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Thread: Table Saw Kickback

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Beantown
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    2,277
    I spend tons of hours behind a tablesaw.

    A low blade and kickback definitely coincide with kickback.

    I always run a high blade. Not anything silly but not a tooth exposed or any nonsense like that. A good inch or so above the top of the workpiece or more.

    As for blade guards and splitters. I think I have seen like a half of person that uses a tablesaw on a daily basis to make a living use either in 20 years. Ok that’s not true but honestly it actually kinda is.

    They do both work but are not practical in normal workflow. They also are not needed if you are comfortable competent and mindful.

    Good insurance sure.

    Use them if that’s what your comfortable with but don’t tell others a thread needs to be closed because they don’t agree.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Toronto Ontario
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    Hi Lowell, there are 3 main methods of preventing kickback.

    1) use a splitter or riving knife to prevent the work piece from contacting the rear of the blade.

    2) use a crown guard to prevent the work piece from contacting the top of the blade.

    3) use a short rip fence that ends just slightly beyond the start of the saw blade.

    Regards, Rod

  3. #18
    I haven't noticed anyone else mention one other variable to consider - make sure your miter slot is aligned to the blade and your fence is aligned to the miter slot. If the fence is out of alignment and angled in toward the blade, even very slightly, as in a few thousandths, in my experience the potential for kickback increases substantially, regardless of where the blade height is set.

    Another thing to watch out for is tension in wood that might cause it to pinch the blade. This is another case for a splitter or riving knife.

    I don't personally believe that table saw blade height is a major factor in kickback. Table saw blades vary quite a bit and the correct blade height for one tooth geometry might be different for another anyway.

    Honestly, I feel the bandsaw is much safer and more pleasant way to rip hardwood, but if one insisted on using a table saw, the suggestions in this thread are good precautions.

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    Hi Lowell, there are 3 main methods of preventing kickback.

    1) use a splitter or riving knife to prevent the work piece from contacting the rear of the blade.

    2) use a crown guard to prevent the work piece from contacting the top of the blade.

    3) use a short rip fence that ends just slightly beyond the start of the saw blade.

    Regards, Rod
    Rod, I agree 100% with 1 & 3 but I don't understand #2, I agree it prevents your hand from contacting the blade, not sure how it prevents workpiece from contacting top of blade, please enlighten me.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Walsh View Post
    I spend tons of hours behind a tablesaw.

    A low blade and kickback definitely coincide with kickback.

    I always run a high blade. Not anything silly but not a tooth exposed or any nonsense like that. A good inch or so above the top of the workpiece or more.

    As for blade guards and splitters. I think I have seen like a half of person that uses a tablesaw on a daily basis to make a living use either in 20 years. Ok that’s not true but honestly it actually kinda is.

    They do both work but are not practical in normal workflow. They also are not needed if you are comfortable competent and mindful.

    Good insurance sure.

    Use them if that’s what your comfortable with but don’t tell others a thread needs to be closed because they don’t agree.
    A low blade and kickback coincide with kickback? Could you clarify?

    Also, what is it about a riving knife that is not practical in normal workflow? Blade guard sure, but I fail to see how a riving knife gets in the way of working on a table saw.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Elmodel, Ga.
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    475
    In all the responses, no one has mentioned anything about anti-kickback pawls that are on new saws. Does anyone use them, or just discard them when they get their new saw. As far as blade height, both of my saws have to have the blade higher than I like when using the guard. So if the engineers designed it this way, maybe the blade needs to be a little higher than what I usually run my saw at. I have always been told the gullets should be just at the top of the material being cut. But again, if the guard is on, that point is mute.
    SWE

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    Hi Doug, the crown guard covers the top of the blade, you can’t have a piece of wood touch that area of the blade as it’s covered.

    Obviously if a piece of contacted the top of the blade it would be ejected towards the operator....Rod

  8. #23
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    Dec 2006
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    Toronto Ontario
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    Hi Steve, the anti-kickback pawls are not used on many table saws.

    They’re not usable on non through cuts whereas the 3 standard safety devices are....Rod

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    East Virginia
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    810
    Don't stand behind the blade.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
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    2,304
    Another thing to keep in mind is that my saw came with a riving knife that was designed for a standard kerf (1/8”) saw blade. It won’t work with a thin kerf blade and gets removed when one is used. Just something to check if you change blade thickness.
    Last edited by Phil Mueller; 01-27-2020 at 8:07 AM.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Highland MI
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    A tooth above user here. And I always breathe a sigh of relief when the board reaches the splitter. I use a Sharkguard on my G1023 whenever possible, not just safety, but dust collection. And never rip a square block of wood, asking for kickback as the wood may never reach the splitter/riving knife. Exception would be sheet goods where you can keep both hands on the work.
    NOW you tell me...

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    Hi Steve, the anti-kickback pawls are not used on many table saws.

    They’re not usable on non through cuts whereas the 3 standard safety devices are....Rod
    Riving Knives and splitters cannot be used on non-through cuts either as they stick up higher than the top of the teeth.
    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

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Tucson, Aridzona
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    195
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    Riving Knives and splitters cannot be used on non-through cuts either as they stick up higher than the top of the teeth.
    Splitters sure, but all the actual riving knives I've seen can be left for non-through cuts.
    ~mike

    currently ratless

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
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    19,849
    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    Splitters sure, but all the actual riving knives I've seen can be left for non-through cuts.
    There are certainly a number of saws out there where the RK has been morphed to hold a guard or pawls and no longer functions like an RK. Kickback danger is reduced by an RK. Cuts that free a keeper or a spoil piece before the RK is engaged can still get launched. There is not universal rule for tablesaw safety. I set my blade height for the operation I am performing. In general I clear the gullet by a bit. For veneers I set the blade higher to adjust the geometry of the tooth path. For joinery operations the blade height is part of the joints profile and is set to the height required for the cut; tenons, rabbets, finger joints, etc.
    “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,”
    -Jonathan Swift

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Chicagoland
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    Wow! With the possibility of a life changing accident I can't believe after reading through these posts how many do not use a blade guard or splitter. I have a Shark Guard - the bonus is you get top of saw dust collection. I also use a set of clear-cut TS stock guides. I know there are some cuts that makes some of these safety features unusable but it takes maybe 30 seconds to put the splitter and/or blade guard back on and probably another 30 seconds to set up the stock guides. Some times it does slow you down a bit because the push stick may not have a super clear path but well worth it to work safely.

    OP - I too like others set the blade gullet right at or just above the wood.


    Mike

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