Ten Must-Know Tips for Using a Table Saw
These tips are for rookie table saw users and experienced woodworkers alike. These tips are just the basics for operating a table saw. Always read the owner’s manual before operating a table saw.
Here are the top ten tips
- Always wear safety glasses and earplugs! Work gloves are recommended.
- Make sure that other people around you maintain a respectable distance from the table saw. This is for your safety and theirs. If they bump into you or the table saw, you could get hurt, or if they trip around the table saw there could be serious injuries.
- Keep the blade guard on the blade when it is not in use. If you have a blade guard that can partially cover the blade while you cut, you should use it to help prevent cutting things you do not want cut (like fingers).
- Measure the wood you are cutting at least twice. You can always cut a piece of wood shorter, but you cannot make it longer.
- Make dark marks on the wood using a pencil and straightedge. Crooked line markings will confuse you as cut the wood.
- Before cutting wood, raise the saw blade to the proper height. You do not want the blade set too low because then you will have to cut twice. If the table saw blade is out much higher than necessary, this increases the chance of accidents and presents a greater danger.
- If you are making miter cuts, make sure the wood fits tightly in place either with table saw miter-cutting accessories or miter grooves on the table saw. Double-check your miter-cut settings to ensure you have the correct angle setup.
- Slide the wood slowly into the saw blade. Do not force the wood into the blade; feed it gently, but firmly. Pushing to hard can damage the wood, saw blade, or hurt you. If you push the wood too slow, the worst thing that can happen is the cut takes 5 seconds longer. Safety over speed, always!
- Kickback is the most dangerous hazard a table saw presents while being operated safely. Sometimes the wood you are cutting can violently lurch back at you causing injury. Make sure you follow through with all your cuts to ensure they are completely through the wood. Always double-check your blade and wood angles. If they are off by even a dingle degree, the blade can get pinched by the wood and kickback.
- Keep the table saw unplugged while it is not in use, while you change the saw blade, or while performing maintenance repairs on the table saw.