Mixed review after 1st month of use

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Review by Elwyn24601 posted 04-07-2017 07:14 PM 10687 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Mixed review after 1st month of use No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I will try and keep this somewhat short and as sweet as I can. the TL;DR will be at the bottom in the form of pro’s and cons.

My background: I am a 25 year old chemist by day and recently a woodworker by night, I grew up doing stage-craft so I and wood have a long, on again off again, relationship (the off again parts due mostly do uncertain living conditions and lack of funds).

The Search: I started looking at the ridgid r4512 as a starting point, so as any self respecting millennial would do, I began reading reviews, which led to me to look at the delta 36-725, then those reviews led to the grizzly line-up, so on and so forth. somewhere around the PM2000 5hp I realized I had a problem; to remedy this, I went to my local woodcraft to get my hands on cast iron and see what felt right. The gentleman at the store pointed me to this sawstop (a brand I had been avoiding because I figured “Ill just get a microjig and not be stupid around the saw”). I was waiting on the tax return check in the mail so I did not make a purchase that day. fast-forward a week later, I realized whatever saw I bought would be the one I would want have for the next 20 years or more, this meant I would most likely be teaching my future kids on this if they were so inclined. Now, I am still pretty young so I remember how stupid can careless in regards to safety I was not many years ago. this realization is what pushed me to the sawstop, yes it may not take out the risk of a kickback, however, any technology that can reduce the risk by a measurable amount is a worthwhile insurance policy. also the LOML is a physician, her hospital requires that if their doctors do any woodworking, a sawstop is required otherwise insurance premium go through the roof, those hands are quite the long-term investment.

The purchase: my advice, like others, get it over quickly and cry once. I was in and out of the shop in 20 minutes. fun fact the whole thing will fit into a midsize SUV just fine. If you are of the power lifting or physicist background, you can move these boxes by yourself with a well placed fulcrum, save yourself $100+ and move it yourself if you have the option. not much else to say here

The assembly: I have not had too much experience with other brands (none), but this was, dare I say, a pleasure to put together, reminded me of legos when you actually follow the directions. it was up and ready to go in 4 hours working alone. A word to the wise, when you attach the CI wings, find the nearest stranger or friend with dependable back and offer a beer for them to hold the wings while you install them, then offer 3 beers afterwards, these things are awkward and deceptively heavy. Also, when attaching the tube the fence slides on, the instructions state that the tube is slippery and to use caution, THIS IS NOT AN UNDERSTATEMENT. mine cough slipped, lucky I had Styrofoam under it so no damage done. Finally, denatured alcohol will take care of the CI and make it look like you would rather not make cuts to keep the surface as beautiful as it was in that moment.
: its a table saw with a 1.75 HP motor, it does what you expect. yes it bogs down with 12/4 hard woods, this thing isn’t magic, its a saw with an insurance policy. on a personal opinion note, I love using the saw it is a pleasure and everything was within ”.002 out of the box so my adjustments were minimal. the stock blade is alright, though I agree with other reviews, the main purpose for that blade seems to be cutting hotdogs and setting off the cartridge. change it when you can. the dust shroud will be useful, when I get a dust extractor, so far the floor is a great dust collection system. The saw has, no detectable vibration under load or at idle.

Safety: No, I have not set off the cartridge, I am not made of money (especially after this steep price tag). I treat it as if it didn’t have the safety system and keep table saw safety at the forefront of my mind for every cut, I have a respect for that kind of power and I will not become complacent, I am not naive to think this thing is the safest machine in my shop, for that I turn to my trusty broom (which has been getting a lot more use).

additional information: we are still in a state of flux when it comes to our residence, the contractor saw was chosen for the “ease” of future transport, it will still be a pain in my rear, but more manageable than the PCS. additionally, if i want more power I saw some plans for installing a 3hp motor somewhere down the road after the warranty runs out.

Summary in stars and short description: Purchasing: 3 star. despite the steep price tag, everything went smoothly. the stock stamped wings should not be used, nor the stock fence, I dont see why these are still options, money gouging Assembly: 5 star. I still love legos apparently. Use: 4 star. It is a 1.75hp its not magic, but it gets the job done. Safety: 5 star: not idiot proof, but the best insurance policy I can find

- easy to assemble
- runs on 110V
- the hands and fingers of myself and others are safer.
- low to no vibration
- updated fence and cast iron wings are excellent (also a con)
- (personal opinion): it makes me happy to use

- price
- the grief I will receive in the comments section
- stock options are quite disappointing on a saw this price, leading to the need for upgrades.

I would recommend this saw to anyone in a heartbeat, I would also make sure that they understood that this is not a replacement for common sense.

View Elwyn24601's profile


15 posts in 1215 days

9 comments so far

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 3666 days

#1 posted 04-07-2017 07:54 PM

Nice review, having never seen one up close I have to ask, is the motor contained under the table or does it hang out the back?

View runswithscissors's profile


3105 posts in 2826 days

#2 posted 04-07-2017 10:24 PM

Just a comment about kickback. The SawStop technology has nothing to do with kickback. That occurs either when reaction wood pinches closed on the blade, or when the wood contacts the back, up-rising teeth of the blade.

A riving knife or splitter are for kickback prevention. You saw, of course, came with those. I am not a fan of anti-kickback teeth or spurs, however. They can scratch the surface of the wood, and the ones I’ve seen look too flimsy to stop a really serious kickback.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View map's profile


98 posts in 4314 days

#3 posted 04-08-2017 01:40 AM

Add about 50 years and you get this day job engineer. Even though I have been playing with saws for many years, the LOML suggested that I get a sawstop (never sure when to take such things as an insult). I find your review to be almost spot on. I would be most interested to hear why you find the wings and fence to be problematic. From what I can tell, the contractor and professional versions have basically the same components. I’ve not found a significant problem with mine. That said, thanks for an informative review.


-- measure once, cut once, swear, start over

View johnstoneb's profile


3146 posts in 2973 days

#4 posted 04-08-2017 01:46 AM

Nice review. You just saved me writing one. Your experience is just about the same as mine. I’ve had mine for 2 years now and with a sharp blade have no problems cutting 8/4 hardwood.
It makes me happy to use it also.

The motor hangs out the back.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Markmh1's profile


115 posts in 1244 days

#5 posted 04-08-2017 02:18 PM

I’m not going to make any smart comments about a Sawstop.

I bought a 3HP PCS and didn’t really investigate the safety feature. I bought the saw for how well it was made, it really is a nice saw.

After I had it for a while, my wife asked, “Is that what you bought?”, and she thought it was a great idea. In conversation my doctor even knew about the safety feature. It seems everyone knew more about the safety feature than I did.

In my defense, I never paid any real attention to the feature because I figured it was a gimmick. If you had an accident, who are you going to call or sue to get your fingers back?

Welcome to the family. Use your saw in good health.


View Elwyn24601's profile


15 posts in 1215 days

#6 posted 04-10-2017 11:59 AM

runswithscissors: thank you for the concern, I have a healthy respect (border line fear) of kickback. I had a buddy in high school experience a particularly bad kickback that resulted in his spleen getting ruptured. feather boards, board buddies and keeping myself out of the line of fire have been keeping the risk to a minimum.

map: I found the fence and wings that come as stock options to be lack luster for the price. wings: I have no problem with stamped steel, I did have a problem with the obscene logo stamped in them resulting in a surface that is more prone to inconsistent thermal expansion. Fence: the stock fence would be quite similar to the Ridgid 4512, an okay fence for the rigid price point, but less than acceptable for this price point, even with the technology taken into account. the stock fence felt too light weigh and locked in both front and back making the likelyhoold of locking out of square more probable. Please take this with a grain of salt as this is just extrapolating what I know about that style of fence, these thoughts are not based on empirical data.

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1541 days

#7 posted 04-10-2017 12:55 PM

Elwyn, thanks for the informative and rather unbiased review. And also, welcome to LJ’s, and back into woodworking!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View CyberDyneSystems's profile


306 posts in 2989 days

#8 posted 04-10-2017 09:23 PM

Hi Elwyn, welcome to LumberJocks.

You chose wisely. The SawStops are very well made, and if kids will be involved, (let alone your own well being) it’s the only way to go IMHO.

P.S. I noticed you mentioned StageCraft. :)

I am the tech director and instructor of StageCraft @ the U of R.I. and needless to say when our old Unisaw died some years ago, we got the SawStop in the shop. We have never had a student accident, nor have we triggered the brake “the hard way” ( I teach them how to use a tablesaw to avoid injury ) but I feel much more confident introducing young minds and hands to a 5HP tablesaw knowing the brake is there.

Fence: I love the “Beisemeyer” copy that came with the ICS,. they are made better than the current real thing. Maybe yours his defective?

Kickback: The ICS comes with an excellent riving knife, and the guard/splitter assembly. With the easy (fast) swapping of these, we NEVER have reason to run the saw without one or the other installed. ZERO kickback incidents to date..

BLADE: Do yourself a favor, in addition to whatever blade/s you fancy yourself needing, get a dedicated 24/25 tooth rip blade. Nothing makes a saw cut better than the right blade for the right job. In my shop we are ripping more than any other task, and using the right blade makes a huge difference. The included 40 tooth blade would be fine for non critical finish cross cuts or plywood.

-- Without the wood, it's just working

View BDA's profile


2 posts in 1541 days

#9 posted 08-23-2018 03:49 AM

I’m retired and a woodworker hobbyist, nothing professional . My 30 yr old Delta / Rockwell just died and I’m in the market for a new table saw. Reflecting back on table saw experience to date I think I’ve been lucky to not have experienced a injury. I’ve always been cautious but never say never. I like other activities (bowling and golf) which become difficult if not impossible with a major hand injury. All of this input is fantastic. I’m sold on the SawStop.

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