It was an amazing thing to me, even as a remodeling contractor, sometimes cabinet maker, how little I missed it. I can buy all rail and stile sized stock at the local hardwoods supplier in the common sizes for doors and cabinet faces.
I usually took down my sheet goods with a saw and guides anyway, and the only time I really missed it was ripping shelving, or different pieces of trim. For that, it was indispensable for accuracy, ease of use and time saved.
I have a project now where I need to do a lot of ripping. A friend of mine is now an "industrial arts" teacher at a local high school. They just got a new SawStop with all the bells and whistles. We had been looking for a reason for me to go use it to try it out, and it came this week.
All I can say is WOW. I mean, WOW.
The saw is rock solid. About the only sound you hear is the teeth whizzing through the air as the saw makes little sound.
The control wheels are large, heavy duty metal, and adjust very easily and precisely. It has a slow start motor on it, but it is up to speed almost instantly. When running, there is NO vibration, I mean NONE.
The saw top was almost polished, and had a nice clean satin finish to it. With the cast iron wings on it, the table top was large and comfortable to use. There were no lap marks on it, but it appeared to be flat as a pancake. I would say polished to about 400 grit or so.
The rip fence was great. Looking a lot like the old Biesemeyers, it was a nice boxy affair that locked up tightly and accurately. Several attempts to check it repeatability were really impressive. I moved the fence from the sides, the from the ends and deliberately tried to lock down the fence out of parallel alignment to the blade. No way. It might have thrown off the measurements, but it never locked down incorrectly. And using the tape on the rails, the fence locked down exactly in the same place every time. I checked this out by setting the measurement on the fence, then checking it with my stainless 12" ruler. Same every time.
The miter gauge.... well, it was a miter gauge. It did its job, but actually looked like all the rest of them out there.
The on/off paddle was placed in the area where you can bump it with your leg to turn it off in case of emergency. The paddle is large and obtrusive, so of course I did shut the saw off a couple of times without meaning to. On my old Delta, you had to lean over, reach under the table, and mash the button to turn it off.
It was a challenge for me to keep from bumping the paddle as I have a habit of leaning over and way from the projection zone as the first table saws I learned on as a kid we set the rip fences with a ruler. With a dull blade and an inaccurate rip fence set measurement, you could shoot an 8' 2x4 thirty feet or so if you weren't careful. Small stuff was downright dicey if something was askew. I learned early that body position was very important in table saw use - I never wanted to join the girl's choir.
I would have to work around that switch or move it, I'm not sure which.
The painted areas are all thick, hard black enamel. It not only looks good to the eye, but the finish looked good in application. Several of the larger stationary tools I have looked at lately look to me to have been dipped in paint, and the excess allowed to drip off. This particular saw was very nicely finished on all parts - a nice surprise. I think the cabinet pieces and the rails and other components were sprayed.
I was ripping some 2" thick Jatoba, Mesquite, and some Bolivian Rosewood when I tested this saw. (This is why I wanted to use a nice tablesaw, this stuff was waaaayyyy too expensive to waste even an 1/8" anywhere!) He had a cheapo DeWalt 10" multipurpose blade on the saw (remember - think high school kids/idiots) for normal use. It spun this blade so well there were almost no saw marks anywhere.
We all know you can do really nice work with a fairly good table saw if you have a nice blade and the saw is tuned up. But with a lousy blade, you are up against it, no matter the quality of the machine. Even with that nasty little blade, the saw never balked, slowed down, or showed any kind of sign that it was cutting kiln dried hardwoods. No burn marks, no chatter, no "pushing back" from the saw, nothing.
Out of all the saws I have used over all the years I have been doing woodworking for a living, this has to be the most impressive. Previously, my favorite was the top end Delta that I used about 6 - 7 years ago. I wouldn't want to make a decision between that saw and this one. In the end, I think the fit and finish were about even.
If someone is looking for a saw and you can swing the extra dough, I would sure take a look at this saw from the quality standpoint. Of course the safety features are great (this is why they had this saw in a school) but I was really blown away by the utility value of this machine.