In a recent post, I was discussing the assembly of preferred tooling for the one man shop. I discussed the table saw in one of those posts, and now have another option that I have discussed repeatedly with other woodworkers both professional, and hobbyist.
One of the other table saws on the market today is a nifty machine called the SawStop. By it’s name, one can guess what the leading sales pitch might be with this saw. In short, the SawStop is designed as an extremely high quality table saw with all the normal features you might expect from a saw priced in the upper tier of professional machines.
However, the Saw Stop has this one, very interesting, feature that NO OTHER saw has at the time of this writing……Watch this.
As you can see, the machine has a safety feature that “senses” flesh and immediately stops, and retracts the blade upon contact.
Now, this company has generated a great deal of controversy since releasing this machine and it’s safety technology, by attempting to lobby legislation for making this type of safety feature mandatory (SawStop holds the patent and thus, the monopoly on any future sales of the flesh sensing technology).
In this post, I will leave the reader to do their own research and/or form their own opinion as to the ethics of such a move. Suffice it to say, I do not agree with mandating an added expense to hobbyists or small business, but I also find it very hard to argue the validity of the safety that this machine can bring to the modern workshop. A fence straddling statement, I know, but since I really don’t have a dog in the fight, it’s going to have to do.
With the potential for argument and much dithering on about civil liberties, the Constitution, Nanny state ,Obamacare, and Communism mitigated, let me say that I can not post about building a shop and filling it with quality tooling without mentioning that this saw (and it’s siblings) is really a “No-Brainer” IF you have the means.
By all accounts, the fit and finish of this saw puts it squarely in the “Professional-High End” niche. Add to that world class customer service and over a decade of service so far, and you have a machine that truly is in a class all by itself.
I do not own one of these, nor do I have the means to buy one right now. However, I DO have all 10 of my fingers, and plan to keep them, thank you very much. As my own shop begins to come “On line”, I will be keeping this machine in mind at the top of my “To-Buy” list as my current crop of machines age and need replacing. Saving pennies as we speak………That is all.
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