SawStop Technology to Become Mandatory In Table Saws?

It looks like federal regulation may make its way into your workshop.

Last month the National Consumers League brought “unsafe” table saws to the attention of lawmakers and regulators in Washington in an effort to push an agenda that would see safety equipment like the SawStop — shown in the video above — a mandatory requirement on all table saws.

Representatives of table saw manufacturers oppose any new regulation, arguing that technology like the SawStop is available to consumers who want to buy it and the choice should be left up to them.

“Safety doesn’t sell,” said SawStop inventor Steve Gass in a recent interview with NPR’s Chris Arnold in a Weekend Edition story on the subject.

According to Arnold, regulators in Washington have stated that by the end of September they will have a draft of new safety requirements for table saws. Which will no doubt drive up the cost of this crucial woodworking tool.

Where do you stand on the subject? Should SawStop technology be mandatory on table saws?

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3 Responses to SawStop Technology to Become Mandatory In Table Saws?

  1. flwoodrat says:

    My opinion… The SawStop technology should not be made mandatory. Yes, the technology is good. But, making it a legal requirement is not the right course of action. After the TS, what’s next SawStops on Bandsaws, Jointers, Planers, Circular Saws, Jig Saws? Wait, perhaps rubber tips on chisels and retractable blades on hand saws? Where will it stop?

    Sarcasm Warning. How about placing “Reverse/Anti” SawStop technology on Congress’s voting buttons? Maybe they would think before voting if their fingers were in danger.

  2. ronaldo says:

    That is ridiculous!! Knowing how to use tools is what prevent accidents,
    not making them extremely expensive.
    Hopefully the folly will stay at your other side of the pond ;-)

  3. cajunjimbo225 says:

    I have read several articles about the saw stop company pressing on about the incident that happened to a worker using a Ryobi contractors saw and injuring his hand. While I have sympathy for that individuals injuries, I also have contempt for saw stop and the contractor that the man was working for. In all of the accounts that I have read, the man that was injured was a newly hired employee, with no prior experience operating a table saw and was cutting a piece of flooring freehand without a fence or miter gauge. That is something that every woodworker that I know would never do or would they allow someone else to do such a foolish thing it it was in their power to prevent them from putting themselves into such a dangerous situation. My question is, how much training did the man receive before being allowed to operate that saw without supervision or coaching? Did the man truly understand what he was doing and the dangers that the saw presented to him? (This is called “hazard recognition”, and is often taught to new employees working on power tools and machinery necessary for the performance of a particular job.) I agree with you about saw stop using their money to prosecute and regulate all woodworkers into submission in order to sell their product. I do agree that a flesh sensing techonogy equipped saw would have spared this man a lot of pain and suffering, but I also think that he could have been equally protected if he had been properly supervised and observed using the saw and been given feedback as to what he could correct to make his job safer. Looks like saw stop was just waiting for something like this to happen so they could use someones misfortune to it’s advantage.

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