Table Saw Kickback

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Blog entry by dustyal posted 08-20-2010 10:47 PM 8928 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I fought the saw and the saw won. As it will 100% of the time. So, I thought I would post this blog to remind everyone that it happens. Actually, this is the first kick back that I have experienced. I know why it happens. I know how to prevent the likelihood that it will happen. I use caution. But, it happened anyway. It threw a 18 X 20 piece of 3/4 ply at me, frisbee style. It so torqued the saw blade on the arbor shaft, that I cannot remove the nut to remove the blade to inspect for damage before I use the saw again. And, this was “only” a bench top table saw. Anyway, nothing real serious… it hit the well padded area. ... hurt pride mostly. I really don’t know why this happened other than I completed my cut (trimmed one inch off an edge) and was reaching down to shut it off… you cannot jump back fast enough when it comes flying out.

So, just a reminder to take care out there. Do not become complacent or take tools for granted. You know the drill… remind yourself from time to time.

Table saw battle scar>

Click here to view these pictures larger

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

27 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3085 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 11:00 PM

and it was proppely becourse you just moved the pieces slightly so it jammed
when you want to turn the saw of ( change of fokus)

now recover in the weekend
and on the horse again monday

take care

View freidasdad's profile


144 posts in 2957 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 11:10 PM

I have to confess—-same thing has happened to me….I got nailed with a piece of walnut, about 7×8x3/4. They sure come off of that table fast. I got hit almost exactly where you got yours.
Years ago I threw away the splitter and anti-kick back device for my delta contractor saw. Yesterday I ordered an after market splitter with anti-kick back prawls from delta through Woodcraft. It’s expensive but that piece of walnut was the 2nd kick back in about a year….2 too many.
Be safe, keep the safety equipment on your saw…

-- My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am---author unknown

View mpounders's profile


874 posts in 2865 days

#3 posted 08-20-2010 11:15 PM

I have some anti-kickback wheels that hold down stock when I rip, but I am really thinking about buying a couple of foot switches from Harbor Freight. Sure seems like a safer way to turn stuff off sometimes!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3240 days

#4 posted 08-20-2010 11:49 PM

Very glad you were not injured seriously. I have been relatively lucky on the table saw (knock on wood here)...and I keep all the safety devices in place except when dado’ing. I have even installed a blade protection cover on my crosscut sled and my mitre sled….there are too many horror stories about this happening.

On another note…don’t forget to pay attention if you have a sliding mitre saw also. I have the Bosch 5412 and didn’t notice that my fence sides had come loose and was sliding free. To make a long story short…the fence caught the wood…the blade torqued it…and then threw it down and back at me. Thankfully the only things hurt were the blade, the wood I was cutting and the saw fence. The worst of those casualties was the blade – a $100+ Forrest Chopmaster….it warped a dish in the blade by one of the laser insets and two teeth were badly twisted (no repairing this mess) – I am now relegated to a Dewalt construction blade until my new chopmaster arrives. The replacement fence cost me $40 from….and the wood…np there I was cutting up leftovers for pen blanks. There is a nice gash in my face shield….and my hand stung for a bit….but it sure made me pay attention next time.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Tim29's profile


307 posts in 3120 days

#5 posted 08-21-2010 12:09 AM

same thing happened to me last night. My heavy denim shop apron and belt buckle helped out but I still have a scrape and a bruise (and a pair of “was clean” underwear). When we dont get hurt bad, these are not the worst things that could happen to us. Valuble lessons from life. Glad you are not hurt

-- Tim, Nevada MO

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3028 days

#6 posted 08-21-2010 01:09 AM

I had something similar happen to me a few years ago. It hit me near the bottomf of my rib cage. It knocked out my breath and left me reeling on the floor trying to catch my breath while I tried to motion to my sons who were in the shop with me to turn off the saw. I had a cracked rib and a nasty bruise. Not fun. Hope you heal up quickly.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Lenny's profile


1593 posts in 3497 days

#7 posted 08-21-2010 01:27 AM

Dustyal, thank you for your willingness to share this mishap with everyoone. I too am glad you were not more seriously hurt. Like you said, you know the beast, you try to avoid the beast by being careful, yet stuff happens. If I may, I want to share something I witnessed this week. I stopped at the home of a nearby woodworker to introduce myself and say hello. I was told about him by a third party. I was met by another person at his home and he took me to the woodworker’s basement shop. He was ripping a 5/4 piece of maple on his table saw. Within a minute I witnessed several safety issues. No guard in place. No splitter or riving knife, no dust collection and sawdust was permeating the basement. He wore no dust mask. The saw kept bogging down. (A Craftsman TS. I asked if it was 1.5 hp and he said it is 2 hp.) He would wait until it was up to speed again and push some more and kept repeating this. At one point he had slight kickback but luckily the motor bogged again and he was able to contain or hold the piece. Eventually the breaker tripped and he lost power. All the things I have learned on my own and through posts on LJ came rushing to my mind as I watched this man work in such an unsafe manner. If that kickback he experienced happened on a 3 hp TS, he may not have been so lucky. As you and everyone else has said, “We can never be too safety conscious. Again, thanks for sharing.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 2913 days

#8 posted 08-21-2010 02:49 AM

Al, thank you for posting the remainder. I´ll try to keep learning on other people´s experiences.
Glad is wasn´t worse

-- Back home. Fernando

View jack1's profile


2103 posts in 3997 days

#9 posted 08-21-2010 03:11 AM

Been there done that. Glad you are ok. The hold down wheels work well if you can use that set up.
Maybe we should all learn the Zen of stick avoidance…. ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View wdh's profile


55 posts in 3610 days

#10 posted 08-21-2010 04:57 AM

Thanks for the reminder. I had a piece of wood come flying out at me, went up my forearm, ripping as it went. Left a 3in. long scar. I was cutting a piece of wood with no throat plate in the TS. I was unexperienced at using a TS. The wood tilted down where the throat plate should have been and came back at me at blinding speed. After it tore up my arm it hit my chest, knockin the wind out of me.That was bad but could have been worse, especially as I was by myself. Another time I was cutting a thin piece off a 3ft long piece. The thin piece got jammed in the blade and it shot out backwards, missed me (learned to stand to the side)and it stuck into a box behind me.Just like an arrow! I’m a lot more careful using my saws now. Thanks again.

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3566 days

#11 posted 08-21-2010 04:58 AM

One thing I have learned (the hard way) is to make sure that you push the wood all the way through the blade. then with no wood contacting the blade turn off saw.

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4370 days

#12 posted 08-21-2010 05:07 AM

Al It happens so fast. I had one a couple of years ago. Glad it’s minor but it will be black and blue in a couple of days.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1892 posts in 3641 days

#13 posted 08-22-2010 04:09 AM

YIKES!! I had one of those once before!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3960 days

#14 posted 08-22-2010 07:23 AM

Hi Al,

I appreciate your effort to remind us to be careful but I don’t know what to be careful of. Is it possible you could more fully describe what happened? That way, when I’m doing something similar, I really can be more careful.


-- Jim

View Robsshop's profile


907 posts in 2944 days

#15 posted 08-22-2010 11:09 AM

As many of us try to be safe,it is often the case that mental lapses and or distractions lead to mishaps ! I was down in the shop one late evening and not fully focused and wanted to make a last minute cut on the TS and forgot to install My splitter and before I realized what I had done wrong a loud bang,followed by a sharp thud to My mid section had occured. Luckily , I limped away with only a bruised thigh (and ego !) It’s easy to drop Your guard sometimes, so thanks for the reinforcement, STAY FOCUSED,BE SAFE. That’s a motto we all can live with.

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

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