in every case anyway, so I will save the $.

    That is fine and good, until we become a statistic.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    I have not used the cabinet saw, but have played around with the "prototype" contractor's saw (which is not yet in full production).

    The "electronics" are contained in a sealed brake mechanism, which gets replaced whenever the blade brake fires. The brake cartridge plugs in much like a monitor plugs into a computer using a "serial" port. The serial port is the only part of the electronics that is exposed. All of the microprocessors, etc. are contained in the sealed cartridge. Also, the saw performs self-checks of the electronics each time it's started up. I fired the brake several times, and it's performance was flawless (and cool asxxxxxxx!!).l

    As for the contractor's saw itself, it's a decent saw as long as you opt for the "optional" cast-iron wings and T-square fence. The stamped steel wings and cheaper fence aren't the best in my book.

    Last edited by Ken Salisbury; 11-29-2006 at 6:15 AM. Reason: redacted profanity

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Harrisville, PA
    Unless something has changed you can turn off the brake on the saw stop so the point about maybe taking the gaurds off the other saws and not always there is a wash.

    This may have changed but there was talk of this in the earlier threads for when cutting wet or green lumber.

    When the time comes to replace the PM66 I see a MM410 combo machine in its place. No need for the fingers to be near the blade. With a power feeder attached any of the blades.

    If you want and can afford the SS go for it. I'm recovering from minor hand surgery and I can tell you it really blows. Just as an experiment try brushing your teeth or wiping you back side with your non-dominate hand.

    When all else fails increase hammer size!
    "You can know what other people know. You can do what other people can do."-Dave Gingery

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Bloomington, IL
    Buy the tool you want the first time. Be thankful for any features you value that you can afford. Only you decide where your $ goes for each feature - at least for now.
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

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