The demos are impressive, but what they don't tell you is that the
braking system is prone to false activations, particularly in damp wood.
Every time that happens, the blade is destroyed and the brake mechanism
has to be replaced. That means a $200-$300 bill each time! If it saves a
finger, it's obviously worth it, but that's a lot of money to pay for
nothing. Unless you're the careless type, false activations are much
more likely than the real thing. On top of that, their saw is at least
50% more expensive than an equivalent quality product without the
If you maintain a healthy respect for power tools and take the time to
learn use them properly, they're very safe. If you're careless or
complacent, they can bite you.
Yes, that and that is just one of the reasons that no major saw maker
has, last I knew, decided to include this device in one of their saws.
This has been around from some time and isn't new news.
IIRC, there was a move afoot to try to force companies - through
lawsuits - to install it on their products. That kind of tactic leaves
me cold and I'd never buy a product from a company that would do that.
What should happen with a lot of power tools is that American/Japanese
manufacturers should adopt some of the superior European designs.
Companies like Fein, Festool and Robland produce much safer products
that don't rely on electronic gimmicks. For example, Festool's circular
saws are a brilliant design. European table saws incorporate splitters
that rise with the blade, a feature that is vastly superior to the
goofy, tacked-on "anti-kickback" crap on domestic saws. The problem with
American market power tools is that the manufacturers are stuck in the
past and don't want to fundamentally update their ancient designs, some
of which haven't changed significantly in over 50 years. Someone should
buy them a few "clean sheets of paper" so they can start from scratch
and do it right.
Actually, it's proving to be practical enough. Not without some nuances of
its own, but not impractical. The inventor of the product and founder of
the company actually tried to force this upon everyone by going the
government route, after no manufacturer of table saws would come to terms
with him to license his technology. So far he's been unable to persuade Big
Brother - thankfully.
There's two major problems with the system....
Wet wood will cause a false activation. Probably real expensive to recover
If you aare wearing gloves - as you should be when operating power tools -
it would seem that it would take longer to detect that your conductive
finger is in the teeth for the saw. Also, wearing gloves prevents a good
contact for the electrical return through your body in the event that your
finger contacts the blade. Let a little pine tar (read insulator) build up
on the blade, and it's got to take a bigger bite out of your finger before
there's enough current flow to trigger the stop mechanism. I like to see him
put the hot dog in the glove, and post the video of the repeat of the demo.
Here's just one of the many patents.....
There is a bypass switch if you care cutting wet wood. If you are making
furniture, that is a rarity and you certainly know if it is wet. .
You should NOT be wearing gloves using a table saw. It is unsafe as the
glove is more readily snagged and causing an injury. Even if you are dumb
enough to wear gloves, it is only a millisecond to cut through them to your
finger. A little leather or cotton is not going to obstruct a saw blade.
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