San Francisco, CA, US
Unbelievable! I'm thinking, "there must be more to this lawsuit". There is no law that requires Ryobi to have flesh detectors on-board tablesaws! How could he have won this case?? I dont get it. I'm sure the guy who cut his hand is not the 1st to sue a saw manufacturer. What happened in all the previous cases? Judges are big on precedent right? The judge in this case is setting an unbelieveably unfair precedent against saw manufacturers that we will all have to pay for in our next, Sawstop-equipped saw.
I think that if we ask the same question about hammers or screwdrivers for example there would be even more stories of bad injuries, and horific accidents. One of the worst injuries I ever had in the shop involved a pair of pliers! But do we need to add more safety regulations to the tablesaw - my opinion is no. Sawstop is an amazing product. I'd like to have one on my saw. Tool manufacturers know there is a huge market for safer tool design, features, etc. Let them offer new ideas and let us choose the good ones - or not at our own risk.
The tablesaw is my favorite tool and actually the one I feel most proficient with. I've been working with tablesaws since 7th grade woodshop - 30 years ago.
I've had two incidents in 30 years, both kickbacks, neither caused injury. Both scared the heck out of me. One was in 7th grade - ripping 2" or so from a piece of 1/4 ply about 12"x12" with most of the wood on the left side of the blade. It pinched probably because of fence misalignment. I remember in slow motion the vibration causing the wood to chatter violently, rotate - wham! Right in the chest. I didnt use the table saw again until high-school. That 1st kickback taught me a LOT however.
I've never used a guard or riving knife and have a simple craftsman 10" model with an inaccurate, clumsy fence. I do use a variety of hold-downs and anti-kickback gadgets and of course push sticks when necessary. Its not a "good" table saw, but it does the job and, its mine and I love it - like an old pair of jeans.
I attribute my good safety record to 1) the wake up call from that kickback 30 years ago 2) experience 3)love of woodworking and the use of my hands to do so 4)set up (outfeed tables, proper fence alignment, etc.) 5) ALWAYS wear eye protection, 6)mental check list: before every cut, I remind myself that I need to focus, focus, focus on the cut, the sound, feel and always make sure my hand(s) would not move toward the blade if it slipped or if the wood came apart, whatever. The trick is to do these on EVERY cut - even the simplest, easiest ones - the ones when you think to yourself, "I dont need my safety glasses on this one little cut". But I dont think I could forgive myself for getting an eye put out cutting a paint stirrer in half.
All this stuff only takes a few seconds when you get in the routine.
Oh - I also lock the door to the garage while cutting so nobody can come in and accidentaly startle me. I learned that trick from #2 - experience.
I've enjoyed reading the posts and learned a few things too.
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