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Finger-saving Table Saw
If the fate of hundreds of teenage fingers were in your hands... Wouldn't it be comforting to have a table saw that shuts off when it comes in contact with skin? Imagine the hot dog is your finger.
It moves faster than the eye can see.
Let's see that again. Put simply, the blade emits an electrical charge. If you touch the blade, your body naturally absorbs some of that charge, sending a signal to the saw to stop.
RICHARD ELDER, HIGH SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION TEACHER
The blade not only is - stops, it drops, totally out of the way. I was amazed when I saw that.
So here it goes.
And what he didn't see is how the blade stops cold. The inventor showed off their finger-saving technology at a recent woodworking show in Atlanta.
DAVID FANNING, INVENTOR
Now, you can see this, this is a brake cartridge, just like this. It's mounted into saw on a pin, just sits there, right next to the blade, very close to the blade, and it just sits there in the saw. It may sit there for five years, seven years without doing anything. It's kind of like an air bag. Sits there ready when you need it. After the impact, you can see how the blade has cut into the aluminum.
Now, with the regular table saw blade, it will take about five or 10 seconds for it to stop. I've already turned off the stop button; it's still going. With saw stop, if a finger gets in the way, that thing will stop in a matter of milliseconds.
I heard it come on and I tried to get away, but it got me. And it was real slow, and just snapped six of my fingers off.
Todd Culpepper knows firsthand the cut of a blade. He lost his fingers in a sawing accident a year and a half ago. They've since been reattached and rebuilt. As you can imagine, he endorses the finger-saving technology.
And I would have never lost my fingers if it were on that machine, sure, absolutely. I think - it's a must, if you ask me.
Every year, table saws cause about 30,000 injuries in the U.S. And while the Consumer Product Safety Commission commended saw stop for its innovative technology, saw manufacturers have not incorporated the feature into their saws. Some of the issues raised - who would be liable if something went wrong? Would wood workers get more careless, relying solely on the saw to stop? And will people pay more for the added safety?
If I had the money, I would, sure. And I think - I think a lot of people would, you know, if they could afford it.
We'll soon find out. Saw stop is now manufacturing commercial and consumer-size table saws, due out next spring. Compared to similar saws, the finger-saving technology will add about $150 to the price, which, give or take, is about 15 percent more for your typical saw.
Can Technology help create a new level of safety in a power tool? A physicist turned inventor says it can. Ann Kellan looks at the finger-saving potential of saw stop.