The table saw is one of the most used power tools. But, it is also one of the most dangerous when it comes to kickbacks and stuff. That is why table saw with safety is a must for anyone who uses it.
I am truly amazed at that person who takes no safety measures even after hearing all the horrifying stories. The table saw is like the machine of kickbacks. Wood piece traveling at a fast pace and coming right at your face, you can imagine how dangerous that is.
And that’s not all! The blade is, of course, whirling at a pace that can cut off fingers in an instant. Therefore, it is so important to know the proper safety features of a table saw and also use some common sense when using this saw.
Table Saw Safety Features
The main way you can stay safe is if you use the saw’s safety features properly. On the other hand, other safety precautions will follow with simple common sense. Here are table saw with safety features and all tips step by step.
The blade guard
The most dangerous part of the table saw or any other saw really is the saw blade. You should take every precaution to stay away from the blade’s path. In addition, taking proper measure to make the surrounding of the saw safer is also important.
That is why the blade guard is thought to be a very necessary and important safety feature of the table saw. The guard simply covers the blade. And when a workpiece is passed through then it slides up. This allows the blade to cut the workpiece.
The guard covers the blade in such a way that it does not touch any part of the blade. And in this way, the blade guard contributes to keeping your hand at a safe distance from the blade.
The issue with this safety feature is that some blade guards are not transparent. That is why many people find it a problem since they cannot see the blade. But, I would highly recommend against it especially if you are a newbie. It is better to use the table saw with a blade guard on.
Moreover, the guard could prove to be a problem when you are removing the blade or changing the blade. But, it is only a matter of more time than anything else really. That is why you should continue to use the table saw with safety blade guard.
The splitters are another safety feature present on different table saws. Splitter is small in size, vertically placed blade made of plastic generally. The splitter is position just behind the table saw blade. It is a great addition to a table saw for fighting against kickbacks.
Sometimes a workpiece can get caught in the blade rather than sliding past. When this happens then you are likely to experience a kickback. But, no need to worry if you have the splitters on.
The splitter makes sure that the workpiece cannot get caught and come back at you. It is a good decision to have the splitter on when working with the table saw.
The big issue with splitters is that they have to be removed for making certain type of cuts.
Table saw pawls
These are known as the table saw anti-kickback pawls. Generally, they are attached to the splitters and help in preventing kickbacks.
These pawls have what is called claws. As your material passes through the blade, the pawls with the claws sort of grab the material. Since the pawls apply pressure to the material, it ensures that the material does not hurl back at you. In this way, the anti-kickback pawls resist the workpiece from being thrown by the blade.
Just like the splitter, the anti-kickback pawls also need removal when making certain type of cuts.
Even though the splitter and the pawls are good kickback fighters, the riving knife is the best in this scenario. So, their job is the same. But, the riving knife is actually more effective.
Unlike splitters which are fixed, the riving knife actually moves along with the blade. And this is a lot better than being fixed at one point.
Moreover, there is no need to remove the riving knife no matter what type of cut you are making. It moves and works with any adjustment of the blade.
Since the knife is mounted a lot closer to the blade, it ensures that the wood has less of a chance to get caught at the back of the blade. In addition, it also ensures that your hand never comes in contact with the back of the blade either.
So, splitter or riving knife? You can use any one of them to be honest. If you use the splitter then you just need to make sure that you remove them when necessary. And then put them back on again.
The grippers are great safety equipment to guide your workpiece all the way through the blade. They are bulky and provide more surface area to put sufficient pressure on the material.
The grippers are going to give you better control over the material piece. In addition, it will keep chances of danger to a minimum too.
The push sticks are almost similar safety tools like the grippers. These also help you in guiding the material through the rotating blade. A push stick is literally a stick that has one side open to grab any material.
You can actually use two push sticks at once. And I prefer using two over one since this gives more control and comfort.
The big advantage of using push sticks is that they keep your hands far away from getting near to the saw blade. So, you can guide materials without worry so much about losing fingers on the blade.
Other necessary table saw with safety features include magnetic switch and sensors. The magnetic switch serves well when there is any problem with power. Moreover, it protects the motor from overload too. There are now some table saws that have sensors installed on the blade. These sensors are triggered when the skin comes into contact with the blade.
Safety tips for table saw
When you are using the table saw, you need to take some precautions. Here are some safety tips that you have to follow to stay safer when using a table saw.
- There is really no need to mention about the safety gear you have to put on. That includes eye protection, face protection, hand protection, etc. A table saw is too dangerous to not wear protective clothing.
- Avoid cutting with freehand. Always try to use the fence or the miter gauge to keep the stock on track. Learn how you can make a table saw fence yourself in how to make table saw fence. Moreover, push sticks or grippers are also gonna help.
- It is a good habit to check the cutting material before placing it for the cut. Look for foreign objects like a nail or something. Try to remove them and then cut the workpiece.
- Keep the top of the table clean always especially the area around the blade. You can clean up after finishing work or before you start the work.
- Stay alert when cutting any large piece of material. Also, you can cut the large piece into smaller piece and then cut with your table saw. Furthermore, using an outfeed table is also handy for cutting large ones.
- Take proper precaution whenever making adjustments to the blade or the saw. Always keep the power out before changing the blade or making any other saw adjustments.
- Take a good position before starting the saw. For example, never stand right in the line of the blade. When kickbacks occur then the piece is thrown in the exact line of the blade. Either stand to the right or the left of the blade. In addition, position yourself such that you don’t have to move around much during the cutting process.
- Check the install the right blade for the right cut. Never use a blade for a material which the blade is not capable of cutting.
- Take out the blades and clean them regularly. Make sure that they are sharp enough to get the job done.
- Never leave while the saw is still running. This is very important if you have any children at home or nearby.
You should have a safer day using the table saw with safety features and tips. Just read them a few times and then instinct will kick in. Also, using common sense is also a part of safety. Don’t try anything stupid and use the table saw with the proper safety tips in mind.
Learn how you can get the most out of the table saw in how to use a table saw.