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post #1 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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New Table Saw Consideration

I have finally arrived at a bit of advice to a new woodworker considering the purchase of a new table saw.

Look at all the models available. Get all the prices. Find all the sources.

Then check with your company's HR department and ask, "What is the co-pay for an ER visit?"

Take that number and triple it because there could be additional costs associated with the ER visit.

Take the tripled number and add it to your budget. Then go buy a Saw Stop table saw. I am a woodworker and not associated with Saw Stop in any way. To be honest I really dislike the lawyer that started Saw Stop. But we like woodworkers on this forum AND it is so much easier to type with 10 fingers.

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post #2 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 03:55 AM
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There is just no debating that .......

There is no argument that the Saw Stop is the ultimate in table saw safety technology and that it lives up to it's claims. However, many of the questions here also have significant budget issues which rule it out as a choice.So, what to do?


My advice is simple in principle:
Avoid kick backs.
Keep your fingers out of the blade path.

OK, how?
To avoid kickbacks use a splitter or riving knife which will maintain the workpiece against the fence all the way through the entire length of the cut.
Use a proper push shoe, not a push stick, which allows you to apply forward, lateral and downward feed pressure simultaneously. Get a "Gripper" which does this and costs under $100.00 and a set up Safety push blocks:
https://www.amazon.com/GRR-RIPPER-Pu...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

https://www.amazon.com/Safety-Woodwo...9161212&sr=8-5

Finally, use your table saw's throat plate as "Red Zone" as the danger area where hands and fingers are "NOT ALLOWED". By keeping your fingers away from the blade path, you can pretty much assure a safe operation each time you use the saw.

All this assumes you have properly set up the saw, with it's blade parallel to the miter slot, and the fence is parallel to the miter slot and locks securely in place each time it is moved. Don't even begin to use a saw that is not set up in this manner since it will not be safe nor will it give you correct performance. Use the proper blade for the operation, a rip blade with 24 teeth for thick hardwood, a cross cut blade with 60 teeth for plywood and fine miters, and a combination blade with 40 or 50 teeth for 75% of your general operations. It should be kept as sharp and clean as you possibly can.

Whether you use a blade guard with this combination of devices and advice is a personal choice in my opinion. It will most certainly prevent you from cutting your fingers off, BUT is almost always a hinderance in certain ripping operations where the space between the blade and fence is minimal. It must also be adjusted so it will easily and effortlessly ride up and over the front edge of the workpiece as it enters the blade. If it is not easy to use, you will be frustrated with it and off it goes into the drawer or to be hung on the wall. In my case, I use a modified blade cover, a friction fit on my splitter, that I can adjust in any position from fully down on the top of the workpiece or completely up and out of the way:


A very good discussion about push sticks here:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f97/...ou-use-132802/
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Last edited by woodnthings; 01-16-2020 at 05:34 AM.
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post #3 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 05:32 AM
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I like my DIY sawstop; its called "dont put myself in a situation where fingers meeting blade is even possible". Dont get me wrong, i like sawstops and think that the technology can be lifesaving, but in a home shop environment i feel they just encourage complacency. After all, if youre doing something you shouldnt, if youre putting your hands where the blade could catch them, the saw will stop itself, right? What happens if it doesnt though?

Sawstops are great for environments where there are multiple people, or for inexperienced people to learn how to use the tools. A high school shop class is a perfect example, throw equal parts stupid and inexperienced in a room like that and add power tools and something is bound to happen. Someone screws around and runs into someone running a saw, someone gets rushed and decides to ignore the push sticks for just one cut, someones just gets distracted. A home shop though? Sure, the extra safety is nice, but theres significantly fewer unknowns. At that point, its more likely to be complacency that causes an accident

Sawstops are great, but they arent a substitute for common sense in the home shop. Frankly, if you cant make a cut without knowing your hand cant contact the blade even if something goes wrong, you either need to find another way to make the cut or not operate the saw

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post #4 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 11:28 AM
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Ooops, I forgot ........

One of the most important safety "accessories" you can have or make is a zero clearance throat plate. How so? When slivers of wood get wedged between the blade and the opening, two things may happen.
You may be tempted to pull them out with the blade still spinning and get get your fingers pulled into the blade. OR they will impede to forward feeding of the workpiece and you will be tempted to add more force and that may result in going into the blade too fast with less control. Either of these may have dire consequences.


The second most important "accessory" of equal importance is a outfeed support. How so? You don't want to be reaching over or around the spinning blade to catch either your workpiece or the cut off. The outfeed support will not only give longer pieces support, but act as a "catcher" for smaller pieces. Just as staying out and away from the "Red Zone" in front of the blade, the rear of the blade is just as dangerous! My new zero clearance throat plates are white UHM plastic, so I have a hite zone rather than red .......


My saws have the older, thinner Craftsman metal factory throat plates, so rather than make an all new version, I simply added inserts into the original one .... far easier:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/...-insert-10147/





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post #5 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
One of the most important safety "accessories" you can have or make is a zero clearance throat plate. How so? When slivers of wood get wedged between the blade and the opening, two things may happen.
You may be tempted to pull them out with the blade still spinning and get get your fingers pulled into the blade. OR they will impede to forward feeding of the workpiece and you will be tempted to add more force and that may result in going into the blade too fast with less control. Either of these may have dire consequences.


The second most important "accessory" of equal importance is a outfeed support. How so? You don't want to be reaching over or around the spinning blade to catch either your workpiece or the cut off. The outfeed support will not only give longer pieces support, but act as a "catcher" for smaller pieces. Just as staying out and away from the "Red Zone" in front of the blade, the rear of the blade is just as dangerous! My new zero clearance throat plates are white UHM plastic, so I have a hite zone rather than red .......


My saws have the older, thinner Craftsman metal factory throat plates, so rather than make an all new version, I simply added inserts into the original one .... far easier:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/...-insert-10147/




What a BRILLIANT solution!
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post #6 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 12:47 PM
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I like and recommend SawStop table saws. They are superb table saws to use, and they are the only table saws in the US with a safety blade brake/retraction mechanism. (SawStop got a court injunction to stop the importation of Bosch REAXX saws into the US. I know - I had one.) Regarding kickbacks, SawStop table saws have the same safety features as other table saws; they are no better or worse. SawStop table saws are more adjustable than any other table saw on the market, too.

As mentioned by @NoThankyou, I am unhappy that SawStop's founder, Steve Gass, could never find a way to license his technology with other table saw manufacturers. I do not know why negotiations failed; the other manufacturers may not be blameless. As a consequence, we have had nearly 20 years of preventable table saw injuries, including people I know. I do not know what it would have taken to reach an agreement, and I acknowledge that the patent rights belong to the inventor. I wish that Steve Gass had looked to Dr. Jonas Salk for inspiration. Salk invented the polio vaccine and saved countless people from paralyzing illness and death. One of my parents was a polio victim. Salk made his polio vaccine invention free to the world. Somehow, someway, Steve Gass should have found a path to widespread deployment of his technology. Instead, his solution was to lobby the US government to mandate SawStop technology through OSHA without a reasonable license agreement in place. That would have forced his competitors to accept unreasonable license terms or drop out of the market, giving Gass an effective monopoly.

I use, like, and recommend SawStop table saws, and SawStop can have my money. For Steve Gass, it is blood money, like 30 pieces of silver. I believe that Steve Gass cares more about Steve Gass than the woodworkers here on WoodworkingTalk and elsewhere. Whatever he may say, his actions speak for themselves. Shame on him for not finding a way to license his technology, and double-shame on him for lobbying OUR government to coerce others into giving him a monopoly. I hope that we see his technology widely deployed as soon as his patents expire. The first patents expire in August 2021, but I have been told by others here that SawStop has ways to extend them and exclude competitors. I keep my fingers crossed.
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post #7 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 01:34 PM
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Sawstop is great technology, there is no denying that, and for those that can afford to purchase a new saw it is well worth considering and in some cases such as schools it is pretty well essential.

We often hear their technology compared to seat belts, and how in a few years just like seat belts nobody will consider using a saw without the technology. This is where the Kool-Aide factor comes in, seat belts protect you from accidents caused by other drivers, no matter how safe a driver you are, you have no control over other reckless or drunk drivers on the road. On the other hand you are the sole operator of your saw, you are in control of the situation, any accident is caused by you, so in most cases safe practices will keep you safe.

Power tools need respect, but they should not be feared, if you are using a tool that scares you shut it off, you are going to hurt yourself, if all tools scare you find another hobby, operating any machine is not for everybody. If you need a saw that is designed not to hurt you you are in the wrong business because something else is likely going to get you eventually.
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post #8 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 02:33 PM
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I agree with many of the comments above about how great the SawStop tech is, and I have recommended it for a long before my own accident (click at your own discretion, not allowed to post these pics here). And also agree with the distaste for the ethics of Gass, but that is not the discussion here...

Reading all the mentions above about proper use of the included safety devices for your saw, I also agree, they do a great job when used properly. However, in my case use of a sled required removal of the splitter/guard, and then the neglect on my part to fully utilize the most important safety device, the one between my ears, resulted in my first TS injury after about 40 yrs of hobby woodworking. As you can see below, it didn't take much blade exposure to do so much damage. Though my typing is getting better now that I have a little feeling back in the 'dead' areas.

As I looked back over my medical bills, I was first very happy about the quality of my insurance coverage, as I am now only out enough money to have ONLY bought a SawStop Contractor model with most of the extras. If I did not have that coverage, it would have run me well over the cost of a full 5hp professional model with all accessories. Over $10K for all the Drs., ER, ambulance, and followup visits.

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post #9 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 05:07 PM
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In about 50 years of woodworking I have had only one blood letting event, not counting the little dings, a Sawstop wouldn't have prevented it, a riving knife would have though. I was cutting a bunch of stickers for a flitch cut walnut trunk, and I was cutting fast and not thinking and I let the push stick hit the backside of the blade, it hit so hard it buried the push stick into the heel of my thumb, no major damage but I was out of commission for a few weeks

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post #10 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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It was not my intent to start a thread about Saw Stop products. My intent was to encourage new woodworkers shopping for a table saw to consider the safest saw rather than one that meets the budget.

As for why other saw manufacturers don't license, it is more than the license fees.
1 ~ With a single source for the technology the manufacturer is hanging their business success on a single supplier.
2 ~ If the manufacturer doesn't offer retrofit kits for every saw model they have ever made, they are open to a lawsuit.
3 ~ Obviously Saw Stop could alter the license costs at will.

I read of a civil suit, I believe in Boston, where a worker using a different brand portable job site saw suffered an amputation. The logic was that the manufacturer of the saw "Could have" licensed the Saw Stop product. It didn't matter that there was no fence, no splitter, no anti-kick back pawls and the worker had never used a table saw prior to this incident.

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post #11 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 05:52 PM
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[QUOTE=NoThankyou;2090931]It was not my intent to start a thread about Saw Stop products. My intent was to encourage new woodworkers shopping for a table saw to consider the safest saw rather than one that meets the budget.

As for why other saw manufacturers don't license, it is more than the license fees.
1 ~ With a single source for the technology the manufacturer is hanging their business success on a single supplier.
2 ~ If the manufacturer doesn't offer retrofit kits for every saw model they have ever made, they are open to a lawsuit.
3 ~ Obviously Saw Stop could alter the license costs at will.

I read of a civil suit, I believe in Boston, where a worker using a different brand portable job site saw suffered an amputation. The logic was that the manufacturer of the saw "Could have" licensed the Saw Stop product. It didn't matter that there was no fence, no splitter, no anti-kick back pawls and the worker had never used a table saw prior to this incident.[/QUO


"Not my intent"......Your trying to get me kicked off woodworking talk aren't you...
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post #12 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
Sawstop is great technology, there is no denying that, and for those that can afford to purchase a new saw it is well worth considering and in some cases such as schools it is pretty well essential.

We often hear their technology compared to seat belts, and how in a few years just like seat belts nobody will consider using a saw without the technology. This is where the Kool-Aide factor comes in, seat belts protect you from accidents caused by other drivers, no matter how safe a driver you are, you have no control over other reckless or drunk drivers on the road. On the other hand you are the sole operator of your saw, you are in control of the situation, any accident is caused by you, so in most cases safe practices will keep you safe.

Power tools need respect, but they should not be feared, if you are using a tool that scares you shut it off, you are going to hurt yourself, if all tools scare you find another hobby, operating any machine is not for everybody. If you need a saw that is designed not to hurt you you are in the wrong business because something else is likely going to get you eventually.
With sincere respect to @FrankC and others, I disagree.

Frank and others believe that if you follow good practices and care, you can avoid a table saw injury, even over a lifetime of woodworking. They believe that you can teach yourself habits so ingrained that you will never experience a table saw injury.

If FrankC were somehow magically assured that the roads would be totally empty with no drunks or anyone else driving around, would Frank drive his family without buckling the seat belts? After all, Frank would be "the sole operator of his car, in control of the situation, any accident is caused by Frank, so in most cases safe practices will keep him safe." Do you agree with that?

We are human, subject to human frailties, fallibilities, and the ravages of age. Even if I were the sole driver on the road, I would still buckle my safety belt, along with safety belts for my spouse and children. I take that for granted, don't you?

I know too many well-respected, well-regarded woodworkers who have sustained serious table saw injuries. They lived a lifetime of following good safety practices. All it took was one mistake. It is heartbreaking to see.

I view SawStop as an insurance policy against certain types of table saw injuries. SawStop should be considered insurance against that one mistake in a lifetime.

I hope that nobody views SawStop as encouraging sloppy safety habits. If so, they miss the point completely. I hope that nobody I know will ever trigger a SawStop. In an ideal world, none of us would ever trigger our SawStop, but it is nice to know that we are covered.
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post #13 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 07:37 PM
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So, by applying the "Saw Stop" logic, and assuming we all bought a super safe table saw, every other tool in our shops is over the top dangerous because we could stick out hand in a blade or a bit. I assure you that my hands often come quite close to my band saw blade when scrolling. And my fingers are perilously close on occasion when drilling (ever had a bit catch and spin the work like an airplane propeller?). I've been what some would call close to my 12" miter saw blade when cutting small trim pieces. And oh lord, don't even get me started on the dreaded radial arm saw (my favorite power tool!). Then there's the shaper, scroll saw, jointer and planer. Well, maybe not so much the planer. You'd have to be a complete dufus to get to that set of knives.

The point is that regardless if you already have, or wish you could afford, or even just want a Saw Stop table saw, be aware that it would/ will only protect you for ONE single operation in the shop. Every other move you make, power tool or not, exposes you to plenty enough danger to either shred or take a finger or two off. Some tools are actually rather inherently dangerous (the big ol shaper can scare me half to death at times). Owning a wood shop, metal shop, welding shop, or practicing most any other hobby or vocation exposes you to an amount of risk. How you manage that risk is what is way the more important than anything else in your shop. If a Saw Stop makes you feel safer, then justify it as only one small part of your risk management. However, one "ultra" safe tool will never be the end all safety savior in the shop.

The thing between your ears and careful planning are the ultimate safety saviors in your shop.

Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
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post #14 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
With sincere respect to @FrankC and others, I disagree.

Frank and others believe that if you follow good practices and care, you can avoid a table saw injury, even over a lifetime of woodworking. They believe that you can teach yourself habits so ingrained that you will never experience a table saw injury.

If FrankC were somehow magically assured that the roads would be totally empty with no drunks or anyone else driving around, would Frank drive his family without buckling the seat belts? After all, Frank would be "the sole operator of his car, in control of the situation, any accident is caused by Frank, so in most cases safe practices will keep him safe." Do you agree with that?

We are human, subject to human frailties, fallibilities, and the ravages of age. Even if I were the sole driver on the road, I would still buckle my safety belt, along with safety belts for my spouse and children. I take that for granted, don't you?

I know too many well-respected, well-regarded woodworkers who have sustained serious table saw injuries. They lived a lifetime of following good safety practices. All it took was one mistake. It is heartbreaking to see.

I view SawStop as an insurance policy against certain types of table saw injuries. SawStop should be considered insurance against that one mistake in a lifetime.

I hope that nobody views SawStop as encouraging sloppy safety habits. If so, they miss the point completely. I hope that nobody I know will ever trigger a SawStop. In an ideal world, none of us would ever trigger our SawStop, but it is nice to know that we are covered.
He's just saying you need to be careful reguardless of its technology. He didn't disagree with its usage just if you can't afford you must do the best you can to avoid the accident. ...

You need to be careful reguardless....
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post #15 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 07:47 PM
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I am on Frank's side on this .....

I've already stated that Saw Stop is the best available technolgy, BUT is it beyond the means of many home shops. So, you need to use accessory devices, splitters, riving knives, zero clearance throat plates, blade covers, etc. at all times when practical. Understanding why kickback occurs and the forces involved will go along way to prevent it.

I can't afford a Saw stop now that I am retired and on pensions and SS, and that would mean I would end up with a total of 7 (seven) table saws when I am already "overstocked". After 55 years of "practice", I know how to operate my saw(s) safely and when I am not physically and mentally ready, I will not use it.

Preaching to the choir will not change anyone's opinion, especially mine. If I do something stupid, then I'm prepared to make the necessary adjustments ...... what ever that means.

Mixing driving with woodworking is not a good analogy. There are no drunks using any power tools in my shop. There is no one else in my shop 99.9% of the time. Visitors are not allowed for safety reasons. I am the sole operator of all my equipment, but I realize that not all home shops have this situation, so precautions MUST be taken. When I do need additional help, I use my son as the support person.
He's a certified Master mechanic with tons of experience using tools and heavy equipment, but I realize that not every woodworker has such experienced help.


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post #16 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 07:52 PM
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I think I got more hrs on the saw than anybody but there is no guarantee no matter how aware you are to the dangers you can still get hurt...

I've seen it and it happened to me.

As long as we don't say "cant" I'm all good... the only way you can ysay that is too not operate one in the first place..Rebel
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post #17 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 07:52 PM
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Saw Stop is the safest saw so ......

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoThankyou View Post
It was not my intent to start a thread about Saw Stop products. My intent was to encourage new woodworkers shopping for a table saw to consider the safest saw rather than one that meets the budget.

.........


You can't get around that Saw Stop has the safest saw, so folks are going to bring this up and debate this issue no matter your intent.


I also don't think you can ignore the budget issue either. For some, it's the deciding factor. For the wealthy ..... it don't make no difference......


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #18 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
With sincere respect to @FrankC and others, I disagree.

Frank and others believe that if you follow good practices and care, you can avoid a table saw injury, even over a lifetime of woodworking. They believe that you can teach yourself habits so ingrained that you will never experience a table saw injury.

If FrankC were somehow magically assured that the roads would be totally empty with no drunks or anyone else driving around, would Frank drive his family without buckling the seat belts? After all, Frank would be "the sole operator of his car, in control of the situation, any accident is caused by Frank, so in most cases safe practices will keep him safe." Do you agree with that?

We are human, subject to human frailties, fallibilities, and the ravages of age. Even if I were the sole driver on the road, I would still buckle my safety belt, along with safety belts for my spouse and children. I take that for granted, don't you?

I know too many well-respected, well-regarded woodworkers who have sustained serious table saw injuries. They lived a lifetime of following good safety practices. All it took was one mistake. It is heartbreaking to see.

I view SawStop as an insurance policy against certain types of table saw injuries. SawStop should be considered insurance against that one mistake in a lifetime.

I hope that nobody views SawStop as encouraging sloppy safety habits. If so, they miss the point completely. I hope that nobody I know will ever trigger a SawStop. In an ideal world, none of us would ever trigger our SawStop, but it is nice to know that we are covered.
In order to keep things civil around here no comment.

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post #19 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 08:03 PM
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The old argument is 3 years old. Just look it up...
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post #20 of 45 Old 01-16-2020, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Rebelwork View Post
The old argument is 3 years old. Just look it up...

It's older than that. Patents last 17 years and were about 18 months from the end for Saw Stop. But they clearly are more about legal tricks than tools, so we can expect them to do whatever they can to stop other safe saw methods. The management isn't interested in user safety. don't kid yourselves. Yes, the saw is excellent, but overpriced and uses a destructive method where the Bosch system is non destructive. Which is better, one or two?



I think Bosch management is much smarter and will find a way to license their system to everyone who wants it. They could license it cheap, license others to make the device and put the Saw Stop out of business for good. Financially a little from a lot beats a lot from a few. I was a business writer for five years and detest such business practices and the sleazy executives that perpetrate them. Srong letter to follow...
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