Used sawstop question

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Forum topic by bline22 posted 10-12-2016 04:26 PM 3193 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 3993 days

10-12-2016 04:26 PM


I have been keeping an eye out for a used sawstop and one showed up recently on our local classifieds and has been there for about 3 weeks now. Model: ICS31230 which they said is a few years old and i assume in good shape. He did mention that the safety mechanism had been tripped more then once which was a little concerning as I don’t know if they are false positives or just that careless. Not sure how hard that is on the saw?

I don’t get to do as much in my shop as I like but i anticipate as the family grows the more time I will have. I have been dreaming a bit about the pcs model as I couldn’t justify the ics price. They are asking 3k currently which seems really high and I could get the pcs model new for less.

Wondering peoples thoughts? What should one look for if it becomes attractive that would a telltale sign of skipping or buying the unit?

Thanks for the help.

24 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1259 posts in 3328 days

#1 posted 10-12-2016 04:56 PM

False positives are very rare. Likely it was either metal in the wood completing the trip circuit, wet wood, or other materials causing it to go off. It isn’t supposed to be very hard on the saw. The local rockler has one they do demos on several times per year. He claims it has been set off hundreds of times. They still use it for their classes and workshops and it seems fine.

The ICS is a east of a saw. If there is no rust, the cabinet and surfaces have normal wear, it’s probably fine. If it is mising pieces or looks to have been obviously abused then skip it.

My new PCS 3hp with 36” Rails and ICS base cost about 3300 total. For 3 k you’d be getting an even beefier saw. Not sure which fence it has or if it has the mobile base, but it doesn’t seem like a bad price if it is in good condition.

Whatever you decide, the SS is a super fine, high end machine. Worth the price, IMO.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8852 posts in 3532 days

#2 posted 10-12-2016 05:15 PM

has been there for about 3 weeks now.

There is your clue.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7354 posts in 3827 days

#3 posted 10-12-2016 05:16 PM

The ICS is so heavily built that tripping the circuit isn’t a problem. I’d bet it was just careless/thoughtless actions like Brian mentioned. $3000 is a fairly high price (to me) and they may come down. Scratch that price too high comment, those saws sell for $4350 new, so I guess I don’t think the price is too far out of line. Maybe you could offer less. The overall condition of the saw should tell you a lot about it. It’s pretty hard to damage them, try some test cuts, make sure they have all the stuff that came with it, and make oyour decision.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View moke's profile


2123 posts in 4110 days

#4 posted 10-12-2016 05:24 PM

+1 with Fred….3000 is high…you could buy a new PCS for that or close to it…..
If it has a wheel set, the ICS wheel set is much better than the PCS though, and pricier too….
Good luck let us know what you decide.

-- Mike

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1925 days

#5 posted 10-12-2016 06:53 PM

+1 with Fred….3000 is high…you could buy a new PCS for that or close to it…..
If it has a wheel set, the ICS wheel set is much better than the PCS though, and pricier too….
Good luck let us know what you decide.

- moke

There is difference between PCS and ICS, no ? New ICS costs $4,349.00, New PCS $3,249.00.
Plus you most probably have to pay sales tax on top of it.
For $3000 you can only buy some 1.75 HP version or a 3HP with a crippled fence.
Plus if I am not mistaken the saw comes with some very nice rollers. The price seems to be reasonable.

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 4470 days

#6 posted 10-12-2016 07:39 PM

If the saw has been used full time in a production shop for years I might be concerned about wear and tear. If it has gotten more occasional use and everything is in good working condition I would guess that it is likely to work well for quite a few more years.

However, i recommend you get the serial number from the saw and contact Saw Stop to verify what vintage of blade brake cartridge the saw requires. If it is not the current version ask them about future availability and understand that your local stores might not stock them. This wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me, but it might be a bit of extra hassle.

3 HP motors can still use a plug, but at some point (I thought it was 5 HP) the motor must be hard-wired to a dedicated circuit. That would be extra hassle too.

The ICS is a more capable saw than the PCS, although for an awful lot of work you won’t notice the difference, provided you add good outfeed support to the PCS. OTOH a well maintained machine that is 5 or 10 years old will probably work just as well as one that is brand new.

-- Greg D.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7354 posts in 3827 days

#7 posted 10-12-2016 08:14 PM

The ICS is quite a bit beefier than the PCS, check the weight difference. The table on the ICS is deeper, and most of the internals are more robust. Not knocking the PCS, truth is either would serve any hobbyist very well.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 2235 days

#8 posted 10-12-2016 08:24 PM

Why are they selling it? The answer to that question could give you some hints.

View clin's profile


1128 posts in 2329 days

#9 posted 10-12-2016 10:51 PM

If you want or need the extra beefiness of the ICS, then this sounds like a good/fair deal. Again assuming it’s in good condition and you get the accessories you would expect, like the fence. Which should be the T-Glide (good one), since the ICS is only sold with that fence.

If you don’t need that extra industrial capacity (heavier duty build), I’d get a new PCS. You will get a warranty, know you’ve got the latest, and have confidence it has never been abused or simply used a lot. In this case, the used ICS is a 3 HP and you can get a new PCS 3 HP, 36”, with ICS base for about $3,200.

I good or fair deal on a saw that is more than you need, really isn’t a good deal, for you. And a PCS is a pretty heavy duty machine itself. Remember the I in ICS stands for industrial.

A 3 HP PCS is a great saw (plenty beefy for a hobbiest) and you want the T-Glide fence, which I think is standard on the 3 HP, 36” and larger versions. Still get the ICS mobile base with PCS adapter. All 4 casters swivel, so it is much more maneuverable. Though a $130 more expensive.

As far as a used saw and being triggered, I think that is a non-issue. It likely was mistakes by the user. I once moved my large, metal miter gauge to the other slot and then tried to cut through it. The brake firing was no big deal. Wasn’t even very loud. It was more like I knew something happened, but it took several seconds to figure out the blade just disappeared, and a few more to realize I just fired the brake. It was not dramatic, at all.

Point is, it did NOT seem mechanically violent. I think the nature of how they do this, is the energy of the spinning blade gets redirected into dropping the blade, then into the crushing of the aluminum block of the brake. I don’t think a lot of the impact is absorbed by the bearings and other parts of the saw.

Bottom line, I’d get a new PCS for similar amount of $$$, unless I really needed or wanted an ICS.

This I suspect may be why this saw is still around after 3 weeks. Might be a good/fair deal, but only if you really need it. Of course, just because they are asking $3k, doesn’t mean you can’t offer less. And ICS in good shape for say $2,500 would be hard to pass up.

-- Clin

View bline22's profile


27 posts in 3993 days

#10 posted 10-13-2016 11:13 PM

Wow everyone thanks so much for your comments. I really appreciate it and hadn’t thought i would get this many so quickly.

I sent the seller a note asking for the SN. I hadn’t thought about the safety mechanism and being able to get a replacement if something were to happen to it. I haven’t heard back yet however. Also, doesn’t seem to be any wheels which might be nice as i do move my current saw around a bit from time to time as spaces needs present themselves. I would have to likely add that on. my garage isn’t huge about a 18×20

I don’t have easy accessibility to go and take a look at it as I am a good hour away from there location so haven’t made the trip over to look at it.

I am sort of thinking that even for 3k would i be better off getting the pcs for the same or slightly more knowing it is new. I haven’t used anything besides my little jet jwts-10j which works mostly fine for what i have done thus far. The piece of mind of the safety system would be very nice.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7354 posts in 3827 days

#11 posted 10-14-2016 11:16 AM

I can tell you from firsthand experience that at least at the moment, you don’t have to worry about repair parts for any SS product. That is true even if you buy a used saw. Their CS is not only first rate, but prompt and personal. As for the wheels, the ICS has a mobile base made for it that is very expensive ($300) but in my opinion sets a new standard for mobile bases to copy. The base actually works with a hydraulic jack to lift the saw up, and it has 4 swivel casters making movement very easy. Even should you choose to buy a PCS I suggest you get the ICS mobile base )it comes with pieces to make it fit the PCS.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 3444 days

#12 posted 10-14-2016 11:39 AM

There is difference between PCS and ICS, no ? New ICS costs $4,349.00, New PCS $3,249.00.

Huge difference between the two…

I’ve owned an ICS for about 5 years and have used several other examples of ICS. Two of the other examples went into service in a busy school ~ 2006. They’re built like tanks. I know of zero failures or defects in the five I’ve used. All of the school saws have been tripped, by newbies, as well as a 30+ year experienced pro teacher. Other than the cartridge, the saw can be tripped over and over without damage.

With accessories and tax, my 3HP 52” ICS was $4646.47, back in 2010. If it were destroyed in a calamity tomorrow, I’d pay $3k for a good used example to replace it, I would not buy a PCS just because it’s newer.

View bonesbr549's profile


1589 posts in 4400 days

#13 posted 10-14-2016 01:09 PM

I have the 5hp ICS and yes there is a big diff. I looked for a long long time for used and its rare to see a ICS used. Get the SN call sawswtop get the details they will have any service work record. If in good shape and not apubsed and you can tell. I’d paid 3k in a flash. I’m shocked its still there.

I paid well over 4k for mine

Its heavier bigger not the same as a PCS (PCS is a fine saw too)

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4911 days

#14 posted 10-14-2016 01:33 PM

I have used both also and found them to both to be good saws but the ICS is the only saw I’ve used that I thought compared and excelled my Powermatic 66 all though an older model the true gold standard in table saws in my opinion .


View bline22's profile


27 posts in 3993 days

#15 posted 10-17-2016 01:11 PM

seems the SN request question was a bit to much as the party wont respond any longer.

probably for the best.

I am curious though for future reference, are the cartridges very different between machines such as this one being a couple of years old?

Those who have one of these that are a few years old are you buying the mechanism to replace to have laying around if you do trigger it so that the saw doesn’t obsolete over night?

My hope would be with this that I have this for many many years.

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

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