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Thread: The Sawstop

  1. #1
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    The Sawstop

    Bill Lantry has a thread below this and I didn't want to hijack it by changing the subject. I am very sympathetic toward his situation.

    I was recently in the tool store that I shop at and noticed a Sawstop. What are the reviews on this cab saw? Are they comparable to the Uni Saw and the General? Where are they made? Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    Virtually every review I've seen (from owners, not magazine writers) has been very positive. As I understand things, it's one of the nicest cabinet saws around -- even without the safety features. I haven't heard of anyone who's gone from a Unisaw or General to a Sawstop and regretted it.

    If I ever get a chance to set up my dream shop, I suspect it'll have a Sawstop in it. It's also one power tool LOML would be fully behind my purchasing. She's told me she wishes I had "The Hotdog Saw".
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    That is my understanding too...its a great saw without the feature as its robust and tough...but it does cost a wicked amount of money.

    As for the safety feature...I am on the fence about that. Yeah new technology can keep us safe, but to me way too many people depend on it. Just because you have a Saw Stop does not mean you won't get cut or have a kickback...a problem the Sawstop cannot address. Granted your chances are drastically reduced...but still there.

    To me the tablesaw is just like a train. Very simple, big and heavy. As long as you stay 4 feet away from the tracks you will never get hit. Its not like the engineer is steering for you, or in this case the table saw blade steering for your hand. Keep it away and you will never get it sawn off.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  4. #4
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    Travis is right. Focus on what you are doing. I use the rule: "If you think your fingers might be too close to the blade....they are." For me 'too close' on the table saw is about six inches. My father was a professional woodworker all his life, died at about age 90 with all his fingers. Thinking about it, keeping fingers out of danger was all he ever taught me about woodworking. That's another story.

  5. #5
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    Rob,

    No worries on hijacking. You can find lots of sawstop threads on other forums. People rave about them, they're very nicely made. Yes, they're expensive... which is the only reason I don't have one. But then, just one accident, and you've covered the cost. They are now coming out with a contractor saw version... it's been rumored for a while, but there are whispers that some have shipped. They'll sell a ton of them, even though they'll be twice the price of a normal contractor saw.

    Oh, and pay no attention to the old fogeys with their justification mythologies. You always get that kind of argument. "I don't need anti-lock brakes, because I'm careful." "No one should have airbags, they should pay attention to the way they drive." And the best one: "that person deserved to die in that car wreck... he did something stupid, and that's just one way of thinning the herd." What's truly amazing is the vehemence of opposition to new technologies... remember Lee Iococca screaming about airbags? And all sorts of people complaining about them? Now even my lowend pickup has them...

    If only they didn't cost so much. If you can't afford one, you should be thinking, like I am, about some festool or similar portable saw. People love them the way others love their sawstops. Won't get rid of your need for a tablesaw, but it's way safer in some situations...

    One accident, just one, and my shop closes forever. Think about that one for a minute... And then there's this: 50,000 table saw accidents a year. 50,000. The reason there's a mythology of care is because these machines are inherently dangerous. Ever done something careless, and then turned off the saw and cursed yourself for doing something so stupid? I promise you, I do that at least once a week...

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 02-22-2008 at 03:25 PM.

  6. #6
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    Bill, I won't/can't argue against your points. But still, whatever the pursuit, woodworking, driving, handling guns, etc. the best safety control is always the person handling the item. Time come when I can upgrade to a good tablesaw, the Sawstop will be one given consideration.

  7. #7
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    Oh, and pay no attention to the old fogeys with their justification mythologies.

    So why you got to pick on us old fogeys? Oh yeah, that's right, you are one of us so you're allowed.

    Only problem I ever had with Sawstop was their attempt at legislation a few years ago to mandate their product be installed on all tablesaws. Time will tell and the market at some point may demand the installation of their product or a similar one on table saws. Heck, litigation may require it before the market gets there.

    Look at true riving knives on tablesaws. A much better system than the splitters included on saws in the U.S., and up till recently there was only one American market saw that came with a riving knife. Because they pretty much require re-engineering the trunion set-ups on U.S. designed saws, they may never have been made available this side of the big pond. But market demands have resulted in at least two big manufacturers over here including them on new models. At this point, they are the high end models, but they're moving down the market levels already. And now that they are available through a couple manufacturers, the others will have to follow suit to compete.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  8. #8
    You got some valid points there Bill, but at the same time with any statistic you can glean whatever information you really want out of it.There is no question table saws cause 50,000 incidents a year, but that does not instantly mean the table saw is the most dangerous saw to have.

    My personal feeling is, the radial arm saw or the sliding compound miter saw is just as unsafe...maybe more so because of the multiple axis they can cut on. The table saw has the distinction of causing the most harm merely because its the most popular woodworking tool out there. There are many, many homeowners that have a table saw, and only a table saw around the house for the occasional board to cut. These are the very people that should not be using them without some instruction, and yet they do.

    As for the airbags on cars...well that is the scary part. They are on cars and trucks now, but have you seen the prices lately. 32,000 for a pick up? 17,000 for a car...come on. My wifes Toyota Highlander had the seatbelt light flashing the other day...and no one was in it. What was setting it off was Alyson's diaper bag...meaning the seat has a sensor in it that depends on weight. It also has sensors in the seat belt fasteners and other places...just to flash a stupid light at me telling me to put it on. That is a lot of sensors and wiring...and additional overhead costs to build the car for something that really isn't needed. I WEAR ONE ANYWAY BECAUSE ITS COMMON SENSE!

    Ultimately these the price of tools will only rise to what the market will bear. The sawstop has a niche market and that's good, but don't impose something on me that's not needed. That was what the inventor of this machine tried to do. He went to every saw maker and tried to peddle his machine. None would bite because of the added cost, so he started making it on his own. Good for him. Still going to the legislature was low. It was not because of safety, it was because he knew his machine would only be a niche machine in a sea of lower priced saws. As you said yourself, you cannot afford one. Neither can I,and he knew that. The only way to level the playing field was to MANDATE sawstop technology. In due time cheaper alternatives will sprout up. I'll buy one then.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
    Oh I am 100% Mainer; no doubt there.

    When I worked in Minnesota (Hamel) I used to get picked on a lot.They called me "Pilgrim" as a nickname. Anyway they would plague me and plague me,saying "come on Pilgrim, say it." After awhile I would break down and say what they wanted me to.

    "Alright, I got in my cah, drove around the cornah, went into a bah, and got myself a beah. Theah, ah you happy now?"

    Translation: "alright, I got in my car,went around the corner, went into a bar and got myself a beer. There are you happy now."

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  10. #10
    They are a funny lot aren't they?

    I was at a Maine McDonald's when I asked for an extra cup for the baby. The woman behind the counter replied and I said "You're from Minnesota aren't you?" She said "Yeahhow did you know."

    The "You bettch ya", gives it away every time!
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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