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Thread: SawStop Injury

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    In this case, the Sawstop owner used a type of blade that Sawstop warns you not to use because the depth limiting features on the blade keep the brake from operating as quickly as it would with a traditional blade. One of my Freud dado blade stacks has depth limiting/anti-kickback features. I still use that dado, but I am aware that it does reduce the effectiveness of the Sawstop brake.

    Pete

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt Co. View Post
    I always find it humorous when something goes wrong, or has potentially gone wrong, with a SawStop and all the SS owners have to step up and defend it.
    Pete - KD4CQZ

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt Co. View Post
    I always find it humorous when something goes wrong, or has potentially gone wrong, with a SawStop and all the SS owners have to step up and defend it.
    Don't know it they are "defending" the machine or wondering if their saw will work as advertised?

    If I had a SS I would still use good push sticks for most cuts. I don't have a SS myself but I do see the value of owning one.

    below is a good video demo of push sticks. I love the push sticks that you can push and hold your work down.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJMPLVCYuQw
    Last edited by danmart77; 07-12-2018 at 11:21 AM.

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    I am going to speculate a bit but I do not believe the blade design explains the extent of the injury. I doubt if the blade extended the time to stoppage of the blade by 1 millisecond - by 20%. If it did, it means it stopped in .36 of a rotation instead of .33. That would be just less than an inch of additional travel of the outside of the blade. Less is obviously better but an extra inch of travel or extra .03 of a rotation did not cause the tiny nick shown in hot dog examples to turn into a multiple stitch wound.

    My logic is just that the force applied is considerable. It embeds the blade in the aluminum block nocking teeth off the blade in the process. Blade design may make a small difference in the time/rotation to stoppage but is going to happen pretty fast. If you reversed the blade, I doubt you could not get it to make half a revolution before stoppage. The number of teeth and the tooth profile also probably make small differences.

    Either the cartridges age and do not reliably stop the blade as quickly when they get old, there is something wrong with the OP's saw, or we cannot expect the SS to prevent stitches if we move our hand briskly into the blade. I would love to hear from Saw Stop on this but I think the design is not adequate to prevent stitches in all circumstances. If that is the explanation, the SS still changed an amputation into a stitches situation. That is pretty significant.

    This is what SawStop has on their website in the frequently asked questions page:

    Can I get a serious injury using a SawStop saw?
    In the vast majority of cases, coming in contact with the spinning blade will result in a minor cut. However, if your hand moves into the blade at very high speed, it is possible for you to receive a serious injury.
    Last edited by JimD; 07-12-2018 at 07:54 AM. Reason: Add information

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    My following comment in general is not about Saw Stop its self but technology in general.
    Technology is a useful tool, but more and more it inserts itself in to our lives and creates a false sense of security while it undermines our need for common sense, self awareness and knowledge.
    If you lost your phone who could you call? Bet ya all your contacts are on your phone and you don't remember a one of them including your home number. Ask me how I know.
    Take GPS it has pretty well has replaced the map and trip planning.
    And guess what it works most of the time but not always.
    How many times have you ended up someplace you really don't want to be!
    Look at how many different apps are out there to make our lives easier! Do they?
    The wife wanted a robot vacuum cleaner for our cabin.
    Lets say the marketing is so much more than reality.

    I was told as a kid " to keep my hands away from moving parts!"
    Be responsible for your actions!
    Today not so much anymore.

    I would not buy a Saw Stop personally cause its too finicky and no matter how much you try to engineer out the human they will always figure out a way to beat the machine and get hurt.
    Me I know my old Delta machinery is beautiful, functional and very dangerous every time I use it which keeps me from doing any bone headed moves.

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    I am probably over analyzing this but I am thinking of getting a SawStop before I retire so it is an interesting topic to me.

    If the blade stops in .005 (5 milli seconds or less) as SawStop states, it makes sense to me that the injury will be a function of how far into the blade your body part moves in that amount of time.

    How fast can we move our hands? One way of measuring this is to look at how fast a human can throw a baseball. 100 mph is not unusual for pitchers. I found claims of 150 mph hand speeds googling. At 100 mph, a hand would move 8.8 inches in .005 seconds. That seems to be obviously enough movement for there still to be an amputation. At 10 mph, your hand could move the width of your finger in .005 seconds.

    We aren't winding up in a throwing motion in our shops, at least not when pushing things through the table saw blade. But if a board breaks or something and we are pushing that board, our hand could move pretty fast towards the blade. Seems credible to me I could still loose a digit with a SawStop saw. The OP illustrates it is possible to get a pretty nasty cut.

    To me the bottom line here seems to be that we cannot count on a Saw Stop saw from preventing our injury. It will reduce the severity in all but the most extreme hand velocity situations, at least, but we still have to use good practices or we are going to need some stitches.

    Saw Stop shows pictures of injuries on their website from people using their saws. But they are all the superficial hot dog type. That seems at least potentially dishonest to me. They have to know there have been others. If my math is right, stitches are not really all that unlikely. They admit in their FAQ that there could be a serious injury. If they know it has occurred and have access to the pictures, should they post them?

    If the actual correct picture here is that Saw Stop saws are nice saws that add a measure of protection but do not prevent serious injury up to and including amputation, would everybody that has one have purchased it? Would most people still buy it?

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    Jim yupe I completely agree!

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    It seems a simple matter of physics to me that the faster you move your finger into the rotation blade, the less of the finger you get to keep. My SawStop is still in the box, so I don't have any personal experiences yet, but if the electrician ever shows up, I hope to have some positive reports.

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    The best safety device is between our ears. We just have to remember to keep it engaged.

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    The SawStop isn't a cure all for our mistakes but it may minimize the injury. From what I've read and seen it doesn't stop on a dime but 5-10 milliseconds is pretty short. The fella that was injured only got a superficial cut that was held shut by 3 stitches that's a minor nick that was probably only 1-3mm. I'd say the SawStop technology did it's job as advertised!

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    When you compare this injury to the severe table saw injuries that I have seen over the years, it was indeed a minor injury. I have talked to woodworkers who absolutely hate Sawstop as a company and as a technology. Before I bought a Sawstop Pro saw last year I did a lot of research on the tool. What stood out were not the folks who had minor injuries from their Sawstop saw but the total absence of people who had received a serious injury because their Sawstop saws brake technology had failed.

    When discussing the safety brake technology on a Sawstop saw, you read a lot of calculations of how far the blade turns in one-thousandth of a second. There is not a lot of discussion of how quickly the blade drops below the top of the table. In my mind, the hotdog test is pretty convincing. Try that test on a Powermatic or Jet saw and I think that the results will be vastly worse than on a Sawstop table saw.

    I sold my Grizzly cabinet saw because it didn't have a riving knife, which I consider to be a very effective safety device. I started out to just buy essentially the saw saw but with a riving knife. When I was talking to my wife about teaching my nephew some woodworking skills she shuttered at the thought of him using a table saw. I agreed with her; he has little experience with power tools and the thought of him possibly being crippled by my table saw was enough incentive for me to order a Sawstop Pro instead of another Grizzly cabinet saw, even though the Grizzly saw about about half the price of the Sawstop.

    The Sawstop saw works great. It's well built and very easy to calibrate. Changing out the brakes when switching from a dado stack to a single blade only take a couple of minutes and the overall accuracy and quality of the saw is impressive. I do not regret spending the additional money on the Sawstop. I know that the odds of me or my nephew seriously injuring ourselves on this saw are very low. We both still use good safety practices on the Sawstop, just as if it didn't have a brake.

    I am old enough to remember when construction circular saws came out with electric brakes. While they didn't stop the 7 1/4" blade instantly, they did stop the blade quickly enough to keep someone from slicing open his leg if the blade guard became snagged on his apron or pants while putting the saw down. I have, at times, wondered how many serious injuries were prevented by those electric brakes.

    It is not unreasonable to foresee a day when some sort of viable brake technology is mandatory on all table saw, just as the riving knife is today. It might be a Sawstop type of design or someone might develop something that is safer and less expensive.

    I know a people who are resistant to safety technologies that range from motorcycle helmets, to seat belts, to the new auto-braking systems on automobiles. A lot of safety measures in the construction industry today were once practically the objects of job site revolts when they were first required by OSHA.

    As someone who likes the advantages that safety harnesses, full-face helmets, and seat belts provide, I fully respect anyone's decision to manage the risk that he faces in this life to the degree that he or she desires. If someone does not feel the need for a brake on their table saw, I have no problem with that.

    Pete

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    The SawStop isn't a cure all for our mistakes but it may minimize the injury. From what I've read and seen it doesn't stop on a dime but 5-10 milliseconds is pretty short. The fella that was injured only got a superficial cut that was held shut by 3 stitches that's a minor nick that was probably only 1-3mm. I'd say the SawStop technology did it's job as advertised!
    Pete - KD4CQZ

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    The best safety feature is between your ears. Stay alert, focus on the task, condition yourself to use safe practices.

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by nn4jw View Post
    The best safety device is between our ears. We just have to remember to keep it engaged.
    Before someone reads this as not intended, I meant that regardless of what technology or other safety devices such as riving knives, blade guards or whatever are installed, and used, on a table saw or any other tool, powered or not, the safety device between our ears needs to always be actively engaged. I truly believe that there is always a way to hurt yourself. Best you can do is stack the odds in your favor.

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    Sorry, didn't see your earlier post if that is why you quoted yourself. Wasn't my intention to copy you.

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick M View Post
    Sorry, didn't see your earlier post if that is why you quoted yourself. Wasn't my intention to copy you.
    I didn't read it that way, Rick. No worries.

    I only quoted myself to clarify I wasn't making an anti-sawstop comment. I don't own a sawstop and probably won't just because my current saw will most likely outlive me. I cannot justify a new table saw of any kind. However, if I hypothetically did buy a sawstop I wouldn't treat it as any less dangerous than any other table saw and not let down my guard.

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    Re: SawStop Injury

    In the video a claim was made that in the cabinet shops where he worked the blade guards were never used. Being a hobbyist I use the guard as much as possible and only remove it when not doing through cuts. I see claims about improvements in safety due to riving knife and found myself wondering is the riving knife more effective than the older style guard? Perhaps the big improvement that they were always being used while blade guards were set to the side? Clearly the riving knife has an advantage that it can be used on non-through cuts, however, is the chances of kickback on such cuts very high?

    Not looking to start any major debate, but since many of the older saws on the market do not have the riving knife I'd like really understand if for a normal-through cut, does the riving knife provide any major safety advantage over using the older style guards that have anit-kickback prawls?

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