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Thread: Does anyone have a SawStop.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Southeast Pa
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    Does anyone have a SawStop.

    I am just wondering if anyone in this group uses a Sawstop table saw. I am approaching retirement and would like to do some more woodworking then. Knowing that my former shop teacher, my brother and my Dad all had serious accidents with power saws I have been giving serious consideration to a Sawstop.

    Now neither my brother nor my Dad were using a table saw but my brother was using a RAS while my Dads injury was caused by a circular saw blade guard failure. I am not sure what my former shop teacher was using. So I am always worried most every time I use my Delta contractor table saw or my Shop Smith. So for piece of mind I have considering this high priced safety unit for piece of mind. I realize my router, jointer and all most every tool I have can nail me but the saws seem to have a special effect and there is something available to relieve that somewhat.

    I also wonder if it would tend to make one to comfortable and more prone to mistakes..

    Any thoughts on this.

    Thanks
    Garry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ozarks
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    garry,
    if buying a sawstop will give you peace of mind while working then by all means go for it! i`ve never driven one but have heard that they`re well made and accurate..
    with any tool if you`re not comfortable using it then don`t! the little voice in everyones head is there for a reason and folks who ignore it do so at their own risk..
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Regarding the more comfortable / more prone to mistakes - as a scientist, I know that the SawStop works and so far has not to my knowledge had a failure to work. As a person who is attached to his fingers and hands (and wants to keep it that way!), I do not want to be the first failure statistic. I would also want to train myself good habits for when I'm at my buddies' shops with different equipment.

    Just always keep an eye on the part that can hurt you. If this means you mess up a work piece, well, wood is a renewable resource. If this means that you poke your buddy in the privates with the end of a board while paying attention to the blade while moving the board after ripping, well, they'll eventually get over it - if they're really upset, tell them to wear a cup next time!

    I don't have a SawStop (or even a tablesaw!), but this is how I think in general. We all have different margins of safety, usually I trust my tools more than my buddies' and vice versa, but safety must come first, especially for the hobbyist.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Punta Gorda, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Foster View Post
    Any thoughts on this.

    Thanks
    Garry
    I think that everyone has thoughts on this subject but no one has the correct answer for each woodworker unless they can see into the future. To me it was just a matter of dollars and cents. I bought a Uni instead. Was it the right decision? I'll let you know in about fifteen years or so.

    I guess that I would say if you have a couple of thousand dollars extra just get the Stop Saw. No problem. If you have a need for the extra money then the decision becomes a really difficult task.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Garry,

    This is easily one of the most controversial subjects of the last few years, on many boards. Lots of people cite all sorts of reasons for why they shouldn't have one. They fall into several categories: advertising, regulation, and many that remind one of the seat belt / air bag arguments. To my mind, they're all silly arguments, and if we hadn't gone through them over air bags many would have been saved. To me, there's only one good reason not to have a SawStop: cost. Even that's a silly reason, as the cost of a single, even minor, accident would more than offset the cost of the saw. I think everyone should have one. I should. You should. I can't afford one, but if you can, you should get one, no matter what anyone says.

    I'll probably be drummed out of town for saying all this...

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 10-21-2007 at 02:34 PM. Reason: One of the kids decided to jump on the keyboard.

  6. #6
    Bill

    I agree with you and that is why I've been saving my pennies and waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the contractor version to come along. Hopefully it will be a little more in my price range.

    If you get drummed out of here, just come back!

    I can't imagine that I would work "stupid" just because I had a Sawstop assuming that the machine would protect me. But.......... if something untoward happened and I made a mistake it is nice to know that there was another level of protection between me and amputation. Ok, there is the possiblity that the system would fail but with any other saw and the same hypothetical accident situation, there is ZERO chance of anything saving me from a trip to the emergency room. And one trip to the ER will cost LOTS more than the incremental difference between a SS and other saws.

    I have seen the demo (as has Allen B I seem to recall ) and it is impressive. I think that Popular Woodworking did a whole bunch of additional test videos demonstrating actions other than the straight thru hot dog test. You might check their site.

    I thought that the contractor saw was demoed in Vagas at the last big woodworking show, did anyone see it?

    Jay

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Knoll View Post
    Bill


    I have seen the demo (as has Allen B I seem to recall ) and it is impressive.
    Jay
    Yes it was impressive. The only problem was that the jolt and sound of the blade comming to a stop is really hard on your heart. You might end up with all of your fingers but find yourself dead from a heart attack.

    I will clarify that I bought my Uni before the Stop Saw was available but I would still have had a hard time parting with that much money had it been available. The way that I work with the cabinersaw I keep my body parts a long way from the blade and out of line of kickbackes. However, if you have excess funds why not add more safety.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Grove City, Ohio
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    I find the arguments over should I Saw Stop or should I not Saw Stop interesting. I am very impressed with the saws and there are features other than the blade brake that keep it on my wish list. I do not feel that the blade brake is a panacea of safety that many do. I further do not feel that equipping a professional shop with this saw will eliminate or reduce liability suits, although an employer may get a reduction in Workers' Compensation rates.
    For a home shop, it is my opinion, that the blade brake is overkill. I don't remember where I learned this, but if I am not comfortable with a cutting operation, I don't do it. Feather boards, push sticks and splitters should be used to keep the operation safe. I will not make a cut if I have to put my fingers within 3 inches of the blade.
    My one injury from the table saw came about as a result of being too tired to be using a tool and in too much of hurry. And the blade brake would not have prevented it, but a blade guard would have. I dropped a drawer bottom on the spinning blade and the board peeled back the skin on my hand. (by the way, steristips kept me in the under 5 stitches category)

  9. #9
    Garry - I don't have a sawstop. If they sold one in the UK I would think very hard about it. If they made one with a "euro" style sliding table and sold it in the UK I would probably sell a kidney to buy one.

    I am a fan of any marginal improvement in safety that is available. I use my table saw a lot. Some days I spend all day ripping material and while I am careful, the results of my last medical examination also strongly implied that I am human, and therefore fallible. I use all the guards and always (always!! always!!) use a pushstick. But I know that every scrape on my guard is a mistake that might otherwise have been a lot more expensive. So in my head, although the sawstop is quite capable of not working, between me being careful and it probably being functional, I would be safer with it than without it.

    I have a friend who has been a cabinetmaker for many years and until last year could count to 10 unaided. Now he only gets to 9 3/4 before he has to take his socks off. he wasn't using a guard and from what I understand he would still be entire if he was. Ditto the Sawstop but a bit dearer than a guard.

    For me, if you are nervous around your saw that is a bad thing. Cautious is good, nervous is bad. Cautious makes you think carefully, nervous makes you think abstractedly. If I was you I would find the money for a sawstop but I would also try and find the money for a good solid woodworking course designed to help you feel more comfortable with your saw. Losing the nervousness will help.

    As an aside, using any good big, stable saw will feel more comfortable than you probably feel with the contractor saw and I think that the shopsmith setups that I have seen for table sawing are as scary as hell.

    My advice - buy it!

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. I didn't mean to make it sound as if I am scared to death of my saw. I try to be safe but as I said the knowledge that two very safe cautious woodworkers including one that taught shop for many years got seriously hurt on either RAS or table saws is always on my mind.

    The reason I asked about getting too confident is I remember reading a report several years ago when airbags were first introduced that showed that drivers that had vehicles with airbags were having measurably more wrecks involving passing on hills and curves than they should have. The good news was they were coming out with few serious injuries because of the airbags. However the same couldn't be said for those they hit. The conclusion of the report was they tended on average to feel able to take extra risks because of their investment in airbags.

    I don't think I would go that way but you never know for sure. I know I tend to drive faster the quieter and smother a car rides as the speed just seems to fade away there isn't really a sense of it until something brings it to the forefront. Now I try to stay focused and keep the speed down but I have slipped up.

    I have seen the Sawstop videos and even saw podcasts where owners tested their own units. The results are impressive. However I still have to deal with the router, drill press, lathe mill, torch and a host of other dangerous unless properly respected tools. Over the years I have had more close calls with the drill press and sharp hand tools that the saw.


    I wasn't aware they were considering a contractor version, that may well be the sweet spot as unless I get much more serious I am well satisfied with my Delta contractor.


    Thanks
    Garry

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