SawStop incident

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Forum topic by ShipWreck posted 02-15-2012 11:25 AM 1463 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3746 days

02-15-2012 11:25 AM

A friend here in Virginia Beach had a accident using a SS contractor model at home. He was trying to take a 1” rip off of a 3’ x2 1/2” x1’’ piece of pine. He was feeding the stock using a push stick and began to feel a slight bind. He pushed a little harder to get the stock past the blade when the push stick slipped. The result was stitches to his index finger, knuckle, and minor tendon damage to the index knuckle. He said the brake engaged immediately, but that his hand was probably moving pretty fast when the push stick slipped. He said that he was instantlty dazed from the incident and could only sort out the accident through recollection afterwards.

I have known the guy for a couple of years, and I know he was being straight with me about all my questions. He told me it was “operator error” and that he should have stopped the saw when he felt the binding. He also told me that he never “eye balled” the stock to make sure it wasnt crooked/bent to begin with. He is a self depreciating guy with a good sense of humor. He said that he would use a “hot dog” for push stick next time. The doctors told him that he will need some rehab on the hand, but should be ok in the long run. I asked him if I could share his experience with the folks on here (LumberJocks). He was all for it.

I have been wanting a SawStop cabinet model for a couple of years but other expenses keeping getting in the way. I will eventually get my hands on one. Until then, I will keep chugging away with my trusty little Ridgid. I believe that the brake is a great innovation that will save alot of users from serious injuries, but it cannot prevent that momentary lapse of judgement.

Be careful folks and take you’re time.

6 replies so far

View rpalm's profile


57 posts in 3373 days

#1 posted 02-15-2012 11:57 AM

In every SS demo I’ve seen the hot dog was pushed slowly into the blade. I always wondered what the damage would be when the movement into the blade was at a more realistic speed.

-- Robert, I don't understand everything I know about this.

View RodNGun's profile


118 posts in 2296 days

#2 posted 02-15-2012 12:04 PM

Thank you for posting this.

View helluvawreck's profile


31019 posts in 2860 days

#3 posted 02-15-2012 12:23 PM

I appreciate the info. Being overly cautious is a good policy because accidents can happen to anyone.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3129 days

#4 posted 02-15-2012 01:10 PM

Thanks for the post. Bummer for your friend.

If it would make him feel better, tell him that my last round of stitches (actually, my only round of stitches) was from a utility knife.

I’m a big fan of Grripers for ripping stock that narrow. Expensive buggers but they work well in so many situations. Even when ripping wide stock I use push blocks. The Bench Dog push blocks work well and don’t cost so much.

I have a SawStop. I switch to the blade guard whenever I can. I almost always use push blocks when ripping. I figure that no one thing is going to provide perfect protection.

-- Greg D.

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2686 days

#5 posted 02-15-2012 02:24 PM

Wow.. all in all, it sounds like the damage is pretty minor.. I wonder what his hand would have become if he didn’t have a SS..

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3067 days

#6 posted 02-15-2012 02:28 PM

Thanks for the post. This is good to know.

Despite the injury your friend suffered it sounds like it could have been a lot worse without the SawStop break kicking in.

Was that an intentional pun in the last paragraph when you said “I will eventually get my hands on one.”? I chuckled.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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