SawStop Professional vs Industrial: What Is The Difference?

SawStop Professional vs Industrial: What Is The Difference?

There are table saws, and there are table saws.  Basic, or feature-rich, table saws are a necessary power tool in a home woodworking shop for both hobbyists and enthusiasts.  The difference between those two, by the way, is the occasional small project woodworker (hobbyist) and the every weekend furniture maker and home renovationist (enthusiast).

Table saws are the big power, big cutting, machine, whether breaking down plywood sheets or ripping dimensional lumber, tasks other power saws aren’t well suited for.  Fences are set at the cutting width, scrap woods are used to push the workpiece against the blade, a riving knife keeps the kerf open to prevent kickback, and progress can be swift.

Safety innovations have brought table saws forward with large strides, and both fingers and faces have been saved as a result.  One of the leading innovators in table saw safety has been SawStop.  In a previous piece that you will find here, we wrote about the SawStop bypass mode but spent a bit of time discussing the SawStop safety system on all of its table saws.  In case you don’t want to jump back to that previous piece, let’s discuss that system for a moment.

SawStop’s patented safety system is designed to prevent serious harm to fingers, hands, and limbs.  The saw’s blades carry a small electrical signal that recognizes skin contact by the human body’s conductivity.  When skin is detected by the change in the electrical signal, the full safety system is activated.

An aluminum braking system is thrust against the blade, the spinning blade is stopped immediately, and the saw’s motor is shut down.  The blade is then dropped into the saw’s housing below the table surface to prevent any further harm.  Most significantly, this all happens within 5 milliseconds.  

The blade and brake cartridge can then be replaced, in just a matter of minutes, and work can resume after you’ve bandaged any cut and cleaned up any blood.  In a small percentage of cases, where the hand was moving rapidly into the blade (carelessness), an injury can be severe.   As long as the hand was not moving rapidly into the blade, though, injury is likely to be just a small cut. 

We mention this feature on all SawStop saws because it is common to both the Professional and the Industrial Models we are comparing/contrasting today.  With this major feature similarity, though, let’s go further into what separates these two table saws.

SawStop Professional Table Saw

SawStop 10-Inch Professional Cabinet Saw, 3-HP, 52-Inch Professional TGlide Fence System (PCS31230-TGP252)

The Professional model is a true workhorse and a fine addition to the home woodworking shop for serious enthusiasts.  It’s basic features include:

  • A choice of 1.75 hp and 3.0 hp motor;
  • Cast iron build, with trunnion in two parts with large rod connection
  • 10” blade
  • 25”, 30” and 36” fence configurations; and,
  • The SawStop safety system that stops on contact with skin.

The available fences include a 30” premium, a 36” T-Glide, and a 52” T-Glide.

It’s a beefy table saw, and depending on the chosen fence option, weights will range from 367 lbs to 449 lbs.  Once you pick a spot in your shop, this model is going to stay there unless friends come over to help you move it.  The cast iron build and that weight provide a steady and sturdy platform for all of your cutting.

The blade guard system of the Professional model includes both the blade guard and a dust collection system.  It also includes two sets of anti-kickback pawls for convenience when cutting thinner workpieces, and shifting to thicker workpieces requires only activating the larger set of pawls.

The dust collection system is dual-level:  it collects dust from the top of the saw and below the blade.  It is an effective system that will collect up to 99% of all dust and includes a blade guard and a 4” dust port.

There is also a riving knife – that accessory that keeps the kerf open to prevent kickback.  Switching from the blade guard system to the riving knife is an easy process and requires no special tools.  A locking handle releases the blade guard, the riving knife accessory is inserted into place, and the locking handle sets it tight.

Its fence system is solid and easy to adjust, whether you have the 36” T-Glide or the 52” T-Glide.  The rails have a heavy gauge system for secure lockdown, and the handle is easy to use.  

All in all, the Professional model has much to offer:

  • An efficient dust collection system.
  • A blade guard system that is quick to change and requires no tools.
  • Good power from the 1.75 hp and 3.0 hp motors, more than ample for the home woodworking shop.
  • Multiple fence options that you can determine based on the projects you anticipate tackling.
  • 7” handwheel made of cast iron with a chrome handle
  • Many options to choose from, including 2 mobile bases, 2 dust collection systems, a folding outfeed table, sliding tables, and router tables.
  • 2 year warranty on the saw body

The basic Professional model is priced at $2849.  Among the marketplace offerings for cabinet saws, this is not that far out of line in price, where somewhat comparable cabinet saws can run from $1900 up into the $3000s.  Many would suggest the build quality, coupled with the patented safety system, sets it apart from the competition, though.

If you opt for the higher hp motor, and the add-on options offered, the price of a Professional model can rise to more than $7500.

SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw

SAWSTOP 10-Inch Industrial Cabinet Saw, 5-HP, 52-Inch Industrial T-Glide Assembly (ICS51230-52)

A step up from the Professional model, the SawStop Industrial Cabinet saw brings a true beast to work in the shop.  Its basic features are steps up from the Professional model, and include:

  • 3 hp, 5 hp, and 7 hp options, more than the Professional model.
  • Cast iron build, same as the Professional model.
  • 10” blade
  • 36” and 52” fence configurations.
  • The SawStop safety system that stops on contact with skin.

The available fences include a 36” T-Glide and a 52” T-Glide option.  

This beast has a great weight difference over the Professional model, and depending on the fence options you choose, will range from 635 lbs to 685 lbs.  This cabinet saw is going to be set in a permanent location in the shop, of course.

Another reason beyond weight that suggests a permanent location for this cabinet saw is that it does not come with a power cord.  Rather, you will need an electrician to connect this saw to a power source.  So, its location needs to be chosen with some care with access to that source.

While the height is the same for both saws at 34”, the size differs slightly depending on the fence options chosen, and in depth:

  • The Professional model is 61 ¾ “ with the 30” fence,  69 ⅛ “ with the 36” fence, and 85 ¼ “ with the 52” fence.
  • The Industrial model is 69 ¼ with the 36” fence, and 85 ¼ with the 52” fence.
  • The Professional model depth is 31 ⅛ “ with the 30” fence, and 33” with either the 36” or 52” fence; the Industrial model depth is 36 ½ “, irrespective of the fence option.

The other options available for the Industrial model include the same as the Professional model with the exception of mobility.  Once the Industrial model is set, it stays where it is.

The dust collection system is dual-level, just as in the Professional model:  it, too, collects dust from the top of the saw and below the blade.  It is an effective system that will collect up to 99% of all dust and includes a blade guard and a 4” dust port.

The Industrial model also has much to offer:

  • An efficient dust collection system.
  • A blade guard system that is quick to change and requires no tools.
  • More power from the 3.0 hp, 5.0 hp, or 7.0 hp motors, to choose from among the Industrial models.
  • Single trunnion build cast
  • Multiple fence options at the larger end over the Professional model
  • 8” handwheel made of cast iron with a chrome handle
  • Many options to choose from, 2 dust collection systems, a folding outfeed table, sliding tables, and router tables.
  • 2 year warranty on the saw body, and 5 year warranty on the motor.

The pricing on the Industrial model begins at $4715, almost $2000 more than the Professional model.  However, it is to be remembered that the Industrial model has a higher blade speed and cuts faster, is built to last in an industrial setting, has a larger table surface than the Professional model, and is built for industrial use, not for the woodworking hobbyist or enthusiast.

If you opt for the highest hp motor and the optional add-ons, the price for an Industrial model fully spec’d out rises to over $9000.

Comparison and Contrast of the Professional and Industrial SawStop Saws

Compare

  • Both have the patented safety system to protect fingers, hands, and limbs
  • Both have replacement 10” blade and brake cartridges available  
  • Both are built with the Control Box Housing and easy access on/off paddle 
  • Both are a cast iron build
  • Both use a T-Glide fence system
  • Both have a dust collection system that gathers at a 99% efficiency

Contrast

  • The Industrial model has a higher blade speed and cuts faster
  • The Industrial model is built for heavy duty high volume industrial work
  • The Industrial model needs to be hard-wired by an electrician to a power source
  • The Industrial model comes with higher horsepower motors
  • The Industrial model has a larger table surface
  • The Industrial model is heavier by a couple hundred pounds
  • The Industrial model trunnion is a single cast piece, while the Professional model is a 2-piece cast joined by a rod
  • The Industrial model is more expensive than the Professional model by thousands of dollars
  • The Industrial model’s warranty includes 5 years for the motor, while the Professional model’s warranty is only the 2 years on the saw body common to both models

We thought you might be interested in seeing the SawStop Industrial model unboxing, assembly, and set up.  It’s the 3 hp model, and we thought it was pretty cool.

It’s nice to be able to distinguish between table saw models when making a purchase decision.  Where prices differ so sharply, it’s good to know what you get for the higher price that’s different from the lower priced model. But in this case, it’s the performance that makes the choice so clear.

Industrial means industrial.  A woodworking hobbyist and woodworking enthusiast won’t likely need the extra power, greater cutting speed, heavier body, or larger table surface of the Industrial model.  He and she will be ably served for the projects they are likely to take on by the Professional model in the home shop.