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Table saw safety has been a hot news item lately, and as we worked on this story it became apparent that the numbers being published regarding the prevalence of injuries weren’t adding up. There are some statistics about the number of reported accidents, but how does that compare to the number of saws in actual use? We know there is a chance of being injured every time you turn on the saw, but how many people get hurt? Does this relate to the nature of the machine, or the habits and experience of the user? Is any device capable of replacing common sense and good work habits?

To get a handle on how our readers use their saws, and to dig deeper into this issue, we’ve prepared a short survey. We’d like you to answer a few short questions whether or not you own a table saw, or suffered an injury.

It isn’t entirely scientific but it will give all of us a better idea about the circumstances surrounding table saw injuries. You can participate by clicking on this link, and if you’ve had an injury you can help the next guy by sharing your experience in the survey and by leaving a comment below. We’ll keep you up to date with what the survey says, and with other developments on this issue.

Click here to take survey

Robert W. Lang

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Showing 42 comments
  • Bill

    Robert Lang, THANK YOU, for conducting this informal survey. Despite the nit-picking in the early comments, I appreciated your attempt to draw attention to the issue of shop safety.

    As for my own incident, I was cutting raised panels on the right side of the fence (right tilt saw). Since most operations take place on the left side of the fence, this felt awkward and I was uncomfortable. Just as my right hand passed over the blade, it slipped and dropped onto the exposed teeth. It shredded the tips of all 4 fingers. The ER was not able to stitch anything back together, so they just put large bandages on each finger. Fortunately I didn’t lose anything, but I have scars on each finger tip and slightly reduced feeling in each one.

    As soon as I could get back to work in the shop I made one jig and one fixture to prevent this type of accident again. The jig is a tall support with clamp to ride on the fence. The fixture extends over the exposed blade so if I do slip, I can’t get my fingers into the blade. I also set the blade height to barely extend beyond the work piece.

    Bill Clemmons

  • Howie Crouch

    Wow, sure seems to be a lot of survey "experts" out there. My only comment is GET SOME HEARING PROTECTION ON! (Look at your picture. Had to yell so you could hear me!)

  • Paul M

    I took the survey because 1) I do not have a tablesaw and 2) I will not own one because I know too many people injured by them. I’m a hand tool guy and use a much safer bandsaw for the roughing cuts before cleanup with a handplane. But the survey kicked me out immediately after stating that I do not own a tablesaw. I’m sad that you only value safety feedback from people who own a tablesaw, and that you do not care why someone doesn’t own one.

  • Paul P.

    It seems to me the purpose of the survey is to educate us. Whether the Sawstop technology is right or wrong is not the point. I can see both sides of this issue. If I were to replace a tablesaw today, I would look very seriously at a Sawstop. From all I have read, it is technically a good saw. As I see it, this is just one more piece of insurance. If you lose respect for the tool because of it, you are an idiot.

    No matter what you do, there will always be idiots out there. Much time has been spent "idiotproofing" things. Pick the tool and it has been done. When I say tool, I don’t necessarily mean woodworking tools. It could be cars, guns, appliances, you name it. Try not to be the idiot they were designed around, just be irritated by the idiots they were designed to work around. We all know them.

    You should think of safety no matter what you do. I am a safe person by nature, but have had two tablesaw injuries. Both of them were from kickback, which the Sawstop would not have prevented. With the benefit of hindsight, I place the blame for both instances squarely on myself. For the benefit of those who have the capability of learning from the mistakes of others, I will share them with you.

    The first and worst one happened in a tech school shop on a 12" table saw. A zero clearance throatplate would have kept it from happening. I was ripping a small piece of trim molding that the blade kicked back at me when it twisted into the opening. The wood kicked the pushstick into my hand and broke a bone. Second lesson to be learned here – if it hurts a lot, go see your doctor. I waited too long and had to have the non-healing bone surgically removed.

    The second one happened when I was ripping a piece that was too short. Again, a little twist of the piece and it tried to become part of me. That one only left a really bad bruise on my stomach, damaged the blade guard and destroyed the blade. This job should have been done on a bandsaw.

    I sincerely hope this will make people think twice before they turn the saw on. Even though I had these incidents I consider myself lucky. There are those who say you make your own luck. That is not an untrue statement. Hopefully those of you who have not yet had an accident don’t have one. Don’t think it can’t happen to you. I have been around these things since I was a child. All it takes is one tiny lapse of judgement. You may be blind to the lapse at the time, but it could bite you severely.

    Paul P.

  • Arnold Griffee

    I’ve been a hobby woodworker for almost ten years. I consider myself at least highly skilled in most applications. In 2006 I was ripping sticks for stacking green lumber on an old Unisaw, a ho hum routine procedure. There were no splitter or guards attached. Almost all of us take off the guard, right? I just pushed my left thumb
    right through the blade. Result four hours surgery, a stiff left thumb, doesn’t bend at first joint and numb sensation most always.

    Yeah, I know, dumb, but aren’t accidents almost always dumb on someone’s part?

    Right after that I bought the first SawStop that Woodcraft in my area sold. Probably paid a few hundred dollars more than for a new Unisaw or Powermatic. That was a lot cheaper than the cost of my accident not to mention the pain and suffering!

    I don’t know what can be accomplished with a survey correct or incorrect. In summary I don’t think it matters a whit how many Table Saw accidents happen when almost all can be prevented with SawStop technology. The only debate should be is a few hundred dollars worth more than a finger?

  • John S.

    I’m sorry, but I am very tired of the "Saw Stop breeds complacency" argument. It is a knee jerk old school reaction with no basis and shows a lack of understanding about human behavior and safety advances in general. There is no evidence or science to back this up. In short, it is a bunch of unsubstantiated hooey.

    Analogy time – did airbags and seat belts cause people to drive faster and more recklessly? Did antilock brakes cause people to wait longer to hit the brakes when they get cut off? Did tempered glass cause more kids to play stick ball on the block? Did medication cross checking systems cause doctors to prescribe drugs they never would have before? Did self sealing fuel tanks cause WWII fighter pilots to watch their 6 less than before? Did the availability of commercially manufactured pot holders cause grandma to be reckless with her cooking? This is endless.

    Finally, though anecdotal, I have used a SawStop cabinet saw quite a few times (I don’t own it). Did I somehow view a 10" spinning blade as a benign piece of metal I could waltz around or even lean over? Did I feel more comfortable putting my hand anywhere near it? Absolutely not. While my rational mind might say, "Hey, it won’t cut you," my more primitive brain says, "Holy cow, that is one fast moving piece of metal, keep the hell away from that!" If you are going to say a SawStop makes you careless, then at the least back it up by having used one, then report back.

  • Greg

    I am in the process of building a workshop. Since I have not used a table saw since high school wood shop class 45 years ago (and having the bejesus scared out of me by the teachers warnings) I have decided to buy the Sawstop and 1) keep my digits and 2) allow some lawyer to pursue some other frivolous lawsuit.This "survey" I believe, is meant to bring light to the subject and to the fact that surveys are often skewed (especially by Pros)to obtain an answer they wish to convey to the public for the people paying for the survey.

  • Deke

    Took the survey – thanks! Felt a little something was missing. I have been using a variety of other safety devices including the GRR-Ripper System and this has really helped me feel much more in control and safe. Any way, there wasn’t a place in the survey to report this and I think it is important too.

  • Bob Lang

    If you answer the question about sustaining an injury "No" the survey will jump to the end because the remaining questions ask for some details about the type and severity if you indicated that you had been injured. You’re not being cheated out of the last few questions, you’re fortunate you don’t need to answer them.

    Bob Lang

  • Paul Cohen

    For commercial users the extra cost of the saw is more than made up for by the insurance savings. The unintended consequences is the number of used commercial saw now available at dramatically lower cost. These used saws will be pick up by hobbyists and may in fact cause more injuries.

    I also use a Shopsmith due to its small size and safety features I would hate to see it outlawed because it does not have blade break technology.

  • chris

    Same results with IE 8.0.x

    (FYI, mis-entered my email in the previous post)

  • chris

    I had the same problem as Peggy – when I was on page 2/4, with questions 2&3, after I pressed "Next" it jumped to page 4/4 and "Done!"

    Using the latest Firefox/Mozilla browser, 3.6.x


  • Lea

    I agree with the point raised by MrHudon. Just because the SawStop blade will not eat your fingers does not mean that you cannot experience a severe kickback injury because you left off the guard and/or the riving knife. And what happens when you move to another saw without the brake? If you haven’t developed a mind-set that ALWAYS respects the machine, and CONSISTENTLY uses any and all safety equipment appropriate to the operations being performed, then you should not blame the saw manufacturer for your risky attitude.

    I bought a Shopsmith in 1988, in part because I was impressed with their emphasis on safety equipment, including an easy-to-mount guard and splitter, feather boards, push-sticks, etc., and their new-owner classes. I am by nature risk-averse, but their training replaced fear of the saw in my mind with understanding and respect.

    Over the years I have been only a hobby user, but I have built quite a few pieces of furniture with that saw, and never had an incident.

    I think the SawStop brake is a very nice piece of technology, and its use in school woodshops and production environments will undoubtedly save some fingers. But I also believe that, without proper training that emphasizes AVOIDANCE of risky procedures, it can foster an attitude of complacency around saw blades of any kind, circular saw, miter saw, band saw, whatever, and that lowering of risk awareness will increase the hazards of using any saw.

  • David O'Brien

    I have a saw stop contractors saw and because of it’s weight (300) and stability it may function as well as some standard cabinet saws. It is safe and the video doesn’t lie. I have set the mechanism off once and it scared the —- out of me. It was not a finger but metal from a miter gauge too close
    touching the blade which stopped and dropped under the table in reportedly, as it completed an electrical does wet wood) 5 milliseconds, a time with which I cannot disagree..It was less than an eye blink and the sound catches your attention.
    As a retired surgeon, I have great admiration for this saw as does at least one woodworking school I know. I would advise anyone to purchase this tool for the safety sake but also with the knowledge that "right out of the box" it’s in perfect alignment.

  • MrHudon

    I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and forums about this lately and one thing that I haven’t seen mentioned is the possibility of the “saw stop” lulling users into a false sense of security. Maybe it has nothing to do with this and is a mute point, or maybe it is something that will be dealt with in the future, but I can see the “not to worry, I can’t get hurt, what can go wrong? I have a saw stop,” attitude being associated with this technology. Then who do you sue when you get hurt?
    A table saw can be a dangerous piece of equipment if not used right and with respect. It doesn’t matter how many safety features are added people are still going to get hurt.
    Mr. Lang asked the question “Is any device capable of replacing common sense and good work habits?”
    Personally I don’t think so.

  • Michael Walters

    Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

    A guy buys a low cost tablesaw, uses it incorrectly, and wins a large settlement because he didn’t know proper tablesaw safety? Pathetic.

    I’m a professional furniture maker and restoration carpenter.

    I won’t ever buy a Saw Stop product, mainly because of their attitude.

    Safety is my main concern in my shop, as I usually work alone. In 15 years of owning a shop I’ve never experienced an accident, or an "incident", with any of my tablesaws. I use a tablesaw on all of my projects.

    What I’ve notice is that safety usually is pushed aside by guys who are rushing to get a job done. In the larger shops it’s usually because of cost concerns and pressure from the shop owner or foreman.

    The Saw Stop is available now. People can buy them if that’s what they think they need. To try and force all manufacturers to include the technology on their saws is wasteful, and at it’s heart, a money grab by Saw Stop. Think it through. If it becomes law that all manufacturers need to have this technology installed, how long would it take for a law (or an OSHA regulation) to be passed that all commercial shops would have to dump their old saws and replace them with Saw Stop type saws?

    I will, however, upgrade my largest tablesaw with a used, higher quality, model from another brand eventually.

    Probably from someone who "upgrades" to a Saw Stop.

  • Robert R. Clough - Thorncraft

    I have had a table saw, either a RAS or Delta Contr, since 1966. My current saw, about 10 yo, is a Delta. I made a sturdier guard from Lexan and made my own splitters – plural as I change them for height, etc. I have had only one accident and that from a kickback which required 20 stitches in my hand. I was not paying attention.I actually forgot that result when I answered there was no injury. Sorry. (I have few surface pain nerves and I tend to forget injuries of any kind. Very dangerous lack.)

    Survey question wording can be a real problem, especially political surveys. I suggest the above survey was made under pressure and in a hurry but as carefully as possible. The questions probably ask what is wanted.

    Admittedly I do make "saw" moves that are inherently dangerous but I keep such moves to a minimum. Obviously I am careful but each time I do a dangerous procedure it is a gamble. I have known several people who injured themselves severely from equipment and I shall always remember them. (Luckily, as an Historian, I can only injure myself mentally!!!)

    Were I to purchase a new saw, it would be a cabinet saw with Saw Stop and a riving knife. However, at 79+ I doubt that will happen.

    Very interesting posts.


  • Kent

    Good idea for this survey, I hope the information is passed along to agencies who may make positive use of it in an educational manner.

    I thought that the Q? on type of injury should have been multiple as I have received a cut from the blade and been hit by kick-back, I’m a slow learner>

  • Mitch Wilson

    Having a long, thin piece of wood get shot into my sternum 25 years ago, and fortunately being left only with a bruise and a far more jaundiced eye towards table saws, I feel obliged to add my thoughts. I was duly scared off towards the use of table saws until recently, when I purchased 2 GRR-Rippers. (Full disclosure-I have no ties to this company whatsoever.) The blog I read about them online from 2004 correctly states that one of the primary advantages to using them is it forces you to slow down and really analyze what you are about to do. Many injuries occur due to fatigue and a lack of attention to detail. I would love to own a SawStop, and perhaps in the not too distant future I shall. But any way you slice it (pun intended), we all need to slow down and think about what we are doing before proceeding.

  • David S

    I have been using a contractor style table saw that I purchased new in my hobby woodworking for about 5 years. I have been fortunate enough not to have had a major accident with it. That being said, if i ever do buy another saw, i will probably opt for one with the SawStop technology just for the safety aspect.
    My question is this: If someone is using the SawStop saw, knowing it has the ‘safety feature’, would he/she become complacent in their personal safety habits?

    David S

  • Peggy

    I tried twice to take the survey, but it jumped from 2/2 to 4/4 pages both times. So you have 2 responses from at least this one woodworker, without a response to all questions. May not be too accurate.

  • Jerry Olson

    I started using a tablesaw almost 50 years ago in shop class. I have owned a number of table saws beginning with a craftsmen contractor’s saw.I have always used guards and my current Jet cabinet saw has been slightly modified to make it easy to install and remove the splitter.
    I have never been injured by my tablesaw however early on close calls related to kickback. Allowing ones fingers to get close to a rotating saw blade is just dumb.
    I approach using the saw the same way I approach working around electricity (my real job) alert and with a reasonable level of caution.

  • Thomas Neil

    I reported in the survey that I have had an incident with the table saw. I also admit it was due to my own carelessness, not the lack of saw stop tech. I was working tired and due to laziness did not get my push stick to make a cut on narrow stock and took soft tissue from a finger. My problem with the jury decision, is that the plaintiff had every opportunity to buy a saw stop but chose to save money and buy the ryobi. He took the risk and made a mistake that cost him more than his savings. I would not purchase the saw stop, nor do I feel that all manufacturers should be sued or required to implement such a costly change to protect us from ourselves. I have used all means of saws from bench tops to cabinet saws with only one minor incident. I also know people in the industry for years with no incidents. I personally do not want a saw that needs to be replaced if I get careless.

  • Gary Cruce

    The survey didn’t allow for multiple events. I’ve put both thumbs into the blade and felt the mule like kickback of a 5hp cabinet saw. Luckily I didn’t loose either thumb, but the third time may be the charm…

  • Kevin Doyle

    In the last year, I’ve purchased a Grizzly Cabinet saw partly because of the riving knife and functional blade guard it came with. The injuries I’ve had have been due to kick-backs. Nothing requiring medical attention, but not much fun either. I learned about how the riving knife would protect me by some of your articles, and I am grateful for them. Now my son is learning cabinet making at a local college and I may be regretting not investing in Sawstop. At this point we are agreeing that the blade guard will be used. I hope it is enough to protect us both. If I feel it is not enough, I may be selling my Grizzly.

  • megan

    I’ve broken at least 4 nails whilst changing the blade in the PWM shop 🙁

  • George Talbot

    The question that you don’t ask is if those who have been injured could have avoided if they had been more careful. The only time I have been hurt is when I haven’t paying full attention to the task at hand. Machines are by nature dangerous if not used properly and with respect.
    If you don’t keep your fingers out of the way of a hammer they will end up blue.Perhaps we should sue the manufacturer aswell.

  • Ed Keating

    Survey didn’t allow for more than one tablesaw. An older Delta 34-441 and a Bosch 4000. I use the blade guard on the Bosch (It’s portable and is used outside when weather permits.) Neither has bit me and both are well used. I’ve had closer calls with a Craftsman RAS 10" with twisted lumber or sawing a log piece with a 14" Grizzly bandsaw. Neither one of those saws are current candidates for a SawStop. Both of my tablesaws were purchased used. Does the lawsuit mean that possible legislation will require scrapping old machinery? As to the survey, sure it’s an unscientific survey, but you take the info, see if it would be improved with additional information and then survey again.

  • Chris C

    In support of Greg’s assertion… I have a Jet 3HP
    cabinet saw that I bought in 2002. It is a great saw, and
    a workhorse in my shop. It has one serious flaw: the guard. I keep
    it on whenever I can, which is most of the time. But I don’t like
    it for some of the same reasons Greg mentioned.

    In particular, it is a pain to take on and off. And when the
    blade is tipped to 45 degrees, the splitter gets pushed into
    the path of the workpiece causing the piece to ride up on
    the splitter and cutting a slight taper. It doesn’t ruin the
    piece, I just have to smack the guard and re-run it. It is totally
    annoying though.

    Almost all of the newer saws have riving knives, and the knives
    along with the guards are generally much easier to take on
    and off. that’s why I want to sell my current Jet and get
    the newer deluxe version.


  • Greg

    I don’t know if this is the right forum or not, but since Bob has expressed an interest in "digging deeper" into the subject … my tablesaw is a contractor model from a major manufacturer, about 6 or 7 years old. I tried using the factory splitter and guard at first – honest – but they were (in my opinion) so poorly designed and executed that I truly felt safer with them removed. Just some of the issues I experienced:
    – The splitter and guard are integrated. You can’t use just one or the other.
    – Switching the splitter on and off takes about 10 minutes, 2 wrenches, and a lot of fiddly aligning.
    – The splitter is so far behind the blade so as to be virtually useless except perhaps at max blade height.
    – The anti-kickback pawls attached to the splitter have so much tension they consistently mar every piece of stock thicker than 1/4".
    – The blade guard will not remain in a raised position, and has to be propped up with a scrap when making blade adjustments.
    – The balde guard cannot be retracted far enough to allow a 6" combo square under it to check blade height.
    – The blade guard is so wide that I can’t rip pieces narrower than about 3/4" with it in place – over 1" if I want to use a push stick.
    – Stock thicker than about 1/2" does not push the blade guard up when fed in – the blade guard has to be manually raised before the stock can slide underneath it.

    Maybe I just got a bad egg, but this is a "top of the line" (in the contractor saw category) model from a major manufacturer. I’ve read that new saws are much safer, and my next saw will definitely include a riving knife.

  • John Preber

    As a ‘safety guy’, let me please add my two cents. I sense a few folks digging in their heals here while we all have the same goal in mind, that is, maintaining a safe work environment while we pursue our work or hobby.

    There’s more than one way to be safe. An engineering control, like the Saw Stop, is ideal for preventing even the smallest misstep with the blade but does add a lot of cost to the tool. Demanding that every manufacturer use this device is unrealistic at least until the prices go down. This is rather comparable to anti-lock brakes. When the price drops, more new equipment will come with it.

    We also have ‘personal protective equipment’ such as eye protection, hearing protection and the various guards, splitters etc. that are available for the saw. I know that many of us woodworkers have avoided many of these simple bits of equipment while working away, often oblivious to the dangers.

    This leads me to training. As individual woodworkers we are often remiss in not taking a proper training course not only for our equipment but also for our work habits. Maintaining a clean shop will go a long way to keeping us from slips and falls. Really reading and understanding all that safety gobbledygook that came with the tool. Taking the time to secure the workpiece before we begin an operation. These are all bits of training that will help inculcate a ‘safety attitude’ that will help us with every visit to work or the the shop. My personal favorite is to paint the table saw blade insert red and to remind myself with every turn of the switch that fingers do not belong ‘in the red’

    Studies have shown that even a small, gentle reminder at the beginning of a work session will help us work safer. Just as Notre Dame has the ‘Play like a Champion’ sign in their locker room we can put up a sign that says ‘Work Safe Today’ on the shop door and touch that sign when entering.

    The bottom line is that we can all practice safer work methods and bickering about an additional safety device is a useless exercise.

  • Mattias in Durham, NC

    Re: table saw incidents. I have used a table saw without incident for years, but a bad cut from a circular saw made me aware that I had to do whatever I could to improve safety in my shop.

    Something that I think is a big reason table saws cause so many accidents is that we have all these old saws out there with totally impractical guards. So the guards are left off, or are lost. (Mine was.)

    In search for something better, I found Shark Guard and got one. It’s not cheap, but it’s obviously cheaper than getting a new saw. So far I’ve had it about a year, and I’m really happy with it. Very easy to take off and put back on, and it comes with a stubby splitter that works more or less like a riving knife. I’m glad I got one.

    Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with this company, I’m just a happy customer.

    Re: the survey – I do think it’s interesting to see results, but I agree it’s hardly scientific. Unfortunately unless there is a random sample with invitation by mail (with 100% participation), what you will get is a more or less scientific survey of people who visit this blog. Those people are probably different from the general readership.

  • Bob DeViney

    Chill out guys. Every woodworking forum has surveys, and no one gets bent because they’re unscientific. It’s just to get an idea of the experience of the readership.

    I bought a used Sears contractor saw in 1974, and it’s the only one I’ve owned. No accidents, but I could use the sawstop technology on my utility knife, since it’s got me several times.

    Since retiring, I go to Mexico for three months each winter (to escape the NW rain) where I do volunteer construction work at an orphanage. I bring old tools and sharpening equipment with me to fill in the evenings. The refurbished tools are given to tradesmen or the orphanage woodshop. Conditions in the rural Baja are primitive, so hand tools are safer and more readily maintained.

    If I could afford a new table saw, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the Sawstop (Industrial) saw. But given a retirement income, I prefer to spend my money on hand tools, wood and helping other people break the cycle of poverty.

  • BigT

    Now that I have re-read my post, I realize that I was harsh sounding. I’m am sorry. I hold you in the highest regard, and do respect your position. I am just very passionate about this issue because after supervising 100’s of employees for over 20 years I have seen many tablesaw injuries. The conclusion that I have reached is that even with the best safety practices, people will still be injured. I just think we should do everything in or power to prevent these injuries. I wish that government intervention wasn’t necessary, but our machinery manufacturers have turned their backs on us. They could have incorporated this technology, with minimal costs due to their economies of scale, but didn’t. Don’t fool yourself, Ryobi(all other machinery manufacturers too) saw these lawsuits coming and chose to take their chances. I guess that was a mistake.

  • BigT

    The number of accidents per saw is really meaningless. The real issue is injuries per hour of tablesaw use. I have many tablesaws, but 5 of my saws see almost continuous use from our 20 employees while the rest only see sporadic use. All of our tablesaw injuries have happened on those 5 saws. That doesn’t mean that those 5 main saws are more dangerous than the other lesser used saws.

    You obviously are against the mandatory introduction of the Sawstop technology, and that is your right. But if you employed the number of people that I do in this inherently dangerous field of work(don’t preach to me about safety because even the most safety minded operator can be injured) you would be so thankful for this new technology. So while the statistics being used in the Ryobi lawsuit might unfairly overestimate the risk inherent in tablesaw use, I also think the tone of your blog entries wants to underestimate the risks.

  • Steve

    @chris c,

    A survey doesn’t have to have 5,000 questions to be valid and useful. For a simple survey like this one, 15-20 questions is plenty.

    As for "…a lot of survey taking in non-sense even when alleged experts are involved…" That’s a popular position to take (especially if an organization reports survey results that are different from what you want to believe), but can you back that assertion with evidence? The reputable organizations (e.g., Gallup in the political arena, Survey Service in market research, etc.) work really, really hard to ensure the quality of their data. It’s in their best interest to do so, since their reputations (and thus future business) depends on it.

  • Bruce Jackson

    Aside from the survey challenges, I take exception – ROFLMAO – with "change of underwear" as a minor injury. For some human conditions, frequent underwear changes may indicate the need to check into a supervised living facility, where you would be separated from your dangerous table saw by order of some probate court. In my book, that’s major – huge anyway.

  • chris C

    I think the purpose of the survey is to just get a rough idea
    of how many PW readers have had an incident on the table saw.

    I really doubt for the purposes this was intended that the
    PW editorial staff was looking to dump a wad of cash on
    alleged experts to give them a ball park feel of their

    There certainly is a black art to survey taking. Let’s just
    say it: a lot of survey taking in non-sense even when alleged
    experts are involved. I’ll take the straw man survey here rather
    than the 5000 question scientifically approved survey that
    nobody will bother with.


  • Chris Friesen

    I took the survey, but as Steve says the results are totally meaningless.

    The survey options are not orthogonal. I’ve got 15 years of casual hobby use. I used to have an ancient contractor saw with no guards and now have a cabinet saw with guards. About the only question I could unambiguously answer was that I haven’t had an incident. (Yet. Hopefullly it stays that way.)

  • Steve

    "It isn’t entirely scientific…"

    That’s the understatement of the week… This survey is entirely UNscientific. You’ve built in at least two forms of selection bias (sampling and self-selection); what statistical methods are you using to correct for those?

    There are people who have expertise in conducting surveys and performing statistical analyses, and who make their living at it. If you really want to report useful information, rather than just add to the already deafening level of meaningless noise, why not contract one of them to do a real survey?

  • Bob Lang

    My bad, I’ve changed the wording of that question.

    Bob Lang

  • Justin T.

    I took the survey, but why does the question about experience skip from 2-5 years to 10+ years? Shouldn’t there be a category for 6-9 years? I have about 9 years of experience.


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