Keep The Digits You Have

By on October 13, 2005

For woodworkers and carpenters:

SawStop’s 10” cabinet saw was developed from the ground up with a particular focus on safety and quality. It features a revolutionary safety system that stops and retracts the blade (within 5 milliseconds) upon accidental contact, drastically reducing the severity of user injury.


The SawStop safety system includes an electronic detection system that detects when a person contacts the blade. The system induces an electrical signal onto the blade and then monitors that signal for changes. The human body has a relatively large inherent electrical capacitance and conductivity which cause the signal to drop when a person contacts the blade. Wood has a relatively small inherent capacitance and conductivity and does not cause the signal to drop.

Here are some video clips of the SawStop technology in action with a hotdog, not fingers.

I would be curious to know if anyone has any experience with this product. They have one “save” story here, but I am guessing they wouldn’t post an incedent that turned out badly.

The base price for the 10” cabinet saw at $2,799.00 is steep, but not outrageous.



  1. The real-time video is pretty impressive; it’s like the blade just disappears, leaving only a little nick in the hot dog. That would still hurt, but I’m guessing not as bad as losing the finger.

    I wonder what kind of self-diagnostics the thing has. It looks wonderful & all, but if you don’t find out it’s not working properly until your finger hits the blade, that’s no good. I guess you could sacrifice a hot dog to it every now & then, but…

  2. It gets good reviews from the wood working magazines. I think this is a great idea. As a geek who makes a living in software and likes woodworking, this is great. I know from personal experience since I lost a chunk of finger to a router last year.

    Cost wise, it isn’t that much more than similar cabinet saws. It is more than the simple little home depot ones.

  3. I recall reading about this several years ago. Apparently the inventor did not want to start a business, he tried shopping the design around to established companies, but they did not think there was a market for this!

  4. I just purchased one the other day after a very long decision process. I am trading in a prefectly good, like new Powermatic 66 and a Vega 52″ lathe, very expensive, used once. I just didn’t like the duuplicator on it. Anyway, the saw is so sturdy and well designed and smooth. A bit of information on the technology. There is a market for it, but the Manufacturers didn’t want to invest the money. So, they did it on their own. The saw is fantastic. The table is huge and the fence is very sturdy and smooth. Plus, the worry of not losing a finger will sure make using the saw a lot less stressful. It has a New type of splitter that is really nice and the blade guard is very impressive. It one that is not a huge piece of metal that everyone takes off because you can’t see the wood you are cutting. Check out this machine. You will be impressed. Plus, what is the price of a finger or hand? Someone questioned how would you know if it is going to work. Well, how do you know the air bag in your car will. Trust the manufacturer. The liabality is in their hands.

  5. Just letting everyone know – this saw is really closer to $4K plus tax. You add on to the $2799 price a $200 5HP upgrade (OK not needed but hey buy it right the first time), a $369 fence and rails (52″), a $99 extension table, $89 dado break, $29 dado insert, and $375 for shipping to a dealer, and $300 for 8% US sales tax and she is quite a bit above the $2799. I cannot put a price on safety so it is worth it to me. Just want readers to know the truth. She is about Double the price of a Unisaw and a little less than double the PM’s.

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