Bosch has announced a new jobsite table saw that includes flesh detecting technology to protect the saw operator from accidents. The new saw is the first commercially viable saw to directly complete with SawStop in the safety saw arena.

Officially designated the Bosch GTS104A REAXX portable jobsite table saw, the new tool features what Bosch describes as proprietary Active Response Technology. The system detects human flesh that comes in contact with the blade and drops the saw blade below the tabletop. Bosch says the new system is also designed to save the user from injury without damaging the blade.

Fast reset after actuation
Early reports suggest the saw makes use of technology from the auto industry that is used for air bags in cars. An activation cartridge for the safety device is designed to hold two charges, so a single cartridge allows activation for two incidents. In case of activation, the system can be reset in less than 60 seconds and requires no blade replacement, according to Bosch. After two activations, the cartridge must be replaced. All necessary parts, instructions and wrenches are located onboard the saw, including storage for extra activation cartridges. After 25 actuations of the safety system, the saw must be returned to Bosch for servicing.

The competing SawStop system works by simultaneously dropping the blade below the saw table and stopping the blade’s rotation with an aluminum block that is rammed into the blade. The safety cartridge must be replaced after every use, and the blade stopping mechanism likely means the saw blade must be replaced, as well.

New technology

There was no immediate information from Bosch as to the specifics of how their flesh-detecting technology differs from that used and patented by SawStop.
“We’ve engineered the Bosch REAXX Portable Jobsite Table Saw to offer users the best injury mitigation system available in the power tool industry,” said Craig Wilson, product manager, Robert Bosch Tool Corporation. “But even with the safety enhancements incorporated, the award-winning attributes of the Bosch 4100 table saw series remain. There’s a heritage in jobsite table saws that Bosch has spent decades building and users will find that this saw maintains that high standard.”
Sophisticated electronics in the Bosch saw operate an LED status panel with green, yellow, red, and blue lights to communicate status. There is also a near field communication (NFC)-enabled phone app available that allows the saw to report such data as the number of system activations, servicing needs, basic instructions, how-to videos and other information. The app can also lock the saw to keep workers from bypassing the safety system.
As for conventional features, the new Bosch REAXX has a 15-amp, 4 hp motor with electronic soft start. Conventional safety equipment includes a modular blade guard with anti-kickback features. The pre-squaring rip fence allows for rips up to 25 inches, and a rear outfeed support extends to 18 inches. For transport, there is a Bosch Gravity-Rise Stand with 8-inch treaded wheels.
The saw is expected to be available in fall 2015 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,499. You can watch a video about the saw here or read more at www.boschtools.com. For more information about the competing SawStop system, go to www.sawstop.com. 

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