Steve Gass is an avid woodworker (with a doctorate in physics). While working in his shop one day in 1999, Steve was inspired to develop a new technology to make a safer saw.
Steve’s Challenge: Is it possible and practical to stop a 4,000-rpm saw blade fast enough to prevent serious injury? Driven to find an answer, Steve devised a method to detect skin contact with the blade and trigger an immediate stop.
Thirty days later, Steve had built a prototype.
With the help of three friends, Steve worked to improve and protect the invention. They dubbed it “SawStop.”
Less than a year later, the group took a SawStop prototype to the International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair (IWF) in Atlanta, Georgia. They introduced the new invention using what is now the famous “Hot Dog Demo.” The technology was the talk of the show. Public response was so overwhelmingly positive that Steve and his friends David Fanning and David Fulmer decided to leave their law practices and work full time developing SawStop.
The original idea was to license the technology to other table saw manufactures, but after negotiations failed to produce agreements, the trio decided that if the SawStop technology was ever to reach the market-place, the three founders would have to do it themselves.
As a long-time woodworker, Steve committed himself to designing a cabinet saw with all the precision and features he had ever wanted in a table saw. By 2003, plans and designs were drafted. The first prototypes were completed and the first production models came off of the manufacturing line in late 2004. By the beginning of 2005 SawStop the company, had became a reality.
Today, the combination of safety and unparalleled design and craftsmanship has made the SawStop cabinet saw the #1 selling cabinet saw in the market.