In Feature Articles, Table Saw Safety

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Thursday was my day at AWFS 2009 to stop by SawStop and catch up with Mark Pennington, marketing director. He shared a few things about SawStop’s new Professional Cabinet Saw (PCS) and provided some insight on SawStop table saws in general. (Did you know that a single turn of a SawStop handle moves the blade exactly 1/8″ in height?)

The PCS has the same blade-stopping technology as other SawStop saws but the PCS is different from the Industrial Cabinet Saw in a few ways. First, the trunnion on the PCS is lighter than that on the Industrial saw and the dust shroud around the blade is also a molded plastic instead of cast iron. Those changes, along with a couple other things, add up to the Professional Cabinet saw being nearly 180 pounds lighter than its bigger brother.

Why did SawStop change from a cast iron dust shroud? That has to do with the increased dust collection levels achieved in the newer saw. By molding the shroud differently (something not easily accomplished in cast iron) and adjusting the blade guard (which SawStop is calling its “V-stream blade guard”) the company has pushed dust collection to 99-percent efficient (there may be some difference when using a thin-kerf blade, but the drop would be minuscule).

To demonstrate just how effective the dust collection is due to the way the turbulent air around the blade is re-directed toward the rear of the guard, SawStop manufactured a dust collector that captured the dust from the cabinet in one section and the dust from the guard in another, and they are using a simple shop vacuum with 120 CFM to do the job. As cuts were made, you didn’t notice the flow going into the guard section of the collector until the wood covered the openings in the throat plate. Then you began to notice the increased efficiency.

Take a look at the new blade-guard design. The rods you see extending to the front are there as a limiter. If the stock you’re working doesn’t fit under the front piece attached to those rods, it won’t fit under the pawls either. And take a closer look at the pawls. You see two distinct sets. The smaller pawls are there for light cuts in thin stock while the larger pawls, the size we’re used to seeing, are for typical operations. When not needed, the larger pawls hook into the guard setup to stay out of the way.

Another creative innovation on the PCS is the quick-release function on the throat insert. SawStop has a bail-type handle that swings to engage a lock to hold the insert in place. Posts on the insert, at the rear, slide under catches affixed to the saw and the front is held by the bail lock.

If you want a Professional Cabinet saw from SawStop, there are two things to decide: Do you want a table saw with a 36″ extension table ($2,899) or a 52″ extension table ($2,999), and do you want a mobile base for your saw. That’s it. You can pre-order your saw now for delivery in August , just around the corner.

– Glen Huey

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Showing 5 comments
  • Mike Lingenfelter

    Thanks Glen,

    I got a better look at the dust collection over at the Wood Whisperer’s site. I actually placed an order for the PCS. It was a close call for me, between the SawStop and the new Delta.

  • Glen

    Mike, the setup to hold the hose was a makeshift design, but the idea, in my opinion, is something the company should look at more closely. SawStop had a simple c-clamp attached to the fence tube. Welded to the clamp was a short piece of rod that terminated in a circle sized to fit the hose. The hose was threaded through the circle and moved easily along with the fence as changes were made.

  • Mike Lingenfelter

    Thanks Glen. Do you have any other pictures of the guard? How do they support and keep the hose out of the way?


  • Glen

    That’s right, Mike. At the show, SawStop used a standard shop vac to collect the dust. In fact, I heard someone associated with SawStop say they actually operated the saw without dust collection at all – the nerve.

    I would, however, suggest a dust collector to maintain the higher amount of collection.

  • Mike Lingenfelter


    Did you really say you can get effective dust collection on this TS with a standard shop vac? Dose Sawstop really say this is an option? If so, impressive!



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