safer table saws

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Blog entry by tennesseefan posted 03-30-2008 02:57 AM 1071 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Would a tablesaw that can tell that your finger got caught or cut be a good investment

-- Can't is not a word

14 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4332 days

#1 posted 03-30-2008 03:12 AM

Sawstop makes an excellent table saw. It is pricey but it is a beautiful machine and its cost is more than justified when balanced against a severed finger or hand or emergency room trip. If you look in the review posting has posted a review of one.

The only downside to the machine is that if the brake does trip then it has to be replaced along with the blade which is destroyed. But this is a cheap price to pay for the difference between a few stitches and a lost finger.

Hope this helps.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View sjdickey's profile


64 posts in 4309 days

#2 posted 03-30-2008 03:34 AM

Fine Woodworking just did a review as well.

Now is the time to ask the LOML how important she thinks MY fingers are. :)

View Phildo92027's profile


53 posts in 4310 days

#3 posted 03-30-2008 03:45 AM

I purchased a 5hp Saw Stop last summer. It is by far the finest table saw I’ve ever used. They have an offer that if you trip the cartridge (by accident or by safety) and send them the cartridge and a description of how it occurred they will send you a new cartridge at no cost. This doesn’t replace your blade, but it does save you 90 bucks.

-- Phil, Near San Diego, CA

View sdmarcotte's profile


16 posts in 4220 days

#4 posted 03-30-2008 04:56 AM

I can give you 10 reasons why this is a good idea. If I had the money I would get a SawStop.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4499 days

#5 posted 03-30-2008 05:09 AM

Depends on how much you value your fingers.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4636 days

#6 posted 03-30-2008 06:35 AM

My dad wishes he’d had one. If I get a tablesaw (which I doubt I will, I’m rather enamored of the saw on the rail concept) it’ll be a SawStop.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4284 days

#7 posted 03-30-2008 08:37 AM

Sawstop is the only way to go if you can afford it. OR Can you afford not to get it.

Sawstop = $3270
Powesmatic 66 = $2250
Delta = $1900
Amputation of finger = Over $1370
Pain & Suffering = Free

These were the average prices in 2006 on cabinet saws. There is about a $1000 to $1370 difference

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4385 days

#8 posted 03-30-2008 11:42 AM

If you don’t get a sawstop make sure you treat it with the respect and attention to safety it deserves.

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4716 days

#9 posted 03-30-2008 01:57 PM

Hello Ian;
—-and if you do get a sawstop, make sure you treat it with respect, an understanding of your surroundings with regards to frame of mind and a reverence to the safety it deserves, as this aspect of woodworking will follow over to all the other tools you use.

”….work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood….”

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View tennesseefan's profile


21 posts in 4234 days

#10 posted 03-30-2008 02:57 PM

Thanks for all of your help

-- Can't is not a word

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4309 days

#11 posted 03-30-2008 03:39 PM

I think that safe woodworking practices are easier to use and safer than any safety device. I think that the sawstop is a good saw but not worth the price. Never work without a clear head, a clear plan, and proper safety precautions. If you have all of this, save your money for other things.

-- making sawdust....

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4281 days

#12 posted 03-30-2008 06:17 PM

Hello all,
First off, I’d like to say that SawStop looks like a fine product. I say “looks” since I’ve only seen the videos of the safety systems and have not had the chance to use the saw. Assuming that its cutting ability, accuracy and durability are on par with its contemporaries, and you wish to part with the extra money, I’d say buy it. Every product has its strengths and those of the Sawstop are its safety mechanism and from a marketing point of view it is an easy pitch to make with the consequences of not buying being mutilated body parts. Scare tactics are very effective in selling safety products, but is it the most cost effective means to ensure your safety in the shop? I think not.
Lets face it, the shop can be a very dangerous place if due care is not taken. Working tired, sick, stressed and under a deadline, on machines that are not properly maintained, etc… raise the odds that something can happen. You are supposed to be the sharpest (read smartest) tool in the shed and it is your responsibility to do things as safely as your comfort level allows. I believe if you are not comfortable in using a conventional tablesaw with standard features, buying a Sawstop not only takes more money from you, it provides a false sence of security that you become dependant on.
Supervising many students at the college shop, I’ve seen many stupid accidents that could have been avoided. (Thank God, not on the table saw) While students go through required safety courses and instruction on equipment, ignorance, complacency and sometimes stupidity prevail. From a student that cuts off the tip of his finger on a band saw, to the student that gives herself a bad manicure with a sharp chisel because she could not bother to learn to use a clamp on her workpiece.
Not just the table saw, but everything in the shop has the potential to do nasty things to your fingers, hands, (insert your favorite body part here), etc… The only surefire way to protect yourself is to not go into the shop. The next best thing is to be the sharpest tool in the shed and develop a safe working practice. Remember, machines break down, tools wear out and break and most of all, $#!t happens. Don’t put yourself in a position that your health and safety have depend on the feature of some product.

Stay safe, learn from others & make wonreful things.


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4636 days

#13 posted 03-31-2008 05:29 PM

I understand Tom and Frank, and I have personal reasons to know that you can work around power tools for half a century before getting distracted that once and having trouble typing for the rest of your life, but I don’t understand motthunter’s complaint about the price: The SawStop costs a few hundred, but not that many more hundred, over an equivalent good saw. No, not a Craftsman contractor’s saw you picked up on special, but a decent tool that you can expect to use quite a bit, that’ll need a minimum of .re-adjustment and alignment over the lifetime of the tool, and that’ll last for a while.

I don’t know about everyone else, but retail prices for lumber in my area run from $4/bf for utility oak to $20/bf for the more exotic stuff. I’m just a hobbyist, but it doesn’t take much materials cost at all to blow through that price difference on a capital investment, add in consumables (yesterday afternoon we probably went through a couple of bucks in sandpaper alone) and I fail to see how the few hundred bucks extra you’re spending for the saw is any different from making sure you’ve got good goggles, hearing and breathing protection.

Yeah, you could do good work without all those things, but in the grand scheme they’re so cheap that why would you bother?

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Charles Mullins's profile

Charles Mullins

94 posts in 4222 days

#14 posted 03-31-2008 06:15 PM

My reduced ability to play the mandolin is a strong statement FOR the Sawstop. I lost my left index finger tip from a kickback on a table saw. I can still play but with only two and sometimes three fingers.

I know the cost is painful but get one if you can.

Charlie Mullins in Fayetteville Tn.

-- God makes the wood beautiful--I simply rearrange it to make it more useful, hopefully.

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