What's the big deal about a riving knife?

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Blog entry by Furnitude posted 12-28-2010 09:25 PM 1418 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

With thanks and apologies to Purplev:

-- Mitch, Also blog at

5 comments so far

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2961 days

#1 posted 12-28-2010 11:21 PM

on my new european tablesaw the riving knife is higher than the blade so you can’t do grooved cuts, wich is actually a forbidden operation for a tablesaw in europe. but you do need to make grooved cuts, so then i have to remove the riving knife…

View cabmaker's profile


1731 posts in 2809 days

#2 posted 12-28-2010 11:58 PM

Nothing. Other than I wish I had the foresight to manufacture these things years ago. I could likely retire. I have no problem uderstanding what purpose they intend to serve but I gotta say, I do not have one on my saw. There may have been time or two in the past 39 years that I could have benefitted from one but can t say for sure. What I can say is that I have spent many, many hours at a table saw and been in most any situation one can imagine while handling hardwoods, softwoods, plastic laminates,sheetgoods of many types,plexiglass, reactive wood,etc., without incident. I have had a couple of close calls but nothing that would have been effected by a riving knife. If I was buying a new saw that had one I would likely leave it on untill such time it got in my way. Wish you all the best with your decision. I will add something to think about:Confidence in your abiilities and your equipment lends a lot to your end results so if a riving knife helps with that issue go for it. JB

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3099 days

#3 posted 12-29-2010 12:20 AM

I sat and studied my Ridgid 3650 for hours with the idea of coming up with a sellable aftermarket bolt-on riving arrangement. There were thousands of 3650-3660’s sold 3-5 years ago.
It ain’t gonna happen. There is no way to fabricate an attachable, true riving knife that lowers, raise and tilts with the blade.
To do that, the saw would have to come completely apart, and the cast iron trunnion would have to be milled out for clearance around the bearing spindle. Yea, everyone is going to want to do that. Not!
So much for my new business.
I have looked at the European sliding table saws with all the riving and safety equipment and all I can say is WOW. Those are impressive machines. Impressive pricing also.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3481 days

#4 posted 12-29-2010 01:05 AM

I no longer use my TS without a riving knife unless I am doing dados etc. I used a TS for 45 years and never had a problem until one night about two years ago I accidentally moved a small piece I was cutting away from the fence and into the blade. Before I knew what happened it bounced off my chest nearly knocking me to the floor. It also cut the push stick in half. I know what I did and why it kicked back, but I dont want that to happen again. I ended up with a cut from my chest to my belt line and no feeling in my upper torso for about 5 minutes. I eventually went to the doctor for a cold about two weeks later and when they did an Xray, I had swollen limp glands in my lungs from the impact.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3753 days

#5 posted 12-29-2010 04:46 AM

At the mill that I consult at once and a while, they have a 12 HP 480 V 3ph table saw with a 15 or 16 inch blade with no splitter or riving knife. There are several holes in the wall of the building 30 plus feet from the saw. The holes are patched with 3/4 ply, and a few of the patches also have holes that have been patched the same way. Kickback can and will be a killer.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

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