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JayM's picture

Hi all, After 45 years of working it looks like I may actually retire. I never thought IÕd say those words but I had a nice offer for my business I started 40 years ago. As a present to my self I would like to buy a nice cabinet saw for my workshop. I mostly build furniture for my home and kids. The two saws that caught my eye were the Delta Unisaw and the Sawstop cabinet saw. Both machines seem really nice. I was interested to know what experience people have had with these machines. Thanks for the help. Jay

GLAUCON's picture

(post #103067, reply #31 of 51)

A blade is easier to replace than a hand.

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...

MarkDMacLeod's picture

(post #103067, reply #32 of 51)

I've seen the SawStop in action. I was surprised (not that I should have been).

I am building a new shop and will be buying a Cabinet Saw Stop. It's pretty hard for me to justify another choice. I know it won't prevent all injuries but on a risk-benefit analysis, it is a no brainer. My hand or even one finger is worth far more to me than the price of a saw even if I blew a blade a month (and in 15 years I have had no saw related injuries). I'm a physician so losing my hand or even a finger would end my career.

GLAUCON's picture

(post #103067, reply #33 of 51)

"I'm a physician so losing my hand or even a finger would end my career."

Same here.

I expect to hear the jibe about the cost of the saw, and who can afford to buy one (rich doctors, etc.)

For those with such views I would just observe that it has been widely noted that SS has a very good fit and finish, dust collection, etc- it would be priced in the upper range of the Unisaw, Powermatic, General scale even without the brake. So how much is the safety mechanism worth? $500? $800?

Even if it is $800 in cost, over ten years that's less than a hundred a year for a well tested insurance policy. Much less than the cost of the stock that will pass through it in an average month of even a home shop that is moderately busy. If there are any sons or daughters who are anxious to learn (or grandchildren) it becomes a no-brainer.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about safety and how they want to spend their money. But if you put your opinion out there, others have a right to disagree. Criticizing another's penny-wise, hand-foolish policy does not make us the table saw police. If you have to resort to that kind of rhetorical cheap shot, it just means that your argument is too weak to stand on its merits.

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...

MarkDMacLeod's picture

(post #103067, reply #35 of 51)

Thanks. I know the cost differential is an issue for many people both professional and hobbyist (I don't like that term but it's out there). For me, and I stress for me, the risk/benefit valuation says buy a Saw Stop. I'm not being a policeman for anyone and don't want to be either (too Orwellian for my liking). But, given how much I like what I do both in my shop and in my work, the SawStop seems the logical conclusion. It is a well built saw, a huge step up for me compared to what I currently use (don''t ask, it's embarrassing) - if I'm gong to buy a saw that I hope to use for another 20 years, the additional cost per year is easier to accept.

Now just the issue of the weight - 700 lb! I hope the mobile base is a good as the saw.

PeterDurand's picture

(post #103067, reply #36 of 51)

The mobile base is the best I have ever used.

 


Better life through Zoodles and poutine...

Tinkerer3's picture

(post #103067, reply #34 of 51)

I have a friend (general practitioner) who put his hand in a jointer early in his career.  Lost the bone in his right index finger.  I'm sure he missed it but he retired probably fifteen - twenty years ago.

okahun's picture

(post #103067, reply #37 of 51)

Your assuming I'll run my hand into the blade. I'll take the risk that I don't. You and everyone else that has implied that anyone who doesn't have a Sawstop WILL get injured is nonsense. To all the people who own Sawstops I'm happy for you, if you feel safer great. When I injured myself years ago by cutting into one of my fingers (two separate times) I didn't think that damn saw is the problem, I'm to blame. When I fell through ceiling joists while laying out a roof I thought you dumb #### I should have checked to see if there was strapping across the tops of the joists, not it's that 2x8s fault for falling on it's side. I'm sorry that's just the way I'm wired, I look to myself what could I have done to avoid these problems. I know a hand is harder to replace than a blade, duh. Everything I've read about Sawstop tells me it's a excellent saw. But I reserve the right to either like or dislike their safety system.
okahun

GLAUCON's picture

(post #103067, reply #38 of 51)

Perhaps your personal history is the strongest argument for a blade brake- or an air bag, or why the building code requires hand rails on a staircase...

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...

PeterDurand's picture

(post #103067, reply #39 of 51)

:-)

 


Better life through Zoodles and poutine...

Tinkerer3's picture

(post #103067, reply #40 of 51)

I don't think anyone assumes you will run your hand into the sawblade.  But you or anyone else who uses a saw might.  Do you carry insurance on house, life, health.  If you like to take chances, why would you?  Yeah, you might have to carry home owners and maybe even life insurance because the bank says you have to.  Banks don't like to take chances.


Do I have a Sawstop?  "No."  Will I get one?  "No."  I won't.  I'm 76 years old and if I get hurt, I won't have to put up with it for as long as if I were 20.  I have spent so much that I just don't feel like replacing the 66 that isn't that old and I will take that chance.  My Seventy three year old sweet hear just crushed her elbow a couple weeks ago trying to take my daughters dog for a walk.  Now she has an artificial elbow and the Dr. advised her never to lift more that ten pounds.  Well, that is one of those chances we take by living.


Edited 10/23/2009 10:22 pm ET by Tinkerer3


Edited 10/24/2009 12:47 am ET by Tinkerer3

GLAUCON's picture

(post #103067, reply #41 of 51)

Amen.

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...

Barry Va Beach's picture

(post #103067, reply #42 of 51)

Without getting into the debate about the SS brake feature,  from what I have read the Delta has a better riving knife feature - it adjusts from the front of the saw, the SS requires you to change from riving knife to a separate knife that supports the blade guard for through cuts. The overall fit and finish of the SS PCS is outstanding - exceptions are the sides of the fence are cheap plywood with thin melamine, and the miter gauge is average.  The SS has onboard storage for the wrenches, miter gauge, riving knife, and adjuster for the blade brake.  The level of fine tuning adjustments, and the detail in the manual, is outstanding.  Customer Support is great, and it has a tool free insert.   Haven't used the Delta so I don't know how it compares in these respects.  For me, the price premium for the blade guard on the contractors saw was very high, but the the PCS it seemed a no brainer.

Domer's picture

(post #103067, reply #43 of 51)

I am a SawStop owner so that may influence my opinion and so want to put that out at the start.

Both the Unisaw and SawStop are great saws from what I have seen and read.

The Unisaw has a larger table top I asked the Unisaw people at the Woodworkers show here last year, what the advantage of the larger table top made it easier to handle sheet goods. The SawStop people said they made the decision to use the smaller table because most people do not do that much sheet goods on their table saw. So which is better. It depends on what kind of work you do.

The Unisaw riving knife is easier to use than the Industrial SawStop but similar to the new Professional SawStop. Edge to Unisaw.

The mobile base for the SawStop Industrial is heads and shoulders better than the Unisaw. It costs more but is way better.

The Unisaw has nice storage which is a plus. The front mounted adjustment wheels look nice but I don't think make much difference.

The two main tool shops here that cater to home based shops both said that the customer service was much better with SawStop. I don't have any experience with Unisaw but the few times I contacted SawStop they were very helpful.

The SawStop break system is unique to SawStop but adds to the expense.

Which is better? It depends on what you want and your comfort level.

I chose the SawStop but not without a great deal of soul searching.

Domer

jonnieboy's picture

(post #103067, reply #44 of 51)

Barry,


I wonder if you could answer a question as a SS Professional Cabinet Saw owner.


The small hose coming out of the blade guard and attaching to the larger dust collection hose -- is it supplied with the saw? I hadn't seen the dustguard hose in pictures until just recently. It might have been in FWW Tools and Shops issue, as a matter of fact.


I could e-mail Sawstop, but I'm thinking about buying one of these, so I like to hear PCS owners talk about their experience.


Thanks!


--jonnieboy 

Barry Va Beach's picture

(post #103067, reply #45 of 51)

Jonnie,  I read in Popular Woodworking that SS is working on an one hose solution - at present, the dust guard comes with an outlet and a small adapter to accept a vac hose, but not the hose itself.  I bought a 4 inch y with a 2 1/2 outlet http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2000899/9525/4-x-4-x-2-12-Y-Fitting.aspx


I then ran a 4 inch line towards the port in the bottom of the cabinet, installed the 4 x 4 x 2 1/2 y in that line, and used the 2 1/2 line to feed to the upper guard using pvc I had on hand.


http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee248/barryvabeach/topSmall.jpg


 


In that picture, the small white piece sitting on the back of the table is the adapter, I didn't use it since I used a pvc fitting.


While that setup worked okay, due to the way I routed the hose - too much air went to below the table, so I inserted a baffle ( or restrictor ) in the end of the y heading to the 4 inch port below the table and put a 2 1/2 inch hole in the baffle - so both sides of the y were in effect the same size -  that has worked much better.  The only complaint I have now, and this is whining, is that it works too well.  Before I got this guard I would switch back and forth between the riving knife and the guard all the time w/o hesitation. Now, the difference is dust collection is so dramatic, I don't like switching to the riving knife because I know how much dust is going everywhere. 

jonnieboy's picture

(post #103067, reply #46 of 51)

Barry,


Wow, thanks. That's great information.


Don't you hate it when a solution works so well it causes problems with the system you put in place to make up for its deficiencies?


Sometimes I wonder if I don't have more fun problem-solving a deficient system or tool than enjoying how the original works so well. Well, not really.


Let me get this right, are you saying the riving knife and the blade guard aren't used together?


What did you use for a baffle? Would one of those internal pivoting flipper doors work?


--jonnieboy


 

Barry Va Beach's picture

(post #103067, reply #47 of 51)

While there are some exceptions, for the SS, the riving knife doesn't extend higher than the top of the blade - and is used for non through cuts like grooves or dado's.  There is no way to mount the guard to the riving knife, since it is below the top of the blade ( except for the new Unisaw, that allows you to change the height of the riving knife, without changing the height of the blade).  The SS includes 2 assemblies, the first is the riving knife - it is one piece and once you install it, it goes up and down with the blade.  If you are doing through cuts, you remove it and install the other assembly, which includes a riving knife that is much taller, and the top of the assembly is where the dust guard and the antikickback pawls are attached.  Changeover is very quick, requires no tools, and both assemblies store on the saw.      As to the baffle - if you look at the 4 x 4 x 2  you have  4 inch port sucking air at one and, and directly opposite that is the 4 inch port which goes to the table saw port.  The 2 1-2 y is off to an angle, and due to that, and the sizing, it gets much less than one half of the suction - whien I piped it to the dust guard I could hardly feel any suction at all ( though it still works pretty well in diverting the sawdust even without suction )  The baffle was designed to get more of the suction to the dusct guard and less to below the table.  I used a piece of wood that I cut to fit into the 4 inch flex duct, and just cut a hole in it, a pivoting flipper door would be better since you can dial in how much suction you want to go where - which would be helpful since the way you pipe it will impact how you need to split up the suction. 

jonnieboy's picture

(post #103067, reply #48 of 51)

Barry,


Your information is very helpful. You sure are a good 'splainer.


Thanks!


--jonnieboy

blewcrowe's picture

(post #103067, reply #49 of 51)

What's the difference in price for comparable models (stop feature not withstanding)?

 


Denny

 

Denny

JayM's picture

(post #103067, reply #50 of 51)

Don't have my notes in front of me. But he mid range SawStop is about the same price as the Delta unisaw.

KD7NKN's picture

(post #103067, reply #51 of 51)

As a SawStop owner, I wanted to share a few thoughts.

I've never owned a Unisaw so I can't speak intelligently about their customer support, I can however report on the support provided by SawStop; it is a first class organization with knowledgeable people who are always willing to help in a timely manner.

As an example, I recently was having a problem with the module that controls the brake. I called customer support and from the first call to the last, I felt as though I was an honored guest in their home. It was not a common problem so the resolution took some time but they stuck with it until the problem was solved. As it turned out, it was operator error, (natch) but through the entire process, they were courteous and professional.

I live in Oregon and have had the privilege of visiting their headquarters. I stuck my head in the door to say 'hi' and ended up spending several hours talking with everyone from engineers to stockists. The overall impression I get is that they truly believe in what they build and are excited about it; this saw is as much a mission as a product to them.

Cliff

Ars longa, vita brevis"


                                - Hippocrates

Ars longa, vita brevis"

                                - Hippocrates