Saw Stop

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Can some of you people that work with this kind of tools for a living , please tell me the advantage of this saw stop saw for about $3,000.? I know it is only a 10" cabinet saw also. Right now we have a 12" delta and 2 ea 10" unisaws. All three are 10-15 yrs old but work fine. Except they will eat fingers if inserted. Our shop (retirement community in fl) has the money to buy, but I am having a hard time trying to convince myself to buy this. I have read all the other stories on here about this saw , but nothing to make me say hey "we need this, can't live with out it". Think someone said yes it will stop the saw but will it cure the problem of why it stopped the saw. Also do you have to buy the saw stop blades? How about the sharpening of them? And there are questions that I am sure I don't know to ask yet. Pig in a poke? All this and asking myself what we could get with the $3 Gs. Some people see all the sales brochures and say they want it, but you never see the mfg tell you the cons. So What are the cons. I know the answers are here, just have to find them. Thanks all.
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O D wrote:

Take a look at the site and draw you own conclusions:
--
Dave
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Dave Bugg wrote:

Sorry, I guess I should have included the URL http://www.sawstop.com /
--
Dave
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Yep, I'm starting to want one! As for the retirement shop, I'm reaching that delicate age myself and starting to admit that with less frequent use, and sometimes distractions by any number of extraneous things, I may not be as safe as I'd like. In the retirement shop, with money on hand, it seems a nobrainer. I know at least three people with mangled hands, all hobbiests! Wilson

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It doesn't eat fingers like your other saws do. How much are your fingers worth to you? Jim
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My saw doesn't eat fingers. His does? You know this? How?

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CW wrote:

Oh, it eats fingers, you just haven't fed it yet. Trust me, it's no vegetarian...
-jtpr ("jimmy 9")
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O D wrote:

None whatsoever!
Wait...
...nope! can't think of one!
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For a retirement community shop, IMHO, it makes even more sense than a one-person garage/shop. You're distributing the cost among a bunch more people (say it's $1500 more than a Unisaw, and you've got 25 people using the shop = $60/person). As someone else said, how much are your fingers worth to you? More than $60, I'd wager. Heck, even my friend's fingers are worth more to me than $60, although I'd probably want to watch when he tried to test the saw (if I was shelling out the bucks for it, that is).
Also for a community shop, reducing the liability for an "incident" may be an advantage. Not sure if your insurance company would think so (yet), but perhaps worth checking.
And finally, old farts don't heal as quickly as young pups *duck and run* :)
I'm not sure what you mean by "it will stop the saw but will it cure the problem of why it stopped the saw". It's supposed to stop the saw when someone sticks their fingers in the sharp spin-y section. You're not supposed to do that (AFAIK) whether you have a SawStop or not; it's just how much of an impact it has on you that changes. One will cost you <$100 for a new cartridge, the other may cost you a trip to the emergency room. To be fair, yes, you're probably less likely to do the whole thing again if you don't have the SawStop (negative reinforcement and all that, and 10% fewer fingers than you started with), but I don't really think that's a reason not to get it.
AFAIK, you don't need any special blades for it. The only "special" part about it is a cartridge that stops the blade which gets destroyed when activated (i.e. it kicks in). There are some additional setup steps when you want to use a dado blade (different cartridge, I think), as well as needing to deactivate the system when you want to cut something conductive, like aluminum. The reading I've done on it suggests that it's a well-made saw, with a solid safety feature. So even if you never use the SawStop functionality, you've still got a good (albeit more expensive) saw. I've never seen anything that says it's a cheap piece of garbage that they stuck a gimmick on.
Clint

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If I had the money with nothing else to do with it, this is the saw that I would buy. I researched it a bit in the past and found some interesting tidbits.
The pros are obvious, I can think of ten reasons (fingers) to buy the saw. Cons: Price. When the brake activates the brake cartridge and the saw blade are ruined. You can see that in the demo. New product so not much road testing.
It got me thinking, why hasn't other companies licensed this technology. My answer was interesting.... I don't speak for any side in the issue, this is just my opinion.
History: The guy that invented the system was a patent attorney that wanted a safer table saw product. He spent a few weeks thinking of solutions and this product idea is the result. His goal was to license the idea to all the saw manufacturers. He came close with Delta, but the everyone pulled out. He said heck with it and created his own saw.
Why did they not license the product? Two sides to the story. Saw Manufacturer side: The technology provides too many false positives, not proven to work 100% of the time. A false positve costs big bucks and customers will reject that. (This could be a huge con if you are dropping $100 some bucks for new blades and brakes all the time.) A negative for a saw manufacturer is that someone actually cuts off their finger using the sawstop technology in their saw. They will get sued because the product doesn't perform as advertised. It is too much of a gamble for "unproven" "unreliable" technology.
SawStop side: The large manufacturers love the technology but the lawers got in the way. The legal analysis said that some guy developed a safety system in a few weeks in his garage. They have been developing tools for 50 years and couldn't make the saws safer. As a product manufacturer in the USA, they have the responsibilty to make the product as reliable and safe as possible. If they adopt the sawstop braking system we will be admitting that they failed and will open themselves up to legal liability for every person that chopped off a finger with their non-sawstop products. Bottom line is that adopting the sawstop will cost us money.
An interesting note about this issue is a lawsuit was filed suing a large saw manufacturer saying that they could have implemented a saw stop type system on thier product but have not. Ignoring this saftey feature makes them liable.
In the end I think we will see the saw stop on all saws or none at all. Personally I think an individual on a budget will have a hard time buying the saw at the price point. A group style shop, such as a cabinet shop or school could spend the extra money to reduce liability. In your case, you are representing a group of people. Could you eventually be held liable for not choosing the SawStop?
As an important note to this post, I do not offer any specific advice for this post. I have no experience with table saws, but I'm looking to start woodworking -- I watch New Yankee Workshop on Saturdays :) Since I've looked into this a bit, thought I'd pass on the information.
O D wrote:

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Stopped at the Woodcraft store yesterday, and one of the salesman started talking about the saw stop saw. He said it was $200, if the system was to stop the blade. He also said, you had to deactivate the system to cut wet wood. I wonder how wet it has to be to set it off? oops, I guess the wood was wet. I think I'll pass, and continue using common sense, and a sharp blade. I just hope that in a few years all saws don't have to have the system, and the price of all saws gets out of control. If you don't want your wiener cut, keep it out of the blade.
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It has a test mode where you can place a piece of the material you're cutting in contact with the blade and it will signal if it would trip or not. It's expensive to reset because it does destroy some of the hardware (has to to disperse the energy from the blade) but it's intended use is in large shops that have to carry liability insurance and worry about employees or students doing boneheaded things. It has it's place, but most likely not in joe average's shop.
Jason The place where you made your stand never mattered, only that you were there... and still on your feet
sailor wrote:

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sailor wrote:

I would be leery of that salesman .. .. .. if a cartridge is triggered, a replacement is $59 .. .. .. usually, up to 3-4 teeth might be damaged on the blade, so whatever you might pay to have them replaced would be an additional charge.
If you cut VERY wet wood, the system goes into an alarm mode, letting you know it sees a potential problem.
                
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The saw stop also takes some time to stop although it stops darned fast. Watch the feed rate on the hot dog in the demo.
If you slide your hand in at that rate then you get cut that much. The question is about how many people get hurt slowly sliding their hands into a blade versus tripping or slipping and putting their hand in very rapidly.
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On 29 Sep 2006 14:50:33 -0700, "tomwalz"

Have you ever ripped with a 3 or 5 HP cabinet saw and a real rip blade? Your hand is typically moving rather quickly while performing this operation.
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And that's what push-sticks and feather boards are for.
FWIW, sans editorial comment, from this months Sawdust Shop newsletter:
================================================== Another SawStop Save
Table saw accidents can happen at any time and to anybody. One of our customers who purchased a SawStop table saw from us back in March recently made contact with the spinning blade with his fingers. The SawStop braking system triggered, stopped the blade, and he ended up with just a scratch.
This is our third customer save since we started selling the SawStop and we are glad to hear that it prevented a potentially tragic accident.
We are proud to be a dealer for the innovative SawStop table saw.
===================================================
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wrote:

Ok I do not disagree with the safty aspect o the saw stop . What I do have is a problem with the above statment ( if it's word for word from their newsletter) . As I understand it , a blade with 1/8 " kerf give or take, spinning at X amount of revolutions per minute stops in 0.0whatever seconds and comes in contact with any body part can leave nothing more than a scratch. It's to late in the day and I've had more than a few so I'm not going to do the math on how many teeth will have contacted the flesh on that body part . Anything 1/8th wide is not what I would consider just a scratch. A minor cut I can understand but a scratch is what you do with a fingernail or something you get when you piss off the cat. Jim
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I'll do the math
assuming a 3450 RPM table saw with a 10 inch 65 tooth rough cut blade
From a fixed point, 65 teeth @ 3450 RPM gives us 3738 teeth per second passing a fixed point. Sawstop claims to be able to stop the blade in 5ms on a bad day, so that leaves us with 19 teeth passing over your finger in the time it takes the blade to stop. Now that's assuming that you're able to instantly insert your finger into the path of the blade. You would have to be moving your finger at over 150 ft per second or 103 mph to make that happen. Since sawstop is assuming 1 ft per second or .7mph, your finger will make it roughly 1.525 mm into the blade. Skin varies in thickness from between .5mm on your eyelids to 4.5mm on your hands and palms, so if the saw is able to do it's job in 5ms and you're honestly just not paying attention and aren't doing something boneheaded like trying to force the board through the blade, you should have a scratch roughly 1.5mm deep. It'll bleed, but not for long.
Take this for what it's worth, it's just math. Math and reality often don't play well together, but the sawstop theory is sound. BTW, I'm not affiliated with sawstop, I'm just an engineer and number crunching is about as wild and crazy as I get on a Friday night.
Jason The place where you made your stand never mattered, only that you were there... and still on your feet
Jim Northey wrote:

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Hi -
I'm the owner of The Sawdust Shop who's newsletter was referenced earlier in the thread.
Here are my observations of having used the SawStop for the past 18 months in my woodshop and having sold dozens of them. I have also done the hot dog demo over 20 times.
Regarding the speed and depth of cut. Feeding at a slow rate makes it almost impossible to find the cut on a hot dog. When I demo I feed as fast as possible can, way faster than I would ever feed when cutting, The resulting cut is approx. 1/64" deep. It would bleed, and require a band aid, but no stitches.
Regarding the forces to the trunnion. The SawStop is designed to absorb the forces that occur when stopping the blade. The arbor is about twice the diameter of competing arbors, the trunnion is heavy duty and the entire trunnion assembly breaks free at the front of the saw and pivots down to absorb the force of the stopped blade. This is what causes the blade to drop below the table when the brake activates. I was skeptical at first too, but have had no problems with my saws after repeated firings of the brake system.
Regarding misfires. There were a few in the first month we had the saw. This was traced to noisy power and SawStop sent us some filters that corrected the problem. Never had a misfire since on the 2 saws in our woodshop. All current saws that are shipping come with these filters and we haven't heard of any misfires from any of our customers.
Wet wood. It will fire if it cuts VERY wet wood. Basically there has to be contact between the blade and your hand or the blade and the table via the water in the wood. If you suspect wet wood there are several ways to test it prior to cutting to prevent triggering the brake system. When the saw is off (blade not spinning) you can touch the blade with the wet wood, or with your finger and a red indicator light will flash to indicate that it would have fired if the blade had been spinning. You can then use the bypass key to disable the brake system for cutting that piece of wood. We have cut a lot of wet wood and have never had the system fire. It has to be very wet.
We sell Jet, Powermatic, ShopFox, and SawStop table saws. The SawStop has the best quaility of the four and is probably the finest manufactured piece of equipment I have ever used. My theory on this is that because they were the new kid on the block they were determined to make a high quality machine so that the quality would never be questioned and would not be a barrier to a sale. Even without the braking system I would purchase the SawStop. It's just that good a machine.
Other nice features, the riving knife, the quick-release for changing between the guard and riving knife, the zero clearance inserts lock in to the saw, power disconnect switch, heavy cast iron table (no vibrations), air-assist shock on the elevation control.
Someone asked for cons. The only con I can come up with is that the dust collection could perhaps be better. It's way better than most saws but a lot of sawdust still collects in the cabinet. It's a minor thing.
Anyway, that's my $0.02.
-- Craig
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Hi -
I'm the owner of The Sawdust Shop who's newsletter was referenced earlier in the thread.
Here are my observations of having used the SawStop for the past 18 months in my woodshop and having sold dozens of them. I have also done the hot dog demo over 20 times.
Regarding the speed and depth of cut. Feeding at a slow rate makes it almost impossible to find the cut on a hot dog. When I demo I feed as fast as possible can, way faster than I would ever feed when cutting, The resulting cut is approx. 1/64" deep. It would bleed, and require a band aid, but no stitches.
Regarding the forces to the trunnion. The SawStop is designed to absorb the forces that occur when stopping the blade. The arbor is about twice the diameter of competing arbors, the trunnion is heavy duty and the entire trunnion assembly breaks free at the front of the saw and pivots down to absorb the force of the stopped blade. This is what causes the blade to drop below the table when the brake activates. I was skeptical at first too, but have had no problems with my saws after repeated firings of the brake system.
Regarding misfires. There were a few in the first month we had the saw. This was traced to noisy power and SawStop sent us some filters that corrected the problem. Never had a misfire since on the 2 saws in our woodshop. All current saws that are shipping come with these filters and we haven't heard of any misfires from any of our customers.
Wet wood. It will fire if it cuts VERY wet wood. Basically there has to be contact between the blade and your hand or the blade and the table via the water in the wood. If you suspect wet wood there are several ways to test it prior to cutting to prevent triggering the brake system. When the saw is off (blade not spinning) you can touch the blade with the wet wood, or with your finger and a red indicator light will flash to indicate that it would have fired if the blade had been spinning. You can then use the bypass key to disable the brake system for cutting that piece of wood. We have cut a lot of wet wood and have never had the system fire. It has to be very wet.
We sell Jet, Powermatic, ShopFox, and SawStop table saws. The SawStop has the best quaility of the four and is probably the finest manufactured piece of equipment I have ever used. My theory on this is that because they were the new kid on the block they were determined to make a high quality machine so that the quality would never be questioned and would not be a barrier to a sale. Even without the braking system I would purchase the SawStop. It's just that good a machine.
Other nice features, the riving knife, the quick-release for changing between the guard and riving knife, the zero clearance inserts lock in to the saw, power disconnect switch, heavy cast iron table (no vibrations), air-assist shock on the elevation control.
Someone asked for cons. The only con I can come up with is that the dust collection could perhaps be better. It's way better than most saws but a lot of sawdust still collects in the cabinet. It's a minor thing.
Anyway, that's my $0.02.
-- Craig
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