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25 Best Innovations of the Past 25 Years

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SawStop tablesaw

SawStop tablesaw

Doing for tablesaws what airbags did for cars, SawStop could be the single greatest safety device in woodworking. Full-time patent attorney and part-time woodworker Steve Gass came up with the idea of making a safer saw in 1999 after his father caught his hand in a blade. Gass invented a blade brake, activated by skin contact, that stops a spinning blade in 1/200 of a second, leaving the victim with only a scratch. There are 17,000 models in use today, with more than 500 confirmed "finger saves," according to Gass.

Complete Guide to Mastering Your Tablesaw

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Comments (10)
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brian.w.anderson wrote:

I think the technology is outstanding, however I cannot support a company that lobbies the government to make it federal law that all table saws should be equipped with their patented technology.

2/6/2013 07:16:49 PM Report Abuse
ajplansky wrote:

awp3855 wrote "that anything over 11% moisture activates the blade brake".The blade brake pictured above looka to me like ti is "trashed".If that is the case does anyone know how much it would cost to replace it or does just the (what looks like Aluminum)part that stopped the blade need to be replaced and if so how much does it cost to replace it?

5/19/2010 03:57:04 PM Report Abuse
woodywoodpecke3 wrote:

I am a certified health and safety rep and I would have to disagree with almbldr. A lot of "accidents" occur with an experienced operator or "professional" who becomes complacent with the operation of their respective equipment. It takes but a millisecond of bad judgement or "mind wandering" to lose a finger. Even a professional can have a lapse in judgement no matter how brief. I feel the safer the better.

5/13/2010 02:01:36 PM Report Abuse
left_hand_black wrote:

I feel that this is an unnecessary device. SAFETY should always be the first priority. You can not expect the machine to do your thinking! If you are unskilled, or unsure of an operation, ask for help. Otherwise, Leave the professional tools for the professional.

4/6/2010 09:51:46 AM Report Abuse
crazyray wrote:

I also respectfully disagree with almbldr. While he makes a good point about the cognitive attention required in safe woodworking, the comment about being only for those with a "disregard for safety" could be said of using safety glasses and seat belts. Stuff can happen outside of an operator's control. If I had the money, I'd get this sawstop without hesitation.

4/3/2010 04:39:53 PM Report Abuse
Wood-burner wrote:

I disagree about not having use in a class room. Liability is one sure reason that industrial arts is disappearing from our schools. I have seen this demoed numerous times and I am persuaded it works. As for high moisture content, the safety feature can be disabled temporarily at the flip of a switch. In addition this SAWSTOP Table Saw is one of the few on the market that can take the impact developed.

4/3/2010 03:40:43 PM Report Abuse
almbldr wrote:

Clearly a saw that does not have use in the classroom! Teach safety and proper usage and the student will learn, listen and understand when and how to place hands in proper positions. Not for a hobbist or professional! Only those individuals with a disregard for safety should use this saw.

4/2/2010 07:03:10 PM Report Abuse
awp3855 wrote:

I have a friend who has gone through six blades and brakes because of the moisture level being to high. Anything over 11% seems to activate the safety device.

4/1/2010 09:31:32 PM Report Abuse
Don Eby wrote:

Now if they were only more universal and affordable. My current table is a Jet 10" contractors that I bought for $750ish. To upgrade costs me more than I care to spend. I HATE big government power but I kind of wish they'd make this feature mandatory. Think of a Delta uni with this capability.

4/1/2010 06:11:05 PM Report Abuse
pweiss2290265 wrote:

At the Seattle Central Community College Wood Construction Center, we currently have 20 of these saws. We have had 4 incidences of finger contact only requireing a band aid instead of a visit to an emergency room. A great saw with great features. Paul Weiss, Tool Specialist

4/1/2010 12:29:07 PM Report Abuse

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