Table saw kickback is the worst nightmare that a woodworker never expects. It is disappointing and dangerous also. The hospitals receive almost thousands of cases every year caused by kickback. So, preventing it is necessary and can be done by taking a few precautions.
A table saw is the largely used cutting device among all other tools. As it requires less effort and force, workers prefer it to cut through any material. Professional or non-professional, no matter how often you use it, should be aware of the table saw kickback.
If you are a DIYer, or new to the woodworking job, and want to know about kickback prevention, then you are in the right place. Here, we will cover everything that may come helpful to you to escape this problem.
What Is a Kickback?
Kickback is a common term for woodworkers if they are using a table saw. It happens without any warning and may cause serious injury to the operator. So, if you are using a table saw, then you must be aware of the kickback to ensure harmless operation.
When a kickback occurs, the cutting wood comes back to the operator directly at a good speed. This wood piece can strike at the chest, torso, or even the head that may cause trauma which may lead to injury to the operator.
We said before that the kickback happens without any warning. So, there is a high possibility that your hand may go through the blade and the result will be a disaster.
Why Does Kickback Happen?
Before prevention, you should know why a table saw kickback happens. Below we will discuss it.
1. There is a space in between the back table and the rip fence. While ripping a wood piece, it can get stuck there. But at that time the blade will continue spinning and may throw the wood piece backward.
The force of the wood piece will be enough to hurt you. So, make sure that type of situation never appears.
2. The backside of the blade has teeth. If a work piece gets in touch with it, force generates automatically and throws the wood piece back. The worst part is that your hand may go into the blade which may end by amputation.
Working with a table saw is fun but you should be aware of the harmful consequences.
3. When the ripping is half done, the board can send back the wood piece at great force. As a result, the blade gets pinched by the kerf which is not good for the table saw and hampers the ongoing project also.
The strength of the table saw plays a big role here. If it is powerful, then the blade will drive the board back and can smack on your head or face.
How to Prevent Table Saw Kickback?
Based on our discussion, the kickback concept should be clear. So, it is time to know some essential facts that will help you to avoid it. We advise you to go through this part thoroughly so that you can do the prevention properly.
Aligning the Rip Fence Properly: Improper rip fence alignment is a common cause of kickback. And it happens very often to the woodworkers. The injury caused by it can be very serious sometimes. But some initial actions can do the prevention appropriately.
Before starting your work, make sure that the rip fence and the table saw blade are parallel aligned. Otherwise, a funnel effect can form itself and push the force back to the wood piece. Proper alignment is well-enough to get rid of this problem.
The Use of a Splitter: Due to continuous rotation, the saw blade drifts the workpiece back sometimes. To avoid it, using a splitter is a good choice. It sticks with the wood piece strongly and prevents any kind of drift back.
The negative side of using a splitter is that it stays fixed. Therefore, it will not change position with the blade to cut anything. It stays behind and makes sure that the cutting piece is in its place.
While cutting groove, you cannot use the splitter. The same is for the non-through cuts. Besides these, a splitter is good to restrict the kickback of table saw.
Riving Knife: There could be many reasons for the wood to drift back while cutting. But if a riving knife is in place, the chances decrease. It is an arched shaped object that comes along with the table saw.
A riving knife moves with the saw blade and locks the workpiece perfectly. Due to its effortless moving, you can work on grooves and non-through cuts even when the knife is on.
Feather Boards: A few workers use feather boards to stop kickback by the table saw. It is not considered as the first choice, but as long as safety is the concern, you may go with it.
It prevents to press down the sawn section of the working piece. As a result, the kickback never occurs. All you need to do is just adjust the feather board and you are all safe.
Effectiveness of a Push Stick: As an anti-kickback option, a push-stick works really well. It is very dangerous to use your hand to drive down the wood piece while a push stick can do that easily and safely.
Getting a push stick is not that hard. You will find various types of them at the wood store or you can make one on your own. Though it is little but very effective to prevent table saw kickback.
Crosscut Sled: A crosscut sled keeps your hand away from the saw blade. It is a very useful device to prevent the kickback. It ensures that the fence never moves and no displacement at all.
While working on a power tool, safety should be the prime concern and if it is a table saw, and then you must be aware of the kickback. There are reports of serious injury cause by it and sometimes the loss is beyond imagination.
We prefer the precision of cutting from table saw but how to prevent table saw kickback should be the priority for all. If you have went through the guide properly, then by now you should know the tactics that can save you from table saw kickback.