How To Use A Table Saw: Ripping Safely In 5 Steps

Last Updated on

Table saws are crucial for woodworks but the idea of wielding them with the possibility of becoming injured is probably putting you off. After all, table saw injuries are usually bloody and painful, so no one will want to risk that. But how can you do any woodwork without using a table saw? This is impossible, the only way is that you learn how to use a table saw safely.

In this instructional guide, we provide you with five simple steps that you can follow so that you avoid table saw injuries and use your table saw safely. Especially for people with beginner table saw.

how to use a table saw

How To Use A Table Saw In 5 Steps

Before we give you the steps though, here are the things you need for this guide:

  1. A working table saw!
  2. Wood/Lumber
  3. Courage and Concentration

Step 1. Make Sure To Lower The Blade To The Wood

It looks easy to use the table saw if others are doing it, but being careful and precise in your actions are the key. What more,this care and precision should be right from the start.

The first step on how to use a table saw safely is to make sure to lower the blade to the wood. The blade height should be adjusted so that the bottom of the saw blade gullet is just in line with the top of the wood you are going to saw or rip.

Safe ripping can only happen if the blade height is adjusted so that minimal blade is exposed. The less blade exposed, the safer the ripping or sawing is going to be.

Step 2. Use Your Blade Guard

All table saws come with a blade guard set. This set includes a splitter, which has its crucial use. Then there is also the anti-kickback pawl. The whole blade guard set with these two components makes it important to be used.

If you put yours away, get it out and put it back using the instruction manual that came with your table saw.

The blade guard is an added safety measure. Specifically, the plastic guard makes sure your fingers will not be near the blade, which is a scary place to be, obviously! It also makes sure all the and flying debris can be deflected. In addition, the splitter prevents the board from pushing into the blade and lead to kickback accidents.

Such dangers can be further prevented by using the pawl, designed for preventing kickbacks. The pawl comes with some kind of a sharp edges that can grab into the board and keep it from suddenly being thrown towards you as you cut.

Step 3. Ensure Boards Are Tight 

If you want to make sure how you use a table saw will not end up in an accident, make sure you keep the boards tight to the fence.

Hook your thumb behind the board and then put your little finger in contact with the fence. Keep this position firmly. Focus on making sure the edge of the board is in full contact with the fence while you push it through the blade steadily and slowly.

When pushing the blade, do it completely past the blade and then the kickback pawl. Once done, switch off the saw and avoid being on the path of blade. This is important in case the ripped board and cutoff piece get caught in the blade and then suddenly kicks back. Make sure you are not on the path of the blade if that happens.

Step 4. Keep Your Hands Away From Spinning Blade

The blade guard can only do so much. Even if you are using it, do not put your hand anywhere they can come into contact with the spinning blade. Accidents happen way too often because of this.

No matter how careful you are, sometimes concentration lapses happen and one small error or distraction may mean losing your finger. There’s no how to use a table saw manual made for telling you how to maintain your concentration in check. But there are these tips:

Use the push sticks. They enable you to put your hands far from the blade at a safe distance when you are sawing thin, skinny pieces.

Always have push sticks made with plywood only. Do not use lumber. The latter can just break if you are pushing. Have push sticks around, or shoes whenever you use the table saw. They have the capacity to assist a thin board ahead of the blade safely.

There exist no rules as to how narrow you can rip the strip before requiring the push stick but it is always better and safer to just have a distance.

Step 5. Have An Outfeed Table, Manufactured Stands or Extensions

To use the table saw safely, make sure you have set up an outfeed table. It will hold the board as it leaves the saw, preventing scary accidents. If your right hand nears the edges of the saw table, get the push stick and hook it over the back edge of the board. Make sure you are not directly behind the blade that you are ripping while in the process. Just stay to the side.

When you are ripping boards that are quite long, there are some natural dangers lurking. The board when cut can fall off the table, which can make you naturally want to catch it. The problem is, the natural reflex is to reach over the spinning blade to do so, which can be quite dangerous! For added safety measure, support the end of the board.

Use stands if you can but a nicer solution is to have another table that is as high as your table saw. A fixed outfeed platform will be the best idea, but this depends if you have room. These additional support mechanisms, whatever you choose, ensure you never have to reach over the dangerous blade just to catch falling boards

Using a table saw the most effective method for cutting narrow strips of wood. One problem that can crop up though is that the blade guard set can affect the fence and therefore does not give sufficient room for a push stick.

Using extensions for thin rips can ensure no accidents when using the table saw. Clamp an L-shaped plywood extension to the fence and then adjust the fence to the intended ripping width. Once done, rip the thin strip by guiding the board along with the extension only.

Seriously, How to Use A Table Saw? As Carefully As Possible!

Anyone serious about woodwork will have a table saw at their disposal. You would too for sure because it is simply a powerful tool. But not everyone can wield it without the risk of some accidents unless they are extra careful and mindful. Following the five steps above allows you to cover the bases. Of course, never do any work while drunk or emotional. Being careful does not work in those instances!

Speak Your Mind