SawStop Demonstrations Don't Impress Me

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 02-25-2016 02:01 PM 5387 reads 0 times favorited 83 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have seen the SawStop demonstration with the hot dog a dozen times.

But I always felt that it was done under premium conditions to ensure that it worked properly with optimal results.

At several of the demonstrations I had questioned the demonstrators and requested that they place the hot dog in a glove so we could see the results.

My request was always denied and I was always told, “You shouldn’t wear gloves at the table saw.”

Well, I live in the real world where other contractors are on my equipment, we work in extremely harsh conditions, and I can’t keep control of everyone every time they use the table saw.

So, even though it is unsafe, contractors wear their gloves at the table saw all the time. That is just reality.

My local cabinet hardware supplier, A&H Turf, recently became an authorized SawStop dealer and so I made the request to them and they took me up on it.

This video shows how far a SawStop will drag the glove into the machine before it kicks off.

I hope you enjoy my version of the SawStop test.

Your friend in the shop,

Todd A. Clippinger

Let your work be your signature.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

83 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3807 days

#1 posted 02-25-2016 02:19 PM

Nice job.

View TechTeacher04's profile


472 posts in 2740 days

#2 posted 02-25-2016 02:34 PM

I fail to see how wearing a glove caused any further damage than a non-gloved hand. I have been a shop teacher for 12 years, I have used old Delta unisaws, delta contractor saws, new delta unisaws, grizzly hybrids and 2 different sawstops and assorted job saws; skil, black and decker, dewalt and porter-cable. All of the saws mentioned above can cause injuries if an operator is careless. Even the sawstop can cause injury, the severity of the injury is the main difference. If I could afford a sawstop for my home shop I would own one, while I agree they are quite expensive, the added safety can not be quantified by a dollar amount I love having 10 fingers and you should too.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5308 days

#3 posted 02-25-2016 02:44 PM

TechTeacher04 – I had a good good friend that lost 3 fingers from wearing gloves at the table saw because the blade grabbed the glove and dragged his hand in.

The point of the video was to see how far the blade would drag the glove and hand into the machine before it kicked off.

It was merely a question that I had about how well the saw would function if someone was wearing gloves at the table saw. This demonstration was an attempt to answer that question.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Mikesawdust's profile


330 posts in 4248 days

#4 posted 02-25-2016 02:53 PM

Sorry, I agree with TechTeacher. You can cause any safety feature to fail, I guarantee if you had your tie get caught in the blade it would not help that you had a sawstop. When I first started I actually had a hoody on with the strings dangling and luckily the shop supervisor caught it before my face went slamming into the blade. On the other hand, By all means if you plan to use the saw in other than recommended ways, the sawstop is not worth the money. Many times in my professional life I’ve been forced to make a judgment call on exactly how far I could go beyond recommended procedures without risking my life or my teammates; at times the mission required us to cross that line and luckily we crossed back with no problems. As long as you understand the risks you take and the corners you cut in one area of safety to accommodate the hazards that you find more direct and dangerous, no one can second guess your decisions. I really doubt I would miss my fingers any less, if I lost them to frost bite rather than a saw.

-- You never cut a piece to short, you are just prepping that piece for a future project

View Greg the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg the Cajun Wood Artist

531 posts in 2151 days

#5 posted 02-25-2016 02:53 PM

I watched the video and somehow missed the part where you said it dragged the glove into the machine..???

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself" Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 2108 days

#6 posted 02-25-2016 02:56 PM

I don’t think the results would be any different, but I would have liked to see a stiffer finger. Looks like the blade pushed the glove back until it cut through (very slowly) Maybe a corn dog stick down the middle would make it more finger like. I would also like to see it in action without cutting a piece of wood. Glove right into the blade, as if you were trying to pick up a pc of wood and hit the blade by accident.

Thanks for sharing Todd

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5308 days

#7 posted 02-25-2016 03:00 PM

jay – We never even considered that the hotdog would flex back like that and did not even realize that it did until I watched the footage in slo-mo.

An actual hand would not have done that. But ultimately I don’t think it really affected the test.

As soon as one tooth of the blade actually did penetrate, at that point the brake was triggered since it came into contact with the hotdog.

I have no doubt at that point, if it had not triggered the blade, it would have dragged the glove into the machine.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View bigJohninvegas's profile


1078 posts in 2671 days

#8 posted 02-25-2016 03:51 PM

That was pretty cool to see. I have seen the hot dog demo, and I have been in the shop when a real finger got into a saw stop. That day the guy got a good paper cut. I have been told about an accident where the guy went finger nail first into the blade and got a worse cut. Still was less damage than what would have been without the saw stop.
Nothing takes the place of working safe. And anything can fail. But I too would have the saw stop in my shop if I could afford it. Will have one when the day comes to upgrade from the contractor saw I use now.

-- John

View pintodeluxe's profile


6473 posts in 4022 days

#9 posted 02-25-2016 04:32 PM

Cool video with a twist I didn’t see coming.

Really the only complaint I have about your videos is they make me run out and buy something. The last one I watched made me buy the Akeda dovetail jig, and now I have to get a Sawstop.

Good videos and great advise. Thanks Todd!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5308 days

#10 posted 02-25-2016 04:35 PM

pintodeluxe Oh man…so sorry! Hey those Akeda jigs are great!

I’ll try to keep the videos wallet friendly;)

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3807 days

#11 posted 02-25-2016 04:51 PM

To me, the moral of the video…it did not cause catastrophic damage. Kudos to the tester for even trying it. If it would have not worked “properly” I am sure it would be a little alarming. Seems like you walk away with all 10 fingers in this situation. That is the important part. Could you be bleeding? Maybe, probably…but that isn’t the doomsday scenario.

View BigMig's profile


650 posts in 3822 days

#12 posted 02-25-2016 05:06 PM

Thanks for conceiving of – and following through – with an interesting experiment. Kudos to Todd and to your supplier.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5261 days

#13 posted 02-25-2016 05:55 PM


I’m impressed too… BUT…

Was that at real production SPEED? Seems like it was a tad slow to me…

How about double that speed? Real life?

Let him let YOU run it through the saw at your Production speed… LOL

Also, (tongue in cheek) it ruined the gloves! :) ...

Good test…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View MrRon's profile


6129 posts in 4452 days

#14 posted 02-25-2016 05:56 PM

I find it is hard to define safety. Accidents don’t happen during a prescribed set of events; they happen randomly. A setup that appears safe can turn into a disaster, while a setup that appears unsafe at the onset can be pulled off without incident. The difference here is; being aware of the dangers posed by the unsafe setup keeps you focused on the job at hand. Thinking a setup is safe tends to instill a false sense of security; that’s when the accident unexpectedly happens. The bottom line is; you should always be focused on the job and avoid all distractions. Even a radio playing can serve to distract you at the wrong time. Of course common sense is the number one requirement if we want to work safely around dangerous machines. Very small children may put a finger into a light socket and get a shock or touch a hot stove top; they learn from that experience never to do it again. I have seen adults do the same thing; that shows a lack of common sense. All that I am saying is; in response to this thread; if you are not focused or lack common sense, it doesn’t matter what saw you are using.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5308 days

#15 posted 02-25-2016 05:59 PM

MrRon, you make some great points and I agree with you.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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