Troubleshooting SawStop False Trips

Saw Stop blade brakes rarely activate without reason. But in this case ... February 17, 2012

Has anyone had problems activating SawStop brake cartridges with no metal contact made? I've had a SawStop for about five years and last week changed the blade and popped the brake as soon as the saw started (not even up to full speed). I thought I must have not adjusted the Paw correctly (my bad) so I put a second cartridge on and double checked the spacing. I even turned the blade all around to check for possible contact at any point. I got the green light again, turned the saw on and popped the second cartridge immediately.

I called SawStop and they ran me through some diagnostic tests and all looks fine (found out that there is the possibility that the shaft electrical signal can be bad and cause it to fire). I sent the brakes in and got the standard answer - "some metal touched the blade, most likely a tape measure, during coast down and on the other brake the blade contacted grounded metal possibly the blade or riving knife".

Well this is not the case at all I personally turned the saw on and it popped both times within milliseconds. We also donít have the riving knife on the machine. Has anyone run into this problem? SawStop seems to be worried about me wanting to get free cartridges out of them, when in fact I had new cartridges already ordered from a local supplier before I even called them. I'm interested in resolving the problem.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor W:
My hope is saw stop reads this and gets real busy as I am ready to replace several saws with them. Thanks for the heads up as I have heard a lot of good things from this saw yet I am replacing all the Unisaws.

From contributor Y:
I have read numerous posts both here and elsewhere about SawStop. I have seen their demonstrations. I think it is a fantastic idea and I know there are a lot a people out there who still have all their fingers because of it. I have two issues with it. The first issue simply said is that it is mechanical and being mechanical it can fail. The second issue is if you look at the marketing strategies of the company they are trying to shove it down our throats.

From contributor P:

We haven't had any brake activations unless someone tried to cut metal laminate. We did have an issue with a switch - SawStop sent us a new one overnight, at no charge. My experience with both the saw and the company has been excellent. Not sure that helps you. Are you sure that there is no metal filings or something hitting the blade?

From contributor S:
I have been running mine for over two years with now without any problems. The other shops I know of that have them haven't had any problems either. I do know of one guy in my area who was complaining of false activations, but I believe he was cutting wet wood. If youíre using the plastic gauge to set the distance between the blade teeth and the brake you shouldn't have a problem. I have never had any trouble with the riving knife. Maybe they will send you a couple of demo cartridges to see if this happens again on startup. They may be more willing to do that since they trip regardless after three minutes. Your dealer may also be able to help you with that.

From contributor L:
We've had ours for five years or so and no problems with tripping. Twice with fingers, once with metal laminate, and once with chrome plated plastic.

From contributor O:
I purchased the saw stop about three years ago and within the first year I change four-six brakes that were set off. I came to find out that when the saws are built they use a flat cable bracket around a round wire. They tighten these down with impact drivers. So their thought was that they were too tight and shorted out the wire, causing it to trip. The second time I replaced it because it was a bad cable.