SawStop, you will be mine…

(My apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan–and, I suppose, Frederic and Mabel–for my title.)

LEGO® saw blade: Probably safer, but certainly less useful

Today will be a heavy day of work that will continue into the evening, so I took a break–as I suppose I am doing now!–to run an errand with my Beautiful Wife and to purchase some software I needed.  My wife’s stop was Rockler, the woodworking and hardware store.  This will not surprise many of you who know us and know that she is the table saw person and I am the pencil-pushing person.

I love my wife.  And I love it that she enjoys working with wood and growing in her carpentry skills.  In fact, the only thing I really regret is not being able to keep her supplied with enough (1) time and (2) money to enable her to do more than she currently does.  (Part of having a Proverbs 31 wife, gentlemen, is trusting her (v.11) and supporting her (v.16 & v.29), among other things–after all, a Proverbs 31 wife deserves a Proverbs 31 husband!)

But, I will admit to morbidly worrying about the loss of one of her beautiful fingers.  Or two of them.  Etc.

I’ve known several who have lost a few digits–or portions, thereof–and while I am thankful to God for His protection, at the same time I really love my Beautiful Wife’s Beautiful Fingers, and I would like for her to retain a complete set as long as possible.  I certainly don’t want to get into a Job 3:25 mentality, but, at the same time, I was an actuary that created accidental death and dismemberment policies, so I’ve had lost appendages on my mind more than most for a good part of my life.

Enter the SawStop!  The moment I saw the display at Rocklers, I was intrigued: a table saw that is designed to detect the difference between wood and flesh and to stop instantly and retract the moment it comes into contact with a wandering digit, turning what would be a potential amputation into little more than an “I need a Band-Aid” situation.

The claims seemed too good to be true, but–like I said–I was intrigued, so we took the free marketing materials and watched the DVD pitch which showed the machine in action.  I was impressed, and the system seems ingenious.  You can check it out yourself by watching one of the many videos on the website (some slow-mo here, I think) where a brave hot dog stands in as a stunt finger.  The marketing DVD had a lot on it, but much of it might be online, as well.

My wife was impressed not only with the safety feature (she’s thinking of my concerns, here, more than hers), but also with the apparent overall quality of the machine, apart from the safety considerations.  Currently, she’s using an old (but appreciated) table saw we inherited when her mom and dad sold their house, and a SawStop (called by a reviewer on their website “the ‘Rolls Royce’ of table saws”) would be quite an upgrade.

So, I’m sold.  I plan on getting my wife one as soon as it is feasible.  It’s a bit expensive, and it may take an extended period of setting funds aside, but I think it will be worth it–all the more as I would like my children to begin doing more woodworking and learning all the skills I didn’t when I was their age.

And perhaps there are other systems out there that perform a similar function just as well, and this is simply the first one I have ever seen.  After all, I think the SawStop has been out there for a decade-or-so, and perhaps there is something out there better.  If any of you know of one, let me know, below.  Until then, we’re going to start tucking away money into a SawStop account, methinks.

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10 thoughts on “SawStop, you will be mine…

  1. Chris Johnson

    WOW, this is awesome! Thanks for the information. As you so humorously put it….Me thinks, this is good to check into. LOL
    PS I am glad other women like this stuff!

  2. Stephen Gass , a patent lawyer and woodworking hobbyist, owns the technology and has for years tried to license it to major saw manufacturers. Nobody would buy, so he started making the saws himself. To this day, as far as I know, he’s got the only game in town.

    Recently, Ryobi lost a major product liability lawsuit, (http://tinyurl.com/283kvlt) which brought a lot of attention to SawStop. Perhaps if other saw manufacturers start offering this technology, the price will fall into the reasonable range.

  3. Pingback: SawStop, you will be mine… (via Thoughts En Route) « The Chronicles of Johanan Rakkav

  4. Linda

    Absoloutly splendid. Your wife is not only a very lovely person, she is very creative. You have to have that creative thing in you to use power tools. I like to think so anyhow. Not only are you fortunate in having such a lovely wife————–she is most fortunate to have such a good husband. Not every man would let his wife enjoy doing things like this. I am so glad that I get to read your thoughts en route, I am enjoying them. This one is really nice, I am enjoying it.
    Thank you both

  5. Ha! Not that I want to change the subject, but I’m with you, Richard. “Torture porn” movies are vomitous forms of so-called entertainment, and thankfully Someone is coming to ban such horrors.

  6. Incredible. Incredisaw. I’m curious how it detects what’s not wood. That must be the patented part. Guess you can’t cut frozen meat on that, though.

  7. Alex

    From all accounts a very good product…

    It is pushed heavily in Omaha the recognized local leader in woodworking supplies Midwest Wooodworkers.

    I appreciate the comment about a Proverbs 31 wife needing/deserving a Proverbs 31 husband… I wish you success in your pursuit.

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