Riving knives, the flesh-detection technology of SawStop, push sticks, over-arm guards they all work to make you safer in the shop. I welcome them all.
But all these devices require that the user employ them. Push sticks only work if you make a conscious effort to always have one at hand. SawStop requires a whole machine designed around it; you cant just add it to your saw. Want a riving knife? Like SawStop, you cant just add one; you have to buy a new saw.
Fortunately, theres a finally a saw add-on that requires no changes to your machine at all, and doesnt require you to buy a whole new machine. Its called SawNot The No-Danger Solution for Woodworkers, and you just replace your existing saw blade with it. Although a bit hard to find because its so new, its design ensures the ultimate in woodworking safety.
The SawNot blade doesnt use the standard teeth were familiar with, but rather a non-cutting edge of reactive urethane, a material pioneered by the bowling ball industry, that presents a perfectly smooth, flexible surface to the workpiece. As a result of the no-tooth design, the safety benefits are numerous no sharp edges means no lost fingers, and theres absolutely no danger of kickback. On the cosmetic side, since the cutting action of the more common carbide-tipped teeth has been removed, there are no milling marks at all on the workpiece, meaning no additional finish work or sanding is required.
You also dont need to wear hearing protection. The SawNot, unlike regular blades, is almost completely silent all youll hear sounds vaguely like a ball rolling on a long, narrow maple floor. And as a side benefit sawdust is no longer created, which completely eliminates the need for dust collection.
The only downside of the SawNot blade is that it takes longer to get any work done. A lot longer, in fact. But the tradeoff for complete safety is a trade Im more than willing to make. Id be a fool not to.
Till next time,