Back in December, Bosch sent over an invite to their World of Concrete 2015 booth, where they would be unveiling one of the most revolutionary products ever introduced by Bosch into the tool market.
I couldn’t make it to WOC, but I bugged Bosch at every opportunity to spill the beans.
Can you tell me now? No.
Can you tell me now? No.
Can you tell me now? We’re sending you a flash drive.
After WOC, I looked at the flash drive, and… all of the press releases and imagery were of tools I already knew about or even already posted about, such as the 12V jigsaw that was announced overseas way back in late 2013. They were all solid offerings, and you’ll see my posts about them later on, but there was certainly nothing revolutionary.
It seems that Bosch is readying a SawStop competitor, called the ReaXX GTS1041A, that’s engineered with flesh-detection technology. We know that Bosch has been incorporating modern-day safety tech into their tools, such as with their anti-counter-torque heavy duty cordless drills, but a flesh-detecting saw? Yes, that’s definitely surprising, and shocking even.
There was one clue that they were coming out with something like this. The same Active Response Technology branding Bosch used for their anti-kickback drills has been expanded to include power saw blades in a recent trademark application.
SawStop, the only company in the flesh-detection table saw industry until now, recently introduced portable table saws. SawStop used to build their flesh-detection safety tech into larger table saws and cabinet saws that are fit for large woodworking shops. Bosch was probably already working on their saw at that time, or maybe they are impressively responsive to changing market conditions.
The Bosch ReaXX table saw, with the ReaXX part presumably meant to read as “reacts”**, will feature new technology that was developed from Bosch’s automotive airbag division. When the ReaXX saw senses that flesh, whether a finger or otherwise, comes into contact with its spinning saw blade, it will rapidly retract the blade to avoid harm to the user.
**As an aside, do you read ToolGuyd as Tool Guide? Because that’s how it was intended, not “Tool Guy Dee” or “ToolGuy’D.”
Apparently, there will be a consumable component that contains not one, but two safety deployment charges. It seems that this component might be user-replaceable, and that the Bosch ReaXX saw can undergo up to (25) safety blade retractions before it must be serviced.
A big difference between the Bosch ReaXX portable table saw and SawStop saws is that the ReaXX safety technology won’t ruin your blade. A decent 10″ table saw blade can range in price from $30 to over $100. That’s not a big deal if it means saved fingers, but the costs could add up if you occasionally destroy a blade thanks to false alarms. Hopefully Bosch ReaXX cartridges are more affordable than SawStop’s, which start at $69 each (via Amazon).
It seems that the Bosch ReaXX will truly be a modern portable table saw. I say this because, according to Jay (don’t forget to go read his preview!), the Bosch ReaXX table saw will be equipped with technology to connect to an app you can download on your smartphone.
Bosch hasn’t released official details or specs, but this seems crazy enough that I believe it. Bosch’s ReaXX saw can report back to a smartphone whenever the safety feature is tripped or disengaged. That’s crazy, right? Seems like a great feature to have.
What’s next, a table saw that sends a notification to your smartphone when it’s time to replace a dull blade? Actually, that sounds like a good idea. You heard it here first!
Hopefully the table saw also has a safety interlock that prevents it from being used without at least one safety charge installed.
At $1400-$1450 (via Amazon), SawStop’s portable table saw isn’t cheap. It looks like the Bosch ReaXX GTS1041A might be adapted from their 4100 portable table saw, which is priced at $599 (via Amazon). It’ll be curious to see how much their GTS1041A sells for – I’m hoping that Bosch was able to keep it under the $1000 price point. Maybe $1200?
Buy Now(via Amazon)
I think that, almost regardless of price (within reason), there will be no shortage of interest in the new saw. A couple of hundred dollars is less a price to pay than permanent injury. This new ReaXX safety tech won’t stop ALL table saw injuries – for instance there will still be kickback to worry about – but coupled with other safety guards and practices it should help make the worst types of injuries more preventable.