Sawstop on slashdot

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http://slashdot.org/articles/06/08/14/1241211.shtml
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Cool. It was only a matter of time before enough people would see the value in such a product. It could very well help keep everyone's insurance premiums in check.
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Leon wrote:

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 regulations.
Damned shame. The guy has spent a lot of time and money trying to save fingers.
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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 success.
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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 market segment.
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.
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DJ Delorie wrote:

Amen!
-- It's turtles, all the way down
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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 injured. 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.
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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 causes damage.

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 good idea.

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.
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DJ Delorie wrote:

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.
Chris
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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.
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.

Snip
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 good. That

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
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Ah, but they can't. It's patented.
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writes:

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.
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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?
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And, considering that the US is one of the most litigious countries in the world, you just know there's an army of lawyers salivating to get their hooks into the fray.
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wrote in message

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.
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Leon wrote:

Yes. They want 8% of the full retail cost of the saw in royalties.
Chris
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wrote in message

Ouch, that sound rather pricey just for a license. That would probably add a minimum of 20% to the cost of a cabinet saw between the device and the royalty. Higher percentage on a contractor model.
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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.
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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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