SawStop injury

JimD

Jim
Senior User
Yes. I like it but the combination of the brake and the mainly aluminum construction make me a little nervous. As I understand it, if the aluminum contacts the blade and I am touching the saw the cartridge will fire. Shouldn't happen but the clearance on the left is less than 1/4. On the right it has more unless you have in a dado blade. The inserts are fiberboard with melamine on both sides. They aren't very strong. I make my own of plywood or solid wood but had in an old stock one for this. I should have worried more about my hand contacting the blade and less about the throat plate.

I raise normal blades through this without holding it down but I thought the dado might be different. The key mistake was using my hand instead of clamps.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
Cathy, thanks. I did drive my automatic pickup instead of my manual car. I had trouble only with patience with traffic.
 

mgreene93

Mark
Corporate Member
Jim, I use a cauliflower insert in my Sawstop. It slides over a couple screws in the back but has only friction in the front. The inserts are 1/4 MDF, most of it is aluminum. It probably didn't need held down but I didn't want it to rise and have the aluminum touch the dado blades. I'd never used a dado stack on this saw so the insert had no hole for the blades. So I held it down with a block of wood. If I had clamped the block instead of holding it the plan would have been fine.
Could you have moved the fence over a little to hold it down?
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I think that would work but I was a little unsure exactly where the dado blade would come out and I was trying to protect the silly little melamine insert. I have a clamp on piece I use for my tenon jig and I could cut into that. There were a lot of better ways to do this than the one I picked.

For now, I will do dados with a router :).
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I had scrap 2x4s in my adjacent car garage. I wish I'd just spent a couple more minutes, got one, and clamped it over the throat plate. I also had other scrap I could have used. The 2x3 piece I used was too short to clamp but I only used it because it was already sitting on the saw. Not a very good reason.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I had my 2 week check today and my finger is healing well. My splint is off, my stitches are out and I am supposed to use it normally. Just a couple band aids to keep it clean. It is stiff and I need to work on that or I could need physical therapy. But overall I feel fortunate and I think the SS brake definitely helped.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
Sorry to hear about your accident Jim; maybe we could form a special club with a 12 or 13 step program to help overcome the embarrassment and stupidity of the chosen few of table saw accident victims such as myself. Good info for SS owners to use every precaution that should be used with any cutting blade. Heal fast and well!
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
Thanks Bruce. I am able to make a fist now but it is still a little painful. But less than yesterday. I am not under any restrictions, doctor or otherwise. But having a wife restrict me wasn't all bad. She is in heaven now and my dog doesn't give me many orders.
 

robliles

Rob
Corporate Member
First of all, if I were in the market for a new table saw, it would definitely be a Saw Stop. The one concern I have had about them is in all the demo's I've seen, including several in person, the hot dog/chicken leg/etc. is moved very slowly into the blade to get the cartridge to trip. In actual use, it would be seldom that my hand would be moving that slowly. The blade will travel a few inches around in the time it takes to fire and drop and you could still have a serious injury/cut/amputation. Again, don't get me wrong. I seriously admire the technology of the Saw Stop and would definitely have one if I were in the market. I just have the opinion that it is not a totally fool proof system.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I question the accuracy of this statement by SawStop: "To this day the company says SawStop has never been involved in a serious table saw accident and has documented more than 5,000 "finger saves." He estimates his saws are "99 percent" effective at preventing injuries. Aug 10, 2017 "

I saw a post some time ago about a SawStop injury that I would consider serious and I think my injury was serious. A broken finger, six stitches, and loss of a nail is not a simple first aid case. I guess it comes down to what they consider serious. My incident is considered a finger save by SawStop.

But I also think I would have lost some of my finger if I had done the same stupid thing on another table saw that lacked the technology. I do not know what it will cost me yet in medical costs but I think there is a good chance the difference would pay for my saw.

I have never liked SawStop's marketing. But it's a good saw and the technology reduces the severity of injuries. But my hand is proof that you cannot count on needing only a band aid if you get stupid with a SawStop.
 

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