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If you're just plain intent on slicing up the blame pie here, at least make sure you serve a big slice heaped with ice cream to Ryobi. It is frustrating to read all of the callous criticism here of the operator, SawStop and the lawyers.
You don't have to believe that the operator was careful enough to feel compassion for the terrible injuries he suffered. You don't have to like SawStop's marketing methods to appreciate the innovative system they developed.
And really, the lawyer bashing? Ryobi could have decided to spend a few extra dollars on each saw to make you, me and Mr. Osorio much, much safer, but chose not to.
Corporations do not have a conscience. If you made a hope chest for your infant daughter to keep her toys in, you would install a safety closure device to protect her because you care about her safety. When manufactuerers install that same safety device, it's because they got sued with the help of lawyers. Corporations don't care about your daughter, they care about profit. Once they lost a lawsuit, they had to add the safety device in order to continue to have affordable insurance.
I do not own a SawStop, but when I can afford it I will buy one. I was not aware that these existed a few years ago when I first started buying woodworking tools, or I would have bought one at that time.
That said, I think the editors of the various woodworking magazines out there who seem to have a tablesaw comparison article every year or two deserve to be taken to task. Fine woodworking has been going on in this country since the 17th century, and the saws available at that time had little resemblance to the tablesaws available now.
When the question is which tablesaw is better, the point is that almost any saw can make a square, straight cut but only one saw saves your hand if you have a momentary lapse of attention or slip. The SawStop safety device is invariably described as an expensive feature of the SawStop rather than a deficit of the competitors.
Why aren't the other saw manufacturers adopting the available safety technology or designing equiavalent safety devices? I expect manufacturers to put their profit before my safety, but I feel that Woodworking magazine editors should exercise their unique ability to influence manufacturers to do the right thing by criticising the safety deficit. I have not seen this. I hope it is because this point has somehow eluded editors. I would not like to think that my safety takes second place to some perceived risk to advertising revenue.
What if only one car manufacturer provided seatbelts? Oh, wait, that was the way it used to be until consumer protection laws were put in place.
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