[Maker’s Note] Choice of Circular Saw

by Yun-Han Lin

As we moved into a new studio, we decided to buy Sawstop, a circular saw that can be found in almost all studios. Before our sharing, there is another YouTube channel that we recommend- Sam’s Daily Production. There are comparisons between the wooden table saw and desktop circular saw, which is quite helpful if you are thinking about buying your first circular saw!

Why Dewalt DW745

When I first bought it, woodworking was still new to me, so I was not sure enough to use equipment of higher-level. I was choosing between several brand-name ones:

  1. Use of space: There are several different projects we have at our studio and so are the tools we use, so we could not place the circular saw in the middle of the room the whole time. For this, desktop circular saw is more convenient and it suits our need.
  2. Calibration: Most wooden table saw are easily assembled, and so the integrity is not that firm and stable. For this reason, users have to recalibrate it every time before use. This can be troublesome for occasional use. Hence, it would be better to choose the ones that are ready for use when you take it out.
  3. Price: The saws from Dewalt and other brands range somewhere around NT$20,000, which is nearly twice as much as wooden table saw. Yet, parallel imports from Amazon cost only NT$13,000, which is more customer-friendly for beginners.

Feedback on using Dewalt DW745

On a scale of 1 to 10, I will only give it 6! It is not that the saw is not good, but it just does not meet our needs.

  1. Super loud: The rotation was not driven on a belt, but simply by the torque of a motor, which gives out a loud noise.
  2. Inaccurate angle adjustment: The angle can only be adjusted manually, instead of through a handwheels, so it is harder to get the intended angle precisely.
  3. The table was too small for operation
  4. Gear and rack were not handy as expected

Why Sawstop CNS

Less than a year after we bought Dewalt, the studio moved to larger space, and we thought there was a need to upgrade the circular saw. The following are the reasons we chose CNS, and why Sawstop is the saw of our deam.

  1. Safety: Should your fingers touch the rotating blade, the blade stops instantly and drops under into the table, which takes less than a second and can greatly reduce risk of any accidents.
  2. Noise level: The basic model of Sawstop saw series is JSS, and CNS is even more advanced. JSS is a desktop saw, which makes noise pretty much as Dewalt
  3. Price: CNS, plus accessories, costs about NT$90,000 to NT$100,000, and even NT$ 170,000 to NT$180,000 if you choose 3HP PCS, the next grade model. We ended up choosing CNS.

Feedback on using Sawstop CNS

Our order was delivered during the Chinese New Year holidays, so we did not get any chance yet to try it after assembly. Yet, the noise decreased and the high stability are quite obvious, and some parts that are well-designed for operations. That being said, a saw costing somewhere between NT$80,000 to 100,000 can still come with some flaws, including details from its design to assembly:

  1. You need to prepare your own tools for assembly: one M10 socket, one M10 wrench, two M13 wrenches, one M14 wrench, and a spirit level.
  2. The assembly can take a lot of time, if you are using regular wrenches and sockets. It is better that you use an electric screwdriver and ratchet tools.
  3. The mobile stand for CNS consists of Mecanum wheels and directional wheels, two for each. We decided that it would be more stable to use 4 Mecanum wheels, because the whole saw set was bulky.
  4. The iron table gets rusty easily: The table was covered with grease coating when we unpackaged it, but as time goes by under the humidity in Taiwan, the surface gets rust on it.

Conclusion

Although there are a few things about Sawstop products that can be fixed, the safety of operating is good enough a reason to use it. Operations in different ways is also user-friendly, not to mention that the saw was well-calibrated upon production. In sum, if your budget permits, it is still recommended to opt for Sawstop CNS products or even better ones!


 

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