While there may be no dearth of good table saw companies in the market today, it is a well known fact that not all of them can be considered as manufacturers of the best table saws. Even among those who do produce such distinguished products, however, there are hardly any who provide a range of safety mechanisms and convenience enhancing systems as SawStop does. Coupled with such special features, though, SawStop is also known for offering the very best of saw build quality and performance, with rigorous testing being done to ensure that they live up to the hardest possible work conditions.
That said, we would be going against our own advice if we ask you to purchase just any SawStop saw without knowing the exact benefits offered by SawStop saws, and more importantly, the features of the saw itself. To save you the time and effort required to study hundreds of SawStop saws and their beneficial characteristics, we have compiled for you below a list of reviews of the top SawStop saws. Before we dig into that though, let us quickly go over the special features offered by all SawStop Saws.
Outstanding Strengths of SawStop Table Saws
Though each saw has its own unique characteristics, below are some special strengths that almost all SawStop saws enjoy
1. Special dust collection mechanism: Present in virtually all SawStop saws with a motor power of 3HP and above, this mechanism creates a special air circulation around the motor, which allows the sawdust coming from the blade to be channelized into a thin stream of sawdust. This stream is then taken out through a special funnel and tube apparatus located at the back of the table saw assembly. The tube connects to a set of funnel-shaped collection chambers which collect the stream of sawdust for safe removal later. As is obvious, this mechanism is far better than the existing dust collection mechanisms, which allow the dust to either pass out of the system onto the floor (and into the body of the user) or in some better cases, settle in the interior of the table saw apparatus.
2. Safety Mechanism: Most table saws have some type of safety mechanism, but anyone who knows how to use a table saw knows that should the finger be in the line of the saw and make contact, even the best safety mechanisms cannot prevent it from chopping the finger off your hand. SawStop however, offers a brake system which runs a tiny current through the blade at all times. When the blade touches your finger, it passes the current to your body. This change is detected by the brake, which almost instantly forces a heavy spring to leap into action. The spring pushes a aluminum brake into the saw, rendering it motionless. Further, the momentum that the saw had forces it to retract, thereby turning off the motor.
It is true that this mechanism can be triggered by other moderate conductors of electricity which may be present on the board. Further, once triggered, the entire blade and brake structure has to be removed and replaced for the SawStop saw to work again. In spite of this less than perfect functioning, it is always better to have to replace a blade than to lose a finger – which obviously is irreplaceable.
Now that we have seen the myriad benefits offered by SawStop saws in general, it is time to look at the best SawStop saws available in the market today.
1. SawStop PCS31230-TGP236 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw
Boasting of a 3HP 13 amps professional grade motor for running the powerful 10 inch blade, the SawStop PCS31230-TGP236 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw comes with a 20”x27” table that should be sufficient for handling even the largest of the stocks. Furthermore, there is provision for additional wings, should the original base table be insufficient. These wings take the total size of the table to 44”x27”, which is more than enough for all woodworking applications. Furthermore, a 36 inch T-glide fence system ensures that the cutting/ripping is carried out with minimal problems.
Coupled with these are the highly beneficial safety and dust collection mechanisms, the latter worked through a 4 inch port at the rear of the product. To make replacement convenient, the product has been made fully compatible with 10 inch standard blades and 8 inch dado sets. Finally, the product comes with a one year warranty, which though decent, could have been slightly higher.
- Prevents serious injury with always-on protection
- Included 36-inch T-Glide fence system provides smooth operation, precision measurement and sure lockdown without deflection
- Fully enclosed cabinet, industry leading dust collection
- Ideal for professional woodworkers, hobbyists, and low-volume production shops
- Compatible with 10-inch standard blades and 8-inch dado sets
- Left tilting blade helps prevent wood from binding against the fence
- 220-volt power requirement
- One-year limited warranty
2. Sawstop CNS175-TGP52 1-3/4 HP Contractor Saw
We have seen in our table saw reviews that units with larger fence systems generally tend to be the more stable, and so it is no surprise that this contractor saw, boasting of a 52” T-Glide fence system, is one of the smoothest in the business. Given that it is a contractor saw, the motor is slightly on the weaker side at 1.75HP, but it is sufficient for running the high precision standard 10 inch blade.
Furthermore, the contractor saw comes with a light movable base, which along with the fact that the product itself is quite light, allows for greater mobility. Improving the convenience factor further is the fact that this product comes with a blade shroud which narrows down to a 4 inch port that connects to the dust collection mechanism mentioned above. This product also comes with a one year limited warranty, which is quite decent for the price bracket.
- 85-1/4-inch W, 45-inch d, 34-3/4-inch H
- Unmatched fit and finish with a keen attention to detail
- SawStop Safety System
- 52″ T-Glide Fence System provides smooth operation
- An expansive work surface, precision measurement and sure lockdown without deflection
- Mobility options like Job Site Cart and Mobile Base
3. SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw
Possessing a 3HP motor and a 10 inch blade, the SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw is capable of achieving speeds and precision levels close to (but slightly lower than) the first cabinet saw on our list. Further, it not only offers a the standard extension wings, but an optional metal table that allows this saw to cut much longer and larger pieces of wood. Like the second candidate on our list, this saw also features a 52 inch T-Glide fence system for smooth and precise functioning.
The USP of this product however is the presence of two optional bases, each of which provide a different level of mobility, thus making this product an exception to the rule that cabinet saws are generally not portable table saws. However, due to this mobility perhaps, this product too comes with a one year limited warranty, which is slightly lower than what standard cabinet saws in this price range offer.
- The SawStop 3HP Professional Cabinet saw with 52″ Professional T-Glide Fence System offers versatility and safety
- It delivers the performance you need with the peace of mind only SawStop’s patented safety system can provide
4. SawStop CNS175-TGP36 1-3/4 HP Contractor Saw
The second contractor saw on our list, this product offers a similar 1-3/4HP motor for running the high precision 10 inch blade. However, it offers a slightly smaller extension wing to the standard 20”x27” table, which takes the total size to 32”x27”. As with the products mentioned above, this one too features a 52” T-Glide precision fence system.
The sacrifice in terms of table size aids the portability of this contractor saw, which is in fact one of the most easily movable products from the SawStop line. An interesting feature of this saw is the rather noticeable slight left tilt of the blade, which prevents the wood from sticking to the fence. Finally, this saw too comes with a 1 year warranty, which is decent for its price bracket.
- Offering versatility and safety in the shop and stability and mobility on the job site
- It delivers the performance you need with the peace of mind only SawStop’s patented safety system can provide
- The safety system detects when someone accidentally contacts the spinning saw blade, and then stops the blade in milliseconds — resulting in just a nick on a SawStop saw instead of the devastating injury
- This model comes with a 36-inch T-Glide fence system for added strength and increased precision as well as rails and extension table
5. SawStop PCS175-TGP236 1.75-HP Professional Cabinet Saw
Considered one of the best SawStop table saws by those who wish to have a cabinet saw but do not want to go into the $3,000+ range, the SawStop PCS175-TGP236 1.75-HP Professional Cabinet Saw sacrifices the 52 inch T-Glide fence system for the 36 inch system to reduce the price. However, most ordinary woodworkers are not likely to notice this difference, unless they have to deal with extremely long stocks or sheets. The 1.75HP motor is also decent considering the price bracket, and can run the 10 inch carbide-tipped blade for long periods without suffering fatigue. Further, like the higher priced products, this Sawstop beauty offers the standard 22”x27” extension, taking the base table size to 44”x27”.
Though the price has been dropped, none of the safety or convenience features have been compromised upon. Hence this product has the safety brake, the central monitor, the dust collection mechanism and the left leaning switch, just like the higher priced models do. Furthermore, it can run on a 110V power supply, which is ideal for a number of states in North America and Europe. Finally, a one year limited warranty has been provided with this product, which is decent for this price range.
- The SawStop safety system includes an electronic detection system that detects when a person contacts the blade
- The system induces an electrical signal onto the blade and then monitors that signal for changes
- It can tell the difference between a finger and a piece of wood as the human body has a relatively large inherent electrical capacitance and conductivity, which will cause the signal to drop when a person contacts the blade
- When contact is detected, a fast-acting brake stops the blade, with a heavy-duty spring pushing a block of aluminum (called a brake pawl) into the teeth of the blade to stop the blade from spinning
- The teeth cut into the aluminum and bind, thereby stopping the blade in about 3 to 5 milliseconds — or 1/200th of a second
Though many of the SawStop table saws may appear similar in design and offer the same security mechanisms, we have seen that there are significant differences. While some offer a greater amount of horsepower but with limited fence size, others offer weaker motors but with greater mobility. Now it is well known that a person who needs to work on-site does not need a motor as powerful as the owner of large workshop, and conversely, the latter does not require the mobility of the former. Hence, it is vital that you decide which set of features is ideal for you. Now while it is not possible to cover the whole list of SawStop saws in a single article, we do hope that we have been able to cover the best table saws for a wide range of users. By carefully studying this list and matching it with your needs, you can rest assured of making a choice which will not only be highly profitable, but also safe and convenient in the long run.