Felder's high-tech preventative contact system could eliminate all saw injuries

HANNOVER, Germany - Felder has unveiled a patent-pending preventative contact system that could potentially one-up SawStop's legendary system.

If the system detects movement past a certain threshold - which surrounds the saw blade and protects against access from all directions - a safety lowering mechanism is triggered. The system lowers the sawblade below the circular saw bench a few milliseconds after a risk detection and before the blade touches any flesh. Its extremely fast response time is possible thanks to the principle of electromagnetic repulsion, says Felder.

"Every woodworker (and woodworking company) has 10 good reasons not to compromise when it comes to working safety - PCS prevents accidents and guarantees dexterity and a quality handshake forever!" says Felder.

The safety lowering mechanism does not cause any damage to the blade or incur extra costs. And the table saw will be ready for reuse at the push of a button. 

The PCS system doesn't feature any wear parts - avoiding the need to adjust or maintain anything.

Felder's system could have an advantage over SawStop's famous technology, which is able to sense flesh and shut down immediately afterward. Demonstrations of the SawStop system using a hot dog have become famous in online videos and continue to draw crowds at trade shows. 

Bosch also tried its hand at flesh-sensing technology, initiating a 2017 court battle with SawStop, who claimed infringement. SawStop eventually won the ruling.

Felder is offering its safety system as an extension with its Format-4 kappa 550 sliding table panel saw, which it says supplements the existing standard protective equipment. The company said it plans to begin rolling out the system in Austria and Germany early next year. It hopes to begin North American shipments by mid-year, but it can't say for sure when it will be available here.

The Felder PCS safety system is making its debut at the ongoing Ligna show in Hannover, Germany, which runs through May 31. Ligna is the biggest woodworking show in the world. Felder is running live demonstrations (also featuring a hot dog) every half hour throughout the day.

Altendorf, also exhibiting at Ligna, is developing a system similar to Felder. Perhaps saw injuries will soon be a thing of the past.

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected].