Riving Knife

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Forum topic by papadan posted 09-15-2009 01:57 AM 962 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2293 posts in 2972 days

09-15-2009 01:57 AM

OK from what i understand, a riving knife is attached to the elevation mechanism of the blade. Right? My saw has a splitter built into the gaurd that does the job, so what is all the crave about riving knives?

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

4 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7565 posts in 2979 days

#1 posted 09-15-2009 02:26 AM

Riving knives and splitters essentially do the same job, but a riving knife is a more elegant solution. It sits in closer proximity to the blade, and tilts, raises, and lowers with the blade. More importantly, the vast majority of stock splitters are cumbersome, and are more likely to not be used at all. A riving knife is more likely to be in position to do it’s task because it can stay in place for more functions without interfering. There are some aftermarket splitters that are nearly as good as riving knives, but they’re set at a fixed height.

I see a riving knife as a better mouse trap, but it’s not the end-all be-all panacea that some would have you believe.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View a1Jim's profile


115675 posts in 3181 days

#2 posted 09-15-2009 04:18 AM

As usual Scott has it nailed

-- Custom furniture

View papadan's profile


2293 posts in 2972 days

#3 posted 09-15-2009 12:13 PM

Thanks Scott, about what I thought.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View BTKS's profile


1984 posts in 3068 days

#4 posted 09-15-2009 05:22 PM

The riving knife also has the advantage of staying just below the blade top allowing through cuts at any blade height. Saw a thread the other day, need to find it again, that said the knife would not allow non through cuts. This is not the case with a riving knife, it can be set above or below the top of the blade arc allowing the knife to stay in place while making kerfs, full dados or rabbets, etc. I’m certain mine saved a huge kickback the other day when I bound the trail edge of a panel.
The knife changes out easily for kerf width and height along with staying in close to the blade to do the job intended. Sorry for rambling, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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