By Bob Duncan
The SawStop Jobsite Saw is my top choice in table saws for the hobby woodworker. This saw combines portability, accuracy, and safety into one package. Admittedly, it costs around $1,300, which is more than most other portable-style saws. But you are paying for a solidly made saw with an accurate fence and SawStop’s trademark anti-injury technology.
Like all SawStop saws, the Jobsite Saw comes equipped with a system that senses a person’s skin if it touches the spinning blade. The sensor watches the miniscule electric current running through the blade, which changes when it comes into contact with the moisture in a person’s skin. When that happens, the saw automatically drops
the blade down to its lowest position and slams an aluminum brake into the blade. The process destroys both the brake cartridge and the blade, but I value my body parts more than those two items. To prevent a false brake trigger, the saw allows you to disable the sensor if you’re cutting wet wood, but this means you also lose the safety feature. However, you can test wood to determine if the sensor will engage the safety system before cutting.
The SawStop Jobsite Saw folds for portability. When folded, it takes up a bit more room than a wheel barrel and is heavy but well balanced, so it’s easy to maneuver. You can unfold it and be ready to cut in less than a minute, including attaching your dust collector to the integrated port.
While the top is made of aluminum, the fence is solid and accurate. You can spread the table out for a greater surface area while cutting, and the well-made rip fence features a bar that slides out to support your stock if the fence is positioned over an open area. Under the table, the saw has onboard storage for the splitter, saw cover, miter guide, blade-changing and brake unit changing tools, and instruction manual. The fence and push stick mount on the side of the saw.
The saw, which uses full-size 10″-diameter blades, was accurate out of the box. I did not need to adjust the ruler for the fence at all, and the blade height and angle were extremely easy and fast to adjust.
The one item I was disappointed in was the miter guide. While every other accessory was solid, the plastic miter guide fence felt flimsy. The T-slot style bar fit solidly into the appropriate slot in the table, but I didn’t feel like I could really trust that the fence was staying in position. I’m sure they use plastic to reduce the overall weight of the saw, but I felt this was one area where the saw fell short.
While the SawStop Jobsite saw is not intended to compete with a standard floor-mounted cabinet table saw, it stands far above the other portable and even contractor-grade table saws available.
Visit www.sawstop.com to find a retailer.