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Sell Stanley Black and Decker



June 20, 2011 – Comments (17) | RELATED TICKERS: SWK , SHLD , EMR

It is often said that a company that fails to innovate, will lose its edge and your money. Ok maybe it is not said that often, or maybe just this once, but who cares the point is the same. We certainly often look for innovative companys to invest in.

At issue with Stanley is table saws. Among other things, Stanley makes perfectly servicable table saws, as does Hitachi, Ryobi, Makita, Bosch, Sears and a host of other names. A table saw is not a complex device. Attach a saw to a drill and clamp it under a picnic table and off you go. You can reduce the wobble of your blade, change the size of the table, use a bigger blade or motor but so can your competitors. The design has not changed for decades, in fact the only "innovation" with table saws in at least two decades is cheap foreign manufacturing and no payments for three months at Christmas time. And cheap foreign manufacturing works. I paid $99 for my low end table saw a few years back, and they are still less than $150. But nothing really sets one brand apart from another, the quality of each brand at each price point is basically the same. In fact if you had asked me two days ago what the next big innovation in table saws would be I would have been at a loss for ideas to offer you.

Until yesterday. Yesterday I learned that a fellow named Gass had invented and patented a device to stop a saw blade cold when it contacts human flesh, before it can cut 1/8th inch into that flesh.

And I learned that mismanagement at Stanley had decided that they could not sell this device onto a cheap table saw for an additional $160. And apparently they were also not interested in adding $160 to the cost of a $1200 table saw either. This is despite the fact that Gass, without the benefit of cheap foreign labor or mass production has sold table saws with this device installed for $2500. It must have been a safe mismanagement decision to blow off the opportuntiy to have something none of your table saw competition does. You certainly don't want to stand out in a crowd or anything when you are trying to sell product. I learned about this because Gass is a prick and is trying to get the Consumer Products Safety Commission to mandate that all the saw manufacturers buy what he could not sell to Stanley. And I was told of testimony to the CPSC that I decided to read for myself - due diligence, investigative reporting, too much free time for my own good - whatever the reason I went and began reading it. It took me 25 letters to reach six that were in favor of mandating the installation of Gass' device on all saws. And I learned that contrary to rumor, five of the six had never been injured. The sixth was even upset that he could not get a $2500 version because he had to go on a waiting list. Of the nineteen remaining letters, all against mandating the device, I learned that only three did not want the device. The rest only wanted freedom from mandates.

It is possible that Stanleys mismanagement team is so in fear of failure, that they cannot reach for opportunity and prefer to hide in the crowd. Even though 25% of the saw buying market says they  want to pay $160 for the safety this device offers. And more people might be willing to - if they are not forced to by Government. Stanley does not have 25% of the table saw buying market today , and their mismanagement team has decided they will not have 25% of the market tomorrow either.

There are probably many of us Fools that have used table saws in the past, either as hobbiests, for home improvement, of professionally. And all of us probably get a little more careful as our fingers get near that spinning blade, a little more fearful. It is that understanding of the danger of that blade that makes us clean debris from underfoot, keep our weight balanced and not pushing in on the piece we are cutting, standing aside of the alignment of the blade, not in the line where objects are thrown. It is that moments awareness thats makes us have a push stick comfortably at hand for the last 1-2 inches of the cut.

And I bet it is that moment that will make some of us Fools look at this video and say to ourselves, ' I'd pay $150 for that'. But Stanley's mismanagement team has made sure it won't be Stanley we pay.

Best wishes,


17 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 21, 2011 at 3:35 AM, awallejr (38.43) wrote:

Well don't buy their products then if you can buy better elsewhere.  But this post sounds more like a moral argument aginst the company than a financial one.

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#2) On June 21, 2011 at 6:55 AM, devoish (67.13) wrote:


I thought TMFCops post against the moral hazards of regulation was the "moral" post.

I thought this post was about business competence and the opportunity to capture market share.

And more specifically I thought this post was about the inability of Stanleys mismanagement team to grab a competitive advantage when opportunity knocked on their door.

And your point is my point. As soon as Hitachi makes the Saw-Stop device available to me, Stanley can kiss myt purchase goodbye, and the earnings per share that sale represents with it.

I can afford to spend $400 on a saw if it has a feature I want, and so can 25% of the first 25 people who wrote in to the CPSC asking them mandate it.

I don't know what Stanleys mismanagement team is thinking but if 25% of the saw buying market was screaming to buy something from me...I'd sell it to them.

Seriously, do you think people were pounding on their door demanding to buy a 3 in 1 tripod flashlight? 

Opportunity knocked, and they did not open the door, but at least they have a light to keep them safe from the dark.

Best wishes,


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#3) On June 21, 2011 at 8:28 AM, ChrisGraley (28.51) wrote:

Yep boycott them.

They have poor management.

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#4) On June 21, 2011 at 8:49 AM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:

Re #3:

This does lead to me to ask a number of questions.

1) Do I help mother nature by buying their products, risk losing a body part?

2) Or do I go with a more environmentally damaging company that offers a safety doohickey?

3) Is this a Cut Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face situation?

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#5) On June 21, 2011 at 9:13 AM, Melaschasm (< 20) wrote:

A government mandate requiring this is a bad idea.  A company passing up the opportunity to differentiate their products is a terrible idea.

Offering this technology for an extra $500 would be  a great way to boost profits and margins.

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#6) On June 21, 2011 at 9:43 AM, ChrisGraley (28.51) wrote:

I would go with the environmentally friendly company Cato.

The hot dogs that Gass wasted in his demonstrations could have fed a family of four in indonesia for more than a month.

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#7) On June 21, 2011 at 2:36 PM, awallejr (38.43) wrote:

I can afford to spend $400 on a saw if it has a feature I want, and so can 25% of the first 25 people who wrote in to the CPSC asking them mandate it.

I don't know what Stanleys mismanagement team is thinking but if 25% of the saw buying market was screaming to buy something from me...I'd sell it to them.

I'm not clear on your math here.  You talk about 25% of 25 people then talk about 25% of the total market.

I don't know their sales businees to really comment.  While you could afford the extra $150 for a nice safety feature, putting it on all their saws could actually chase away those that can't afford the increase and are willing to do without the feature.

In the end they will eventually see the corporate impact I suppose.  Absent sales data it is surmise. But I still stand behind my initial comment.

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#8) On June 21, 2011 at 7:53 PM, devoish (67.13) wrote:


Of the first 25 letters commenting on the saw, 6 letters, or 25% were in favor of mandating the saw and the additional expense they would incur. I extrapolated that small sample to the whole saw buying market.

And in this post, had they chosen to install the safety device they could have chosen which saws to put it on. It is only in TMFCops post if the Governemnt gets involved that they may have to install them on every saw.



Chris Graley,

Whats your point? That because I have expressed concern for CO2 that I cannot have other concerns too? What is your brain F'd up? And frankly a newsweek ranking of 58th, restricted to 339 participating companys does not get any cred with me. This is a marketing ploy. If an honest environmental organisation like Greenpeace ranks them well, that has credibility.

Best wishes,



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#9) On June 21, 2011 at 9:38 PM, ChrisGraley (28.51) wrote:

 About EVA

EcoVisionary Awards (EVA for short) was the brainchild of Kurt Morrow who has a storied history as a developer of many successful businesses, and now applies his extraordinary effort to the environmental arena. Mr. Morrow is a Certified Green Consultant and director for the Green Business League. He has taken on the task of discovering and promoting industry leaders who will break the ground that others will follow.

Kurt has trained a team of Green researchers seeking out the leaders in every industry. EVA solicits nominations for the EcoVisionary Awards, but his team is in constant contact with businesses and researching all reports submitted. In the end, there will be the decision to move nominations to the final awards consideration. This must be done by December 15th, 2010.

Our History

The decision was made in 2010 to seek out "Game Changer" people and firms that would open a huge door for as many industries as possible. The criteria for this project was difficult. The concept of a visionary relied less on fact than on commitment. However, such is the nature of any sustainability plan. To avoid the piecemealing of Green programs, the value of laying out a plan for Green inclusion over the next three to five year seems to be the smart solution.

The 2011 EcoVisionary Awards will be the very first event of its type and will draw participants from across the country and various parts of the world. In addition, this program combines a workshop/seminar approach that allows all attendees to learn the key principles for the development of an authentically Green business.

My point is that I agree with you Steven!

Any company willing to submit itself to that much vaginal expansion has poor management. 

They should be boycotted!

Your point is that the company should fail because they didn't want to turn their $99 saw into a $450 saw even though you were more than willing to pay for it.

My point is that they should be boycotted because they listen to people like you.

We are on the same team this time.

best wishes,


ps... I hope you get what you want. 

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#10) On June 22, 2011 at 1:22 AM, FleaBagger (27.54) wrote:

I kind of skimmed this post, so pardon me if I missed something, but did you just come out against a government regulation to make something safer? Or were you just writing ironically? Because if I were a Progressive, I'd vote for the Gass mandate just on the basis of Walk the Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix, and that guy who played Agent Doggett and the T1000. And Reese Witherspoon.

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#11) On June 22, 2011 at 3:16 AM, awallejr (38.43) wrote:

 I extrapolated that small sample to the whole saw buying market.

Sorry but that is a very big stretch off an incredibly small market sample.

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#12) On June 22, 2011 at 7:07 PM, devoish (67.13) wrote:


Thats why I gave you the numbers, so you could be the judge. But of all the people who have posted on this subject, Rich's post or mine, I am the only person who took the time to read any of them, so my data is still best. Note; people have bid up drug company stocks over rsearch samples smaller than 25 people. There are more to read if you want to.


Regulations are always my last choice. If oil companys stop pumping CO2 into that portion of the atmosphere that affects my family on their own, I'm good with that.


Hiow you always manage to misintrepret what I write amazes me. It is like you do it on purpose or something. You cannot even add my numbers correctly. The current price of the saws is $149. The price ofthe Saw-Stop is $160. So a $149 saw is being turned into a much safer $310 saw.

$99 to $450. You are a piece of work, aren't you.

Best wishes,


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#13) On June 23, 2011 at 7:33 AM, ChrisGraley (28.51) wrote:

They don't have any margins on that device? Yeah, they''ll last in business real long with that gameplan!

The saw that you bought was not the $99 dollar saw?

You didn't willingly buy a saw without the safety device before?

The only piece of work here is you, but boycott away. I hope that you run them out of business.

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#14) On June 23, 2011 at 7:20 PM, awallejr (38.43) wrote:

Devoish you are comparing apples to oranges with your Phase 1 drug sample with your 25 man opinion poll. People will run up those stocks on the speculative hope that later trials prove out.

The market should dictate what happens.  I am sure there are people who would love the feature.  But I suspect many would pass it up strictly on cost and may even be priced out  to even buy any table saw.  Right now Gass has the patent.  He is free to make his own saws in the end.  That is what the free market is all about.  And should his company steal dramatic table saw share from Stanley, well then good for him for seizing the moment.

But to try to get a government mandate to essentially give one man an ultimate monopoly in order to basically protect the careless is just sticking it again to Joe Shmoe.  Big brother wants to double his cost because it essentialy protects a small minority of klutzs. 

Now if you have some kind of scientific research that shows that a clear majority are out there cutting off their fingers well present that at least.

I would buy it because I am one of those klutzs and can afford it, but I won't force everyone to do so.

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#15) On June 24, 2011 at 6:02 PM, devoish (67.13) wrote:


I bought the saw ten years ago. 


This is an investing website. I wrote a post suggesting Stanleys management was weak because they failed to recognise an opportunity to sell a saw for $350, equipped with a device that people have paid $2500 for and more people are asking for and hoping for the lower price point.

This post was inspired by a political post. I investigated the claims in the political post, and found that there was pretty strong desire for saws equipped with the sawstop.

If you would like to discuss the politics of regulation, Rich and I have pretty much rolled around both sides of the coin. 

Best wishes,



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#16) On June 24, 2011 at 9:54 PM, ChrisGraley (28.51) wrote:

Ok, so you bought it a few years ago when it works for you and 10 years ago when it doesn't.

I was a little tanked when I saw the original video about the device. A little less tanked when I found out that the company had to rely on a government mandate to survive. The fact that you have to come on and boycott companies that don't automatically sign up leaves me even less enthused.

 This is an investing website. I wrote a post suggesting Stanleys management was weak because they failed to recognise an opportunity to sell a saw for $350, equipped with a device that people have paid $2500 for and more people are asking for and hoping for the lower price point.

Great! If they sell the saw for $350 then they are stupid because they have no margin and no safety net. If people are happy to pay $2500 dollars for it with Gass then there shouldn't be a problem, unless in the back of your head, you understand that paying $2500 for that piece of crap is a problem. 

Stanley doesn't think that they can make money off of it. They may be right and they may be wrong, but it's their freakin company and  your happy ass isn't going to bail them out if they make a bad decision like those evil banks that you hate but are more than happy to enable their rights to steal. 

Please though, try to run them into the ground. I've got nothing against them other than they've tried to conform to your diluted views of the world and you are still happy to throw them under the bus. Your act of disgust is a brilliant demonstration.

Please continue. 


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#17) On June 25, 2011 at 7:17 AM, devoish (67.13) wrote:


Try to calm down, and if "tanked" means "drunk" don't type when you are tanked.

Your last three paragraphs could easily be rewritten without the unpleasant attitude. For example in your first paragraph you could have written;

'When Stanley says the Sawstop device will add $160 to the cost of the saw did they include a profit margin?' to which I might have replied 'I would think so, but I do not know, perhaps the saw should sell for $379.'

In your second paragraph you might have tried;

Stanley does not think they can make any money off it, and they are responsible for their company. Plus you hate evil banks but you help evil banks steal.

And I might have replied; I think there is enough evidence to suggest that Stanley is wrong, which is the essence of the post.  When Hank Paulson and GWB were bailing out the banks it was my suggestion that an adequate safety net was already in place for them - unemployment checks, although a new post might be a better place for that discussion.

And in your third you might have observed that you disagree with my assessment of Stanleys management, which you overall, think is doing a pretty good job.

Best wishes,






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