Sawstop incident report

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merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Blade brake triggered today. Injury was not prevented -- as I was never in any danger of injury.

I'm quite puzzled as to the cause. I had just made the 3rd cut using my crosscut sled. Cut was finished and I had pulled the sled back to the front of the blade. The sled was likely still partially surrounding the blade. Right hand was on the sled fence - at least 12" from the blade. Left hand was reaching down for the power switch. I've inspected and reinspected my sled, which I've used many times since buying the saw, and I can find no metal within 1/2" of the cut line. Or anything else that would be of concern.

The only thing different from what I've been doing over the past few weeks is that I was cutting ipe. However, this was the third cut on that board, and the cut was already finished. The wood has been in my shop for 3 years...it is most certainly not wet.

I'll be sending the brake cartridge back to Sawstop to see if they can shed any light on the incident.

Fortunately, I had a $20 blade in the table at the time. 2 teeth show signs of contacting the brake...4 others buried inside the brake. I think I'll be sticking with el-cheapo blades until I get some clarity on this :(

Chris
 

kave

New User
Kettrell
Chris, just glad you weren't injured. You'll figure out what's up with the saw.

Kettrell
 

Rob

New User
Rob
My one issue with a sawstop, I realize it might save a finger, but now your without a saw until you #1 order the parts, or #2 they send replacements. Too many things to go wrong.
 

manfre

New User
Manfre
I'm glad to hear you didn't trip the brake and didn't trash an expensive blade. I've read a few other reviews by people who encountered a similar unknown activation.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
I'm glad to hear you didn't trip the brake and didn't trash an expensive blade. I've read a few other reviews by people who encountered a similar unknown activation.
I'm glad you didn't trash an expensive finger! While the Saw Stop is a great idea, eventually the electronics WILL FAIL, and someone is going to lose a digit. It won't be pretty!
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
My one issue with a sawstop, I realize it might save a finger, but now your without a saw until you #1 order the parts, or #2 they send replacements. Too many things to go wrong.

Actually, I'm already back up and running. Picked up a replacement brake cartridge on the way to dinner tonight. Had I been in a hurry, total downtime would have been ~45 minutes.

I'm a casual hobbiest, so no worries there. If this was a concern (i.e. it was my job), I'd just keep a spare handy. Easy and relatively cheap.
 

jhreed

New User
james
Bruce. they will not be injured if they are using correct safety operation techniques. To me, the SawStop is only of value to those that operate unsafely.
James
 

CrealBilly

New User
Jeff
Unfortunate your saw is trashed until you get replacement parts... But I'm glad you didn't trash a finger - they don't sell fingers at walmart...
 

petebucy4638

Pete
Corporate Member
How does the SawStop table saw discern between wood and a human hand or finger? Since it cuts wood, it can't be anything mechanical or an optical sensor. I always assumed that it had something to do with electrical potential in the human body.

Pete
 

lspooz

Larry
Corporate Member
I'm quite puzzled as to the cause. I had just made the 3rd cut using my crosscut sled. Cut was finished and I had pulled the sled back to the front of the blade. The sled was likely still partially surrounding the blade. Right hand was on the sled fence - at least 12" from the blade. Left hand was reaching down for the power switch. I've inspected and reinspected my sled, which I've used many times since buying the saw, and I can find no metal within 1/2" of the cut line. Or anything else that would be of concern.

Any loose metal may cause this - I had a cartridge fire when a large piece of ICE coating ~2x4inches flaked off of a new Freud blade - use a magnet and check in the top layer of sawdust for a staple, flake, etc...

hope that helps - BTW, Sawstop won't send a new cartridge unless it was a wet trigger like flesh, etc.
 

Splint Eastwood

New User
Matt
Makes you wonder if Sawstop is operating under the Microsoft strategy, put out product first, then debug. :eusa_thin

Product testing, using the Consumer?

Is there some sort of Sawstop Watchgroup that monitors these mishaps?

M
 

MarkE

Mark
Corporate Member
Better to have the brake activate when not needed then the other way around, I geuss.

Too bad it cost you a blade and a brake. It will be interesting to learn what caused the brake to trip.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Bruce. they will not be injured if they are using correct safety operation techniques. To me, the SawStop is only of value to those that operate unsafely.
James
TRUE, TRUE! But Saw Stop does give a false sense of security. It's like reading an accident report which says victims weren't wearing seat belts. Weren't they? Ever have a seat belt come loose after you snapped it shut? Most likely at least once. Anything that a man makes will fail. But for somethings the failure rate is almost nothing.
 

Dragon

New User
David
Really glad to hear it wasn't your finger that triggered it. Can hardly wait to see the lawyers battling over who gets the case when Sawstop "causes" an injury. Be it from negligence or mechanical failure, it'll be an interesting show. Hope nobody ever gets seriously injured by one of these.
 

gfernandez

Gonzalo
Corporate Member
Bruce. they will not be injured if they are using correct safety operation techniques. To me, the SawStop is only of value to those that operate unsafely.
James

I'm not buying this logic at all. That's why it's called an accident, and it can happen to the best of them. Just search through some of the past posts on here of folks who have had a run in with their tablesaw. People with years of experience, who use good technique, yet it still happens. And it can happen to anyone.
 

westisthebest

New User
Chad
I strongly disagree James. I think of my self as pretty safe, but I have cut up my hand on the table saw. I am sure there are a lot safer people out there that have done the same thing. It is an accident. It is like automobile insurance, which I am sure you have, because you never know when an ACCIDENT is going to happen. I would love to have a sawstop, I have been to the hospital to fix a hand, but they are just a little out of the budget.
 
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merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Ever have a seat belt come loose after you snapped it shut? Most likely at least once.

Actually, no, I haven't.

TRUE, TRUE! But Saw Stop does give a false sense of security

Perhaps it might give some people a false sense of security, but it does not for me. I would encourage you to not extrapolate that belief to how other people might operate. Some of us may take offense at your assertion.

I consider the blade brake mechanism a fail-safe. If all else fails, hopefully that will kick in and save me. As an engineer, I firmly believe that one day, one of these will fail to prevent an injury...and I don't want to be the one to confirm the belief.

In addition, I am well aware of other ways that I can get injured on/by a table saw. After dropping that much cash on the SawStop, I'd feel real dumb to get injured some other way. The saw upgrade was only one in a number of safety measures that I am now being more diligent about:

  1. I always use the riving knife at a minimum. The riving knife would have prevented both of the kickback incidents I have had in the past. I'm using the blade guard more than I used to.
  2. I built a good outfeed table - in the past I've either let things drop off the end or used a piece of plywood on a sawhorse that never quite lined up right.
  3. I threw away my push sticks and bought a Gripper.
Anything that a man makes will fail. But for somethings the failure rate is almost nothing.

The failure rate for human behavior is much higher than any good safety device. Some people are not willing to admit they are not perfect...they don't make mistakes. I do. In fact, I'm pretty sure I make them every day. I endeavor to learn from them. One of the things I've learned is that I'm going to continue making mistakes. And I should prepare for them.

Chris
 
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