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The SawStop PCS
A fortunate large payday earlier this year allowed me to purchase several new tools for the shop. I sat down and thought long and hard about my current table saw, deciding it was time for a saw with a longer table and more horsepower. Now granted I am a bit of a tool snob, I quickly ruled out several brands including Jet, the brand of my old saw. I did not dislike my Jet saw however I had a large amount of cash to work with and I had determined to get a top shelf saw. The first thing I looked at was the new UNISAW from Delta, the second was the new saw from Powermatic, and last was the SawStop PCS, spending days agonizing over the purchase. I contacted each company, asking them for a discount and they all offered me a discount if I would review their saw. I then went to a local saw store and looked at each saw in person and based on the quality of the saws the choice became very clear. I wanted the SawStop. Concluding I was getting a great saw, safety features were just icing on the cake. My local shop was pushing all three saws, not caring which one I chose and I tried not to waste their time because I would be buying the saw direct. After making my choice I called my contact at SawStop and we quickly came to terms on the model and features I needed. I told him that I chose the saw based entirely on the features of the saw and that my choice had nothing to do with the saw being a safe saw.
The saw arrived well packaged and in a way I had not seen before. It was lying down in the box and would have to be righted so I called Bill and asked if he would be willing to come help me assemble my new saw. He said yes most certainly and after arriving a couple of hours later we began unpacking the saw and assembling it. The packaging and instructions were the best I have ever seen. All the parts were in a cardboard and bubble wrap container with little perforations in the card board to open at the right time, as easy as painting by numbers when I was a kid. We assembled and checked the saw for square, and were ready to plug it in and use it within 2 hours. One snag was my new 220V service would not be run for a week, so I photographed the build of the saw,
but then it was a one week wait for the electrician to come set up my auxiliary shop panel. Finally the days passed and the new wire was run. The shop had new lighting and new outlets for each machine including a new compressor and the SawStop. I spent the waiting days reading and re reading the manual, so when the time came I knew how to run the new saw and make any adjustments necessary. I decided to begin with the stock blade but I did not leave it in long as it was a combo blade and clearly the weakest link in the new saw system. After many hours of trying every type of cut something hit me, I was not intimidated at all using this saw. I always follow safety rules and use my guard more than any woodworker I know, so I didn’t use the riving knife until I needed to make some non through cuts and I removed the guard. The tool-less change from guard to riving knife was a breeze in addition to blade changes and clearance checks being very straight forward. Combine all this and a flawless assembly and I was becoming very satisfied in my purchase.
After setting up the saw I found everything was dead perfect and no additional adjustments were required. I began doing lots of test cuts, checking them for accuracy. The cuts were dead straight and the SawStop has power to spare. There is not one thing more I could ask from the performance of this saw so I pulled the old saw out of the shop and sent it to my Uncle where it will get occasional use and it has a good home which will save my conscience and keep me from feeling guilty about my old saw being put to pasture before its time.
The new saw went right to work I have used it every single day for the past 4 months. I have had no break fires and have even changed my position on the SawStop argument. I now believe every new saw sold in this country should incorporate this technology and this technology must not be needlessly bypassed. Yes there are times you should turn the safety feature off but this would be a rare thing in a cabinet or furniture shop as very little furniture is made with either pressure treated lumber or with wet wood.
The quality of this SawStop is unmatched in today’s market and the saw cost me less than the comparable Delta or Powermatic would have cost. There are those that call Mr. Gass a money hungry man and that he only cares about his patent. To these people I say Mr. Gass tried to sell this system to almost every single existing saw manufacture but they all said no. Mr. Gass had no choice but to market his own saw and one thing for sure he is marketing the best saw made today for the home workshop. The PCS is without equal both in safety and in quality.
A great table saw is the hub of all power tool workshops The SawStop PCS is a great choice to be that hub. As the saw is unmatched in quality and safety I am giving it five out of five stars, proudly recommending the SawStop PCS to all my readers. If you are in the market this saw is a must see and in my opinion, the SawStop PCS is also the right saw for most woodworkers who are serious about their woodworking.