I’ve been using a SawStop cabinet saw for more almost ten years. And for nearly that long, I’ve been hoping they would come out with a real portable table saw. Sure, a few years ago they introduced their Contractors Saw, but that monster weighs 310 lbs.! Definitely not my idea of portable.
Well, the wait is over. SawStop has just released a new model, and it’s truly portable—a real jobsite saw for carpenters that care about quality tools and are willing to invest serious money in the tools they use.
The new Jobsite Saw by SawStop (available in March), which includes a wheeled stand, costs almost $1300.00, nearly twice as much as the Bosch 4100-09, mounted on a similar wheeled stand. But in my opinion, it’s money well spent.
The Jobsite Saw weighs 79 lbs. without the stand and 108 lbs. with the stand. It is a bit heavier than the Bosch 4100, which is 60 lbs. without the stand. But the extra weight is also worth it.
Both saws are similar in size—nearly the same footprint; they turn about the same rpms; and they provide about the same amount of power—more than enough for sheet material and ripping 1x, even hardwood, and just enough to cut 2x.
But price and weight aren’t the most important features to compare. The folks at SawStop really went all-out to engineer a stellar tool. They succeeded. And they’re already talking about improvements—they’ll soon have a blade guard with dust collection.
I’m glad that there are tool manufacturers who cater to the niche crowd—craftsmen who are willing to invest more in tools and enjoy the benefits of improved fit and finish, increased durability, and serious precision. I doubt anyone buying this saw would ever regret the investment.
This portable table saw looks like a well engineered bit of steel, aluminum, and plastic. But, hmmm, let’s see…if you add in a spare sacrificial brake for a regular saw blade, two for a dado blade set up, new thin kerf and dado blades (in case those unique safety features earn their keep), then it looks like you’d have to sink roughly $1800 into this saw in order to be fully operational–with contingency plans. Seems to me that practicing good table saw safety in order to keep all 10 fingers on the job site (with a regular saw) might be a better value than paying an arm and leg for this one.
At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see how many of these turn up on job sites in the near future.
You logic is kind of silly. You’d have to buy blades for any saw–thin kerf, dado, etc. And to complain about buying brakes for a SawStop saw…well, I kind of think my fingers are worth a lot more than $69.00. And I’ve met carpenters all over the country who are extremely experienced craftsmen, who practice safe working habits with their power tools, and still show me a hand with missing fingers. I’ve also met a lot of carpenters who insist that they’ll never be hurt by their table saw because they’re always “mindful” when they’re working with a table saw. Hmmmmm….that’s why they’re called accidents.
I buy and sharpen blades because they get dull and no longer provide safe and clean cuts; not because my saw’s safety bypass switch wasn’t deactivated and the blade slammed into a chunk of aluminum while ripping something as common as foil faced insulation. Savings fingers were not part of the equation in your anecdote…or my cost logic.
I am 100% with you Sonny.
And I’m also very turned off by the Sawstop inventor’s push to make his technology required on ALL tablesaws. Imagine getting out a moisture meter to make sure your lumber isn’t too wet to push through your Sawstop. And it’s awkward things like foil faced insulation that are often involved in table saw accidents. If you must bypass the mechanism, what is the point?
Lastly, if preventing comp claims and lawsuits is the goal, remember that back injuries are the number 1 claim. 108 lbs?
I think grandpa’s Delta Hybrid weighed less than that!
No doubt there are a lot of people who agree with you and see the folks at SawStop as the “enemy” of freedom. Here’s just one example: http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/hgxqxc/people-who-are-destroying-america—sawstop
Do you think the CPSC is going to allow the bypass feature when they make this technology mandatory?
WHAT? Who says they’re going to make this technology mandatory? And who says the bypass feature won’t be allowed? Wow. The ideas that fearmongers plant. I guess there’s still two years left and Obama may still take all of our guns, too! But I never believed that nonsense either.
I’ve tried to keep up with the issue in the news, but it’s hard. I don’t read all of the news from CPSC. I know years ago the power tool industry developed the current riving knife/removable saw guard system which we see today on the DeWalt,Bosch and other saws. That was their answer to incorporating affordable safety devices on table saws. I thought it was a good move. Riving knives are extremely important–and as Sonny pointed out, definitely something I should have had in place while cutting 2x on those two saws. But like a lot of carpenters, I was thinking of something else at the time….I wasn’t keenly aware of what I was doing. A big mistake.
As for the bypass feature, goodness, the saw would be worthless without that! I use the bypass feature whenever cutting anything with metal on it (plastic mirror!), and whenever I rip treated lumber (which I rarely do). I look at the bypass feature the same way I try to keep my hand on the outside of the miter-saw fence: like a lot of carpenters, there are times when I cut small pieces on my miter saw and move my hand into the ‘danger’ zone, but when it’s there, I’m keenly aware of it. Similarly, when I use the bypass feature on my table saw, I’m keenly aware that the safety device is not actuated. But that kind of keen awareness isn’t something you can maintain full time. So I’m always relieved when I can return to cutting with my hand against the outer edge of my miter saw, or the Sawstop safety device actuated.
The human mind is a wonderful thing, but it wanders, often without control.
I’d not worry about contingency plans affecting your costs. I have never had any material inadvertently trip the safety mechanism, but I have had a real finger save. When I had my accident I did not have a new cartridge on hand. There was no reason to because it had never tripped accidentally or correctly in my 7+ years on the saw.
Anyway when it tripped the least of my concerns was scrambling for a replacement cartridge to get back to work. On a normal saw it would have been a catastrophic injury. In my case it was a nick on the tip of the thumb requiring band aids for a few days to keep it clean. A few more days on the small scab was gone and it probably took longer because it was on my thumb (versus a less used appendage).
As with most serious accidents/injuries you need to stand down to reflect on what you were doing that caused the injury. Considering what happened two days away from the saw while I waited for a replacement were worthwhile. Had it not been a SawStop I would have been out of work for some time whereas I just moved on to other tasks not requiring the saw.
I’d also say that I would be hesitant to keep extra cartridges laying around considering I’d never had an accidental tripping due to a material. In my case I would have been installing an 8 year old cartridge. I doubt the age would have made any difference as the saw validates the device at startup, but what I did not know is that the cartridge has permanent memory, much like an airplanes black box. SawStop extracts this data and combines it with a questionnaire related to the incident. The data is used to improve the software which is store in the cartridge.
Best of all if it is a “finger save” then they will replace the cartridge for free after you complete a questionnaire and return the cartridge. I bought another one because I could not wait two weeks to get a new one.
So far the running tally for the finger removed by my Bosch 4100 has reached $33,000. You want to complain about a potential brake and blade replacement? (a process easier to do with intact hands I assure you).
Sorry to hear about your loss (both the finger and the expenses). But thank you for contributing. Someone may make a critical comment about you or your methodology–that you were ultimately at fault, but those comments are mostly from folks who aren’t listening, and definitely haven’t felt the pain…yet.
Where is the review. where is the article. For this cost, there should be a rather extensive write up. I am more than familiar with the company and feel that the technology is outstanding. This pricing brings to mind Fein and their milking that cow until true desiccation set it. After all these years producing this product do they still need to seek to bleed the very customers they hope to prevent from bleeding.
I’m sorry you were disappointed with the review. It took me several hours to shoot the video and a half-day to edit it. That’s all the time I had to spare–writing and publishing TiC isn’t my day job–in fact, I donate all my time and effort in the magazine. But I really don’t understand why the length or breadth of the article needs to be equated with the cost of the saw. Personally, I thought a lot of carpenters would be interested to know that SawStop finally came out with a jobsite saw, and a good one, when compared to the other leading portable jobsite saw, made by Bosch. I happened to have a Bosch saw in my shop, so that’s what I compared the SawStop to. I’ve seen a LOT of table saw accidents…or rather, the results of table saw accidents. I can’t imagine even ONE of the guys I’ve met, guys who are missing fingers, who would complain about spending $1200 on a saw if it meant they’d still have those fingers. My goodness, I was at the ER just a couple weeks ago. I was there for only four hours and they didn’t perform ANY surgery–I went home with all my fingers. But the bill I got was a LOT more than $1200.00! :)
Did David Forbes and I watch the same review? I thought it was a great overview and comparison of the saw with a top competitor. You did a fine job of showing the merits and the well thought out touches like the support lip beneath the fence, the single turn wheel to lift the blade or the easy to adjust throat guard that won’t fall off during transport.
My only wish was that there wasn’t a comparison against the Bosch Reaxx, but maybe that’s coming. In any case I won’t criticize this video for what it isn’t, but rather I’ll praise it for what it is: the best review I’ve seen of the newest Sawstop.
Gary, interesting video review of the two saws. Liked seeing versus reading the review. It gave me a good basic overview of the new SawStop. Think I’ll go to their website for the rest of the technical details.
Your shop is really shaping up. Thanks for the info!
Thanks for the review but woah! How about using the push tick with the saw that doesn’t have the fancy finger saving device!!
EXACTLY my point!!!! I forgot to grab my push stick (which I ALWAYS use when I’m working with a table saw!!) because all I was thinking about was the video/camera angle, etc. That’s EXACTLY how and when accidents happen! What a perfect example: no matter how careful you are, no matter how ‘safe’ your table saw habits are, eventually, you’ll drop your guard, and when you do… Maybe I’ll reshoot that and do another edit…. :)
I’ve been using the original SawStop contractor model for about 5 years now and I’m very pleased with the performance. I inadvertently activated the mechanism and was astonished at how fast the blade drop down out of harms way. Of course, they cost more but what are your fingers worth, that’s why it’s called an accident, being careful is NOT enough. In the end for me, the SawStop is top shelf!
My thoughts exactly. My fingers–my HANDS–are so important to me. Even typing this note….
It seems that every job that I’m on most of the table saws have the blade guards and riving knives removed. My Old Bosch has the modified guard that Gary showed us how to turn into a riving knife. I admit I took the blade guard off, but I set the blade as high as I want it to cut into my hand.
I bought a Festool AT65 in 2002 because it was the safest saw for what I was doing, I didn’t care what it cost.
Picking someone’s fingers out of the saw dust while calling 911 has happened one to many times. With the Saw Stop technology maybe, someday, I can retire my Red Systainer 2 Amputation EM kit.
I was very interested in the results. However, I would like to see more of an evaluation of both dust collection and accuracy related, such as runout, whether the rip fence stays in alignment once aligned, how good the mite gauge is.
I too would be interested in hearing these findings from Gary as I have heard not good things about this saw in terms of the accuracy of the fence over time.
I haven’t had any problems with the Portable Saw Stop fence, none at all. From the beginning it has worked very nicely. A littler easier to adjust than the Bosch saw, but similar in accuracy. These are portable job site saws, not bench saws–there’s no cast iron on board, so I don’t expect 1/64″ accuracy. I that’s your expectation, you may not be pleased.
I also haven’t heard of anyone else with fence problems, but maybe I’m out of the loop. I’ve been using the saw in my shop for several months, and Scott Wells has used it on his jobsites for a while, too. So far, no problems at all.
One feature of the saw that I am not sure if I would like is the “one turn” blade raise/lower.
I compare it to the automatic driver’s window on my truck. I find it hard to regulate at times when I want it down a little, it goes all the way down.
I have made a habit of lowering the blade when I finish cutting material so, in this instance, it would be handy. (In my mind if the blade is down, I can’t accidentally get hurt and the blade can’t get damaged by something bumping up against it)
During the demo Gary is seen cranking up the blade on the Bosch to make a cut but doesn’t adjust the blade height on the SawStop. He shows that the blade can be fine-tuned but doesn’t show how easy/hard that is. Is there a way to just raise the blade a little without having to fully raise the blade first? Say, for cutting 1/4″ plywood?
The blade goes up the same way it goes down…the crank works the same way. So if you want to raise the blade from 0 to 1/4″, it’s the same as lowering it from 1″ to 3/4″…you just have to operate the crank handle ‘deftly’, which isn’t hard. However, it would have been fine, in my opinion, if the crank had taken two full revolutions to raise the blade, rather than one. At the same time, the folks at SawStop weren’t designing or engineering a replacement or a competitive model for their cabinet saws. They were engineering a much much much lighter saw for use on jobsites. Let me repeat that: this is a JOBSITE saw. It’s going to get just as beatup as other jobsite saws: dragged up and down stairs, dragged in and out of trucks, over torn-up jobsites, and everything under the sun is going to be pushed through the saw. I already cut 4″ rigid foam insulation with mine. And it did a great job!! Especially with dust collection!!!! But this saw isn’t designed for cabinet work where you’re trying to achieve accuracy to .001 of an inch! I suspect over time, after it’s been jobsited a lot, this model will prove to be just as accurate as my Bosch table saw, which has served me (and a lot of other carpenters) very well.
Will it fit on my beloved Rousseu?
Oops, I posted before I finished watching…
Seems a bit too much like an info-mercial for my tastes. Lets see things (compared to the ridgid, dewalt makita and bosch) like blade runout, how square the fence is, how flat the table is, are the miter t slots parallel to the blade etc… What I want to see is a performance based review. thx in advance
Sorry you were disappointed! I’ve never measured run-out on a table saw–I’m a carpenter not a fine-woodworker, but out of the box, the fence was perfectly square to the blade and the mitergauge slots were perfectly parallel with the fence. By “perfectly,” I mean, I measured with my carpenters square, which has 1/16″ marks, so I’m saying the fence and miter slots are accurate to 1/32″.
Great looking jobsite saw, the price is a bit steep but so is Festool and seems everyone is using them. I’ve seem what a tablesaw can do to a thumb to the trim of a carpenter of almost 40 years, it didn’t care that he had experience, it didn’t care that he used a tablesaw for over half his life, it still can jump up and bite even the most careful and experienced carpenter when your guard is down and thinking about something other than what you’re doing at that exact minute! A jobsite saw that could have saved a thumb and a huge hospital bill would have been worth it six months ago!
I agree with you completely, on all points. I hear a lot of complaints about Festool being too expensive. Well, there’s a solution to that problem…don’t buy Festool. Buy Makita or DeWalt or Bosch tools. There’s nothing wrong with those tools! No one is forcing anyone to spend more money on their tools. But Festool, SawStop, Stabila, etc., have proven that price is not the priority deciding factor for every carpenter in America. Some of us care about precision, weight, accessories, systems, dust collection, safety, etc., more than we care about price. I’m not saying that I’d pay any amount–the sky is definitely not the limit! But I will pay a lot more for a tool if the tool makes my life a lot easier, allows me to work faster and more reliably accurate, or allows me to work safer and not worry about making a life-changing mistake, which can happen in the blink of an eye, even for carpenters who practice the very best of safety habits. And let’s not forget about employees. Yes. I’d want my employees using a SawStop saw for sure! Do they reach for a push stick every time they use a table saw? Do they always install the guard? Do they always use an outfeed table? Are they always well rested and focused? I think everyone knows the answers to those questions. :)
We all do have limits with how much to spend on quality tools. The economy of where I live (Northern Maine) has never been that great and in the dead of winter (6 months of it), it can be next to nothing. So, I do as my father taught me: buy the best tools that I can afford. SawStop is out of reach for me and I suspect for a few others. Maybe your economy is different there, but I would be careful not slight anyone for not buying one.
Also, safety should always come first, no matter what tool we are using. We carpenters use plenty of tools that really aren’t all that safe to use, so, let us use them wisely. Safety is something that no machine can decide for us – it has to be a way of life.What happens when a SawStop fails one day? – no machine is perfect, much less the people that make them or any other. I just don’t think that SawStop is a cure all…..that saw is so heavy that I think it would ruin my back the rest of the way!
Anyway, I don’t mean to be too negitive. Thanks for the review and please keep on writing!
Plain In Maine
I agree with you completely. The price of this saw is definitely out of the reach of many carpenters,or maybe most carpenters, so is a Festool TS55. That doesn’t mean you’re a dummy if you can’t afford one and don’t buy one. For years and years–decades–I had to settle for the best tools I could afford, too. There’s no shame or fault there, that’s for sure. And yes, the SawStop is heavy–heavier than the Bosch which is almost too heavy for one guy to carry (if it’s NOT on the wheel stand). And I suppose the Saw Stop could fail…but I suspect the engineering includes enough safety features that it won’t allow the saw to start if the brake system isn’t functioning: the red light comes on on my cabinet saw and the Jobsite Saw whenever the safety system isn’t functioning properly, and it’s usually a quick adjustment/fix. But I do believe that this type of technology is the future. If I were still running a crew…well, I’d be very uncomfortable knowing this technology is out there and not protecting carpenters from potential accidents that are preventable. That’s just me, though. Maybe I’ve seen the result of too many accidents. Guys as Roadshows constantly show me their hands with missing fingers. Trust me, those folks aren’t interested in anyone’s definition of “accident”. I’m not interested in definitions either. I’ve worked jobsites for over thirty years and I know for a fact that no one can keep their mind on what they’re doing ALL THE TIME. There are just too many distractions, too much pressure, too much noise, too many people working, etc. I’ve always felt that using a table saw was a little like going to Las Vegas. The odds are tipped toward the table saw, no matter how careful you are.
Thanks for your comments. I guess we won’t see the SawStop the same way, but I think that we both agree about working safely. One of the many reasons that I work alone is that I found too many of the carpenters that I have worked for or with to be careless. And when it comes to my own safety, I want to control that and not let someone else. So, I don’t think that SawStop will suddenly turn careless workers into safe ones – They will do it all over their job site, too, and even into the little details… And I always have room for improvement, too.
I do think the table saw to be a pretty risky saw to use but I have had more close calls with my other tools for some reason. I did subcontract to someone once who insisted that I scribe and cut very long lengths of baseboard on a tablesaw with no guards or fence, which I did not care for (jigsaws work fine). But, case in point: SawStop will never make this man work safely, but he will most likely keep wondering why he can’t cut his finger off.
So, lets keep working safely and putting out the best work that we can. And I would still like to keep hearing about SawStop…I don’t think that I will ever get done learning. Thanks again!
Plain In Maine
I, too, know a “handful” of folks who have injured themselves while operating table saws. All of them freely admit* that their injuries were avoidable had they simply paid full attention to what they were doing and/or practiced safe woodworking habits. That’s why they are called “injuries” and not accidents. If you look up the definition of “accident”, you will find that it not only involves an unplanned circumstance, but usually infers an outcome that could have been avoided.
I suggest that if you are thinking about something else while you’re working with a table saw, then you’re disrespecting the power of the tool–and your craft. Stop; refocus your mind. This way you can better minimize your safety risks while maximizing your woodworking efforts.
*In fact, on of my friends ignominiously hung his bloody hand cast above his table saw as a constant reminder to work safely as he approached the use of this tool.
I had a jet that died 3 years ago. I was faced with the financial decision of safety or up front cost. I walked around the parking lot of my seller for almost an hour wondering if it is worth it ? I went thru all the carpenters I know missing fingers and I realized they where all great carpenters who I wanted to be like except for the missing digit or two. We all get tired and lazy and that’s when accidents happen at the end of a long day. I still have all my fingers and so do my employees. I would be devastated if I or an employee lost the use of his hand due to my unwillingness to spend a extra grand. You people are fools if you think it won’t happen to you. Saw stop is worth every penny not only for the safety but its quality. As for “milking it for all it’s worth” you’re GD right that’s technology you pay for. Again, best saw on the market! I am in no way affiliated with saw stop. But they can send me some stuff if they want. If you don’t like articles, write one yourself. I admire any one who has the balls or passion to put it out there even if I don’t agree but I always learn from them. God Save the trades!
thank god fer saw stop
Gary’s article and particularly the ensuing conversation is an eary reminder that a life changing accident can happen to anyone. No matter who the operator is. I don’t mind spending the money for technology, in this case a safer system. But I’m actually interested in a saw stop that is even more portable, like the Dewalt and Bosch. Seems like that might be on the horizon too.
Kudos by the way, to guys like Gary who selflessly educate us and promote our craft.
I’m excited, and anxious to buy one. Why? Not just for myself, though I know that sometimes I make mistakes, and I would rather not pay for those mistakes with my fingers, But also because I don’t want anybody who works for me to lose a finger on my job site, and I’m willing to pay for insurance to avoid that.
I also have a saw stop contractor saw which is a great saw but I have never been able to bring it to a job site – it’s just too big. That said quality wise I have found a saw that’s it’s equal, finger protection technology aside
I wanted to be the first to suggest a wearing a hair net when table sawing.
Also, I have a friend who incurred either a pride injury or a poop accident. Um, it’s hard to determine which since Sonny misused the word infer. Anyway, my friend stapled the besmirched under-breeches to his forehead as a reminder to Give Me a Brake.*
Also, thank you for the free internet content. I’ve read all of it I think.
*Sawstop’s newest ad campaign
[Comment edited by TiC editorial staff]
I’m curious to know a little more about the sensitivity of the safety mechanism. What happens if the saw is set up outside and it starts to rain? Or what if an old piece of wood with a hidden trim nail gets run thru it?
I agree. My concern is how many brakes/blades will I need to buy due to inadvertent blade stops. I really appreciate the safety factor but $69 plus cost of blade adds up fast
With that said I am a novice craftsman and want to buy a saw that will last me a while. I don’t mind paying extra for quality, but is it worth it or should I invest in a really good comparable saw with a smaller price tag?
Thank you for the review. After having used this saw for a bit, are you satisfied with the quality of the cut?
I’m very happy with the saw.
I just returned from the JLC Live show where I saw the new Bosch REAXX saw for the first time! It has a similar safety feature but totally different technology. I hope to get my hands on one of those saws soon, so I can do a comparative review.
I always told myself that if SawStop made a jobsite saw I would buy one. Well, I purchased one last week and immediately put it to use on a trim job–I couldn’t be happier. As someone who has had a finger “restored” from a shop mishap when I was a teenager, I can tell you an ounce of prevention is well worth the $1300 price tag! Even if they can re-attach them they don’t work like they used to….especially in a cold Wisconsin winter.
I know how you feel about table saw accidents. Anyone who thinks they’re invulnerable is foolish.
I just returned from the JLC Live show in Providence, RI and saw for the first time the new Bosch REAXX saw. Same type of safety feature but a different technology. Similar price, but less expensive to replace the brake mechanism, and it doesn’t ruin the blade. I hope to get my hands on one soon so I can do a comparative review.
Thank you Gary for the review! I thought it was great and have no criticism. I do however have a hard time believing these saws are not worth the money! I practice very mindful cutting and my saws still scare the crap out of me. I am a hardwood flooring contractor with several employees. I have been waiting for years for this saw to come out. I can control my actions, but accidents can happen. I cannot control the actions of my employees, and I already know that with them, accidents WILL happen. Worth double the price if you ask me!
Good for you! I wish I could control all my actions! I don’t think it’s an age issue. I have just learned that ‘stuff’ happens, especially on jobsites where you’re constantly distracted by ‘stuff’ happening around you, people interrupting you, etc. I know some people who work alone all the time. That’s must be wonderful. But I never had that opportunity until I stopped working in the field and started working exclusively on my own home and in my shop. Even there, when I’m working entirely alone–I live alone and I’m 12 miles from the nearest hospital–I’m extremely careful but I know accidents happen. I don’t care what anyone calls them, either. The result is the same. I sure feel more comfortable using my SawStop cabinet saw then I used to feel using my Powermatic saw.
Hi Gary, Does this portable Saw stop saw have the outriggers for ripping sheet goods like the Bosch? I’m not using the track saw to rip up cdx ply. I really like Bosch’s table supports. Nice review. I also use the Saw stop contractors model for site work. Yes I have people to load it into the trailer when done. I just need to see the Bosch saw first. Price of tools means nothing to me. Having the guys returning home injury free does.
No, the SawStop doesn’t have portable outriggers. Definitely, you’d want to build an outfeed table or use a roller stand.
I’m not sure about the Bosch saw yet.
Gary, I am new to the site and so hesitate to weigh in. I was excited to find this new saw at Woodcraft and bought it to replace a dewalt long in the tooth. It is primarily for my own use. But I own a small business in construction with 17 employees. Safety and the right tools comes first every time. Most of our work is commercial-windows, door and hardware and having a very low EMR rating is crucial to the safety needs of ourselves and our general contractor clients. It flows over to my personal use. Table saws are dangerous–even with very experienced users. I was a very advanced and experienced downhill skier but when I made a small mistake on a Colorado trip I paid a serious price and the result was I recovered but could never run again–and I was a long time competitive runner. This happened in my mid forties in 1996. Then in another freak accident for someone as experienced as I am, I fell off a roof in 1999 and almost died and had a long arduous but successful recovery. But my last surgery was 3 years after the accident. The consequences for my family were huge. But it did not include financial hardship. If my living depended on my ability to perform well physically I would have been out of work for more than 3 years. The freak accidents will happen but why add risk to those that are preventable. This purchase was a no brainer. Every employee I have has made mistakes they should never have made whether it is mismeasuring or missing counts or making a shop mistake. We do our best to minimize them but as a business person for many years I know as long as the work is by human beings there will be errors–almost always unintended. But I recognize this is a tougher purchase decision for the one man trunk slammer on his own. But this new saw is not a one trick pony. It is a great saw. Among other things, we are a Marvin window dealer and usually cost more than most other options without apologies. But I will also say this: like drug companies that make serious hay while they have patents, this will have competitors in a few years that will probably bring the price down and make the safety features even more available and price competitive. The theory that this kind of safety feature will make people more careless is foolish. I think it is generally true most table saw accidents happen after successfully moving material through the saw and then digits are removed on the retreat of the hands back for the next operation when the operator has reduced their concentration.
Great saw but SawStop needs some outfeed options available. They are necessary for safety and feed control probably both the table and roller variety. I have been looking online but the saw is so new I can’t find any specific to this table. I am new to the site but like what I see. Thanks.
I agree with everything you’ve said, starting with your last comment: Yes, manufacturers should include other ‘out board’ features for these saws. Using a good outfeed table, and sometimes an infeed table, are also necessary safety devices, and they’re critical for making precise cuts, too.
And no doubt the prices will come down. Bosch will have their version of a safe table saw ready for release in the early fall. I’ve heard they’re thinking of licensing the technology to everyone, but that’s just a jobsite rumor, I’m sure.
I have to admit that I don’t respond well or thoroughly to some contributors’ comments. There are a few out there who kind of stalk this site (and other print magazines I contribute to, and sometimes they appear at live events, too), waiting for me to publish something or say something, and then they pounce with needless criticism. It’s all part of the internet culture: I guess some people think that useless criticism has some value to other readers. But the real value of this magazine are the articles and techniques and information that contributors share, even though they take great social risk doing so. I guess that’s the one important thing that stalkers and trolls share–they rarely contribute anything of value; they rarely write articles!
So I was glad to read your comment. Other readers should hear more from tradesmen like you. Your approach is thoughtful, mature, and responsible, as well as good for business and good for your employees. Congratulations for ‘investing’ responsibly.
And that’s not all! Your comment really hit me. You’re so right. How many carpenters or contractors can afford the downtime, the recovery time, from a serious accident? And what if the accident means they can’t work with their hands again? And once more, I don’t care what word you use to describe these “incidents”. After all, that’s what they’re called in the airline industry. Just last week two planes in the Middle East almost hit each other, but new safety features warned of the possible collision. I was in a rental car last week and noticed that car had the same technology–whenever I got too close to something (even t backing up!), the safety device warned me. And while driving in the Midwest, I noticed a digital sign that said something about 1800 young drivers had been injured in accidents so far this year because they weren’t wearing seat belts. Preventable injuries. And I remember how much the auto industry complained when the government made seat belts mandatory, but they save lives. I see no difference between safety features on cars and airplanes and safety devices on table saws.
One thing I don’t see mentioned when discussing safe table saw operation is the critically important use of push sticks. Keeping one’s fingers as far from the blade as possible, while maintaining precise control, is the best way to avoid injury. I am on site with carpenters of all stripes and rarely see anyone using the simple push stick. I witness what I consider extremely foolish behavior on a regular basis, which is by extension also something that works against the idea of quality results. Use a push stick to control your material, spare your hands, and get a better cut!
I totally agree and deeply regret that I shot that video and didn’t use a push stick because I was thinking about camera angles, and context, and continuity, and editing the clips, and….dumb. Just dumb. But a good example of why accidents happen!
I am very interested in this saw.
30 years a cabinetmaker, the last 15 only on site.
I have all my fingers and thumbs the correct length and have never had a power tool injury.
Recently a piece of solid poplar bound up and split while ripping.
I know it has only just been released but we need a real world longish term review of this saw. How well does it function after a month of site work. Every day in and out of the truck. MDF dust.
I purchased one of the big three’s saw based on a salesman’s recommendation and have had three years of regrets.
So, anyone using one yet?
Hi, Gary does this saw have out riggers for supporting ripping stock or sheet goods. My old Dewalt TS has them. One on the side, one behind the saw. The supports do work and retract for easy for self storage on the saw. I have the contractors model, however its a beast to lug around.
No, it doesn’t have outriggers.
Gary, This is a great article and video. I have been a Festool user since day one, but I must say the quality of the SawStop is fantastic, real top notch. To adjust the SawStop it is very easy, it took a couple of minutes as I only needed to adjust the fence. Whereas on the Bosch it will take approximately one hour to adjust when you first get it. What prompted me to buy the SawStop, was about one month ago I had to make two quick cuts and was using my new Dewalt table saw. I happened to be wearing a wearing a very baggy shirt ( I know that broke the cardinal rule but I am always careful) well how many times have you heard that. As I pushed the piece thru, the blade grabbed my shirt and wow – I COULD FEEL THE WIND FROM THE BLADE- I had a 8 inch cut in my right sleeve. I know there is a lot of anger about SawStop trying to push other manufactures to use their product thru strong pressure but politics does not feed my family. Awhile back I had a visit to emergency room. $2,800 dollars later and about three weeks of no work and rehab for a month sounds like a no brainer. The cost of the saw was a lot cheaper than the injury and the loss of income. No matter how much experience you have bad things happen, thats why they are called accidents . Nobody is invincible unless you have a big RED S (superman) on your shirt. Also I was able to add the Jessum table saw guides to the fence with the help of SawStop a great add on product. While talking to the tech guys they told me they have a customer who cuts really wet wood, they make shipping pallets, and the saw worked really well with no problem, (i.e.; activation of brake), the wood had 40% percent moisture. To me they extra price is worth it because I do not want be called stubby! I was lucky this time, but maybe not next time, which is why I bought a SawStop.
BE SAFE ! Donald
Thanks for your note. I think it’s important for readers to hear from contributors who value safety, especially if they’ve learned that lesson the hard way. Too many people who haven’t been hurt think the same way you did–that they’re invulnerable; that their “safe working habits” will protect them. It’s important for readers to know that isn’t always true, and if it’s not “always” true, then there’s reason to invest in modern tools that provide more protection. Bosch wouldn’t have developed a “safer” table saw if they didn’t agree. And sure, innovation and improved tools often cost more: the Domino costs a LOT more than a biscuit joiner; a nail gun costs a LOT more than a hammer; an impact driver costs a LOT more than a Yankee Push Drill (geez were those things dangerous!), etc. I can’t help mentioning seat belts…again.
And then there’s the risk to others–it’s one thing to just think about yourself, but protecting other people who use your tools, like your employees, is equally important, and not just because of the financial liability. The concept goes far far far beyond money–and besides, that would be a selfish consideration, too. If we all cared a little bit more about other people…Imagine.
Thanks again for contributing,
Gary, I have been building furniture for 23 years. Your work is second to none, and your articles are the same. Keep up the great work. PS. Some people think too much.
Tablesaws: Walker, Ridgid portable failed, Ridgid contractor, Sawstop jobsite. The Walker was handed down, the others were purchased new. Living with Sawstop level of quality out of the box and detail in daily use far out weights the opinions of non owners. In time the cost of active safety features will drop as alternative systems and popularity increase. The question is, how many Sawstop owners have returned or sold their tools?
In my opinion the very nature of the portable and smaller table saws with their plastic build, inductive directe drive motors, and tiny fences, make them extreamly dangerous. The little ones look harmless and consider who’s buying them?
Unless orange is your favorite color the Sawstop Jobsite out classed the Ridged portable in every aspect. The blade up/down and tilt alone is worth the extra cost.
After spending some time with the SS Jobsite I have a few criticisms that may not be fair to the intended use as a ” portable and/or jobsite” table saw.
The rip fence deployment is indeed innovative, unfortunately, it exhibits a much greater fundamental trait of all T-style fences, the lack of support at the rear of the fence. Depending on the size weight and density of the stock the lack of rear support can become disconsertingly toyish. The amount of fence movement creates unnecessary load and strain on what seems to be a very capable direct drive induction motor. I would suggest a more robust design or an upgradable accessory rear locking design that also offers some fence attachment capability at the expense of quick deployment.
The blade insert offers four point hight adjustments. Regardless, the plastic is so flexible at the rear of the insert stock has a tendency to catch an edge.
I’m a customer who views Sawstop as a pemium product not only for its active safety technology but also for its quality and design execution. My concerns would definetly drive up the cost and possibly the weight of the tool. Therefor, I believe this product is ripe for accessories for home hobbiest not concerned with loading this tool into a pickup but who don’t have the room for a contractor or hybrid model.
That said, a cast iron table option or accessory would be very interesting.
I realize this post is late, but I wanted to add my two cents worth since I think there is a lot of FUD and misunderstanding around the sawstop technology and the Jobsite version in particular.
Firstly, I’d wager that, like me, a goodly portion of SawStop buyers did so after a near miss (or amputation) using a traditional saw. I came shockingly close to a multiple amputation using a crosscut sled on my DeWalt DWE7480. I am acutely aware of the risks with table saws and thought I was too careful to ever be hurt, but the 3/4″ of blade sticking up through the sled base was effectively invisible and one time when I accidentally left the sled pulled further toward me than usual I flicked my fingers right across the blade as I swept the waste cutoff out of the way. The small table surface on the DeWalt meant that my large sled completely obscured the sled’s position over the table so this time the spinning blade was six inches from where I thought it was. Although at first I was certain I had lost a finger or two, when I built the nerve to look I had just cut a 1/8″ groove across the knuckles of three fingers and chewed the tip of my third finger into pulp. I managed to avoid stitches and nearly a year later there is no visible damage, but that finger tip is still numb/sensitive and feels “thick”. A couple of days after my accident I was at Lee Valley buying a SawStop. Interestingly, three of my favorite YouTube woodworkers made the same switch from DWE7480 to SawStop JSS not long after I bought mine. I actually seriously considered the new Bosch finger-saving jobsite saw, but although it was supposedly available for sale shortly before my accident, EVERYBODY was back-ordered and nobody could say when it was going to be available again, so SawStop it was.
Now for my impressions of the saw. Overall this saw is extremely well built, rugged and solid. The wheeled base is first rate and sets up/collapses with the tap of a toe. The JSS is heavy but easy to maneuver with the excellent base, and rock solid when raised to work height.
The saw has ample power, and supports dado sets, which my DeWalt did not. I have used the saw on everything from crappy fir dimensional lumber, pressure treated planks, pine jambs and casing, and hardwood and have never needed to use to bypass mode.
Integral dust management (standard 2.5″ shop vac connection) is adequate, but not as good as the DeWalt as more sawdust is ejected above the blade than with the DWE7480. An optional dust control blade guard is available from SawStop but I haven’t tried it.
Due to the way the safety stop cartridge works ultra-thin kerf blades are not supported as they are not rigid enough for the brake block to grab them safely. 8″ dado sets are supported but you either need to install the optional dado brake cartridge or do dado work in bypass mode.
My only disappointment with this saw is the fence. I admit to being spoiled by the vernier adjustable fence on the DWE7480 which uses rack and pinion front and back to ensure the fence remains perfectly square without any flexing. Unfortunately the JSS fence is free-floating at the rear and can be flexed noticeably with less force than I would like. More annoying though is that the fence lock always nudges the alignment maybe 1/32″ off what I am trying to set it to and slightly twists the fence angle too. On the DeWalt you just unlock the fence, slide it to the rough position, then use the vernier knob to dial the exact position you want. Relocking the fence doesn’t affect its position one iota. Unfortunately, like all jobsite saws, installing a better aftermarket fence on the SawStop is pretty much impossible.
Love the saw but hate the fence pretty much sums it up for me.
One other negative I forgot to mention. The supplied blade insert is atrocious, way too flimsy, pretty much impossible to align evenly with the table surface and leaving far too much gap around the blade. The design of the insert mount, clip, and adjustment screws makes it extremely difficult to make your own zero-clearance inserts. I did manage to make a usable one, but it required much work on the router table and with chisels and files after cutting out the blank to clear all the random parts that intrude into the insert space as the blade (and brake mechanism) is raised. In the end I do have a good ZC insert made which locks safely into place behind the blade and riving knife, but I couldn’t find any way to make the front clip hold the insert down, and in fact the clip has to be zip-tied out of the way to stop it pushing the front of the insert up out of the table. Luckily my insert sits snugly and never lifts so I’m not worried about it getting hung up on an incoming board.
Basic shop safety is not taught these days – 60 years ago our instructor in woodwork 101 drilled us relentlessly. Ties, long sleeved shirts, snoods for long hair (only girls back then) strobing lights making moving parts appear stopped – the list goes on and on.
Recently I met a young lad who suffered horrendous injuries at school – he was wearing a long sleeved shirt and his sleeve caught in a drill – nearly ripped his arm off.
His class had no dress code, nor any instructions in basic shop safety.
The more we know about safety, the more we tighten our seat belts, and keep vigilant about everyone’s safety.
Out daughter with 3 teenage friends was T boned by a driver going through a light. The car was written off. The investigating office told the families – you must all give thanks to Saint Volvo tonight, as otherwise your children would be maimed or killed.
Saw stop is the Volvo of saws – an investment in your safety – hope for the best and plan for the worst.
Loved the review. You sort of skimmed over one part that is important to me: The Fence. I am particularly concerned about deflection on the back end, and its effect on the cut.
I am going to upgrade my current “saw”. This saw is one consideration, the other is the Sawstop Contractor with the 36 inch biesemeyer style fence. Unfortunately, I would then need to cut the fence rails, and eliminate part of the surface due to severe space limitations. The saw is not going anywhere other than my cramped one car a “shop”, so portability is not an issue.
The only thing keeping from this saw is the fence deflection on the back end where there are no contacts, and its’ subsequent effect on the cut.
My uncle cut his thumb off while using my dewalt table saw, regardless of how or why he did it, that night I researched and ordered a SAW STOP JOB SITE SAW, an extra brake and extra blade….i would have paid double just for piece of mind…beside the safety feature, I just love the quality of the saw….i have employees that use the saw and knowing I have that safety feature let’s me sleep better at night…….
FYI to all Saw Stop users! You local saw shop where you get your blades sharpened, missing teeth replaced, etc., may be able to SAVE a blade after a SawStop cartridge has activated on it!
I was ripping down some once-used lumber and had the cartridge fire because I happened to cut a 15ga finish nail exactly in half lengthwise (so it acted like metal foil). This was on my really high quality industrial combination blade and I was really bummed that I’d “lost” it.
A couple weeks later, I was taking blades in for resharpening, and, in a “what the hell” moment, took the blade with the cartridge attached to the saw shop. I asked the guy if he could save the blade, and he said he’d try. Picked it up a couple weeks later and it was good as new! Once he’d gotten the cartridge off (turned out to be pretty easy since the blade buries in aluminum), he checked that the blade platter hadn’t been warped or bent, replaced a tooth, and then resharpened the blade. He only charged me a couple $$ extra for the cartridge removal over the cost of the tooth replacement and sharpening, and the blade works good as new back on the saw!
Now this might not work on every blade. I’d imagine that a thin kerf blade with many anti-vibration slots would have a potential for bending or warping. Also, a blade that’s cheaper to replace than to resharpen wouldn’t make sense. But if you have a Freud industrial, a Tenryu, a CMT Orange, a Ridge Carbide, a Whiteside, or other high end blade, this is definitely worth investigating.
Hope it Helps!
How does the sawstop jobsite saw cut quality and cut consistency compare to a cabinet saw? I am looking to downsize my shop and shrink my table-saw but don’t want to be aggravating myself with cuts on a bad jobsite saw. Thanks for any feedback—-and I see now the sawstop jobsite got an upgrade to the pro-model.
John, It’s a jobsite saw, NOT a cabinet saw. I think you might be disappointed. I love my Sawstop Portable Jobsite saw, it is a great saw, a little underpowered but the fence and table and engineering are wonderful. But it does slow a little tiny bit when cutting 2x, which is one reason I think you’ll prefer your cabinet saw.
I’m about 5 years late to this party, while investigating a new table saw for the first time in a while. Interesting review, and I’ve read all the comments which were just as interesting… however, I note the review says the Sawstop was “a little” louder at 98.5db A-weighted, vs 94.3db for the Bosch. That’s a little misleading – As a rule of thumb an increase in SPL (sound pressure level) of 6db A-weighted is considered a doubling of “volume”. So at 4.2 db difference it’s nominally 70% louder – way more than “a little”. Good thing I’ll keep 10 fingers just in case I need to learn sign language haha.
All the best!