Page 1 of 6 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 86

Thread: Table Saw Kickback

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    6,834
    Blog Entries
    1

    Table Saw Kickback

    I just watched a video made by Kelly Mahler on table saw kickback.
    He had the saw blade extended to full height.
    I set my blade height at the thickness of the wood and use a push stick. I did cut my thumb one
    time and had to go to the emergency room. By limiting the height of the blade, you avoid more
    possible exposure. I have had no injuries since then.

    Do you have any opinions on this. Just wondering.

  2. #2
    I never consider safety when setting blade height. I set a proper height for the material, then try my best not to put myself in a position to be injured by that blade. The blade height plus one tooth rule is like telling a delivery driver not to drive over 20 mph because the potential for injury is less. Sure it would seem to be safer, but what good is that if it means not being able to do the job in an adequate manner.

  3. #3
    I usually set the blade height so the bottom of the gullet just clears the wood at the blade apex.

    I was taught this was a good balance between efficiency of the cut, safety (blade not being too high) and reducing kickback (blade not being too low).

    My prejudice is that the bigger danger is kickback because it is not always intuitive: A lower blade height cuts closer to the apex of the blade, where more of the force is forward. A higher blade cuts towards the rear of the blade, where the force is upwards, and has a shorter path to exit.

    While I should use a blade guard, I find that it more often than not interferes with my ability to use a push stick or block, so I do not normally use one unless I'm doing a bunch of long rips

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    1,629
    If you're using a guard you can set the blade where ever it will do the best job without compromising safety. Lots of times having the teeth just above the top of the board is not the best height.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Posts
    15,202
    I set the blade the same as Prashun, thereís no need to set it higher. Iíve never had a serious kick back, knock wood.
    Please help support the Creek.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    - Steven Wright

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    773
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post

    [snip]

    My prejudice is that the bigger danger is kickback because it is not always intuitive: A lower blade height cuts closer to the apex of the blade, where more of the force is forward. A higher blade cuts towards the rear of the blade, where the force is upwards, and has a shorter path to exit.

    [snip]
    On my saw a high blade cuts at the front and pushes downward. I am confused by your statement Prashun. Perhaps what you said is not what you meant, or I am not reading it right...

    I get what you are saying about the angle of the cut on a low blade. But the cut always occurs at the front half of the blade, if the saw is aligned properly. So I think, anyway...
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,541
    Its a bad idea to have the teeth basically just flush to or slightly above the top of the material being cut. For one thing, the teeth are approaching the material at too low of an angle. This can cause your material to ride up as it moves into the cut. To compensate, you will need excessive downward pressure on the material. Excessive pressure by the operator leads to unsafe conditions, much like a dull knife is blamed for more injuries than sharp ones. Make sure the teeth comfortably clear the material.

  8. #8
    I tend to set the blade higher rather than lower. Only the leading edge of the blade should be doing any cutting if your saw is properly aligned. The teeth at the rear are in the kerf that was cut by the front teeth. The rotation of the blade and cutting action of the teeth is putting downward pressure on the piece being cut, hence a higher blade height puts the down force more directly perpendicular to the table surface. The lower the blade above the top of the wood, the downward force is much less creating the greater the chance the piece will climb up the blade as it is pushed into the blade.

    Kick back is a real possibility at any time. It is best to not stand in the potential flight path of the piece being cut if possible. It is also a really good idea to use a splitter or riving knife if your saw has one. Feather boards and hold downs make rip cuts safer, bu can also make he whole process more awkward. Personally I use my Grip Tite feather boards to hold the work against the fence and also hold the trapped piece against the fence behind the blade whenever possible.

    Never use a fence and a miter gauge at the same time.

    Burn marks on one side of your wood indicate poor alignment.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  9. #9
    Had kickback once. I was not injured seriously (big bruise) and I have been way more careful for the last 15 years.

    As for blade height, I go higher with a guard.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    4,456
    My slider saw has a blade guard in a fixed position on the riving knife. I leave the blade almost fully up, with the guard just clearing the crosscut fence. This leaves little chance for my hand to hit the blade.

    On my Unisaw, I set the blade like Lee explained. I use a wood addition to the miter gage to get zero clearance on crosscuts, and push sticks or blocks for rips, which is what I usually use the saw for. Multiple rips, I use the Jessem guides also. They are the best, as they help maintain constant pressure on the work when ripping.

    I also had a kickback once on the Unisaw, just before I bought a Beisemier splitter.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  11. #11
    Hmmmm 10 posts on kickback and only 2 mention a splitter which in my opinion is the best way to prevent kickback along with a push block that applies pressure to the top of the workpiece. Much more critical that blade height, again my opinion.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Greater Manor Metroplex, TX
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    Hmmmm 10 posts on kickback and only 2 mention a splitter which in my opinion is the best way to prevent kickback along with a push block that applies pressure to the top of the workpiece. Much more critical that blade height, again my opinion.

    !00% agree and worry that this thread could turn ugly in a hurry.


    I am one for 1 tooth height above. I understand the arguement about the downward force of a higher blade, but at 4800 rpms, I am not sure is there is enough delta in the angle to make a difference.

    Also, I thought kickback was cause by the wood contacting the back of the blade.


    -Todd

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    SCal
    Posts
    1,233
    I would suggest to moderator to possibly trim or remove some of these posts. Normal confusion can ruin some wood, confusion here can ruin your fingers.

    Full agreement, a splitter is the single biggest safety feature to prevent kick back... as the front of the blade does not want to push the wood towards the user.....although if you set your blade low enough, the front of the blade does offer some forward push, hence why higher blade position is safer for kickback. As others have mentioned, a higher blade with no gaurd has more exposure area to hit your hand. So some judgement calls there.

    New saws have excllent splitters, making it very very difficult for the wood to strike the rear of the blade. A well made after market splitter should be used on saws that do not have a splitter.

    I use crosscut miter gauge with the fence. However, use a 1" block on the fence near the edge of the table. This sets the proper cut distance, as you push the miter guage forward the wood no longer is in contact with the block when the wood hits the blade. Only cause its faster to set my fence vs. my miter gage.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    Hmmmm 10 posts on kickback and only 2 mention a splitter which in my opinion is the best way to prevent kickback along with a push block that applies pressure to the top of the workpiece. Much more critical that blade height, again my opinion.
    I agree with Doug; a splitter essentially puts a "fence" between the workpiece and the spinning blade at the tail end of cut where kickback is lurking. Also agree that a push block prevents the workpiece from wondering to the top of the spinning blade and shooting it back. And pushing the piece through the cut while apply nominal pressure against the rip fence goes without saying.
    Last edited by Vince Shriver; 01-26-2020 at 10:14 PM.

  15. #15
    I said exactly the opposite of what I meant. Sorry: a high blade cuts at the front and wants to push the piece downward.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •