GRR-Ripper Versus the Saw Stop Table Saw When It Comes To Safety.

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Forum topic by Blackie_ posted 01-15-2015 03:02 PM 5975 views 0 times favorited 52 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4883 posts in 3323 days

01-15-2015 03:02 PM

An odd question but I’d like to know if I’m in the ballpark?

I just purchased the Gripper(TM) 200 Advanced System a week or two ago and have yet to use it so after reading the comments and the reviews on the safety factor this jig provides can I assume that it’s a substitute with a much lower cost over purchasing the saw stop table saw? One of my main objectives was safety and avoiding the expense of a new saw stop table saw, I so happen to use very expensive saw blades over the $130.00 mark and just can’t fathom them being destroyed in a block of metal or aluminum.

My main focus is small box building so I’m never really cutting anything of large.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

52 replies so far

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Monte Pittman

30564 posts in 3148 days

#1 posted 01-15-2015 03:15 PM

This will be an interesting topic. I have been considering the same thing.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3252 days

#2 posted 01-15-2015 03:33 PM

Full disclosure – I’m a SawStop owner… (and a multiple-Gripper owner)

Personally, I don’t see how a Gripper is any more of a substitute for blade breaking technology (be with what SS uses or what someone else may potentially come out with) that a push stick or a cross-cut sled. They all add an additional layer of safety, but they do different things in different ways. If you’re using a SawStop with a Gripper it stands to reason that because you’re using two different safety devices than if you used a Gripper in a traditional table saw. The same logic would apply to using a Gripper on a saw with a riving knife than a saw without the riving knife. Both do different things in different ways, but using the Gripper with riving knife would lower the chances (not eliminate mind you) the chances for injury than just the Gripper alone.

Personally, I don’t at all consider the SawStop technology to be an essential safety device, but just an additional layer of protection. I always approach my cuts as if I didn’t have it. Some sort of push stick, however, I do consider to be a requirement.

As far as buying your nice blade into a cartridge, I’m certainly in the same boat. I don’t want to lose my blade to a cartridge, but if the cartridge were to fire, I’d much rather have lessened the risk of losing my finger to the blade in exchange for the losing the blade to the cartridge. A few things to keep in mind though, the Gripper does have some metallic parts in it, but in order for something to set off the cartridge in the SS, it’s got to sense a difference in capacitance, which wouldn’t happen unless you’re directly touching the metallic part you’re cutting through. By holding the Gripper’s plastic handle, it can’t sense that.

I’m sure this will end up being a contentious subject, but my opinion is that the SawStop technology is purely a nice-to-have, but all things being equal, I’d much rather have it than not have it. Regardless of what tablesaw you get, I wholeheartedly recommend a Gripper (or two if you’re going to be doing ripping). I’d make my SawStop decision completely independent of that if I were you.

View wbrisett's profile


205 posts in 3159 days

#3 posted 01-15-2015 03:39 PM

I won’t go into the is it a replacement, because they aren’t really the same thing are they? ;) I mean, the Gripper isn’t going to stop my finger from getting sliced off if I do something foolish. However, I’ve been using the Gripper system from close to 8 or 9 years now. I find they do exactly what they promise. The gripper system enables you to work much safer because you can control both parts of the wood (if needed), you have a way to stabilize via the ‘leg’ a way to control the height of the gripper which I find invaluable.

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3643 days

#4 posted 01-15-2015 03:56 PM

I’m a huge fan of the Gripper too, I’ll get one when I get a new TS (toasted the motor on the current one, crap entry level contractor saw). I see it as THE safety device, I really don’t get the point of that stupid a$$ sawstop bizness, if not to bring money to some dude that invented it and that paid the govt to make it a requirement. I really hate that kind of behavior.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View knotscott's profile (online now)


8382 posts in 4186 days

#5 posted 01-15-2015 04:04 PM

I like the Gripper quite a bit, but I have on occasion sliced it a bit with the blade by not positioning it properly. I can envision a situation where the Gripper gets launched if I really goofed things up, which could result in your hand still be being thrown into the blade. I think the Gripper offers improved safety over a push stick for sure, but doesn’t lessen the severity of an injury in the event things got seriously out of control.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View socrbent's profile


1014 posts in 3080 days

#6 posted 01-15-2015 04:05 PM

Blackie, I also have a Saw Stop and agree with gtbuzz that these two items are separate parts of addressing table saw safety. Re saw blade – in early December I caused the safety mech to fire by foolishly trying to brush saw dust away after a cut, brushing the side of my right hand little finger on the blade. Result was a tiny nick that did not bleed.
Saw Stop replaced the cartridge for free. The Forest Woodworker II blade was slightly embedded in the cartridge and came free with no apparent damage.
Shipped blade to Forest. They examined, realigned blade and resharpened for about $55. Having used the blade for about 3 years the resharpening was probably due anyway. Got blade back and it works like a charm. So in my case the blade was not destroyed. My guess is quality blades may fair better when the saw fires. At least it did so in my single case.
When I bought the saw the safety feature was important, Since then the quality of the SS saw has been much appreciated.
I’d would like to hear from those with Grippers as to when this device is useful and how they feel about the additional safety.

-- socrbent Ohio

View bondogaposis's profile


5807 posts in 3162 days

#7 posted 01-15-2015 04:13 PM

The two things are not really comparable. The Gripper is not going to stop a saw blade from cutting you, and even w/ a Sawstop table saw you are going to need push blocks of some kind. How about a Sawstop and the Gripper together?

My main focus is small box building so I’m never really cutting anything of large

I think that cutting small parts is the most dangerous operation on a table saw. The likely hood of kickback is far greater w/ small parts.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3946 days

#8 posted 01-15-2015 04:51 PM

+1 on what wbrisett said.

I have a Saw Stop PCS. I use the blade guard whenever possible. Even so I use Grripers or push blocks for almost all rip cuts. With a lubricated table top I get better control and better cuts with good push blocks AND they provide a significant additional safety factor. Push sticks kinda scare me – no control over the far side of the work piece.

Buy two Grrippers. Also get a pair of Bench Dog push blocks; they are even grippier and work better for larger pieces. Use a saw with a blade guard and riving knife that work well enough so it is practical to use them – and then use them. Clean and lubricate the top. Use an outfeed table so work slides easily through and clear of the blade with no effort from you needed to keep it from falling on the floor.

-- Greg D.

View socrbent's profile


1014 posts in 3080 days

#9 posted 01-15-2015 05:35 PM

Greg, why do you advocate 2 grippers?

-- socrbent Ohio

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3252 days

#10 posted 01-15-2015 05:41 PM

Greg, why do you advocate 2 grippers?

- socrbent

For me, the reason is that for longer stock, you can use them in-line with each other. When the leading Gripper passes by the blade, you can pull it away and move it to the back of the stock while the second Gripper can either just hold the stock or continue feeding. If you only had a single Gripper, you’d have to stop feeding the stock and reposition it back in front of the blade to resume feeding. This could potentially help with burning by minimizing the amount of time the stock is stationary in front of the blade, but more importantly, you’ve always got control of the workpiece.

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3946 days

#11 posted 01-15-2015 05:47 PM

what gtbuzz said

-- Greg D.

View DocSavage45's profile


9009 posts in 3653 days

#12 posted 01-15-2015 06:01 PM

I know how the saw stop works now! Thanks. What is the gripping surface of a gripper made of?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3881 days

#13 posted 01-15-2015 06:01 PM

SawStop’s brake system is a failsafe, not an excuse to eschew safe practices and other safety devices.

I have a GRR-Ripper and a SawStop, and I consider the GRR-Ripper (or any push block/shoe/stick) as part of my first line of defense. I’d rather chew up a piece of wood or plastic (even a $70 one) than have to repair or replace a $100 saw blade or face the 1 in a million chance that the brake system will fail.

That said, if you’re just building boxes, there are jigs, fixtures, and sleds that can provide more safety than a GRR-Ripper in some cases.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6327 posts in 3304 days

#14 posted 01-15-2015 06:11 PM

It would be hard to improve on gtbuzz said….I can only suggest reading it twice. You really are looking at incomparable points (as some many have pointed out).

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

View JKMDETAIL's profile


221 posts in 2465 days

#15 posted 01-15-2015 06:17 PM

I do not have either. Love the concept behind both and hope to progress to both. I do agree completely with Rob. I am concerned reading some of the comments over the internet that some folk feel like a teenager (invincible). It is just another tool, treat it with respect, it can hurt you.

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