Statistics tell use that tens of thousands of table saw accidents occur every year in the U.S. While these facts weren’t enough for California to pass a law requiring all newly manufactured table saws to include special (but costly) safety equipment, it still should be enough to give any aspiring woodworker or DIYer pause, especially when in the market for a new table saw.

Currently there is one stand-out table saw safety product on the market called Saw Stop. This device brings the saw to a sudden halt when the blade comes into contact with human flesh. (Watch the video of a guy who actually tests the technology out on his own hand. Crazy.) Is it worth the money? One user asks Tommy for his opinion.

The Problem

Amos from Maine: I want to get a table saw but my significant other is pushing me to get one with Saw Stop. The problem is, that costs more money than I’m willing to spend. Are there other technologies like Saw Stop that do the same thing that are cheaper? Aren’t most of the amputations that happen on table saws preventable just through safer practices and more attentiveness? I’m basically trying to find out if I REALLY need to spend the money on this safety device.

The Answer

Tommy: They call them accidents for a reason.

I always thought that good working habits would always save me from cutting myself. But about 5 years ago I was cutting a small piece of wood and basically lost my attention. I ran my thumb across the table saw blade. I had a cut down the length of it. Basically I filleted my finger. I needed twenty stitches.

I cut myself on a Sunday and got a Saw Stop on a Monday. And to me, knowing I won’t have to go through that pain and suffering and damage to my hand is worth a million times what the Saw Stop costs.

Now I know that it’s basically the only technology available right now, but I also know other companies are coming out with them. I’m not familiar with them at this time. I also know they’re working on similar safety devices for other tools in the shop. And when they do, I’ll get those, too.

So, take that as you will. I’m not here to endorse a product, but now you know my story and you know what I think.