Buy A SawStop

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I [KathyW] am submitting a proposal below for vote by the membership, to be voted on July 10th. I have been asked to point out with my submission that votes can be sent via email as well if the member voting would prefer or cannot make the meeting, and am informed that the address for that is

Proposed vote:

To increase the budget for purchasing a table saw by $2000 in order to purchase a Saw Stop professional cabinet saw.


When we moved out of the old space, we lost access to the old landlord’s table saw, a cornerstone of the woodworking shop tools. That is why the move budget included $1000 for a replacement table saw, the thought being that we could purchase a used saw for temporary use until we could afford something better. Now that we are actually moved into the new space and there is less uncertainty, purchasing a temporary saw does not make as much sense. Instead we should buy a new saw with modern safety features, specifically a Saw Stop.

Dan Meyer says table saws are among the top four most dangerous shop tools. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 people a year wind up in the emergency room with table saw injuries (according to this article in Fine Woodworking: That does not include on-the-job injuries, only hobbyists. Compared with the 5 to 6 million people in the US who have woodworking as a hobby, I calculate that as about 1 in 200. Accidents can happen to anyone, that’s why they are called ‘accidents.’

Over the past several years the Consumer Products Safety Commission voluntary standard for table saws has added safety requirements that new saws include a riving knife and modular guard as well as, effective 2010, other anti-kickback devices. Some older saws (including many used saws available on Craigslist) do not have these safety features. However, plenty of common woodworking operations require removal of the guard. The new standard is an improvement, but isn't the whole story.

Saw Stop saws have a safety feature that works even when the guard is removed. They use conductivity to detect whether the blade is cutting flesh and a fast-deploying brake to stop the blade. This may destroy the blade, and the special braking cartridge will need replacement, but saves the user’s hand. There is a bypass switch to turn off this safety feature when cutting conductive materials.

As Dan Meyer has noted, although good training and enforcement of safe use and proper personal protective equipment is the best solution for safe operation of ANY shop tool, a saw stop would significantly reduce the risk of injury from table saw usage.

Adrianna has recommended the purchase of a Saw Stop 110V 1.75HP Professional Cabinet saw, which she says is very similar to the old landlord’s saw in terms of function. It is this one:

She says this can be purchased for about $2300, but with delivery and accessories such as dust collection we will need to spend about $3000. She can have a more accurate quote before the vote for this proposal will take place.