25 Best Innovations of the Past 25 Years
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.