I see you guys have a sawstop!

up here in the other “cowtown”—ie Calgary, we are involved in a discussion about purchasing saw stop

Great deal of discussion about it, Started out with vlability concerns, but has transmogrified into implementation/training/ETC

I would be interested in hearing stories good or bad) about it’s implementation, as old time woodbutchers don’t see to care, but we have a ton of new (inexperienced) folks, and the technology will tax the old-timers, and maybe the newbies can absorb it easier,

? about implementation/certification/stupidity/responsibility for costs etc

Please feel free to share with me

[email protected]

Woodshop regulars can (and have) chime(d) in…

Implementation: Having multiple spare cartridges and blades around is necessary to keep the thing running. Locating a shop that can repair blades may prove more economical than replacing them.

Certification and training: short of the manufacturer’s additional info on what not to cut (i.e. anything conductive such as wet material, or as we have learned laser-cut edges) it’s very much like a regular table saw.

Stupidity: We’ve had our share of trips. The unit is quite sensitive so users can come into contact with the blade without realizing it. And using conductive material happens regularly.

Responsibility: DMS has historically eaten the cost for cartridge replacement + blade repair or replacement . Suspect egregious fails might be billed to the member committing the error Post 19 presents the current policy. Your org might choose a different approach, such as supply your own cartridge or a deposit.

FWIW, we have proven (repeatedly!) that anything conductive triggers the Sawstop. You might want to visit this page on our wiki to see a list of false triggers. The list is not intended to be exhaustive.

I’ll let others chime in with their experience and thoughts about the good and bad.

So given you are in Canada you actually have better or at least different option than the Sawstop. The Bosch REAXX:

Not as fast of a retraction as the sawstop but triggering the safety does not destroy the blade and the gas cartridges are more cost effective.

It’s a great saw, but the driving business reason we got this was personal injury avoidance/liability avoidance. Liability waivers get signed by everyone, but they are only as effective as their ability and willingness to be defended in court. Some people just want to sue anyway, or their next-of-kin do.

thanks.muchly we do have a regular table saw, and I’m pitching them to be side by side, as sawstop apparently doesn’t like plastic, or laser cut wood (because of the carbon), as well as wet wood, aluminium etc. None of the laser folks, or the cnc folks seem to have picked up on the thread yet!


Also, we don’t support dado blades on our sawstop. It requires changing the brake cartridge to the miter cartridge, and possibly tuning the clearance between the cartridge and blade. Rather than have the cartridges changed out more, or having the wear and tear to the cartridges, or the impact to a dado blade pack, we only use dado blades on the conventional saw.

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Thats exactly why this came up!!!

Canada is much less litigious than US, but that doesn’t make us immune! Most discussion revolves around training, real-estate, and implementation.

weare currently around 260 members, many newbies (who are likely more adept at learning new technologies) and many older folks, perhaps less adept , and we cannot train them all at once, and add on top of that the laser and CNC folks using plastics, trimming laser cut wood scraps-all of which will trip sawstop, and if they ain’t tuned in to the discussion, a true recipe for a revolution!- which I’m sure you’ll agree is to be avoided

How do you guys handle the costs when the saw trips? ???member foots the total bill?? do you guys try to re-use saw blades??


Saw blades are unusable/unsafe after a triggering incident.

There’s really nothing to train people for other than to be sure their stock has not conducting elements, e.g. nails/staples, general wetness (green wood or treated lumber), and anything else that may create a conducting medium (sometimes lasering some woods will do this). Metal detectors and moisture meters can help with this, as will a policy for only dry lumber (e.g. kiln dried).

Note: Sawstops have a feature that allows the conducting detection system to be disabled for a single on/off cycle of the paddle; it needs to be re-enabled each power cycle.

General expectation here is if you trigger the Sawstop because you weren’t using your head or following recommendations (e.g. check wood for metal and moister), or just stoopidity (you ran the metal miter gage into the blade), then member is responsible for paying for new brake and blade (~ $200, give or take). If the incident is one in which actual fingers, limbs, etc. are saved, then we consider the trauma involved sufficient payment and are glad the system worked.

You’ll want a recording camera with a clear view of the table and it’s usage, i.e. need to be able to see clearly what triggered the Sawstop.

Your membership is still at a level that the likelihood of a serious accident is small, especially if most of your users are skilled and engaged and looking out for others. But I’d say your next saw purchase should be a Sawstop or something that limits potential for injury and also liability…I imagine it would be really hard to explain to someone who has just lost a finger or two why that decision wasn’t made.

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I just took the woodshop safety class again so I can answer on current policy. We pay a reduced rate for tripping the sawstop ($75 iirc) and we don’t reuse the blade after as far as I’m aware.

The idea is it’s something a member should feel responsible for financially if they break it but not enough that they avoid using the sawstop and instead use the non-sawstop machine. I think we get our cartridges for $60ish (Edit: corrected below, $95), and so the remaining $15 from the break fee doesn’t cover the blade replacement cost fully.

There’s a kiosk in the corner that takes cards with a consumables fee list, one of which is sawstop activated.

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Saw blades are usually destroyed.we have a wall of hanging brakes and blades… so add that to the cost… but with that said we do charge the member for the cost of the brake if they tripped it because of user error. The saw is a work horse…

There is no reduces cost for the breaks we pay retail like everyone else…

Almost all plastics play nice with a saw stop. I actually worked at TAP Plastics in Sacramento for several years and we exclusively used a Saw stop. The only plastics it could not cut without using the override feature was mirrored acrylics.

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I recall we were able to get blades repaired in the past, however this practice may have ended for lack of someone with the time to transport blades to a shop for assessment then retrieve them later. Or I’m just recalling wrongly.

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I don’t think our current blades are worth repairing. It’s sometimes possible, but can easily cost as much as a new low end blade.

At least blades with carbide teeth (which are welded onto the steel teeth) are unsafe/unusable after an event since it is virtually impossible to determine if one of the carbide tips has been loosened to the point it might get thrown off while in use. And no matter the blade, if the disk has been deformed and is no longer perfectly flat (not typical, but can happen), then it is usually impossible to repair.

I think our repair place charges on a per-tooth basis. I’ll defer to those with more recent data/experience, but I’d estimate about 20% of a blade’s teeth are involved in a brake incident…maybe a little less?

I am not actually sure what we stock as “standard” blades anymore, or if repair costs have changed/risen over last several years. We are lucky in that the repair shop is very close and we (used to?) give them a lot of business, including band saw blades and other cutting stuff like router bits., so I think we get a bit of a discount on repairs and purchases. But my gut feel is that all-in (including volunteer time and trips to repair shops) repairing a traditional, mid-quality steel blade after an event is close to break.

TL;DR it’s possible, but a marginal at best value proposition.


Current prices for the brake cartridge is $95.00, dado brake cartridge is $115.00.

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Avoid using reclaimed lumber such as pallet wood to avoid metallic bits.

So to clear up any confusion about our current policy…

If the SawStop triggers for any reason [conductive material, hand, etc] while using it, the operator is responsible for paying $100. Payment can be made at the kiosk in the back of the room [by the lathes] - either cash or credit. If you feel like the trip was not your fault, send a message to the committee chair [currently @SWA] and he will review the tapes to determine the correct course of action [99+% of the time it is the operator’s fault].

The cost of the cartridges has gone up, there are talks about increasing the price to offset the costs. The “fee” does not cover [and has never covered that I know of] the total cost of the cartridge & new blade.

The dado blades should be used on the Powermatic. If the dado blades are used in the SawStop it does require a different [more expensive] cartridge - the cost of “replacement” will also be much more expensive [dado blades are ~3x the price of the regular blades]. I believe the current requirement is dado blades on Powermatic only. As a side note - all dados can also be done easily on the router table [and we just got fresh bits in!].

As to the original question - the SawStop is a really well-made machine. No real complaints. The biggest learning is to replace the belts before they start slipping [they generate static electricity which will trip the cartridge]. I would also get the sliding table for the unit - real nice when cross-cutting larger panels.

Complaints: SawStops cost a ton of money [but really well made] and they aggressively protect their patent. I assume when their patents expire [in 2024] the cost of the safety feature will drop dramatically [though hopefully not their quality].


Would you like me to update the wiki with that policy? Glad to do so. Wiki currently says user only pays for false triggers.