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The California State Assembly is considering a bill that will require all tablesaws sold in the state be equipped with SawStop-like technology, which can detect and prevent blade contact injuries. Called the Table Saw Safety Act, the legislation was introduced by Assemblyman Das Williams (D- Santa Barbara), and, if passed, will be included in California’s Health and Safety Code.
Complete A-Z Coverage Archived coverage dating back to 2009
The legislation has caused a stir among tablesaw manufacturers, with a few posting “legislative action advisory” on their websites, urging folks to contact Williams and other members of the California Assembly to voice their opposition to the legislation. The fear among manufacturers is that such a law will spread quickly to other states. If passed, the bill would go into effect Jan. 1, 2015. Any seller that does not comply will be subject to a civil fine, with a maximum of $5,000 per sale.
The announcement of the bill comes as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision ponders the same possible requirements on a national scale.
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I after days of deliberation got a new saw stop 3hp saw with the 52 inch fence the fit and finish are well above the jet saw I am semi retiring it will remain in the shop and has too because it was a gift from my mom when i was down on my luck she gave me the saw I have used it for 14 years it is a good saw but it is not a safe saw by saw stop standards the new saw sports a great guard and dust collection system I love to tell you more about how nice the saw runs but that will have to wait for another week or so as the saw is with out 230 service till the electrician shows up and hooks up the line to the saw and the new compressor.I chose this saw to test for an article on the website I WORK FOR BECAUSE i have recently been injured very badly about two years now on serious pain meds and i wont quit my love of woodworking so the saw stop waet a choice I could live with to reduce the chance of a injury after fourty years in a powertool shopn I felt i was playing russian roulette and chose to get this saw. I will take the time to write a proper review in the next couple of months pardon the bad typing and punctuation i am typing in the dark=. nand i cant see well in the dark and was just rambling any way. I spoke with lots of people at saw stop they are a great bunch of guys and the saw is a nice tool if it runs as well as it goes togeather it will be a top seller whither it has a safety devise or not it was less than the powermatic and it isw at least as nice.
I just joined and this is the first I've heard of this legislation, although this is typical of a state like California. The liberal politicians that dominate the CA landscape thrive on making laws to protect us poor idiots from ourselves. Yes I might cut my own finger off tomorrow but the choice of safety equipment is my own. The job of the free market is to allow people to choose. If something is dangerous and someone makes a safer product then the free market will determine if it is worthwhile. This is not the job of government nor should it be. But liberals don't really believe in the free market or our own basic freedoms for that matter. Consider the source, California, a state which can't manage or pay for its own affairs is always ready to tell us poor regular folks how to live.
I would like to reply to what KZ1 said with reference to Mr. SawStop.....
Boy, you said it perfect. Thank you for expressing my feelings 100% about this rubbish...
Are there any stats out there for the failure rate of a SawStop? nothing works perfect all the time and when you put a human element into it, there will be abuse and mis-use.
Over forty thousand fingers a year, eh? How about 115 fifteen folks A DAY getting KILLED in auto accidents a day? Killed equals worse than whacking your pinkie in my book.
If Mr. Saw Stop want to save something, take a shot at something that endangers us all. This guy has a good product but I wouldn't buy one now because he is trying to force me to do it. Pardon my directness but SCREW HIM!
Hey hhmacdonald, if you like your digits attached and want to reduce your risk, by all means buy a Sawstop product; that is your right. Because you choose to do so, don't presume to make the same decision for me. My digits are my problem, as are your digits are yours. Whether to risk them or not is up to me, not you or the government.
This legislation won't get America back in the market. It will simply create another market for China to product yet another inferior product. I'm detecting a pattern here; maybe you should stay away from saws altogether.
Sawzall316, Collusion on the part of the TS manufacturers to deny you or anyone else the right to have a saw stop safety device is rediculous. Racketeering? Yeah OK then. Their "unified front" of not offering the SS technology is nothing more than fundamental economics, not a targeted conspiracy.
It's very simple. The market needs cost effective machines! People do not have vast quantities of disposable income to throw around. Here in America we think everything comes cheap so we all want a Ferrari for the cost of a Chevy. Sorry pal, it just doesn't work that way. The cost of manufacturing for a totally redesigned product line has to be passed back to the consumer. It's more than expensive to retool, create a new manufacturing process and line, remanufacture all new parts and train personnel to assemble and service the product. Then there's marketing, distribution and support to name just a few more money sucking black holes. Potentially tens of millions of dollars that would take years to recover. But hey, this should be no impact right.
It's a big impact. Unlike Saw Stop that has only one line to cover, existing companies will not only have to retool to a whole new technology but dump the existing line while continuing to support and maintain all the existing products as well. Here's a reality check. That could very much spell disaster for a large number of manufacturers. Let's just say this was likely not in the business plan. You think you're stressed at the gas pump? Add a million dollars a week to that, then talk about it.
let's not overlook the next obvious crusade. Now the door is open for the safety police to demand that variations of this be added to every tool with a moving cutter. Kiss about 60% of the manufacturers goodbye along with their jobs they used to bring to the table.
This is just a little deeper than you want, you want, you want conspiracy theories. The decision could have profound imapct. So Mr Sawzall, as much as you believe that it's the role of government to make all your decisions for you and protect you from any potential harm, some of us just don't share that point of view.
Sawzall316, you and a noticably small group of others seem so entrenched in your opinion that the government absolutely must mandate this technology. I'm try to figure out why you're so anxious to keep opening this door. Private use Tablesaws are in fact by definition Private. They are not a wide spread public danger that I can see. What's the real problem in your eyes with allowing the end user to make the personal choice? Why not let the market determine what the masses want rather than having an opinionated minority making decisions for the vast majority yet again?
In a FREE market, if people want it they'll buy it. Why exactly do we need the government to once again jump in and save us from ourselves? I want to know who is going to save us from our government. You might look around the world today think about the cost of government protection. If I'm going to give up another freedom of choice, I'd like to have a good reason for it. Since I'm not comprehending the urgent public peril here, maybe you could articulate your reasoning so I can fully understand the basis for your fear.
Many valid opinions here arguing both ways. I guess the question to ask is are a lot of fingers lost or just a very rare event? If there are many injuries then maybe a safer saw is in order. But for sure we cannot make tools idiot-proof because there is always a better idiot who will come along.
The more one looks into the particulars, it is apparent that the TS manufacturers colluded to stall and or prevent SS-tech implementation. Many of the arguments presented in the Osario case were illogical and easily “torn apart”. The biggest mistake the TS manufacturers made was and is their unified front in not even providing the SS-tech as an option on their TS products. If they had just provided customers with the choice of this value added accessory early on, their legal liability would have been next to nothing, and we may not be where we are today...intrusive government threatening action. That is to say, the market would have ironed things out. Also, factor in that some manufacturers are willing to explore a work around Glass’s well covered patents speaks volumes to what their true motives are. What most fail to understand, and it must be added into the mix, is the ten year plus period that the TS manufacturers had to work out any and all issues with Mr. Glass; that fact that they squandered the time implies willful negligence, and or dare we say racketeering. This is the bottom line. TS manufacturers should be glad some over eager attorney general nutcase has not gone after them under the “RICO laws.”
Basic human nature, none of us want to be told what we can or must buy or not buy.
After 45 years of woodworking I had my first finger to blade injury on a table saw this past weekend. It happened faster than a stoke on this keyboard and left the tip of my left index finger with a nice jagged gash,could have easily been worse. For all those who think I'm an idiot devoid of common sense, I felt that way last week; who could be dumb enough to cut their finger on a tablesaw? Fact is accidents happen in the blink of an eye or faster. Think it couldn't happen to you, now who's the idiot? We are human, all capable of error or a momentary lapse of concentration, or just plain stupidity. That said I still believe the decision to buy a TS with flesh sensing technology should be left to the buyer. Mr Gass is hardly a knight in shinning armor with a quest to save the human finger. He cleverly cornered every patent involving this technology and is now using the courts and legislation to force his competition to pay royalties. I've seen the SS line of table saws and have to admit they build a quality product, If I were in the market for a new TS I would definitey consider a SS TS. And to tell you the truth I would consider the safety of a SS to be an advantage over the competition. But IT'S MY DECISION. B
I live in California and am not involved with the woodworking machine industry. I and several people that I know are prepared to lobby against this bill; and if it is passed will use every legal means possible to prevent it from being enforced.
It represents an intrusion of government into the private lives of hobbyists.
IF the law is written in such a way that schools and commercial shops must buy saws with protection, we have no problem as long as SawStop licenses the technology to all the other manufacturers for $1.00.
If not, we have several legal opinions that would enable us to prevent enforcement for several years.
One point that is a good one is the "power, money, greed" triumvirate. The problem is that the culprits are not saw manufacturers, but insurance companies. Liability is an enormous industry in the state - and in the country - that keeps an army of lawyers in expensive suits and really nice cars. Liability suits always target deep pockets rather than responsible parties. Like the "seat belt" laws, this type of legislation protects the profit margins of health and liability insurers.
The proposed legislation will not lower premiums, but it will potentially reduce costs to insurers significantly, since the published indicates that treatment for table-saw related accidents is more than $2-billion a year, increasing the profitability of insurance purveyors.
The aggravation is not the idea of a good active safety measure on a table saw. Mine has none at all, since the Chinese-made elements simply would not mount on the saw. It is that a replacement will cost more, and what I pay will not be recovered by any reduction in my health insurance costs. As it is, I find that sheer terror when operating the saw is a very effective safety measure.
I have to say that there are some very good valid points from many. There is plenty of anger as well as concern. Instead of name calling and feeling all the rights of freedom look at the big picture. Right now POWER, MONEY, and GREED is at the root of a lot of issues that we are facing today. I work in an environment where a person can lose their life in an instant by not paying attention. My job is to assist and make sure they do it SAFELY! The blame can go against those who didn't have the sense enough to pay attention and lose a finger or just blame the government. I'm here to tell you is that politicians and insurance companies is nobody's friend.
You can expect these changes to happen. If not now, then later. I rather save fingers instead of allowing BSRS (Blood Sucking Rat Snakes) to ruin one of the hobbies that I enjoy. They all know that people are going to complain and nothing is going to change that, but the fact is, is that this was put in motion the day after the guy won that tablesaw suit. We as woodworkers may have not continued to follow-up wondering if there was going to be some backlash. AND HERE WE GO!
The one thing to be careful about is your insurance company going to raise your premiums for owning a table saw? The next will be premiums going up for taking a crap? All in all there is some logic and then there is POWER, MONEY, and GREED.
What is with the name calling. I am new to fine woodworking and I hope that this is not the norm. Yes I have my opinion and I wouls say that public safty would be any where the general public would be at risk (schools and work place), my workshop is not for the public and should not be regulated as to what goes on any tools. That is my opinion. If any one wants to call me names then you may want to ask your self why the name calling. Yes my spelling is bad and my grammer is off, I am not an english teacher and I will make mistakes. Go ahead and call me what ever you want.
MacWoodworks, you’re the perfect poster child for crying little girls with too much unfounded pride, unfounded ego, silly child logic, and hyper-testosterone levels that incisively whine that they should have the right to blah-blah-blah. I’m not going to get into a pissing contest with you since I know that one cannot argue logic with an illogical mindset and its belief system. Ten years ago, I did think like you but I grew up. The tech has existed for ten years to prevent harm regardless of blame, fault, responsibility, general foolhardiness, etc...It is a no-brainer. So Mac, walk away from childhood notions, embrace adulthood, you’re not a child anymore. And, in case you missed it, it’s the insurance industry that will shove this down all our throats by lobbing our government to legislate new safety requirements. Unless you can monetarily compete with the insurance industry …suckle….cut…brandy about…yell freedom!
Oh, yes, remember that the end blame falls on the manufacturers because they did not implement the tech early on; if they had, the costs would not be an issue in today's world. Piss poor legal advice, is now coming to bite them on their backside. The fact is that ten years have gone by since the tech was established; it implies willful negligence by manufacturers since they did not give the consumer the option to include the tech in their purchases: A fact that may have insulated them from legal liability and stemmed the current legalities that will be forced upon us.
"...so you crying little girls who are so unhappy that you will be forced to use a tool that eliminates the chance of you harming yourself, please go home and suckle your T-saw and cut your fingers off now so you can brandy about how free you are to do so, while the rest of humanity can go about its business"
Hey sawsall316, what you are actually pushing for is a total nanny state. These fools are going to legislate everything from your big tough guy SAWSALL to the toilet paper you use. And it is crying little girls like you that keep asking the state to wipe your snotty nose. We aren't going to be able to go about "humanities business" - we will only be able to go about the business that the government allows.
Unfortunately, what most do not know is that the insurance industry is the black-hand lobbying legislation for these new laws. Since the manufacturers have failed to act by ignoring SS tech for ten years now, the insurance industry has made its mind to force manufactures to incorporate SS tech into their T-saw products. The insurance industry has infinitely more influence than manufactures of a niche market. And that my friends is that…so you crying little girls who are so unhappy that you will be forced to use a tool that eliminates the chance of you harming yourself, please go home and suckle your T-saw and cut your fingers off now so you can brandy about how free you are to do so, while the rest of humanity can go about its business.
I just emailed my representative with my opposition.
Thank the government for making our lives sefer? amorris101 I hope that you do not let thousands of people walk in off the streets and use your table saw. Regulating building codes and drugs are not the same as regulating what I do in my own home. I do not drive my table saw on the road with other autos nor do I alow the general public accsess to my workshop.
This is not about safty, It is about greed. Why should I be forced to make one man richer at my expence. Why should I be regulated out of a hobby.
If anyone thinks saw-stop is the complete answer to saving fingers, then sooner or later, some unfortunate is going to learn their mistake. Only an utter fool would test a safety-device for real, when that test will ruin the saw.
Accidents will still happen, as surely as someday, somehwhere, a saw-stop will malfunction; either stopping when it shouldn't or failing to stop when it should.
Any self-respecting Insurance company will see that Gass has built-in a no-escape clause for himself; and charge a suitable premium, in the event that some fool will eventually prove that NOTHING is fool-proof.
Richinsd52 you hit the nail on the head!!! With the laser guided, flesh sensing, government approved hammer, of course!!! How long will it be before the government requires a certification for operating any kind of wood shop. You will be required to show your certification card in order to purchase wood or tools. And can you say T-A-X! Oh yeah baby! they are going to need a lot more T-A-X money to pay for those inspectors. T-A-X, T-A-X, T-A-X - get used to it!!
Oh yeah, all power tools will no longer be allowed to use electricity. They must all be powered by those little furry rodents. Power tools will still be measured in HP (hamster power). However, legislation will also require the operator to pay the rodents union wages, with workers comp, medical and dental insurance, and lifetime pensions.......etc....etc....etc...
I bought my first car in 1968, a brand new Shelby Cobra GT KR500 Mustang fully loaded and paid $4650.00. That's not a joke and boy are those days gone. Just wait until the feds get their fat fingers fully into all our woodworking machines. Immagine Kia making our equipment because by the time they get done mandating all the added garbage, no one will be able to afford a Delta, let alone be able to use it. A basic Kia saw costing $10,000.00 to purchase and a router weighing 40 pounds with all the safety junk. HEY!! Has anyone thought of small machine air bags? New industy idea; certified mechanics with the proper equipment for blade changes. I can see the check brake light telling me it's time for the mandatory blade brake replacement and the saw won't run until the service is completed and reset. What about a special tool and an $80.00 charge to reset the idiot light. Oh and for the city, if someone disables the safety. Let's put a hefty fine attached to that one. Second offense,,, JAIL!!! In California it will likely end up as a biennial cartridge safety inspection to renew my license to use the saw. Cha Ching there's another hundred or so every couple of years. That's only half a joke. If you live here, you know the slope we're on and slippery doesn't even come close. Come on, what works for cars can easily be applied to these machines.
Seriously, if every machine you own was required to have not only blade brakes, but get ready for brakes on every cutter in the shop, where does it end? Don't forget that for every machine there are a hundren politicians with a platform. What about any other supporting technology required to make all woodworking tools idiot proof? My goodness our shops are a treasure trove of political opportunities um, excuse me dangerous hazards. Here's the real deal, many of us wouldn't have a shop at all. Any more than I can't afford to buy a new Shelby today, I couldn't afford to equip a home shop with what it would cost for all that mandated junk. How will we ever survive with out it?
Yeah I know, it's all just rediculous isn't it. The question is, what part?
I think the California legislature is also considering requiring retractable safety guards on all your chisels, planes, hand saws, and screw drivers. As well as flesh sensing technology on all hammers and mallets that will detect strikes to your thumb before you swing. Laws will be passed outlawing marking knives too; you must now use crayons to mark your dovetails. I agree!! To hell with all this bravado rhetoric - the government will save us!!!!!
There are a few "givens" I have learned in my 40 some years on this planet.
1) If you make something "idiot proof" someone, somewhere will breed better quality idiots.
2)Never underestimate the awe-inspiring stupidity of the average American.
3)The U.S judicial system is as utterly corrupt as any banana republic or tinpot dictatorship.
Add these three facts together and the SawStop legislation seems to be inevitable. You now have three choices.
a)Find a representative sympathetic to your cause (or one that can be persuaded relatively cheaply)and fight this where it counts. Ranting on here will ulimately achieve nothing.
b)Do as I plan to, immediately prior to the legislation taking effect there will be a glut of old style tablesaws sold off cheaply. Buy one and use it for the rest of your woodworking life. That way you have the tool you want and you get to thumb your nose at ol' Gassy and the gummint.
c) Emigrate to a country where common sense prevails. China looks good at this point.
Actually , I live in Canada so this entire farce is merely an amusing diversion for me but I'm still planning to buy one of those cheap saws
NovaJoe writes: "I've been a pilot with a 45 year career and witnessed a major aircraft manufacturer stop production of an entire line of airplanes because of liability claims. This in the face of the fact that the overwhelming majority of accidents are due to the people flying them are the cause by some form of error. Bad decisions, bad judgement, disregarding weather briefings, trying to do what they or the aircraft are not equipped or qualified to do. And we have legislated those issues ad nauseum and people continue to be injured and worse. Was it Ron White who was fond of saying, "you can't fix stupid"."
And now that flesh-sensing technology for table saws has been available for quite some time and is proven to significantly reduce direct-blade-contact injuries, do you think the potential for "liability claims" will increase or decrease for power-tool manufacturers who have voluntarily refused to implement such a safety measure, knowing its effectiveness?
Perhaps we should let market forces take their course and when liability claims reach unbearable levels for power-tool manufacturers, they can then choose to either eliminate their table-saw product lines, like your "major aircraft manufacturer" did, or they can adopt the technology that prevents these types of injuries in the first place (and related liability clams) and continue to make profits on table saws as they always have – SawStop seems to be doing quite well in this respect.
In the meantime, I guess we'll just have to wait until those direct-blade-contact injuries and their attendant lawsuits reach that drop or adopt threshold. Don't you just love markets and litigated liability/responsibility outcomes?
Reading thru the comments has been most entertaining...and begets a couple of questions/comments.
What legislation was passed denoting the title, 'doctor', means medical doctor? Perhaps that's not a horse...maybe a pompous ass?
Did the good 'Dr.' who invented the Saw Stop technology, really petition the California legislature to mandate his technology on all saws?
Did not check out the statistics NavyNuke offered but even if only 50 per cent accurate, a well made point. A lot more important matters relative to the number of incidents to be concerned about.
I've been a pilot with a 45 year career and witnessed a major aircraft manufacturer stop production of an entire line of airplanes because of liability claims. This in the face of the fact that the overwhelming majority of accidents are due to the people flying them are the cause by some form of error. Bad decisions, bad judgement, disregarding weather briefings, trying to do what they or the aircraft are not equipped or qualified to do. And we have legislated those issues ad nauseum and people continue to be injured and worse. Was it Ron White who was fond of saying, "you can't fix stupid".
And of course, why is it called, 'common sense'?
You can legislate, mandate technology, drive the cost up and still not prevent the injury. Table saws have the potential to injure. So does the bathtub.
I think we in America have lost our sense of responsibility. And sadly, we have taught our children that someone else is responsible for the bad things and we are entitled to the good things. The 'flesh sensing' technology is a great idea and at most, should be an option the buyer can opt for. But to mandate it simply reinforces the idea that the individual does not have to act responsibly.
I didn't realize the Third Reich was so concerned with table saws. I'm pretty sure I don't need moronic politicians telling me what is or isn't safe so I can pay more for my saw.
Thanks very much for this interesting discussion.
The table saw is almost 200 years old now and in standard industrial use is reasonably safe but most industrial machiness are set up for one process only.
I was in the market for a new table saw for hobby use (i.e. multiuse)and I'm fortunate that price is not a deterrent for me to purchase any particular feature on a saw but with this excellent discussion I have been rethinking the safety aspects for a hobby.
Over the years I've seen my share of ghastly hand injuries from table and circular saws and now I'm thinking that a large bandsaw might be able to do almost everything I would want the table saw to do.
And no chance for kickback!
NavyNuke, You hit the nail on the head. No more need be said.
What I find interesting about all of this is that, while there are predictably two basic camps of opinions on the matter of legislative mandates regarding Saw Stop, there are additional issues that will develop over time. I work for a company that manufactures kilns for drying and heat treatment of pallets and lumber. What has continually amazed my colleagues and I over time is the lengths to which some of our customers will go to bypass safety systems- systems that exist for the direct purpose of keeping them safe. Whats more, unlike the SawStop, these safety systems are relatively inexpensive to maintain . . . yet operators bypass them anyway and, in doing so, introduce life threatening conditions in the operation of a gas fired kiln.
In the end, you can't fix stupid- or stupid behavior. Saws are, by nature, dangerous. If you want to pay a kings ransom to hedge your bet- good for you. But I wonder if this technology is as useful one the wide variety of dense woods, wet versus dry et al. A hot dog is one thing, the vast variables in so far as species and MC% are another thing entirely.
There are many people out there that keep trying to enforce laws and tell us "This is because we care and want you safe." But all these kind of laws are doing is causing us to be stupid becaues we are losing our common sense.
For example, kids are great at not listening to their parents when the child is told how unsafe they are playing with their skateboard while trying to make the board jump even though the child is still haveing trouble balancing because this is their first time on a skateboard. So what do we parents do? We pad them so when they do fall, it won't hurt as bad. We as parents just allowed our children to play without learning the impact of gravity and learning the consequences.
We can't hold our childrens hands through life. We are supposed to be teaching our children to use common sense with the book smarts from their education to survive life. This includes learning to use equipment safely. Even the safety mechanisms that are install can fail. So, if you don't use common sense and training and assume that the blade will stop every time, then you will pay the consequences for the one time that your equipment's saftey feature does not work correctly. I'm sorry, just because that feature is there to stop the blade from cutting you fingers off, does not mean that you can put your fingers in harms way. Their are tools that you can use to help keep your fingers away from the blade.
So, instead of pushing for laws that cushion life, why don't we push laws to enforce common sense?
vinfonet, that is ridiculous. As a doctor myself, please don't underestimate the readership. Physicians don't own the title now or historically. And if anyone thought he was a physician or had a doctorate in engineering, it does not impact the argument in any way.
As a physcician, please do not refer to Steve Gass as a "Dr."
as he is an attorney, not a physician. It may be that he has a doctoral degree (He obviously has some type of technical background). Some might get the notion that he is a medical doctor from all the Dr. This and Dr. That.
We medical doctors are getting enough heat of our own these days without getting lawyers lumped in there with us!
EATON474 states we are uneducated and proceeds to give us the "facts." Fact is, he has his fact wrong. Steve Gass did not offer to "sell" his technology to a saw manufacturer. To entice as many manufactures as he could, he asked for a 3% royalty at first, to help offset the additional costs of incorporating the technology. That royalty would increase if more table saw makers adopted SawStop (when market share reached 25% the royalty would go to 5%; 75% share would increase the royalty to 8%). That is 8% of the wholesale price of the saw.
In 2003 when Dr. Gass petitioned the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make Sawstop type technology mandatory on all new table saws, he graciously stated he would continue the 8% offer to all the manufacturers forced to use his technology. If Dr. Gass was truly only concerned with safety he would have offered a set licensing fee. Instead, Dr. Greedy wanted a share of the manufacturers' future improvements and enhancements of their products. My bet is that if Dr. Gass had made the offer of a reasonable licensing fee instead of a percentage, he would be obscenely wealthy and his technology would be at least an option on almost all table saws.
No surprise at all from the greatest Nanny State of all.
There is another consideration. If they pass this law, you might not be able to sell your tablesaw either because it will not have the safety device. They did this on infant cribs with the drop side. They banned all sales of drop side cribs and they even policed craigslist and scare mailed sellers that had them for sale (I know because I was one of them). Something to keep in mind.
Some additional points to consider:
How many of you wear safety glasses when using a hammer (long been a recommended practice)? 2009 injury cases reported from hammer usage: 32,933.
Bicycle helmets? Avg estimated cost due to bicycle injuries: 8 billion. Most states do not even have helmet laws that apply to adults (Ca included) yet estimates indicate upwards of 80% of these injuries could be prevented through helmet use. 2009 injury rate: 544,470.
Motorcycle helmets? Similar to bicycles though some states have mandatory helmet laws that apply to all riders.
As an additional point of reference, power saw injuries (that is what the census bureau refers to them as and includes all types) comes in behind: knives, flatware, household containers and packaging, beds, chairs, tables cabinets and shelving, tubs/showers, ladders, sofas, carpets/rugs, stairs/steps, floors, ceilings/walls, doors, porches/balconies, windows, fences, footwear, wheelchairs, crutches/canes, trampolines, skateboards, and bicycles. Data is from 2009 information culled from hospital emergency room data in the Consumer Safety Product injury surveillance program on selected household products and are estimates.
Obviously a dangerous world we live in and legislation is no replacement for good common sense and education. It certainly has a place, but much like the items in the list above, let's leave this one to the user to decide. Failing to do that, at least universally apply the same logic to all the dangerous harmful things we encounter every day. Otherwise, next time you find yourself on a jury contemplating an award for a personal injury case because someone fell off a bike, cut a finger with a kitchen knife, or in some other way injured themselves because of a lack of common sense or blatant disregard of it, double the award and include the requisite state/federal governing body as a liable party for failing to regulate and/or enforce preventive measures. Blaming someone else is the current American way after all. I'm sure we can bankrupt more than one government body that way and teach everybody a lesson.
I love the idea of every table shipping with a true riving knife; however, I do not see or feel the need for a sawstop mechanism on every saw. The most dangerous saws on the market are portable contractor units for numerous reasons not limited to poor adjustability/alignment, low user knowledge, and terrible fence design.
If we really want to prevent tragedy in this country, we should install breathalyzer interlocks on all vehicles sold in the US...
I agree 100% with amorris101 and the others who support regulation. Without it, the snake oil salesmen and con men would have a field day. At least with regulation they can be caught and stopped. Regulation is not perfect, a reflection of the human condition. Yet it does work most of the time. Like taxes, it is the price we pay for living in a civilized society of 300+ million. I support the California effort!
Gov't regulation has made pharmaceuticals safer? Really? Ever watch daytime tv? Ever see the commercials for 1-800-BAD-DRUG? I have bets with friends on which drugs will go from "Ask your Dr" to "Did you take X and now have Y ailment?" Seems we have all these drugs (approved by the regulating body no less) that are injuring and killing people. This is perfect for the sleazy lawyers as they make a killing in class action suits. Seems the regulation does nothing except drive up the cost of drug R&D and manufacturing which drives up the cost to the consumer. If you connect the dots, it takes money from the consumer, to the drug companies to the insurance companies to the lawyers. Hmmmm...
The sub-prime mortgage meltdown was greatly aided by gov't regulation. If the gov't didn't mandate that FNMA and FHLMC buy up mortgages to help everyone realize the "American Dream", maybe, things wouldn't have been so bad. Plus, there were plenty of laws on the books that covered the fraud of the mortgage brokers and unscrupulous buyers. We've had SOX on the books since the early 2000's and yet the same crap keeps happening. All those laws did was make it considerably more expensive for business to operate.
These days, gov't regulation isn't created to protect us. All it does is allow those in power to create loop-holes for their friends/financiers while making things tougher on everyone else. It doesn't take that much research to come up with numerous examples.
Back on the topic of saws. This is a personal decision. It affects the individual using the saw. SawStop makes a great saw. One that I will consider if I need to upgrade from my current saw. However, Mr. Gass trying to force his technology on the public through legislation leaves a bad taste. He tried to get makers to buy his technology and failed. Then he produced a wonderful saw. The market is deciding how successful his business venture/invention will be. That is the free market. Lobbying the gov't to mandate his technology be adopted by other makes is NOT free market. The gov't cannot legislate us to be safer in that arena. Jawalking is illegal in many/most areas. Yet, many people die or get maimed each year jaywalking. I imagine things will get interesting in the table saw world, when someone is injured or maimed from kick back and lawyers go after SawStop... "But it was sold as a safe saw. How could this happen?!?"
Legislation like CA is considering adds costs to everybody. In possession of the facts the free market is the best guide. The Stop Saw came to prominence through the free market. Other safety equipment like optical sensing, pawls,and riving knives have been introduced through the market system. Kickback is much more common, and can be severely injurious, but requiring the use of push sticks and the like would seem to be beyond the purview and expertise of any legislature unless it were filled with woodworkers!
The government has a role to assure that new technology is not suppressed, but should stay away from favoring one type over another. Thiis is especially true of the CA legislature, arguably the worst in the US.
From what we hear over in the good ol' still vaguely socialist UK (i.e. we have a National Health Service although sadly it's under increasing ideological attack from the current ConDem administration,) when you Americans have need of emergency/accident treatment (i.e. you've just sliced off part of your hand et cetera in a unguarded but really macho table saw) it's your Fire Department that has to step up to help...
Safety features really rgr8 but it seems some of you do not think so. Why is that?
My concern is (and I've only done limited research, so please feel free to correct my info) there is currently only one company that makes the 'flesh-sensing technology' that the California law is mandating, and that's SawStop. There is another company developing a similar technology, but it's not on the market at the moment (again, if I'm wrong please correct me). And since SawStop makes its own table saw, the company is under no obligation to make the brake system available to other tables saw manufacturers. What California has done is legislate a monopoly on table saw sales in their state to one company. It would be like California making legislation stating only cars with active radar and driver-assist braking systems can be sold in the state, thus reducing all auto dealerships to selling only Mercedes-Benz E-class sedans.
Everybody bitches about over-regulating and government intrusion into our lives - well the reality is generally speaking because of United States governemnt regulation we have pharmaceuticals that are safe, we have buildings that do reasonably well with earthquakes, we produce products that are safer than they otherwise would be. I say generally speaking because there will always be abuses and there will always be stupid regulations and overregulating. But we should be thankful for a government that has made our lives safer and better through regulation.
I don't know the statistics but if there were (picking the number out of a hat) 10,000 less maiming injuiries each year because of the implementation of SawStop type techology that would be a good thing. Good for the people who would have otherwise been maimed, good for the rest of us of who don't have to bear the medical costs, the lost work costs of those who would have been maimed. I'd rather err on the side of overregualtion than not enough regulation.
Another example - the 2008 subprime mortgage/financial crisis -- not enough and inadequate regulation allowed the greed that almost destroyed our capitalist system.
Back to table saws -- every one of us is capable of making a mistake, a moment of stupidity or carelessness - it doesn't mean those who have lost fingers in table saw accidents are lazy, careless or studid - it could happen to any one of us. If there's a technology that can prevent these types of accidetns, I'm all for implementing that technology.
I am 77 now and still have all my fingers with only a slight wound 15 yrs ago, on my left hand, due to negligence when tired. I have been woodworking since 7th grade. Bought my only table saw in the early 1960's. A Craftsman 10" but upgraded many times. I am not going to purchase another saw as long as this one continues to serve me. Not to cut a hot dog to cost me $90. I live in Calif. and we do have a bunch of jerks costing us lots of $$$ in order to feed their coffers. Just saying...
First off, to all you uneducated people who want to throw stones at "Mr. SawStop" Steve Gass, you need to get your facts straight.
Mr Gass approached every major tablesaw manufacturer with his technology before he ever considered building his own saw. Nobody wanted it.
Now, Mr Gass decided this technology needed to get to market, regardless of the fact that no major manufacturers would support the technology. He went through all the effort of designing a new saw completely from the ground up, and building the company that could produce them to the very high quality level he has achieved.
Now that other cabinet saw and contractor saw manufacturers see how well the technology has been accepted, and that this technology is the future, they all want to steal the work Mr. Gass has already done and put a competing product into the market.
Mr Gass has every right to deny them this luxury, as they turned it down when they had the chance to make it all their own.
And really, why should Mr. Gass let anyone else use his technology? No other industry would be expected to have it's new front-runner give away it's advantage just because the other companies want it.
And remember, this is the same technology Mr. Gass offered these companies before he ever considered building his own saw. So they DID have the chance to have their own monopoly, they just didn't want to take the risk. Steve Gass knew the risk was worth taking, and now he has the most valuable piece of safety equipment in the woodworking trade all to himself.
I say Bravo Mr Gass. Well done. Not only did you make sure this technology came to market, but you sure it did so in one of the best engineered saws to ever cut wood.
One more comment.
Do you remember the old Steve Martin movie "Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels"? In the movie a cork was put on the end of Steve Martins fork to keep him from injuring himself while he was eating. Is that the next piece of stupid trash that will be proposed?
Take a moment and click on the link to the Assemblyman's site and see some of the other crackpot laws he is proposing and you will see the kind of shallow thinking control freak that is proposing this nonsense.
If the SawStop feature on a table saw cost the buyer $5, we'd all be saying it would be crazy not to accept it. If, on the other hand, the SawStop feature cost $5,000 in addition to the basic table saw cost, only a handful would accept that. If the preceding two statements are true, the essential issue here is cost and not freedom, not the awfulness of regulation, and not big government.
I am a 73year old with a woodworking hobby and I still have all my fingers. There are very few advantages to being my age, however, one of them is that I am sure my trusty cabinet saw will outlive me and I will not be forced to put up with the BS of SS.
Thank goodness I had the common sense not to live in California. I do not know how any rational person could put up with all the downright stupid legislation that flows from their capitol.
Our founding founders must be spinning in their graves.
I am a resident of California, and we like to legislate the heck out of something so that it costs twice what it should. Why not, we pay more for fuel in this state, require motorcyclists to where helments, and all for the "good" of the citizens...
While I like the SawStop technology, the cost of that saw versus the price of my Powermatic proved to be expensive.
Personal safety is a choice, and I make that choice by using all the safety features of my saw... And I respect power tools the power the have to injure me... Just sayin!
As the case that started this whole controversy demonstrated,some people will choose to ignore or misuse the product regardless. In the case the plaintiff did not use the saws stock safety features ie fence, splitter, push sticks, or any other precautions that anyone who uses a table saw should know. The SawStop safety features can and will be disabled and misused. Stop trying to legislate personal safety. It is called personal safety because it requires the individual to practice it, not government intervention after the fact.
For concerns about minimizing costs passed on to society through health care, it seems to me that worrying about table saws is small potatoes compared to the much bigger costs arising from obesity. The cost from diabetes related health issues in the US alone is over 174 billion dollars (http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/statistics/#NewCasesDDY20). We should in all fairness then pass all health costs arising from maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle to the individual. Or maybe we should just follow suit with the military and mandate physical exercise.
Comparing a table saw safety feature to an automobile is hardly the same. While on the road in a vehicle you are subject to the decisions made by every driver sharing the road. If I make a mistake on the table saw I do not have the potential to injure/kill anyone else. Not to mention, there are plenty of safety features available that are not on all cars. If they were, a lot of us probably wouldn't be able to afford a vehicle. So the fundamental logic that tools should inherently be safer would have a more profound impact if applied to autos.
And comparing to seat belts? One state (NH) does not have a primary seat belt law while 17 have a seat belt law only as a secondary infraction. One would expect that these states would have substantially higher costs due to vehicular deaths, but according to CDC statistics they don't. Millions still don't wear them even with the laws. Once again maybe we should take another hint from the military if we really want to minimize the impact to society; no seat belt no payment of medical expenses required. So is it the law or the education process that finally took hold to reduce vehicular injuries?
Life and freedom is about choices. If it weren't, maybe we should revisit prohibition, outlaw all tobacco products, and get of rid of personal motorized transportation just to start. We would surely have a healthier and safer society and a cleaner environment for all to enjoy for much longer.
“Choosing to live your life by your own choice is the greatest freedom you will ever have.”
I guess the next legislation is to require all auto manufacturers limit the speeds of their cars to 5-10 mph. Wouldn't that save more lives, prevent more injuries, and greatly reduce property damage claims?
A lot of people slip and fall in the tub, so maybe we should pass legislation to make them all soft and comfy.
And anyone who makes an analogy to the seat belt laws is either intentionally or blindly failing to see the error of their so-called logic. If I could drive my table saw into your table saw, then by all means "require" improved safety. Since that doesn't happen, your analogy fails. Miserably. If innocent people didn't die in auto accidents, we wouldn't (shouldn't) have seat belt laws. Try again.
He who sacrifices up liberty for safety deserves neither. For those who wish the government enacts these laws to "protect us", please remember your statements when they start treading on liberties YOU hold dear. Sadly, by that time, it'll be too late.
Finally, those who do not want to pay for other people's injuries have that right. Self insure. By high deductible catastrophic insurance at a cheap rate to protect against catastrophes, then save a nice cushion to pay for your own medical care and minor insurance needs. Heck, if you're lucky, you might end up with a nice nest egg. Insurance is shared risk. If you choose not to share in that risk, don't share. See? Freedom? Choice? You? Every time the government steps in we lose a little bit of those things.
Would this law mean I can't TEXT while using my table saw?
Could I sue sawstop if it ruins my blade by stopping because I cut a wet or high moisture content piece of wood and not my finger?
Let the marketplace chose whether to buy a saw with or without the greedy lawyer's sawstop.
Maybe, when he's not lobbying lawmakers, he can invent one to keep my lawnmower from giving me pedicure.
Learn how to use tools correctly. Make safe jigs. Use push sticks. Pay attention.
Why do legislators feel the need to mess with a free-market economy? Let consumers decide for themselves! If I think the value of my fingers is more than the premium price of a Saw Stop machine, let me make that decision. If I think that with proper caution and technique, I can avoid the perils of a saw without the electonic safety measures, don't mandate that I must spend the extra to get them.
From another perspective, if saws without the extra safety technology are really as dangerous as they are being made out to be, wouldn't the liability insurance for the companies producing them eventually drive their prices high enough that this would stop being an issue?
What's really going to happen is two-fold. Folks who want to get into woodworking will be overwhelmed by the cost of getting started due to the cost of the Sawstop technology being REQUIRED on all saws. Secondly, those selling older, used models of table saws will be able to sell them for much more UNTIL the government figures out what's going on and imposes a fine on the seller and purchaser. I ride a Harley Davidson and have enough government intervention in my life. Keep them out of my shop!!!!!
In the interest of not repeating the same old, tired, formulaic responses that make this issue such a bore, here’s my proposed solution, one that should satisfy both the libertarian-government-is-evil crowd as well as those of us who are tired of paying for such preventable injuries through no fault of our own.
I suggest that the entire burden of medical costs due to table-saw related injuries rest on those interested parties who gamble with safety, i.e., those parties who either refuse to use or implement proven technologies capable of preventing such injuries.
They would not, however, be allowed to rely upon insurance of any kind or transfer such costs to anyone else - friends, wealthy relatives, customers, employees, taxpayers, etc. The cost burden would be confined to only those who played a role in making decisions about the use or implementation of available safety technologies. It would be a 50/50 share of the burden, e.g., the individuals who were injured as a result of not (knowingly) using available flesh-sensing technology as well as the companies that did not (knowingly) integrate those technologies into the products they used.
So Billy Bob woodworker who’s pissed off at the government for messing with his Medicare and thus decides to exercise his individual liberties by buying a Delta table saw without that socialist SawStop technology would share the medical and related disability costs equally with Delta when he cuts off half his hand because that’s the price to pay for exercising one’s individual liberties. Hey, power to the people, right?
For the companies, however, the costs could not be absorbed within company budgets. These costs would be directly extracted from the incomes of those individuals who made the decisions, including those who have financial stock in the company. In other words, it would serve as a direct tax on those in positions of influencing company decisions and policies. Anyone with a capacity to influence or act upon the decision making process with regard to safety would be held directly responsible for the entire costs of injuries that resulted from those decisions. In other words, the risks and costs of not employing safety measures all along the chain would fall directly and completely on those making those decisions and assessments.
The beauty of this proposal is that it doesn’t mandate anything. No one is being denied their choice to produce, buy, or choose a table saw with or without flesh-sensing technology. It simply shifts the risks, responsibilities, and costs on those who make certain choices, namely, those who wish to gamble with their own or others’ safety. Choices have real-world consequences and those consequences should rest on those parties who have actually made the choices all along that chain.
Of course, such a proposal would never fly because we systematically refuse to believe that choices involve more than just individual decisions at the point of contact, i.e., we only acknowledge those at the very bottom of the responsibility food chain as culpable participants.
You can find my full assessment here: http://knottybench.com/
One more point. Dose the government know I have 7 routers that spin these small sharp things at 20,000 rpm? That is not to mention my shapers. Why don't we require push sticks be provided with your Unisaw or Model 66? PROBLEM SOLVED!
Question...if I purchase a SawStop saw and I cut off my finger can I sue for lots and lots of money? Seems reasonable as they represent I am safe using their much improved product. With Saw Stop cutting off your finger will not be you making a dumb mistake. It will be you knowing you are safe right up until you tragically learn otherwise. This move is not going to make me safer, just make someone else richer.
The beauty of living in the USA is that we are a people that when things get tough we come up with solutions. So rather then bemoan the fact that someone else thought up a great idea to save your fingers, why not come up with your own idea that is cheaper or better then his then all the belly achers can sit around a whine about all the money your making.
I know that is what I am doing!
Well, there are plenty of comments already here, but I need to add mine to it. This is just one more example of the government trying to get into our personal lives. I believe Sawstop is a good thing. However, I don't believe the government should tell me that I don't have any choice in the matter. Safety should be an important part of any endeavor. But just because you practice safe measures doesn't mean that you'll never be injured. I have injured myself on my tablesaw, and it was a stupid mistake. Sawstop would not have prevented it. Only I could have prevented it, but I relaxed my concentration once too often. We have to be responsible for ourselves.
With unemployment almost the highest in the US, schools going to hell in a handbasket, business leaving the Golden State in droves, unfunded State and Local pensions out of sight, it's conforting to know that some public servant in Sacramento can find the time to be concerned about my fingers.
I wonder how many of these expensive saws will have the technology disabled or removed altogether? Someone is going to make a lot of money on this! Are kitchen knives next? Or wood chisels? Oh I know, miter saws!!! The possibilities are endless...
This law is crazy and we have a money grubbing company to thank (Saw Stop).
If it passes there will be some happy delta/powermatic dealers in Arizona. Delivery anyone?
About the only thing that Sawstop really can be guaranteed to save is cold hotdogs slowly pushed into to path of the saw blade. Even at relatively slow feed rates, the 20 millisecond or so response time of the SS system is going to cut about 1/2" deep or about the width of a typical finger. I'd really like to see Mr. saw stop demo his own product in the case where he is pushing something through the saw at a normal feed rate.
I challenged one factory demo'er to try this even with a hot dog and he refused. Why? Presumably because it would clearly show that the little nick that you get in a slow moving hot dog turns into two pieces of hot dog under realistic usage conditions.
The whole thing's a marketing sham. How much is Assemblyman Williams getting for his next campaign to return to the perpetual governmental feed trough that is California government?
Incredible, we have a bunch of nuts in Sacramento ...Considering that this state is in considerable financial
difficulties, the assemblymen/women just ignore this and take
on side issues.
Have a look at the Powermatic Ad photo top right this page. See any safety issues?
The claim that SawStop is outselling all other table saw brands 20 to one is not true. SawStop does not even have an entry in the table-top table saw market.
"Sawstop is currently out selling all other brands 20 to 1"
Could you please provide the source for this little factoid, brother woodworker? You're light years ahead of me in woodworking, but that I have good reason to question your statement.
I hear this outselling claim from Sawstop and other promoters of said table saw, but I'll be danged if I can find where this statement can be substantiated.
Please don't be a liberal and start pulling "factual" statements out of thin air. Remember, the truth has no agenda.
Since we are giving away birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies how about we gave away free SawStops to prevent lost fingers?
This proposed law will not only give SawStop a monopoly (and cause their prices to rise) it will also prevent lots of people from ever owning a saw. I don't believe SawStop is out selling all other saws 20-1 but event if that is true it is explained by companies being forced by insurance companies to buy them or lose coverage. Every school here, that still has a shop, has replaced it with a SawStop because they could not get insurance with it.
If I were forced to buy a SawStop I would not be doing woodworking because even their smallest saw will not fit in my shop. This is just one more case of the nanny state controling out lives.
I just finished my scotch, and decided I’m not done yet...
Mr. Sawstop has a lock on the patent for his blade braking technology, and has vigorously litigated against any other patent application that effectively accomplished the same function, whether or not it used the same means to accomplish same.
I applaud Mr. Sawstop’s capitalistic spirit, and even grudgingly admire his business savvy. But he is using our laws and politicians to promote his fledgling monopoly and stifle any competition that would make his efforts an honest enterprise. His concern is the dollars he can make, not the fingers he can save.
There is nothing altruistic about Mr. Sawstop’s methods, or he would share his patent (freely of for a reasonable fee) and still make millions. Mr. Sawstop’s methods demonstrate the dark, predatory side of capitalism that is the fertile ground that breeds and nourishes socialism.
I am inviting all of you to research the background on this. It is all over the Internet.
The market is speaking regardless of California.
In the USA where consumers want cheap turn of the 19th century style table saws, Sawstop is currently out selling all other brands 20 to 1.
So, I find it very amusing that on the one hand the woodworker community's primary calling card espouses quality handmade one-off workmanship vs. mass produced junk from the Asia. But on the other hand and to the contrary, a large proportion of them are outraged that they may lose their supply of cheap quality mass produced tablesaws.
This is a typical theme in America today. Lots of opinion that falsely claims our freedom are being lost to the over legislated leftists! Rather than intelligent debate on the issues.
I have just finished wrapping my head in ducttape to keep it from exploding, and believe I will give up woodworking and take up knitting with soft, bendable plastic needles no less than the thickness of my eyball and yarn that is organic, biodegradable, and non-toxic to babies and puppies. Of course, I'll wear golves, hearing and eye protection.
WHERE IN THE NAME OF GOD AND COMMON SENSE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?
Can't we just round up all the idiots in this country and put them in a rubber padded room to protect them from the mean old bad earth? It would be a lot cheaper that paying for all the the "SAFETY DEVICES" that will eventually bankrupt this country because we can't do ANYTHING AT ALL because the Liberal Nanny Nazis have protected us from every thing.
Excuse me, I'm going out to my porch with a full bottle of single malt scotch before some democrat puts an alcohol filter on it, and read my wife's knitting catalog.
God help us all, PLEASE!
While we wiah it were, this is not about woodworking hobbyists, or evwn small shop professionals. Every year in this country thousands of under trained workers in the construction industry are horribly injured, maimed and disabled after being directed/forced by thwir employers to utilize equipment they have not been properly trained on to perform tasks that either weren't meant to be done with that equipment or that would take much more time and thinking to do safely than they are being allotted/arw capable of. Many times the safwty guarda have been removed from thes dangerous machines by or at the direction of the employers. Many, if not most, would agree that workplace safety, particularly in view of the drastic inequality of power between workers and their employers, is a valid area for government action/legislative control. If the rest of us happen to benefit (or be burdened by) such lwgitimate government action, then that is just the price we pay for living in civil society. Let's not forget that the free market got us tainted meat, child labor and the Ford Pinto. It did not give us thw smallpox and polio vaccines and many other important quality of life improvements that we all take for granted.
I understand the fact that you have to voice your opinion to make it count on certain issues, however I have always use woodworking as a way to get away from all the BS of politics and when I open Fine Woodworking I expect to get information to help me get better at my peaceful hobby of working wood, so please Mr. Mckenna stop wasting pages of my magazine with politics and lets stick to wood. As I said I do care about the issue but I think this is the wrong forum (use a politics magazine).
Sorry mac, but you just don't get it.
The location of your body parts is not dependent on where your tools are made - it's dependent on how you use them.
The point of virtually every post here is that we're responsible users and shouldn't be penalized for some idiot who isn't.
Want to buy a Sawstop with your money, go for it.
Want to make me buy one because you feel compelled to buy one to feel safe?
TO HELL WITH THAT NOTION.
Yea right! Next thing you'll see is a complete fence guard system around your drill press, then on to the router table complete with seat belt, and before you know it, full helmeted face guards with chest protection devices. Before you know it we will be suited up like the Knights of the Round Table . . .before we can build the round table. . . .
The issue is freedom. The free market provides saw stop and many other brands. If I want the mechanism, I can buy a saw with the mechanism, if not I also have that freedom. The owner of Sawstop is lobbying all over the country to have this type of law passed. He owns the Sawstop patent and many of the variations which will likely cause th either saw manufacturers to license technology from him.
Buy what you want and then accept the consequences of your decision like a grown-up.
Certainly no shortage of contraversy here. I live in Canada where we are getting rid of stupid expensive laws like the long gun registry because they don't work. All the saw legislation in the world will not prevent anyone from going somewhere else to buy the saw they want. I think the SS machine is a good one and I would give it serious consideration for my next upgrade but not because it is mandated by government but because it is what I want. When I buy anything safety is one of the criteria but there must be other aspects. Let the market decide.
Why can’t they require other safety devices, like the micro jig system, as an alternative to the false sense of security and high price of the SS system. Since retirement there is no way I could afford a SS, even if I could get close to what I paid for my Jet, it still would be less than half of what the cheapest SS cost, and in some areas would be less than what my jet has in features that are important to me. if you are going to make it mandatory, then the government should pick up the, at least, the cost! But don’t raise taxes, instead take it out of those over inflated salaries.
I'm tired of posting about this. Now that Saw Stop is lobbying law-makers to shove this down our throats you can count on the woodworking hobby to fade away. Saws and accessories will be priced out of the market. Next will be jointer safety laws and bandsaw guards that don't allow you to use the thing. On the other hand older equipment that allows you to work wood will double in value.
We have all seen the slow motion videos of Saw Stop in action. The dynamic loads placed on the blades themselves must be horrific. Can the government also ensure all blades including older blades can withstand such dynamic abuse when the brake jams it to a sudden stop? I think I would prefer the risk of a finger injury to that of a half chunk of carbide tipped high velocity projectile being launched at my head.
This is a small part of a bigger picture, the fact that it is "NOT MY FAULT" is the idea of the day. The American mentality seems to be that I want to do it my way, whether that "way" is safe or not, until something bad happens, then all of the sudden, the problem is that it's not my fault that I used the tool incorrectly and got hurt. The fault must therefore be that of the manufacturer for mot making sure that I could not possibly hurt my self.
Perhaps we as a people need to accept the responsibility for our choices. If the tool is designed in a negligent manner that causes injury (such as a part not being strong enough to do the work that it is designed to do resulting in injury) then the manufacturer is responsible for their negligence and should be penalized for the bad design. If we choose to use an otherwise safe product in an unsafe way and get injured then shame on us.
If the maker of SS was realy concerned about our safty then he would be willing to licence the technoligy at a reasonable price. However, he wants to make as much money as possible and will profit if the law is passed. Concern or greed.
This is an issue with good arguments on both sides and we confuse ourselves not to appreciate that. Cars have a variety of safety devices and they're built with considerable attention to safety. The extra money the car buyer pays to assure his fuel tank doesn't explode on rear end impact seems to be well accepted. If there's no way to make a table saw totally without risk, don't we want all reasonable measures taken? On the other hand, it depends on the cost. If the Saw Stop or alternative safety mechanism doubles the cost of a table saw and puts it out of reach for a good many woodworkers, is a safer table saw worth preventing a lot of aspiring woodworkers from owning one? My position is that if the cost is under say $400, the regulation is acceptable. The ER's charge to stop the bleeding from a severed finger will cost more than that.
Like homebrook, I, too, live in CA and totally agree with his statements. Where the hell is individual responsibility? Are we that inept and childish we can not think for ourselves? I do not own a SawStop - might have gotten one if they had been available when I got my Unisaw. However, knowing the risks I damn well take the steps and time to protect myself and others in the shop when using it. It is not just the risk of cutting ones fingers, there are other risks including kickback - and the SawStop doesn't protect against that. I applaud the SawStop and any safety measures - I oppose government mandates because those mandates do not make up for common sense. Let the market drive the need. Know your tools, know the risks, and act accordingly.
May the California Legislature should worry more about businesses leaving California and the deficit spending that goes on in Sacramento. Let us adults make our own decisions on the type of equipment we want to buy. Don’t saws come with saw guards? I wonder how many legislators have ever used a table saw.
Somebody tell a joke !
Seriously, there is no place for this level of bashing we're laying upon each other in this forum.
I admire Gass for trying to find a safe way for us all to use our tools, but I don't necessarily agree with some of his tactics. I don't have the statistics, but I'd bet the table saw is probably number one on the list of woodworking tool injuries, so why not focus on this tool. Most, if not all, other tools do not have the potential to injure the user like the table saw does, especially since the table saw is the number one tool on which people actively remove existing safety measures.
The question is, does a safer tool pass the Common Sense test? I say yes. Does the government have a right to tell me to use a safer saw? I am, and always have been a conservative on most issues, but if using an unsafe product imposes a burden on society, such as the long term medical and rehabilitation costs of someone suffering a brain injury from not wearing a helmet, then yes, I think the government should step in.
You might argue that losing a finger is not the same as a brain injury. True, but a table saw has the ability to do more than remove a finger, and potentially end someone's career and imposing a burden on society.
I do disagree with the State of California imposing a specific solution. I think they should leave it up to the suppliers to figure out how to solve the problem and force some healthy competition.
Let me conclude my comments by saying I am NOT, nor have I ever been associated with SawStop, nor do I have any vested interest in his solution or legal initiatives. I'm just an average woodworker.
Just my 2 cents.... I Havnt really read up on the matter as much as I probably should, but my first thought being, I wonder if the people with the SS like mechanisms might start to take them for granted and slightly rely on them to save their didgets every time causing a person to acquire "bad habits" when using their table saws. In my experience bad habits are hard to break and I gaurentee that even if the law passes, people in California will at some point in their lives, use an unprotected saw. Now, I'm not saying these people will go out and try out the technology on them selves, I'm just saying the peace of mind might become ingrained in the backs of their minds for a long time. And I have nothing negative to say about the saws themselves at all, my best friend has one in his shop. They are great saws or the technology, I just feel that the government shouldn't have a say in the matter. Only my oppion and only an oppionat that. Also, why just table saws? What about other machines with exposed blades? I.e. Jointers, bansaws, shapers...?
You all should have know if any supitaw is going tocome the 1st. it will come this state (home of the *&^!C&^%) the next law that they will pas is if you get a coffee in a rest the rest will have to put a sipping top on the cup.of course look at the olical party of the sponser
Sure, give everyone the right to buy the saw they want. And if you choose one without a safety feature, your health and accident insurance can be priced accordingly.
If you really think you are completely independent of the rest of society and should be allowed to do what you want unimpeded by considerations of what's in the general interest then please unplug from the internet, generate your own electricity, stop using our roads and maps, cut your own lumber, etc.
This is exactly the kind of issue that we need government for -- clear market failure if no one is willing to make a SS saw at a reasonable price. History is full of examples where markets and manufacturers will simply never do the right thing until regulation corrects the incentives. Not true of everything, but certain safety things like this are logic 101 examples.
It appears that everyone here is missing the BIG picture. This legislation is driven by and supported by the insurance industry. Insurance companies do not want to pay out for accidents when there is a way to prevent them. That is the reasoning behind seat belts, air bags, and now tablesaw safety.
What we SHOULD be doing is to make sure that the COURT SYSTEM does not award settlements to someone injured after they did something stupid. If you use your tools in a safe manner EVERY time, there is NO reason you should get hurt. And if you use the tool UNSAFELY and are injured, NOBODY SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE EXCEPT YOU.
So take this whole thing up with the healthcare insurance industry, they are the ones who will ultimately win here.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. " - Thomas Jefferson
What nobody here is saying is that these laws are made up buy lawyers and open up room for all kinds of abuse by people (with the help of your friendly neighborhood ambulance chasing lawyer) to cut thier finger and sue thier boss for not throwing away all of his presawstop table saws. I feel sorry for the people in California who are going to be deluged by TV commercials saying "Were you hurt by a table saw, call Shyster and Sons now!!!"
Yes I know not all lawyers and all laws are bad, but sometimes you need to wonder why we're still in a deppression with high unemployment and a terrible health care system and lawmakers are taking the time to make up this kind of legislation. We as Americans should be totally ashamed by how our education system is now one of the worst in the world now and our lawmakers won't or can't seem to work on that little problem instead of telling me I'm too stupid to use my table saw.
Sorry if I sound like I'm ranting a little.
This is long overdue. Too bad it has to be legislation bringing it about.
Look at all the safety measures they have added to automobiles and the lives saved there.
@ mtnfreak14, spare me your outrage regarding my word choice. for far too long, I’ve listened to the advocates of this kind of dopey legislation/government interference employ the most ridiculous and hyperbolic language, making it sound as if table saws hide in dark alleys and attack poor unsuspecting souls and cut off their fingers. and, now, you’re upset with MY choice of words? please.
moreover, I do not find my use of the word “dope” to be inaccurate or inappropriate. I’ve been woodworking for almost 15 years and in my experience, there is absolutely no good reason to ever place your fingers in a position to get whacked by a table saw blade. None. I don’t care how experienced or famous you are, if you have this kind of accident it is, in my opinion, the result of sort form or measure of operator error, which in my understanding of the english language is a concept sufficiently analogous to the slang “dope” to merit its usage in my previous communication.
Would knowing that a tablesaw has a blade-brake soften our view of other tools in the shop? Would we become less cautious in general? Would the Sawstop user think kick-back is less likely or impossible? Does anyone know the answers to these questions?
As to government meddling, that's what it took to get children out of coal mines. I am not opposed to safety regs if indeed they are helpful.
I'll be surprised if the saw manufacturers aren't required to have a label declaring that some parts of the table saw may cause cancer in ingested... can't wait to leave this state, they're freaking batty out here.
Use tools properly. Don't expect an engineer to do your thinking for you. There are three groups of controls: engineering, admin, and PPE. While we bathe each user in PPE and design the heck out of equipment, most of the faults and accidents are caused by the lack of proper admin controls. What's an admin control? Training and qualification to use a tool or perform a procedure. So you stick saw stop on a table saw... I say so what, the same person who gets careless, or doesn't know what he/she is doing with the table saw is just as likely to not pay attention or misuse the drill press or the band saw.
We can all agree that less government intrusion into our personal lives is better than more. The issue is, sometimes intrusion is good. Someone spoke about seat belt regulation -- that is "good" intrusion. Saves hundreds of lives and huge medical expenses. That is good for the individual and society. Your freedom should not cost me money and when people get needlessly injured it costs not only them but all society and I don't feel like paying the bills that you could have prevented. Much like healthcare--you don't pay and end up in the emergency room and I end up paying for you. That is an intrusion on my freedom that I prefer you don't have the ability to inflict.
The best woodworker I know lost one finger and severe nerve damage to his hand in a table saw accident that the type protection they are considering would have prevented. His ability to earn a living in his chosen trade was severely reduced--that hurts him and society. Accidents happen even to the most skilled and careful and happen more frequently to those less skilled. The costs in medical treatment, physical pain--short term and long term--and, in some cases, professionally can be huge and, due to new technology, unnecessary.
From a cost standpoint, once mandated, the cost of such equipment modification will decline significantly through competition among the manufacturers. That is the good part of mandates, they foster competition which reduces expenses.
One last consideration--no seat belts in cars not only means you don't wear one but your wife and children and guests don't wear them either. Probably not the solution even you want. So it is with tablesaws, perhaps it is a neighbor using your saw for some task because he doesn't own one (unskilled) or your son/daughter using your saw for a school project or just something they are trying to build for themselves. Do you really want them to potentially suffer an injury that can possibly change their lives for the worse because you wanted the freedom not to use technology that could have protected them? I doubt they would agree with your logic.
And as for light bulbs--why should I have to breathe more polluted air because you won't buy a product that is economically neutral in cost (or possibly cheaper) that does the same job? Sorry about that, your freedom stops at my nose and lungs.
I live in California and I and as far as I'm concerned I'm fed up. We have the biggest bunch of pin heads running this state bankrupt. Here's another guy jumping on an obvious band wagon trying to make a name for himself by enacting more legislation that we'll all have to foot the bill to administer. What is wrong with people? Are we so unable to take care of ourselves that we're anxious to open the door for govenment to invade us even deeper. I don't need anyone to tell me how to use a saw. I'm 59 and use my tools correctly I'm not worried. I certainly don't need some idiot in Sacramento who doesn't know a tablesaw from a chisel how to use my tools or spend my money. This pandering moron doesn't have a clue what I need. Let the market determine what people want. The technology is available if you want it. If you're worried, buy it. Don't tell me I have to buy it if I don't want or need it. What I have in my garage is my business and the state of California take a leap. So Mr. Williams (D), Get out of my house and leave us alone.
I live in California and I own a SawStop tablesaw. I totally oppose this law. What I decide to buy and what kind of hazards I am willing to accept is totally up to me, the individual, not government. Pretty soon there will be no aspect of life for which there isn't a law. Light bulbs, toilets, are we a bunch of little kids that we need big government to hold our little hands every second of the day! Sheesh! Pretty soon 'the land of the free' will be a distant memory, if not already.
@OscarMan - those are some pretty bold assumptions you are making about people who lose digits on a tablesaw. Among those "bunch of dopes" are some of the worlds best cabinet makers. Ever seen Garrett Hack's left hand? I spent half my life (15yrs) working as a cabinet & furniture maker before my accident. I'm not stupid, lazy, or dopey. I'm also not in favor if the government regulating tablesaws. Let's focus on the issue, and leave the name calling and finger pointing to the 4th graders and politicians.
How many people are injured on ladders each year?
We need to pass legislation that requires all those who use ladders to wear helmets!
to prin0023....actually i would argue that i should be able to purchase a car without seat belts or, more appropriately, that the government has no place telling me that i have to wear a seat belt. to use your logic, the government should be able to order me to purchase a car with all-wheel drive because it's allegedly safer. likewise, by your logic, some government bureaucrat should be able to tell you what foods to eat (and not eat) because in his opinion some foods are less safe or less healthy. you ok with that? where does it stop?
i believe in personal freedom and personal responsibility and the constant enlargement and empowerment of the nanny-state erodes our personal freedom and enables people to avoid the consequences of their actions (which causes me and you to pay more in taxes than we should). simply put, the government has REAL problems to solve...and this isn't one of them. in fact, action such as this only makes the problem worse.
Thanks FWW for letting us know about this step being taken by California. As a resident of this whacky state, I've already contacted my assembly member and the author of this bill. The issue for me is more about my state jumping ahead of the CPSC and deciding to enact legislation that is really something that needs to be addressed nationally. I'm hoping to be able to buy a new tablesaw in the next year or two and would really like to be able to purchase a large european sliding saw (Felder or MinMax/SCM) but that may not be an option. Personally, I don't want a SawStop brand saw but if similar technology was available for some additional cost on a saw of interest I'd probably buy it. Call me illogical, but I want my options to be the same wherever I happen to live.
I am going to rent a warehouse in Las Vegas and fill it with table saws and start sellin'.
The world is a dangerous place, meteorites, solar flares. You can't legislate away the danger. Properly operated and maintained equipment will hurt you as often as a Sawstop will fail. We have a Sawstop as well as a Powermatic at our facility. I never tell the newbies that the Sawstop stops. I am very worried about complacency and poor work habits. The Sawstop has much technology developed to make the thing stop, modes, keys, blinking light codes. If my cut maters I always go to the saw engineered to one thing. The mechanism is cool, needs refining, just not for me.
To argue that requiring safety on power tools is optional has no founding in logic. Tools are inherintly unsafe; they are meant to cut and shape hard materials. Training makes it safer, but cannnot replace design. Would anyone argue that they have a right to buy a car without seatbelts? That was the same argument used then. Countless lives have been saved because of them, and it took a law to get people to see it. Your individual rights are weather or not to do woodworking, not to have tools that are needlessly dangerous. If the price of a table saw goes up by $100 so what? For a tool that you might buy maybe half a dozen times in your whole lifetime? If asked if a finger was worth $600 I doubt anyone would argue. I am a cabinetmaker and I wish the tools I work with everyday were half a safe.
all you people who want a SawStop, by all means go buy one, but stop trying to force me to buy one. i don't need you or some overbearing nanny government bureaucrat sticking his or her nose in my business. you cannot outlaw stupidity. i should not be forced to buy something i neither want nor need simply because a bunch of dopes are unable or unwilling to learn how to safely use a tool.
you have no idea what this law means. its your legal right to purchase the product . to make it law is plainly ignorant to legal process. the law is not meant for this abuse. foolish people. you have no idea what passing this means do you!
Hopefully California will be the first state of many to pass such legislation.
Having all your digits is a good thing as one who had a hand shot in Vietnam, I am still complete and it all works thanks to an excellent doctor. I relish the idea of safety features. If we were all perfect in what we do our investment accounts would be worth millions, we would not need car insurance as we would never contribute to a fender bender. This will cause manufactures to improve their products, for all the years that we have been cutting wood there are many machines that are still unchanged except for their purchase price. So let’s have some change, change is good.
This is just one more reason I'm glad I moved out of California this last year. They are about to create one more obstacle for the recovery of several industries. Personally, I like the SS technology, but if the State of California thinks they can force this issue seems like self-punishing folly. Even if the law passes, the first time one of these mechanisms fail (and it WILL eventually happen) the legal crap will hit the fan. Just one more proof that California is more interested in keeping lawyers employed than it is in encouraging growth in many manufacturing and industrial sectors.
I think that each and every power tool should have a safety mechanism for us, the users. I don't know anyone who likes more the fingers on the floor instead of the hand
Sawstop is made in Taiwan. The blade shipped with the unit is from China. The only major part of the saw made in the US is the brake mechanism. The issue isn't whether to buy American. The issue is whether you should have the right to choose between active and passive safety systems and at what price does the active system become prohibitive. Tools can be made more idiot resistant but not idiot proof.
To hell with all this bravado rhetoric! I like my fingers, toes, ears and nose right where there are and not on the floor. With as many tools we use being made overseas this may a chance for American companies to get back into manufacturing American tools and equipment.
This week's prize is a 7-piece router bit set from Whiteside valued at $118!
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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