I became a true SawStop fanboy the day I watched inventor Steve Gass stick his finger into the blade of one of his creations. I recently learned about their upcoming release of the SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw (PCS), targeting the slightly-sub $3k price point.
So join me in fanboy worship as I provide a brief overview, history and review collection of this new saw currently available for pre-order.
SawdustStop? Controlling Air Flow Changes the Game…
What really caught my attention on this saw, thanks to the fine folks at the PopularWoodworking blog, is how the new SawStop PCS has harnessed the previously squandered power of airflow created by the spinning blade.
Here’s how PW’s Glen Huey puts it: “SawStop molded the blade guard and manipulated the lower dust shroud to move the air – and the corresponding wood dust – directly toward and into a hose connection in rear of the blade guard.”
Here’s the shroud top on the new PCS:
You can also check the specs yourself here: SawStop 10″ Professional Cabinet Saw specs
An Early Mention of the SawStop PCS by Steve Gass at WoodNet
As far as I can discern, this thread at WoodNet: sawstop professional vs. orig cab is the first time that the PCS gets mentioned semi-officially by Steve Gass, SawStop inventor: “It will be a left tilt. It will also have a new guard design and fantastic dust collection performance (over and under). Production is currently scheduled for June.”
SawStop PCS Prototypes Released for Testing… Before Official Release
To beta test their new saw, SawStop offered a limited release for field testing. For a reduced price and early access SawStop requested feedback from its testers. The release also served to build buzz in the major woodworking forums (links below…).
Here’s a copy of the SawStop email pitching the PCS prototype:
SawStop is looking for people to test our latest cabinet saw. The Professional Cabinet Saw is slated for official launch this summer, but we need your help testing the first batch of production units.
We’re offering the new Professional Cabinet Saw at a discount off of the expected MSRP. In return we ask that you use the saw frequently and report back on your impressions and any issues you have with the saw. The saw will include our standard one-year warranty.
The Professional Cabinet Saw is a 3 HP, 220V cabinet saw that features SawStop’s patented safety system, advanced dust collection and premium levels of fit and finish. It delivers the performance you need from a cabinet saw at an affordable price.
Please see the attached document for more information on the Professional Cabinet Saw.
Here’s what you need to do to qualify to be a field tester:
·Pay for and receive the saw between March 23 and April 10
·Commit to use the saw frequently for 30-45 days after receiving it
·Report back on your experience using a questionnaire that will come with the saw
You may purchase either a 36” or a 52” fence system and you have the option of buying a mobile base.
Special field testing prices are as follows:
36” fence system: $2,499
52” fence system: $2,559
Mobile base: $175
Shipping is included in this price. Local taxes apply.
If you are interested in participating in our field testing and being one of the first to own the new SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw, please reply to this email or call Dylan Walter at 503-570-3200.
Act now. There is a limited supply of saws available for field testing.
10 Reviews from Current SawStop PCS Owners
I pulled these comments and reviews directly from SawmillCreek and Woodnet forum threads… you can find all links to the specific forum threads in the resources section below. I hope these help potential buyers piece together a sense of the new saw’s quality. Overall, the SMC boys like it more. The Woodnetters are a notoriously prickly lot, though that’s what gives that forum it’s charm in my opinion. That said, the Woodnetters who were testers liked it alot – their compatriots just gave them he** for liking SawStops ;)
1) Paul Ryan Overall:
“And the saw, HO HO HO, it is a keeper. It seems to have lots more power than my 3 hp SC, it cut 7/4 hickory with the stock blade like butter. The dust collection is better than the SC, and the fit and finish is 2nd to none. The mobile base is real nice, just wish it had 4 swivle casters instead of 2. All in all I am very happy.”
2) barryvabeach Overall:
“I have one of the field test models, and while it has been beaten to death on the brake – marketing issues, I will say the same things as many others, although I bought it for the brake, even without it is a pretty nice saw. I haven’t seen the PM or new Unisaw in any detail, so I can’t provide that comparison, but the SS professional cab saw is pretty nice to use. It has a gas cartridge that provides some additional lift when raising and lowering the blade – so that works very smoothly easily, it has a zero clearance insert that locks in place and removes without any tools or screws – though as a downside , if you want to make you own zci – you would have to use a screw to hold it in place, the changeover from blade guard to splitter is tool free and pretty easy since both can be stored on the side of the saw. The miter gauge is pretty average, though it can be stored on the side also, the fence is quite good – but there is no onboard storage. The saw has plenty of power, and you can adjust nearly anything you can think of in a very precise manner ( you don’t need a hammer ) . I don’t use a dado blade so I can’t speak to that, but I change between a WWII and the Sawstop blade in a minute or two with no adjustments of the brake mechanism. Overall I am quite pleased.”
3) routerhead Overall:
“I use the Professional model for hobby use but it would be suitable for much heavier use. I wanted a lower cost saw than the Industrial version and have no regrets whatsoever buying it. I would be in line again to order another one if anything happened to the one that I got through the field tester program.
If you choose the Professional saw, take a look at purchasing the mobile base from the Industrial saw. The Industrial Mobile base is primo and will fit the Professional saw with a conversion kit that will be included.”
4) Tapper Overall:
“I also bought one of the field test models and so far, with limited use am quite pleased with it. It replaced a Unisaw – bought it primarily for the safety feature as I’m getting a little older and wanted to take the possibility of a serious accident out of the tablesaw equation.
For my purposes, it will do all I will ever need; use it for home improvement and general shop projects. It is a well built saw, easy to use, nice ergonomics and I sprang for the Industrial Saw mobile base, which really helps when moving the saw around. It’s hydraulic and the casters swivel in all directions which I’ve found is a real advantage.
Under the field test program the saw was $2,500 for the 36” model with free shipping, quite reasonable considering that other competitive “new generation” cabinet saws without the safety feature are near this price.”
5) Tom Willoughby, Overall Review:
“As others have mentioned, I also had an unlevel right extension wing. A little masking tape above the bolt holes helped level things out but it still isn’t perfect. It is much closer than the wood I’m cutting so no worries.
My blade alignment is 0.001 with a WWII blade so I’m not fussing with it. The original SawStop blade measured 0.002 so it goes to show you the accuracy of a Forrest blade.
I have an Incra fence so I can’t comment on the SS fence. I also have a router insert in the right side extension table that is installed.
MDF and some pine lumber is what has been run through it so far but no complaints. I will be building a folding outfeed extension for the saw so it’ll be some plywood next.
I am very pleased with the SawStop PCS.”
6) rprice54, Overall Review:
“Once I got over the sticker shock, I am very pleased with my PCS. It seems to be a very well made and well thought out machine, even down to making adjustments to it (parallel, tilt axis, vertical axis, etc). I hope to never use the brake, and I still feel like I have a great saw. Is it better than some of the other high end saws? I have no idea, because I’ve never laid hands on them. It’s the best saw I’ve owned. Good ’nuff for me. I can’t imagine I’ll ever NEED more saw.”
7) Paul Ryan on PCS vs. New Delta:
“The new PCS saw is as much a cabinet saw as the new Delta. I own the new PCS so I may be partial to it. The trunion on the new SS PCS are mounted to the cabinet NOT THE TABLE like a contractor saw. I have had to adjust my table, it is really easy, not so with a trunion that is mounted to the table. I have looked over a new Delta very closely at my dealer. It is a nice saw but IMHO the trunion is no beefier than the new SS PCS, I think they are equal. The SS has a gas shock on it to help lowering and rasing the blade. I do like the table on the Delta beter because it is larger, that is really nice. The fences are equal in my opinion, the riving nife is much nicer on the delta. And then the SS has a blade brake too. The delta is a nice saw but other than the larger table I don’t think it has anything the SS PCS doesn’t.”
8) Rob Pierce on the Riving Knife and Brake:
“I’m liking the riving knife, I had to resaw some 1″ strips of walnut 1/4 thick from my 3/4 stock. I used pieces at least 2″ wide so the blade was never exposed. The ripped strips came out looking great, needing just a bit of sanding. No pinching or burning on the blade.
The brake isn’t as obtrusive as I thought it would be. I can go from SS blade, to my combo, to my ripping, to my dado set without any adjustments (except for swapping in the dado brake of course). I really like the clamp on the insert as well.
Now if I could just get it to clean up the shop while I’m gone it would be perfect….”
9) Andy Sowers on Assembly:
“Anyone else have to adjust the miter slot to blade parallelism? Mine was initially out by just over 0.01. After adjusting the table, I got it down to about 0.001. The table bolts were pretty loose initially, so that probably explains why it was out so much to begin with.
Everything went according to the manual instructions, except it was a pain to tighten the left rear table bolt because it was blocked by the trunion assembly. Tilting the blade away provided enough clearance to access the bolt, but this also required sliding the dial indicator out of the way. That made it tougher to check the alignment as you were tightening up the table bolts.”
10) Brent Bell on Assembly:
“I had only two small problems in the assembly. One was with the same bolt holes on the mobil base that others have described. The other was with leveling the extension wings. The right wing was especially uneven with the main table. I contacted Sawstop and was given several tips. One was to shim between the main table and the extension with aluminum foil. It did the trick. Now all of the parts of the saw top are very uniform – probably as good as I could possibly measure with my straight edge.”
My SawStop PCS Forum Thread Sources
New Saw Stop?
SawStop PCS Dedicated Thread
New Saw Stop PCS Dust Collecting Blade Guard
Old or New Saw Stop PCS
SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw Field Test – Just Ordered!
looking to start a fight maybe? Griz GO690 or Sawstop Contractor
Window shopping for Tablesaws again…
Other SawStop Resources:
SawStop Tackles Table Saw Issue #2
Sawstop vs. Powermatic PM 2000 in the Professional Wood Shop
First Reported Injury with Sawstop…
SawStop on Twitter
thread w/ new PCS owner for my next update of this post :)
A Close Look at the New SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw
http://blogs.popularwoodworking.com/editorsblog/A Close Look At The New SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw.aspx
more love from Popular Woodworking’s Glen Huey
SawStop rolls out a more affordable cabinet saw, aimed at serious hobbyists
from finewoodworking… looks like I need to run an update on this post soon ;P