The Saw Stop – an interesting new advance in safety technology – is a very impressive thing to see. Basically, the saw can sense the difference in electrical conductivity of the materials it is cutting. If the blade is only cutting wood, the saw just hums away. But, if the blade contacts your finger, it triggers a safety mechanism that stops the blade almost immediately and drops it below the table top. Instead of an amputation, you’ll only have a small scrape where the saw’s teeth touched your skin.
Regardless of how you feel about the saw or safety equipment on your machinery, seeing this in action on high-speed film is very impressive. The Discovery Channel show Time Warp trained its high-speed cameras on the saw and triggered the guard. The video shows the dramatic results of what forces are involved in stopping a common 10″ diameter table saw blade.
Of course, you must remember to never, never, NEVER try this at home! Saw Stop is – and should always be considered – a last line of defense against injury. There is no substitute for following sound safety practices when using a table saw.