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While SawStop has managed to engineer its revolutionary safety technology into a contractor style saw, for $1,600, the industry still awaits a small portable benchtop model, the type most commonly used on jobsites.
The much-chronicled Carlos Osorio lawsuit, where Ryobi’s parent company was found liable in a tablesaw accident, hinged on the fact that SawStop’s skin-sensing technology was available at the time, but not used on the Ryobi saw. The assumption was, of course, that the technology is feasible in a small jobsite saw.
So we were very interested when SawStop showed us their prototype for just such a saw last year, and looked forward to seeing it at this year’s IWF, as SawStop inventor and company owner Stephen Gass promised last year.
In fact, SawStop’s booth was one of the first ones we visited. We didn’t find Gass there, but we did find another company spokesman, who reported that the benchtop model has been delayed another year. He did say that the safety system is not the hangup, but that the company needs some extra time to make sure that the rest of the saw is a market-leader, too, in terms of all of its features.
So next year it is. Since benchtop/jobsite-type saws are by far the most common size sold, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently deciding whether to mandate SawStop-type technology on ALL saws, a lot is riding on that SawStop prototype being successful in the field. Stay tuned.
Get more info on the tablesaw controversy.
SawStop has a prototype of a lower-cost, portable model of its popular skin-sensing, blade-braking saws, but the production version has been delayed another year.
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James3one brings up a good point: if the leader of the skin sensing technology for table saws hasn't even produced a working jobsite model yet, how can the parent company of Ryobi be held liable for the Osorio accident when the technology hasn't been invented yet? Ryobi might be able to use this new push back date for the saw to argue for a new appeal.
If they can't get the model going in reasonable amount of time, how could Ryobi have done it in time to prevent the Osorio injury? How then can they be liable?
I'm guessing that it is harder then Gass states in his opinions to the CPSC to make a bench-top model. If the inventor of the technology can't reasonably turnout a bench top model quickly, I think the other manufacturers are probably more truthful in their statements that the costs, beyond the licencing to Gass, will be much higher the what Gass states.
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