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Some people may not realize that a lot of the other tool companies have banded together to produce their own SawStop-type system. They have been farting around for several years with it. I read somewhere a year or two ago that they had a working prototype, but commercial availability is apparently nowhere in sight. In other words, they rejected SawStop in 2003 or so, and have come up with nothing to show for it.
I would love there to be more competition in the marketplace for safer saws, but every manufacturer besides SawStop ducked the opportunity to compete - even though they knew years ago that a government regulation could be coming. Instead of getting mad at SawStop, maybe we should be getting mad at the others. They're the ones who chose to maximize their profits at the expense of their customers. SawStop chose to aim at the top of the market. Maybe some other company could have aimed at more affordable saws for the home user.
If a regulation is passed, everyone will be forced to compete, and I bet we'll see affordable, safer saws very quickly.
If you choose to stick your head in the sand on table saw safety, you should be aware that there are tens of millions of older saws out there. Once affordable safer saws become available, I bet you'll have your pick of cheap Unisaws. People will be giving away their old stuff.
And give us a break on the "next they'll be regulating kitchen knives" crap. It's dumb to reject safer table saws that would prevent countless injuries just because we can't create a "wiffle world" where no one ever gets hurt by anything. Table saws cause the most injuries of the stationary power tools, and we have to start somewhere. Should we reject air bags and seat belts for cars because they don't work for motorcycles? Where is the logic in that?
One thing that many people have missed is that SawStop was simply NOT AVAILABLE ON ANY SAW in 2003. It wasn't introduced until about 2005.
Could it have been available in 2003 from Ryobi? Sure. Ryobi had been negotiating with SawStop well before the saw was produced. They had completed a contract and it was just waiting for Ryobi to sign. RYOBI NEVER SIGNED. THEY BACKED OUT AT THE LAST MINUTE AND CHOSE NOT TO PRODUCE THE PRODUCT.
I expect that all of that was presented to the jury. That just might have been what caused them to side with the injured man.
I would also point out that Ryobi was not defenseless. They are a huge company and had access to the best lawyers. They lost fair and square.
Could this guy have prevented the accident? Yes. Could Ryobi have produced a saw that would have prevented the accident? Yes. The jury found for the victim. Deal with it.
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