The Bottom Line
Now, that safety feature has been added to a world-class contractor saw, one loaded with features that rivals any other contractor saw that I've ever used. In testing this saw, I was duly impressed with not only the list of features, but the fit and finish of the saw and the power with which it cut. It is truly an impressive machine.
- Contractor Saw that includes SawStop's revolutionary blade brake system
- 1.75-HP motor can be set up for 110 or 220-volt power
- Cast iron table with removable extension wings, that can be replaced by optional cast iron wings
- Exceptionally well-written owner's guides and assembly manuals
- More expensive than most contractor saws, but that price includes SawStop's blade brake system
- Standard features include a solid cast iron table with T-style miter tracks, plus cast iron trunnions and arbor block
- Features a true riving knife, easily interchangeable with a blade guard (including a riving knife & anti-kickback pawls)
- Blade shroud designed for better dust collection than most contractor saws
- Large start/stop paddle power switch with removable lock-out key
- Blade brake system can be switched off for cutting of extremely wet stock
- Options include mobile base, cast iron wings, T-Glide (Biesemeyer-style) fence and extension table
Guide Review - SawStop Contractor Saw Review
I've used a number of contractor's saws in my time, and let's just say that I came away from my testing of the SawStop Contractor Saw quite impressed. First of all, while it took about four hours from the moment I opened the box until I finished assembly and adjustments to prepare for my first cut, I was very pleased with the exceptionally well-written assembly instructions. The only trouble that I encountered was that my box didn't include a drive belt, an oversight that the local dealer quickly rectified.
Once I began cutting, the SawStop really began to shine. The unit I tested included the optional T-Glide fence system, cast iron extension wings and mobile base. Once the fence was adjusted to be square to the table, it remained true no matter where I placed it. The 1-3/4 HP motor handled any task that I threw at it while set to 110-volt power and with the included 10" blade. I'm sure that adding a top-end blade and switching the power supply to 220-volt would make it perform even better.
I must admit I've never been a big fan of blade guards, but I felt comfortable using the saw with the blade guard (including riving knife and anti-kickback pawls). However, one can easily trade the blade guard for a single riving knife with a quick flick of a lever beneath the table top.
While the price is certainly higher than most competing saws, I'm of the opinion that if the safety feature saves one person's hand from an accident, then the additional money was well spent. To get a saw of this quality with the safety features is a bonus.