A study in the Journal of Hand Surgery revealed that woodworkingequipment produces over 700,000 significant injuries a year. The studyalso revealed that 42% of the injuries occurred with a table saw.Additionally, the survey found that approximately 40% of the injuriesoccurred to professional woodworkers, those who work with these types of tools on a daily basis.However, this study shows just how easily an injury can occur, even forthose professionals who are well aware of the safety rules and features of the tools they use every day.SawStop safety system was developed that detects when the blade of thetable saw is touched; a blade brake is employed to stop the saw bladewithin milliseconds. This safety technology was introduced in table sawsproduced by a company called SawStop, initially in a cabinet saw, andlater in a comparable contractor saw.
Working of SawStop
The saw blade is given an electronic signal that sensors monitorconstantly. If the signal on the blade drops below a certain range, aspring-loaded aluminum block is released into the blade which stops theblade in approximately 1/200th of a second. Tests have shown that whenthe blade brake is employed (after contact is made with one of the bladeteeth), the blade comes to a complete stop in the time it takes for two orthree more teeth to make contact with the skin. This means that whatcould have resulted in an amputation or other devastating injury to theoperator being little more than a nick on the skin.However, SawStop's technology doesn't stop there. As the blade comes tosuch a violently quick stop, the force of the inertia of the blade actuallycauses the blade to drop beneath the table top, while the motor issimultaneously shut off.SawStop has developed a dramatic demonstration that shows this entireelectronic detection system using a hot dog (instead of a human finger). They have a video of the "Hot Dog Demo" on the SawStop web site that