What Is Table Saw Kickback and How To Prevent It

What Is Table Saw Kickback

Suppose you’re the owner of a workshop where woodworks have been doing for personal as well as commercial purposes. Therefore, it is quite obvious that you have to install different kinds of machines and tools for various types of creative works. Every machine and tool has its advantages or disadvantages. Especially, while using the power machines you have to be careful unless accidents may happen anytime. For instance, if you take a table saw, an integral part of carpentry works that gives you the much-needed support to do the work with ease, but it can also be dangerous and causes injuries to the users.
There are many reasons behind those accidents and kickback is one of the main that causes of most injuries and certainly, you would look into the matter to come out of it. Before we go to find a way to solve the problem, it is vital to know why kickback happens. Let’s go.

What Is Table Saw Kickback?

The word kickback indicates a kind of accident that happens when a workpiece is pushed back by the machine towards the backside all of in sudden. A table saw is a tool that works to prepare a wood piece for different kinds of decorative jobs. But unfortunately, due to different reasons, this machine tends to create a kickback while you’re working on it. As we all know that once you start the table saw the blade starts spinning at once with a high speed, and you have to place the wood piece properly so that it gets prepared for further process. But while doing the job when the wood piece gets stuck on the saw blade, it throws the piece onto the backside towards the worker at a great speed without warning causing an accident. If the wood piece is smaller in size then it flies off into the air causing less problem, but as for the bigger piece, it would be simply a nightmare to the woodworkers.  

Why Does Kickback Happen?

There are few reasons behind the kickback. Firstly, if the blade or the fence is not aligned poorly, the stock of the wood may get stuck between the blade and the fence, as a result, the stock is pushed back and pressed so hard that it jumps straight onto you. Secondly, if the stock is not fixed properly, then instead of following the blade, the stock slides away from the fence and spins with the blade. Hence, the stock is thrown upward or backward so fast that if you’re not very lucky, you may face the blow anywhere on your body.

How To Prevent Kickback?

Reducing the chances of table saw kickback is not rocket science that requires a lot of brains to study. Few ideas are perhaps most common and can be followed by any of you without putting in much effort. Here you go.

Using A Riving Knife

The first thing that comes in very handy to prevent kickback is a riving knife. It is a kind of metal piece that can be set close to the back of the blade to guard its teeth while it’s spinning. In this way, the stock or the wood piece is not allowed to touch the teeth of the blade on the back while it’s moving past the blade. Besides, this thin metal piece can restrict kickback as it goes up and down with the blade. Keeping this advantage in mind, most of the modern table saw comes with this tool for your convenience. 

Using Push Sticks

Using push sticks on both sides of the cut is another way to save you from kickback. With the help of these push sticks the stock can be pushed smoothly past the blade. These sticks give you the chance to keep your hands away from the blade while it is running. These also help you to control the stock while cutting. During the job, all you need to set the stick at the middle of the stock and push the stock towards the side of the fence, and while doing this try to keep the stock straight on both sides. One thing you must avoid to keep the matter safe, don’t apply the pressure on the stock downward as it can lift the stock right back at you.

Rip Fence Alignment of The Saw Blade 

Non- align is probably one of the most common reasons behind the kickback. If the fence is not aligned properly with the blade, you have no way left but to face the kickback. This is a serious thing and you have to check at the time of purchasing a new table saw that the fence and the blades are parallel to each other and also to the miter gauge as well. Even the smallest defect could be the reason behind the kickback if the stock is got pinched between the blade and the fence. Besides, a dull blade can also create misalignment with the fence that may cause the same problem. Therefore, before start working, make sure the blade is sharp enough so that you don’t need to apply force on the stock.

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Maintain The Right Tool For Each Cutting  

The stock is to be cut into two ways- rip cut and cross-cut. For a rip cut, you have to slice the full length of a wood piece while cross-cut means you have to cut across the grain. To do these kinds of cuts you need two separate tools- rip fence and miter gauge respectively. If you mess these two with each other then you have no way left but to prepare to face kickback.

Maintaining Proper Position of Your Body

While working on a table saw it is very important to keep yourself in a proper position so that you can do the work quite comfortably and safely as well. Such as standing next to the stock is the better idea rather than standing right behind it. Besides, using a push stick certainly allow you to keep a safe distance while cutting. Moreover, as any other power tool table saw also needs your full attention when you’re making a cut, a minor mistake may end up in a major accident.

Read More: Best Table Saw for Beginners

Final Words 

Kickback is not a kind of problem that you can take easily. If you don’t take the safety measure or proper care, a high chance of being hit with a jumping piece of stock or badly wounded by the spinning blade remains to keep you in worry always. Therefore, it is mandatory to do everything possible to prevent or minimize the issue and I hope what I’ve told so far would be the best things to be followed out of everything. Good Luck!!  

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