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As safe as it gets - Woodshop News

As safe as it gets

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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 can’t just add it to your saw. Want a riving knife? Like SawStop, you can’t just add one; you have to buy a new saw.

Fortunately, there’s a finally a saw add-on that requires no changes to your machine at all, and doesn’t require you to buy a whole new machine. It’s 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 it’s so new, its design ensures the ultimate in woodworking safety.

The SawNot blade doesn’t use the standard teeth we’re 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 there’s 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 don’t need to wear hearing protection. The SawNot, unlike regular blades, is almost completely silent – all you’ll 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 I’m more than willing to make. I’d be a fool not to.

Till next time,

A.J.

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