36 votes

How do I prevent dangerous kickback on a table saw?

Riving knife! That's the best method. I've heard it said that it's impossible to have kickback with a riving knife. (Image Source) Other things to consider: Having a fence parallel to the blade. ...
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  • 4,156
33 votes
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Is it safe to resaw on a table saw?

Is this considered safe? It can be done safely. A tall fence, featherboards, and good push stick make a big difference. Not everyone takes the time to set all that up, though, so it's worth pointing ...
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  • 7,413
23 votes

How do I prevent dangerous kickback on a table saw?

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. Anti-kickback ...
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  • 18.6k
23 votes

Is a climbing cut on a table-saw ever justified?

A "climb cut" is called such because the workpiece wants to "climb" over the blade--or, if the workpiece is fixed, the blade wants to "climb" over the workpiece. Where do you think Galoob got the ...
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  • 18.6k
20 votes
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What is the recommended height of the blade on a table saw while operating?

If you call up Freud and ask, they'll tell you that you want one full tooth to clear the top of the wood, but no more. There are a couple of reasons for that recommendation- first is safety. A tooth ...
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  • 4,382
20 votes

Why a zero clearance insert?

To prevent small pieces from falling into the gap. To serve as a backing to minimize chipout on the back side of the cut. I can't think of a time when you wouldn't be better off using one. However, ...
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  • 2,396
20 votes
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Perfect miters every time

There's two ways that immediately pop to mind- one involves spending a significant amount of money, the other a significant amount of time. You can buy replacement miter gauges for most table saws (e....
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  • 4,382
17 votes

How do I prevent dangerous kickback on a table saw?

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 ...
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  • 4,328
17 votes
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What is a crosscut sled used for?

Let's tackle the second part of your question first. when/why would I want to use [a crosscut sled] over the fence on a saw? It is extremely unsafe to use your table saw's fence for crosscuts ...
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  • 18.6k
16 votes
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Can I make a dado blade set out of multiple regular blades?

There's another factor you're not considering: torque requirements. There's a reason the majority of dado sets are 6" or 8" in diameter. Most table saws won't have the power to run a 10" set. A 10" ...
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  • 4,328
16 votes

Considerations for using smaller diameter blades on table saw?

I use 7.25" and 8" blades on a 10" table saw all the time, with no problem. You will have less depth of cut, of course, and also a reduction of rim speed,which will slightly increase chances of ...
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  • 160
15 votes

Why a zero clearance insert?

A zero clearance insert is an insert which exactly matches the width of the blade. You can make one by slowly raising the blade through an un-cut insert. The advantage is as aaron says, they prevent ...
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  • 5,394
15 votes
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What am I doing wrong when making lap joints with my stacked dado set?

The chippers in the stack may vary in height. You can test for that by making a single pass and see if it is smooth. If the chippers are ok, then it is likely technique. Make sure you are holding ...
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  • 8,026
14 votes
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How do I know it's time to replace my circular saw blade?

Your blade will start to show signs of dullness. These include: Binding Excessive force required to advance cut Excessive tearing/chipout Burning the wood It helps if you can remember the "feel" of ...
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  • 4,328
14 votes
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Are there any alternatives to a SawStop?

No, SawStop is the only table saw currently available for purchase (as of Apr 2015) which features a flesh-triggered active safety device. However, on March 16, 2015, Bosch announced a jobsite table ...
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  • 18.6k
13 votes
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What is the difference between a riving knife and a splitter on a table saw?

A riving knife goes up and down with the blade, so it's always the same distance from the back of the blade. One person on the Fine Woodworking forums made a nice illustration: (image source) A ...
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  • 18.6k
13 votes
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How can I enclose the top of my contractor table saw for better dust collection?

If you feel it must be sealed up, some nicely placed HVAC aluminum tape will do the trick. A careful application at the edge of the table and bring it to the sides with a little turn-down to seal it ...
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  • 838
13 votes
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Is this table saw lathe jig safe?

I think the word 'safe' here might be relative. Just like modern cars are safe, when driven on the road, and obeying traffic laws. I think in this case the answer is a profound NO. Table saws are '...
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  • 1,772
13 votes
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What's a good way to cut a board parallel to its face?

The operation you want to do is called resawing, and is best done on a bandsaw. Ideally, your bandsaw should be equipped with a 1/2" or wider, 2-4 TPI blade and a resaw guide or high fence that can ...
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  • 18.6k
13 votes
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What kind of wax will keep a crosscut sled sliding well?

"Paste wax" is the go-to wax for your purpose and for waxing tool surfaces. Avoid buying a wax that contains silicone, because the silicone can directly or indirectly get transferred onto your wood ...
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  • 18.6k
13 votes

What is the hook angle on a saw blade?

The hook angle refers to the angle at which the teeth will engage the material being cut. A high or positive hook angle means the outermost tip of each tooth will engage very aggressively, whereas a ...
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  • 18.6k
13 votes
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Is it better to let the tool run or stop in-between cuts?

Generally, that is the right thing to do. Obviously you wouldn't let a power tool run all day when you don't need it, or even walk away and let it run unattended. But keeping it running in between ...
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  • 3,825
13 votes
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How can I make precise corner or notch cuts on the edge of a board?

I presume it's obvious but I'll say it anyway, accurate layout and marking on the wood is an all-important first step. I have used my jigsaw or chisel for similar cuts on other projects. While I ...
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  • 59.2k
13 votes

Considerations for using smaller diameter blades on table saw?

It's common to use 8" dado sets on 10" table saws. The main disadvantage of a smaller blade is simply that your maximum cut depth is reduced. There is also going to be a reduction in the speed at ...
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  • 9,121
12 votes
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What types of table saw cuts cannot be made with a riving knife installed?

Although there are many instances in which you need to remove a standard or modular table saw blade guard, most cuts can be made with a riving knife installed. However, there are a few operations for ...
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  • 18.6k
12 votes

How to cut Plexiglas on a table saw?

Plexiglass works well with a craft knife too. If you score it a couple of times with a straight rule, it should snap cleanly along the break.
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12 votes

Do I need to clean my miter and table saw after each use?

I think this falls under the "it's true, but doesn't matter" category. Motors will operate at their peak efficiency when clean, but it takes a lot of dust build up before the performance or longevity ...
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  • 8,026
12 votes
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What type of table saw blade is best for jointing?

Jointing on table saw is rip cutting, so often I have read advice to use good rip blade. Many recommendations today to use high quality glue-line blades so jointing step can be skipped. But this is ...
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  • 1,984
11 votes
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How can I bring an old, disused table saw back into active and safe use?

If the table saw has been properly stored, you may not have to do much before you can start using it. Find out if there's a reason why it hasn't been used other than a loss of interest or lack of time-...
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  • 18.6k
11 votes

How do I know it's time to replace my circular saw blade?

Sometimes when people believe their saw is dull, what it really needs is a cleaning. The resins from the wood build up in the teeth over time and gum up the cutting edge. Soaking the blade in simple ...
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  • 3,995

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