SawStop Frequently Asked Questions:
How does the SawStop safety system work?
You can find an explanation of the safety system's operation as well as watch a brief video of the safety system in action here.
Will cutting green or "wet" wood activate the SawStop safety system?
SawStop saws cut most wet wood without a problem. However, if the wood is very green or wet (for example, wet enough to spray a mist when cutting), or if the wood is both wet and pressure treated, then the wood may be sufficiently conductive to trigger the brake. Accordingly, the best practice is to dry wet or green wood before cutting by standing it inside and apart from other wood for about one day. You can also cut wet pressure treated wood and other conductive material by placing the saw in bypass mode to deactivate the safety system.
Can I cut conductive materials?
Yes. You can operate the saw in Bypass Mode which deactivates the safety system's braking feature, allowing you to cut aluminum and other known conductive materials. If you are unsure if material you need to cut is conductive, you can make test cuts using Bypass Mode to determine if it will activate the safety system's brake.
What happens if the blade comes in contact with a nail or staple in the wood?
Generally, the safety system will not activate when a nail or staple is cut. Although conductive, these objects are not large enough to cause the safety system to activate unless they are grounded to the table or operator when they contact the blade.
What do I do if I activate the safety system's brake cartridge? What will it cost to reset the safety system? Does activation damage the saw?
If you activate the safety system's brake, you will need to replace or repair the blade and replace the brake cartridge. Replacing the brake cartridge is simple and takes less than five minutes. A standard brake cartridge costs $93 and a dado brake cartridge $123. SawStop saws are designed to absorb the force of activation and are not damaged by it.
Can I make dado cuts?
Yes. SawStop saws support 8" dado sets. The optional dado brake cartridge must be used for dado cuts. It has a larger brake pawl designed to stop the multiple blades in a dado set. In addition, you will also need to purchase a zero-clearance insert for your dado set.
What if I am wearing gloves when I am cutting? Will the safety system still work?
Yes. The blade must first cut through the glove and contact skin before the safety system will activate.
SawStop saws include a riving knife. What is a riving knife?
The riving knife is an important safety feature that substantially reduces the change of kick-back. The riving knife functions similar to a spreader on a blade guard assembly. The difference is that the riving knife does not extend above the top of the blade. Therefore, the riving knife can be used when making non-through cuts and other cuts where the blade guard cannot be used.
Do I need to be grounded for the safety system to work?
No. The SawStop safety system is designed to activate when the spinning blades contacts your body regardless of whether you are grounded.
How can I be certain the safety system is working?
The SawStop safety system continuously performs many different self checks to ensure the components of the system are working properly. The safety system will not allow the motor to start (or to remain running) unless every component of the safety system is working properly.
How long does it take to change from a standard brake cartridge to a dado brake cartridge?
Changing the brake cartridge requires no tools and takes only a few seconds. See a video illustrating a brake change with a brake cartridge that has been activated here.
Professional or Industrial Model, which is right for me?
For cabinet makers, industrial, educators, home builders - the Superior Industrial Cabinet Saw features include more iron and steel for a smoother operation, greater precision and increased durability. The ICS weighs about 200lbs more and has an added depth of table 30" vs 27". It is engineered for heavy duty cycles, run all day every day. ICS has enhanced safety features such as a lock-out/tag-out switch & interlock switches on the access doors. Safety doesn't stop at blade detection!
For Hobbyists - From the true vertical elevation, to the smooth repeatable cutting, and on to the industry-leading T-Glide Fence, everything is designed to deliver repeatable excellence. Seat belts, airbag, SawStop Fundamental Safety just makes sense.