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Saw Stop - any complaints?

Moosewood's picture

Is anyone currently using the Saw Stop table saw and dissatisfied in any way. I have read that the anti kick back pawls can scratch wood and that the extension table is nothing special. These do not seem to be significant problems. Never the less, I would appreciate any feed back, which can be offered.


 


Rick

NumberNine's picture

(post #100056, reply #1 of 25)

I used one a lot last year. I liked it but didn't end up buying one for my own shop becuase fitting a sliding table like Jessem's to it appeared awkward and made it initially rather expensive. Also when the handwheels were overtightened by users they were getting sloppy/ wobbly...not aproblem if you're the only user I guess. The kickback pawls and blade cover were never used as far as I recall.

Moosewood's picture

(post #100056, reply #2 of 25)

Thankyou, it is interesting that you mention the Jessem sliding table, which is something I would like to do. Did it seem awkward because of the need to cut down the rails?


Rick

NumberNine's picture

(post #100056, reply #3 of 25)

I spoke with Jessem about it, they had tried it out and it would be functional. If I recall there are two positions to mount the slider one would be quite far from the blade so probably not the best choice. The other requires removal of the left table top and would be my choice.The saw stop table is larger than a typical cabinet saw top so the mounting would I think look a bit odd but still functional. I went with the Laguna TSS as it costed out a little less, takes a 12' blade, is way faster to switch out blades, dado etc (no cartridge issues) and has some more industrial features. However if I did it again I'd go Hammer or Felder in a heartbeat.

Moosewood's picture

(post #100056, reply #6 of 25)

I too spoke with Jessem. The slider is funtional with the left wing in place but you loose the ability to cut angles at this distance from the blade. As most of my work is cabinetry, I do not find this to be much of a problem. I fear, however, that I am being short sighted. As to Saw Stop verses Hammer or Mini Max, I like the safety features on this saw. If they were not available, I doubt that I would be in the market for a new saw.


Rick

highfigh's picture

(post #100056, reply #12 of 25)

Why would you cut the rails when you could just move them over and increase the capacity of the fence? Notching the rails and drilling a few holes is no big deal and if you decide to restore it to original, you just move them back. Yes, there is some alignment needed but that's not really a big deal, either.

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
CStanford's picture

(post #100056, reply #7 of 25)

The kickback pawls and blade cover were never used as far as I recall.


So much for the safety-minded shop, eh?

NumberNine's picture

(post #100056, reply #8 of 25)

yup, and that was at a trade school. The Delta, General etc rarely had splitter either I always had to hunt for them and fit them. I'm amazed that in 1 year I only
saw one near serious accident, well actually two the guy made the same mistake twice in a 5 minute period; no riving knife, cross cut instead of rip and pushed from the fence side not the the blade side.

CStanford's picture

(post #100056, reply #9 of 25)

I'm amazed that a school would go to the expense of putting a SawStop in place and then dismantle the basic safety implements that come fitted on the saw.

wood_donkey's picture

(post #100056, reply #10 of 25)

Not necessarily the school, could be the teacher (hello lawsuit) or a kid (again, the teacher would more than likely be liable for not teaching/demonstrating proper technique). While I believe the SawStop table saw to be a safer machine than most, the plain fact of the matter is that the human error will still in some cases trump technology. This is the point that most of the detractors of the SawStop point to. As clever as we humans are we will always find a way to outsmart a tool or piece of equipment, and in the process increase the likelihood that an accident may happen. Just because the school bought the machine does not preclude the teacher/student from dismantling any parts, including the safety parts.

I always teach safety, demonstrate and demand safety in my classroom - from myself, my students and any visitors to the classroom.

CStanford's picture

(post #100056, reply #13 of 25)

I agree that it's pretty obvious that somebody removed it.  But it apparently stayed removed.  That implies to me tacit approval by the school.  Or maybe they just didn't notice.


I just can't help but chuckle at the SawStop in all its Safety Splendor with the pawls and blade guard removed.


I'm reminded of a story I was told by a guy who worked for me - he went to work in a well-known local architectural millwork company.  The shop supervisor was a helluva builder, a really talented guy, but victim of testosterone and thought that safety stuff was for pansies.  He apparently scowled if somebody used a push stick.  Guy had a real hard-on.  Of course all the tablesaws in the machine room had no blade guard, splitter, or anything resembling them.  Well, the guy that worked for me suffered this gentlemen's tirade after asking where the blade guards were.  Not two days after that, the shop supervisor removed his entire thumb and a good portion of this hand, really up next to the knuckle of this index finger, when he apparently slipped on some sawdust in front of the saw.  Dust collection wasn't that marvelous either.  Well, the story gets worse.  Infection sets in and the guy ends up losing the entire hand.  Then he tried to sue the company and the company callled my guy as a witness.  Long story short, the guy apparently gets something around a $10,000 settlement for the loss of an entire hand and not the six figures he was looking for.


Served him right as far as I'm concerned.


Most times, we are our own worst enemy.


Edited 11/27/2006 11:53 am ET by CStanford

Rich14's picture

(post #100056, reply #14 of 25)

"Served him right as far as I'm concerned."


No it didn't.


But there is absolutely no excuse for not using every bit of safety equipment there is on a saw, no matter how pathetic the actual equipment really is.


And it is incomprehensible that a machine such as a Saw Stop brand, which is all about safety (at least of the "cut off a finger variety"), and commands a premium price for the safety feature, and has a superior anti-kickback device in the riving knife vs the typical splitter, is used without the superior anti-kickback feature.


Rich

CStanford's picture

(post #100056, reply #15 of 25)

I chalk it up under the line from the spoof movie Airplane - "chump don't want the help, chump don't get the help."


Rail against safety and remove safety devices and you cut something off?  Your fault.


Try to turn around and sue and only get ten grand for losing an entire hand.  Your fault.


 


 

highfigh's picture

(post #100056, reply #20 of 25)

Hey- you speak jive, too?

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
wood_donkey's picture

(post #100056, reply #16 of 25)

The mentality might be the same as some here have..."I am safe, so I don't need the safety devices."  Not to say that is not true, but most of the time that accidents do happen it is not the device that fails, but humans who fail to follow safety procedures, remove safety equipment, etc.  Most people who have been trained properly (those who have bee n taught by a qualified instructor, on the job, in school, etc.) do follow safety procedures when the application allows for them.  Those who learn as they go are the people who are taking chances.  We all could probably admit to removing a guard for a dado cut and not putting it back on for the next rip or not at all.  But it is the understanding of why it needs to go back on that takes someone to the next level - the knowledge of why accidents happen, and they do happen no matter what your skill level.


I tell my students "I like my fingers attached to my hand, so do my wife and kids...I put my hands next to nothing that can take them off that is not properly guarded or shielded...and you will to, or you will not use any equipment in my class, not even a screwdriver."  Plain and simple.

GLAUCON's picture

(post #100056, reply #17 of 25)

<"But there is absolutely no excuse for not using every bit of safety equipment there is on a saw, no matter how pathetic the actual equipment really is.">

I would gently disagree. I hasten to add that I am not referring to the SawStop here, a tool that I have never used.

I have found other TS whose guards actually make it more diificult to see the work and that have a tendency to bind, making ripping more dangerous, not less. It is apparent that these manufacturers are simply employing the minimal investment for safety features, not best practices. This is why there is a 3rd party market for guards, splitters, etc. It is also revealing of the general attitude towards safety that many North American TS distributors display, an attitude that in no small part resulted in SawStop to fill a perceived unmet need for safety.

It is small compensation that SS and Powermatic now include riving knives... when will other manufacturers do so?

I have a critical view towards the "standard" safety equipment that many TS's include. If it adds to safety, use it... but if not, you are better off removing or replacing it with 3rd party offerings.

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Rich14's picture

(post #100056, reply #18 of 25)

Hmm . . . I see a semantics problem here. I'll ammend my initial pedantic remark to say that there is no excuse for not using proper safety gear on a table saw.


If the original equipment makes the saw more dangerous by some design defect, than a correctly-designed version of the gear should be used.


Rich

GLAUCON's picture

(post #100056, reply #21 of 25)

Not my intention to be pompous, but to point out the sad state of much of the standard safety equipment on many tools.

As for the point that this doesn't apply to SawStop, fair enough. But since many would propose buying a SS instead of another saw, it is, I think, reasonable to ask whether this is necessary. Does the Powermatic 2000 with the riving knife go far enough to ensure safety? Can a saw such as this, perhaps with a 3rd party overhead guard adequately fill the need for safety? Not every hobbyist will be able to afford a SS- can an acceptable alternative be assembled from the above?

The SawStop seems to take it to the next level. Are the safety features on the SS aside from the brake well designed and made? Some have pointed out that the SS is significantly more expensive than other saws- this has been countered by the observation that the saw itself is well made and finished. So perhaps some of the additional cost is for overall quality.

Just my 2p,

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

NumberNine's picture

(post #100056, reply #22 of 25)

I don't want to drag this out but the kick back pawls and guard were not used but the riving knife stayed, so at least one anti kick back device was in place. This doesn't seem unreasonable especially as my Laguna has a similar riving knife BUT just a blade cover with no kick back pawls...in fact I don't remember Altendorfs having them either just the knife.

Rich14's picture

(post #100056, reply #24 of 25)

A riving knife and crown blade guard are far better than kickback pawls. The SS has only the riving knife.


Edited 11/27/2006 10:24 pm ET by Rich14

VeriestTyro's picture

(post #100056, reply #19 of 25)

I have found other TS whose guards actually make it more diificult to see the work and that have a tendency to bind, making ripping more dangerous, not less. It is apparent that these manufacturers are simply employing the minimal investment for safety features, not best practices. This is why there is a 3rd party market for guards, splitters, etc. It is also revealing of the general attitude towards safety that many North American TS distributors display, an attitude that in no small part resulted in SawStop to fill a perceived unmet need for safety.


Certainly this couldn't be the case with the SawStop, the subject matter of the thread.

BlueEnamel's picture

(post #100056, reply #23 of 25)

if something is designed as idiot-proof, it is only a matter of time until someone builds a better idiot.

-- Blue

forestgirl's picture

(post #100056, reply #4 of 25)

"...and that the extension table is nothing special."  How special did the expect it to be?  That's funny!

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

Moosewood's picture

(post #100056, reply #5 of 25)

I agree. That said, I have never understood why manufacturers will go to great lenghts to make a saw which they would have you believe is distinct in the market place and not equip it with a cast iron extension table. Economics aside, I think the domestic manufacturers miss the boat on this topic.


Rick

highfigh's picture

(post #100056, reply #11 of 25)

If you mean the extension to the right of the table top, go out and sit on your extension table (between the rails) and tell me that it didn't want to tip over. This, of course, is a moot point if you have longer rails and support legs.

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."


Edited 11/27/2006 11:40 am by highfigh

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
PetePeterson's picture

Saw Stop (post #100056, reply #25 of 25)

Reports from colleagues indicate that extra wood moisture content and items such as staples will activate the blade stop mechanism.