When you’re using your table saw you need to take every precaution to make sure you’re using the saw safely. One of the most prevalent table saw accidents comes from kick back.
Table saw blades spin at a high rpm that creates a rim speed, how fast the teeth are traveling, in excess of 120 miles per hour. If the teeth are given the opportunity to grab a chunk of wood and throw it back, it comes out of the saw (and in your direction) REALLY fast. Probably faster than you can get out of the way. Imagine a hardwood airborne missile zinging your way. If it hits you you’ll, at minimum, have a nasty bruise. Worst case scenario? Well, let’s not even go there.
An ounce of prevention…
Don’t panic and stop using your table saw. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the likelihood of anything bad happening, and avoid kickback on the table saw.
– Body position: never stand in line with the saw blade. You want to be out of the line of fire
– Never stand between the miter slots. Stand to the left or right of them
– Use a miter gauge for crosscuts
– Use push sticks when necessary
– Add feather boards to secure your work
– Use a riving knife
If you follow these rules of the road you’ll keep yourself much safer in the shop and around your table saw. Here are more great tips for safely using a table saw.