Sawstop PCS175HP Review
- Prevents serious injury with always-on protection
- Included 36-inch T-Glide fence system
- Fully enclosed cabinet, industry leading dust collection
- Ideal for hobbyists, DIYers, and shops with limited space
- Compatible with 10-inch standard blades and 8-inch dado sets
- Left tilting blade helps prevent wood from binding against the fence
- 110-volt power requirement; configurable to 220 volts
- One-year limited warranty
As they have been for time immemorial, a good saw is essential for any sort of working with wood. Even going back to the ancient days, some kind of powerful cutting equipment was vital for using wooden materials. Be it a stone axe in the truly ancient days or a modern chainsaw, cutting wood has been an important tool in nearly every effort by human beings to alter their environment, be it making space for grazing or building a luxurious set of furniture fit for a monarch’s bedroom. But not all cutting tools are the same.
One particular tool used in modern woodworking is the ever essential table saw. While these devices see no use out in the process of harvesting timber, when transforming wood into anything from simple, uncomplicated bookshelves to elaborate, artistic picture frames.
Of course, as with any piece of industrial or professional grade equipment, a table saw can get quite costly, yet few wood workers of any skill level or budget wish to simply get the cheapest saw available, particular since few woodworkers can really afford to get a cheap table saw that they will have to replace quickly, leading to a vicious cycle of buying and replacing saws for a great amount more of money than would be spent on a long lasting saw.
How It Works
#1 — Detect
- The blade carries a small electrical signal.
- When skin contacts the blade, the signal changes because the human body is conductive.
- The change to the signal activates the safety system.
#2 — Activate
- An aluminum brake springs into the spinning blade, stopping it.
- The blade’s angular momentum drives it beneath the table, removing the risk of subsequent contact.
- Power to the motor is shut off.
- All this happens in less than 5 milliseconds!
#3 — Reset
- Resetting the saw yourself is easy. Simply replace the blade and affordable brake cartridge and your saw is operational.
- The entire reset process takes less than five minutes.
One particular table saw of note is the SawStop PCS175-TGP236. While more powerful saws are available from the same company, most professional woodworkers and certainly most hobbyist woodworkers do not exactly need the most powerful saws available. Still, the PCS175 is a fairly powerful piece of equipment. Its 1.75 horsepower engine is quite capable of cutting through three-inch-thick oak wood without the motor seriously slowing down.
While this means it is a fairly powerful motor, it does come with a word of warning that though potent, the engine is not an industrial grade device and while it can cut nearly any kind of wood at nearly any thickness a woodworker could ask for, it cannot do it extremely quickly at its horsepower level. The circuit breakers tend to shatter if a woodworker tries to cut a thick, strong piece of wood too quickly.
The miter gauge is far from perfect, but it does get the job done well enough to start out. Still, most woodworkers do tend to replace the miter gauges of these devices with other manufacturer’s miter gauges with a little bit of technical know-how. The fence of the device is also far from perfect as the measuring ruler sticker on it is, in a number of models, somewhat off base.
While the differences seem unimportant at first, the longer the piece of wood gets, the less accurate the fence ruler becomes. A piece of wood over 30 inches long can count on the wood being cut around 1/16ths of an inch off, which can, as any veteran woodworker knows, throw an entire project into total disarray and lead to wasted time and materials.
Still, overall this is a very powerful, very reliable saw. Though it is definitely intended for the hobbyist or small shop woodworker, it absolutely does get the job done. While thicker, more dense pieces of wood can throw it off a bit, this can be fixed by cutting the wood slowly. Measurement problems can likewise be averted by measuring the wood with another tool and cutting based on that tool’s measurements. It is a powerful, if not astoundingly so, saw built for slow, unhurried work. Its price is on the lower end to match its basic power levels, making it perfect for any woodworking hobbyist.