Hot New Tools: Issue 73Comments (1)
This article is from Issue 73 of Woodcraft Magazine.
The tablesaw is usually the most important tool in a woodworking shop. It’s also the most dangerous—prompting an average of 33,000 emergency room visits per year in the U.S. and about 4,000 amputations. With statistics like these, it’s easy to recognize the significance of a saw that offers flesh-detecting, blade-braking technology. Since SawStop introduced the first finger-saving saw in 2004, thousands of professional and hobbyist woodworkers have made the leap to that super-safe machine.
Now it’s Bosch’s turn. Their REAXX saw combines features from their well-regarded 4100-series jobsite tablesaw with proven technology from the company’s automotive airbag division. What makes the REAXX unique is that it can save your saw blade or stack dado while saving your fingers. Like a SawStop saw, the REAXX runs a slight electric current through the saw blade. When something other than dry wood comes in contact with the blade, the current variation triggers the safety response. But instead of stopping the blade with an aluminum block that’s driven into the blade (the SawStop method), the REAXX simply forces the spinning blade below the table surface by firing a compressed air cartridge. Each cartridge is good for two firing events. It took me just a couple of minutes to remove a cartridge after firing, flip it 180°, reattach the wiring, and reposition the arbor assembly to make the saw operational again. Cartridges cost $99 apiece.
The REAXX has a simple, intuitively designed control panel right above the saw’s large paddle switch. Color-coded icons tell you that the saw is in one of 4 modes: Green = ready to use. Yellow = bypass mode (detection deactivated for cutting wet wood or other conductive material). Red = not ready to use (cartridge needs replacing or other condition). Blue = service required by dealer. Both the paddle switch and the bypass switch can be locked to prevent unauthorized or unsafe use.
With its large (293⁄4 × 223⁄8") table surface (augmented by an outfeed support that slides out nearly 20") and 4 hp,
belt-drive powertrain, this jobsite saw has what it takes to be a full-time machine in a woodworking shop. The rip fence locks solidly at front and back, and the miter gauge is worth holding onto. Provisions for tool storage (extra blades, arbor and canister wrenches, blade guard,miter gauge) are well thought out; there’s even a compartment to store an extra cartridge and the owner’s manual. But my favorite built-in feature is the integral sheath for the pushstick; it’s perfectly located on the right corner of the saw’s base.
Does this come in yellow?
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