The SawStop Table Saw, if you are not aware it the flesh detecting saw that jams a metal block into the blade stopping it instantly and protecting the users finger, hand, foot or whatever they might have been trying to stick into the blade. Terribly unpopular with the mobster crowd but in professional shops this is quickly becoming the standard. Avoiding just one workers comp claim more than justifies the $1600+ price tag. Our friends at Tool-Rank have played detectives again and found the above patent on file from Dewalt. So what could this mean?
Well in addition to Sawstop simply making a cool product people will want to buy on their own, they wanted to take it a step further and get legislation passed requiring all table saws have technology that prevent injuries. So far the effort has not seen overwhelming success however if a larger company like Stanley should get involve that might change. Of course both of these companies would probably be willing to license their patents, for a fee, to all the other major brands.
The Dewalt design looks to be an ejector plate that is triggered the touching of the blade, this system however would not ruin the blade or require parts to be replaced on the saw, at least from the looks of the drawing. This does seem like an advantage however it is not really clear what might happen to your finger in this situation. We are probably some time away from seeing a design like this in production, if ever, but it is good to see more safety technology being worked on. It is our hope more safety features will be made available at lower costs and we will not need to see any laws which tell skilled tradesmen what tools to buy.