Table saw

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Forum topic by GMman posted 03-17-2010 02:28 PM 1448 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3902 posts in 3723 days

03-17-2010 02:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

I just read an article on the Boston Globe’s website about a guy in Malden, Mass., who was awarded $1.5 million in damages in a suit against One World Technologies, Inc., makers of Ryobi tools.

According to the complaint filed in 2006, Carlos Osorio suffered serious finger injuries using a tablesaw while cutting some oak flooring. The suit alleged that One World was negligent because its saws lack “flesh-detection technology,” which the plaintiffs claim would have prevented Osorio’s injuries. The device, invented by Steve Gass and manufactured by SawStop, stops a sawblade in an instant when it makes contact with skin. The safety feature was pitched to major saw manufacturers by Gass, but according to SawStop, licensing negotiations broke down and no agreements were reached. In the end, Gass and his colleagues, David Fanning and David Fulmer, launched the SawStop line of tablesaws on their own.

According to the story, this case is one of more than 50 suits pending throughout the U.S. against tablesaw manufacturers for failure to include the flesh-detection technology in their products.

Now that riving knives finally are mainstream on American-made tablesaws, could SawStop’s technology be far behind?

11 replies so far

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3421 days

#1 posted 03-17-2010 03:03 PM

I feel bad that this happened.
First I feel bad for Mr. Osorio that he was injured. I shall remain silent on the causes of his injury.
Second I feel bad because this is likely to have a deleterious effect on woodworkers.
I’m fairly certain they will not come into my personal workshop and force me to buy “safe” tools. But If I should decide to upgrade to an even better tablesaw, would I be REQUIRED to buy a Saw Stop unit?
What about bandsaws? Is there a Saw Stop technology for them? Miter saws? Hand saws?
I shudder to consider the effects.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3200 days

#2 posted 03-17-2010 04:44 PM

May want to take note of this thread:

-- -- Neil

View jerryz's profile


164 posts in 3305 days

#3 posted 03-17-2010 06:05 PM


It feels like an April’s fool story, yet another example of what our society is becoming.
Personal responsability for the most part is gone out the window, this will only increase the overall cost of tools for everybody as you all know who ends up paying for this…”US” everybody.
And reading upon the SawStop story it turns out that Mr. Gass wanted 8% of the gross sales of every table saw that included his patented product.
Also it turns out, Mr. Gass is a Lawyer himself and attempted to pursue legislation to make his patented technology mandatory through the Consumer Protection Safety Commission to coerce every manufacturer to adopt his product.
It makes me puke….

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3329 days

#4 posted 03-17-2010 07:06 PM

And for you tough guys tempted to answer “I would” would you also let your sons, daughters, grandkids and wives take that risk?

I would. My kids and grandkids ride motorcycles and some of them use a table saw. They don’t need to go through life with their hands held, they know what personal responsibility is.

This law suit is just another one of many with the driving factor of making Lawyers money. Let’s hope that Ryobi (and other manufactures) wins this on appeal. I don’t need a Sawstop and neither do my kids.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View rpete's profile


28 posts in 3041 days

#5 posted 03-17-2010 07:45 PM

I don’t think vehicles with airbags, safety glass, etc. is really an appropriate comparison here. When you use a vehicle, your personal responsibility only protects you from some of the risks involved. Other drivers on the roadway present risks that are not avoidable. When you use a table saw, or any other piece of equipment in your own shop, usually you don’t have the risk of someone else interfering and causing you injury. Even if there are other people in the shop with you, it’s up to you to operate the saw safely and make sure those around you are aware of what you’re doing.
With that said, I have to say I would definitely consider buying a saw with Saw Stop-like technology on it (if the price wasn’t so stinkin’ high). I do understand that my safety is my responsibility. It’s because of that responsibility that I choose to buy tools, cars, or whatever, with technology that is designed to protect me from the stupid mistakes I, or other people, make.

View jerryz's profile


164 posts in 3305 days

#6 posted 03-18-2010 02:33 AM

Actually I read about the 8% royalty Mr. Gass was expecting to obtain in 2 different articles.
If you do some math it boils down to the fact that a $400 dollars table saw by adding the cost of the System and the royalty to Mr Gass that same table saw would climb to cost between $594-$648 dollars.
Now let’s compare the situation to the car industry.
When Airbags came along the top of the line models came with the Driver side airbag only after a while when the technology came somewhat in price most cars came with the airbag for the driver only and optionally you could add the passenger or get a higher priced model and you get airbags in the seats and the doors etc.
The operative word here is: “Optional” and even if your car has no Airbag you can still get insurance on it and drive it.
Mr Gass Attempted to force all the table saw manufacturers to install his patented technology. Not by negotiating with them but by trying to have legislation passed.
Did the airbag manufacturers attempt this? think not….

Also as a parting thought, as an engineer I deal with Mr. Murphy quirks every day. There is no mechanical device built by us mortals that is 100% safe.
There’s already news that the SawStop device can trigger by error, moisture in the wood can trigger it also.
The fact that you attempt to make a dangerous tool “fool proof” in the end will entice that fools operate them. Safety is something that you must learn, There is simply no escape the fact that in the end we must be responsable for our actions.

View Glen Simpson's profile

Glen Simpson

25 posts in 3612 days

#7 posted 03-18-2010 02:54 AM

I pay attention to the tool I am working with, and where my hands are. I run through the operation before I do it, and don’t turn the machine on unless I feel comfortable with the whole process. Nothing can be foolproof, only fool resistant.

While I also feel sorry for this person, was he doing everything he could to make it safe? Was it a low end saw? Were the guards in place, working correctly and using a push stick? One could go down a long list of what was done and what wasn’t, but you are responsible for yourself unless the equipment malfunctioned drastically.

Just my opinion.

-- Glen Making sawdust in Alamo, CA

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3515 days

#8 posted 03-18-2010 03:15 AM

Let’s look at your figures another way Jerryz:

$400 tablesaw. New technology making it much safer and paying the royalty would make said table saw $594 to $648.

So, given the above figures, the worst case scenario would be a $248 increase in said tablesaw.

How much is 1 finger worth?
How much lost work time when an employee severely lacerates a hand, loses a finger?
How much Workman’s Compensation? How much do the rates increase?
What about the hospital bills? Follow up care? Physical therapy?
What about lost production time?
What about (in the USA) health care insurance rates?

There is a lot more to it than just a price increase in the tablesaw.

I do not agree with the lawsuit, but I think it foolhardy to have safer technology thrown out the window because people don’t like change, ‘we’ve never done it that way before’, ‘we’ve gotten along just fine without it even though some of us are missing digits’ and other archaic thoughts.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View jerryz's profile


164 posts in 3305 days

#9 posted 03-18-2010 05:27 AM

Oh!!! don’t get me wrong, I am not against new technology that makes a product safer to use.
But I want to be able to choose weather I want it or not, it is my responsability.
I have seen blade guards for table saws that make it pretty difficult to reach with your hand and touch the blade. They also double as a better dust control.

Also the figures we are considering are not for a professional saw, rather an entry level one, have you seen how much the SawStop cabinet saw costs???
What I object is the way the inventor went about it.
He needs to make money I am not against that either after all he had the idea, but there is limits to what I will accept.
And what I object the most is the utter stupidity that seems to permeate our society.

Someone pretty soon will sue a kitchen knife manufacturer and get a $1M judgement because he/she cut their finger chopping some celery for the salad.

Makes me puke…..

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3515 days

#10 posted 03-18-2010 06:11 AM

Jerryz, I positively agree with you that our choice is being taken away, slowly. Soon we won’t have any. We will be told what we can buy and how much it will cost and how we can use it.

Our choices are being taken away, and along with it the ability of the individual to accept responsiblity for their own actions, in-actions, words, etc.

Move over at the vomitorium… have company. :)

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View Misesfan's profile


11 posts in 3023 days

#11 posted 03-18-2010 06:21 AM

If I may get on my soapbox just a little… Whenever you ‘mandate’ or ‘regulate’ industry in such a way, the unseen effects always cause more damage than what the cure is supposed to fix. For example, someone mentioned airbags, a requirement mandated by the Federal government for the sake of safety. And yet, the unseen effect was that these airbags caused massive injuries to children and those elderly folks who were not strong enough to handle a bag being released with such force into their bodies. So, when these airbags are deployed during minor collisions, the damage caused by this fix is much greater than if airbags were not deployed in the first place.

Let the buyer beware, tools can cause damage. Let the buyer absorb any additional safety features he deems are necessary. Mandating a safety feature is sure to cause unseen effects ripple throughout an industry and cause more harm than good.

Okay rant off -back to regular programming. :)

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