Table Saw Safety. What Do You Need to Know?

When working with power tools, sharp objects, or anything else that may contain the possibility of injuring you, it is always important to focus on safety before anything else. Safety should be the number one priority, as it is foolish putting anything else above it.

As a result, today we’re going to talk about safety regarding a woodworking power tool that is no stranger to causing both small and severe injuries. The tool we’re talking about is the table saw, a highly effective machine for cutting wood and a few other materials but one that is also easy to get severe injuries with as well.

Even though there are a few different types of table saws out there, you still need to follow these table saw safety rules as a crucial part of working with one. So, here are a few of the most important and helpful safety tips that you should always practice.

Top 10 Tips for Table Saw Safety

person working with table saw

Tip 1: Eye Protection

Even though your hands are a lot more likely to suffer injuries from a table saw than your eyes, losing sight in the middle of a task like this can prove far more deadly. Imagine if a piece or some dust should fly out while you’re cutting and shoot straight into your eyes. This can force you to lose balance and cause something far worse than cutting a finger or your hands. So, the first rule when it comes to table saw safety – Always wear eye protection goggles!

Tip 2: Never Wear Gloves

You might say “aren’t gloves important for protecting your hands when working with wood?” Well, they are, but they are a huge NO when it comes to working with a table saw. Why? Because you can’t afford to lose the sense of touch when working so close to a spinning blade. You can easily miscalculate the positioning of your fingers while wearing thick gloves and not even know you are so close to the blade. As a result, the second rule says – Never wear thick gloves when working with a table saw!

Tip 3: Keep a Clean Floor

Aside from making sure your hands are safe, another crucial thing when using table saws is to avoid slipping or losing balance. Falling on top of a spinning table saw blade can prove fatal, and you don’t have nearly as much time to turn it off when falling if you slip. As a result, you should make sure there is nothing spilled on the floor before starting. You should also make sure to avoid letting sawdust pile up under your feet as well. So, tip #3 – Keep a clean floor at all times when working with table saws!

Tip 4: Never Forget Your Push Stick

I don’t know about you, but I have seen my fair share of woodworkers who don’t have time to use a push stick or think that they’re too cool for such a tool. They may have never gotten hurt, but can you really afford to take that chance, especially if you are a beginner? No, you can’t! As a result – Always use a push stick when cutting pieces that are shorter than 30cm or 1ft!

Tip 5: Check the Blade Before Turning It On

What this tip basically means is that you should always ensure that the blade is spinning freely before turning the power on. You can check this by spinning the blade while the power is turned off. If it spins freely then you’re good to go. It’s a helpful tip to turn to when making adjustments, replacing the blade, or similar. So – Make sure the blade can spin easily before turning the table saw on!

Tip 6: Don’t Neglect Your Riven Knife

Never let laziness be the reason for you not installing your riven knife in the table saw. This is a crucial part of the table saw safety equipment that has a very important role to play. It helps by preventing jamming and kickback that even the best table saw blade can’t prevent without a riven knife. If kickback should occur, the table saw has enough power to send the piece of wood flying back towards you and even puncture a hole in the wall. Having said that – Don’t use your table saw without a riven knife!

Tip 7: Use a Table Saw Blade Guard

What if you have an older table saw that doesn’t even give you the possibility of installing a riven knife? Well, the blade guard has a similar role to play in table saw safety. One of the main purposes of a blade guard is to also prevent kickback. As a result – Mount the crucial table saw blade guard and enjoy a safer woodworking experience!

Tip 8: NEVER Reach Over a Spinning Blade

I shouldn’t even be mentioning this, as it should be a no-brainer. However, you must understand to never reach over to grab something on or off the table saw while it is still working. You can easily slip and within a fraction of a second fall on top of the blade. So, I will say it again – NEVER reach over a moving table saw blade!

Tip 9: Never Free-Hand Table Saw Cuts

No matter how pro you believe you are, you should ultimately avoid free-handing cuts regardless of your experience level. Sure, you might get away with it almost all of the time, but this is another one of those situations where you can’t afford to risk it. All it takes is one wrong move or accident and the consequences could be severe. Even the best table saw out there won’t be able to save you here. As a result, tip #9 says – Avoid free-hand cuts regardless of your confidence and experience level!

Tip 10: Avoid Excuses for Safety Checks

One of the most common things I see in this area is people constantly coming up with excuses for not worrying about table saw safety. The list of the most popular excuses includes “I’m too tired”, “I don’t have enough time”, “I’m in a rush” and so on. It literally takes less than a few minutes to make sure everything is running smoothly. This includes making sure there are no table saw blade issues, making sure there are no screws or nails in the pieces of wood, making sure the floor is clean and void of slippery substances, and so on. So, the final tip says – Take the time to perform safety checks!

About The Author

Stole Trishanski

Stole likes writing and DIY. Being raised by a single mother, he was forced to adapt and discover his way around the house by himself. He brings his life experiences to you in hopes of sharing his knowledge with everyone who needs it.

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