Question for Saw Stop guys
  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)
I never owned a PM 66, but I began my woodworking journey at a military base wood hobby shop where we were blessed to have two well-maintained PM 66 table saws.  They were good saws and that's where I learned that quality does make a difference in being able to attain repeatable, consistent success.

My use of those PM 66 saws and the purchase of my SS PCS were separated by about 7 years time, so I never compared them "side-by-side."  So my frame of reference is skewed when I say I would rate them in the same tier of quality.

What I do know is this: 

- My SS PCS has been been moved from one shop to another.  That move involved removal of the wings and fence system, but left the remainder of the assembled saw intact.  It was loaded/unloaded onto trucks twice; once to go into short-term storage, and once into the new shop.  Reassembly, alignment, and tuning in the new shop took about an hour.  I haven't had to mess with it since, except to do the occasional cleaning.  The fence is just as accurate today as it was when I first set it up in 2012, and it required no fussing after all that moving around.

- Jim gave a rundown of what he sees as the differences.  I'll add this one.  When adjusting height, the trunnion moves straight up and down on the SS.  Most other trunnions pivot on an axis when changing height.  This may seem unimportant, but it does come into play when doing an action like cove cuts.  On the SS, that straight up/down motion keeps the center line of the blade in the same position relative to the front edge of the saw.  If the blade moved slightly around an axis as it is raised, then that centerline shifts forward slightly, taking the highest point of the cut forward as well.  Minor issue if the cove cut is small, but has to be accounted for in a larger cove cut like that on a Hal-Taylor (Maloof-style) rocker arm.  I do cove cuts, and so I like that the blade's vertical center line remains fixed.

My SS is the only cabinet saw I've ever owned, and this one does all I'll ever need, so it's here forever, as far as I'm concerned.

Good luck, whichever way you decide to go.
  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)
I went from a Uni to a SS about 8 years ago. Absolutely no regrets. I triggered the brake twice early on, both times with an aluminum fence. Once with the rip, once with the miter gage. Sacrficial fences and experience have resolved that issue.

I have zero regrets with the saw. Accurate, fit and finish are excellent, manual is top knotch as is the customer service.

As mentioned above, every machine in the shop can send one to the ER. Training newbies to respect each piece of equipment is essential to safe shop time. The SS is an outstanding safety tool, however, with 4 1/2 fingers on one hand I really needed a jointer stop.

I've only had dog beers.

"You can see the stars and still not see the light"
The Eagles: Already Gone
  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)
NO, don't get the sawstop to protect your grandson......get it to protect both of you.

Every single woodworker (usually in their 50s and older) I know who has had a finger or two fewer is a seasoned/ experienced woodworker. Based on those US reports on tablesaw injuries I've read, the majority of amputations happened to experienced woodworkers, not newbies.

'nuff said.

  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)
As a current Sawstop owner (PCS 3HP) who came from a PM66, I swore up and down the PM would be the last table saw I ever owned (previously owned 2 Jets and a Unisaw).  After my brother nearly cut his finger off on the PM66 (doing a cut he shouldn't have even attempted), I decided to "upgrade" to a Sawstop.  I put upgrade in quotes in that I felt like I was downgrading when I went to buy it but the quality of the Sawstop is just as good as the PM66, if not better.  Best purchase in my wood shop.
  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)
Thanks guys
Your insight  is greatly appreciated  Yes
Valuable to hear from real experiences.

It's better to burn out than it is to rust

Danchris Nursery
  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)

I replaced my Uni with a SawStop ICS. I couldn't be happier. I liked my Uni a lot, but IMHO, the SawStop ICS is a better built, more robust saw. I've never owned or worked with a PM66. I understand that they are fine saws. Fred Hargis may be correct when he says that the SawStop is a notch below the 66, but I have absolutely no complaints about my saw. It's the best table saw I've ever used. One SawStop safety feature nobody mentioned might interest you. The SawStop switch mechanism is keyed and can be locked out and the key removed. This would prevent children from experimenting with grandaddy's saw. I wouldn't spend a thousand dollars for it, but it's a nice feature for your situation.
  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)
You are correct in your concern over your grandson. In my never-to-be-humble opinion a 4-year old does not belong in your wood shop unless 100% of your focus is on him and what you and he are working on. That means all the accessible power tools are locked out, unplugged or otherwise disabled so that curious little hands can't possibly turn them on. As others have pointed out, there's just too many things that can bite.

If my granddaughters (who are 8 and 9) wanted to make something, I'd probably cut out the parts first without them around. Then when all the parts were ready to assemble I'd invite them over and we put everything together. Once they're old enough to understand (I'm not sure what that age is yet - probably depends on the kid) the dangers of power tools and how to properly use them in a safe manner I'll teach them starting with simple power tools like a scroll saw, sabre saw, drill, impact driver, etc. As they learn and gain experience then we'll graduate up to the larger power tools.

By the way, I've owned a SawStop PCS 3hp for 5 years or so. Love it, love it, love it! It's a quality tool throughout and as good a cabinet saw as I've ever used. No question - I'd would do it all over again. As a musician I need all my fingers. The SawStop technology makes using a table saw much safer. But to repeat: your 4-year old grandchild should not be in your shop unless you're totally focused on him and what he's doing!
  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)
Again guys, thanks for your insight.

Not to worry, he is never in there unattended or unsupervised.
We spend a lot of time together making things.
He has his own toolbox with hammers and clamps etc.
Big tools are not powered  but are used when he is around.

Same as our time together in dump trucks, skid steers and  excavators.
These items are part of our daily lives.
It is my job to see that he is safe at all times and in every situation.

It's better to burn out than it is to rust

Danchris Nursery
  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)
(01-21-2021, 08:01 PM)2beast Wrote: Ok, I know nothing about Saw Stop saws other than the obvious safety features.
I know how to use a saw safely with guards and had zero interest in getting a Saw Stop. 
I have been running a Powermatic 66 for 25 years safely.

New wrinkle.
I have a 4 year old grandson who absolutely loves my work shop.
He is in there a lot.
We are always building things together.
He knows not to mess with the tools but also has told me he knows exactly how to turn them on.

If anything should ever happen to that little man I could never forgive myself No
Thinking possibly looking at a Saw Stop.

Besides the obvious safety issue, is the saw as good as what I am running?
Am I giving up a better performing saw or are they somewhat equal?
Is there some kind of learning curve?

Opinions from those who have changed over please.


I have the 3hp SS cabinet saw, got it in 2005, it was dead aligned out of the crate and had not needed adjusting. Its perfect, and I love it. That said, I think given your experience and that you seem happy with your PM66 (also a terrific saw obv), it might not be necessary to replace it with a SS. When I was shopping to upgrade, I wanted a one time TS purchase, and there were really 2 options, the PM66 and the SS. So at that time, the SS made sense for me. When I wired my shop (garage shop), I placed a cutoff switch between the incoming power and the shop electrical panel. That cutoff has a place for a lock, so I could literally lock off the power to my whole shop to prevent my kids from deciding they wanted to do something without me. Maybe that is an option for you?
Mesurei, cutti, cursi

  Re: Question for Saw Stop guys by 2beast (Ok, I know nothing a...)
I had a PM66 and upgraded to the ICS.  The SS is every bit as good as the PM66.  I figured it was only a matter of time before I made a mistake with the tablesaw and hurt myself, despite many years of experience.  My depth perception is not what it used to be and will only get worse with time.  The SS gives me a little extra protection.

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