Safer Saws pt. 2 – Joe Mleczko

1. Steve Gass says, “…can tell the difference between your finger and the wood…” This is a definitional claim simply says exactly what the saw does. The saw’s technological safety device picks up electro-conductivity of flesh and stops the blade from spinning. This is a compelling claim, because the saw can in fact tell if it is cutting into wood or your finger.

2. Customer and Editor in Chief of HANDY magazine says, “The greatly reduced risk of injury more than justifies the saw’s higher price.” This is another evaluation claim, that evaluates the claim within the claim of “The greatly reduced risk of injury…” Simply, it says that since there is a small chance on injury, the saw should be bought. This is a justified claim because it is backed up by the background.

3. Power Tool manufacturers say, “…to implement this technology is estimated to be between $150-$200 per product.” This is an evaluation claim, that evaluates the added cost of making the safety mechanism mandatory. In context, this is a valid point, because the tool makers are arguing that they should not have to put this device on their saws, because it will raise prices, and turn people away from their product.

4. The National Consumers League says, “…blade guards have proved to be ineffective,” which is a definitional claim. In the article, the NCL says that in order to do most tasks with a table saw the plastic guard must be removed. Plus, even when the guard is not removed, one third of blade contact injuries occur with the guard on. With the background information, the definitional claim is accurate because it is supported with evidence that proves it.

5. A man that was cut by a Bosch miter saw says, “Robert Bosch Tool Corp. colluded with its competitors…” which is an evaluation claim, looking at the situation of tool makers not using this safety device. This man claims that tool companies purposely keep this “SawStop” technology from being required on table saws. This claim is very far fetched. There are many reasons why a company would elect to not put this technology on their product, one being cost. Plus, he was cut by a miter saw…not a table saw. Adding the information about him being cut by a miter saw discredits his anger towards the lack of safety on a table saw.

6. Table Saw Injury Lawyers state, “…the manufacturers have refused to adopt it.” This is a categorical claim saying that since tool makers are not using this safety equipment, they must refusing to use it. This is an unfair claim. Just like the man cut by the miter saw (5), it is possible the tool companies are not making tools with this safety mechanism, because it is too expensive, or many other possibilities. There is a huge difference between choosing not to implement the safety mechanism, and refusing to implement it.

7. Chairman Inez M. Tenenbaum says, “…far more serious injuries are occurring all too often.” This is an evaluation claim, exploring the idea that very serious injuries occur too often, but can be avoided. While “too often” is truly an opinion, I think it is an opinion that many agree with when talking about amputations. Therefore the claim that without extra safety equipment too many serious injuries occur is a compelling one.

8. According to Chris Arnold of NPR, “the major tool companies have failed to put this kind of device on any of their table saws.” This is an evaluation claim. It is not fair to say major companies have failed to do anything. They have had the opportunity to apply this device, however they choose not to. While many might hear this claim and agree, it is not a very well substantiated claim.

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2 Responses to Safer Saws pt. 2 – Joe Mleczko

  1. davidbdale says:

    Thank you again, Joe, for posting such a capable example of an assignment early for your classmates to model. I will never tire of thanking you for this practice as long as you don’t tire of being so prompt with your posts. I don’t mean to obligate you to do so, and anyone else is certainly welcome to be first, but I’m very happy when it’s you.

    I’m glad you found an economical way to identify the claimants in each case, and particularly happy that you’ve provided links back to the sources so we can read the quotes in context. Congratulations and thank you again.

    Your work is of very high quality too, Joe. I’m not sure 3 is an evaluation claim, but then I don’t think I provided you a claim type that fits any better, so it’s not your fault. It can’t be a purely factual claim since they’re not producing such saws yet.

    You’re the first to point out that the plaintiff against Bosch (5) wasn’t injured by a table saw, but by a miter saw. If ever an argument failed on categorical grounds, it would certainly be this one!

    In 6, I’m glad to see you’ve based an analysis largely on the use of a single word, a reminder to us all that huge claims can be hiding in small places (like the difference between manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter). Or, as you say yourself so nicely in 8, the difference between declining to act and failing to act.

    Very nice work, Joe.
    Grade Recorded.

  2. davidbdale says:

    Reading this again, I admire how much Claim 2 manages to prove such a narrow topic sufficiently. It claims that, for those who value the reduced chance of injury, the increased cost, whatever that dollar amount actually is, is justified for that buyer. It’s impossible to refute. Buyers of the saw prove its truth and nobody who declines to buy the saw has provided any evidence to the contrary. If only all arguments could prove themselves so nicely!

    Claim 5 fails for lack of Relevance, something you certainly understood, but weren’t offered the language to describe until this week.

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