SawStop CNS175-TGP52, 1-3/4 HP Contractor Saw with 52" Fence
SawStop has come out with a truly unique table saw. Their patented safety system automatically shuts the saw off if it encounters a finger or anything that’s a different density than the material being cut. In their promotional video, they actually have the saw stop from cutting a hot dog that was on top of a board. About all the damage that the hot dog received was removing a nick of its skin.
The safety system works by shooting an aluminum brake into the saw blade when it encounters something besides the material being cut. That ruins the $89 brake system but that’s a whole lot cheaper than a trip to the hospital for an unintended amputation.
Besides this safety feature, the rest of this saw is very well designed. Sawstop has several models, but I selected the one with the 52-inch T-Glide fence system. Not only does the larger table make it easy to crosscut full sheets of plywood, but the T-Glide fence is extremely accurate. The blade is belt driven, with a well supported arbor. Sawstop couples that with a zero clearance blade insert, and a heavy cast-iron table, making it possible to rip very narrow strips of wood with virtually no blade marks.
The low profile blade guard is quickly removed without tools so it can be replaced by a riving knife. Another nice detail is the power switch, which can be turned off by a bump of the leg. If something goes wrong, you don’t have to let go of the workpiece to turn it off. Finally, they have a really great dust-collection system which outperforms most cabinet systems.