SawStop – Saves a Hand

We’d like to share an email we received from one of our woodworkers.


Today we received a load of re-claimed rough sawn white oak. It must have been used as floor joists at some point because there are 3/4″ holes near the ends (probably for wiring)of some of them. All were 10-12 inches wide heavy 8 quarter with the shortest about 10′ long and the longest around 14′. The only problem I could see (other than being filthy) was a bit of wain in most of them. I had one of our new guys straight-line these boards using a method I learned from the show.

All was going well at this point.

This new guy has been in the OJT program for 3 weeks and, near as I can tell, was trying to make a good impression. He had finished 50 or so boards when I heard the unmistakable snap of the Saw Stop followed by the other guys yelling. I rushed over right away and discovered he had ran his right hand into the blade. If that had been ANY other saw that man’s life would have been changed forever. As it turned out he got a minor cut in the palm of his right hand – didn’t even need stitches.

Everybody knows you use a Saw Stop cabinet saw and some will remember a year or more ago you had a contractor version of the Saw Stop on the show. I didn’t rush right out and buy one but I was impressed. Well last fall the non-profit I work for decided I would manage the furniture shop they were planning to open. I think I may have mentioned this to you about the same time.

To make a long story a little bit shorter, I argued for the Saw Stop while our director was in favor of a 12″ Grizzly. I won.

Now to the point.

Because you had that saw on the show our new guy, Jim, has a right hand. For that, I thank you and Jim would too if he knew I was writing.

While I can’t speak for anyone else, I listen when you talk about new products and this time it paid off big.

I do go on a bit, don’t I. Well I though it was important for you to know.

Tell everyone hi and have a great weekend.
Best Regards,


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24 Responses to SawStop – Saves a Hand

  1. Eddie says:

    That is why I have a Saw Stop

  2. Stumpy Nubs says:

    There are two types of woodworkers in thew world. Those who have Saw Stops, and those who want Saw Stops. I’m one of the latter, but I can tell you this, The next saw I buy will have that technology.

  3. Carl says:

    And all this time I thought I was a woodworker. I don’t own a saw stop, nor do I personally want a saw stop. However, I am a fan of their saws. I first used one at Charles’ shop and I quickly learned that this is not a cheap saw with a high priced gimmick attached. These saws are built rock solid. The reason I don’t personally want a saw stop is because I purchased one of the “new and improved” Delta Unisaws back in June 2009 when they were first introduced to the market and I love it. PLUS….no one other than myself uses this saw. If I’m asked for a recommendation of which saw to buy, yes I’d recommend a Saw Stop.

  4. Rich says:

    I have a saw stop. I also have a hand somewhat like Charles.
    I didn’t fall asleep, but had a big time brain fart.
    While i don’t push the saw stop i would recommend one if asked.
    Everyone has thier own opinion & choices & i respect that.

  5. don says:

    No one uses my saw but me, so for the time being I’ll keep using the Unisaw. However, if and when I would hire someone the First piece of equipment that I would replace will be the Unisaw with SawStop.

  6. AceHoleInOne says:

    Glad things worked out!!!!!!!!!!!!!Some day I’m gonna get one.

    Question for those of you that run a Sawstop. Do you have or any of you have accidental misfires, where by the blade just stops or misfires for some reason other that flesh contact. If so, how many times in 12 months. Reason I ask, how many backups cartridges would you have to have on hand to keep the saw running?

    • Ben says:

      Ace, I’ve had my Sawstop for almost 3 years, and I have tripped it twice, both times my fault and avoidable. The first time was when I set the blade angle to 45 degrees and didn’t think that I had switched to an Osborn miter slide without checking the blade clearance, and the other time I switched the miter slide to the right side of the blade without thinking – both old habits from using sacrificial mdf fences on my miter gauge I am now VERY aware of what I’m feeding into the saw đŸ™‚

    • Leonard Beasley says:

      Ace, in the 8 months we’ve had the contractor model the brake triggered 7 times – only this last time was an actual save. We discovered a bad ground connection was causing false triggers. Once this was repaired, there have been no false triggers at all.

  7. I taught a Rocker class here at my shop to a very prominent eye surgeon who owned a top of the line Felder Saw.. as we were talking..I told him with him being in the profession he’s in..that I would highly recommend he sell the Felder and get a Sawstop.. he took my advise and went out and traded the Felder for a Planer/jointer combo machine and bought outright the Saw stop.. glad he did..I have the Powermatic 66..if she ever breaks will be replaced with the Sawstop, but right now..I simply cannot afford another machine..

  8. Ace, as to accidental misfires, I have not had any, that were not my fault, I mean by that, stuff like alumniumn miter slides, hitting the blade or trying to saw apart a gold guilded picture frame, can cause it to trigger,but in as much as misfiring for no reason ….. NONE,.
    I will further add that my saw is now over 40 some odd number of times it has been demoed, many of you have been here and seen me demo it, it has NEVER not returned to perfect alignment, if you have ever seen the demo in person then you understand the force this saw has to take, but its deigned to handle it, my saw is proof, all I know to say,, is you will never regret one,

  9. MIKE WILSON says:

    I have the 5Hp unit same as Charles and have never had it trip. This beast is such a pleasure to use and like Charles says it stays accurate.

  10. Thomas Tieffenbacher says:

    This is great stuff. Saw their video on line. One of my clients referred me to it. What does a 5 hp sawstop cost these days?

  11. Rich says:

    On the misfire question,
    I have had two. Both my fault.
    The miter slide that has been mentioned, & trying to saw a piece of wood that was to wet, as in i spilled water on it. Wiped it off & tried to make a cut. Didn’t do this on purpose. Forgot about the by-pass feature for wet wood. When it goes off it sure do get your attention.

  12. pitbull says:

    Jim is one lucky guy. Hopefully he is humbled by this experience.

  13. I’m grateful that Saw stop is available now days, a few years ago it would have been science fiction to have a saw do what Saw stop does. I talked our local high school into replacing their old delta with a Saw Stop and with in a week a 12 year old had her finger saved because of the SS mechanism. Charles with his demonstrations of the SS has saved folks many a injury just by letting others know about this great tool.Thanks Charles and everyone else that promotes the use of this great invention.

  14. That is one happy ending for Jim. About 12 years, I worked building Kitchen Cabinets in the city, my job was on the saw. The only mechanism back then, remotely close to a SawStop was what I like to call a “Close Call”. Thankfully there is much more than a close call to rely on this day and age.

    The index finger on my right hand is asking when the router version is coming out. Still have the finger fully attached but I have a nice scar that can tell you a story about complacency.

  15. Rich says:

    I guess the lesson learned is no matter what you are doing in the shop, you have to be aware of what you are doing & wear your saftey eqwuipment.

  16. Marty says:

    I pick my new Saw Stop up in 2 weeks. I saw the Saw Stop add to win a new Saw Stop by friending them on FaceBook. I don’t do FaceBook so I had my wife friend it for me. She didn’t win it for me, but they started sending her testimonials and information. I was told to get one. After over 40 years of pushing wood through table saws I feel I have used up my quota good luck. Common sense will still prevail, but there will be that extra added safety feature.

  17. Charles Mullins says:

    Concerning the SawStop, I use one at work every day at the US Army Arts and Crafs Center and I must say that they really are a good saw. There are, however, some issues I have with them.

    1. Changing the brake assembly to use a Dado blade is so troublesome that often dado operations are not done. OK call us lazy.

    2. Since you tend to depend on the SawStop safety feature more and more as time goes by, the use of a regular saw tends to make one more careless in operation. I find this happening with my saw at home. I am making an effort to NOT FORGET in operation that my home shop tablesaw is not a SawStop.

    There have been some “firing” of the brake assembly at work by one individual and luckily there was minimal damage done to his thumb. Again just a bandaide was needed.

    • So the way I understand…there is a separate brake for the dado. Do you find yourself not changing the brake for dado operations? Can you run a dado without a brake apparatus installed? I know that sounds like defeating the purpose. Just asking.

  18. no you have to have a cartridge for any blade, I agree switching out the cartridge is not fun, but I just do it and dont think about it, as to depending on the SS , this has been a big debate from day one and there are good points both pro and con, I also have a 5hp Jet Exacta saw, and I personally can’t say I do anything different on one or the other, getting cut is the big deal with a table saw, but they can hurt you in many more ways, kick back, and so forth, so I try to be cautious irrespective of the saw

    • Charles Mullins says:

      I agree whole heartedly about being safe. I too am a victim of a bad kickback and lost my left hand index finger. That makes a real mess out of playing a fretted instrument.

      The point I was trying to make is that we often get too comfortable with the safety technology and may get careless with non safe saws.

      Another item is that a riving knife is one of the better safety features to have on a tablesaw. It too has some issues but the resultant extra safety is very desirable.


      Charlie M.

  19. Charles Mullins says:

    Please read “LOST” not list my index finger “TIP”, not the whole finger. It’s still good for gripping and to hang a doughnut off of! Haa Haa!

    Charlie M.

  20. Someone should calculate how many fingers have been saved already thanks to SawStop safety system.

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