Friday, July 15, 2011

SawStop customer service - maybe best in the industry

It has been a couple of months since I bought the second SawStop for the school, and it's been a huge help in eliminating log-jams in the shop. A couple of nights ago, a chair-design class was in session, and we were making some tricky cuts on the saw. Those cuts took a little bit of time to set up, and having two saws was a huge asset.

The new Contractor's saw is a pretty sweet tool, considering it's price and power. I noticed something that puzzled me - on this new saw, the blade raises and lowers with remarkable ease, while on the other saw - the big-mama Industrial Cabinet Saw - the crank that controls blade height has been getting harder and harder to turn.

A call to SawStop assured me it wasn't my imagination - they immediately knew what the problem was, and how to fix it.

A few days later, the new part - this shaft key - arrived.

Darrin in customer service has never let me down. In fact, after we discussed this repair, he thought about it and called me back to tell me he was going to ship out a device to help pull that handle shaft out of the saw. He said that it's sometimes difficult to remove, and thought I would probably need the puller, so he just shipped that too, asking that I return it when I was finished. He even included a postage paid return label - pretty nice of him to do that!

Luckily, after loosening the set screws that held everything in place, the handle and shaft came right out. Here is the culprit of the problem - a key that apparently mushroomed out a bit, causing some metal-on-metal rubbing.

Out with the old, in with the new.

I cleaned the shaft and lubed it with some grease.

The shaft, cleaned and ready for the new key.

Slipped in place.

The hardest part was getting everything into position to re-align these gears. There were a few washers

as well as another key to install. Plus - this isn't the most convenient location in which to preform this repair. Still, at the most, it took about twenty minutes.

Those gear teeth are razor sharp, and my thumb has some small slices on it that prove that point.

It doesn't matter what the size of the repair is - I make a hell of a mess when working on a tool!

I want to congratulate SawStop on their excellent service. I've probably called them for information or parts a half dozen times, and they've never let me down. They might have one of the best customer service departments I've ever dealt with - period.

There is a huge debate about these saws - are they worth the money, are people who buy them simply lazy woodworker - looking to keep their fingers safe? The debate goes on and on. But I'll tell you this - I find three major reasons to own own of these saws.

First - they are excellent machines. I've owned many other tablesaws in the past - and before I purchased this, I would have to saw that my Unisaw was my saw of choice. This beats the Unisaw hands down.

Second - the safety factor is a huge plus. I still urge my students to always be attentive and act as if the flesh detection system isn't there. You still much maintain a high level of concentration while using this saw, because there is always the chance that the brake cartridge could fail.

Third - customer service. Have you ever owned a car and loved the way the dealer took care of you? Lexus owners know what I'm talking about - everything from the "food court" inside the service area to the fact that they'll wash your car after they've worked on it. It's the little things that add up, making you want to purchase another one from them. That's how I feel about SawStop. Their machines are great, but their support is even better.

Apple Computer is another company that comes to mind when I think of great customer support. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to one of their stores to have some problem diagnosed, like with an iPod or an Airport, and if they couldn't fix it on the spot, they've simply replaced the item, even if it's out of warranty.

Now that is customer service. Keep it up, guys!

1 comment:

mdafran said...

The most critical part is the brake cartriedge.Always keep an eye on those.That's when after sales service is important.Having an annoying mulfunctioning machines would be as much as annoying.Nice tips and sharing.