Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Table Saw Search: The SawStop Option

One of the names in tablesaws is SawStop. If you believe the advertisers it is the highest selling saw in its class. Introduced in 2005 the SawStop introduced a revolutionary safety feature which stops and removes the blade should it come into contact with your skin.

It's not all about the SawStop mechanism however. It has high precision components, an easy to use and exchange blade cover / riving knife, and well functioning dust collection shroud. It seems to be a seriously smart saw.

Other than a few complaints about the mechanism being too sensitive (firing in wet wood) and the high price the saw has nearly universal reviews.

The Gabbett Group is the local retailer of SawStop in Australia. They sell the 1.75hp contractor, 3hp and 5hp Cabinet Saws. 

For the contractor they are asking:
- $2800 - 1.75HP contractor with 36" Pro T Glide Fence.
- $240 - Heavy Duty Mobile Base
- $315 - Cast Iron Wings
- +GST

Total $3470.50 + Freight. 

The Cabinet Saw starts at $5130.

The reviews are favourable. High quality machine. Excellent safety features. Excellent dust extraction. Modest but sufficient power. But for that money you could buy a much more powerful cabinet saw... so I have to ask is it worth the money? 


  1. Daniel having seen Sawstop at Woodshow in Sydney and knowing many who have lost digits to table saw over many years (since I was 4 or 5). I was impressed......until a few years later I discovered the replacement cost of the emergency break/cut off system. It destroys and needs replacing each time it operates. I understand better than loosing a finger or even a whole hand. I have not read about false firing to date.

    There is a newer/other system which has been developed which shuts down just as fast and to me looks safer yet, without the added cost of replacements. Whirlwind Tablesaw Brake http://www.whirlwindtool.com/

    Here's a video link.

    Now way I can afford either. I believe there i a push to have Sawstop fitted as a fixture NOT and add on and not just to Tablesaws but also to Bandsaws and other machines.

    1. Replacement cartridges are $155 in AU or $69 in USA plus the cost of the blade. The Dado blade cartridge is $196... I wouldn't mind if it saves a digit. (Though I would argue good technique negates the need and that there are many other dangers in the shop.) Is the mis-firing into wet timber or accidental metal etc that would be annoying.


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