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.
And then today I saw a tweet from the folks at Coptool. And from there, a post.
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.
It will be nice to have a second option for table saw safety. Would be very cool if they can design something that doesn’t damage the blade. Replacing a break and blade is expensive. Saving one or two replacements would justify a more expensive saw to start with.
** I always assumed it was read as “Tool Guy” with the d silent.
Has anybody heard when the Reaxx table saw will be available? The expected release was fall 2015. It’s now mid October and there is no sign of the new product.
Many years ago I saw a pre-production demonstration of what I assume became the sawstop. The demo used a hotdog (in lieu of a finger) and the blade stopped in a millisecond (or milliseconds) — the hot dog barely had a light scratch. I don’t recall how it worked, and I’m still not sure I understand how the Bosch purports to be different (or similar). I hope to read more about it here, as more becomes known.
Yep, that’s the SawStop. It works using capacitive sensors, which from my understanding is not much unlike the same technology used in smartphones’ capacitive touchscreens.
With the SawStop, when the safety features goes off it essentially plunges the spinning blade into an aluminum brake cartridge to stop it. The forces involved destroy both the blade and the brake cartridge, requiring both to be replaced.
With this saw, it seems that a different technology is used to stop the spinning blade. It’s possible that Bosch’s tech moves the blade away from flesh fast enough to where it doesn’t need a physical brake to stop the blade. Maybe they use a high-speed electromagnetic brake? We’ll know more in a couple of days.
Actually, the SawStop safety mechanism, when triggered, fires the braking component into the spinning blade, and as it pivots toward the blade is also disengages the blade height adjustment mechanism, once the the braking component hits and stops the blade (this happens extremely fast) the momentum of the blade i causes the blade and arbor assembly to retract. You now have to remove both the blade and the braking device together and replace both in order to continue working. The brake works by firing a soft aluminum shoe-type device into the teeth of the blade, which embed into the aluminum. It happens so fast the blade doesn’t turn more than a few degrees once the device hits the blade. The blade and the device are now basically fused together, and the blade is often bent ir has come of the carbide teeth sheared off. Much like an airbag system in a car, the braking device has an electronic circuit that interfaces with the power switch that shuts off the motor when triggered, and the saw won’t power up without a new safety device installed. I watched the SawStop being demonstrated at the local Woodcraft store when it was first released on the market. It’s an impressive system, but false alarms are costly. The blade and the brake are practically welded together after triggering, and there was no pulling the two apart whatsoever without using tools. The blade was warped like a record after the demonstration. There is a means to disable the system when turning the saw on, this is necessary if you are cutting wet/damp wood, especially pressure treated lumber.
I like the system and know that it’s very effective, but I lost all respect for the company because of their antics of attempting to force their system into the marketplace as a required safety device used by all manufacturers of table saws. Glad to see that Bosch is coming up with their own design. I saw a proof-of-concept video from what I believe was DeWalt, showing a setup that would deploy a guard from under the table, which basically looked like the table insert jumping from the table. I don’t know about you, but that seemed to me to have the potential to throw the work at the operator if deployed.
I still think careful and attentive use of the saw and proper guarding is the best for safety.
Good point about SawStop operation. I believe you are correct. Exact details of the SawStop design inconveniently left me when penning the post and my comments.
Bosch probably started their development back when SawStop was lobbying for legislature that would force all table saw brands to license their technology. I’m glad that didn’t happen, and now that a Bosch flesh-detecting saw is on the way, I fully expect other brands to watch with a close eye.
Actually, SawStop wasn’t lobbying to force all companies to use their technology, but to achieve the same results, i.e. nothin’ but a nick or better. They were doing so when theirs was the only technology available, but even had they managed to get requirements in place, other players would have insured that the requirements were focused on results, not tech. If this Bosch tech works as described, it would also meet necessary safety standards. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Eurocrats are busy drawing up regulations right now that will require the technology on saws sold in Europe going forward, now that a European company has their own approach.
Check out the video, it looks like a piston cartridge or something alike.
I have always read ToolGuide. I hope you get the whole scoop on this new technology soon. I’m all for safety in power tools. My shop class teachers were always missing digits, I thought it was a requirement to become a wood shop teacher.
Thank you for one of the most relevant comments in a preview… “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.” If it saves a finger, if it burned 100 dollar bills that would be a good investment. But because of possible misfires, with Saw Stop you need to always have another Blade and Cartridge around (or face a while until you can get both replaced).
From what I read elsewhere, there are three inventions here. One is the air bag technology reversible cartridge which pushes the blade down below the table top. The second prevents it from bouncing back above the table. The third is the brake. Because its spinning below the table top, the brake doesn’t have to be particularly fast.
Hm, seems like this wouldn’t be good for cutting hot dogs or dismembering bodies.
If they ever deploy this tech to all new chainsaws and reciprocating saws, the older models are going to be worth a fortune on the black market.
Lol. That’s great.
It doesn’t prevent kickback, right? Though I don’t want to have to choose, I’d prefer missing digits to a serious head injury. I know there are anti kickback measures, but these are by no means foolproof and just not useable in various situations. Or maybe I’m misinformed.
Modern guards and table saw accessories help to prevent kickback, and good safety practices help to further minimize the risk.
That’s not to say that lacerations and amputations aren’t preventable, because they sometimes are.
But I’m sure that if you looked at hospital statistics, there ate more blade-related injuries than any other, such as from kickback.
Isn’t the saying: “its all about the money stupid !” ?
Well it sometimes is – and sometimes it relates to the notion that time is money and the false idea that rushing is a way to save time or an equally bad idea that proper training is too time consuming.
When I worked for a living – we took care to train and continually retrain employees. We had a safety program that strived to incentivize good practices and take actions when accidents (even close calls) occurred. We made it a goal for every employee to become “his brother’s keeper” , be observant and take quick action to stop unsafe practices even if it meant stopping work. We did not have a Sawstop saw – but did use a power feeder on our Oliver Rip Saw, and had sliding table saws we used in the shop. We quickly phased out all of our older job-site saws in favor of ones (Bosch 4100 was our recent choice) with the now standard riving knives, anti-kickback pawls and blade guards. We did use older Unisaws on some jobsites – but always trained operators – provided push sticks and push-sleds (we adopted Grripper’s for some work). I’m happy to say that we never had a finger cutoff accident on my watch – but when I retired we were thinking about what more we might do – and about phasing in newer saws with either Sawstop or other improved technology.
I’m happy to see that Bosch is likely to become a competitor in this arena. I hope that they don’t get bogged down in lawsuits over patent infringement – and also wonder if they are thinking about whether their technology can be retrofitted to their older saws.
Job and Knock
There may be more injuries related to sawblades inthe USA, but in Europe, where we’ve pushed the use of riving knives, crown guards, push sticks, run-off support and short position rip fences very hard over the past 30 or 40 years we have a lot less saw accidents than ten or twenty yers ago (as a percentage of wood machining accidents). For us there isn’t really that much of a problem any more so to the guy who stated, “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Eurocrats are busy drawing up regulations right now that will require the technology on saws sold in Europe going forward, now that a European company has their own approach.” I’d have to say that they are probably not – we achieved significant reductions in accidents with CE 1995 and PUWER 1998 (those are the British names for the legislation).
On the brake issue all new tables sold in Europe for twenty years have had the requirement to brake to a stop within 10 seconds if the eStop button is hit – the bigger saws use disc and/or DC injection brakes and typically manage sub 2-second braking (not bad on a 16in blade saw)
But it's me!
Great news from Bosch! I would love a SawStop, but the price has always been out of reach. Great product for certain and their after sales support is supposed to be nothing less than awesome, but if you cannot afford it, what good does it do? I respect Bosch tools (and other items, like their dishwashers and auto parts), so I expect I will be one of the first to purchase it, assuming the price is acceptable. My wife may even go for it!
Kickback is always going to be a potential problem, but most modern saws have riving knives by law (wish my older Ridgid contractor saw had a riving knife), and careful use of aftermarket devices has made the chance of it lower. Still dangerous as I can attest from a nice little scar on my face from a chop saw kicking back a tiny sliver of trim. Learned my lesson to wear a face shield and my prescription safety glasses.
Cannot wait for this to hit the market in the US and hope Bosch does not hold off on US market.
It is never bad to have competition in the marketplace. Where I REALLY see the value in this technology, would be wood shops in high schools and tech schools. Nowhere is this sort of safety technology more needed, than around youngsters who are just learning the basics. Almost all saw injuries are preventable, with proper use of safety equipment, experience, patience, care, and a little fear (a little fear of harm goes a long way in making people cautious). However, except maybe for the use of safety equipment, most of the others are lacking around groups of boys.
Thanks for the link. The Bosch ReaXX saw will be launching at JLC live show which runs tomorrow-Friday so we won’t have to wait too long to get all the details. Unfortunately we won’t be there but we have to imagine the videos (of course the Germans use a Bratwurst to demo), photos and press release will be out almost immediately.
I always thought the Saw Stop was a neat piece of technology. I never knew about their attempts to have the government mandate their system on all table saws. That’s very disappointing. Such legislation would likely have stifled the development of newer (better?) technologies such as this offering from Bosch. Ultimately, I think new development and technological advancement will make this type of feature practically standard on table saws and, at the same time, much less expensive.
I’ve partnered on some projects with a person that makes wooden cases for books. During one of the projects his hand slipped right into the blade, almost severing the hand in half. One airlift, multiple grafts, thousands in medical bills (after insurance) and 2-3 years later he has some functionality back in the hand but it’ll never be the same.
Can you imagine looking at your hand split open like a banana peel? The hours of pain, rehab and forever loss of full use of the hand? Yes, having to replace the blade is costly and false alarms would be annoying but the alternative is almost unimaginably worse.
Anyone that brings this tech into more devices has my support.
Job and Knock
Did he not understand the need for effective blade guarding and long push sticks? (the type where your hand never runs above/at the side of the blade) SawStop is all very well, but there are a lot of cheap/free things you can do to protect yourself
I think it’s great. I own a saw stop and love it. Anyone who thinks its a waste of money are just out of their mind. If you think “wasting” a blade and a break is worse then the hospital bill you’d get, you are high! I’d happily pay $200 for a few new part and a clean pair of underwear. They also don’t just go off. You’d need a board so wet it was dripping to set it off. There are also ways you can bypass the safety if you cutting something wet or metal. When in bypass mode, you can make a cut, and then it would tell you if it would have gone off or not. Also if you are setting the safety mechanisms off on your saw SO often that you want a no destructive way I think we need to send people back to table saw 101.
Bosch is good, competition is good. Hopefully they will keep going with it and bring the tech to other tools.
Comments like “if you disagree you’re crazy” or “if it doesn’t work for you you’re doing it wrong” are the same kind of fanboyism that makes me not buy Apple products.
It works for me – I DO buy Apple products.
To an extent, both technologies are black boxes at this point. No one intuitively knows how wet will set off the mechanism. On Saw Stop there is a mode to test, but you can’t test for the center of a cut, only the start. So if you are a framer using lumber which may have a wet spot, it can be expensive.
If it is just as effective, a non destructive stop would place Bosch well above Saw Stop. The good news is either way we win, competition is better for us as consumers.
“Also if you are setting the safety mechanisms off on your saw SO often that you want a no destructive way I think we need to send people back to table saw 101. “
lol. It should come with a video showing horrifying table saw incidents. Back in high school when I took wood-shop, our teacher showed us just that. Don’t know if it was school mandatory or not, but you saw the fingers being sawed off, etc. One that is engraved in the back of my brain is when a girl with long hair, her hair got caught in the saw blade and ripped her scalp like butter (took hair and skin layer).
Like the brushless technology, I do believe if it’s implemented more, the price should drop. If I had the mula and needed to use one for my crew, I would buy it. For personal use, I won’t buy in to it. But the work place is very fast paced. Also, there’s always a doofus in all crews anyway. lol
I have missed feelings on SawStop. One thing that always comes up in the discussion is the possibility for pricey “misfires” destroying the blade, brake, etc; however, does anyone know how likely that is too occur? Sure, it depends on the material, moisture content, yada, yada. Anyone have first-hand experience with a misfire?
I think the best part about this is that they applied it to a jobsite/portable saw. I would venture to say that most cabinet saws are used in a relatively clean environment with adequate lighting and workpiece positioning. The reality is that most jobsites have few to none of those benefits. As someone who has had a serious hand injury from a portable unit, this is a welcome development.
Wow, this is exactly what I have been waiting for. I have not pulled the trigger on a SawStop yet, (I want to really badly) and I recently saw the new portable one, but I was not impressed with it since the fence seemed pretty poor compared to their others. (Yes I know it is a lower cost portable version, but I still expected more accuracy from their fence based on the rest of their product line) SO I would have to go with one of the other models above that one.
So another player in the flesh sensing/saving table saw arena is welcome, especially if the price is reasonable. Even more so from a reputable player like Bosch.
I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for this one.
Other tool blogs are saying that Bosch has announced its availability at a price quoted as $1499
All things being equal, I’d go for that in a heartbeat.
Nobody has said anything about the saw signaling your phone, or maybe nobody noticed it in the article, but I think that is one of the best things about the Bosch. Imagine your working alone with the saw, the brake is activated for whatever reason, and who else knows? With this, the saw alerts your wife’s phone that there may have been an accident and she should call you to find out. If you don’t answer, help is on the way! THAT’S the real breakthrough here.
Job and Knock
That’s an extension of airbag technology as well. If you crash your range Rover or Mercedes ML over here in Europe and the air bag deploys the car automatically informs a response centre who will then contact you to arrange assistance
“What’s next, a table saw that sends a notification to your smartphone when it’s time to replace a dull blade?”
How about a cordless drill with a USB port built in. 🙂
That idea came to me because I’m building this 18V cordless/corded dewalt fan.
Hi, this saw looks pretty good, and you should check the link of the new video from bosch. It’s totally different than how the sawstop works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbDf2dpQVIY