SawStop Injury

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JimD

Jim
Senior User
I have not been cut by my table saw but I have been injured by power tools three times now. In two of the cases I was doing something I knew I shouldn't but thought I could get by with it. I didn't. First time was re-cutting a little piece of maple edging with a biscuit jointer. I was out of maple and cut the slots too shallow for the biscuits I wanted to use. I had cut them originally before cutting the piece to length so I could keep my hands away from the blade. But now I was cutting little pieces about the width of the jointer. I got by with it on several and then one piece caught and jerked my hand into the blade.

Next was more than a decade later when a reciprocating saw jumped off a piece of conduit awning frame I was taking down and got my hand. The only thing I did wrong that I can think of on this one is I was tired. I had put in about 10 hours at that point and should have just quit for the day. But I decided to do one more thing. I think if I had not been tired, I might have controlled the saw better or had my hand further from the saw.

The very next day, I was using the CMS but couldn't hold the wood with my left hand as normal because of stitches in it. So I tried crossing over, couldn't see my right hand relative to the blade and got my worst injury. I still have an index finger but it will never look right.

What I've learned from these experiences is that it is difficult to ALWAYS remember to avoid risky situations and have your hands correctly positioned. I dislike Steve Gass as much as anybody but I still may buy a SawStop just because I am not infallable. I have several thicknesses of push stick and use the table saw less now that I have a tracksaw. But I still use it. I could put a shark guard on it and it would be a little safer but guards are not always possible to use. If they do not go on and off quickly I will not use it. So I will probably spend the money to have protection I cannot easily decide not to use.

I understand the mindset that using technology to replace proper technique is not a great path. I don't think I would do that. My practices are pretty ingrained at this point (I've been making sawdust for over 40 years). I also have lots of other tools that can do damage. This hobby inherent has risk. That cannot be avoided. I've need stitches from hand tools too - but not for several decades.
 

richlife

New User
Rich
...

To me the lesson is that a SawStop is not a reason to adopt bad practices at the table saw. You still can get bit.

So very true! I once foolishly tried to use my saw to make a slight trim (plane) while holding a small piece. The Saw Stop would probably not have prevented the shredded fingertip that resulted. It all grew back after some pain, but I learned a lot of respect and some wisdom that day... To say nothing of withdrawing a huge share from my luck bank.
 
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