Unisaw vs Sawstop

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Forum topic by Gator posted 10-03-2010 01:47 PM 11256 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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383 posts in 5138 days

10-03-2010 01:47 PM

I have finally decided to upgrade my table saw from the Delta Hybrid I currently have. Delta’s new unisaw is at the top of my list. I like the safety features of the sawstop for obvious reasons – (I can still count to 11 without having to remove my shoes) but does it outweight the quality of the unisaw ? I do not run a production shop, wood working is a hobby for me, but I want to ensure I buy quality products that will help me improve my skills.

Any comments would sure be appreciated.

-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

47 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4328 days

#1 posted 10-03-2010 02:24 PM

Well, I’m partial to PM, but Delta and Sawstop make good saws so I think that if you choose anyone of the three you can have a nice dependable saw that will give you many years of service. Only you can answer the question of whether or not the value of the extra safety protection of a Sawstop is the winning criteria.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View PCTNWV's profile


100 posts in 4266 days

#2 posted 10-03-2010 02:41 PM

I own a SawStop and love it. The quality of their product is excellent. The fit and finish were perfect, the tool was calibrated perfectly out of the box and it cuts like a dream. I have not used the Unisaw to compare but from reviews they seem to be very similar in features and quality. I to do this as a hobby and I love the peace of mind that comes w/ the safety features on the SawStop. I know way to many people that do this (hobby and pro) that have had accidents on the TS and when I asked them they all indicated if they had to do it over they would go w/ the SawStop. I don’t think you can go wrong either way. Good Luck and Enjoy.

-- Troy, Virginia

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 4924 days

#3 posted 10-03-2010 02:49 PM

I do not own either one of the saws. I have an older unisaw that I restored. This is one of those topics that has been discussed here ad-nauseum. If I were required to get a new saw I think it would be the Saw stop. Mainly the reason would be that if anyone ever came into the shop to use they would have an advantage of walking away with all of their digits.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their [email protected]

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1186 posts in 4527 days

#4 posted 10-03-2010 02:49 PM

I have a Unisaw which I purchased prior to the introduction of the SawStop. If I were to buy today, I would buy a SawStop. Years ago I lopped off a finger on a table saw, and so a few hundred bucks for the additional safety looks pretty cheap to me.

-- Paul Mayer,

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5284 days

#5 posted 10-03-2010 03:34 PM

Gator, I agree with Helluvawreck’s comment about this largely being a personal decision. I enjoy Powermatic tools but opted for a Sawstop over a PM2000. I seriously considered all three- PM2000, Unisaw and Sawstop- when I decided to upgrade my contractor saw. I chose the Sawstop largely for the safety brake since the overall quality and reliability of the three saws are virtually a dead heat. All three are top quality saws and you can’t go wrong with whatever decision you make.

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

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 4828 days

#6 posted 10-03-2010 06:27 PM

I also own the SawStop and love it. I also got down to the Unisa.PM2000, and the SawStop Insudtrial.

The safety features of the SawStop were a major feature in buying the SawStop but in addition, I have a small shop and the table saw needs to be mobile and the SawStop mobile base was way better than the other two.

I agree with the others in that all three are great saws and probably will out last all of us.


View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7230 posts in 4656 days

#7 posted 10-03-2010 06:31 PM

Greetings Gator,
I know nothing at all about the SawStop or the PM and other brands. I’ve got a Unisaw I bought last year, and it was my first one to ever own. It’s a 5 hp, and this puppy is a beast!!!!! There is no slowing it down, and I’ve cut 4/4, 8/4, and trimed 4” legs with no problem….The SawStop and PM both are great saws, and come highly recommended by the LJs on here. If you plan to do a lot of ww, or just ocassional things, any one of these saws will get the job done…... I’d give 5 stars to any of them…..

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 4289 days

#8 posted 10-03-2010 10:27 PM

I would go Uni. Sure the sawstop has a nice safety feature… But my philosophy is that you shouldnt rely on a safety feature, that can fail; its best to take that extra second to put that guard back on, and use that pushstick.

I dont want to sound disrespectful to those who have had life altering accidents: But, a good 75% of accidents are caused by not taking tha extra second.

Either way, all of them look nice; Griz, Delta, PM, SS, Laguna, Rikon(at one time), Jet.

You might want to take a look at alternate brands, instead of just SS and Delta. For under $3.2k, you could get a 12” Griz, a 12” Laguna(This might end up a hair more, but not by more than a hundred or so), a Jet Xacta, A G.I 10” (no, not for a colonoscopy…) and so on.. Some of these are less than that price by over a grand…. thats a few pieces of Bulabinga…:)

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View a1Jim's profile


118321 posts in 5039 days

#9 posted 10-03-2010 10:56 PM

I would go Saw Stop for sure . The idea of not relying on a safety device seems off base, does that mean you disable your air bags in your car because you think people should drive safely ? The high school shop were I teach my adult class just bought a Saw Stop and it’s one sweet saw ,great power ,super fence, great finish. Good tools cost good money. How much is a finger or a hand worth and what will the hospital bill be to reattach a finger if you fortunate enough to be able to save a finger. I know a professional woodworker with 30 plus years experience that had a terrible accident even though he was very safety conscious.


View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 4289 days

#10 posted 10-03-2010 11:14 PM

I respectfully disagree: He stated that his work isnt production; Your example of the pro, is an example of a production atmosphere.

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4948 days

#11 posted 10-03-2010 11:14 PM

I agree with others that a TS should be purchased on a bundle of merits, not just one, even if it is safety related. However, I was the recipient of a detailed side by side comparison of the new (2010) Unisaw and the cabinet 3hp Sawstop. In my opinion, the Sawstop was the better made, better quality machine, include overall fit and finish, weight and other features. It’s just one man’s opinion.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1186 posts in 4527 days

#12 posted 10-03-2010 11:21 PM

I agree with Jim. Obviously you still need to follow safety best practices, and if that device is triggered it will cost you some dough and you still could be injured. So it is just there in case all other precautions are not enough.

-- Paul Mayer,

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4636 days

#13 posted 10-03-2010 11:21 PM

My answer to the same question … posted on another site:

I’m not in a rush to get a cabinet saw, but … it’s on the short list of wants.

And—like the OP, and so many others—I’m looking at all the same issues, and the same contenders.

I’d love to hate the SS, but can’t. Period. Seems like a darned good saw.

It’s probably NOT my front runner (tends to vacillate between the Delta and the PM2000), but … nothing I’ve heard, read, or seen about it EVER drops it from contention.

Much of the decision CAN be based on the “what kind of person are you” generality. As I’m fond of saying, I’m pretty geared up, with safety stuff, when I road bike, mountain bike, and ride my dual-sport motorcycle.

I put ALL the burden of safety on ME, in an “active” sense, but take pretty good advantage of many of the “passive” safety devices out there.

Because … they’re out there.

If the SS were even a NOTCH worse, in overall performance, than the others, it wouldn’t be on the short list.

But … sadly … it doesn’t seem to BE a notch worse, on most fronts.

-- -- Neil

View a1Jim's profile


118321 posts in 5039 days

#14 posted 10-04-2010 12:26 AM

My example of a long time pro(not production) shows that people with tons of experience can get injured then a hobbyist is even more likely to have an injury due to their relative inexperience. As a woodworking instructor anything that has the safest approach is what I’ll always recommend. I’ve read many stories about folks that thought they were as safe or more safe than anyone else but then the post their bloody stump were a finger use to be and many times their new saw stop the had since bought after their accident. I can’t tell others what to do or what to buy,so Gator you might evaluate the experience of folks posting their recommendations and make up your own mind. Just because someone has less experience in woodworking doesn’t mean they are not entitled to an opinion but it just might not be a well informed opinion. I would just hate to have you be the next person posting one of those accident photos. No disrespect was intended to those posting opposing views.


View Paul Lajoie's profile

Paul Lajoie

141 posts in 4566 days

#15 posted 10-04-2010 12:51 AM

I’d get the SS. All the reviews I’ve seen has it equal or better than the rest, add in the safty device puts it over the top in MHO.


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