Reviews praise the SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw for its excellent performance and convenience as well as its superior safety features -- which include the unique SawStop blade brake. A sensor stops the blade in milliseconds if it touches anything as soft as human flesh, preventing any cut more serious than a slight nick. The riving knife and blade guard also earn praise, as does the optional mobile base (*Est. $200). It's the safest cabinet saw available, but you can get the same safety features on the less expensive SawStop Contractor Saw (*Est. $1,600) .
We found excellent detailed comparison reviews of the SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw at Popular Woodworking -- where it's compared with the more expensive SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw -- and at Woodcraft magazine, where it's compared with the redesigned Delta Unisaw. Single-product reviews at Wood Magazine and American Woodworker fill in some details, and a video review at the Popular Woodworking blog covers the new dust collection system. The Taunton 2010 Tool Guide compares the riving knife and blade guard system on the older SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw with those of seven other cabinet saws. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) weighs in on the best injury prevention. A hand surgeon who's also a woodworker discusses the importance of the SawStop technology in a 2008 Woodcraft article, and tests performed in 2007 at ConsumerReports.org check how well it works.
1. Wood Magazine
The SawStop Professional shares the top spot with the Delta Unisaw in this roundup review of eight cabinet saws that have riving knives. After thorough testing, editors give SawStop the lead not only for safety, but also for its mobile base and excellent dust collection. The SawStop rip fence also earns high marks, and last but not least, "it has the best owner's manual and assembly instructions." All the parts are organized and laid out in order of use.
Review: Tool Review: 3-HP Tablesaws, Editors of Wood Magazine, May 2010
2. Popular Woodworking
This detailed review compares the new SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw (PCS) with the more expensive SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw (ICS). The latter is bigger, and its heavier weight (by 200 pounds) enables smoother cutting -- but the Professional model builds in better dust collection and performs well. "The fence system glides on its rails and locks in position like the door on a jet."
Review: Benchtop Table Saws, Glen D. Huey, Dec. 2009
3. Taunton's 2011 Tool Guide
The blade guard system on the SawStop 31230 (used on both the Pro and Industrial models), gets a thorough comparison with the systems used on seven other cabinet saws that also come with riving knives. The focus is entirely on the blade guard systems. The Delta Unisaw earns top marks for the ultimate in convenience. The SawStop system earns praise for a user-friendly blade guard, good riving knife adjustment and easy switching between riving knives.
Review: A Riving Knife Prevents Tablesaw Kickback, Roland Johnson, Nov. 2009
4. Woodcraft Magazine
This detailed review compares the SawStop Professional with the newly redesigned Delta Unisaw. Both table saws earn kudos for accuracy, power and low vibration, but the Delta Unisaw provides little convenience when it comes to onboard storage, blade adjustments, dust collection, riving knife system and blade changing. The optional mobile base available for the SawStop table saw is a plus, and its extra safety makes it a better choice for a woodworking novice, school or shared workshop.
Review: Table Saw Face-Off, Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk, Oct. 2009
5. Wood Magazine
In this recent review, editors name the SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw one of the best new tools. More than a dozen readers add comments, most saying SawStop's finger-saving technology is worth its extra cost.
Review: Top New Tools for 2010, Editors of Wood Magazine
6. American Woodworker
This review of the SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw (PCS) highlights its advantages -- including improvements over the earlier, more expensive SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw. The new blade guard system is easier to use, and dust collection is also improved. Though lighter, the SawStop PCS is judged "heavy enough to provide a solid base and low vibration."
Review: New Hot Dog Saw, Editors of American Woodworker, Oct. 2009
7. Consumer Product Safety Commission
An engineering psychologist for the CPSC compares the safety provided by a good blade guard with riving knife -- using the Bosch portable saws as the example -- and that provided by the SawStop system. He concludes that while the new blade guards are important, they're not enough by themselves to prevent serious injuries. Combining them with the SawStop sensor adds significant backup protection.
Review: Human Factors Evaluation of Technology Intended to Address Blade-Contact Injuries with Table Saws, Timothy P. Smith, Engineering Psychologist, July 2011
8. Popular Woodworking
This video review shows the effectiveness of the new dust collection system on the SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw. The skeptical editor is impressed, saying "I've never seen anything like this on a table saw that wasn't in an industrial setting."
Review: SawStop's Dust Collection. Dang., Christopher Schwarz, Sept. 28, 2009
This detailed single-product review is valuable because it covers the lighter-duty 1.75-horsepower version of the SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw. The author praises the saw for "stellar" build quality, easy adjustments, super instructions and excellent power: "This thing cuts like a hot knife through butter." Minor complaints are lower quality on the legs under the extension, and small wheels.
Review: Pictures and Quick Impressions of SawStop PCS 1.75 HP w/ 36" Extension, David C. Baker, July 28, 2010
10. Woodcraft Magazine
This article by a hand surgeon who's also a woodworker notes that most table saw injuries happen to experienced users. He traded in his Delta Unisaw for a SawStop cabinet saw, based on its superior safety features.
Review: Table Saw Safety: A Woodworking Hand Surgeon's Unique Perspective, John A. Miyano, Jan. 2008
In this brief video review, editor Peter Sawchuck tests the SawStop blade brake, concluding that it does indeed work to protect the saw's user from serious injury.
Review: SawStop Table Saw, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, April 2007
This video interview at the 2010 International Woodworking Fair covers the 1.75-horsepower budget version of the SawStop Pro cabinet saw that runs on an ordinary 110 circuit. The budget compromises are well covered, along with dust collection and fence options that can make the 1.75-horsepower version comparable to the 3-horsepower model except for the motor.
Review: SawStop 1. 75HP Table Saw, Chris Marshall (Woodworker's Journal), Aug. 26, 2010