Excellent Quality, Anxiety Gone, Cost a Non-Factor

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Review by NickyP posted 10-24-2013 01:26 AM 10015 views 0 times favorited 41 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Excellent Quality, Anxiety Gone, Cost a Non-Factor Excellent Quality, Anxiety Gone, Cost a Non-Factor Excellent Quality, Anxiety Gone, Cost a Non-Factor Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just got back into wood working a little over a year ago and bought a very nice used Delta Contractor Saw. I had no issues with the power and attributes of a fine running machine. A fine running machine I operated for over a year without a blade guard (SHAME on me!) as my respect of the saw’s power was high and my fear was low on using this machine. I was ripping about a 12” wide board in half that was about a foot long. The wood rose up and kicked back, hitting me square in the stomach as I was stupidly standing directly behind the saw blade. It felt like a mule kicked me as I stood there for several seconds asking myself, “Am I hurt” or “Am I okay,” wondering whether or not to go to the hospital. I didn’t go to the hospital that day but I did get a baseball sized black & blue mark that hurt for a few hours that could have been much worse had it come towards my face. Lesson learned; I no longer stand behind the saw blade. Needless to say this saw had no riving knife so I installed a micro-jig splitter and all was well . . . sort of. About a month later I was cutting about a one inch wide piece off of about a 3” wide piece of stock that was about two feet long. I was standing to the side of the saw blade & the saw kicked back and launched the one inch spear, denting my garage door, darn near going through it. My high respect of using this machine was now being trumped by an even higher level of fear each time I used it as I wondered, “what’s next? . . . A finger?” Well, I continued to use my saw for about another month and realize my anxiety level was now at an all-time high and there was only one alternative for me . . . SAWSTOP!

I had been hemming & hawing about getting one based on the cost as I went to Woodworker’s Emporium and really checked one out. The quality of the saw was excellent with safety fetchers beyond the saw stopping with human contact that surpassed my expectations. Blade guard & riving knife (minimize those kickbacks!), zero-clearance inserts, diagnostic self-check system, hands-free shutoff, blade tilts away from fence, etc. I sold my Delta and I decided to bite the bullet on this saw. The second I made the purchase the calming of my peace-of-mind was incredible. I have not received my saw yet and had a chance to use it but I sure feel great just knowing it’s on the way.

I never batted an eye at the cost in making this purchase as I asked myself, “what’s my well-being, peace-of-mind, and fingers worth?” It didn’t take long to figure . . . WAY more than the price of a SawStop.

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

View NickyP's profile


184 posts in 2938 days

41 comments so far

View woodenwarrior's profile


255 posts in 3409 days

#1 posted 10-24-2013 01:55 AM

I would never poo-poo your decision to purchase a well manufactured, safety first saw. A short story, if you have a moment…My dad owned the same 1969 Sears ACCU-CUT radial arm saw until I was about 35 and he finally gave it to me. That saw and the mean-assed whine it made starting up NEVER stopped scaring the hell out of me. I leaned from my dad, from the age of 7 on to do just about ANYTHING with that saw. The one thing that he taught me that has stuck with me through all these years was this one piece of advice,”Never be afraid of the tool…respect it for what it can do, but never fear it. That’s how you’ll get hurt”. I follow that advice each and every time I go into my shop. That being said, if it helps you not fear the tool, then good on you, you’ve made the right purchase.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4219 days

#2 posted 10-24-2013 04:22 AM

Congrats and I agree with Woodenwarrior

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Ken90712's profile


18058 posts in 4403 days

#3 posted 10-24-2013 08:35 AM

Congrats on you to your new saw a piece of mind…. Better to be safe than sorry…. I have looked closely at these saw and have thought about buying one. I talked with the engineers at the Vegas Woodworking show in detail about the rumor of random mis-fires. Putting the safety stop feature aside, as we all can agree its pretty cool and some great advanced technology. They seem to be making one of the better quality saws out there. A lot of thought went into some of the saws features. Still on the fence of which saw I’m buying soon, as I want a 5 HP saw or no less than a 3 HP. It might be Saw Stop. After all they gave me a hat… :>)

Look fwd to hearing how it performs.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 3073 days

#4 posted 10-24-2013 10:41 AM

Just a related safety tip to pass along. Maybe this is common knowledge but it might have prevented the first kickback you mentioned. One rule of thumb that my uncle told me is that you shouldn’t make a through-cut where the workpiece between the blade and the fence is wider than it is long (unless you’re using a crosscut sled). I will make exceptions to the rule once in a while when the dimensions are close and the material is thin, but it’s something I’m always weary of.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View NickyP's profile


184 posts in 2938 days

#5 posted 10-24-2013 01:17 PM

This is great feedback fellas. I like and believe in everything woodenwarrior said and truly wish I could feel that way. When I was in my late 20’s I suffered from anxiety attacks. These attacks subsided and then stopped a few years later with only a rare occurrence (maybe two or three) over the past 30 years. Unfortunately, these kickbacks began to trigger these dreaded attacks again. They are a horrible feeling that the best way I can describe them is you feel like you are going to die. I’m not looking for sympathy here as this is just a part of my life, I’m just informing those who don’t know about them. With this in mind, purchasing the SawStop was a simple decision, giving me peace-of-mind that allows me to partake in perhaps the best hobby on earth. The SawStop really does look like a nice piece of equipment and I’m thrilled like a kid on Christmas waiting for it’s arrival. Thank you woodenwarrior, NormG, Ken, & Jay for your great feedback on this.

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12390 posts in 4643 days

#6 posted 10-24-2013 02:03 PM

Nicky, Anything that eases or eliminates your panic attacks is worth whatever you paid.
Everything I read indicates that this is a fine tool, never mind the saw stopping technology.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3875 posts in 4652 days

#7 posted 10-24-2013 02:27 PM

I applaud your purchase and understand the reasons behind it. It’s the same path I’m planning on going eventually. I’ve got an old rockwell/Delta that still keeps cutting. Hard to get rid of a tool that works but if I cut off a finger that would just be a moot point wouldn’t it.

Just wanted to add that my tough cuts and kickbacks ended when I started jointing all my wood before ripping it to size. Oh, I don’t doubt that it still can happen but hasn’t since I start with a perfectly straight line against the fence. Sometimes when I have a very long piece and can’t joint it like I want, the cut is sometimes more difficult and I stay out of the way and sweat it. But jointing has greatly eased my cuts.

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

View EdwardR's profile


66 posts in 3469 days

#8 posted 10-24-2013 05:55 PM

I can see out of one eye, 20% of the side of my left foot is amputated and I have steel bars and pins in my right lower leg and foot. I’m like a weeble wobble but I don’t fall down yet. Hence the saw stop NOPE because my grandsons want to learn plain and simple.

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3595 days

#9 posted 10-25-2013 05:05 AM

Your story is interesting and well written. I was looking forward to a review by someone who previously used a Delta contractor but unfortunately this is not a review, you don’t even possess the machine yet. That said, considering your injuries I believe you have made a good decision. Hopefully once you’ve actually received the saw and had some time with it you’ll come back and give us a good write up.

-- Rick M,

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4549 days

#10 posted 10-25-2013 11:05 AM

I have never feared kickbacks, but I learned to never stand behind the workpiece. I had a few kickbacks when I first got my table saw. They were like shot out of a gun. I can’t remember the circumstances as that was 17 years ago, but probably caused by me doing something dumb as I was inexperienced at that time. Nevertheless, I can see the advantage of the Saw Stop and I understand that it is a very good quality brand. Unfortunately, every advantage usually comes with a related disadvantage, and that is that they fire off and ruin the blade if they come in contact with metal, not just flesh. I’ve only hit metal in my table saw a few times, mostly staples I didn’t notice, but If my table saw had been a Saw Stop I would have had to replace several good quality blades and buy replacement firing device cartridges. Pretty expensive compared to the cost of abiding by good practice which is free. That said, those who are willing to pay the price for a super safe Saw Stop and ensuing replacements will never get seriously cut or lose a finger on one.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12390 posts in 4643 days

#11 posted 10-25-2013 01:45 PM

Stefang, I understand that the brake can be disabled. The cost of the saw doesn’t seem all that much more than any other saw of Saw Stop’s quality and other features.
If I were in the market, I’d seriously consider the Saw Stop.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View NickyP's profile


184 posts in 2938 days

#12 posted 10-25-2013 03:36 PM

This is really great as I like hearing and learning the different points-of-view from all of the experienced woodworkers and hope to hear allot more. My personal levels of (1) enthusiasm is high regarding woodworking, (2) learning safety is at the top of my list, but unfortunately at this time (3) experience and knowing safety is something I lack as I strive each cut I make to become better in my knowledge of what & how to perform each operation on all of my machinery. I’m a 54 year old man that feels like a 17 year old kid in many ways regarding this wonderful world of woodworking with the advantage of having lived, learned, and experience life enough to know that I don’t know nearly enough. With that in mind the one thing I do know is that time, patience, and listening to the many different thoughts of people like all of you is the only way I can gain wisdom & experience with my love of woodworking. I look forward to putting my SawStop in action and letting everyone know how it performs.

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

View a1Jim's profile


118200 posts in 4792 days

#13 posted 10-25-2013 03:42 PM

I believe in Saw Stops technology and know they make great saws,Enjoy


View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 3253 days

#14 posted 10-25-2013 04:15 PM

unfortunately this is not a review, you don’t even possess the machine yet.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View NickyP's profile


184 posts in 2938 days

#15 posted 10-25-2013 05:25 PM

Touche JustJoe and my mistake. It appears this has evolved into more of a “safety” blog and would have been more appropriate as such as you have aptly pointed out. Regardless of where this topic is taking place it has been enlightening and quite interesting IMO.

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

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