But if you turn the saw stop function off, and you're left with a saw
whose functionaity is no different than any other cabinet saw on the
market, but its price is at or very near the top of the list and it's
been on the market for less than a year (raising questions of
durability, company longevity, etc.), how is that a win?
A win (maybe not a big win admittedly) to me is when something doesn't
function as well as expected, but is still entirely useable under any other
circumstance. As well, owning a good, solid cabinet saw is a win as far as
I'm concerned. And don't forget, we're only discussing turning off the
saw-stop feature in the event of a number of false-triggers. I'd guess that
it will happen under certain circumstances, but until it does and there's a
measure of information out there to refer to, all that can be done for now
is to project apprehension on a still relatively unproven technology. Much
as I've been hassling Robert, he's right, this is a product that is going to
have to prove itself very well before it becomes widely accepted.
Which would undoubtedly be considerably extended in medical costs and
likely in missed work time, irregardless whether the woodworking is
professional or hobby....
Well, the rate could be pretty well predicted on the basis of extensive
testing which I would presume they would have quite a bit of...I'm
unaware of them having published any data from which to draw any
conclusions on either side. I would suspect they will have a pretty
good idea before they commit to production, however.
That assumes that the triggering _did_ prevent an accident. <grin>
Yes, in the case of an _actual_ accident prevention, the expense is
"cheap at the price".
In the case of a 'false alarm', it is a totally _unnecessary_ expense.
The trick is differentiating the two cases -- maximizing the former,
and minimizing the latter.
The manufacturer concentrates almost exclusively on the first situation,
and (apparently) totally ignores the latter one.
Obviously you're not aware that the saw *IS* in production. <grin>
They've been delivering since last fall.
And that "lack of published data" is _precisely_ the point. Emphasis on
the word "PUBLISHED". If the manufacturer knows, they're *not*talking*.
Which leads one to ask "why _not_?"
I can think of only _two_ possible answers to that --
1) they do *not* have comprehensive false-triggering data.
2) the data shows an 'unacceptably high' rate of false-triggering,
and disclosing it would adversely affect their marketing.
I do *NOT* have any reason to believe that #2 is the case.
I strongly suspect that #1 -is- true. It is *very* difficult to test for
'unexpected' circumstances. It may seem trite, but if you can think of
it happening and test for it, then it is _not_, by definition, an 'unexpected'
One kind of a "silly" example:
You're making a zero-clearance insert, from some plastic 'scraps' obtained
from a local manufacturer. You trim to size, put it in the table, turn on
the saw, and start to raise the blade.
It turns out that that piece of plastic was sufficiently *conductive* to
trigger the protective mechanism.
_Could_ that happen? *You*betcha*! How likely is it? *GOOD* question! I
don't have the data to begin making an estimate.
Is there any _rational_ way for the manufacturer to _test_ for it?
And, if they do, what does it show?
There is a saying in the Q.A business:
"For every fool-proof system there exists a
*sufficiently*determined* fool capable of breaking it."
*NOTHING* can substitute for a few million hours of actual use by the afore-
mentioned "sufficiently determined" types.
"Discovered bugs, are finite in number. *UNDISCOVERED* bugs, on the other
hand, are, by definition. _infinite_ in number."
Consider this. People are much more likely to complain problems with a
product than they are to compliment a product. Would to agree to that? If
so, then considering that it *has* been in production since last fall, I
have yet to see anyone complaining about one of your "false-positives"
happening to them. I imagine that if there were any, someone would have been
yelling wide and long by now and everybody here would know about it.
How does that affect all your "if's" you've been proposing? Seems to me so
far, your "ifs" have succumbed to a few "has nots" or "has not yets". :)
In that scenario, yes, obviously that was intended.
You have shown no evidence to support that claim other than your
hypothesis. I have just as strong evidence (my belief and experience in
product engineering/development) that Type II error would certainly have
been considered by the manufacturer.
...snip stuff on purported difficulties in testing....
While it is true that not every conceivable action can be explicitly
tested, it is certainly possible to analyze and test against quite broad
classes of likely operational and mal-operational conditions. If
exhaustive testing of every possibility were required to make any
product, no products of any complexity would exist, so such claims that
such is required before release of this particular product are simply
The facts are self-evident. There is *NO* published information available
to consult. This does *NOT* necessarily mean that there _is_ an 'objectionably
high' rate of false triggering. It *DOES* mean the _potential_ customers
"don't know" what the risk is.
"Don't know", and _can't_find_out_.
The more 'unknowns' there are about an object, the "riskier" the purchase
of that object is.
Whether or not the _manufacturer_ 'considered' it is irrelevant to the point
*NO* data is available to the prospective _purchaser_, to evaluate the
likelihood of such an occurrence -- which *will* cost the purchaser money.
There is a tacit admission by the manufacturer that the system _will_
false-trigger under some circumstances. They provide a means for
disabling the 'stop' capability.o
But _what_ those circumstances are, and how frequently they are likely to
occur -- who knows? The company isn't telling.
Of course, after purchasing, customers can find out -- the hard way. *BANG*
and another $80-200 out the window.
And it is -guaranteed- that the 'sufficiently determined' customers will
come up with "hundreds, if not thousands" of situations that were not
I have _personal_ experience *being* that 'sufficiently determined',uh, "party"
that breaks systems *without*deliberate*effort* --
Many years ago, I made an _inadvertent_ mistake in producing *one* control
card in a job deck to be fed to an IBM mainframe. As a result, that machine
was *totally* out of commission for more than a week. Because of that
incident, IBM did an emergency _hardware_ modification to every similar
installed system _world-wide_. (I grabbed a card that was already partly
punched, without realizing it -- and what resulted was _not_ what I had
intended. Unfortunately that which resulted _was_ comprehensible to the
It 'broke' the system because the directive was *SO*STUPID*, and so non-
sensical, that nobody in their right mind would ever do it, and thus the
system was not protected against that particular form of idiocy. It had
simply never occurred to the designers this particular kind of thing might
The consequences of that little error were *staggering*. Among other
things, _payroll_ was late. Sending payroll deductions to the Gov't was
delayed. Not just for that company, but for 28 _other_ agencies that they
acted as 'service bureau' for.
In later years, I had a couple of clients who retained me specifically as
a 'tester' for their software products. They would send me a product, and
I would try what 'seemed reasonable' to me, in using it. They figured if
it survived 24 hours in my hands, it was safe to ship to customers. <grin>
The _really_ funny part is that I did _not_ set out to deliberately try
and break the software, either. It was 'reasonable, but un-conventional'
use that broke things every time. I got things like software that wouldn't
even _install_ on my MS test-bed platform -- it couldn't cope with _local_
hard-drive X: as the install destination, for one example.
Now go back and _read_ what I wrote. <grin>
I *never* claimed that any such 'exhaustive testing' is necessary.
In fact, I meant to suggest that 'exhaustive testing' is =not= practical.
That there is *no* real substitute for a few million hours of 'hands on'
in the care of 'sufficiently determined' fools.
Disclosure of _what_kinds_ of realistically-encountered situations could cause
false triggering -- so that potential customers could evaluate the likelihood
of experiencing =that= kind of event -- is something that seems to be missing
from the manufacturer's materials.
Well, not *quite* entirely. It is well documented that you can't use it
for slicing up hot dogs. <grin>
On Tue, 24 May 2005 22:58:01 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward
Well, there might be, but since "ir" means without (as in
irrespective, or irresponsibile), and "less" also means without (as in
senseless, painless), a fantasy word such as irregardless would mean
"without without regard."
That's PFS, in my book.
That is all okay with me, the cost of the cylinder and all... I would
use the saw carefully as possible and buy a new one every other
month, build up an arsenal of them over time. That safety factor is
too good for my nervous system. Not gonna buy the saw though.
Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
Although, I can imagine false triggerings occuring through wet wood... ay?
But if the system is warrenteed, guarenteed, has undergone years of devel-
opment and perfected all along the way, shouldn't be a problem, but I would
take more concern into all they have discovered in possibilities.
My understanding is there's a bypass mechanism provided for such
usage--of course, using it defeats the whole purpose of the saw, but
apparently there are some instances where the technology just isn't
I like smooth adjustments and minimal vibration.
Has anyone a/b tested both saws?
Also... General has something called the Millineum right now. Is it worth
$2069 ? What model is the best General to get?
You mention a General and nothing else.
I own a General 650 and have used PM66's, new and old Unisaws, the
JTAS-10, and a Grizzly Z-series cabinet saw. I didn't specifically
test any saw head to head. My individual feelings:
The PM66 & 350/650 are identical in quality. I like the way General
installs the wings at the factory, but I like the PM66's polished
table. Both are super 10" saws. I cannot see a difference in use
between the two.
I think the Jet and current Unisaw are good, but have too many cheaper
plastic parts. The Grizz is a quality saw, with fit and finish a
small notch below Jet and Delta, but Delta and Jet are quickly sliding
down the slippery slope, while Grizzly is getting better.
I think all five are beyond what is needed in a one man shop, hobbyist
or pro. They will all cut accurately, and last a good long time. The
two more expensive saws have nicer feeling cranks, etc.. but the
functions are the same.
Personally, I'd look for a used PM, General, or Unisaw. I don't list
Grizz or Jet as used candidates, as some of their older stuff was a
The differences between the top line saws are not nearly as important as
the differences between the dealers and/or distibutors from whom you can or
will purchase the saw.
Availability, shipping, setup, knowing who has the current 'hot deal', who
has stock at a good price and wants to move it, who has the accessories
that you may need, whose repair services match your needs...
You've said nothing about where you live, so I can't recommend a dealer
It is rumoured that the first production Unisaw built is still in regular
With Delta's current changes, picking either the Powermatic or the General
is an excellent choice.
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