Woodwork Tools Blog



Safe Woodworking with Sawstop

In my school days (a number of years back now), I had the bizarre experience of seeing the thumb of the father of a friend of mine. That doesn’t sound so bizarre I hear you thinking, and it wouldn’t have been, except for the fact that I was viewing the thumb wrapped in plastic wrap, and not attached to the (former) owner. The thumb had been amputated in an industrial accident with a table saw. Ahhh…now I hear you thinking what was your friend doing walking around school with his father’s amputated thumb?, and I’m sorry, but for that I have no answer – suffice to say that I had some interesting friends….
This memory came back to me recently, as I have been thinking about investing in a table saw, and in searching the web for table saws, I stumbled across what I think must be the single biggest improvement in saw safety that I have ever seen (and an improvement that my friend’s father definitely wishes was around at that time!).
The SawStop table saw claims to be the safest table saw in the world, and for anyone who has seen the hot dog demonstration which they have on their web site, I think it would be tough to argue with this claim.
Of all the powered woodwork tools that are available, the table saw is probably one of the most versatile woodwork tools, and has the potential to save hours of time in your workshop. It can also be one of the most dangerous. Every time I power up any kind of circular saw, I do so with a certain amount of trepidation – knowing that there are a large number of injuries caused by these devices – according to the SawStop site, there is the equivalent of an injury every 9 minutes in the US alone!
Unfortunately, at the moment this saw is a little bit out my price range, and I would also like to see how its other (non-finger saving) features stack up against other, similar table saws, before deciding on it, but i do love the safety feature. I would love to see something like this as standard on all table saws (particularly those used in learning environments) – only time will tell if this is going to happen I guess. In the meantime, it is nice to have the option available…

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