Sawstop vs. Bosch ReaXX - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-08-2019, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Sawstop vs. Bosch ReaXX

I'm sure everyone is familiar with these. I've been thinking about getting the kids involved in some of my restoration and cabinet-making projects. I sold my Delta Unisaw a few years back because I needed to convert the garage to metal working tools and just didn't have to the space. Something had to go. After that I bought a nice little Skillsaw worm drive portable table saw. Works just fine, no issues.

However, being that saws with protection technology are available I feel kind of weird about not having one to use once I start teaching the kids some woodworking. It's one of those "If anything were to happen..." things.

In case some might not be familiar with these, here are two videos (yeah, these guys are sticking their hands into the blade):

Sawstop:


Bosch:



Any thoughts or actually experience using one technology over the other?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 33 Old 02-08-2019, 08:04 PM
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Wow, you have got to be kidding they make saws like that!

Seriously, if you spent more than a minute around here you would see this has been rehashed so many times it is not funny.
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post #3 of 33 Old 02-08-2019, 08:05 PM
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I have a SawStop cabinet saw. I bought it for peace of mind when family (wife, kids & grandkids) are in my grouch cave, which is often.
So far the only one of us who has gotten into the blade has been me. Not even a scratch!

SawStop now has a contractor saw. I know nothing about it.

The Bosch Reaxx is not available in the US. They were here briefly. One of the members here has one. Maybe he’ll see the thread & chime in.


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post #4 of 33 Old 02-08-2019, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
Wow, you have got to be kidding they make saws like that!

Seriously, if you spent more than a minute around here you would see this has been rehashed so many times it is not funny.
My mistake, I only spent 59 seconds. Next time. :)
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post #5 of 33 Old 02-08-2019, 10:13 PM
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If I remember right, Bosch and SawStop are in the middle of a legal battle. SawStop is saying something along the lines that Bosch is infringing on their flesh sensing technology. Last I heard, a court agreed, and Bosch wasn't able to be sold in the US.

Here's a pretty good writeup of what's been going on: LINK.

My wife's uncle has a professional woodworking business in Wisconsin. He outfitted his shop with SawStop after a shop mishap and seems to really like them.

Hope this info helps.

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post #6 of 33 Old 02-09-2019, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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If I remember right, Bosch and SawStop are in the middle of a legal battle. SawStop is saying something along the lines that Bosch is infringing on their flesh sensing technology. Last I heard, a court agreed, and Bosch wasn't able to be sold in the US.
Damn lawyers!

I don't have the space but I always thought that the sliding table saws seemed like a much safer option. You can keep your hands well away from the blade for most, if not all, operations.
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post #7 of 33 Old 02-09-2019, 03:47 AM
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Don't forget the sawstop accessories for the serious woodworker...gotta get the full package.
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post #8 of 33 Old 02-09-2019, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Don't forget the sawstop accessories for the serious woodworker...gotta get the full package.
That's hilarious.
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post #9 of 33 Old 02-09-2019, 02:56 PM
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Don't forget this as well ....

None of the flesh sensing devices will protect against either a kickback OR flesh eating bacteria .... just sayin'
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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 #10 of 33 Old 02-10-2019, 12:56 AM
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I am not a lawyer nor do I pretend to be one.

If, as a reasonable and logical human being you have read the patents on the SawStop you will gain an appreciation for Stephen Gass. As much as most of us hate lawyers, one can only appreciate how Gass has protected the concept of flesh sensing.

It is not so much as the blade stopping and drop as just the sensing of flesh that is patented. I think that we have another 8 or 10 years before the patent protection expires.

IMNSHO, Bosch tried to get around the whole thing by using a different mechanism to drop and stop the blade. I'm guessing but I think that the Bosch theory was that in a patent fight, the court would be snowed by the differing technology. Evidently the court saw through the ruse and Gass won.

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post #11 of 33 Old 02-10-2019, 09:28 AM
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Festool have bought sawstop. So i hope you like green stripes with it
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post #12 of 33 Old 02-10-2019, 11:25 AM
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Sawstop vs. Bosch ReaXX

No, Tooltechnic Systems now owns SawStop. TTS is also the parent company of Festool.


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post #13 of 33 Old 02-10-2019, 01:32 PM
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I own a Bosch REAXX jobsite table saw, and have experience with SawStop's products as well. The rest of this post addresses the differences between my Bosch REAXX and the SawStop jobsite saw, but most of my comments apply equally to the SawStop contractor and cabinet saws as well.

I bought the REAXX in early 2017. At the time, I wanted a safe jobsite table saw for its compact storage. The choice was the SawStop jobsite saw or the Bosch REAXX. They are very comparable saws. I chose the Bosch REAXX over the SawStop jobsite saw for many reasons:

* TABLE SAW FEATURES:
I liked the Bosch table saw features slightly more than the SawStop, but it was a close call. The Bosch REAXX had features that were better than the SawStop jobsite saw, but the SawStop had features that were better than the Bosch REAXX, too. Overall, the Bosch came out slightly better, but either saw is good. Frankly, I don't like the lock/unlock mechanism for the rip fence on either saw. SawStop has a nice "would it have triggered?" indicator feature; see below. The Bosch REAXX doesn't have it.

The rest of the comparison had to do with the safety mechanism. In theory, you should operate the saw safely and never trigger the safety mechanism, so differences in the safety mechanisms shouldn't matter. In practice, that's not always the case. Here are some safety mechanism differences:

* FIRINGS PER CARTRIDGE:
The replaceable cartridges on the Bosch REAXX have two firings per cartridge. If you trigger the REAXX, you can flip the cartridge over and use the other "side." SawStop offer only one firing per brake. The cost of a two-firing REAXX cartridge and a single SawStop brake are comparable.

* BLADE REUSE AFTER TRIGGERING:
When a Bosch REAXX triggers, the blade drops below the table and is undamaged. When a SawStop triggers, it drives an aluminum brake into the blade. The blade's carbide teeth embed themselves in the "soft" aluminum, stopping the blade instantly. The blade also drops below the table on a SawStop. Carbide tips are welded to the blade, and driving them into an aluminum SawStop brake may loosen the welds in ways that are not readily apparent. A carbide tooth may break loose in the future during use. I do not like the thought of a razor sharp carbide tip flying at my face at over 100 mph. I would never re-use a blade that has been triggered on a SawStop. Replacing blades significantly increases the cost of triggering the SawStop safety mechanism, especially if you must replace a costly dado set.

* CARTRIDGE/BRAKE TYPES:
There is only one kind of Bosch REAXX cartridge. You leave the same cartridge installed for ordinary blades and dado sets. With SawStop, you use one kind of SawStop brake for ordinary 10 inch blades, and change it out for a special SawStop dado brake when you mount an 8 inch dado set.

* BLADE SIZE:
The Bosch REAXX works with a variety of blade sizes. I can use a 6 inch dado set on my REAXX if I wish. Blade choices are more limited with SawStop. You must use either 10 inch blades or 8 inch dado sets with SawStop. Other blade sizes are not compatible with the SawStop brakes.

* BLADE DESIGN SUBTLETIES:
SawStop does not work as well with blades that have anti-kickback "tails" (my term) behind the carbide tips. Freud changed the design of their SD-208 dado set (and other blades?) for that reason. I had a Freud SD-208 dado set with the anti-kickback "tails", which worked fine on my Bosch REAXX. When I replaced it, the new Freud SD-208 dado set was missing the "tails." I was told that Freud removed the tails for faster SawStop response; the tails were getting in the way of the SawStop brake as it pushed into the blade. I liked the anti-kickback tail design on the Freud blades.

-> I don't like the idea that my anti-kickback safety was reduced solely for SawStop compatibility reasons, but I understand that Freud can't afford to make two different blade types - one for SawStop and one for the rest of us. I wonder how SawStop (the company) and SawStop owners would feel if they had to pay double for blades that lack the anti-kickback safety feature?

(Note: If you want to see the tails, look at Freud's Box Joint blade set, which still has them.)

FINALLY, POLITICS:
Stephen Gass deserves full credit for his brilliant invention. He also deserves some credit for the vast numbers of table saw injuries that occurred because of his greed. According to what I read and learned from others, SawStop made the licensing terms for the SawStop patents so onerous that no manufacturer could justify the cost. When no company would license the technology under his unreasonable terms, Gass created SawStop to manufacture table saws with the safety mechanism.

After Bosch released the REAXX in 2015, SawStop sued Bosch, claiming patent infringement. Bosch claims that their technology does not violate SawStop's patents. The court(s?) disagreed and ruled against Bosch. The International Trade Commission (US government) issued a ban on bringing Bosch REAXX saws into the US. You can still buy a Bosch REAXX table saw in Canada and elsewhere in the world. If you absolutely must buy a Bosch REAXX in the US today, you may be able to obtain one that comes from Canada. I presume that the sellers violate the ITC ban, but are flying "under the radar."

The patents belong to SawStop, and SawStop can ask whatever license terms and fees that they want. The other manufacturers can license them, or not. I am okay with that.

The real issue is that SawStop maintains an ongoing effort to get the US government to mandate the safety mechanisms for all table saws sold in the US, effectively giving SawStop control of the table saw market. Your SawStop dollars pay for significant lobbying efforts, especially with OSHA. If the US government were to issue such a table saw safety requirement, then SawStop would be in a position to extort the licensing terms and fees they want, or simply eliminate all competing table saw manufacturers from the US market.

The result of all the SawStop greed and political machinations has been to drive the price of table saw safety mechanisms so high that many woodworkers cannot afford them or choose saws without them. How many woodworkers have sustained severe injuries that would never have occurred if table saws with safety mechanisms would have been generally available 15 years ago? How much pain, grief, and regret could have been saved if SawStop had offered acceptable license terms to table saw manufacturers back then?

-> How would Stephen Gass feel if he were asked to face an auditorium full of injured woodworkers to explain and justify SawStop's history of licensing and lobbying practices to them?

SAWSTOP RECOMMENDATION:
Lacking any other choice, I recommend SawStop table saws to those who ask. They are very good table saws, even if you ignore the safety feature. The additional cost of the safety feature is like buying insurance, and for me, that insurance is worth it.

Others argue that a better, less expensive approach is to exercise due care when operating a table saw. They say that the safety mechanism encourages unsafe practices. We must agree to disagree. I believe that everyone should exercise due care and follow all safety practices, whether their table saw has a safety mechanism or not. Nonetheless, we are all human, and even the best humans make mistakes. The consequences of a table saw injury are so severe that I would "buy the insurance" and recommend a table saw with a safety mechanism. At this time, SawStop is the only table saw in the US with a safety mechanism, so I recommend SawStop.

THE FUTURE:
I hope that we see a wide choice of tools with safety retraction mechanisms from many manufacturers when the SawStop patents expire in August, 2021. I wish I knew more about patents in general, and especially the SawStop patents, to say whether that can actually happen or not.

Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 02-10-2019 at 02:08 PM.
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post #14 of 33 Old 02-10-2019, 02:01 PM
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Don't forget the sawstop accessories for the serious woodworker...gotta get the full package.
I get the joke. Anyone can take anything to extremes. Whether a SawStop-type safety retraction mechanism is "extreme" is a matter of opinion.

That said, table saw safety is no laughing matter.
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post #15 of 33 Old 02-10-2019, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Stephen Gass deserves full credit for his brilliant invention. He also deserves some credit for the vast numbers of table saw injuries that occurred because of his greed.
Thanks for your informative post. Very useful.

The reason I highlighted this quote is that this is something I do not subscribe to at all. This concept of "greed" seems to have been sold into our society far and wide. And, when you look deeply enough, those selling these ideas are the ones who have never in their lives put in the time, money, effort and accepted the risk involved in doing something other than getting paid to shuffle paper around. To be clear, I am NOT saying this is you. This is a general comment not addressed at you in any way at all.

As someone who devoted years to developing various technologies (not in the woodworking industry) I resent this ideology deeply. Not everyone can take the risks and endure the pain that is had in being an entrepreneur developing new technologies. In one case I had to persevere for ten years, dozens of prototypes and hundreds of thousands of dollars at risk before I had something anyone would even consider buying.

What ends up happening more often than not is that people only see the final product. Nobody knew that I took out a $300K second mortgage on my home in order to finance R&D when I ran out of money. Nobody knew I paid my employees using my credit cards for a couple of months when business was slow. All people saw was my public unveiling at a fancy-looking trade-show booth. I can see that, perhaps, from that perspective, it might have been reasonable to opine that my motivation was greed (given the cost of the product). It's a very odd thing and one that you ultimately have to get used to as an entrepreneurs. Like my neighbors saying something stupid like "wow, you got two new cars. things must be good!" and yet never making the comment that my garage lights were on 24/7 for two years straight because I worked 18 hour days 7 days a week.

Anyhow, not a rant. I just wanted to lend an entrepreneur's perspective to this concept of "greed".

Again, thanks for your very useful comparison.
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post #16 of 33 Old 02-10-2019, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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I get the joke. Anyone can take anything to extremes. Whether a SawStop-type safety retraction mechanism is "extreme" is a matter of opinion.

That said, table saw safety is no laughing matter.
What was missing from that pictorial list was crotch protection. No worries. I've added it. to my list!
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post #17 of 33 Old 02-11-2019, 12:50 AM
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It's not the money

The real licensing issue is not the money but rather the single source. Let's take this to absolutely ridiculous terms.

Assume that Ford patented the 'Steering Wheel' concept and was willing to license it for $10 a vehicle. The amount is trivial in today's automotive market. But the license agreement says that only Ford can manufacture and supply steering wheels.

Again, nothing earth shattering in terms of money. The real problem is that Ford could control the entire market giving preferential treatment to favored competitors and effectively control the volume produced by all other manufacturers. Ford would then be able to control all other manufacturers.

Now apply this supply and demand to the SawStop technology for table saw manufacturers. The only place that you can get the blade stop/drop technology is SawStop. The only place that you can get replacement cartridges is SawStop. Possibly this turns out to be a "You're a good guy, I'll ship you 1000 units this month. You're not a good guy, I'll ship you 10 units this month". While this is not happening it is a possibility that competing table saw manufacturers can take a chance on.

While the above scenario probably wouldn't happen, it is possible for almost anyone within SawStop to extort anything from competing manufacturers. Even worse, manufacturers could approach the shipping department with a "Here's $100, make sure that I get 1000 this month and the other guys only get 10."

The "Single Source" issue is HUGE.

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post #18 of 33 Old 02-11-2019, 12:41 PM
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Interesting you mentioned Ford and the auto industry, a man named Seldon held a patent on internal combustion engines to drive automobiles, every manufacturer in the US paid him royalties until Henry Ford came along and refused.

Gass could have put his idea on the market as a standard essential patent:

FRAND licensing — alternately called “RAND” or “F/RAND” — stands for “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory” licensing. This concerns the widespread use of the standard-essential patent (SEP), ensuring that SEP owners benefit from using their patents without gaining unfair bargaining advantages.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
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post #19 of 33 Old 02-11-2019, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Now apply this supply and demand to the SawStop technology for table saw manufacturers. The only place that you can get the blade stop/drop technology is SawStop. The only place that you can get replacement cartridges is SawStop.
I think this is the wrong perspective. Delta, and others, could have invested time, effort and treasure developing safer versions of their excellent table saws. I owned a Delta Unisaw for the better part of twenty years. During that time Delta --who had access to far more financial, design, manufacturing and people resources than SawStop's inventor-- did nothing of the sort. My machine didn't even have a riving blade and the only way to add one was to buy a third party retrofit kit. The same was true of pretty much every other manufacturer in the sector.

A guy comes along with an idea and invests time, money and effort to make it happen. I have no clue how much time and money it costs but it is easy to imagine it cost a lot. I can imagine lots of mangled hardware and hot-dogs (!) over a period of years. This isn't the kind of product you rush to market.

Given this, yes, absolutely, the guy deserves all the advantages afforded by our patent system. The whole point of a real patent is to provide the inventor with a limited-time monopoly as compensation for taking the risk, making the effort and investing the money necessary to, well, invent something. When the invention is real this is fair. There are plenty of examples of bull---- "inventions" that truly do not deserve the protections they are afforded by a gamed system. That's an entirely different topic.

Without protections for inventors a company like Delta or Bosch could be on the lookout for clever new inventions to adopt at zero R&D cost and zero consequences. Someone else would to all of the hard work, take all the risk, invest all the money and they would derive all of the benefits due to their ability to scale and bring product to market.

This, BTW, is precisely how China has been stealing from western companies for decades now, building-up their industrial base and economy on stolen technology with impunity. The "R" in "R&D" is very expensive and risky. If the "R" is free, the "D" is significantly less risky and occurs at a much lower cost (someone else made all the expensive mistakes).
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post #20 of 33 Old 02-11-2019, 02:24 PM
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yes, even a better blade guard .....

The blade guards of years past were a PITA to use and ended up getting discarded or removed. A better design which could be easily detached, pivots up out of the way and more narrow would have been a big improvement. Simply put, they were "over engineered" and under designed. I made a wooden one which fits that description but needs the splitter plate for attachment, so it's not easily removed.
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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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