Top 6 Best Contractor Saws

What Real People Are Saying About The SawStop CNS175TGP36

Excellent Quality, Anxiety Gone, Cost a Non-Factor

I just got back into wood working a little over a year ago and bought a very nice used Delta Contractor Saw. I had no issues with the power and attributes of a fine running machine. A fine running machine I operated for over a year without a blade guard (SHAME on me!) as my respect of the saw's power was high and my fear was low on using this machine. I was ripping about a 12" wide board in half that was about a foot long. The wood rose up and kicked back, hitting me square in the stomach as I was stupidly standing directly behind the saw blade. It felt like a mule kicked me as I stood there for several seconds asking myself, "Am I hurt" or "Am I okay," wondering whether or not to go to the hospital. I didn't go to the hospital that day but I did get a baseball sized black & blue mark that hurt for a few hours that could have been much worse had it come towards my face. Lesson learned; I no longer stand behind the saw blade. Needless to say this saw had no riving knife so I installed a micro-jig splitter and all was well . . . sort of. About a month later I was cutting about a one inch wide piece off of about a 3" wide piece of stock that was about two feet long. I was standing to the side of the saw blade & the saw kicked back and launched the one inch spear, denting my garage door, darn near going through it. My high respect of using this machine was now being trumped by an even higher level of fear each time I used it as I wondered, "what's next? . . . A finger?" Well, I continued to use my saw for about another month and realize my anxiety level was now at an all-time high and there was only one alternative for me . . . SAWSTOP!

I had been hemming & hawing about getting one based on the cost as I went to Woodworker's Emporium and really checked one out. The quality of the saw was excellent with safety fetchers beyond the saw stopping with human contact that surpassed my expectations. Blade guard & riving knife (minimize those kickbacks!), zero-clearance inserts, diagnostic self-check system, hands-free shutoff, blade tilts away from fence, etc. I sold my Delta and I decided to bite the bullet on this saw. The second I made the purchase the calming of my peace-of-mind was incredible. I have not received my saw yet and had a chance to use it but I sure feel great just knowing it's on the way.

I never batted an eye at the cost in making this purchase as I asked myself, "what's my well-being, peace-of-mind, and fingers worth?" It didn't take long to figure . . . WAY more than the price of a SawStop.

-------- I've now owned the saw for 3 months and can give a review --------

Receiving the Saw - I ordered the Saw on Amazon on a Friday. On Tuesday the delivery company contacted me by phone (as stated by Amazon) to set up a date and time. You could chose a morning time from 8-12 or an afternoon time from 12-4. I chose Wednesday (the following day) and picked the 12-4. The saw arrived at my house at 1:15. Two nice men used a pallet jack and rolled 4 boxes on one pallet right into the middle of my shop. The boxes looked to be in good shape. My rating here is A+.

Assembling the Saw - This was an absolute pleasure! The directions come on big, clearly written, color-coded flow charts and all nuts & bolts are individually packaged and color-coded to match. This process of assemble took about 4 hours and I really felt I was taking my time. This process included my addition of an optional cast-iron wing & a Bench Dog router table extension with a JessEm router lift. Well everything was going smooth as can be. The final piece to install prior to the fence is the extension table on the right side. As I unboxed the table I was saddened to see a crack on the corner of the table where it may have been dropped. Needless to say I was not happy. I called SawStop and explained the situation. The gentleman I was speaking to showed a genuine concern regarding this and said he would ship a new one out right away. This is where it gets good again. He one-dayed the table top and I had it in about 18 hours. Nice right? But here is where the SawStop company blew me away . . .They never told me it was coming and sent a free saw blade! Now THIS is customer service at its finest. I give this assembly rating an A grade and they made the Dean's List top of the class with their customer service.

Using the saw - WOW! What a fine piece of equipment. After it quickly runs through the system check you pull the start lever and the motor is smooth on start up and quiet. The fence glides very nicely all the way across the table. The mobile base works very well and the saw moves freely. It has hooks on the left side of the saw for storing the riving knife (more on that in the "safety" section), the blade changing wrenches, the miter gauge (that does not feel cheap at all) and was dead nuts square to the table right out of the box. In fact I had to do very little calibrating on this baby. I really enjoy the mechanics of using this saw. Grade: A

Safety Features - I spoke of the safety check and we know of its blade stopping abilities. The table is very stable and if you didn't look underneath you'd feel you were using a cabinet saw based on how smooth it truly is.

In concluding, This entire process from ordering, receiving, assembling, and using the Sawstop was truly a hassle-free experience. The one snag with the cracked corner was remedied above and beyond my expectations. Also, using this saw is an absolute pleasure. And now I can say (as the title of this posting states) That this saw is of excellent quality that helps reduce my own (personal) anxiety and is worth every penny spent. Thank you Sawstop . . . your product is awesome.

I looked long and hard at this saw...
  • Lazer - December 16, 2013

Unlike the two-star reviewer, I downloaded the operator's manual and went through it before I purchased my Sawstop CS. Using this saw isn't like upgrading from a recip engine in your airplane to a turbojet, but you really need to read the manual, at least the safety system portion, and that's one or two pages of easily understood writing and diagrams.

I really-really like this saw. As seen on a Youtube video, you can set a nickel on the saw's table, turn it on, shut it down, and the nickel doesn't fall over. I bought a dado cartridge and have found that after a couple of blade swaps, I can pull the regular blade module out, install the dado module and that part of the swap adds about two minutes to the process.

I'm one of those guys that doesn't run a guard on my table saw. With my old saw I stared at that blade while making a cut like it was the muzzle of a gunbarrel. I was careful and I knew the danger. There is a rule in the house that if anyone enters my shop when I have equipment running, there's no interruption until whatever it is, has stopped. I've still got that rule, but running my Sawstop has brought my shop tension down several notches. I'm much more relaxed while running my Sawstop. I'm still careful, using pushsticks and have not violated my old self-imposed "no finger zone" but the Sawstop isn't the digit eating dragon that potentially my old saw was. I think I'm more focused on the cut now.

I ended up buying one extension wing, since I find myself using the left side of the saw as a bench on occasion. I thought about going for a cheaper after-market mobile base but I'm glad I spent the extra $50 and bought Sawstop's.

I find the quality of the saw impeccable. I had one problem with it: Occasionally, especially while making a dado cut, the belt would pop off during shutdown. I Googled the problem and nothing. Nothing in the manual. Since it was after five, I sent an email off to Sawstop. Within two hours, they had set up a case number and emailed some very simple to understand check-it instructions. After finding the motor pulley was about 1/16" out of line with the front pulley, they overnighted me a slower shutdown actuator and shim washers along with simple, well photographed instructions on how to fix it. It took me thirty minutes to make the fix. I found Sawstop's service to be impeccable.

I REALLY like this saw! - Tony Latham

The Gold Standard
  • Thad - July 20, 2018

Took 9 hours over a weekend to set it up. Every part so finely machined, the assembly experience was a pleasure like no other. First order of business was to expand the capability of a 15 year old cross cut sled, making it bigger, adding clamping and removable center insert features and re-calibrating it. The SawStop made quick, precise work of it. At the time my new dado stack was on order, so the rabbets for the the center insert plate were cut to near perfection by nibbling away with the OEM rip blade. That's some quality teeth.

The override mechanism works great on many levels. It can even let you know when you’re being too cautious at the expense of safety, by letting you know, for example, your damp stock was, in fact, plenty dry enough to cut without bypassing the safety feature.

This has been a long awaited addition to my home shop. For anyone considering a SawStop table saw, there is and has been a plethora of information going back many, many years about how its flesh detection technology works — regardless of what it can sense, fingers or otherwise. Like with any major purchase, especially on the game-changing front, it pays to do your research. Nothing came out of the box I didn't expect. I made 1 call to customer service about 1 aspect of the fence-rail assembly. By the time a SawStop rep got back to me, the built-in, intuitive nature of the process helped me solve the problem myself.

Just a slightly tighter squeeze for the truck to get in than when my 20 year old Delta Contractor saw occupied the same space. The SawStop isn't only the safest table saw made, it's a precision instrument in a class all its own.

Great saw
  • BW - September 15, 2013

1. Assembly:
Amazing. Every part was labeled well, the instructions came in a huge laminated sheet so there wasn't a need to flip through a manual, and the hardware came packaging like you might find pills or something in. Just push the hardware through the cardboard backing when that step came up, so there was no need to sort out long bolts from short bolts. Simply amazing. The only difficult thing was to lift the main assembly out of the box and onto the base. Quite heavy. I also installed the movable base at this time.

2. The main unit is really great, but I have an issue on the support table. They can easily be bent when moving the table around, and also, the portable base doesn't life the saw very high. I ended up adjusting the rubber feet a bit so that they do not extend down as much. However, the support legs for the extension table are somewhat dissappointing.

3. I feel the saw should have come with the dust collection panel. It is a $50 part but would help with the dust a lot and probably wouldn't have cost the maker much to include it with the saw.

4. I'm not an experienced user of table saws, but this one is leagues above the cheapo dewault I used a while back with its crooked fence. Everything moves very smoothly and is really great to use. The brake feature can be disabled easily but does not seem easily triggered by fairly wet wood.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with it other than a few quibbles.

So very impressed

Wow! There aren't enough superlatives to describe my thoughts on this saw. It reminds me of driving a Ferrari...the attention to detail is incredible, and it shows in the build quality. I rarely ever write a review on anything, but am so impressed by SawStop that I had to put this out there.

Right from the get go, when opening the box(es), it's apparent that SawStop cares about both ease of use as well as safety. The directions were, by far, the best directions ever written to assemble anything, ever. I'm not kidding, SawStop must either care greatly about their customers or think we are all morons, because even a moron could follow the directions and assemble the saw accurately.

I received the saw about a week ago, took two days (about two hours a day) to put it together because I was waiting on a friend to help lift the saw onto the stand, but could have easily assembled and had it up and running in 3-4 hours with 2 people. Packaging was immaculate and intelligently designed. No damage/dings to any of the items whatsoever.

I moved up to this saw from a Dewalt 745 portable jobsite saw, so was expecting (and indeed was the reason I bought) more table surface room, but wow! With the cast iron wings and the 36" extension, there's more than enough room for doing sheets of plywood, and the saw is rock-steady when moving heavy board sections across it.

Flipping the 'on' paddle up was one of the greatest joys I've ever had with a table saw, because it doesn't assault the ears; for a contractor saw this baby is quiet! Easily half the decibels of my old saw.

Easy blade changes and adjustments of the cartridge for spacing from the blade (I haven't had to adjust yet); and very little of this saw had to be adjusted out of the box...almost everything was spot-on. Fence was aligned perfectly in 5 seconds, and everything just FIT where it was supposed to. So refreshing when that actually happens.

Have run a number of sheets of plywood through it and am so happy I spent the money for a SawStop. I hope I never have to need the actual safety aspect of it, but this saw is worth the money on build quality alone. And it's great to know I'll get to keep all my fingers.

Thanks, SawStop! You've got another convert! Had hesitations due to the $$, but if you can afford it, get it! You won't regret spending the money when you receive the saw!


People's Choice

These Are Some Of The Highest Rated Contractor Saws Available Today
Delta 36-5052 featured image

2. Delta 36-5052 Table Saw

  • (17 Ratings)

The SawStop CNS175TGP36 was our number one Contractor Saws. Having said that, there were a handful of other very premium Contractor Saws worth showcasing here that only just missed the mark.

The next in our tool break down is made by Delta known to be a very respectable tool brand. Delta's Table Saws are also top quality. I was eager to try out the model 36-5052 and I was not disappointed!

The Delta 36-5052 Table Saw, at $1170.22 is a particularly exceptional Saw for the price. If you uncertain about our top selection, I'd check out the Delta 36-5052 next. It's a high quality tool at a good price.

Full Delta 36-5052 Review

Delta 36-5052 Features


Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately

Unique Tubular Stand for maximum support and stability

Heavy duty one piece rail system for precision cuts every time

Blade Brake stops the blade within seconds of the power being turned off

Heavy duty RH extension board with support legs

Large, easy to access ON/OFF switch

Apart from the selections we researched above, I would definitely take a look at the Delta 36-5000 and the Makita 2705X1. Both Delta and Makita are famous for their high quality Saws. Both tools are highly rated also. Genuine customers awarded the 36-5000 an average score of 3.7/5 stars. You can compare that to the 2705X1 which holds an average score of 4.1/5 stars.

The 36-5000 by Delta offers a few very premium features like N/A. The 2705X1 by Makita by comparison, is tough to beat with Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately plus Powerful 15.0 AMP motor delivers 4,800 RPM.

Both of these two tools make a great choice for someone whose in the market for Contractor Saws

Honorable Mentions

There are a handful more fantastic Contractor Saws available. Below are several to go with if the choices rated above don't be a good fit for you. We found a number of terrific Saws throughout our investigation. Using meticulous study and assessments, the tools mentioned above were our favorites. That being said, these Saws you're about to see offer a few unique features on top of the fact that they are all top rated Contractor Saws.