Determining a Safe Table Saw Blade Height

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When it comes to blade changes and using a table saw, especially using it safely, there’s more to it than just putting the blade on and making a cut. It’s very important that the table saw blade height is correctly set. It’s easy to do, only takes a second, will help keep you safer on the table saw, AND help your blade cut better.

What’re we looking for?

The first step in getting table saw blade height correct is understanding a little jargon. The valleys between the teeth are called gullets. This is true not only on table saw blades, but on all blades. We’re going to use the gullet as a benchmark to make sure the blade is at the right elevation.

Why bother?

Getting the blade to the right height helps you in a few ways. It minimizes your exposure to the blade; there’s no need to have 3” of blade sticking out of the saw when cutting ¾” stock. And in many cases it helps the blade perform better, optimizing the cut quality.

More on safety

When it comes to using a table saw safely, there’s more to it than just setting the table saw blade height correctly. There are LOTS of things you need to be aware of to avoid table saw accidents. Be sure to have a look at WWGOA’s table saw safety tips to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself.

Such a versatile tool

Very few woodworkers will argue against the idea that the table saw is the heart of most shops, used extensively for a variety of tasks. Be sure you’re getting the most out of your machine by having a look at more videos on how to use a table saw.

Discussion
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4 Responses to “Determining a Safe Table Saw Blade Height”
  1. christopher

    thanks for the tip, I have always wondered how high I should have the blade.

    Reply
  2. David Dunn

    Interesting, I had always been told to have the teeth slightly above the piece to be cut. Does this also apply to a circular saw?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi David. Yes, this would apply to a circular saw as well. You want the full tooth to be above (or below in the case of a hand held circular saw) the wood, with the gullet just proud of the wood surface.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
  3. Dennis Coleman

    Hi George,
    Just saw your video on setting blade height. The base of the gullets is the normal recommendation, and what we teach in our safety classes, but I did have a company rep from a top blade manufacturing company tell me that if you are using a SawStop, the blade should be as high as possible. His argument was that with a SawStop, the risk of contacting the blade is minimum, but there is still great risk of kickback. The minimum risk of kickback is with the blade all the way up where the teeth are pulling the board towards the table rather that trying to throw it back at the user. His argument has some merit, but I will admit that I still set the blade as you recommended (and I do have a SawStop), and I use other methods to prevent kickback such as a riving knife and a GR-Ripper.

    Reply

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