LeeWay Workshop - Shark Guard SGK-1 with 4" port. (Rating: 5)

First things first, some full disclosure. I am a "Frequent Flyer" when it comes to Shark Guards, I am on my 3rd Shark Guard, my first was an early model with a 2" port, the second, a 10.4 (4" port model) and now the SGK-1 with 4" port. Lee Styron, the owner of The Lee Way Workshop, and maker of the Shark Guard is also a long term contributing member of one of the forums I moderate on, and Lee gave me a good discount on this buy due to the above factors. I am however not directly affiliated with the Lee Way Workshop, and aside from the discount I recieved, have no financial interest in Lee or his company. If you are interested in these guards, go to Lee's site and order one.

This review covers the Shark Guard SGK-1 4" port model for the Ryobi BT3×00 series, including the Craftsman 22811 and 21829.

I received my SGK-1 shortly after production of them began, and installed it at my earliest convenience. There were some drastic changes from the 10.4 I noted right off. For starters, the riving knife has radically changed. Instead of the simple hole arrangement that the clamp pinned through, now there are slots, the user simply backs the thumb screws off slightly, and slides the clamp back, and up to remove it for non through cuts.

The second thing I noticed was the thickness reduction in both the guard itself, and the clamp. This makes interference with the fence much less of a problem. And even with the 4" port, the new model is distinctly thinner than the old guard.

The new guard design is also set up so that the top piece can be removed, and exchanged for port pieces in the various sizes. 2.5" to 4".

After installation and upon first use, I noticed that the suction from the 4" port seems to have increased, the addition of the front roller makes easing the guard up and over the top of the workpiece. This helped keep the guard tighter around the workpiece which helps improve the dust collection, which is amazing to begin with.

The fit and finish of these guards is top notch, and unlike nearly all other guards on the market has a good solid feel to it. Like a 1950's American car sort of solid build…

The addition of the new features, that improve this guard combined with the old school top notch fit and finish will make even the cheapest table saw a real winner. There is virtually no excuse for not using a guard when you have one of these installed. So if you bypass buying one of these, and you abbreviate your digits, you only have yourself to blame…