Bosch’s new REAXX saw with flesh sensing technology is here. Held up by patent restictions, a long awaited competitor to the Sawstop version has been long in coming. Of course, SawStop is claiming that the Bosch Reaxx violates it's patents, so they can have fun fighting that out in court.
As for the Reaxx, this saw is a jobsite style saw and will fit easily in any shop large or small. If you are used to working with other Bosch jobsite saws, you will be comfortable with this saw. It mounts to the same quick-acting, rolling stand that other Bosch saws use for good portability.
Controls for raising and lowering the blade are standard. A counterbalanced system makes it relatively easy to adjust the angle of the blade without a separate wheel control. With the addition of a Gravity-Rise Wheeled Stand it is very convienient to move around.
The Bosch Reaxx saw works just as you would expect and has all the standard saw functions. It has a 4 hp motor that has what it takes to cut through construction lumber and handle the most commonly used softwood and hardwood ripping woodworking duties. The rip-fence is the standard snap-lock style often found on jobsite style saws, and it comes with a table extension that allows ripping up to 25 inches.
How does the Reaxx measure up on the flesh-sensing technology?
That's the main reason why someone would want this saw, right?
Ok, so the main difference you will see are that there are a set of switches and a line of electronic status lights connected to the new safety technology. When the saw is plugged in, the safety technolgy is activated automatically.
Since the sensing technology works by sending an electric signal through the material, there is also a switch bypass circuit that you will need to use when cutting conductive materials (anything metallic or perhaps even wood that contains alot of moisture) without the safety technology activating and dropping the blade.
How The Reaxx Technology Works
The safety technology uses gas cartridges to drop the blade instantly if contact with flesh is detected. The difference between this and the SawStop is that there is no blade brake.
The advantages of this system is that no damage to the blade is done while it is being retracted. You will also be able to install a new cartridge to return the saw to full operation in only a few minutes.
The standard test is to use that most reviewers use to see how the technology works is to activate the system with a sausage or string cheese that mimics a finger touching the blade. It works perfectly as one would expect, with hardly any cutting of the sausage.
Here is a demonstration:
Is the Reaxx better than Saw Stop?
Many people are saying that this new saw is better. The main reason is that the blade retraction technology does not destroy the blade.
There is also a way test the material to see if it is conductive. You can put the saw into override mode, cut, and then look to see if the LEDs flash in a particular way (there's a key to reading them on the side of the saw). The lights will tell you whether or not the material you just cut in override can be cut in normal mode without automatically tripping the mechanism.
Is this Saw Stop technology worth the extra price?
Compared to the same Bosch saw without the flesh sensing technology, the Reaxx saw is about US $1000.00 more. (Since prices are always changing, I have listed a few saws below from Amazon that should update in any case). So you can make your own judgement about how much a finger is worth. You can also see the price of the replacement cartridges as well.