Can You Put A Price On Your Fingers? Medical Professionals Can

Preventing serious table saw accidents is the very reason SawStop came into existence and continues to battle to this day. Unfortunately, not enough people use SawStop saws; instead, they face the constant odds of a debilitating accident. And the No. 1 reason for most personal bankruptcies is excessive medical bills.

Make no mistake about it: A table saw is the most dangerous machine in a woodworking shop. Regardless of whether it’s a DIY, hobbyist, or professional shop or on a job site, more people get injured on a table saw than any other tool or machine. And these injuries range from a minor laceration to more serious deep cuts requiring extensive treatment (stitches, repaired bones, skin grafts), to partial or full amputation of one or more fingers. Amputated fingers can often be reattached, thanks to advances in the medical field, but more often than not with limited use of those fingers for the rest of that person’s life.

The above scenarios are intentionally jarring, prompting you to consider how much a single accident can substantially alter someone’s life in the blink of an eye. The reasons for most table saw accidents fall into two primary categories: Negligence and kickback. Accidents that occur due to negligence encompass everything from using improper cutting technique to reaching for a workpiece or cutoff near the spinning blade to falling into complacency when making repeated cuts to being in a hurry and shortcutting safe practices to not using the proper safety guards to shield the blade.

The other main type of accident is due to kickback, which happens when a workpiece binds or strays into the backside of the blade (where the teeth come up as the blade spins). When the workpiece contacts these upward-spinning teeth, the blade grabs the board and launches it into the space where the operator stands. Too often, that operator’s hand holding the board gets dragged into or across the blade, resulting in injury. And the operator can also get injured when the workpiece hits them, often resulting in deep bruises, puncture wounds, and broken bones. In almost every case of such an accident, it could have been prevented by using the saw’s blade-guard assembly with built-in splitter or a riving knife (if so equipped).

SawStop, with its revolutionary, patented skin-detecting safety system, prevents serious injuries in all these situations by stopping the blade upon contact with a finger or hand in less than five milliseconds. That’s 10 times faster than a car’s airbags deploy! In almost every case of a SawStop brake activation, the person gets nothing more than a minor scratch that calls for only a Band-Aid.

Admittedly, SawStop’s table saws sell for a premium price. But consider the costs of an accident should it occur on your non-SawStop table saw. As shown in the charts below, it doesn’t take much of an injury to result in greater medical bills than the cost of buying a SawStop saw that would have prevented the injury from happening.

With hundreds of thousands of table saws sold over the past 2+ decades, SawStop is continually striving to find ways to improve on our unparalleled safety tech, maintain or improve the quality and performance of our saws, and get more people buying and using SawStop table saws to keep them safe from life-altering injuries. Learn more about our safety system and our products at