Riving knife! That's the best method. I've heard it said that it's impossible to have kickback with a riving knife.
Other things to consider:
Having a fence parallel to the blade. When it's not parallel, you might pinch the blade and cause the workpiece to fly back at you.
Don't rip boards in half. If you have a six inch board that you cut ...
Kickback can occur when the back of the blade gets pinched in the kerf, when a piece of wood is pinched between the blade and fence, or when a piece of wood is lifted off the table.
As others have mentioned, a riving knife, anti-kickback pawls, and fence-mounted featherboards help protect against kickback.
If using a table-mounted ...
As a secondary safety measure to @dfife's excellent riving knife suggestion, anti-kickback pawls are another option.
Generally they install on the riving knife itself, and are spring loaded to stay in contact with the workpiece. Think of it as a one-way clutch for your lumber.
Note that I've had issues with these scratching softwoods like pine, so I only ...
I believe the European table saw safety rules require the shorter rip fence. The theory of the shorter fence is that wood can have internal stresses (due to grain structure) which are relieved when cut, which can cause the fence side board to curve into the fence, pushing the board into the back of the blade causing kickback. The shorter fence allows the ...
Keep the larger piece between the blade and fence, and push on that with your push-stick. Most kick-backs I've seen were when a narrow piece was pinched between the blade and fence. And don't stand behind the piece!
Be extra careful twisted or knotted lumber that may have alot of internal tension - much more likely to pinch & kick back.
I think the major danger that riving knives address is binding on the blade from the kerf closing. This is a particular risk with solid wood where there may be stored internal stresses (e.g. when the wood is said to be case hardened) which are released when it is cut, where the wood can twist and actually close the kerf tight in the worst cases.
Since this ...
Originally posted as a Q&A, but marked as duplicate.
Aftermarket riving knives tend to range from unavailable to sub-optimal.
The function of the riving knife is to keep the wood from catching on the rising teeth of the blade. This can happen either through operator error, or from the wood springing to a new shape with the creation of the kerf.