Actually, it does. It has a European style riving knife. Just about
impossible to get a kickback. And that may be a bigger safety improvement
than the brake.
The safety features are great - if I could afford one and had the space for it
I'd buy one. But if the government tells me I have to have that gear, I'm
going to be very upset.
I will ignore any replies from "Upscale" - we all know where he stands :-).
A riving knife is a shark-fin shaped piece of metal that is fastened
just behind the blade. It is curved to follow the shape of the blade,
with maybe 1/8" clearance between the blade and the knife.
The main difference between it and a North-American style splitter is
that it travels up and down with the blade, so that you can basically
leave it on the saw at all times, even for non-through cuts.
The only time you'd have to take it off is for dado cuts, since the dado
stack is normally smaller diameter.
On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 09:39:39 -0700, Larry Blanchard
I have a knife on my machine. Frankly, I don't see how that related to
this discussion....the kickbacks or the knife. Maybe you could
But, if the Gov mandated a kife on every machine we would not be
having such an uproar. It's relatively cheap and just sits there doing
So, a partial truth comes out. It's not so much the possibility of the
government mandating the Sawstop, it's being forced to spend too much money
on this safety feature and the possibility of having to spend additional
funds (replacement cartridge) as time goes on. OK. I can relate to that. I
loath spending money on things when I can avoid it.
Well, if it's any consolation, a few years down the road with competitor
models coming out and improvements in the technology, I expect it to be
close to that. Not $10 of course, but under $100. Someone will come up with
a system that makes it reusable and not destroy the blade in the process of
The only problem is sawstop only really helps with certain types of
accidents. A kickback that leads to injury is going to do so in a few
ways. It chucks a piece of wood at you really fast - you never
touched the blade so sawstop doesn't care. Or it causes the piece of
wood you were holding, and your hand along with it, to go into the
blade very fast. Sawstop can only stop the blade so quickly, if your
hand is going too fast you will still have a serious injury.
For the most part it only prevents the stupid injuries that you should
have known better.
I do wonder if there are better ways. I mean, waiting until the blade
actually starts cutting you is kind of ridiculous when you think about
it. What about a camera over the saw that tracks the movement of your
hands. Start to do something stupid and it gives an audible warning.
Hand behind the blade - *beep*. Hand within 3 inches of the blade
*beep*. Get closer and it shuts the motor off. Get really close or
it detects your hands moving too fast and it engages an emergency
brake. It would not have to stop as quickly and thus would not have
to be as destructive or require consumable components. There are some
practical problems no doubt.
And beyond that, why fire a pin into the expensive blade? Why not
have a cheap steel toothed disk somewhere else on the shaft and fire
your pin into that? Perhaps the diameter of it would have to be so
large that it would affect the depth of cut.
When I looked at the wenb site it looked more like a shoe than a pin
the blade but the real thing that looked useful was the blade also
retracts. I am not sure they even need to stop it if that is true.
The problem is it is a single shot deal. You trip it and you are
buying a new "cartridge" which surely costs more than the typical
hobby blade. My bet, the first time it trips someone will wedge the
blade up and use it, assuming the blade is still usable.
I am still curious what else will trip it. Plastic? Metal? Some pocket
of sap in the wood? Static discharge?
Yeah. And, I believe the SS device depends on the sharp blade ripping
into the aluminum block as a means of halting the blade.
And that brings me to another thought......
I wonder how many *Stops* a machine can take before the bearings and
other mechanisms are damaged. I run a 5hp machine and am always amazed
at the sheer power of the thing. Stopping that it a fraction of a
second has to have an adverse effect on the arbor shaft, etc.. I guess
the aluminum is the softer aspect so it would take most of the damge
but what if a machine was involved in multiple stops?
So if the problem isn't awareness of the proper procedures but getting
people to follow them, within reason, all the time - what's the
We know that many people are out there using saws with no guard on
them at all. We know that for a lot of people it's not because they
are just stupid people who don't understand the risks, it's because
the guard is so poorly designed and made that it is more dangerous to
have it on there. I've used a saw where the guard/splitter was
attached with two set screws on a smooth shaft. Guess how long that
would stay in place before literally falling over when you start the
saw? And you'd like to think that people being intelligent creatures
would take the saw back to the store and find another one with a guard
that does stay in place, even if it costs a bit more. But what they
really do is takethe guard off and it sits there gathering dust. For
twenty years they operate the saw without incident, and firmly believe
that they don't need a guard because they know what they're doing.
They've even replaced that old saw with one that they could use the
guard with, but they never even took it out of the box because they
don't need one. And then one day something happens and they go visit
our doc at the ER. Now you can argue that they had it coming to them.
Or you can do something to help the stubborn little bastard, you know
he's never going to do anything to change unless you force it on him.
He certainly gets more benefit from the device than you do. Maybe his
odds of serious injury go down from 1/1000 to 1/100,000. But your
odds go down too, maybe from 1/1,000,000 to 1/10,000,000. You don't
get as much benefit as he does, but you do get some benefit.
I think the difference between your thoughts and mine is that you feel
you should take responsibility for everybody. I am not saying this
device should be deep sixed. I'm not saying it should not be available
to those who want it.
The issue is you and U/S are in favor of having it forced on
everybody, taking away our choice.
*It would be my opinion* that the company has gone this route out of
necessity - sales are might not be as vigorous as hoped. And, if I am
correct, that means it is not a valued device.
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