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Category: Machinery
Volume: 21
Issue: 5
Article No.: 2983

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The SawStop™ safety brake system detects accidental contact between an operator and the blade of a table saw and stops the blade within 2-5 milliseconds. It can make the difference between needing a Band-Aid or a hand surgeon.

The system works with a conventional blade. It recognizes the difference in the electrical properties of the material being cut and the machine operator. The system induces a high-frequency electrical signal on the blade of a table saw and monitors this signal for changes caused by contact between the blade and an operator's body. When a user contacts the moving blade, the electrical signal on the blade changes and the system immediately forces a brake into the teeth of the blade. The brake absorbs the rotational energy of the blade, bringing it to a complete stop.

Unlike blade guards that are often removed or misused, the stop is an active system that continuously monitors for accidental contact with the saw's blade, regardless of user training, fatigue, or misuse. It is always on and non-removable.

SawStop, LLC is a technology company formed to develop and license improved active safety systems for all types of machinery. Founded by Stephen Gass, the inventor, their goal is to see the safety system incorporated, first on every table saw sold, and ultimately on all types of machinery. There are currently more than a dozen patent applications pending on the SawStop system. These patent rights, and the engineering technology behind the system, are available for licensing on a non-exclusive basis to any tool manufacturer, either for sale as original equipment or as a retrofit for existing equipment.

For more information, contact SawStop, LLC, 22409 S.W. Newland Road, Wilsonville, OR 97070, 503-638-6201, Fax: 503-638-8601, Web:

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