Bosch Going Up Against Sawstop

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Forum topic by todd4390 posted 03-16-2015 09:24 PM 8565 views 0 times favorited 236 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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136 posts in 2480 days

03-16-2015 09:24 PM

Maybe a little competition here. Too bad it’s not someone like Powermatic.

236 replies so far

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2740 posts in 3002 days

#1 posted 03-16-2015 09:28 PM

Too bad it s not someone like Powermatic.
- todd4390

??? What’s wrong with Bosch doing it?

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9161 posts in 3162 days

#2 posted 03-16-2015 09:37 PM

Too bad it s not someone like Powermatic.
- todd4390

??? What s wrong with Bosch doing it?

- OSU55

Bosch doesn’t make cabinet saws.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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8426 posts in 3211 days

#3 posted 03-16-2015 09:52 PM

Bosch is a member of the Power Tool Institute (PTI), which developed a safety design that is better and more efficient than SawStop years ago, and any member of PTI is free to implement it without royalty or other compensation. Unfortunately, the CPSC, PTI and Gass himself have stated that anyone who does will be taken to court over SawStops overly broad patents. It will be interesting to see how he reacts if they do indeed bring it to market.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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2936 posts in 3527 days

#4 posted 03-16-2015 10:02 PM

I don’t think SawStop stands a chance if they choose to do a lawsuit. The technology Bosch is talking about is exactly what the airbag industry uses, and is in no way similar to clamping a moving object to stop. That would be more like the automatic braking systems that are starting to pop up in cars when the car detects an oncoming crash.

In this case, instead of sending an inflatable bag into your face in a few milliseconds, they are retracting a blade with the same technology. The SawStop technology seems to be totally different, save that the two only cross with the grounding effect of a finger touching the blade. In this case, that is fairly general and I would hope that Bosch becomes the second of what will surely become a multitude of saw manufacturers in the future who will have this finger saving technology. Maybe it will even be cheaper if they start to sell a line of table saws.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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1540 posts in 2965 days

#5 posted 03-16-2015 10:05 PM

That’s really interesting! I love my SawStop cabinet saw, but it is good to see some other manufacturers entering the field. Competition results in innovation and reduced prices for consumers. The SawStop system that destroys the brake and the blade is less than optimal, but good enough for me when housed in an otherwise high quality cabinet saw.

I am curious to see how the Bosch system works. The SawStop system uses the energy inherent in the rotating blade to drive the blade below the table while the aluminum brake block halts the rotation. Bosch seems to be using air bag technology to generate the energy that drives the blade down. I am eager to see just how this works to provide a stable depth setting for the saw blade in normal use and an easily replaceable safety component. Could be better than the SawStop method. Or not.

As a retired science guy who spent far too many hours working with the patent attorneys trying to craft the optimal patent applications to carve out our little slice of intellectual property, I wonder what the situation is regarding table saw brakes. I have no clue just where this stands, but at some point the concept of using the capacitive measurement to trigger a brake might have been patentable. Does SawStop have any intellectual property position that could hinder others?

Note: The other replies were posted while I was (slowly) typing. All I can say is don’t underestimate the ability of an expensive legal team to muck up this whole issue. I have no knowledge of the history of the technology behind table saw brakes, but I know from experience that the legal fog can throw a multitude of monkey wrenches in the best laid plans, even when you KNOW you are right.

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1540 posts in 2965 days

#6 posted 03-16-2015 10:18 PM

Hi Tsunami:

I just noticed your link to your website. I’ll have a deeper look after dinner. My “other” hobby is guitar electronics. Amps, effects, etc. Mostly restoration of vintage stuff. It is as addicting as trying to achieve that perfect fitting dovetail!

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1319 posts in 2552 days

#7 posted 03-16-2015 10:21 PM

After reading the article, I can’t imagine a lawsuit even surfacing due to how different the two technology would be working with the only exception being the flesh / blood sensors. This really isn’t a brake system but more of a retraction system. You get to save the blade, flip the sensor and be back in business without spending a dime; at least until it happens again, then you’ll need a new sensor. Very intriguing. Competition at its finest.

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3955 posts in 2768 days

#8 posted 03-16-2015 10:27 PM

Given the size of Bosch, and the technology they’re using, I can’t see any way that SawStop could prevail in a lawsuit.

Even if it seemed close to we outsiders, I think a judge would look at it as a public safety issue and see SawStop as trying to deny a safety feature to the public. As I understand it, the law frowns on monopolies.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

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10863 posts in 2498 days

#9 posted 03-16-2015 10:59 PM

The first challenge is always the most important.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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1540 posts in 2965 days

#10 posted 03-16-2015 11:01 PM

All I can say is if I had to do it we would have patent claim(s) such as…....

(1) We claim a method whereby the triggering of a safety brake or other control mechanism is initiated by a measure of the capacitive difference in electrical potential created by the direct contact of human flesh or contact of human flesh through any conductive material with a machine tool component.

(2) the subset of claim #1 where the machine tool is a table saw.

(3) the subset of claim #2 where the contact of human flesh is through a finger.

(4) the subset of claim #3 where the safety brake is a sacrificial piece of aluminum that jams into the blade.

And on, and on, and on….

This is actually how most patent claims read. The big “generic” claim and then a host of dependent claims. Just where your eventual patent coverage ends up is the result of tons of litigation.

I sure don’t know what legal position SawStop has in this, but I am certain that they will be weighing in.

@Dawsonbob: Yes, there are many instances where the law frowns on monopolies, but Patent Law is one place where the law actually supports them. Patents provide the inventor the exclusive rights to utilize their invention for the limit of the patent term. This is a way to promote innovation by allowing someone who invests the time, effort, and money to develop a new technology to recover their investment (and hopefully much more).

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8426 posts in 3211 days

#11 posted 03-16-2015 11:23 PM

I sure don’t know what legal position SawStop has in this, but I am certain that they will be weighing in.

Steve Gass (owner of SawStop) was and is a patent attorney… ‘nuff said.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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5097 posts in 3001 days

#12 posted 03-16-2015 11:24 PM

I am a Sawstop owner but hope that the Bosch technology works.

It will be interesting to see the actual statistics of how fast it works. I hope it is as good as the Sawstop.

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177 posts in 2637 days

#13 posted 03-16-2015 11:36 PM

The purpose of patents, at least from society’s point of view, is to encourage companies to spend time/money/resources to develop new inventions. The way this is done is by striking a deal; where if you are granted a patent, you can restrict other people from using your invention. Therefore, providing you the opportunity to make money. NO ONE would spend millions of dollars trying to invent something, if the moment they tried to make money, someone could, instead of spending the money to invent something themselves, could just copy the invention and compete with them on the market. The key to all this is that this exclusively has a time limit. As far as I know, patent protection expires after 20 years (in the US). The other important point is that you can sell your patent rights, allowing other people to use your invention, in exchange for money. Usually, in the form of royalties. So, if others wanted to make table saws with brake technology, they could have bought the rights from SS.

Without knowing any of the specifics, I’m going to guess that the SS patents are about to expire and companies are getting ready with their own products.

Edit: I should add that I am also a SS owner and I also hope Bosch develops a new saw. Competition is a good thing. But, I also think SS broke new ground by developing a great safety feature and deserved the right to restrict other people from copying them. Until the patent expires…..

View Kazooman's profile


1540 posts in 2965 days

#14 posted 03-17-2015 12:14 AM

Good summary. I agree, as a SawStop owner, that there is room for a ton of innovation in this field. I hope that the Bosch entry is the first of many. I would love to see some innovative system make my SawStop technology obsolete.. Good reason to purchase another tool!

Never, ever, underestimate the power of the dependant patent claims and their ability to tie a program up in legal limbo until some court, somewhere, determines the actual limits of the prior claim. And then we are on the chase backwards through increasingly broader claims until a judge cries “enough”!

“Bazillions” of dollars have been won or lost on this legal quagmire of a battle field. The potential income stream from selling table saws pales in comparison.

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180 posts in 2194 days

#15 posted 03-17-2015 12:51 AM

Very interesting. I am curious to see this system in action in slow-motion.

-- Mike

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