SawStop 10-Inch Contractor saw. It's a complicated relationship.

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Review by agallant posted 10-17-2011 09:23 PM 11999 views 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
SawStop 10-Inch Contractor saw. It's a complicated relationship. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Since the SawStop is really two products I am going to break this review down in to two parts. The first part is the saw it’s self and the other part is the break. I have had my SawStop for about a year now, it is, like the title says a 10-Inch contractor with 30” rails and outfeed table.

Saw review.
The saw it’s self is rather nice for a contractor saw. I would say it is very high quality manufacturing and there is great attention to detail. The directions like every other reviewer states are great. The 1.75HP motor will cut 8/4 oak with a 42 tooth WWII, it does not cut it great, it bogs down a bit but with a rip blade it does well. The saw has a stable platform and does not move, the controls are large, easy to use and well placed.

My issues with the saw mostly revolve around the price. Break technology aside it is not a good value. The saw its self is about $1,400 + t-glide fence, + out feed table + mobile base + dado cartridge + dado insert + cast iron wings + tax you will be around $2,600. Yeah that’s right $2,600 out the door for a 1.75HP contractor saw. Want a dust collector blade guard, that is an extra $160-$199. This is an absolute redicioulus price. You can get a 3HP grizzley cabinet saw with all of this and a built in router table for $1,000 less. You could almost get a Power Matic PM2000 or a Delta Unisaw for this price. Its a contractor saw.

The stamped sheat metal wings that ship with the saw are junk, they are flimsy and cheap so you will spend the $200 on the cast iron wings sooner or later.

The saw weighs about 400 LBS so you will need some type of mobile base.

The fence that is included is kinda cheep so you will want to upgrade to the t-glide fence system

You will need to cut dado sooner or later so you will need a dado plate and break

Save the $99 and make your own outfeed table. I bought mine, hated it and build my own

Upgraded dust collector guard is a matter of preference. The built in 4” dust port on the bottom of the saw with my 1HP collector does rather well, only when I am using a sled does the dust on top build up.

With all of those addons the saw is way over priced for a contractor saw. It’s PM2000 money for a contractor saw. The longer I have had this saw the more outrageous I find this. Also when compared to other contractor saws with all of these addons from what I can tell you are paying at least $1,200 more.

Break review.
I can’t say much here, it is easy to change out, the normal break is $69 and the dado is $79. I have not tripped it but I find myself in the position that I turn the safety off if I think there is a chance of tripping it (pressure treated lumber, wet lumber, if there may be a nail or staple in it etc) this kinda negates the extra $1,200.

All and all I would say that this is a nice contractor saw that should cost no more than $1,000-$1,200
The question is how much is your finger worth and what safety benefit are you getting if you are turning the safety off because you don’t want to have an accidental trip that costs $200. My advice would be to save the extra cash for the 3HP PCS or at the very least the 1.75HP PCS, I think those saws offer a better value and unlike the contractor saw the PCS line seams to be more price competitive with its peers.

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551 posts in 3733 days

24 comments so far

View dean2336's profile


238 posts in 3756 days

#1 posted 10-17-2011 09:50 PM

If we all get away from our bad habits and think about what can happen using power equipment. I have changed my work habits,because I have grandsons that watch me very close when i’m showing them how to operate this equipment.I want them to keep all the parts they were born with. Let’s all work safley, not fast.

-- dean2336,nebr.

View Dedvw's profile


176 posts in 3728 days

#2 posted 10-17-2011 10:09 PM

StopSaw is a fantastic advance in woodworking technology but I think it has its limitation. Its fantastic for schools and such but kickback scares me a whole lot more than cutting my fingers off.

I’m not saying that id take a kickback over losing a finger. I just think I have a greater chance of kickback occuring over having my fingers present where the blade is spinning.

That being said, I’m sure your saw is awesome and you will have many good years together. Congrats!

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123 posts in 3454 days

#3 posted 10-17-2011 10:49 PM

Helpful review, thanks.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 4356 days

#4 posted 10-18-2011 01:04 AM

The question should be, what is the guarantee that these type of saw will work and save a finger when the accident happen. so being super careful and developing safe working habit like hundred thousands of woodworkers before who never lost a finger and didn’t reply on electronic sensors that could fail at a critical moment.

-- Router รจ ancora il mio nome.

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137 posts in 4176 days

#5 posted 10-18-2011 04:27 AM

There is no guarantee my car brakes or air bags will work, but I’m glad I’ve got them on my car. The reduction in highway death tolls, despite increased traffic and miles-driven on the highways, shows they work often enough to save more than 10,000 lives a year. I’m glad I have the SawStop saw, too.

When I was a newbie driver, my brother chided me about not wearing seat belts; I scoffed. A few weeks later I took a turn too fast, and found myself sliding across the slick vinyl bench seat into the passenger’s side—and ever after I’ve worn my seat belt. Anyone can make a mistake—and sometimes a machine (or the wood) behaves in unpredictable ways. Even if the saw operator is always cautious, the potential for an accident is there. Since third-party testimony stated that the manufacturing cost for the system is as little as $55, it seems to be an iminently sensible addition at a reasonable cost that will reduce injuries (see Osorio trial testimony, summarized on the FWW site in the interview with Gass).

But I admit I wouldn’t mind it if another inventor came up with a different approach and undercut Gass’ current monopoly; that would be sweet.

-- Now, where did I put those bandaids?

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1554 posts in 3352 days

#6 posted 10-18-2011 05:00 AM

Thanks for the informative review.

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415 posts in 3993 days

#7 posted 10-19-2011 09:08 PM

I think it’s fair to say that the value of the brake can’t be measured in dollars because a) there’s no competition and b) it’s a matter of personal judgement.

However, it’s clear to me that if you’re spending that kind of money, the better value is to go all the way to one of the two higher-end SawStops. There’s just not enough price difference to make the contractor model a good value. And, yes, I understand that there are people who have to have the brake, but for whom the extra cost just can’t be justified.

Safety is important, but we’re talking about a tool here. And the primary qualifier for a tool is how well it works for its intended use. That, too, is a judgement call. I work word as a hobby. The primary return I get is the joy of the process. I like nice tools that don’t make me work around limitations which is why I sold a perfectly functional contrator saw to upgrade to a cabinet saw. Others will have different qualifications.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3733 days

#8 posted 10-19-2011 09:53 PM

You are right. You can’t place a price on the break because there is nothing to measure it against besides how much you value it. I value the break but think the the price for the contractor saw is a bit heavy compared to it’s peers. The PCS line is more in touch with its competition. I have updated the review to reflect this.

“My advice would be to save the extra cash for the 3HP PCS or at the very least the 1.75HP PCS, I think those saws offer a better value and unlike the contractor saw the PCS line seams to be more price competitive with it peers. “

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3540 days

#9 posted 10-19-2011 09:56 PM

Great review. Thank you for it.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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3320 posts in 3409 days

#10 posted 10-19-2011 10:10 PM

Thanks for the informative review.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View rance's profile


4274 posts in 4007 days

#11 posted 10-19-2011 10:11 PM

This all makes me wonder how much extra it will cost(and passed on to the consumer) to add a ‘brake’ to one of the $150 bench saws.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3817 days

#12 posted 10-19-2011 10:19 PM

I assume you did not BREAK your saw and are referring to the BRAKE in the second part of the review.

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 3986 days

#13 posted 10-19-2011 10:34 PM

I completely agree with the assessment. Even the guys at my woodcraft were recommending against getting it since the price difference with the PCS is so low.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3955 days

#14 posted 10-22-2011 12:08 PM

Thanks for posting and you made some good observations about the ability to turn off the safety feature. I equate this to the ability to remove blade guards, riving knives, hold downs, and splitters that are currently available to the consumer on other contractor tablesaws. I noticed a comment regarding the Osoro trial. Gass insists that if Ryobi had used the saw brake, Osoro would still have full use of his digits. What bothers me (and will always bother me about that trial) is that all the safety features were removed prior to using the saw. The SawStop can trip using wet wood which ultimately encourages frugal woodworkers to turn off the feature, which puts the woodworker at risk once more. I am curious if Gass would have felt Osoro deserved the 1.5 million dollars if he had cut himself using a SawStop with the brake disabled and the other safety features removed just like was done on the Ryobi.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

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507 posts in 4081 days

#15 posted 10-23-2011 03:57 AM

Very interesting pointing out the nickle & dime costs of the contractor version. I had considered getting this, but if you have to pay to upgrade every little thing then why bother with this one? After adding everything on, it’d only be a bit more to get the cabinet version – and it’s a much nicer version.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

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