Saw Stop Question

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Forum topic by Glen Simpson posted 10-29-2010 11:53 PM 4892 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Glen Simpson

25 posts in 4662 days

10-29-2010 11:53 PM

I was just curious, is there any reason that the blade needs to be destroyed (along with the cartridge) in this machine? If the blade drops below the table that fast why not just let it drop and then apply a brake to slow down the blade once it is clear?

-- Glen Making sawdust in Alamo, CA

27 replies so far

View ChrisForthofer's profile


150 posts in 4143 days

#1 posted 10-29-2010 11:58 PM

As I understand the tech used in the saw stop its the inertia of the blade being stopped that pulls it below the table so quickly. They are not a separate function from what i have seen. That being said, I dont own one but thats what I have gleaned from watching several videos.


-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 4534 days

#2 posted 10-30-2010 12:00 AM

I suppose if the blade catches clothing or even your hand depending on the reaction, it could possibly pull something into the blade. I guess it would prevent as much damage as possible.

-- San Diego, CA

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4150 days

#3 posted 10-30-2010 12:00 AM

It is by throwing the clutch/cartridge into the blade that they get the speed and force to lower the blade so quickly.

Perhaps there will be better technology at some time but that is the state of the art right now.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Justin's profile


119 posts in 4045 days

#4 posted 10-30-2010 12:46 AM

We have a SawStop at the collage i am currently going to and its a very nice saw. Here is a link to how the SawStop works, i could try to explain it but the video does a good job of it. I hope that helps

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 4430 days

#5 posted 10-30-2010 12:48 AM

The blade is not actually destroyed per say. As others have mentioned the machine throws the break at the blade. The momentum of the rotating blade has to go somewhere so that’s what throws the entire thing below the table top. If you can dislodge the saw from the brake you can in some cases get the blade repaired. I’m not sure how much success you would have with that. I think I’d rather replace the blade then worry about a tooth flying off it that was somehow reattached (brazed back on?)

View JasonWagner's profile


566 posts in 4256 days

#6 posted 10-30-2010 01:11 AM

I agree with what has been said about why the blade dives when the brake is applied, it’s the transfer of energy. I always thought I could care less to replace even the best Forrest blade and the brake assembly if I actually ever triggered the mechanism…which I would hope would never be tested. I don’t worry about the dust from the air bags in my car messing up the upholstery if they were to go off.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 4644 days

#7 posted 10-30-2010 02:43 AM

I’m with Will – after spending the money on a Saw stop to save your fingers, why cheap out and put your eyes at risk with a (unprofessionally) repaired blade?

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View PCTNWV's profile


100 posts in 3880 days

#8 posted 10-30-2010 02:48 AM

I own a SawStop and have fired the brake. The descriptions of how this work (video link provided is the best description) is how I understand the system works as well. The blade may or may not be destroyed as some have stated above it just depends on the quality of the blade. I was using a Forrest Woodworker II and after calling SawStop and Forrest they both recommended I send the blade into Forrest for review (they indicated that many can be saved). Getting the blade loose from the brake does take a little effort but it is aluminum and has some give. Once I had it out off it went to Forrest. They checked it out and other than a sharpening all was well. They sent it back and it works w/o a problem. Based on my discussion w/ Forrest they are able to save most of their blades in this situation.

However, I would not use any blade after it had engaged the brake unless it as checked out fully! The folks at Forrest are very experienced and indicated that if they felt there were any issues w/ the blade they would not have sent it back for usage.

-- Troy, Virginia

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4270 days

#9 posted 10-30-2010 02:56 AM

Don’t ask me this question….I don’t own one.. You need to ask Crushgroovin for his opinion.

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

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7163 posts in 4270 days

#10 posted 10-30-2010 03:00 AM

Ok….. nuff said…

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

View Glen Simpson's profile

Glen Simpson

25 posts in 4662 days

#11 posted 10-30-2010 03:07 AM

Didn’t mean to ruffle any feathers, and thank you all for the replies. I don’t own one, and have no real desire to purchase one, as I am relatively happy with the saw I own. I was just trying to figure out what is the deal with the blade having to be jammed into the brake. I just had the impression that the system worked in reverse, that the blade dropped into the cabinet and then into the brake. I probably should have done more homework, and I now return you all to our scheduled program, already in progress.

-- Glen Making sawdust in Alamo, CA

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4898 days

#12 posted 10-30-2010 04:06 AM

I will agree with Troy’s comment. I triggered the brake on my Forrest dado set when I hit a brad while making a test cut. Naturally I assumed that the entire set was trashed. But when I disassembled the stack and the brake I only had two chippers that were bent. Forrest repaired and sharpened the set and it is as good as new.

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

View surfin2's profile


51275 posts in 4212 days

#13 posted 10-30-2010 08:03 AM

When can I see in real time (not in slow motion) someone pushing a hot dog toward the saw blade…

Was Roy suppose to impress me…

He does everything else super fast…

-- Rick

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 4525 days

#14 posted 10-30-2010 10:51 AM

I would guess that selling brake cartridges is very lucrative for Sawstop and that there is more profit in that than the saws themselves. How many hundreds or thousands of tests and demos have been done and each one requires a new cartridge.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4135 days

#15 posted 10-30-2010 12:05 PM

I watched a video of the President of Saw Stop actually testing the mechanism, not with a hot dog, not with a chicken leg, but with his own finger. He only had a very tiny little nick on his finger. Now that is a guy that believes in his product. That was very impressive to me and is enough to cause me to be seriously interested in buying one of these saws. I never thought about the mechanism being triggered by a small brad or some other piece of metal in the wood. That does cause me some questions. I often cut aluminum, brass and other soft non-ferrous metals on my table saw. They may be non-ferrous, but they still will conduct electricity, and would likely set off the mechanism.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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