Table Saw Safety
In The Home Shop

Table saw safety should be on your mind the minute you reach for the switch. Don't be a statistic, practice safe working habits.

"Everyone knows that table saws are dangerous."

While that statement might be true up to a point, I think it's fair to say that most table saw accidents are caused by the table saw operator and poor working habits. So, it might be more realistic to state...

"Everyone knows that some table saw operators are a danger to themselves."

Accidents occur for various reasons, but when was the last time you heard of one caused by a table saw attacking some unsuspecting woodworker while his back was turned? It doesn't happen.

Instead, Let's look into some of the real reasons for these preventable mishaps and why table saw safety is so important:

  • Dull or warped blade, blade not properly aligned to fence, and poor maintenance of equipment in general. These can lead to a condition know as kickback.

  • Not paying attention. When working at the table saw, that is all a person should be concerned with.

  • No blade guard or splitter attached to the saw. This is a common problem, especially among more experienced users. Sooner or later though, something is going to happen -- a near miss, or worse.

  • Clutter. Using the saw as a shelf for tools and bits of wood. No free space around the saw to maneuver.

I'm not preaching here, I've had my share of close calls, usually initiated by doing something foolish... even though I knew better. I've been lucky enough to escape with only my pride hurt.

In the articles below, we'll cover table saw safety in greater detail and provide useful information on how to make your home shop a safer place to work.

Table Saw Safety Articles

Table Saw Safety Tips and Practices I've put together this collection of table saw safety tips as a quick reference for the budding woodworker with little or no experience with the table saw. Of course, everyone could benefit from boning up on them every now and again.

Shop made zero clearance table saw inserts Zero clearance inserts help prevent those small cut-offs from getting caught between the saw blade and the edge of the insert, which if caught by the back of the blade, could get thrown back at the operator. Best of all, they can be made cheaply from scrap, saving you money in the process.

Adding a table saw splitter to a zero clearance insert If you use zero clearance inserts, adding a table saw splitter directly to the insert is an effective method of preventing kickback when ripping stock on your table saw. It's easy to make them from wood or you can use an inexpensive aftermarket alternative.