Please forgive the energy of the headline, but I meant it. Opposition to the CPSC proposed rulemaking on table saws and active injury-avoidance tech is doomed. It will fail. The rulemaking will enter the next stage, and it’s going to set new rules regarding table saw safety equipment.
A little over 2 months ago, I posted about the CPSC’s proposed rulemaking, and mentioned that the comment period was open.
There’s less than 1 week left, until the matter is closed to public input.
In the past 9 weeks or so, there have been a grand total of… 29 comments, the last one being submitted a week ago. And some of those comments are in favor of the rulemaking.
There’s been no mass media attention to this. No outcry by the Power Tool Institute urging bloggers and woodworkers to object to this. Brands aren’t chiming in. There’s simply nothing.
I was thinking about things last night, and it could be that brands want this rulemaking to pass. They can’t develop their own injury-avoidance saws, thanks to SawStop’s patents. Look what happened to Bosch’s Reaxx safety portable table saw – they lost an infringement lawsuit brought by SawStop.
Power tool makers have been losing court cases where it was argued that the injured parties wouldn’t have suffered harm if their portable table saws featured active injury-avoidance technology.
The rulemaking, if it passes, might not going into effect until after SawStops patents start to expire.
In looking at some of the past comments, I came across a couple of comments by SawStop’s Stephen Gass.
One of them reminded me of Gass’s involvement:
I offer the following comments as one of the original petitioners on the above identified-rule making.
And then there are the finger-save documents, which include thousands of user testimonials – thousands of forms filled out by customers whose SawStop safety cartridges fire to stop blades.
On SawStop’s site, if you report a save and contact customer service to obtain an RMA number, they’ll evaluate your cartridge and survey response, and will send you a new cartridge for free if it’s found that it was activated by skin contact.
Reading some of those past responses has been very informational. A lot of the “finger saves” were in commercial settings or schools, but others were by individuals.
In one case, a teacher took a student to the ER after a finger-contact activation, and they came back to find that another student had caused a second activation.
The documents and studies behind CPSC’s proposed rulemaking are very strong. That alone might be enough for the rulemaking to eventually pass.
But the silence, the absence of critical voices forming compelling arguments against the proposed rulemaking – it makes the opposition’s case even weaker.
I know that a lot of end users are in opposition against the proposed safety tech requirements, while others are in support of it.
What about tool brands? Required safety tech will help save some of their users from blade-contact injuries – but not other types of table saw injuries such as kickback-related. If there’s a formal requirement, they’ll have saws ready when SawStops patents start to expire. Maybe some will have “trade up” programs?
Not only will it save some users from harm, imagine the new defenses they’ll have in injury litigation, potentially saving them thousands and even millions of dollars.
Yep. I’m not convinced that power tool brands are at all against this.
Imaginative theories aside, where’s the PTI outcry? PTI, the Power Tool Institute, is “a trade association comprised of the nation’s largest manufacturers of portable and stationary power tools.”
PTI members include Black & Decker, Bosch, Chervon, Dewalt, Dremel, Festool, Hilti, Hitachi, Makita, Metabo, Milwaukee, Rotozip, Ryobi, Skilsaw, Stanley Black & Decker, TTI.
Back in August of 2011, they sent me an email with loads if information. In part of the letter, they added:
We encourage you to report on this important issue and we will keep you updated on developments.
I haven’t heard from anyone at the PTI since 2012.
When looking at the website for a list of brand members, I see a small attempt at urging end users to oppose the CPSC rulemaking. That makes sense, but have any of you ever visited the PTI website?
To be honest, I’m not quite sure what side I’m on here. In the past few years I’ve heard of more experienced users, as well as inexperienced ones, suffering permanent injuries due to table saw blade contact incidents.
I know many of you are opposed to the proposed regulations. Sit down, get your thoughts together, and tell the CPSC how you feel and why.
The Power Tool Institute cobbled together a minimal effort opposition page with a pre-written message you could attach your name to. It says:
I oppose the mandatory rule for table saws. The petition is rooted in an attempt to mandate the use of a single technology, potentially creating a monopoly and undermining the development of new table saw safety technology. Instead of imposing a single technology, CPSC should work with the power tool industry and others in the table saw community to offer a variety of solutions that make sense for the entire range of table saw products and users.
Maybe I’m being pessimistic, or maybe I’m trying to light a fire under anyone opposing the proposed rulemaking and any regulations that could result from it – from end users to brand presidents.
If you’re opposed to the proposed rulemaking, let your voice be heard. Keep in mind that they’re public, so please be professional and polite.
If you’re in support of it, you could and should chime in too. Your opinion matters, even if you assume it’s not a popular stance.
If you don’t take action and voice your stance, you’re standing by idle while decisions are being made for you. If you oppose the rulemaking and it passes, you can at least say you opposed it the best you could.
To those at the Power Tool Institute… if this passes, it’s because you did nothing to oppose it. Where’s the awareness campaign? Where’s the effort? Have you given up and accepted this as an inevitability, or perhaps you want it to pass?
My only issue is potential cost increases. These changes (while good, more safety is good) will more than double the cost of the cheap saws. This in turn can price new entrants out of the market entirely. Also as someone who works in the rental industry I will see this as a boon and a negative, as now people will consider renting more heavily because buying is more expensive, however, more people will pop off the cartridges and claim “they malfunctioned and fired on their own” and want to refuse to pay for them. This day and age “it didn’t work” does not mean it didn’t function. Usually it means “I tried to do something I didn’t explain about when I rented it and so it didn’t do what I wanted it to and should not have to pay.” overall I think many rental places will decline having table saws all together since they will not be worth the headache, which will lead to even less people having access to table saws since they won’t be able to afford to buy and yet won’t be able to find a rental place either.
Where I live the rental companies don’t offer table saws anymore. The owner of one rental store said his insurance company wouldn’t cover him for it. They still rent tile saws, chop saws, and the like that have integral guards and/or low incidence of injury.
I can’t find it, but someone sent me a link to recent litigation.
Someone lent his table saw to a friend. He might have been helping him with the project too. The person that was inexperienced with the saw suffered injuries and sued his friend and the manufacturer. The loaner’s home owner insurance had to pay out, and I believe the tool brand lost as well, or that part of the case might still be active.
About 25 years ago my next door neighbor, inspired by my own extensive decorative molding work, started a project to add some molding inside his house. If I recall correctly, he dusted off an old Sears chop saw he had and proceeded to work from the floor of his garage. In my opinion that was mistake number one. As my dad use to say, “get yourself set up to do a job properly and safely”, and “never work on the floor”.
As my neighbor recounted to me days later, he had just finished a cut when he was distracted by a noise outside his garage. When he turned to investigate the noise he managed to pass his left hand through a still spinning blade, severing half of two fingers and the tip of a third. After collecting his missing digits, his wife drove him to the hospital where the doctors determined that his fingers were to badly damaged for reattachment surgery.
I believe his chop saw lacked two safety features common on chop saws today. One was a blade brake and the other was a retractable plastic blade guard. If he had been using a saw with these features he probably could have avoided this outcome. Yes, there is the matter of personal responsibility and his own lack concentration at the moment. I know that he fully owned that responsibility and I doubt that the thought of suing Sears ever crossed his mind.
I think the trend will move away from table saws and into track saws using modified circular saws that have adequate power now on battery platforms. Much less material to manufacture them, lighter to carry around and easier to store in trucks/garages/etc. While a table saw still has its place in the woodshop for certain tasks such as dados and more precision work, the track saw can handle every single jobsite task with sheet material or lumber up to 4″ thick that I can think of. The blade stays away from the user at all times making it safer. Not to mention guiding a 4×8 sheet of plywood through a portable, lightweight jobsite saw is a huge pain. Simply clamping an aluminum track to the work piece and sliding a circ saw across it is much easier.
Another thought I just had was about big box home improvement stores and how they will have to change their return policies. As it stands the people working the returns desk usually have never used most of the stuff they are returning and rarely know how to look for problems. couple that with the company policies that are so liberal and people will just set off a cartridge, box the saw back up and return it and no one at the store will be the wiser. This could be a major money sink for the stores, and realistically “more training” for the 19 year old that works part time and will probably stay at the company 6 months is not really feasible.
The big box stores are not stupid. It would be a simple matter for them to program a warning or pop up message when certain SKUs are scanned at the return desk. This could alert the employee to check into the cartridge or summon a manager or anything else they want. Maybe they already do this: I don’t know. The Orange store I know already uses a third-party system to monitor returns. How many table saws do you think they would let you return before suspicions are raised?
That is highly unlikely, they will be schooled on this you can be sure
HD (usually) won’t stick some yocal up at customer service without working in the store first. Most retail is like this. While I agree that people might rent the saw, unfortunately it applies to all the tools. Nothing new.
And most of us think of the cost, but if there becomes a standard cartridge (hopefully, but doubtful), the cost will drop significantly. Even if there isn’t a standard, competition should drop the prices. Probably advantageous for SawStop to start offering promotions & flooding the market with their product
SawStop is now owned by Festool. They don’t understand the word “discount.”
Having worked at 4 different locations I have seen cashiers 1 week out of their computer training running returns registers at all 4 locations. I would have to argue that “the returns cashiers are seasoned employees” is just not true.
Forgot about that Festool part. Maybe cause it isn’t doused in (super expensive) green paint they might do it differently. probably not 🙁
@John, that typically in not the norm, but I’ve been in retail when for whatever reason their is a mass exodus at a location or more, that causes some questionable hiring afterwards.
Now, it’s not to say someone a week in wouldn’t know what they are doing, as I’ve worked other retail c.s. & done enough HD shopping, that I find myself often explaining things to new cashiers. So I know I would probably be denying any fishy returns my first day
Legally, one of the biggest issues with returns for this type of saw might actually be the potential that the saw was tripped when it contacted flesh.
The reason is that if the saw did contact flesh, even very briefly, there is the potential that the blade or saw was exposed to blood from the user, and would then have to be classified as potential biohazard. The blade would need to be disposed of, and replaced since it would have a chance of passing on bloodborn infections. The saw might also need to be disinfected.
Do schools disinfect Sawstop type saws and blades when the saws have tripped?
With regular saw accidents you have to, since there’s usually blood all over the saw.
As a teacher at a community college that has four Saw Stops, we have never had discernible amount of blood on the saws since installing them. We have about one trip every month or two.
If there is any blood after a trip, its a drop of blood on the blade but the blade is automatically destroyed when the saw trips. So, the blade and trip mechanism are trashed as one fused assembly.
Since replacing the Powermatics with Sawstops, we had not had any injuries requiring more than a bandaid. FYI – the most serious injuries prior to the Sawstops were with teachers!
I am impressed that you think a table saw would be disinfected by a school after an accident.
I believe, as Stuart suggests, the legal teams at power tool companies would like this mandate.
As with any mandate, manufacturers are concerned about losing market share from products that are required to have an expensive safety feature when there are substitute products available. Consumer masses don’t generally want to pay for added safety equipment they don’t think they really need and the minority of buyers don’t buy enough to offset the R&D and related costs. When given a choice consumers will buy the lower cost product unless they place an intrinsic value on the added safety feature. However, when federal regulators decide a feature is now a requirement, then there is a level playing field for everyone and no manufacturer is disadvantaged compared to another.
As we know from Stuart’s prior postings that people are not rushing out to buy SawStop saws when they cost at least double of a saw without the safety feature. A mandate changes the entire market. Even though the overall cost of a table saw goes up those that need one will just have to pay more, or buy a used one without it. The other options are rent, borrow, or steal. What is a reasonable substitute? A track circular saw? Maybe for some jobs.
Anyway, like seatbelts, airbags, and anti-lock brakes on vehicles, I see safety features like this mandated on more power tools whether we like it or not. The manufacturers want to limit their product liability without materially hurting their sales. Mandates accomplish that when substitutes are not readily available.
“However, when federal regulators decide a feature is now a requirement, then there is a level playing field for everyone and no manufacturer is disadvantaged compared to another. ”
That is the rub; if SawStop retains its patent AND other manufacturers are required to include that or substitute safety technology, there will be a monolopy until substitute technology is developed. It won’t be a level playing field for some time. I have seen a strangely scenario nearly play out that way in paintball.
SawStop could make a boatload of money licensing their technology to their competitors. Probably far more money than they make selling their table saws. Especially if this law passes.
Some would say this would draw customers away from buying SawStop saws, but I think their saws are already in a class of quality above most others and the customer that is willing to spend this kinda money is not going to all the sudden buy a $500 Rigid from Home Depot because Rigid offers the SawStop technology.
That was exactly how Sawstop started. They didn’t originally make table saws other than the prototypes to prove the system worked and to get the patents…The founder then approached tool brands to use the technology/patents while also lobbying government officials to make the tech required…All the tool brands denied the tech for similar reasons; would price them out of the ‘job site’ category, which is by far the highest selling type of table saw…but the regulation side of it has been slowly moving ever since. SawStop began making and selling saws to gain market traction and begin recovering R/D costs from the development of the patents…if the founder had it his way from the beginning, though, there wouldn’t be a brand known as SawStop.
It’s been mentioned a few times in various articles on here, but the founder was/is an engineer…and patent attorney. The whole scenario ‘is’ about safety, but also making large sums of money via govt. regulation.
Ah ok, I didn’t not know any of this! Its interesting to hear how that company has progressed over the years.. from seemingly caring strongly about safety and trying to get their technology to everyone.. to suing Bosch over making a somewhat similar safety technology.. to selling the company to Festool. Its gotta be tiring fighting the same cause for years and years and not getting anywhere.
one correction, the companies Sawstop attempted to license the technology to, got together behind their back and jointly colluded and agreed to not license the technology in the hope that it would disappear. The creation of Sawstop followed this which was then follwed by Sawstop trying to get the gov’t to mandate the tech. The order here is critical as everyone paints the Sawstop guy as a jerk trying to profit from gov’t regulation first. So who is the jerk? The group of established companies/people attempting to prevent the technology or the guy who bypasses the status quo (ala Ford a century earlier). I’m sure the founder of Sawstop doesn’t have his hands at least somewhat dirty for the gov’t mandate part, but that did come later and I have a hard time not supporting the “little guy” is this whole circus
Bull. If that’s the case he could have open patented the tech if he REALLY cared just about safety. This is profits first and then safety. If he opened it all up so that any company could indeed use the tech he would have still made money and a boatload more in fact for being the originator of the design and being the first one to market it.
Sawstop by all accounts makes a great product in it’s tablesaws so that with him being the good guy would have gotten him further than it would have under the path he decided to go down, that of getting a patent on the tech and then trying to get the government to regulate the industry to use that same tech. That’s straight up crony capitalism at it’s worst and so now he doesn’t have the goodwill that he otherwise might have had.
As a builder, I deal with this constantly. Simpson is expert at this. I often wish I was more unscrupulously creative. The trick is to invent a product, then invent a problem your product solves, then get it written into the building code.
Doesn’t the “profits first” label depend on how much he was asking for a license fee compared with his cost of development? If the license would have only added, say for example, $25.00 to the cost of a saw, that doesn’t sound like he is the bad guy in all this. If the license fee would have doubled the cost of a saw, that is a different matter.
Seriously, if he had good intentions and concerned about safety, he would have made it available and free.
Example: Volvo invented the three-point seatbelt and gave the patent away to save lives.
In regards to sawstop, we see his true colors and know that he is about money first, not safety.
Yeah, I lean on this side of the fence also.
Every Sawstop article has a few people claiming the ‘big bad’ tool companies ‘colluded’ behind the guy…Tool execs probably did discuss it to some degree, but only in the sense that nearly all market research and product development pointed towards the tools then getting priced out of where they needed to be.
It’s important to note that consumers still aren’t exactly begging for more expensive, yet safer, small job site saws…90% of the comments center around ‘if you don’t know how to use a TS safely, don’t use one’.
In either case, if the founder was truly pushing safety first, there were ways to do it from the beginning…which he chose not to do.
Who stopped Bosch from selling their Reaxx saw? Sawstop’s lawyers, via grey areas with the existing patents (from what i’ve read, the actual patents are almost like Intellectual Property; Sawstop goes after the ‘idea’ of flesh detection to some degree). Anyway, it’s money up top, with safety buried somewhere underneath and thrown around only when it’s convenient.
It is BS to expect someone to expend money and R and D work on something only to give it away for free.
When Gass was trying to sell his Saw technology, one of the manufacturers actually decided to extensively test a Sawstop outifitted saw. In their tests, the manufacturer found the Sawstop technology would falsely trip when cutting pressure treated wood.
Gass wasn’t aware of the problem, which seems to indicate he didn’t fully and properly test his saw since pressure treated lumber is a fairly standard lumber for both homeowners and builders.
Gass then hired an engineer to fix the capacitance issue. When the person Gass hired couldn’t find a solution, Gass sued the engineer he hired.
The manufacturer/s probably looked at the above actions, and decided they didn’t want to license new “safety” technology, from a litigious individual, who didn’t fully understand the technology, the potential problems, and who incidentally refused to indemnify the manufacturers who licensed the technology, if something went wrong with it.
My guess is the tool companies feel they can make money on this so they won’t fight it too hard. My vote? I hope they have to implement this ASAP.
This. At this stage, a CPSC mandate will be followed in very short order by an OSHA rule. And every non-SawStop tablesaw in the workplace (save the few Bosch REAXX saws that made it under the wire) will be obsolete. Give it a 1-2 year grace period and then use of an “unsafe” saw on the job will cost the company WAY more than the safety tech increases the cost.
SawStop / Gass will either be steamrolled by industrial / judicial collusion that works around his patents, or more than likely, a graceful licensing agreement will be reached that leaves Gass a wealthy man with a nice revenue stream.
One word: “consumables”
Anyone want to guess what the markup will be on replacement cartridges? Tool companies have probably run the numbers past teams of actuaries, and have figured out what they’ll make from this on a yearly basis.
Why stop there…? Saw stop technology on circular saws and recip saws and mitre saws. Make anti kick drills the law. Safety pins on framing nailers. Anti tip ladders.
Freaking ridiculous !!!! Any moron that needs saw stop tech should not be using the saw. Train your employees. You can’t fix stupid!! Why should the masses of construction guys have to pay higher prices for a few stupid people that can’t use a saw properly.
Typical Big Brother Government getting in the way . Anyone that wants this is a liberal democratic,big govt,welfare using ,food stamp loving, no talent ,live with my parents or subsidized housing loser.
Lots of “construction guys” get injured, even those that aren’t “stupid people” or “no talent” “losers.”
Inexperienced users and pros alike suffer table saw injuries, among others.
I agree with Stuart here. It isn’t stupid people, or people who aren’t well trained. All it takes is one guy who’s too tired, drowsy from the heat, dehydrated, or someone comes up and taps him on the shoulder for him to lose a finger. This isn’t making a safe device safer, this is making a generally dangerous device safer.
Have to agree, also. Table saws are unanimously regarded as the most dangerous ‘normal’ tool (as in it’s a very common tool used in a lot of different fields). Of course other tools can be dangerous, but table saws stand alone as far as potential hazards.
All I mean is, if there is one power tool that really needs modern safety tech the most…it’s hard to argue against table saws.
I’m just a hobbyist, so I have less experience and a narrower circle of acquaintances with experience than many here, but I’ve always been more worried about radial arm saws than table saws.
I did have a really bad kickback once that made me a big believer in riving knives. Fortunately I was not right in front of the saw. I was ripping boards and in the blink of an eye the partially cut board was across the room and there was a decent dent in the wall.
I’d argue angle grinders, or circular saws, probably have much more potential to cause life threatening injuries than table saws, judging by photos I’ve seen.
Angle grinders and circular saws have also been manufactured that can minimize some of the safety issues, and at a much lower cost per tool, than upgrading or purchasing a Sawstop or similar saw.
I saw a 29 year wood worker get saved at a tool show by a saw stop. Showing Forrest saw blades, probably used a table saw more days then some of you have been alive. I know there is a lot of we don’t need that but I am a proud owner of a saw stop and I will be happy to teach my children how to use it safely and responsibly.
Or well trained – but over confident. The attitude that I’ve done it this way for years and “real men don’t need no stinking blade guards” or other safety features. One moment of inattention, one piece of wood with some built in stress, one workplace distraction – and an accident can happen to anyone. I started using a table saw in the 1960’s – it was a Powermatic – the guard was inconvenient at best – the splitter was worse. My Uni-guard on my home shop Unisaw was also a bit of a contraption. No personal accidents for me – and never sent anyone to the ER for a saw-related injury. The sobering thing is that probably makes me lucky – but I hope not complacent. If your well trained and alert on the job – the odds are in your favor about not having a table saw accident. It might even be that automobiles are far more dangerous when you look at statistics. But were are where we are and CPSC seems on the verge of taking action.
Don’t tell US, tell the CPSC.
I see a lot of potential risk for Saw Stop if this CPSC rule making passes.
1) When their patents expire the market will likely see an influx of products that perform better and are cheaper than the Saw Stop products. Larger competitors surely have this technology on their development road maps in anticipation of the CPSC ruling
2) The large power tool companies have broad market coverage and strong brand loyalty. Once the patents expire and products are available from other manufacturers, Saw Stop will need to significantly increase marketing expenses to compete with the big boys.
3) If they wish to remain viable, Saw Stop will need to develop new patentable intellectual property once their current patents expire. It can be very costly to continually innovate new patent-worthy designs with the goal of keeping other manufacturers at bay.
4) Other manufacturers could launch competing technologies before the current patents expire. Saw Stop would then need to decide whether to once again spend valuable resources defending their patents.
5) A combination of any of the above could lead to a death of 1000 cuts for Saw Stop. (Pun intended)
Saw Stop should be careful what they wish for.
They already jump ship as festool acquired them. And yes festool has a following of people with big wallets.
If the manufacturers comment on the matter, either positively or negatively, then they are making statements regarding: 1) safety of their current tools, 2) defending less safe products, inevitably being an argument that making them safer would be less profitable. A jury in a personal injury case with a maimed homeowner does not like to hear that you refused to change the way you manufacture a tool or refused to lower the temperature of your coffee based upon its effect upon your profits, despite your knowledge that you will be cutting off fingers or burning little old ladies’ private parts with your coffee as a result. At least McDonald’s made the plaintiff discover the “lowered coffee temperature = lowered sales/its cheaper to pay burn victims” smoking gun document. A manufacturer in this case would be putting their greed and stupidity on display for every personal injury attorney to see.
A manufacturer in this case would be putting their greed and stupidity on display for every personal injury attorney to see.
Who’s being greedy and stupid? The manufacturer who wants to sell a product at a profit, or the buyer who wants the absolute cheapest tablesaw and is too cheap to pony up for a SawStop jobsite saw?
A sound logical case can be made that every tablesaw lawsuit filed that’s based on a machine purchased since SawStop came on the market should be dismissed out of hand, with prejudice. Why? Because the BUYER had the choice of paying for the safety or not. “oooh, should I buy that safe one or the cheap one? Well, I can go to Vegas for a weekend on the difference. Woa baby. Vegas, here I come.”
So, I ask again, who’s being “greedy and stupid?”
You should be the defense attorney for the manufacturer. I’d love to see you tell the jury the guy before them missing a hand and no longer able to perform his job and feed his kids got what he deserved because he went cheap and bought a table saw without sawstop. The jurors, with puzzled looks on their faces, will look at each other and ask, “what is a sawstop and why should he and we have heard of it?”
The plaintiff’s attorney will then happily explain to them what a sawstop is and use their published objection to it becoming required based upon its effect upon their profit as Exhibit A in the determination of damages, which just doubled.
I enjoy following this topic and all the associated moving parts (pun not intended). While I don’t have much insight to add, there is one factor I have seen mentioned before and that is the point about “Sawstop’s Patents expiring”. While that is a viable argument most of the time, there are also cases of companies being able to continue to put the squeeze on the market by making moderate patent changes or adding new ones. And given the brain power and tenacity that we have seen from Saw-Stop so far, I suspect they may have some cards up their sleeves when it comes to finding a way to extend/maintain their patents. So I personally would not put too much weight into the patent expiration factor.
Full disclosure – I have a Bosch Reaxx. Although, that does not mean I am fully pro or con for either of the two choices.
But it's me!
When will Saw Stop’s patents expire? Anyone? I would certainly like to own a Saw Stop, but it is well out of my price range as a DIYer. I welcome the technology, as I well know I am not beyond doing something careless.
I’m in favor of the proposed rule, and I think that most (consumer-level, not manufacturer-level) opposition of it smells like the Dunning-Krueger effect at work. After the patents expire and every manufacturer is implementing the feature, I expect it to be fairly inexpensive.
As inexpensive as a low-end Ryobi jobsite saw that goes for $130? The cheapest SawStop currently rings in at $1300, which is 10X that price. Market competition is good, but it’s not magic. Bosch’s jobsite saw cost jumped from $600 to $1500 when they added the Reaxx technology – a 150% increase! Some of that price jump is likely due to lack of competition right now, but a lot is also in the R&D and the hardware itself – something that competition will not lower the cost of.
And by the way, using big words to call people that disagree with you stupid doesn’t help your argument any at all, it just sounds pretentious.
As a lawyer, woodworker for far too many years and college woodworking instructor, the rule making does not surprise me.
Let me look at it in terms of legal and societal philosophy, not costs, R&D, etc. As a lawyer, I believe in society’s right to establish “Standards of Care” – a uniform degree of behavior against which a person’s conduct can be measured when determining liability in negligence case. Moreover, standards of care are not static.
Every lawyer learns the famous case of “The T.J. Hooper,” from 1932 with the opinion by Justice Learned Hand. I URGE ALL TO GOOGLE THE CASE AND READ IT. In a nutshell, two tugs in 1932 piloted into a bad storm. Neither had a newish device called a “radio.” The tug owners did not want to spend the money. Having radios would have prevented the tugs going into the storm and losing all their cargo. Tug owner said Not Our Fault, since having radios was “not the custom in the industry.” In this famous case, Justice Hand ruled that custom is not conclusive to show the prudent standard of care, “since an entire industry , calling, or trade may have unduly lagged in the adoption of a new and available device.”
We evolve, technology evolves, our values evolve and our standards of care will continue to evolve.
When you posted last about this I opined that I thought we were on the verge of a paradigm shift for table saws in the US. It looks like its getting closer and while it will undoubtedly hurt future saw buyers in the pocket book – manufacturers and others in the supply chain will just mark-up the cost increase and make more money per unit of sales than they do now. It may mean that overall table saw sales will fall as the market adjusts to the new prices and that would-be buyers with limited budgets may have to think twice about buying, My take is that while I’m all for individual freedom of choice – some (particularly ones who did not take the time to learn how to use this tool safely ) buyers of cheap table saws should have thought through what they were buying all along – and maybe that would have avoided some injuries. IMO it would have been better for them to have made that choice; for all of us to have brought down table saw injuries by training and retraining and overall attention to worker/personal safety; and then let voluntary adoption of passive safety features help those who wanted to use them. Alas, that has not happened and CSPC is stepping in.
Having run a business, I can say that all but the most marginally profitable contractors should be able to adapt. Where it may have a “shock” effect – is if insurers or liability concerns on the part of business owners (not even the regulations themselves) force some immediate change out of the fleet of older saws. Talking from one case I know fairly well – if you have 16 jobsite table saws and about half that number of stationary table saws – the instantaneous change out would be a costly undertaking for a small business – probably requiring a new business loan if current lines of credit and cash flow were inadequate. The rulemaking would also likely mean that the salvage value of current table saws will diminish (maybe non commercial buyers will still buy them) – perhaps making some older saws difficult or impossible to sell.
I would think that there will also be a market for retrofit kits to update more expensive saws currently in use in the industry. A prime candidate might be the Delta unisaw or Powermatic versions of the basic cabinet shop units, along with larger sliders and whatnot. Still it seems that there needs to be a section in any ruling made for exemptions to the tech for saw systems that use captive blades and the like, such as CNC and vertical saws or chain fed systems.
i think this should be an occupational requirement, not a consumer requirement. if you use your tools to make money, you can afford a decent saw. but for CPSC the average idiot theyre trying to protect who doesnt use guards and pawls is just gonna disable this anyways, or more likely, just wont buy the saw and will try to freehand rips with a circular saw and end up cutting their finger off that way.
also – 45% of the injuries are to people over 60? yeah those guys definitely want to learn all about new safety features.
Hey, be kind! My home shop Unisaw is pushing 50 years – and I was not a kid when I bought it new. I use it less now – fewer hours per day when I’m working on something – and only early in the day. I hope I have the sense to know when I’m too old to keep at it – and it won’t take a near miss or worse to get my attention. I do have to admit that I use its sliding table when I can and use my tracksaw at other times too. We had an Oliver straight line rip saw with a motorized feeder in the shop – that would be nice to have at home but I can’t really justify it.
we all have to know our limits regardless of age – i know i won’t use a tablesaw after a full day of manual work. good on you for doing the same.
i’m a young guy – totally other end of the spectrum, and it feels like when you connect the dots on all of the bits and pieces, you end up with a bunch of guys your age who had lamented that “things aren’t made the way they used to be” and operated saws built when safety features didn’t even exist… guys who subsequently elected to put too much faith in their experience, ignored their limits, ignored the warnings, lost a finger, sued the manufacturers and are now pushing this requirement. i absolutely cannot imagine that more than 5% of the 60+ crowd who had blade contact injuries were using a blade guard whether the saw could use one or not.
so as someone unfortunately labelled a millennial, it irks me that the people who have spent so much time arguing that safety features cause a false sense of security are now the ones getting hurt (either overconfidence or losing a step), and subsequently are the ones directing the changes, and the ones who are ultimately responsible for passing these costs onto people MY age. they already have table saws – at 65+ you’re probably not in the market for a saw if you don’t own one already. i don’t really have one, and if a $300 saw becomes a $700 saw i never will. and neither will any other passive hobbyists my age. CPAC is taking the hobbyist they’re trying to protect and legislating them of existence with this.
if millennials could kill paper napkins and harley davidson, we’ll do it to hobbyist woodworking too. WE’RE CRAZY.
CPAC is taking the hobbyist they’re trying to protect and legislating them of existence with this.
You assume that they’re actually trying to protect them. The cynic in me would say they ARE trying to “legislate them out of existence.” Why? Because IT’S DANGEROUS. or Because fewer hobbyists means more professionals, who just happen to be subject to far greater gov’t oversight, hence more gov’t jobs. (I did say “the cynic in me”).
I don’t really agree with the ruling but as for liability, Fred nailed it. It won’t be the regulators who damage small shops. It will be insurance companies.
Likely the feds will initiate some grandfather clause allowing updates to be forced at replacement time. This will be fine for individual but attornies will wet themselves with worry in a business environment. The first letter to a business threatening cancellation or huge increases in liability or workers comp insurance is all it will take.
On the other hand, I think used prices will SOAR for the commercial brands people will be selling off to individuals where most of this type of rule is…not aimed. Guys will be snapping up these ‘rare’ and ‘vintage’ treasures on eBay for flatly stupid sums. All because ‘once they’re gone, they’re gone’ panic buying. We shall see.
I wonder if this passes if it doesn’t give ammo to manufacturers to force patents SawStop holds for flesh detection to be negated or forced into frand licensing.
I actually think that it would be better if everyone used such a technology. One saving grace is RAND. When a technology is required by a standard it is also required to have “Reasonable and Non Discriminatory” licensing fees. Since the original request from Gass was 3%, it is likely that is the high mark for licensing fees. So a $3000 dollar cabinet saw would cost $90 more for the license fee plus the implementation costs. $400 contractor saws would only be $12 more plus implementation costs. See: http://www.wipo.int/patent-law/en/developments/standards.html
Part of the reason Bosch’s version was so expensive was to pay for the lawyers and legal fees. But a licensed version would be significantly less expensive. So yes, having originally set an ask price for the license fee, if required by regulation, tool makers can say anything above the original ask is not reasonable and is discriminatory.
Yes, Gass may be someone you don’t like but I guarantee you if that was your litmus test you wouldn’t be using a PC (Bill Gates) or a Mac (Steve Jobs). Over time both mellowed and now Bill Gates is a philanthropist and Steve Jobs stopped taking drugs but still parked in the handicapped spaces at Apple. Probably wouldn’t be able to bank anywhere either come to think of it.
This reminds me of recent FAA rule making. I suspect the CPSC made this decision months or years ago and they’re just going through the required process for show.
I get really tired of most of the same responses based on the same false information.
1). Gass/sawstop have never tried to push for legislation that requires THEIR technology, only active injury mitigation (See 5), nor would the CPSC require THEIR technology in this legislation.
2). Their is another competitor aftermarket product available (Not Bosch) but I won’t name them because their product isn’t very good, and I don’t want to recommend a safety product that isn’t high quality, that doesn’t mean they can’t improve their product, the concept is good, just not the execution.
3). As mentioned by John Blair, Gass offered a 3% (extremely reasonable) licensing fee option to all the major manufacturers, who declined.
4). Since when is someone required to give away their invention for free if they care about safety? Who is going to pay them back for their cost of development, their time, and what gives an invention its value: their knowledge and intelligence that allowed them to INVENT something no one else could come up with? Everyone happily pays festool for their dust extractors, 3M for respirators and glasses, hardhats, harnesses, etc. and all of these are required in osha settings, many with the sale of certain types of equipment at the big box stores to consumers, especially safety glasses.
5). Other manufacturers, including bosch, created a joint venture to develop their own technology, which they claim they did in 2009, so far bosch is the only one of those companies to try and release a product with the technology, and it infringed on a sawstop patent.
6). Bosch infringed on a patent in the detection system, not the stopping mechanism. This is still illegal, Sawstop is legally required to sue them in order to maintain their patent rights. If you invented something and someone stole your idea, you’d sue too, if you say you wouldn’t you’re a liar!
7). The CPSC actually gave Gass an award for his invention!
8). The only reasonable argument against the legislation is freedom, but you already give that up 30,000 times a day with the other tiny freedoms you give up because you don’t read the itunes agreement or the full agreement on your cell phone contract, or the paperwork that comes with your vehicle, or the fine print in the loan on your house.
I agree. There are a lot of opinions out there, and sometimes opinions get mistaken or misrepresented as facts and then others roll with it.
I’ve tried to do what I can to dig up original sources to help clear things up, but it’s been difficult. I have also tried to focus on what is true NOW, as opposed to what might have been true several years ago.
There’s definitely some funny business in recent injury litigations, but SawStop and SawStop’s Stephen Gass seems to have avoided becoming embroiled in any of it.
Here’s an example of funny business (https://www.unitedstatescourts.org/federal/moed/129496/125-0.html):
Some of your other comments prompted me to dig into some more of my past emails, not to argue against your points, but to provide added connected information:
I haven’t come across the source info yet, but the PTI has said on more than one occasion:
Also in the document I received in 2011:
There’s no indication what the royalty amount would be today – if SawStop were willing to license the tech. Some brands might have been asked and been told no.
Regarding completing tech, the PTI document also said:
Some talk about the need for freedom of choice – but what impressed me from early on about this was that seemingly not one of the manufacturers of table saws that Gass approached saw fit to take up his offer for licensing. My conclusion is that they did not want the consumer to have the choice of choosing a different – safer sort of saw. We now know that this resulted in the birth of Sawstop so that Gass could recoup his costs and rightly profit from his invention. If Gass were to have adapted Shakespeare and said “a pox on all your houses” when speaking of the other saw manufacturers – he would have been well in his rights to do so.
I think the last I read, and I can’t tell if it’s speculation, hearsay, fact, or whatnot, was that the PTI brands were afraid active injury avoidance tech would suggest that saws not featuring such tech were inherently dangerous, opening them up to even more potential injury lawsuits.
As it is, so many of the recent lawsuits I looked into focus on the complaint that the injuring saw did not have active injury-avoidance tech.
As this rule making only affects USA which has @4.4 percent of the world population, if I were a tool manufacturer, I would simply stop selling table saws in the USA.
I’m not sure what the total USA sales of Table saws are – but PTI has indicated that newer design saw sales have amounted to an average of 400,000 per year (3.2 million from 2007 to 2015). Seems like a big market to just give up.
From a CPSC report the number may be more like 600,000 per year – furthering my point about it being a sizeable market
My thinking was that the R&D to develop a tool for a small specific market may not be worth it economically.
Not sure how many models of table saw are available but lets say there are a 100 or so different models available and just use an average number of sales we end up with @4000 each. Not all will sell that well, some may only sell 1000 to 2000. That’s when you would have to ask yourself is it really worth it?
The issue is that an entity like the cpsc has the power to make it mandatory for all manufacturers of table saws to include this “flesh detection” into their product or else. Now the $400 table saw that you wanted just got gouged to $550 or better because of mandated technology that doesn’t come cheap. So not only will it be difficult to get a decent table saw at a decent price, but its gonna have a negative effect on the entire market because who’s gonna want to shell out an extra couple hundred bucks for something that was mandated which automatically gouges the price for something that already isn’t cheap to begin with. The worst part of the whole thing is that this entity, the cpsc, which I assume are supposed to be somewhat bright people are too stupid to not grasp the fact that every single table saw injury/accident has nothing to do with the tool and is 100% the operators errors that causes themselves to get injured. It doesn’t matter what high tech detection or sensors they mandate to be incorporated into the saw. The factual truth is that they will never ever be able to prevent stupid people from hurting themselves on a table saw. The problem is that there is nothing but some pathetic warning labels about the “potential hazards” or even worse for the user to read the owners manual before use because they think if you read the manual you’re at less risk of injury. There’s far less information on how to properly use the tool than there are warning labels in every single user manual printed for power tools. What you don’t see in the warning labels are actual people who have injured themselves or testimonials from actual people detailing how their disrespect & stupidity costed them dearly. Instead they think that very uninformed non descriptive potential hazards with no definitive facts of what will happen to you is considered to be a sufficient warning label. They’ve done an outstanding job so far to prevent idiots from hurting themselves.
May have missed this elsewhere, but when does the SawStop patent expire? If it’s within the next few years, we can essentially consider this a done deal.
Generally speaking, power tool regulations in the US are vastly less restrictive than elsewhere in the world (for instance, dado blades are prohibted in Europe). In the eyes of most manufacturers, it’s well within the realm of possibiities that this constitutes a great harmonization of product requirements than differentiation.
As such, I would not be surprised to see fairly rapid follow-on by the EU – Bosch is already selling the Reaxx saw in Europe and is a market leader in tools there. From that angle, there is a not-insignificant chance that this might have a neutral or positive effect on product development costs. It obviously complicates the construction of each saw, but anything that simplifies those assembly lines in Taiwan and China saves billions when economies of scale are considered. From a manufacturer’s standpoint, they can charge us for the new features and simultaneously pocket the money they save by simplifying line setup and tooling.
Put otherwise, we’re getting screwed from every angle, not just the CPSC.
Seems odd that TTS’ stock took a recent dive. One would think with a pending, but apparent victory at hand for the new pet, the market would be kinder for the soon-to-be mandated safety conglomerate.
I’m sorry if this has been said by any of you previous posters… after so many posts, I kinda got a little headache not seeing this particular perspective. If any of you sees it as well, and my mini-headache prevented me from simply posting that I agree with you, then I apologize now, and say, whole heartedly, that I agree with you.
I have this other gut feeling, and I can’t explain where it comes from, I just feel it. That the reason the bigger manufacturers aren’t fighting the legislation is to shut down SawStop’s Patents all together. First off, his company failed hard enough that Festool bought them up. This brought the SawStop technology squarely into our user base, rather than the specialty market. Festool being a Publicly Traded company, and in competition with the likes of Bosch and Hilti in Germany alone, and the rest of the TTI and SBD brands here in North America… Once Festool releases a device that complies with the new Legislation, using SawStop’s technology, it will only take one class-action or anti-trust lawsuit to get Festool to share the safety tech for cheap licensing, or even open-source, because of pressure from the Courts that they may have a Monopoly on a product, and be forced out of the North American market if they don’t comply.
And this legislation would enable these other, GIANT, companies to use Sawstop’s efforts to make HIS patents the standard suddenly turn into ammo for them to open the source of the patents themselves, and expire them early. Just to prevent Festool from having a Monopoly on the Safety tech this legislation requires. Far from making this Gass guy rich and famous, this tech may make him a criminal. His arguments for no R&D to be done to mimic his tech, now owned by the Festool name, means that TTI, SBD, Bosch, and all the undersigned bigger companies can put a target on Festool’s back for Anti-Trust lawsuits in Canada and the USA, just for having the only tech that is legally allowed by the legislation. Far from being a financial boon to the company, their competitors could hold them up in court for so long the tech will be worthless to them, compared to the legal bills.
With such a huge issue, and getting so little response from across the industry… It just looks so much like they’re setting the stage for a total devaluing move on SawStop, after all that Gass has done to make it standard. It genuinely looks like the other companies are setting Gass up to get everything he wanted, but on THEIR terms. Sure, they’d be willing to “License” the tech… but only through Festool, and only for PENNIES on the Dollar compared to what Gass was asking. And when he fights it, they simply send in the Anti-Trust lawyers to prove his own statements made in the past were meant to set up his own Monopoly on the product, in violation of Anti-Trust Laws. Tying him up in legal disputes until he settles on a licensing deal that makes the addition of safety systems that match the legislation cost the companies pennies, and keep the saws firmly priced within $50 of where they are now, instead of doubling their price.
Just looking at how little the other companies have fought Gass at this point… It just looks like they’re letting him walk face-first into where they want him for a knock-down beating. He may hold the patents, but Festool is a company that all these other parent companies can gang up on to financially ruin with lawsuits and service fees. The litigation that comes after this passes may well ruin Gass as a whole, and Festool may very well become almost impossible to import to North America due to their cost overruns.
Respectfully, I need to correct some of what you’re saying.
SawStop has NOT failed as a company, I’m not sure where you’re getting that from.
Festool has brought SawStop tech into our user base? Not really. It’s still a specialty market, and will continue to be a specialty product even once Festool’s and/or Sawstop’s first collaborative products start rolling out.
Festool is NOT a publicly-traded company. Festool, by extension of their parent company being private company, is also a private company.
Just a thought – Festool owns a bunch of patents, and so do other brands. One option for them is to negotiate cross-brand intellectual property licensing. Maybe they want to produce a jobsite radio with a charger. Or a certain kind of tool that’s currently blocked due to patent rights.
Festool can ask for a lot of things, whereas SawStop only sought out licensing fees.
SawStop’s holding company reportedly holds over 90 patents. The important ones *probably* expire in 2021. A few may go into 2024 due to extensions. Other than invalidating the patents themselves, I don’t know of any mechanism to cause them to expire prematurely.
I did some research on the cpsc & come to find out the president appoints the 5 board members within a political party which means that the decision makers are in fact politicians who probably have never used a table saw in their life. In fact the chairman of the cpsc is a woman. I wonder how many times she’s ever had hands on experience with a table saw? Sure they have 400 or so staff members that purposely try to find the everything that is wrong with a product & they find a way to enforce as many restrictions and regulations as they can before giving a company the Okay to move forward with production. Or they try to deem products like rare earth magnets for example so unsafe that they actually tried to have it banned. Just goes to show that just because your educated doesn’t mean you know your a__ from a hole in the ground. I want to see actual footage of someone sticking their hand into a wide open table saw that has this technology to prove that all this is worth talking about. No gloves. No blade guard. Let’s see it.
…What does her being a Woman have to do with it? Politician, I can see that as a factor. But a Politician is a Politician, Male or Female. A Tool User is a Tool User, Male or Female.
When I was a very young child, my Mother’s Friend was the one with a Table Saw, and the two made Miniatures together for a while, as a hobby. Don’t discount the market for Females using Tools. I learned from my Mother, and my Father barely knew which end of a Screwdriver to hold. I know about a dozen women who own their own tools, and another who is a Truck Driver for a living. And in the coming months or so, I’ll be teaching one of my female friends’ Daughter to use power tools safely, and she’s 9 years old.
Not trying to start a fight with this, but… Seriously… Don’t badmouth Women like that. Women make stuff with power tools just the same as we do, and it’s not just the new generation that has done so.
I can not speak for Ms. Buerkle as I don’t know her. But your proposition that you need vast experience with table saw use to be able to weigh the evidence about them is flawed. I would argue that intelligence enhanced by education is important despite your contention.
I would also argue that many long-time table saw users – myself included – might have prejudices brought on by smug complacency after many years of use without a serious injury.
We like to think that if we need to be judged by a jury of our peers – that they would be 12 open-minded citizens ready to weigh the evidence – not a batch of “experts” bringing preconceived notions into the jury room.
I don’t know if this decision by the CPSC will be based on facts, politics or something else. I don’t know if adding Sawstop or similar technology will improve safety statistics or prevent injuries one iota – but to say that a woman can not make a reasonable ruling on this issue – does us all (men and women) a disservice.
“MrGerbik” – Although you have a point about manufacturers failing by overloading users with warnings rather than useful instruction, a number of your other “arguments” are either wrong, offensive, or both.
1. There exists video evidence of how these safety mechanisms work and they’re readily available.
2. It is offensive to question the expertise of the person leading the CPSC becuase she is a woman; that is the definition of sexism. Further, you know nothing about her qualifications.
3. Product safety regulations in the US work the opposite of the way you describe. In the US you are generally free to develop and market a product unless it’s subject to existing regulation. Only after the product is released and issues arise do regulators get involved.
4. Your comments are full of run on sentences, grammatical mistakes, and factually unsupported claims and yet you gleefully describe anyone injured by a table saw as an idiot. Reflect on that.
I have been using a tablesaw since I was 11 years old and was given instructions by my father at that time in its uses and dangers. I still have all my fingers by the way.
Maybe we should train our children to use power tools and not a cell phone ? Unless of course we want to raise a generation of kids who can’t enjoy the satisfaction of building something for themselves or others.
There is danger everywhere and just installing more and more safety features doesn’t stop people from getting hurt, it just lowers the actual quality of the tool and raises the price.
I AM NOT IN FAVOR OF THIS LAW !!!!
Based on what I’ve read, I’d say that most of the people injured by table saws are mature adults. Today’s generations of kids and young adults aren’t the ones getting injured. Then again, they’re also less likely to use table saws, due to the extinction of most shop and woodworking classes in schools.
I can be neither for, nor against it. I’m Canadian. Yeah, it’ll ripple up North here, but they don’t count our votes, being an American political body.
But I can say… Law or not… Safety features are never a bad thing. Whether you drink Tea or Coffee… everyone has that day when they just haven’t had that one specific cup of whatever to be on the ball, and even the most ardent of professionals makes a mistake, entirely out of their control. You can train a person to drive a car to become the best of the best drivers, and they’ll still fall into the odd speed trap, or leave their briefcase on the roof from time to time.
It’s not that we’re idiots, or that we have no work ethics. It’s that our tools are sharp, and our skin is soft, and we can’t do without a certain amount of blood staying inside our bodies. That’s the sum total of the problem trying to be fixed by the safety feature. It’s not for idiots, it’s for the pros. Because we’re Human Beings, not Robots.
Do I think we need an actual regulation for safety? I’m iffy on that. There’s too much debate involving the SawStop system involved. If it wasn’t for SawStop’s patents, all the manufacturers would be free to use the technology to simply pass the regulation. As the Bosch Reaxx saw proved, if any of these other companies develop any method of detecting your skin near the blade, they currently get sued. We’re all tool users, no matter what brand we prefer. And we all have those off days when, even when we think we’ve got everything under control, and we’re in the zone, accidents happen. EVERY tool maker wants to keep their customers safe. Otherwise, ignoring the lawsuits, that customer may not be able to buy more product if they’ve become permanently injured.
I’m very iffy on this, and that’s why I’ve been so active in this thread. I just don’t know what to think, and I think the worst is going to happen. Or, rather, the least civil thing is going to happen. That the big companies are going to not fight this, so they can use the regulation as a reason to bring an anti-trust lawsuit or twenty against SawStop under the Festool banner. In doing so, bankrupt this Gass guy, forcing him to sell his licensing for pennies on the dollar, and bring the safety regulation as a reason for their treatment of him. So, we’ll have cheap increases in cost for table saws, instead of a full double price problem, but it will be in every news outlet on the planet that North America ripped a single person (no matter how much of an idiot he was being) to shreds, just to save money on a safety mechanism.
I don’t own a table saw of my own yet, and this legislation may well dictate if I ever buy one at all. I’m not going to lie, that thought actually scares me. Especially since I’m Canadian and don’t GET to have a voice in this debate.
The slide toggle switches ubiquitous on angle grinders are a “safety feature”. I’ve had experiences were these switches have gotten stuck in the on position while using a wood carving blade. A regular switch that just slid back and forth for on/off would not likely have gotten jammed on.
Having to unplug a tool to shut it off because the switch jams is inherently dangerous.
In the above case the safety feature wound up being a safety detriment.
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Active injury avoidance technology for table saw is still expensive. It’s expensive to implement. It’s also expensive to operate in the case of false positive. To suggest that the mandate will bring down the cost is putting the cart in front of the horse. It set dangerous precedent. The cynic in me say that this is where we are going as a country anyway and this is how we will fail as a country. Because current active safety technology are still expensive to implement and operate the mandate will take away the ability for an individual/company to spend their safety budget money that best suit their need.
To draw a parallel, seatbelt and airbag only cost a fraction of the car. They also only cost a fraction to replace. The chance of a false positive is very low. So this is a case where it make sense to mandate. People who care about safety will seek out technology they can trust to help them. I was one of the few people that opt to have an aftermarket backup camera installed in my SUV long before they were common on the road. Yet one of my uncle got into a backup accident soon after he got his first car with backup camera and backup sensor because he failed to check his side mirror. So technology can be a double-edged sword.
In the million cost of the emergency room. What were the percentage of people that use older equipment that doesn’t have the basic safety system such and blade guard or riving knife? That number need to be removed from the equation because the mandate wouldn’t have helped those people if it were already in place. I suspect that this is a big number.
From the rest of the claim, what are the percentage that intentionally removed the safety guard that is already in today table saw? This mandate won’t help them either. Because the technology is not perfect so they will need a disable switch for legitimate reason. Furthermore the cost for a false positive is high. So all the more reason that they get turned off.
By now we are left with a much smaller number of fairly legitimate case. In those case I am sure there will be a good number that can be saved by regular safety reminder. All in all, It will probably help a few risk taking individual as well (assuming they haven’t turn off the active safety already). I am sure this mandate will help a few people with heart wrenching story. However heart wrenching story are not a reason to pass a mandate. We must look at the cost to society as this mandate is passed vs the cost of society if it doesn’t. Looking at those number, I don’t see them adding up.
I predict that active injury avoidance technology will become a lot more common in the future once the technology is more mature and it will. Once the technology has been matured a lot more shop and individual will seek out for them regardless of where a mandate exist. Those people that will actively seek out the technology must be removed from the “cost saving calculation” because they will buy a safer saw regardless of whether there is a mandate or not. In all those people with the heart wrenching story of how the current active safety system saved their finger. Those people didn’t need a mandate to seek out a safer saw!
With that said, I do think that the power tool company want this to pass. I also think that regardless of whether the regulation is passed or not the market is moving in that direction anyway. So I strongly feel that the fact that CPSC even contemplating passing this mandate in this current state of technology is a waste of time. Perhaps 5 year from now once the technology is more mature I might think otherwise. Again I am happy to be proven wrong but before the mandate is passed further research must be done by further breaking down the category and type of accidents.
I accidentally post it in the older post…
All good reasons why I’m iffy about this. And, to be honest, if this WAS 4 or 5 years from now, and all that research was available directly, then I would be LESS Iffy.
I don’t necessarily KNOW how absolutely NEEDED this technology is. In GENERAL, Safety is always a good thing, because of another old gem. “Make it Idiot Proof, and someone will make a better Idiot.” So in that sense, and that sense ONLY, I’m for this safety measure.
A mandate? The suspiciously benign behaviour of the other non-SawStop/Festool companies in this proceeding? Trusting this SawStop tech to be THE standard? Iffy. Lots, and LOTS of IFFY.
You see, I can see merit in what the Tech is MEANT for, as in, who the target market is. It’s an Oops factor that goes above and beyond blade guards, emergency stop buttons, and wearing chain mail gloves. I UNDERSTAND that part. It’s for those times when, even the BEST of us, has a bad day. It’s for taking one more factor out of possible lawsuits to the blade and tool manufacturers legal teams’ time when something goes wrong. And it’s for keeping digits on the craftsmen that buy the tools the companies make, so they keep buying more tools. Because training kids to put down the phone isn’t always the answer. Sometimes, they’re working with these tools to customize their own accessories for that phone, or their… let’s just generalize the term “Tool Mentor” as a catch-all for everyone who has ever taught, or apprenticed someone to use Tools… Tool Mentor is giving them an assignment that they want to document the how-to step-by-step on using that phone.
A Mandate, especially in the USA of all places… I don’t know… I genuinely don’t know. I don’t know if it’s needed, I don’t know if we’re ready as a PLANET for this, and I don’t know if SawStop and Festool are going to do the right thing with this. I am ESPECIALLY terrified of the possibility that this takes any future purchases of a Table Saw out of my price range, because I genuinely can’t afford the current one that I want as it is, let alone double it’s price should this pass.
Worst of all… Who is going to speak for the Non-US Citizens on this? We can’t comment or vote on this. But, every tool manufacturer is at stake here, and we Canadians get the same models as the US does. So, although it has a direct impact on me, and I can see both how the tech works, and why it would be beneficial, as well as the target use of it, and I can trust all that… The rest of this whole thing terrifies me. For ALL of the reasons firefly here has stated above.
In fact, I would like to THANK firefly for saying this, because a lot of this was difficult for me to express on my last post, and he expressed it for me. I give a Canadian +1 to firefly for this. It’s the legal proceedings involved that scare me, not the tech itself. Give me stats and whatever else… I want to know EXACTLY why we need this to be a Mandate, instead of the patent being open enough to be experimented on and made cheaper. I want to know why THIS OPTION for skin sensing tech, which is so expensive, is the way we HAVE to go. And I want to know why the other Tool Companies are being so damned quiet about it. It’s like watching one of those scenes in a movie where there are a gang of thugs waiting in the shadows of an alley, and a beautiful woman decides to take a shortcut down that alley. Except here it’s Festool who are the victim in the movie, and these tool companies are all waiting in the shadows to pounce. It’s creepy as hell, and my nationality prevents me from speaking up on the issue anywhere but here on ToolGuyd, where you guys who CAN will see it.
This whole thing makes me want to puke.
From the website:
“Your voice on federal regulations” — really?
The problem boils down to the fact that only some people get notification of pending legislation and these people spread the news to their limited readers. But most of us are simply resigned to the fact that the manufacturers and government agencies will do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it.
The manufacturers want input on where we will spend money to purchase a product, but anything else we are told to pound sand. Simply look at any power tool manual today and the first 15 pages of a 20 page manual are all safety rules of what you cannot do with the tool.
You make some great points, so why not take the best of both worlds? Maybe require Saw-Stop tech in saws used in industrial and educational settings, this could cut insurance costs and what not but leave the residential and professional guys alone, independents can’t necessarily go and buy a 1500 dollar saw. With that being said maybe educational institutions can’t either but to push it on the day to day consumer is just not right.