March 18, 2022

What causes kickback on a table saw

Kickback occurs when the blade picks up wood and violently throws it towards you, happening far faster than you can respond. And this occurs when the workpiece pinches the blade or becomes trapped between the blade and the rip fence.

Table saw kickback is most common in the following situations:

• When a board is halfway through a rip cut, and the kerf starts clutching the blade, it can kickback. The blade on a powerful table saw can propel the board right at you or flip it up and spank you in the face. And this will, at the very least, cause the saw to stall.

• A workpiece can potentially become trapped between the rip fence and the blade’s rear. Ensure that the fence on your table saw is wholly aligned with the blade to avoid this. The workpiece can be thrown back at you while the blade revolves.

• When a piece of wood comes into touch with a blade’s back tooth. It is then raised onto the blade and hurled back at you with extreme force. And this happens much more quickly than you can react. Worst of all, you can drag your hand into the blade, and amputation could result.

How to circumvent kickback on the table saw?

There are seven ways to avoid table saw kickback. To limit the danger of injury from kickback on a table saw, follow these guidelines:

1. Make sure that essential safety elements are in place 

Safety features on modern table saws are ideal for keeping you out of harm’s path. A riving knife is one of those features. A riving knife is a blade with a bit of metal that stays close to the blade’s teeth at the back. It keeps the workpiece from pinching the blade or contacting the back teeth. The incredible thing about it is that it moves up and down with the blade, giving support regardless of its height. Use a riving knife or, at the very least, a splitter whenever possible.

2. Never chop with your hands

In your workshop, there should be no free-hand table saw cuts. Rip fences and miter gauges are standard on all table saws. A rip fence is suitable for stabilizing your stock as you drive it through the blade during rip cuts. A miter gauge is an instrument that helps you make cross cuts by acting as a support.

Crosscutting with the miter gauge and the rip fence is not recommended. Your workpiece may become jammed if you do so, resulting in kickback.

Crosscutting on a table saw can be done in a variety of ways. 

3. Instead of using the rip fence to crosscut, use a mitre gauge or a crosscut sled. 

Connect a stop block to the fence for accurate length measurement and use the miter gauge to guide your stock through the blade. You won’t have to get bored with your workpiece being crushed between the fence and the blade. Building a crosscut sled is another popular option. 

A crosscut sled is a moving area that you use to move your workpiece across the blade by inserting it into the miter slots. This is the safest, fastest, and most convenient crosscutting technique on a table saw. No single measure will completely protect you from kickback. As a result, it’s a good idea to use a push stick or a push block every time you cut. 

4. Use a push stick to keep your hands away from the blade and gain better control. 

You can hold back your hands from the blade with a push stick. You can rest assured that your hand will not get dragged into the blade if kickback occurs. Furthermore, because it offers you better stock control, a push stick acts as a kickback deterrent.

To begin, place the stick in the center of the board. When you push the stock to the side, it will twist and slide towards the blade’s back. When pressing stock, apply more effort to the side of the fence rather than the blade. 

Take extra caution when moving wood dangling from the table saw’s side. Don’t put any downward pressure on the stock’s end. And this can cause it to rise on the other side, hoisted up by the blade’s rear teeth and smacking you in the face. You may even guide the board on both ends using two push sticks.

5. Don’t cut crooked material 

Working with uneven boards on a table saw can be harmful. The board’s irregular surface prevents continuous contact with the rip fence or miter gauge. As the saw passes through the crooked grain, the pressure moves at the point where the board is warped, uneven, or twisted, which subsequently presses against the blade, causing backlash. Additionally, be cautious when working with boards with many knots since this might cause the blade to pinch.

6. Maintain and check your blade: 

Make sure your blade is sharp and straight. A dull saw is a dangerous tool. Cutting stock with a flat blade is problematic, resulting in overheating and warping. As a result, the blade and the fence become misaligned. Never use a damaged or warped blade.

7. Be aware

When using a table saw, staying awake is essential. Don’t touch the table saw if you’re not feeling well.

Are anti-kickback pawls necessary?

Saw attachments known as anti-kickback pawls help decrease kickback when using a saw. They lower the danger of harm and damage to equipment. They’re compatible with both table and radial arm saws. They don’t come with all saws, so you’ll have to buy them individually in certain circumstances. 

While anti-kickback pawls will lower the chance of injury or damage to your equipment, you should still be cautious and utilize appropriate safety devices. Before using your saw, make sure it’s secure, clear the area around your workstation, consider using safety eyewear and don’t stand in the way that could cause you to lose your balance.

Table saw kickback speed.

Table saw kickback causes the workpiece to be thrown backward at the operator, dragging a hand through the blade or forcing the operator to tumble forward into the blade. Kickback happens when the saw blade’s teeth, operating at 120 miles per hour, transfer enough force to cause the workpiece to shift violently and unexpectedly.

Table saw a kickback guard.

Always utilize the safety equipment included with your table saw, consisting of a riving knife and blade guard. Install a riving knife if your saw doesn’t have one before using it. If you don’t respect your table saw and its power, it will give you an unpleasant reminder of how fast the blade moves in the shape of a nasty bit of kickback.

Table saw kickback injuries.

Table saws are commonplace in professional, home, and school woodshops, and they have the potential to injure people seriously. Many of these accidents result in tendon, nerve, and vascular damage or amputation of the fingers and thumbs. Functional and sensory deficits are possible long-term consequences of these injuries.

Does a riving knife prevent kickback?

Some companies offer a single knife system with removable kickback pawls, while others provide a fixed guard and pawl system with a second low-profile knife. Kickback is considerably reduced due to its tight and consistent closeness to the teeth. The guard must also be attached to a riving knife-style spreader that rises and falls with the blade. In addition, the system must be simple to set up and dismantle. For most cutting operations, excluding doing, either the riving knife or the guard/spreader can be left on the saw.

How do you avoid kickback or ejection when ripping on a table saw?

When ripping wood with a table saw, you’re likely to run into any issues. These problems might be anything from inconvenient to hazardous. These mistakes can be minimized or prevented with basic instructions, procedures, and the necessary equipment, whether the issue is erroneous cuts, waste, or harm. The most dangerous mistakes are binding, kickback, and ejecting the wood stock. Making sure you have the correct equipment is a beautiful place to start. Dewalt is ideal for table saws.

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