A Safer Table Saw

This morning my husband was showing me a brochure and a video of a new table saw. He's a Firefighter and has been slowly renovating our house. So when he saw a video of a safer table saw at our local woodworking store yesterday he was really excited about it.

We've all heard the sad and horrible stories of accidents involving power tools, especially saws. However this company has patented a new technology that stops and retracts the blade when it senses skin. I have no idea how this works, but I understand the general principal and I think it is amazing.

Disclaimer - I do not have this saw and I have not personally seen this saw. I am expressing my opinion solely on the brochure and video on their website. However if the folks at SawStop, www.sawstop.com, want to lend us one to review my husband would be thrilled and I'd be excited to see some movement on our home improvement projects.

The website states:
SawStop saws detect contact with skin.
The blade carries a small electrical signal, which the safety system continually monitors. When skin contacts the blade, the signal changes because the human body is conductive. The change to the signal activates the safety system.

The safety system immediately shuts down the saw and drops the blade into the table bed preventing any further injury.

Since I'm by nature pretty cynical I was not completely believing the brochure. However the videos and pictures on the website are really convincing. For the faint of heart please note - the video I watched showed them running a hot dog over the blade - I did not see anyone attempting to amputate their fingers. There is also a small picture gallery of customer testimonials of contractors who actually triggered the safety features and suffered only a minor nick instead of losing a finger or worse.

I think it is great to see more companies looking at innovating ways to make their tools safer. This is a great use of technology - sensing the body's natural conductivity - to make a staple tool of the construction and woodworking industry safer.

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