cutting wood closeupA table saw is one of the top causes for injuries during wood working. It is also one of the top tools used in a wood working shop. The saw spins at 8,000 rpm and should be respected. With the dangers that the table saw presents, the safety measures should be used no matter how long the job may take.

Checklist to perform before use each and every time:

  • Make sure to remove all scrap materials, fasteners, tools, and debris.
  • Remove all items from around the saw itself.
  • Always use the appropriate blade for the job at hand. Make sure that the material proves to be good quality.
  • Inspect the blade to ensure that all teeth are straight and no imperfections are displayed. Make sure that the saw is not plugged in while inspecting the blade.
  • Set the height of the blade. Blades that are flat ground should never extend more than ¼” above the wood that is being cut. If the blade is planer or hollow ground, then the blade should be high as it can possibly go. This is to ensure there is no binding.
  • Inspect the safety devices that are provided by the saw. Ensure that the splitter, blade guard, and anti-kickback system are in working order. The guard should be able to adjust to all measures of boards to be cut.
  • Make sure that the power switch is in working condition.
  • Check the electrical cord to make sure there are no tripping hazards.
  • Align the fence parallel to the saw blade.
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles. Full face shields are highly suggested for the utmost safety.

Other Tips to Take Seriously

A person working with a table saw should never run the saw while they are tired. Fatigue will lead to mistakes and poor judgment. This will put the person at high risk for injuries and at times death. It is also important to be patient. Plan each and every cut in advance.

When an individual is ripping stock, it should always be assumed that the saw will give a kick back. In order to lower the risk of injury or damage to the wood that is being worked on. Never stand in the line of the blade; stand to the side. Make sure that the pushing hand is not in danger by using the fence. If the board is longer than three feet, use a helper to provide support for the wood as it is passed through the blade. A roller is also suggested to be used if the board is longer than three feet.

It is important that free hand cutting should never be performed. All safety features on a table saw are there for the protection of the woods worker. Keep the fence on the saw even when tempted to take it off for easier use. If any doubt about a cut is raised; do not perform the cut. Reassess the cut until it is certain that it can be safely done.