Sawstop Frequently Asked Questions
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Sawstop table saws:
1. Do I have to use special blades?
No. Any standard 10″ table saw blade can be used. However, blades made of non-conductive materials (such as abrasive blades) will not work.
2. Can the technology be retrofitted to my existing saw?
No. Unfortunately, it is not economically practical to retrofit existing saws. The structural changes to implement the SawStop braking system involve a complete reconfiguration of the internal mechanism of the saw. This combined with the contact detection electronics and the cost to have it all installed would probably exceed the price of a new saw.
3. Is the saw damaged when the brake system activates?
No. You will need to install a new brake cartridge and replace the blade. The change-out process takes about 2 minutes and requires the use of an Allen wrench and the blade wrenches (all supplied with the saw). The saw will then be ready for use.
4. Can I use dado sets with a SawStop saw?
Yes. An optional dado brake cartridge is available that provides the same SawStop protection when using 8 inch dado sets. Moulding heads are not compatible with the SawStop system.
5. Can I cut any material with my SawStop saw?
Any material that is electrically non-conductive can be cut with the SawStop saw. This includes woods, plastics, laminates, etc. If you want to cut aluminum or other conductive materials, the safety system has a key-activated bypass feature that can be used to disable the brake while cutting these materials.
6. How do I know the safety system is working properly?
The safety system conducts a large number of self-checks whenever the saw is powered up and also continuously during use. If any error is detected the motor will not start, or it will be shut off if running. If the motor is running, that means the safety system is functioning properly and is ready to activate in the event of an accident.
7. Can I get a serious injury on a SawStop saw?
Yes. If you come into contact with the spinning blade, the brake system will stop the blade in 3 to 5 milliseconds (thousandths of a second). In the vast majority of cases, this will result in only a minor cut. For example, if your hand is moving toward the blade at 1 foot-per-second, the depth of the cut would be approximately 1/16th of an inch or less. However, if your hand is slapped into the blade at a very high speed, you will likely receive a serious injury.
8. Do I still have to use a blade guard with a SawStop saw?
Yes. SawStop strongly recommends that you use a blade guard whenever possible, because the blade guard can prevent an accident from happening. However, in those cases where the blade guard cannot be used, or where an accident occurs despite the use of a blade guard, the SawStop system will usually prevent a serious injury.
9. Does the SawStop safety system interfere with my use of the saw?
No. The brake system is mounted under the table and does not interfere with use of the saw in any way.
10. What is a riving knife?
The riving knife is a very important safety feature that substantially reduces the chance of kickback. The riving knife functions similar to a spreader on a blade guard assembly. The difference is that the riving knife does not extend above the top of the blade. Therefore, the riving knife can be used when making non-through cuts and other cuts where the blade guard cannot be used.
11. Can I use a non-SawStop fence system with a SawStop cabinet saw?
Most T-style fences can be used on the SawStop cabinet saw, although it will usually be necessary to drill new mounting holes in the table and extension wings to mount the front and rear rails. However, the front-to-rear depth of the table on the SawStop cabinet saw is 30 inches, so you will not be able to use extension tables that are smaller. You will need to construct or purchase an extension table that is 30 inches deep. For non-SawStop fences that lock on both the front and rear rails, the fence must be sized to accommodate a 30 inch table.