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Judgements like this infringe on our freedom of choice. It will only limit our choice of affordable tools. I have the saw pictured in this article and it is a very good value. I disagree with the poster that equates cost to safety. The most expensive portable saw is the Bosch which I'm sure is a a good value but is not any safer. I bought the Ryobi instead of the Bosch because it met my needs at half the cost. If I used the saw a lot, I would have purchased the Bosch. To my knowledge, there is not a portable saw with the Saw Stop feature. I suspect this feature would triple the price of the Ryobi portable, which would put it out of my reach. I have been using table saws for 45 years and still have all of my digits by following instructions I received in shop class when I was 14. If you depend on technology to make up for bad safety practices and the technology fails, you are SOL.
I feel the comparison between seat belts/air bags and tool safety is off the mark. Seat belts/air bags do not triple the cost of cars. Safety in the shop is entirely up to the user. You give up control of safety when driving since you are sharing the road with drunks, cell phone users and varying road and weather conditions.
Blaming lawyers for this situation is also off the mark. The American public (us) is making these judgements when we are placed on a jury. Our “Let’s stick it to the man” mentality is an open invitation to have the government protect us from ourselves.
Finally, accidents are not inevitable. Accidents are preventable. All of my "accidents" have been a result of poor judgement on my part. A tool cannot be designed that can't be out smarted by a dimwit.
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