Every now and then a tool comes along that features an innovation so unique that it distinguishes that machine from anything else ever used anywhere. The SawStop Tablesaw is one of those rare tools that has totally revolutionized tablesaw safety in the woodworking shop, and we are proud to add SawStop tablesaws to our offering of fine woodworking machines.
The inventor of the SawStop Table Saw is passionate about preventing table saw accidents. His greatest contribution to state-of-the-art tablesaw technology is the SawStop table saw’s unique safety system which stops the sawblade in less than 5 milliseconds after coming in contact with a woodworker’s hand or finger.
The SawStop table saw safety system works like this. The blade carries a small electrical charge that is constantly monitored. When skin comes in contact with the blade, the natural capacitance of the human body changes the charge on the sawblade and is immediately detected by the safety system, which triggers the release of a heavy spring, jamming an aluminum brake into the teeth of the spinning sawblade. Within milliseconds the blade stops its 100 mph rotation and comes to a complete stop. After the aluminum brake stops the sawblade, the blade’s centrifugal force causes it to instantly retract below the surface of the table just as the tablesaw’s electrical motor shuts off.
In the 4 years since the SawStop tablesaw came on the market, the manufacturer has documented almost 600 cases in which a tablesaw operator’s hand or fingers were saved when the safety system triggered.
The total cost of a tablesaw accident in which fingers are amputated has been calculated between $250,000 and $400,000, including hospitalization, medical bills, lost worktime, rehabilitation and loss of hand function, not to mention repeated painful surgeries and protracted healing time.
SawStop table saws are available today for less than $2000.
Discovery has a show called TimeWarp where they test things and video them in really slow motion. Not too long ago they tested the SawStop where the inventor used his finger to test it. Here is the video on YouTube. Really cool to watch.