George Vondriska

What’s the Deal with SawStop?

George Vondriska
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Duration:   2  mins

Accidents happen. In fact, when it comes to table saws, accidents happen every nine minutes. One out of every ten table saw accidents result in an amputation. That’s what makes SawStop flesh sensing technology so great.

What does it do?

If you touch the blade on a SawStop table saw it instantly comes to a stop. And I mean instantly. In 5 milliseconds the blade not only comes to a stop, it also disappears below the table. How fast is 5 milliseconds? Faster than your eye can track. Ten times faster than the airbags in your car. Even after you turn the saw off, while the blade is winding down, the system is still active.

How does it work?

There’s a small electrical charge on the blade, which is electrically isolated from the rest of the table saw. Because your body is a big capacitor if you touch the blade some of the voltage goes into you. The system sees the voltage drop and initiates the sequence that stops and drops the blade.

And afterward?

If you activate the brake you need to change the brake pad and, most likely, the blade. Yep, there’s an expense there, but it’s way less than hand surgery.

SawStop’s newest table saw

Big news from SawStop is the availability of a table saw with SawStop technology for under $1000, their new Compact Table Saw. Very cool.

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One Response to “What’s the Deal with SawStop?”

  1. Craig Beene

    Its Amazing technology, I've seen my share of shop accidents. Fortunately, (knock on wood) i have all my fingers and body parts. If something like this was on a circular saw. A friend of mine wouldn't have almost lost his leg right in front of me. From a Delta 8" worm drive saw. He was on a roof cutting a piece of fascia that was mounted on the rafter ends. He had the guard pulled back to make a plunge cut, he had layed it on his thigh with the guard still pulled back. He pulled the trigger and you can guess what happened. It nearly cut his leg in two. He should've been doing what he was doing. Especially laying it on his leg. But it happened so fast. We had to apply a tourniquet to save his life. And life flight him. To save his leg and life. Back then they didn't have the rapid stop systems on saws. I'm not sure that would've helped much.

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