10 Million Dollar Stick Review by Jonathan Salisbury, The Woodworker Magazine October 2019

Are you setting a quiz and looking for a ‘mystery item?’ If so, look no further! What a funny looking push stick… Actually, this isn’t a push stick; it’s a clamp.

Safety first

The 10 Million Dollar Stick (10MDS) allows you to keep wood in place on a chop or radial arm saw without risking a trip to A&E if you get it wrong. The 10 in the name refers somewhat ominously to how many fingers and thumbs you ought to have, by the way. The manual holding of wood close to any sharp, fast-moving blade is of course foolhardy and can be awkward, especially if you are cutting an angle and/or the workpiece is relatively small.

How it’s used

The concept is simple; a ‘wishbone’ on the end of a long handle provides a finger and thumb that is used to clamp work. It works best if the chop saw table is long enough to put the wishbone end on the material and the other end on the table surface, more or less left to right. It can also be used the other way around; pushing down on the handle in between the two ends creates the clamping force. The bed of the chop saw I used for the test was much too short to do this, so I rested the ‘finger’ on the material and the thumb on the machine table, the rubber pads on the underside of these stopping it from slipping. The handle can be held at a safe distance from the blade and the slight curve along its length allows sufficient pressure to be applied to hold the wood firmly in place, the arched fingers pressing down rather than sideways, as the chop saw does its job. The tube grip on the handle slides along if you want to reposition it and the ‘ergonomic’ shape makes it comfortable to use. I showed it to a colleague who does far more chop saw work than me and he rotated it onto a thicker piece of wood so that the arch pushed against the edge.

Conclusion

If you have a chop saw, I think that the 10MDS would be a very wise investment. It would have been good for it to come with a photo or a little card to show how it is used; it seems so obvious now, but I had to do some research on the internet as I couldn’t work it out. The rubber studs could do with being a little softer and they need to be kept clean as they don’t grip as well when dusty. They also don’t seem to be replaceable. £17.99 is possibly a little o n the high side, but can you put a price on keeping your fingers? $10million says you can’t!

Specification

  • Keeps hands away from the blade while cutting small parts
  • Ergonomic injection moulded design
  • Wishbone shape with gripping, rubber feet

The Verdict

Pros
Provides reliable downwards clamping force; much more secure than using a push stick; quick, easy and comfortable to use; prevents risk to fingers when holding close to a blade

Cons
Rubber studs would be better if a little softer and they don’t seem to be replaceable

Rating
4 out of 5

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