The news coverage suggests that the saw industry will never use the
SawStop; the inventor/advocate is causing manufacturers tons of
heartburn. They'll come up with something of their own to satisfy
government regulations, after they lobby to water down those
Damned shame. The guy has spent a lot of time and money trying to save
Well if it makes manufacturers come out with a better safety device that
will be good. I suspect that once the cost goes up for those manufacturers
and costs get passed on to the consumer that a watered down version may turn
consumers off to that brand. Right now the SawStop is in the price range
of the better built saws. If the cost goes up for other saw manufacturers
and requires similar pricing to the consumer so that they can comply they
will have to start competing with SawStops quality and safety features
rather than price alone, as it stands now. Time will tell. Regardless, as
time passes and more people are exposed to the SawStop, the saw may become
the new standard to compare to.
I would not count them out. LeeValley is replacing all of the working saws
in their stores with the SawStop and I strongly suspect that most are being
sold to those with multiple workers that use a TS. If the SawStop continues
to impress and become a standard in the commercial industry it should enjoy
The problem isn't better safety devices, it's *mandatory* safety
devices. If the sawstop becomes mandatory, you won't be able to buy a
cheap saw any more (by cheap, I mean under $1000). It's a case of
legislation to protect us from our own choices destroying an entire
I'm ok with having an *option* to buy a sawstop, and the market will
determine its price. I am NOT ok with the government FORCING me to
buy one if I buy a saw.
I absolutely see your point but equally I disagree with the government
requiring me to buy auto insurance to protect the other guy. With
government required air bags in my wife's car and in my truck we enjoy
insurance rates that are lower than what we paid 20+ years ago. I am sure
you have noticed, health insurance has not gotten any cheaper and you might
be surprised by how many people show up in the ER from TS accidents. I was
unfortunately and made the ER trip in 1989. When the plastic surgeon asked
what happened, I told him I was cutting a board and he ended the sentence,
with a table saw. I nodded my head. He said that the ER sees TS injuries 3
to 4 times a week.
IF the TS's are mandated to have a safety device, maybe health insurance
rate premiums will benefit also.
While you may see it as having to pay more for a TS, I see it as me possibly
not having to pay higher insurance rates for myself and those that do get
I am not one that believes that I am all knowing and not one that believes
that what the government is all bad. I know that some of the laws that are
passed do indeed help and many are beneficial to a society whether every one
can understand this or not. IMHO this would be one of the Good laws. It
would protect the user of TS's and help lower the health and accident
insurance rates to the manufacturing industry which may put more money in
all of our pockets. If you are upset with being required to buy a new saw
with this safety device, you should be very upset that you the saw you have
now also has a government required guard that you were forced to buy.
Even today and in the relatively recent past you have had to pay for a
guard with most every new TS now. At least the extra cost of the SawStop
type safety device will actually do a much better job when your finger does
come in contact with the blade.
But there are alternatives to air bags (ABS, active restraints) and
the public has decided what they want. My vehicle doesn't have air
bags, it has ABS. My wife once had a car with active restraints that
almost cut her thumb off. Air bags have been known to injure smaller
passengers. Car safety went through a long process of trial and
acceptance before any mandates happened.
But car safety is about protecting the passengers and bystanders from
the driver, too. The saw stop only protects the user (by "user" I
include assistants, who are responsible for their own actions too), so
the car analogy is inappropriate.
More likely, insurance underwriters will adjust premiums for those who
*choose* to have *proven* safety devices. I get a discount because my
house has wired fire sprinklers, but they aren't mandatory. And
insurance underwriters won't discount a safety device if it doesn't
*actually* reduce the risk (i.e. if it tends to be disabled).
It would be interesting to find out if the saw stop *causes* more
hospital claims, due to people becoming careless about safety and
getting more small cuts. I also have a fee on my house insurance
because occasionally people knock the sprinkler heads off, which
Neither of these require a government mandate. I agree that more
safety is better, and that lower insurance rates are good. That
doesn't mean I agree that forcing us to use a specific product is a
Perhaps, after the market has come up with cheaper implementations and
user choice. Or, perhaps, if the government voided the patent so that
they weren't creating a monopoly. Or if they passed the law later
only to get rid of the few remaining hold-outs. Compare this kind of
law to the UK's anti-dado law. Have you shortened your arbor yet?
Guards are cheap and there's lots to choose from. Different argument.
A huge cost, at the moment. I could buy six table saws for the cost
of one saw stop.
Comparing apples to apples, it would make sense to compare this saw
against the PM66, the Unisaw, or the General 650.
In that case, it's more like 1.5 saws for the cost of one SawStop.
However, even that is likely too much of a premium for most home users.
If I could compare apples to apples, it would be less of an argument.
The problem is that a government mandates redefines the apple. I have
a $500 table saw. What's the equivalent if a sawstop is mandated? At
the moment, the closest equivalent is 6x the cost.
Even with your math, that puts the cost delta of a saw stop at $1000,
turning a $500 saw into a $1500 saw (3x).
But cost isn't my real issue. My issue is choice. I want one.
Totally appropriate. I was using the air bags as only an example of a
mandated safety devise that results in cheaper insurance premiums as would
likely be the case with the type device that may be mandated for TS's.
You are still not getting the point I am trying to make. Basically less
expensive claims typically mean cheaper insurance rates for every one. For
example, many complain about their insurance rates on their homes because of
the Katrina hurricane. They complain because they do not live near the
coast and had no damage claims. You do not have to have a claim or damage
for your premiums to go up. Your rates may not go as much if you do not
have a claim but claims paid by an insurance company affects all of those
that pay for insurance. My auto insurance rates went up as a result of the
flooding that occoured in Houston 5 years ago. I had no claim. Today the
rates are closer to normal. Still no claims or violations in the last 15
years. Every time there is a rise in insurance claims you and I pay the
extra premiums just like theft in a store translates to higher prices of
goods. We all pay.
Lets put those questions in to perspective. Does the safety on a gun cause
more hospital claims because people become more careless. The fact that
nothing is perfect and fool proof will keep 99.999% of the people from
ignoring the possibility of an accident happening. For that matter you can
cut your self by simply replacing a blade. I seriousely doubt that a blade
spinning at 100 mph will be any less intemidating.
I agree that more safety is better, and that lower insurance rates are
Unfortunately unless the governmant gets involved in many cases our safety
is of little concern by most manufacturers and especially those that turned
down SawStops proposal. Perhaps, had the manufacturers had our safety in
mind and chose to add an equally effecty device to their saws whe would not
be in the situation of being to be forced by the government to buy a saw
with this feature.
I think that in this instance this mandate woutd be good for far many people
than those that could be injured. Every one paying insurance premiums
should benefit also.
If everyone starts building the same type safety device prices will come
down. Air bags are now much cheaper than they were in the early 80's. When
every one offers the same features prices become more compeditive.
Not really. I would say that most people never use the standard guard
that comes on most saws. Regardless of price that guard becomes expensive
at that point. Regardless of price, if you do not use it, it is wasted
money and expensive. Still you have to pay for that guard.
Considering the expense of the SawStop, for the extra cost you get the Saw
Stop safety device, and a riving knife, and a heavier built saw with build
specs closer to the PM 66 in terms of trunion and arbor size.
And I could buy 20 TS's for the cost that you pay for those 6.
You could buy 6 TS's for the cost of 1 Powermatic 66.
It would be better to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
For a similar class and built TS the actual numbers may only be 50% more
expense at worst.
For a SawStop Cabinet Saw with rip fence you pay about $3100. Amazon has a
3 hp PM66 for $3100.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)"8013
SawStop offered and I would likely think that they would still offer a
license to use the technology. Nothing unusual about that. VCR and DVD
recorder manufacturers pay for a license to manufacture a product that play
and record different formats.
I have to wonder what the lawyers will do with this down the road. If you
cut a finger on a Brand X saw, will they be considered negligent because
they did not use available technology to prevent the accident?
I suspect that they will leave it alone. Manufacturers that do not include
riving knives probably are not being bothered.
Most employers carry workman's comp for this same reason. The workman's
comp protects a company from these claims. I doubt that they will be found
negligent unless the government eventually requires a similar safety device
be used and it is not used.
Higher yes but I suspect that you get a much better saw in the long run.
The $600 TS with a 20% mark up is now the $720 TS with a more robust trunion
and arbor. It would have to be built better to withstand the shock of
stopping the blade.
Given that however, I think the cost may be higher depending on what grade
you buy or sell. IIRC SawStop said that it adds some where in the $250
range to the actual cost of a saw. Retrofitting if possible would be much
more expensive. A $1000 saw would go for $1350 including the 8% royalty.
A $2000 saw would be slightly better at $2430 including the 8%. That's now.
If every one added the feature I suspect that prices would settle back down
to what they are now or the equivalent considering current dollar value
after the competition becomes competitive.
If you wait 5 years the saws will likely go up 20% in price anyway without
improvements. I paid $1300 for my Jet cabinet saw 7 years ago. I bet I
would have to pay more than 25% extra today.
As a side note, because the government no longer regulates electricity
prices in Houston and much of Texas I now pay 50% more for electricity this
year than I did last year. I get no added benefits. At least with the
increase in price of the TS you get some added benefit. ;~)
A bit farther OT but maybe something you might want to consider since all of
us buy electricity. For years the local electric company said to raise you
thermostat in the summer and lower it in the winter to save electricity.
That certainly does make sense. Because I work out side in the garage I
would set my thermostat on 86 degrees during the day and 78 in the evening.
86 degrees feels good compared to 95 outside so I tolerated it.
Starting in April this year I started setting my thermostat on 82 during the
day and left the 78 alone for the evenings.
From mid April till now compared to the same period last summer I have used
26 less kilowatt hours electricity.
A neighbor who owns an AC business told me that the more often a compressor
cycles and shorter the cycle period of an AC compressor the more efficient
it becomes. My AC is now 11 years old and has used less electricity this
summer than it has since 2000 and my house is 4 degrees cooler during the
day. No refrigerant has been added since it was installed 11 years ago.
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