SawStop finger demo

By now everyone has heard about the SawStop blade breaking system and seen the demo that they do with the hot dog. And everyone pretty much understands that this is a revolutionary breakthrough in table saw safety. The debate over whether or not this technology should be mandated (think seat belts and air bags) is far from over.

But there is a new video on You Tubein which a gentleman demonstrates the SawStop brake, not with a hot dog but with his own finger. When I saw this I cringed. The guy actually stuck his finger into a running saw blade. Am I the only one who is shocked by this? I hope not.

Confidence in your product is one thing but this is just plain foolish. It’s just asking for it. After all, this is an electro mechanical device and, sooner or later, somewhere, somehow, it’s going to fail to work properly. It would be tragic if that time just happened to be the time some guy who had seen this video was showing his friend how amazing his new super safe table saw was. Or to some guy who has been lifted to new levels of overconfidence by virtue of having seen this demonstration.

Personally, I would love to own a SawStop machine. And there is not much I wouldn’t give to have been working on one a few years back when it probably would have saved me from a serious injury. But I am amazed that they would publicly demonstrate this technology in such a manner. At least it should have a “don’t try this at home” caveat emblazoned across the screen in huge red letters.



  • Around here they have a ‘saying’ it goes “Hey ya’ll, watch THIS!” and is reported to often be the fellows last words.

    That sounds just flat out stupid to me.


  • triggio says:

    The “gentleman” is Stephen Gass, president of SawStop. It may make you cringe, but it’s an amazing demonstration. Please, please, please … don’t anyone try this at home!

    Tod Riggio
    Woodshop News

  • David DeCristoforo says:

    I knew it was Stephen but I did not want to use his name. You are correct. It makes me cringe!

  • Alan Young says:

    Yeah “We get it already!” is my thought-Why waste another blade and $80 plus cartridge?


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