Denver, CO, US
I own 4 Lie-Nielson planes--and, I wish I could afford to own all of them.
You can look at it however you want, but the Lie-Nielson plane could be compared as a Porsche compared to a VW Rabbit. It is just not the same! I would rather own one Lie-Nielson than two of another brand (to be fair, I have not owned any Veritas--or, other premium tools).
At one time, I would have been concerned about the withdrawal of the tools from Woodcraft. Recently, though, Woodcraft seems to have started trying to manufacture competitive tools. Well, that's fine--IF they can provide REASONABLY comparable quality at a reasonable price. I have not been satisfied with their products--they are "OK"--but, they are not superior. And, I have found other products that I believe are superior to the items Woodcraft has added to its own line -- for considerably less money.
I used to enjoy going into Woodcraft. But, my trips were not frequent enough to really get to know all of the staff. What I have encountered of late are salespeople who are more interested in talking to each other at the register. Sometimes, I want to look. I tell the people in any store if that is the case. Sometimes, I want someone who is, at the very least, more knowledgable than me. And, I do want to try expensive tools--at least, I would like to create a couple of shavings with the tool or a demo tool--UNLESS the seller is willing to take the item back if I return it within the next day or two. When the employees stand around the register and talk--or, stand around with a fellow woodworker and shoot the bull--I am not encouraged to return to the store. I am certain each store and the staff are different. But, most woodworkers want to be a part of the "clique" in the store--excluding a potential customer by action or inaction--just not very good business. The Denver store is a place I seldom visit, anymore. I have spent a substantial amount of money with them over the last 10 years, including a $3,000 saw--but, I am not treated there as a valuable customer-more like a "bother" or interuption of the employee's time. LN just needs to spread their retailers--but, tell me what company now provides real help in purchasing a tool...........I'll go there if I can find that store.
Some interesting comments!
CONSIDER THIS: Sawstop provides no GUARANTEE that your blade will stop and not cut you!!!!!! Technology CAN fail. I love woodworking--but, it's not something I get to do on a daily or weekly basis. As a result, my hands are prone to cuts and abrasions. So, I wear gloves constantly when I am in the shop. I have caught myself, more than once, grabbing "JUST one piece" that had to be cut--and looked up after the cut and realized I had gloves on. Don't tell me that a (some)personal injury attorney(s) won't TRY to overlook the gloves......unfortunately, our society does not require that jurors be capable of reason or understand personal responsibility. Nor does it place a reasonable limit on the amount of money that is punitive for the company but not an avenue for instant wealth. There are those who would cut a finger off for $1 million.
Sawstop has one of the best pieces of equipment out there. I am lucky to have one. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford it--and, unless the big companies adopt the technology, it will probably remain expensive. BUT, even Sawstop tells you that you should not assume the technology will protect you--you need to practice the same safety techniques that you would use if the Sawstop had no safety mechanism.
Ideally, each individual who purchased one would immediately place their hand on a running blade AND get to see the technology with their hand instead of a hot dog--after they found that it did, indeed, work--they could go out and pay $70 for a new cartride as well as the probable replacement of a blade.
I'm fairly liberal--but, our tort system is based on laws that are ancient. The "law" doesn't deal with what is reasonable and fair--there is no reasonable and fair in the judiciary system (at least in the US). We need reform in that area. We also need a requirement that saw manufacturers should disclose they do not have the technology to protect you--and, perhaps we ought to have to sign off on that before we can buy the saw.
The implementation to child safety seats was seen to be a cost that would make owning a car for many people be unbearable--yet, today we don't even think about using the safe seats--the day will come when saws are the same (probably).
Of course, you can avoid reading the instructions and believe that Sawstop is infallible--who's fault is that if you get your hand cut off. We all want quality tools, and we want them to be inexpensive. Putting Ryobi and/or others will not make tools LESS expensive--maybe it will make them consider the technology. However, if you want to make a case against anybody--consider that medical insurance companies are fighting new medical procedures and possibly beneficial drugs--believe it! They are in the business of making money and have created a mess where insurance is not affordable for many. Is this where all liability is going? There is more at issue than one lawsuit (or 60)--In the end, though, YOU are ultimately responsible for safety and the only time a lawsuit is justified is if the piece of equipment is faulty.
I hope the decisions are overturned, that we get substantial torte reform, and that personal injury attorneys are limited to no more than 10% or $10,000 per case. That oughta slow 'em down--and, save all of us money!
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