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About the Little Things

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Review by Craftsman on the lake posted 04-12-2017 01:48 PM 4627 views 0 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch
About the Little Things No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

There are a lot of Sawstop reviews both here on LJ’s and on Youtube and other places. Everyone says that it is a quality item and has the infamous safety feature. I’ve only had my new Saw for a couple of weeks and made a few dozen cuts with it and you already know about the saw in general having seen the hotdog videos I’m sure, but there’s more to point out.

Some companies have a different philosophy. What comes to mind are companies like Tesla. Get the best engineers together and let them work together to make that thing we drive with 4 wheels a motor and brakes be reimagined to make it better. Another is Apple computer. Or at least in the time of Steve Jobs. Don’t worry about the sales. Just make an “insanely great” product, as Steve used to say, and they will come. It’s attention to the details.

This saw has a reputation for safety, granted that’s great and a major reason to consider the saw. Most people who own one and in reviews will also tell you about the fit and finish as being good. And it is. When you thread a bolt into a wing, you don’t have to fidget to make it get started. It’s milled correctly and screws in cleanly and without trouble. It screws in without any play and goes in easily by hand until you decide to put a wrench to it at the end. I’m sure a lot of other high end saws might be like this too. I don’t know I’ve only had an ealry 90’s Delta/Rockwell contractors saw that was replaced by this one.

So, you don’t need to hear about the quality or the safety features There are some items though that are very creative and/or unique. Since I’ve only had that old saw before, I think they are unique. Other brands may very well have some of them too. I don’t know.

The Small things:

1.
The fence slides like it was on ice. And the bubble for the fence rule is magnified. The fence is accurate and the gauge marker is adjustable. With my old saw I was a stealth measurer. Since the saw’s fence couldn’t be trusted to be right I used to cut items a little larger then recut them a few times sort of ‘sneaking’ up on a good fit. With this saw I can measure and cut once and it’s right. Now I need to get some better measuring items. The retractable rule no longer suffices.

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2.
The blade cover has some nice features.
Wings on the sides of it drop and hit the table to better keep the sawdust from getting out. The shroud is made so that sawdust is removed through a built in conduit from the nose of the shroud over the blade to the collection hose. It doesn’t just suck it up from the top. This small opening increases the suction by not spreading it out.

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3.

There are some small kickback pawls on each side of the blade guard. (first picture lower middle). And there are some larger ones that flip up and lock out of the way and lower when you want them in place (second picture)


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4.
There is a long feeler at the front of the blade guard. It flips up and out of the way when you don’t want it there. It moves up and down with the blade. When it touches the wood you’re cutting, then the blade is the correct height for the wood.

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5.
The crosscut sled has a washer in the front end that fits into a T slot instead of just a groove. You have to insert it from the front of the saw and not just drop it in. This seems to minimize any play in the slot.


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A small thing, but beyond the other switch that sets up the safety mechanism, the on/off paddle switch has about an 1/8th inch movement. It flips on and off with minute pressure and movement.


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6.
The mechanisms inside the cabinet is impressive. Maybe I’m just used to a motor hanging under it’s own weight out the back of the saw with a V belt and many other saws are made like this. But the pulley mechanisms and wide stranded belts like on the fan belt of my car seem like a huge improvement over what I’m used to.

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7.
There is a partial shroud under the blade inside the saw that diverts a lot of the sawdust via a dust collection hose to the dust collection port out the back of the saw. With a little cleaning once and awhile I can avoid the hard turning screws of my old saw as the mechanism shouldn’t get clogged.

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8.
There are little tool storage areas around the outside of the saw. One side has a hook for the wrenches and you can see the yellow feeler gauge to adjust the blade to the safety mechanism. It has two rare earth magnets embedded in it so it sticks to the saw. The other side of the saw has a plastic holder for the riving knife and the sled.


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9.
The insert plate has a lift up hoop that locks it into place both in the front and the back. The plate is also has a very thin blade line entry. So, it’s effectively a zero insert plate. And the saw still tilts full measure with it in.

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10.
When changing the shroud or to the riving knife, there is an easy to get to lever that flips down to lock it into place and lifts up to remove it. Two flat plates hold it in place with two alignment pins to make sure it is exactly the right position. 10 second remove and replace. Nice.


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Well that’s all for now. I am loving this machine. The safety feature adds about $700 to it but I’m sure glad that I was also able to get a beautifully made saw at the same time.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.




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Craftsman on the lake

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34 comments so far

View mramseyISU's profile

mramseyISU

516 posts in 1328 days


#1 posted 04-12-2017 01:55 PM

I’m saving up for that exact saw. I plan on picking one up Christmas of 2018.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5376 posts in 2596 days


#2 posted 04-12-2017 05:16 PM

I was really appreciating those ZCI’s the other day. That locking bail handle is a thing of beauty. I actually had an insert pop out of my Jet tablesaw, but never with the Sawstop. Nice feature, but like you say it’s the little things.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View richimage's profile

richimage

38 posts in 1513 days


#3 posted 04-12-2017 06:38 PM

When I decided my retirement was going to be a conversion from computers to woodworking, I started to pick up CS tools, repair and update them until I was sure this was “for me”... Once the CSU (Chief Spousal Unit) and I agreed that it was, the first “real” tool I purchased was the PCS 1.75hp saw. I cut the majority of my right forefinger off on a 50’s table saw in a Wood Hobby Shop in Germany it 1975, and did not want to repeat that fun…. almost two years later, I certainly agree that the saw is a winner in it’s own right; friends who come over try it on a cut or two, and just mutter to themselves. Good luck with your SS!

-- "Women are like modern paintings. You can't enjoy them if you try to understand them." Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury)

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5299 posts in 3446 days


#4 posted 04-13-2017 12:32 AM

I have had my PCS for just about 5 years … paraphrasing a familiar slogan here: “I’ll give you my SawStop when you pry it from my cold, dead hands”.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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diverlloyd

2223 posts in 1640 days


#5 posted 04-13-2017 02:21 PM

Good review and it’s nice to see a review with a tool that is dirty from use.

View MagicalMichael's profile

MagicalMichael

59 posts in 299 days


#6 posted 04-14-2017 01:22 AM

Thanks for the detailed review. The review video at Highland Woodworking seemed to imply that the stop feature required proprietary blades. I don’t think this is true but would welcome having that confirmed. The idea of replacing my two rip blades, a cross cut blade, a combination blade and an 80 tooth veneer blade is a deal breaker for me.

Michael

-- michael

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TheDane

5299 posts in 3446 days


#7 posted 04-14-2017 01:52 AM

The review video at Highland Woodworking seemed to imply that the stop feature required proprietary blades.

Never heard that before, but the answer is no … SawStop uses industry-standard 10” blades with 5/8” arbor. For dado blades, it requires 8”(6” not compatible with the braking system).

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2695 posts in 3220 days


#8 posted 04-14-2017 04:27 AM


Thanks for the detailed review. The review video at Highland Woodworking seemed to imply that the stop feature required proprietary blades. I don t think this is true but would welcome having that confirmed. The idea of replacing my two rip blades, a cross cut blade, a combination blade and an 80 tooth veneer blade is a deal breaker for me.

Michael

- MagicalMichael

Nope, the only thing you need to do is make sure that a new blade might need the feeler gauge to adjust the gap between blade and sensor. Also, they mention that a very thin kerf blade might not withstand and actuate well should the saw safety feature be triggered.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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richimage

38 posts in 1513 days


#9 posted 04-14-2017 04:49 PM

Far from being an expert, my experience has been as follows: for a Dado set, the Dado cartridge must be used. It is sized for 8” blades which might be wider than a single blade. Changing from regular to Dado cartridges is a few seconds once you have done it a few times, and the little yellow setup tool makes it easy to check alignment. The thin blade issue has also come up, and I use one (in a limited fashion) since SawStop recommends they may not perform properly due to physical limitations. I only use the thin kerf blade for rips, and just take the chance. So far, no “engagements” from flesh contact, but did have two metal touch bangs that are expensive enough to enhance the learning curve!

-- "Women are like modern paintings. You can't enjoy them if you try to understand them." Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury)

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TheDane

5299 posts in 3446 days


#10 posted 04-14-2017 05:40 PM

My saw was shipped with a thin-kerf blade.

About 6 months after I got my saw, I forgot to tighten the aluminum fence on my Incra miter gauge, it touched the blade during a cross-cut, and BANG! Won’t do that again!

I replaced the SawStop-branded blade with Freud 50-tooth combo blades … haven’t had a problem cutting anything.

I have a spare set of cartridges (one standard and one dado).

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View MagicalMichael's profile

MagicalMichael

59 posts in 299 days


#11 posted 04-15-2017 11:18 AM

Thanks to everyone for the clarification. I have a 26 year old General 350 saw, which was and is a great saw but e the Excaliber overarm dust collector has some limitations, and the saw can no longer be fitted with pawls or splitter, so I am thinking about an upgrade. I have two rip blades, a crosscut blade, a combination blade, and a veneer blade…. so replacing them would have put a serious dent in my checkbook. My dado set is 6”, so that’s an add on.

I’m getting a new chimney and a new roof this month, so a new saw may still be more than a little down the road!

Michael

-- michael

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MagicalMichael

59 posts in 299 days


#12 posted 04-15-2017 11:26 AM

“About 6 months after I got my saw, I forgot to tighten the aluminum fence on my Incra miter gauge, it touched the blade during a cross-cut, and BANG! Won’t do that again!”

You are not alone in that. I have an Osborne Miter Gage and when it was almost new a small cut off got caught under the Excaliber Dust collector. Just as I was turning the saw off to retrieve it, the piece wedged between the blade and the finger hole behind it. The miter gage was over the wooden insert. The force pulled the insert out and flung the miter gage off of the saw. When I told this to the Osborne people they said they had never heard of such an accident, but many people, including Norm Abrams have had to buy replacement parts from running into the blade!
Michael

-- michael

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PJKS

27 posts in 304 days


#13 posted 04-15-2017 12:19 PM

I love my Sawstop… I miscalculated my aluminum miter fence as well….BANG !!! I now use an oak face …..

-- Pat / Colorado

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2794 posts in 1771 days


#14 posted 04-15-2017 08:04 PM

I think that Sawstop has a deal with Incra so they can sell more cartridges.

My oops with my Incra miter gauge is mounted above my saw as a reminder of an instant of stupid.

I also added a wooden fence in front of the aluminum one.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5299 posts in 3446 days


#15 posted 04-15-2017 08:08 PM

I route T-tracks that match my Incra’s bolt locations in MDF strips … gives me and adjustable, sacrificial fence on my miter gauge that I can just toss when it gets too chewed up. I do about a half dozen at a time once every year or two.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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